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HypnoPregnancy and Birth

Posted Sep 12 2009 2:41am

At Hypnosis Healing Centre in Ottawa (Canada) we are offering a joint program of Hypnosis and Yoga for pregnancy and birth. Research indicates the benefits of both modalities on expectant mothers and, directly or indirectly, on their babies.

Hypnosishas been used successfully to reduce the length of labour; to reframe/dissociate the perceptions of body sensations during labour and birth; to strengthen the associative connections between body and mind; to experience higher alertness and less tiredness during these stages; to recover from birthfaster; to bond with the child; to cope with more difficult, but rare, situations (i.e., turning the baby; resuming a stalled labour; coping with unforeseen surgical procedures); to prevent post-partum depression; to stimulate lactation, etc.

Yoga has been used succesfully to reduce the incidence of preterm births and low birth weight.The pregnant women who practice Yoga experience fewer complications during pregnancy (i.e., pregnancy-induced hypertension, growth retardation) and have better neonatal outcomes (Field, 2008). An Australian study of the obstetricians' and midwives' perceptions of complementary therapies in pregnancy found that 81% of the obstetricians believed Yoga to be safe while 96% of the midwives considered this modality safe. Also, 78% of the obstetricians found both hypnosis and meditation to be safe modalities for pregnancy, while 88% of the midwives found meditation safe for pregnancy (Gaffney & Smith, 2004).

The Centre offers certification training in HypnoPregnancy and   Birthing (HPB) for practitioners, and classes and private sessions for expectant mothers/couples.The program uses guided visualization and breathing exercises, body sensations understanding and self-hypnosis techniques to help the expectant mothers go through the pregnancy, the stages of labour and the birth, as well as provide them with post-birthing strengths. The course helps the women communicate with their baby throughout their pregnancy and solidify the bond between the mother/parents and the child. During the program, the women are encouraged to address emotional issues or concerns, and, if necessary, the women might be seen individually (for a discounted fee). 

The HPB course was created by Dr. Voia and it consists of enhanced and evidence-based hypnotherapy exercises for pregnancy and childbirth (associative and dissociative); the program contains progressive relaxation, hyperempiria, double/dual induction, Gestalt-based visualization, dream inducement, mindfulness, meditation, Meridian Tapping Techniques (MTT) and NLP exercises to reframe, desensitize and cope with challenging situations while maintaining a balanced and positive attitude during labour and birth. The expectant women are advised to begin the program earlier in the pregnancy (15-20 weeks). The program includes 5 meetings. The women/couples have the option of attending a sixth session, after giving birth (for a separate fee) to address post-birth issues (i.e., lactation, weight loss, fatigue, etc.).  

In the past 4 years, Dr. Voia has done research on mothering practices and presented two mothering-related papers at Conferences organized by the Association for Research on Mothering   (ARM), at York University, Toronto (2005 and 2006). On October 22nd, 2009, she will present the paper Using Hypnosis in Assisting Women With Natural Childbirth: Feminine and Feminist Perspectives at the ARM Conference on Mothering and Environment: The Social, The Natural and The Built (at York University).

Please, note that HypnoPregnancy and Birthing is not a childbirth education program; still, it does present the stages of pregnancy, labour and birth from an informed and experiential perspective. Some sessions might by held in conjunction with other hypnosis practitioners, psychologists or counsellors, for an enhanced quality of the program. Also, note that this course is not related, nor similar to the HypnoBirthing (the Mongan Method) Course.

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