Pregnant women often give over female intuition about our bodies and babies to technology, and depend on others to provide full counsel about our baby’s health. We receive pregnancy advice online, with visual aids about what our baby should look like and how she/he is developing. We spend hundreds of dollars on 4D ultrasounds, yet still feel detached from the babies within our own bodies.

HypnoBirthing® The Mongan Method, seeks to change that and help women listen to their own bodies and babies from the moment they first feel their body change. It is a method of relaxed, natural childbirth education taught in a series of five classes and enhanced by self-hypnosis techniques. HypnoBirthing aims to help women use their natural instincts to bring about an easier birthing. Women and their partners are taught deep relaxation techniques so they can relieve pain, fear and tension, and feel more comfortable about the entire birth process.

Marie Mongan, a Concord, N.H., hypnotherapist, invented the technique and has taught it at her HypnoBirthing institute since 1989. Her basic premise? “We believe that every woman has within her the power to call upon her natural instincts to bring about the best possible birthing for her baby and herself.” Women are made to give birth. Their bodies open and can birth without need for stress or anxiety. HypnoBirthing teaches women to listen more closely to their bodies, encouraging them to expand their lungs with each deep breath, and focus on washing away any apprehension that might hinder the birth process.

Partner involvement is integral to the process. Trained in awareness and ways to help, they relieve physical stress in areas such as the jaw, shoulders or hands, encourage serenity by speaking softly to the mother, and learn how to relate with care providers. Partners are taught how to set

the room’s tone, making it feel warm and safe so mothers can birth in comfort and stay calm. HypnoBirthing techniques can be utilized by any person/couple, whether a high risk pregnancy, or having already experienced natural homebirth with ease. The aim is for parents to be able to make informed decisions about their own bodies and babies.

One way HypnoBirthing changes family’s perspective of, and approach to, birth is through the use of positive language. Contractions are seen as “surges.” Women breathe with each surge, seeing it as a gift bringing them closer to their babies. The mother is advised to breathe her baby down, rather than push it out. It is suggested women let go of fears, listen to happy baby stories, and seek information pertaining to their baby and situation, rather than focusing on negative images or “what ifs.”

Moms-to-be are encouraged to quiet their mind in order to listen to their body’s needs. Surrounding themselves with people that help support their voice and those needs is suggested. It is wise to become educated on how to obtain the birth that is desired, what experience expectant parents want their baby to have as his/her first moment in this world. Seeking out nurturing food will help strengthen baby’s growth. Increasing circulation to the baby by exercising, or relaxing with prenatal yoga and/or aquacising are among other recommendations.

Because HypnoBirthing classes are given with the intent of helping new families obtain tools for a calmer, more gentle, birth, participants are taught to create a plan and learn about birthing options. Choices can include where to birth (home, birth center, hospital), and who the care provider will be (doctor, midwife, doula). The view is that whoever families choose to help with the birth is a “contractor,” a client whose expertise will help make the family’s vision of the birth they desire come to life.

When parents trust their intuition and confirm choices accordingly, a blueprint is created for the child’s birth. Taking a childbirth education class that provides this information can be one way parent’s gain assurance in their abilities. The tools discovered in this process can extend beyond birth, helping parents relax babies and find their own calm while child-rearing. When holding their own voice and power in the birthing room, they can enter parenthood with greater confidence to create positive outcomes for their baby and growing family.

Kate Sullivan is a HypnoBirthing educator, doula, and student midwife. For more information, call 203-934-2778, or 203-843-0826 or visit