There are many who agree that childbirth can be not only be an empowering experience, but it can also be uncomplicated and pain-free...
A new approach to natural childbirth - hypnobirthing - is being championed as a easy, comfortable and positive way to go through labour, during which pain is greatly reduced.
The method focuses on self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques. The ultimate aim is to achieve the best birth possible, ideally as natural as it can be, because that is always better for the mother and the baby.
Pauline Taylor, a clinical hypnotherapist and qualified hypnobirthing coach in Edinburgh, says, ‘We can't guarantee you'll have a pain-free labour, but over 80 per cent of my parents have natural childbirth with little or no drugs whatsoever.'
Taylor was among the first to teach hypnobirthing in Lothian and has helped bring more than 150 babies into the world in her four years of practice. And, though it is not yet widely available on the NHS, it is growing in popularity as the word spreads.
‘It's about self-hypnosis - a deep relaxation, if you like - and being able to access this state at will. Breathing techniques are really important, plus massage, and women also learn everything about how their bodies work, so they are fully prepared.'
Hypnotist Paul Hazell managed to ease a mum's pain during labour armed with just a calming voice and a positive attitude, reported the Daily Mail.
Louise Walker, 30, was anxious of how she would cope with the pain of childbirth, as she is terrified of needles and scared of gas and air. Six hours into the labour, Louise, from Hull, was doubled up in agony.
‘I thought I was going to need all the pain relief going, it was absolutely agonising. Paul arrived when I was in the middle of a contraction, but as soon as he started talking to me I felt like a completely different person - and I'm the biggest sceptic!' said Louise. ‘All he did was get me to picture my wedding, but it didn't feel like an out-of-body experience. I was still there, but the pain was gone.'
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