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HypnoBirthing® techniques ease intensity of labor


By, Shelly Moon, Editor

BabyDallas Magazine, Fall/Winter 2002/2003


During her 14 years as a maternity ward nurse and certified Lamaze instructor, Lynette Grange-Maasoumi assisted in thousands of births. She knew the facts about medically managing a birth. Yet, when she became pregnant for the first time last year, she sensed something was missing as she planned for the birth of her own child.


“I knew how to give birth,” she said. “Lamaze is very technical but it really doesn’t tell you how to deal with your emotions.”


Grange-Maasoumi and her husband, Essie, turned to HypnoBirthing® educator Susan Lynch for help.


HypnoBirthing® prepares women for natural childbirth by helping them gain an understanding of how the birthing muscles work in perfect harmony when the body is sufficiently relaxed. The method emphasizes that in the absence of fear and tension, severe pain does not have to accompany labor.


“It really teaches you how to get in your mind and deal with those emotions during that intense time,” Grange-Maasoumi said.


Marie “Mickey” Mongan, a former college dean from New Hampshire, pioneered the HypnoBirthing® method almost two decades ago. She was an advocate of natural childbirth when her children were born in the late 1950s and early 1960s when her four children were born.


Women who have successful HypnoBirth experiences learn to beat the fear-tension-pain cycle according to Lynch, a HypnoBirth educator in the Dallas area.


“When our bodies become afraid, the fight or flight response kicks in and our body releases catecholamines, which is kind of like adrenaline, into our bloodstream,” Lynch explains. “This causes our muscles to tense up and get ready to flee and that causes pain. When we tense our bodies, our muscles aren’t working effectively.”


This sets off a vicious cycle in which fear leads to tension, which leads to more pain, which leads to more fear, Lynch explains.


“HypnoBirthing® teaches a woman to relax and trust in her own body and the birthing process, ” Lynch says.


HypnoBirthing® practitioners guide expectant mothers to use self-hypnosis. They do not put them in a trance or to sleep. The self-induced hypnotic states is similar to daydreaming or the focusing that occurs when you are engrossed in a book or movie.


The goal is for the mother to be totally relaxed, yet fully in control and to remain awake throughout the birth.


“They teach you how to really get a hold of oneself and that’s important. I have seen women who are doing well and then when it gets more intense they lose their focus. That loss of focus is where fear and tension take over,” Grange-Maasoumi said.


Grange-Maasoumi’s daughter, Maya, was born May 19 after 7 ½ hours of complication-free labor. HypnoBirthing® instruction even pays off when there are complications according to Jill Anderson of Wylie. Jill and her husband, Scott, welcomed 10 pound, 15-ounce Mallory on June 22. Mallory’s size and position presented problems that led Mrs. Anderson to have an epidural after 13 hours of labor.


“I felt in control. If I hadn’t been so relaxed, and so calm, I would have been freaking out,” Mrs. Anderson says. “It would have been very stressful and it would not have been a good experience at all.”


HypnoBirthing® is popular on the East Coast and in 12 other countries, but has been slow to catch on in the Dallas area.


“The name kind of threw me off a bit. But once I started reading what they were teaching, I thought this is exactly what I need to learn,” Grange-Maasoumi said.


Most couples attend HypnoBirthing® classes at the beginning of their third trimester. Classes run four to six weeks.

Contact in Glasgow – Linda Alexander, 0141 632 1440/ 07875 493 358