Imagine - you are in labor. You are feeling calm, serene, attuned to the contractions that gently open your body. Your labor is peaceful and pain free and you are feeling overjoyed, knowing that you will soon be holding your newborn child.

This type of birth can be yours. The use of hypnosis is quickly becoming popular because it is so effective. Once thought to be a type of bizarre ritual, hypnosis has increasingly become accepted as a legitimate form of therapy by the public and also within the medical community.

Hypnotherapy has been found to be very successful in helping people deal with a variety of emotional and personal problems. Using self-hypnosis techniques, many women have managed to experience a pain free labor without medication or drugs. Hypnosis has also been successful in turning posterior and breech babies.

What Is Hypnosis?
Simply put, hypnosis is a deep state of relaxation. But it is not a state of unconsciousness. In fact, you’ve probably been hypnotized a few times without realizing it. If you’ve ever been so deeply engrossed in a book that you weren’t aware someone was talking to you, then you’ve been under hypnosis.

Hypnosis allows you to shut off the active, conscious part of your brain and tune into your subconscious for a little while. The subconscious is the area of your brain that makes a lot of decisions that you don’t realize. As a result, hypnosis allows you to gain more control over your life since you are dealing directly with the subconscious mind. In a way, you are reprogramming your mind to act in a way that you find more beneficial.

What Is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy employs hypnosis to help people deal with a variety of problems and issues. Hypnosis has been used to treat everything from low self-esteem and confidence to smoking and over eating, as well as bed wetting in children. Hypnosis has even been used as an alternative to anesthesia for people who are undergoing surgery.

Aided by a guide or instructor, hypnotherapy helps you relax and enter your subconscious. However, all hypnosis is considered to be self-hypnosis. Even though you have a guide giving you instructions, you are the one doing all the work.

Worried that you’ll end up squawking like a chicken? Contrary to what most people have been led to believe, you cannot do anything in a hypnotic state that you have a serious moral or ethical objection to. You actually do have control over your actions and what you say while under hypnosis. There is also no reason why you cannot remember what you have said or done unless your mind has decided to "forget" about it. While your subconscious mind will always be aware of what happened, your conscious mind may not.

Hypnosis and Childbirth
More and more, pregnant women are deciding to use hypnosis to deal with labor pain rather than using conventional medications. Through hypnotherapy classes, you learn self hypnosis techniques that will help you better deal with the pain. Hypnosis allows you to provide yourself with a natural anesthesia that won’t cause any harm to you or your baby. Plus, you’re completely in control of your pain management.

How Is the Pain Eliminated?
Many women are terrified by the prospect of labor pain. Hypnotherapy will help you dismiss any of your negative preconceptions about pain. Pain is usually produced by a combination of fear and tension. When we are afraid, we react by closing up. This tightness causes our uterine muscles to contract and we feel acute pain. And the more pain we feel, the tenser we become. Hypnotherapy teaches women to relax. As a result, their bodies open easier. The hypnobirth is often faster than regular births, it is less exhausting and the labor can actually be pain free! Women who use this technique report feeling little or no pain – just a tightening sensation and a feeling of pressure.

There are many hypnosis classes that aim to teach future parents that childbirth is nothing to be afraid of. Parents end up losing their fear and thoughts over the immense pain they have been led to believe comes with childbirth. In place of the negative thoughts are positive ones that evaluate childbirth as a wonderful and natural process that a woman’s body is able to do with ease and comfort.

Mind Over Matter
While it certainly sounds easy to give birth if you’re self-hypnotized, it is important to learn hypnosis properly in order for it to work. Parents need to be realistic with the expectations they have about hypnotherapy. Be aware that it does take some work to be effective at self-hypnosis.

The type of hypnosis class you take can greatly affect the outcome and success rate of your therapy. Attending a childbirth hypnosis class is different from learning self-hypnosis techniques from a privately practicing hypnotherapist. Childbirth hypnosis classes are geared specifically around teaching coping methods for childbirth and can be a lot more involved.

Choosing A Hypnotherapist
Make sure you find someone who is experienced in dealing with childbirth. A regular hypnotherapist may have experience with pain management skills in general, but she may not have experience with childbirth coping methods. There are women who are trained in both hypnotherapy and childbirth education.

It is important to do some research on all your options before you finally decide on one. If it is at all possible, then interview a potential hypnotherapist or instructor first. A good hypnotherapist will do at least four sessions with you, although six to seven sessions are the ideal. The last session should take place a week before your expected due date. You should also receive some self hypnosis tapes or CDs that you can use at home to keep practicing your techniques.

Taking Hypnotherapy Classes
If childbirth hypnosis classes are available in your area, then look for one that offers at least 15 hours of instructions. Again, you should receive some tapes or CDs that you can use at home to practice. Before you sign up, inquire about how much experience your instructor has with childbirth hypnosis. Obviously, the more experienced the instructor, the more confident you can feel about your classes.

You and your partner will attend classes together so that you can both learn the technique. Classes can be taken in a group or privately. Four to seven sessions are recommended, including that last important visit one week before your due date. If there are no classes available nearby, you can also take a home-study course.

Empower Yourself
Giving birth is one of life’s most incredible moments. When you feel calm and confident during your labor, you will enjoy it and will remember it as a joyous and positive experience. In fact, hypnotherapy will also give you a sense of peace throughout your pregnancy. And once you master self-hypnosis, you can continue to use the technique to help you through many of life’s stressful moments.

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