Tuesday, March 1, 2011

a comfort measure that works

I spent this past month observing a hypnobirthing class taught by Ellie Shea in Redondo Beach.  I was very impressed with the things I learned. 

The biggest problem to overcome with natural labors today is that woman are conditioned to fear them.  We are told birth is unbearably painful and extremely dangerous to both our infant and ourselves.  Most of us believe that we are biologically flawed and are about to malfunction at any moment.  Hypnobirthing attempts to help woman re-work that entire mind set.

Hypnobirthing is a technique that mothers are encouraged to practice daily throughout the month and up until the birth of their child.  They do not practice being hypnotized so much as they practice getting themselves into hypnosis.  It requires time and concentration, and professional direction from the instructor.  She leads them deeper and deeper into their subconscious; leading the way so they can learn how to get there themselves.

Hypnobirthing works off of several rules of the mind:
  1. "The mind can hold only one thought at a time.  Opposing thoughts cannot be held simultaneously; therefore, affirming a positive thought creates a positive outcome.  The person thinking the thought must choose what the nature of that thought will be.  If the pregnant woman refuses to entertain anything but positie images of birthing, she creates a positive mindset.  It prepares her for a positive outcome.
  2. Thought precedes reality.  Whatever one focuses upon, whether it be of an internal or external origin, becomes manifested.  Mental images become imprinted, and the subconscious acts out the plan.  By imprinting positive thoughts and birth plans, positive outcomes are realized.  Intention creates experience.
  3. For every thought or emotion there is a connected physical response.  Thoughts that are imprinted into the subconscious actually create a biochemical response within the body. Therefore, over a period of time, stressful worrisome thoughts can create negative conditioned responses in our bodies.  This rule is particularly important to HypnoBirthing success.  When fear is present, the fight or flight response is triggered; blodd and oxygen are directed to those muscles of the body that are involved in carrying out fight or flight; oxygen is depleted in the uterus; muscle constriction and pain result.  Positive thoughts and emotions for an easy, comfortable birth produce positive biochemicals in the body.
  4. Once a thought is acted upon, the behavior becomes easier with each subsequent similar thought.  Continued reinforcement of a thought or action tends to make the thought more readily accepted and it becomes easier for additional suggestions of the same nature to be accepted and acted upon.  Once an expectant mother accepts the premise that comfortable birthing is a possibility, she can more readily birth according to her own natural instincts."
Go to http://www.hypnobirthing.com/ for more information.

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