I start with self hypnosis: how it works and who can do it

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Philippe Gloaguen
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I give birth with self-hypnosis

L'hypnosis, or rather theautoipnosi, is a medical method that allows you to enhance the self-control skills in order to better tolerate the pains of labor, always in a state of consciousness. The technique is taught by an expert doctor in a session of about half an hour, after which the woman is able to put it into practice alone, without needing to be present. the hypnotist in the delivery room. Precisely for this reason it has nothing to do with hypnosis that you see on TV, where the hypnotized lose consciousness and are completely at the mercy of the will of another. We talked about it with Giuseppe Regaldo, Obstetrics and Delivery Room Coordinator of the Ciriè Hospital (To), where the technique has been used for over 20 years.

In this article

  • What happens and how it works
  • How to use self-hypnosis during childbirth
  • Self hypnosis after childbirth
  • How to learn self hypnosis
  • How long does the state of hypnosis last?
  • Does Self Hypnosis Make Labor Faster?
  • Where can childbirth be performed with hypnosis?

What happens and how it works

"To understand the sensation you feel, imagine how it feels when you are immersed in reading a book or when you daydream: you lose track of time and space, but you are absolutely awake and conscious "explains Regaldo.

Medical hypnosis allows for a strengthening of one's mental and physical abilities, which enables you to control the emotions and sensations of the body, even the painful ones, and to reach a state of great well-being.

"During the state of hypnosis you feel very good, you are able to 'disconnect' from what is happening just enough to focus on your inner sensations, both physical and mental" continues the gynecologist.

How to use self-hypnosis during childbirth

The woman can practice theautoipnosi since he is at home and feels the first signs of labor, and then continues in the hospital for the duration of the contractions. Better to stop instead near the expulsive phase, when you need to be fully alert to tackle the final sprint; but having spent the whole labor in a state of well-being allows her to arrive at the time of delivery completely relaxed and full of energy.

Self hypnosis after childbirth

Having learned the techniques of self hypnosis can prove to be invaluable too after the birth of the child and whenever you feel the need to to relax: when you are unable to sleep because you are too tired or nervous, when you are breastfeeding at night and find it hard to go back to sleep, when you need to recover strength before an important commitment and promote concentration:

just think that many athletes use self-hypnosis before an important competition to improve their performance

the expert points out.

Self-hypnosis is also good for the unborn child: the relaxation of the mother induces a vasodilation which increases the blood flow from the placenta and therefore the oxygenation and nourishment of the baby.

Read also: The pains of childbirth

How to learn self hypnosis

What does the self hypnosis learning lesson?

"After briefly explaining the technique, the doctor invites pregnant women to close their eyes and focus on body sensations, for example on the air entering and exiting the lungs, on the baby moving, on the tense muscles, with the help of small contacts physical, such as a hand on the shoulder, which promote relaxation "explains the gynecologist; "in a second phase the expert guides women to develop mental images of well-being, which induce the state of inner peace typical of hypnosis.

At the end of the lesson, the women learn a symbolic gesture, which can be the closing of the fist or putting a hand on the stomach, which will be like a switch capable of recreating self-hypnosis in perfect autonomy, in any circumstance, in a few seconds.

The technique is very easy to learn and few women need more sessions; once learned, you never forget, just like when you learn to ride a bike or swim: you just know how to do it.

How long does the state of hypnosis last?

"How much does the woman want" replies Regaldo: "being the state of self-hypnosis a state of relaxation and well-being and not sleep, the woman in labor is able to interrupt this condition at any time, just like when we decide to take a few minutes to relax on the sofa and we certainly do not ask ourselves the problem of how to end it ".

Does Self Hypnosis Make Labor Faster?

It has been shown by authoritative studies that the labor in self hypnosis lasts on average half the time. This is because, if the mother is relaxed during labor, she is able to inhibit the production of stress hormones and facilitate the production of oxytocin, the hormone that stimulates contractions and therefore dilation; not only that: the fact that she feels autonomous in her pain management helps her psychologically to feel stronger and more confident in her abilities.

Where can childbirth be performed with hypnosis?

"In the Ciriè hospital we have been practicing self-hypnosis since '91 and we are probably the only hospital where the method is offered free of charge as part of the childbirth preparation course" explains the gynecologist. "In other parts of the country it is necessary to find the doctor prepared to teach the technique, after which at the time of birth the woman can put it into practice in perfect autonomy, in any hospital she wants to give birth".

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