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Hypnosis and Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth

Hypnosis and Yoga have proved beneficial for expectant mothers to have a comfortable pregnancy and birth. Hypnosis Healing Centre in Ottawa Ontario offers a special program for these unique stages of womanhood.

Ottawa, Canada, August 09, 2009 --( Starting August 2009, the Hypnosis Healing Centre in Ottawa (ON) is offering a joint program of Hypnosis and Yoga for pregnancy and birth. Research indicates the benefits of both modalities on expectant mothers and, directly or indirectly, on their babies.

Hypnosis has been used successfully to reduce the length of labour and birth; to reframe/dissociate the perceptions of body sensations during labour and birth; to increase control of uterine contractions; to minimize or prevent the use of chemo-analgesia/anesthesia; to experience higher alertness and less tiredness during these stages; to recover from birth faster; to bond with the child and obtain a high Apgar score; to cope with more difficult, but rare, situations (i.e., turning the baby; resuming a stalled labour; coping with unforeseen surgical procedures); to prevent post-partum depression; to stimulate lactation, etc.

Yoga has been used successfully to reduce the incidence of preterm births and low birth weight. The pregnant women who practice Yoga experience fewer complications during pregnancy (i.e., pregnancy-induced hypertension, growth retardation) and have better neonatal outcomes (Field, 2008). An Australian study of the obtetricians' and midwives' perceptions of complementary therapies in pregnancy found that 81% of the obstetricians believed Yoga to be safe while 96% of the midwives considered this modality safe. Moreover, midwives believed Yoga to be the safest and the most useful modality of all complementary and alternative therapies. Also, 78% of the obstetricians found both hypnosis and meditation to be safe modalities for pregnancy, while 88% of the midwives found meditation safe for pregnancy (Gaffney & Smith, 2004).

The Centre offers certification training in HypnoPregnancy and Birthing (HPB) for practitioners, and classes and private sessions for expectant mothers/couples.

The program uses guided visualization and breathing exercises, body sensations understanding and self-hypnosis techniques to help the expectant mothers go through the pregnancy, the stages of labour and the birth, as well as provide them with post-birthing strengths. The course helps the women communicate with their baby throughout their pregnancy and solidify the bond between the mother/parents and the child. During the program, the women are encouraged to address emotional issues or concerns, and, if necessary, the women might be seen individually (for a discounted fee).

The HPB course consists of enhanced and evidence-based hypnotherapy exercises for pregnancy and childbirth; the program contains progressive relaxation, hyperempiria, double induction, Gestalt-based visualization, dream inducement, mindfulness, meditation, Meridian Tapping Techniques (MTT) and NLP exercises to reframe, desensitize and cope with challenging situations while maintaining a balanced and positive attitude during labour and birth. The expectant women are advised to begin the program earlier in the pregnancy (15-20 weeks). The program includes 5 meetings. The women/couples have the option of attending a sixth session, after giving birth (for a separate fee) to address post-birth issues (i.e., lactation, weight loss, fatigue, etc.).

In the past 4 years, Dr. Voia has done research on mothering practices and presented two mothering-related papers at Conferences organized by the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM), at York University, Toronto (2005 and 2006). On October 22nd, 2009, she will present the paper Using Hypnosis in Assisting Women With Natural Childbirth: Feminine and Feminist Perspectives at the ARM Conference on Mothering and Environment: The Social, The Natural and The Built (at York University).

Please, note that HypnoPregnancy and Birthing is not a childbirth education program; still, it does present the stages of pregnancy, labour and birth from an informed and experiential perspective. Some sessions might by held in conjunction with other hypnosis practitioners, psychologists or counsellors, for an enhanced quality of the program. Also, note that this course is not related, nor similar to the HypnoBirthing (the Mongan Method) Course.

Gaffney, L. and Smith Caroline A. (2004). Use of complementary therapies in pregnancy: the perceptions of obstetricians and midwives in South Australia. In Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 44, pp. 24-29.

Field, T. (2008). Pregnancy and labor alternative therapy research. In Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 28 - 33.

Contact Information
Hypnosis Healing Centre
Liana Voia, PhD

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