I bought a book titled Hypnobirthing, not to be confused with Hippobirthing, and am not really sure what to think of it. The philosophy of it is that a woman in labour can essentially perform a self-hypnosis, and get through the childbirthing process with no pain at all. Its based on a theory by Grantly Dick-Read that fear=tension=pain, so if women can leave their fear outside the birthing suite, they can experience a pain-free birth. Like most things, it sounds great in theory.

I’ve only read the first few chapters of the book, which I interpret to blame Christians for womens fear of childbirth. When women were worshipped by the Greeks, the ability to bear children was seen as God-like. Then come the Christians with their Adam & Eve story and the “curse of Eve”, leading Christian women to believe bearing children is a painful punishment.

Grantly Dick-Read observed the childbirth differences between the upper-class educated women who birthed in hospitals compared to the lower societal women who birthed wherever the labor started. He noted that the one thing the upper-class women had that the other women did not was fear.

My plan is to remember to breathe, and to remind myself that when its all over, we’ll have our son with us. I agree that the more tense you are, the more pain you feel. I don’t know if I believe in the ability to have no pain at all in childbirth, but I do think that breathing and a little bit of mind-over-matter will help to lessen the pain. Now, lets see how we go putting all this theoretical mambo jambo into practice.


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