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Pregnancy, Birth and Post Natal Depression

Pregnancy and Childbirth

Hypnotherapy in pregnancy and childbirth is concerned with preparing mother (and partner) for birth, allowing an easier, more comfortable and pain-less birth. Preparation is aimed at physical, mental and spiritual levels and the benefits for most women who are not in a high risk situation are many, such as:-

  • Understand that the pregnancy and childbirth process is normal and natural
  • Eliminate fear and tension
  • Reduce or even eliminate pain
  • Shorter birthing process
  • Enhanced bonding between mother, baby and partner
  • Accomplish birth with minimum of drugs, artificial aid and intervention
  • Accomplish birth gently and calmly
  • Increase energy post birth
  • Happier, better adjusted babies, conducive to better feeding and sleeping routine

Hypnotherapeutic techniques are based on breathing, relaxation, visualization, deepening and direct suggestions, as well as education regarding the ‘stages’ of pregnancy and labour. Self-hypnosis is also taught and regular practice of self-hypnosis during pregnancy is key to a successful outcome.

Hypnotherapy for Hypertension

It is known that stress causes higher blood pressure, while calmness and relaxation lower blood pressure, therefore the relaxing, calming nature of hypnosis is ideal for treating hypertension. Techniques are primarily aimed at training in deep relaxation and could include:-

  • Teaching self hypnosis
  • Anchoring calm and relaxation
  • Ego-strengthening regarding pregnancy and childbirth
  • Direct suggestions for relaxation, confidence and happiness
  • Direct suggestions and visualization for control of body functions (muscles and blood vessels)

Postnatal depression

Postnatal depression, is a form of clinical depression which can affect parents after childbirth.

The depression usually occurs in women after they have carried a child, often happening within the first few months. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, insomnia, appetite changes, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability.

The cause has not been found but it is said that lack of vitamins or a significant change in women’s hormones can bring about the change. However hormonal treatment has been shown to make no improvement to the sufferer’s life. More women tend to benefit more from the support of a close friendship group or counselling.

Hypnotherapy works with the subconscious mind which works together with whatever it is we are feeling internally. If a mother is getting to grips with things but is still plagued by images of her previous depressed state then she is giving permission to her subconscious mind to still feel stressed so the unconscious wanting always to help will keep her in a state of restless and tensed “fight or flight” response, believing that she is in constant danger. However, hypnotherapy can help to retrain the subconscious mind to not feel these thoughts.

Hypnotherapy can be of great help after the person’s level of depression has been treated to a mild-moderate level through anti-depressants. Often mothers feel better with anti-depressants and sleeping tablets but they feel a lack of control over their feelings and thoughts and want to regain those skills that they used in their past to deal with stressful situations.

At the same time the self-esteem and self-image of women can take a deep blow and many require  support and sometimes professional help to get them back to a normal and healthy sense of self. Hypnotherapy works beautifully in restoring that self-esteem by re-programming the unconscious mind into how the person wants to be and by retrieving past resources through trance and using them again.

Once a Mother has grown back in her self-esteem and self-confidence and she can carry on practising the constructive programming of her mind through the SELF-HYPNOSIS that I teach my clients, she can enjoy being herself once again. Other strategies used would be

  • relaxation
  • ego-strengthening and raising self esteem
  • stress reduction techniques
  • direct suggestions to address specific issues identified
  • direct suggestions for loving self, partner and baby
  • fear release

If you are someone who is suffering with what you think might be postnatal depression please seek advice and support from your GP. If you feel like hypnotherapy is something that could work for you in this instance then you can contact me and I will be happy to help you through this difficult time.