Manage your health through the power of your brain: manage thoughts, feelings and behaviours when planning for a new family member
Plan ahead for successful pregnancy and birth
Have you considered hypnosis to assist you during your family planning? From dealing with fertility issues through to managing your gut health for ease of birth and best start for baby, hypnosis can be tool for mental and physical health.
Trends in Self Improvement and Self-Awareness in western society have increased dramatically over the last 30 years. We see thousands of “Self-Help” books, courses and recordings on the market to help us grow. Huge, long standing corporations like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are there to help us lose weight. Yoga and meditation grew from being a fringe activity in the 1970s - to giant businesses and untold types of classes - to the Lululemon to wear while doing a Down-dog. Meditation has evolved from the Beatles with the Maharishi to Mind-Up in elementary school classrooms. Along with this all this in the growth movement, “under the radar” so to speak, has been, and still is hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Its acceptance, even though long approved and promoted by the medical and dental fields, hypnosis is often used as a last resort.
Largely misunderstood, there is a huge difference between stage hypnosis (think “Raveen” or a Las Vegas show) where people are invited up to the stage and seem to do unlikely or unsavoury activities. Often hypnotherapists are asked “are you going to make me quack like a duck or cluck like a chicken?” The answer is no, not unless you want to. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are always awake – it is not sleep. You are always in control. There is no mind control. The trick to having a good hypnosis or therapy session is finding a good “guide” or facilitator. This is someone who really probes to find out, through proper inquiry, what your path to healing those issues would be.
The science behind hypnosis is long standing and huge. Hundreds of scientific studies around the world have proven time and again that hypnosis works, often as good and/or better than drugs for a myriad of symptoms and diseases. The classic uses for hypnosis/hypnotherapy are for breaking major habits. To quit smoking, nail-biting or bedwetting, reduce or gain weight, hypnosis has been used for more than 100 years. Fears or phobias such as heights, flying, snakes or spiders can be gone almost instantly. Issues around anxiety, depression and pains get great results using hypnosis. Recently hypnosis was proven to be as effective on ADHD as Ritalin.
Many people don’t realize that hypnosis is a perfectly natural mental state we already experience every day. At least twice a day we go into hypnosis: when we wake up and when we go to sleep. As well, we are often hypnotized by a good movie, a book, or we drift off when driving or running into a “flow state”. Did you ever all of a sudden realize that you drove all that way and don’t remember the drive at all?
In normal waking time, we are in a Beta brainwave state, using our Conscious mind, which is about 10-12% of our brain. This is our logic centre, decision making and willpower part. The “get it done” part of our brain. It is a lot to expect to run our entire lives using only 10% of our potential. When we decide to break a habit in this area of our mind, it can take 6 weeks or more to do so.
When we close our eyes, we access the Alpha brainwaves. Close them now and see how the change comes fairly quickly. Here we begin to relax, and with slowing our breath, we can also slow our brain, and slow all of our body systems as well. Continuing the slow, deep breathing, we begin to allow deep relaxation of our entire body and mind. Here we access our Subconscious. Here is where we go to make real change. Our Subconscious is almost 90% of our mind, and is in control of our lives, even when we are not aware of it!
When we go into hypnosis, we access our Theta brainwave state, the same brainwaves that we go to while meditating. Theta is where we access this Subconscious mind. The Subconscious is protected by a “bouncer” called the Critical Factor part of our mind. When the Critical Factor is at ease, it allows our Subconscious to reframe, to make change in habits of thought, feeling and behaviour. This is where and how individual “work” happens. And here, the work can happen at a more deep and meaningful level becoming easy, even effortless. When our Subconscious mind has a new pattern of thought, change happens on its own.
Preparing for pregnancy and childbirth is a time of great excitement, anticipation and change. Most women have fears and apprehension about all aspects of this process. Fears can range from fertility issues, fear of miscarriage and, of course, the birthing process itself. Especially if a prospective new mother, or if past experiences have not been positive, hypnosis can help with such fears and anxieties.
Hypnosis can help with pain. This is not limited to the pain of labour and childbirth. Real emotional pain can be experienced from repeated miscarriages. Sometimes the resulting awkwardness of a sexual relationship when results of “trying to get pregnant” are not fruitful can be extremely painful. Pressures of infertility after years of avoiding pregnancy can be devasting. Body image and disdain for its “lack of cooperation” can be foreign yet real. There can be confusing feelings of all sorts surrounding these experiences for both partners. Hypnosis can truly help for all these things - even encouraging the body to be fertile.
Hypnosis can help with body image and recovery after birth. Many women fear the part after being pregnant – losing the baby weight and suffering from lack of sleep and more. The responsibility of being a new mother can be overwhelming. Hypnosis can be the ultimate experience in relaxation. One can feel as if having slept for 4 hours after a 1 hour session of hypnosis.
There is mounting evidence that life long gut health of infants begins with an innoculation from mother's birth canal. With more and more scientific studies showing a connection between gut health and brain health, eating right through preparing for and during pregnancy is hugely important for mother and baby. This includes increased fibre and eating pro- and pre-biotically. Gut health, specifically the health and diversity of the human gut microbiome, is increasingly linked to immunity, obesity and mental health throughout the lifespan. Swabbing the face of baby with mother's vaginal discharge after Caesarian birth is often suggested to 'innoculate' the newborn. Discussing this with your doctor and birth team as part of a birthplan is essential.
Hypnosis for birthing
Should a partner or a couple wish to participate in hypnosis-birthing, the earlier the start, the better. Pregnant couples best work on their birthing partnership from the first trimester as you would for any pre-natal course. Optimum is to meet the hypnotherapist at least once in each of the first two trimesters, then meetings increase towards the due date as required/requested. The parent partners learn not only the relaxation and breathing techniques but also how to get into trance, stay in trace during birth, and support each other in other ways through the delivery. Usually a recording supports during the birthing process, or personal guidance can be the best support in some cases.
In this day and age, hypnosis for birthing and the lead up to it is an effective way of dealing with the physical, mental and emotional issues that arise. If you are planning to get pregnant and are looking for support in any of the ways outlined above – or any not mentioned, please feel free to inquire further. The first consultation to describe process is free.
And in advance – congratulations!
Lynne Potter Lord, MSc, MHt, CHt
#406-1755 West Broadway,
Vancouver BC, V6J 4S5