Having a baby is one of life’s greatest gifts, and the ability to create, nurture and eventually birth a brand new human being is nothing short of a miracle. Yet, when many women think about the actual process of giving birth, fear of pain (and how to avoid it) is at the forefront of their minds. Something as simple as the term labor can feed into the fear. Language is a powerful thing, and the very definition of labor is “physical or mental work, especially of a hard or fatiguing kind; toil.”
Listening to too many difficult birth stories, coupled with routine hospital labor and delivery techniques can easily exacerbate these fears. Healthcare providers follow often medically unnecessary protocols such as constant monitoring, multiple cervix checks, the introduction of IV fluids, denial of food to the laboring mother, induction practices, elective C-sections and more. Staff may also be quick to offer drugs for pain relief or to take the edge off. But for expectant moms who prefer the natural route, there is another way, and the involvement of pain is not necessarily a given.
Enter HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method. Created by Marie “Mickey” Mongan, M.Ed., M.Hy., a highly awarded hypnotherapist and Harvard University Ford Foundation fellow, this gentle view of childbirth takes the stance that both mom and baby’s bodies were made to do this, and they work together in harmony. Through practiced deep breathing, visualization, prompts from their partners and labor comfort measures, mothers can train their brain to elicit a deep relaxation response on demand.
Instead of feeling pain, HypnoBirthing mothers often describe the experience as feeling pressure and use the word “surges” or “waves” instead of contractions. At the core, yes—it’s mind over matter, and thousands of women have proven it works. Want to see for yourself? Check out some YouTube videos here.