Whenever I mention the possibility of painless childbirth and woman’s ability to achieve this herself without the use of drugs; so many people respond with comments along the lines of “but that’s what an epidural is for”.
I first began to look at childbirth in the 1980’s when I was pregnant with my daughter. I believed as I was only pregnant and this was a perfectly natural state to be in that it would be a relatively easy process. Then I read all these books telling me about what to expect and the various procedures that were at that time considered necessary during labour. I’m sure my doctor thought I was “difficult”; I remember going into hospital with a whole list of things that I had decided wouldn’t (and didn’t) happen. Happily today most of these are a thing of the past.
Whilst studying NLP and Hypnosis one of the things that intrigued me was the way that the mind creates our thoughts, beliefs and responses to situations, and I was drawn to the minds ability to control various sensations or our perception of sensations specifically the sensation labeled pain. How is it that we have different “pain thresholds”; and that one persons pain can be another’s pleasure. This question brought my attention back to childbirth and the fact that there are women in the world today that give birth within a few hours and then return to work with their babies swaddled to them. What is it that makes birth easy for some women and difficult for others?
During my research I found Dr Grantly Dick Read also had this question; he was a doctor at Whitechapel Hospital, East London, in the early 1900’s. One evening when he was called out to assist a woman in labour, he offered her chloroform, the only chemical pain control available at the time, which she refused. Afterwards when he congratulated her on her bravery she replied “it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t meant to was it Doctor?”
This comment spurred him onto investigate pain in childbirth; he found that this women wasn’t an isolated incident and that many women achieved what appeared to be a pain free birth experience. He begun to wonder about the differences between those who said they was in agony and those who had an easy time. Interestingly he said that women who had an easy time in childbirth “appeared to be in a trance like state”.
Intrigued by his findings, I went along to a few new baby coffee mornings with the National Childbirth Trust (NCT. During my research I found that Dr Grantly Dick Read inspired the creation of the NCT in its early days it was called the Natural Childbirth Association). New mums enjoy talking about their babies births and whenever I heard a woman telling a story of how easy it was I became very interested; and asked some questions. I wanted to find out what they did, what was their strategy in achieving an easy birth. And I found out that they all had similar stories to tell; they said things like “this sounds really strange but ……….there was a picture on the wall of my room and as the contractions got stronger I seemed to climb in the picture; or I remembered a place from my childhood/past and it was as if I was back there until it was time for baby to be born and suddenly I was back……….
Their descriptions reminded me of a kind of hypnosis known as deep trance phenomena and I begun to wonder if this was what we were supposed to do whilst in labour.
In 2001 a friend asked me to help her achieve natural childbirth she had a teenage daughter and was disappointed that her first birth hadn’t been a natural one. I met with her, her partner and her daughter, and we began to design what later became the blue print for my childbirth classes. I was honored to be asked to be present at the birth also, and so got to review the system first hand so to speak. The midwifery staff were all excited when I arrived at the hospital with my friend. You’re the hypnotist they said, we’re looking forward to seeing what you can do.
Over the years, these classes have evolved and now contain a combination of hypnosis, NLP and DHE™ all designed to teach the mum to be how they can enter a deeply relaxed state during childbirth to create their own phenomena. Many of my students have asked me during our classes whether they will actually be able to access that state during labour and they have contacted me afterwards to say how wonderful the whole process was for them and how they were able to relax and follow my instructions “just as I said they would”.
From the classes that I have taught over the years, I know that women can have a natural birth experience without fear, worry or discomfort. There is one side effects that seem to result from using hypnosis and NLP during pregnancy as you prepare for labour - the babies are very happy, contented and relaxed.
Painless Childbirth available from www.tina-taylor.com