Partner or No Partner - Birthing Your Baby with Confidence
Partner or No Partner? That’s the Question.
The Role of A Birthing Companion in HypnoBirthing.
I met Carrie (name changed) in a spiritual bookstore at a friend’s gathering for pregnant moms. Carrie had a shy smiling demeanor and was on her 29th week of pregnancy. Carrie was very happy about her pregnancy, except …she did not have a husband. She made a decision to go on having a baby all by herself, she knew she wanted a baby. She was struggling to make piece with the fact that she has no partner to bring to her HypnoBirthing class.
HypnoBirthing classes are structured to involve a partner. And there is a great valid reason for doing that.
First let’s look at a concept of hypnosis.
Hypnosis is a natural state of focused attention to the exclusion of anything else. In hypnosis, a person finds comfort in various stages of physical and mental relaxation following positive suggestions given by her guide. If she listens to a hypnotic recording, she is following a voice of her hypnotic guide on the recording.
However, a hypnotic guide isn’t just any person. It must be a person with whom she has deep rapport, agreement, trust. Such a person is traditionally her husband.
Many modern husbands realized that birth is a natural and normal event in their new family life and is not a medical event. So if there is no emergency, they tend to want to participate and are interested in assisting their wives in the birth of their child. They feel that there is something else they can do, other than just help conceive.
Hence, we invite a husband to be present in a HypnoBirthing class to get familiar with the techniques she is learning, in order to better assist her in her birthing.
If it is not a husband, father of the child, who is going to be a birthing partner, for the sake of this article, I am going to refer to the partner as father. This will invite non-traditional relationships to become open to the concept of partner in HypnoBirthing as well.
HypnoBirthing Techniques are simple and easy. Just like with any techniques, the key to success is practice. In order for a HypnoBirthing mother to have a successful HypnoBirthing birth, provided all other areas check out as healthy, first of all, she needs to be open to the opportunity that it is possible. And then practice. At home, in class, instilling the habit of using hypnosis for creating her future, creating relaxation, creating unchallenged and peaceful birth. She also needs someone to guide her on that path of learning and practicing. Here is where her partner comes in handy.
Role of Partner
Her hypnotherapist is not usually available to be with her at birth. She can take a cd with a hypnotherapist voice guiding her with positive suggestions and affirmations for birth. Sometimes, listening to a cd becomes irrelevant during birth. So unless her doula is a HypnoBirthing practitioner as well, and can serve as a hypnotic guide, or she does not have a doula, the mom needs her partner to whisper the hypnotic instructions to her during the birth. This is a function of mother’s birthing companion.
Birth with HypnoBirthing
Celia (name changed) wanted a natural and unassisted birth. She insisted that she is healthy and her body can do the work. She practiced with her partner at home and in class. She started her HypnoBirhting classes in her 20th week of pregnancy. She diligently did all that homework. This includes the reading of the textbook, the listening to the 2 cds, the writing down of her birth plan, some physical exercises, practice of positions, in addition to hypnosis practice, all required by the curriculum. This helps each of them install new skill and behaviors to facilitate the birth experience.
When she went into labor her husband was constantly with her using hypnotic techniques and positive language to help her relax, open and bear down. From time to time her husband instructed her to follow the sound of his voice and gave her hypnotic instructions. Those are the instructions he learned in class. She gave into that familiar and lovely guidance she had gotten accustomed to following.
She had a quick labor. With HypnoBirthing, her husband was giving her hypnotic instructions, but she was not a zombie, not laying helplessly, not needing to cope with pain, which she had none, not motionless. Instead, she was active in her labor. Even though in a birthing trance, she was able to communicate clearly and easily with her partner all her desires to change positions, walk, or take a bath. All natural behavior of a woman in the final stages of pregnancy.
She had her baby girl in 6 hours. Her surges were soft and smooth as if mild cramps. She was happy that she could do it – achieve the type of birth that she wanted, without outside help and solely with her husband.
Together they created their own beautiful loving HypnoBirthing birth.
What were those instructions he was giving her?
Hypnosis Techniques for Partner
Hypnosis techniques for partner are simple. Start by connecting with your heart, and find the place where love resides. Then let that love come through the sound of your voice. Direct that love to softly flow toward your wife and your baby, connect with them. Add strength to your voice showing the willingness and readiness to take the responsibility and make it a safe and comfortable experience for mother and baby. Then add the instructions for desired effect, be it relaxation, calmness, breathing, etc.
Importance of Practice Together
At first father is very unsure of himself in this role. When asked to read the material to the mom, in class, his voice trembles and he seems very tentative, even though the text is simple and clear. I once asked a dad why he is so unsure. He said that all of it is so unknown that he wishes he had that text at home to practice and prepare. To which of course, guess what I said, You got it! From now on and until the birthing time, you are the hypnotist for your wife. Learn the techniques and practice. Because of all voices on earth, if it isn’t mom’s voice the baby wants to hear, it’s dad’s!
How to Practice
Practice in class is a supervised practice in a couples format. At home couples practice both separately and together. Mom practices her own skills and dad practices his, and they practice together as well. More often than not, moms are more diligent in practicing, listening to cds, reading, researching, rehearsing and practicing hypnosis for self. Dads feel that providing for the family is more important and often forget to practice. Then comes labor time his voice is needed there. The HypnoBirthing curriculum requires practicing together is the environment of love and mutual bonding. At home, read scripts to each other, rehearse the voice and modulation, memorizing the language of the scripts and learning to let go and let the imagine soar high. At first practice in the quiet safe comfort of your home, at your own pace and at your own time (but make time to practice!)
According to Mickey Mongan the author of the HypnoBirthing method, it is also useful to practice peaceful behaviors and deep hypnosis in a crowded place with loud noises, where the mother can acquire the skills of quick and deep disconnect from the environment in simulation of when it is not conducive to peaceful progress of her labor (like bustling hospital.)
Testimonial from a Mother
Last week I heard from a HypnoBirthing student-mother making last minute preparations for her labor. A week earlier at her last sonogram one of her twins was in a wrong position threatening to create a necessity for a cesarian delivery. She called her HypnoBirthing professional for help to make her baby turn. In twelve hours after her hypnotic session the baby turned into the correct position. Now both of her babies were head down and ready for birth. She was excited and wrote: “This couldn’t have been done without the power of mind. I believe.” She was given a script for her partner to practice in preparation for her birthing.
Within the framework of the process of HypnoBirthing the partner plays a crucial pivotal role. Partner plays the role of the hypnotist as in a classic hypnotist-client relationship. It is the partner’s responsibility to occupy the conscious mind of the mother and direct and lead her so that her body can easily deliver the baby.
Fearlessly and confidently the HypnoBirthing partner uses the techniques of HypnoBirthing to create a safe and comfortable experience for the birthing mother.
Carie, who did not have a partner, had practiced with her best girl friend.
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About HypnoBirthing - using self-hypnosis in labor and birth for natural, comfortable, and peaceful birth of your baby. Morrin Bass is a certified HypnoBirthing instructor at New York Awareness Center.