Hypnosis Can Ease Pain of Childbirth from GMA

I hope you enjoy this excerpt from ABC’s Good Morning America. To view the full article click here.

Hypnosis Can Ease Pain of Childbirth

“I was in extreme pain — the kind of pain where I was almost convulsing, screaming ‘give me drugs, give me drugs,'” Lapointe said.

For her baby Chole, born one month ago, Lapointe was determined it was going to be different, and it was. During labor, without any medication at all, she was calm, quiet, and peaceful, surrounded by her husband, her mid-wife and Maureen Saba, the woman who taught her how to perform self-hypnosis.

Saba, a hypno-birthing practitioner, has taught Lapointe and dozens of other women how to be self-hypnotized during birthing. The women use positive images and relaxation exercises to ease the pain of childbirth, and for many, the results have been outstanding, advocates say.

Summoning Serenity During Labor

“They are so focused, they are in such control. It’s incredible,” Saba said. Though self-hypnosis is not a new idea, it is a rising trend in natural childbirth. Many people think a hypnotist as someone waving a pocket watch in front of a person’s eyes to make them do things they would not normally do. But when it comes to clinical applications, hypnosis is nothing like what you may have seen on stage, or in movies.

Women are encouraged to think of birth pains as surges or pressure rather than “contractions.” They are asked to picture themselves in a serene location, such as the beach. The hypno-birthing practitioner encourages them to feel waves of relaxation moving through their body.

“This was like heaven compared to the other two,” Lapointe said.

Pregnant mothers or patients who choose to learn self-hypnosis as a way to ease pain during pregnancy or surgical procedures use a combination of techniques to achieve a state of hypnosis.

“Some of the basics are learning how to breathe properly how to let the muscles completely relax,” Saba said. “It really must be practiced at home, self-hypnosis gets better with practice,” she said.

Saba has her students attend five classes of self-hypnosis instruction. When they’re done with the classes, they continue to practice at home using tapes and the techniques they learned in class.