Hypnosis for Pregnancy & Childbirth - By Frank Garfield
Hypno-Birthing, The Garfield Method
My name is Frank Garfield and I'd like to talk to you about the use of hypnosis for pregnancy and childbirth
I've been practicing hypnosis and hypnotherapy since 1970 … I am a Certified Medical Hypnotherapist as well as a Master Stage Hypnotist and have performed on cable television as well as for private functions.
In 1993 I had an opportunity to watch a C-Section being performed using hypnosis only - no drugs or other anaesthetics. The doctor was a certified hypnotherapist and had been working regularly with the woman from the beginning of her pregnancy. The healing afterward happened about ten times faster than normal. Although the procedure was a classic textbook performance, I was very nervous about seeing this operation being performed without the use of any drugs. I later discovered that the whole OR team had been trained in hypnosis and there was no possibility that the woman would come out of trance. She was well conditioned.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
When I was finally coerced by a number of pregnant moms into helping with their pregnancy & delivery I was well aware from past experience that the human mind is a very powerful & magical thing. I was also aware that "Whatever the mind agrees with, the body responds to and it cannot not respond." I began with a mother that asked for help with morning sickness. While mom was in a trance state I suggested that, "...since morning sickness is not a required part of being pregnant, I wonder if it would be okay to LET THAT GO." To my amazement, when she came out of trance she said she felt wonderful - and the morning sickness did not return.
I was living in Australia at the time and there just wasn't much material available for the use of hypnosis in Pregnancy & Delivery. I began interviewing women who were currently pregnant and women who had had babies within the past year to find out what their experience was, what problems they encountered, and what they really wanted to happen with their ideal pregnancy & delivery. I compiled this information into a week by week progress manual with hypnotic suggestions to overcome each of the problem areas.
Most of the other HypnoBirthing courses now available are good but they tend to focus on group classes and the delivery process. I just wasn't happy with that because it is difficult at best to deal with individual problems in a group and it is also difficult to have a group that is at the same place (time-wise) in their pregnancy. I wanted to address the problems associated with pregnancy, 1-on-1, as well as the delivery and the post partum recovery of the mother.
Each new mom I've worked with since 1993 has brought her own unique circumstances and thus my program continues to evolve and become more sophisticated with each new client.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
I like to begin working with the mom-to-be as early as possible in the pregnancy or beforehand during the birth planning stage whenever possible. We do three sessions initially about a week apart. In these sessions we teach the client Self-Hypnosis, reduce or eliminate morning sickness, and eradicate negative beliefs & values such as pain and labor. We also provide her with a relaxation CD to work with at home and a complete pregnancy & delivery planning kit.
What are the advantages of hypnosis:
Role Of The Communication System
The concept here is that most women do not take into account that a mother and a developing foetus are one organism. They not only share the same blood supply, but more importantly, they also share a complex internal communication system. This means that whatever the mother experiences emotionally - so does the foetus. If mom remains calm during the pregnancy, so does the baby. If mom is calm and relaxed for the birth process itself …so is the baby and a quick, easy delivery will occur. This is especially true if the mother is very relaxed and in a vertical position because as she relaxes gravity will let the baby literally drop out of the birth canal.
If mom is anxious about the onset of “LABOR PAIN,” baby will also not be looking forward to the delivery and the process can drag out for hours and hours until mom is forced to deliver despite her best subconscious efforts to stave off the process. Two women I worked with long ago said to me that they were anxious about the birth, the delivery was dragging on, they were getting tired, and as soon as they relaxed (from exhaustion) they both went from 4 cm to 10 cm and had the baby pain free, all within a period of 30 minutes.
With hypnosis there is no labor and there is no pain. There are just simple muscle contractions and a delivery. Double up your fist as hard as you like, there is no pain, just a simple muscle contraction and release. The uterus is one of the larger muscles in the female body. Just because it contracts does not mean we have to interpret that sensation as pain. When we recognise the sensation as a simple contraction, we can then feel it as a hardening of the muscle to help the baby on its way down the well lubricated water slide.
I remember once while I was having breakfast in Tokyo discussing with a friend the concept of painless childbirth when another gentleman announced that he had overheard our conversation and offered that he couldn't agree more. He was an Ob-Gyn in Japan and said that most women in Japan don't register pain during birth but rather just a hardening of the uterus during contractions. Therefore, they aren't even offered Epidurals or Gas (Nitrogen Oxide is an option offered in Australia and some other countries but rarely in America).
The largest plus for using hypnosis is that when mom is kept relaxed during the pregnancy, the birth process is simple, usually not more than 1-4 hours and we now have a baby that is a dream to look after following the birth. They are relaxed, they eat well, they sleep well, and they quickly match mom's sleep and rest patterns. They are not cranky, sickly, irritable or hard to get along with. Relaxation has helped to create a child that is probably never going to be hyper-active. We have given this child a gift that will stay with them for the rest of their life.
During the training process in early pregnancy, every time mom goes into trance and deep relaxation, so does the baby. Later on when the baby starts using mom for a punching bag from the inside, all she has a number of options available to her such as:
Self-hypnosis for deep relaxation
Listening to a Deep Relaxation CD (Which I give her on her first visit to me)
Turning on the CD and putting the headset around her tummy so the baby can hear it.
TALK TO THE BABY -
Many hypnotherapists have reported that during regression therapy clients have regressed into the womb and were able to hear their mothers and fathers conversations. One client even described what her father was wearing during the conversation and the mother confirmed the truth of the observation. I decided to do a bit of experimenting and found that babies in utero can hear and respond to normal conversation. I had a mother at 32 weeks with a baby crosswise inside her and experiencing considerable discomfort, especially when she laid on her side. I put her into trance, told the baby to put it's head down and assume a birthing position so it could be more comfortable (the actual instructions were much more detailed). We could see the baby turning as I spoke and it followed the instructions instantly. Since then I've worked with numerous mothers who each had a baby in a full breech or back-birth position. With fathers present and watching, I put mom into trance, asked the baby to turn around or do a summersault and go head down explaining that they couldn't be born in their present position, and they all responded by following the instructions immediately.
Another thing I've discovered is that babies don't have to be born between midnight and 5 AM and that the time of the baby's birth is often negotiable. There are a number of animal species that live in very large herds or groups. Although they mate throughout a 1 to 2 month period, they all deliver all of their babies on the same day. This serves as a protection measure from predators. If only a few babies were born daily for several months, predators would get them all but predators can't eat all of the new babies on the same day.
If a group of animals can decide when they will deliver their baby and all of them deliver the on same day, why can't people? I use a special technique to help the mother establish communication with her baby through the internal communication system. I suggest to her that she is able to communicate directly with the baby and negotiate a time of birth that is more convenient to the family. For the past several years, most of my hypno-moms have delivered between 7:30 AM and 11:00 PM with an average delivery time of 1 - 4 hours, even for first-time moms.
Most hypnotherapists are aware that 30 minutes of trance is equivalent to 6 hours of natural sleep in terms of healthy cell regeneration within the body. I've used this concept to tremendous advantage in having mothers use my CD entitled DEEP RELAXATION FOR STRESS & HEALING following a C-section procedure. Normally a woman would be in hospital for at least 3 to 4 days or more following a C-section.
Most recently one of my clients delivered a 12-pound baby boy by C-section. The delivery was late in the afternoon and she was up having a shower the next morning. The nurse panicked, the doctor examined her and pronounced that the healing looked like it was three days old. She was released that following day.
Yes … there are some tremendous advantages for using hypnosis for Pregnancy & Childbirth. Our research is ongoing and our goal is to help women enjoy the whole experience and at the same time give the newborn child a gift for life … knowing how to relax…taught from the beginning …in mother's womb.
My wife, Cheryl (also a certified medical hypnotherapist) and I welcome any questions you might have so please feel free to call us… we can be contacted through Clinical Care Network in Warren, Michigan at 586-751-7500
Using Hypnosis for Pregnancy & Childbirth
By: Tina Griswold
Hypnosis for a healthy pregnancy and easy delivery was the best decision I could have ever made for my child and myself. At the time I chose hypnosis as my birthing method, everyone I knew was on my case to choose one. When I finally did, no one had ever even heard of using hypnosis. My friends and family still think of `You will bark like a dog every time you hear a bell' type stuff when they hear the term hypnosis. Besides that, no one in my family had given natural birth. Epidurals, long lasting labor and unimaginable pain was the typical way babies within my family had been delivered. A C-section was also well known. None of these things appealed to me. With hypnosis, none of the above mentioned happened to me.
I remained healthy throughout my pregnancy, aside from an occasion discomfort or two. Even when they did occur, I was prepared to know how to successfully eliminate common discomforts associated with pregnancy. Feeling good during those last months was great. Then it came time to begin to prepare for the delivery.
Not only could I prepare for delivery, but also I was able to know exactly when delivery would take place. I didn't want my baby to be born in the middle of the night no more than my anxious family did. Who wants to get woken up at 3 a.m. by the "It's time!" phone call? Frank and I had done a session to find out when the baby wanted to be born. Thursday, July 31st, between noon and 4 p.m. was the answer I received. I was thrilled to find this out, since my OB had scheduled me to be induced Friday at 6 a.m. the very next day.
After learning my doctor's intentions, I called Frank. I was upset knowing that the past few months of preparing would be ruined. Relaxation was all I planned to rely on. However, my doctor wanted to use drugs and more forced methods such as a membrane rupture. Over the phone, along with self taught technique, Frank spoke to the baby. He simply informed her of our situation and stated that it would be okay for her to come earlier. I was still little worried about it all. Reason being that it was only two days before the due date I planned for. If she was to come "earlier", how much earlier could it really be? Especially after Wednesday came and went. That left the original date of the July 31st for her to be born how we had planned.
I woke up that morning still feeling good. I had a feeling that I should call my coach since he lived 30 minutes away, even though I didn't think I was in active labor. I felt no pain, just an uncomfortable kind of feeling. I knew that she was coming. We arrived at the hospital around 10 a.m. They told us that there were two other women ahead of me, waiting for rooms. Because I looked comfortable and didn't appear to be far into labor, they told me they would examine me to see if I was in fact in labor at all. I quickly became the talk of the nurses station because not only was I having contractions, but I was dilated to a 9 and was ready to crown! Needless to say, I didn't have to wait for a room. In the birthing room, I still appeared to be comfortable, so they left me with only one nurse. We started a normal conversation about delivering babies and such as I came closer to delivering. When the baby started to come out, the nurse was shocked and quickly needed to call the resident OB in. My doctor barely made it to the delivery. He walked in just as the resident was cutting the cord. He stood to the side, still wearing a golf shirt, and couldn't believe how fast it all happened.
My daughter, Ashlyn Skye, was born at 11:04 a.m.-not even 1 hour after I checked into the hospital. I joked with Frank over the phone that the "come earlier" turned out to be only an hour earlier. Surprised to learn this was my first child, the nursing staff told me if I planned to have anymore children in the future that they wanted to deliver them. They said I was so calm and actually pleasant to be around compared to screaming and demanding patients in pain.
My daughter is so calm and well behaved. She quickly adapted to my sleep schedule. She stays alert throughout the day and slept through the night after just a few weeks. I would highly recommend Frank Garfield and hypnosis to any woman who would rather enjoy every minute of giving birth rather than fearing pain associated with it.
My story could end with the birth of my beautiful baby girl. However, I have more to tell. While it was true my delivery only took about one hour, my recovery in the hospital lasted a span of 3 days. Unknown to Frank or myself, I developed a problem that disabled my body from the ability for my blood to clot. This resulted in hours of nurses and doctors trying to get the blood to stop when the afterbirth came out. They wanted to use medications, which I denied, to assist with clotting while they discovered what they thought was the problem. My daughter came so fast; I had torn during delivery. After getting a number of stitches, my blood count had diminished greatly. I received two blood transfusions to compensate. This was the reason I stayed an extra two days. First day home, I called Frank to let him know what happened and to tell him how I was doing. Again, over the phone, Frank conducted a session to allow for the bleeding to stop. I was also instructed to continue to listen to my relaxation CD to promote fast healing.
I was scheduled for a follow-up with my doctor with one week. Much to my doctor's surprise, bleeding did in fact cease and my sutures were nearly all dissolved and healed. Even when I had complications after the fact, I was so incredibly grateful that I could rely on Frank and hypnosis to make the whole ordeal as easy as it could be. There's no doubt in my mind that the step I took towards Frank's office was the best step I could have ever taken.
Tina M. Griswold