The internet is buzzing with actress Jessica Alba’s praise for her hypnobirthing classes.
Alba, who tells Us Weekly she regularly attends sessions near her home in Beverley Hills, says she’d definitely recommend the technique to other expectant moms, as a way to relax ahead of the big day.
“I highly recommend it. It just makes you chill…I was freaked out going into it my first time going into labor,” the 30-year-old says. “Like what if I panic? What if I just freak out and I don’t know what to do?”
So what exactly is hypnobirthing and is it for everyone?
Babble’s own John Cave Osborne has previously written about hypnobirthing. He says “hypnobirthing centers around a key philosophy — namely that much of the pain associated with childbirth is actually caused by anxiety. This pain can be greatly reduced if not eliminated altogether by breathing techniques and other exercises in relaxation.”
In fact, hypnobirthing is becoming so popular, Osborne reports that Britain’s National Health Service has launched a study of hypnobirthing in an effort to reduce the use of epidurals and other painkillers during birth.
According to hypnobirthing.com the birthing method is a philosophy as much as a technique and when you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change:
When you have your baby…you will not be in a trance or a sleep. What you will experience is similar to the daydreaming, or focusing, that occurs when you are engrossed in a book or a movie or staring into a fire. You will be conversant and in good spirits – totally relaxed, but fully in control, Awake throughout, you will be aware of your body’s surges and your baby’s progress; but because you will have trained yourself to reach complete relaxation, you will be able to determine the degree and manner in which you feel the surges. You will experience birthing in an atmosphere of calm relaxation, free of the fear that prevents the muscles of your body from functioning as nature intended them to. In this calm state, your body’s natural relaxant, endorphins, replaces the stress hormones that constrict and cause pain.
If you are fearful about your upcoming labor and delivery or if you are someone who’d like to try to give birth naturally, without an epidural, you may want to look into hypnobirthing. By most accounts of those who take the classes it – at the very least – helps manage fear and pain and at the very most, provides the tools to help empower a woman to calmly and positively bring her baby into the world naturally.
If you’d like to read hypnobirthing stories click here. You’ll also find a really cool forum on the site where you can ask questions and talk to other women hoping for a hypnobirthing experience.