What is hypnosis?

When we use the word Hypnosis here at the Wise Hippo we really mean a deep state of relaxation.

As we use hypnosis within our classes we thought it would be useful to explain a bit more about it. The Wise Hippo uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is often called a trance like state.

Your attention will become so focused while in this deeply relaxed state that anything going on around you is temporarily blocked out or ignored.

Now imagine that happening as you are birthing your baby? Imagine being able to filter out people, lights, noise and even feelings whilst birthing. The mind is a very powerful tool indeed!

We know that some people may have an incorrect idea of what hypnosis is, often brought about by stage hypnosis and it appearing that the individual has lost complete control of what they are doing.

In fact hypnosis is a method used for taking a person into trance, a state we naturally go in and out of every day (daydreaming, enjoying a good movie and drifting off to sleep are just a few examples).

When a person agrees to be part of a hypnotic show they are willing participants and expect to be asked to do silly things, the hypnotist then helps them feel less inhibited and so they are happy to go along with the fun. If at any point they didn’t want to do something they can decide not to.

In respect of birthing we use hypnosis in two different ways:

Firstly, to help you change any fearful, negative expectations of birth you might have to positive ones. When you move into trance the conscious, analytical side of the brain becomes side-tracked and you will become much more open to suggestions (as we see with the stage hypnosis).

Only suggestions that you are open to accept will be useful though and for birth of course our focus is on building confidence that birth, without any special circumstances, can be a positive experience in which you will more easily remain, calm, relaxed and in control.

Which brings us to the second point, you will learn simple yet powerful techniques that ensure that you are able to remain emotionally and physically relaxed during labour enabling your body to work at its best. This in turn will also ensure that you are able to remain calm and in control throughout your birthing day no matter what turn your birthing takes.

Everything we teach on The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme is based on physiological and medical fact and is how the mind is already working. In fact there isn’t anything new to learn we are just taking what the mind is doing and looking at it from a different perspective, making sure that you are utilising your mind in the best way possible to support a more comfortable and positive birth experience.

If there wasn’t such negativity around birth we wouldn’t need to teach these skills to pregnant woman. Without fear, or constant interaction from others, women naturally move into a state of trance during labour which then enables them to birth more comfortably and easily.