SingaporeMotherhood | Pregnancy

May 2013

HypnoBirthing®: A Calmer Birth

Tranquil. Deeply aware of my body’s work. A gentle arrival for my baby. Imagine a world where every baby is treated with gentleness from the moment he is conceived. Imagine every baby being born into a warm and trusting world. HypnoBirthing® holds this promise of better birth, and a better world, for many expectant parents.

What is HypnoBirthing®?

HypnoBirthing® is a philosophy towards childbirth that views birth as a celebration of life. At its core is the belief that our bodies are designed to give birth in a relaxed and comfortable manner. One of the key aims of the HypnoBirthing® approach is having a birth that is free from negativity and fear.

Ginny Phang, HypnoBirthing practitioner & trainer affiliated with the HypnoBirthing® Institute USA, explains: “HypnoBirthing® is a holistic mind-over-body technique that teaches expectant parents to overcome their fears. They learn to work with their minds and bodies through understanding what the hormones and their bodies do during labour and birth; they also learn relaxation tools to work with their bodies by relaxing through surges, instead of fighting them by tensing up.”

The HypnoBirthing® Approach to Fear & Pain

In the HypnoBirthing® approach, it is believed that fear leads to tension, which in turn creates pain. Labour can be comfortable and significantly less intense when a mother is completely relaxed and trusts in her body’s ability to give birth.

A key aspect of the HypnoBirthing® approach is perceiving birth positively and changing mothers’ preconceived ideas about their bodies. This is reflected in HypnoBirthing® language, where contractions are referred to as surges and bloody show as birth show.

How It Works

HypnoBirthing® mothers learn a repertoire of relaxation, breathing and self-hypnosis techniques to facilitate relaxation and a positive birth experience.

Mother of two Jackie Bradey had many interventions for her first birth, and used HypnoBirthing® for her second baby. She shares her experience. “My goal was to have the confidence in mind and body to have a fear-free birth. After much reflection on my first birth, I came to the realisation that instead of trying to take control of the situation in labour, I needed to surrender to the process of childbirth. Hypnobirthing® taught me how to do this through practice before the birth.”

Doula and mother of two, Nur Azlin Ilham used HypnoBirthing® for both her babies’ births. She says, “HypnoBirthing® assured me that my body is designed for birth, and I was able
to support my labouring body through positive affirmations and visualisations. Although there are many things we cannot control in labour, we can control our breathing and bring oxygen to our babies.”

Common HypnoBirthing® Misconceptions

HypnoBirthing® mums enter a trance-like state and ‘lose control’

The hypnosis scenarios on television where hypnotised people enter a sort of ‘la-la-land’ are created for amusement! In reality, hypnosis is a natural change in your level of consciousness. Self-hypnosis occurs everyday when you are engrossed in an activity. As a HypnoBirthing® mum, you would be fully aware and able to make labour decisions.

calm baby

HypnoBirthing® applies only to mothers who want natural births. Mothers who choose medications or have medical interventions cannot use HypnoBirthing® techniques.

HypnoBirthing® techniques are valuable for mothers who go on to have interventions such as epidurals, inductions, and C-section births. The philosophy towards birth, techniques, and skills that you would have picked up from the HypnoBirthing® programme helps you to relax deeply as far into labour as you choose.

In fact, Marie Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing®, is not against the use of pain medications. What she does oppose are unnecessary labour interventions.

HypnoBirthing® guarantees that you will have an easy labour.

Your labouring body works hard; labour sensations are powerful and intense. HypnoBirthing® enables you to perceive those sensations as your body functioning as it is meant to.

HypnoBirthing® Facts

  • HypnoBirthing® mothers have fewer interventions, use less medical methods of analgesia and have a lower risk of c-section births.
  • HypnoBirthing® mothers tend to have shorter labours.
  • HypnoBirthing® was introduced to Singapore in July 2005.
  • There are 7 HypnoBirthing® Practitioners in Singapore.
  • Doula and certified HypnoBirthing® practitioner Ginny Phang has taught almost 1,000 parents in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

Changing Attitudes towards HypnoBirthing®

HypnoBirthing® runs counter to negative messages that women are bombarded with about how labour is painful and that labour sensations are best vanquished with an arsenal of labour drugs.

Nur Azlin Ilham shares, “Many expectant parents are quite doubtful about HypnoBirthing®. However, after birthing their babies in a gentle and calm manner through HypnoBirthing®, they feel empowered and more confident as parents.”

Ginny Phang adds, “Initially, some doctors tend to be skeptical. However, the more exposure they receive, the more receptive they are towards the method. We even have doctors who recommend it, especially when they care for mothers experiencing a lot of anxiety during their pregnancy.”

“The birth of a baby is also the birth of a mother and a father (all over again with each baby). The kind of pregnancy and birth that they have sets the tone for their parenting journey. A gentle birth is a real and available option for parents in Singapore,” she affirms.

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HypnoBirthing®: A Calmer Birth