How the subconscious can affect the birthing process
Our bodies have the natural ability to labour and give birth calmly. Often however, our fears and anxieties get in the way, slowing down, and sometimes even halting the birthing process.
If we become frightened and anxious during labour, our subconscious feels threatened and prepares the body to either fight or run away (fight/flight ) in order to protect us. This produces stress hormones, which can interfere with oxytocin, (the hormone which activates contractions), and with endorphins, which help to neutralise pain.
We can then find ourselves in the grip of a vicious circle where the cervix tightens, the uterus has to work harder, and pain and anxiety increase. The subconscious, perceiving danger, is unwilling to give birth, as we need to feel safe in order to do this. Consequently contractions may slow down or even stop, and our anxiety increases even more.
This is often when medical interventions are used, which may lead to stronger, more frequent and painful contractions, increased chances of tearing or cutting and possibly a Caesarian delivery.
How can hypnotherapy help? Hypnotherapy helps you to relax and stay calm, both throughout pregnancy and during the birth. You will learn how to self- hypnotise, so you can become as relaxed as you wish during the birth, whilst still being fully alert and responsive. Our bodies and our babies have a natural ability to work together to birth. The more relaxed we are, the easier it is to allow this natural process to occur without our fears getting on the way.
Studies have shown that hypnotherapy can help to reduce pain, shorten labour and decrease medical intervention, resulting in both a calmer mother and baby.
Of course hypnotherapy can't ensure a natural birth, and sometimes medical help is needed, however if this happens, hypnotherapy still helps you to remain relaxed, calm, and able to make the right decisions for you and your baby throughout the process.