For our new column, Ask an Educator, we turn to educators, whether teachers, tutors, or principals, to answer frequently asked questions from parents. To send in your question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week, our question is:
“What is hypnobirthing? Can giving birth really be painless?“
Answering for us is Joy Skinner (Xing Zhou You), Hypnobirthing Practitioner, Dancing for Birth Practitioner, and Reiki Healer.
As a US certified Childbirth Educator, I help women during their pregnancies, guiding them to a more comfortable childbirth process. I have also assisted fathers, adjusted babies who were in the wrong position or had their umbilical cord coiled around their necks, and provided comfort during birth via reiki massage.
Actually, the “pain” associated with giving birth doesn’t exist. We learn it from other people and from doctors as we always tell horror stories of pain and birth. Giving birth is a muscle movement. Muscle movements should not cause any pain, just an uncomfortable feeling. Therefore, we use hypnosis, water treatment (water birth), and essential oils to help expecting mothers experience a gentler birth. By completely relaxing and loosening their muscles, mothers can experience a painless birth. When I gave birth, I didn’t experience any pain, and some of my students also didn’t experience any pain.
Many think giving birth is painful, but it can actually be beautiful. Those who think giving birth is difficult can realize women’s internal strength. I gave birth naturally two years ago, experiencing the deep connection of skin-on-skin contact with my newborn baby, and nursing on call. Two years later, I have helped almost 200 women give birth, where 93 percent was natural, and none had c-sections. Of the women I have helped, 80 percent reported improved comfort in delivery, 75 percent reported their babies being less fussy and easier to appease, and 20 percent said their experience of natural childbirth was pain-free. In a country with the highest reported c-sections, I feel happy to help women follow their natural instincts towards a more comfortable delivery.
Photos courtesy of Joy Skinner