There has been a surge of interest lately in natural childbirth. Many women are realizing that there can be complications from epidurals and other pain medications. And they also want to fully experience the birthing process, not just be numbed with pain killers. As a result more women are turning to hypnosis birth, or hypnobirthing, which is a completely natural childbirth method that combines medical hypnosis with a variety of relaxation techniques. When performed properly, hypnobirthing can result in completely pain-free childbirth.
While more and more women are gravitating towards hypnobirthing, they often do not realize that there are numerous hypnobirthing programs to choose from. While all of the major programs are legitimate, it is vitally important to choose the program that is best suited for your learning style and personality. Too many people are just borrowing a hypnobirthing book from a friend or signing up for whatever method they stumble upon first. The wiser approach is to carefully review each of the major methods and pick one that fits well with your personal philosophy and lifestyle. The five major methods are: The Mongan Method, The Leclaire Method, HypBirth, Hypnobabies, and Gerald Kein’s Complete Painless Birth Method.
The Mongan Method of Hypnobirthing was developed by Marie Mongan in 1989, and focuses on releasing your natural birthing instincts through hypnosis to promote a serene childbirth. The program is best suited for learning in a classroom setting and there is a vast network of certified practitioners throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world. Included with the class are CDs, scripts, and a workbook. While this method costs several hundred dollars, the classroom experience is very useful and the instruction is thorough.
The Leclaire Method is also known as the Original Method, and was developed in 1987 by Michelle Leclaire O’Neill. She is the director of the Mind Body Center in Pacific Palisades, California. This program strives to combine ancient wisdom with modern science, and focuses on meditation, visualization, and self-hypnosis. It is clearly the most holistic and naturalistic method, and should only be used by women who are comfortable with statements and theories that tend to stray from mainstream scientific thought. Classes are available at the Mind Body Center, but for those who do not live nearby, the program can be purchased as a packaged home course with a book and 3 CDs.
HypBirth was created by Lori Dorman, a certified hypnotherapist and practicing birth doula. Her program has been very popular since it was released, and was even featured on the television show “A Baby Story”. The techniques center on eliminating pain-causing stress hormones while increasing pain-relieving endorphins. It is designed specifically for home study and includes a DVD and 8 CDs. The low video quality is the only real weakness of this DVD program, but this is compensated for with excellent content.
Hypnobabies is the method which was developed by Kerry Tuschoff after she lost faith in the classes she was teaching through other hypnobirthing programs. Tuschoff believed that the hypnosis methods advocated in these programs were inadequate for a totally pain-free birth and she began to study true medical hypnosis under Gerald Kein. Working closely with pregnant women, she refined these methods in order to adapt them to the real world conditions that are experienced by women during childbirth. Her techniques have been shown to have great success in completely eliminating pain and fear. Hypnobabies has an excellent home study program, but also offers classes through a network of instructors.
As mentioned above, Gerald Kein’s Complete Painless Birth Method is at the root of Hypnobabies. But it is also available as a standalone course and is a great option for anyone interested in learning true medical hypnosis. However, this is geared more towards professional hypnotherapists, and learning his methods is a major commitment of time and effort.
All of these hypnobirthing methods have shown success and offer many great testimonials from women who have used them. The key is to first decide which method suits your personality the best, and then commit 100% to learning and practicing the techniques.