Archive for February, 2011

With HypnoBirthing, nothing works!

February 28, 2011

With Hypnobirthing, Nothing Works!

This blog is Marie Mongan in her own words.  I haven’t written this, but I like it, so I thought I’d share.

 With HypnoBirthing NOTHING works!

 We see it often – HypnoBirthing mothers accept that they have the ability to relax through the first phase of labor. But when it comes to talking about the baby’s descent and birthing, the question is, “What do I do then?” My answer is always the same – “NOTHING!! That’s what I want you to get out of this course. The understanding of doing “Nothing!!”

 With HypnoBirthing NOTHING works. It’s Nature’s perfect design from the very onset.

 Let’s look at a newborn baby girl – as she emerges, who teaches her to breathe? She does absolutely nothing to make it happen – but it happens.

 If properly placed and encouraged, she crawls and bobbles her way to the breast for her first meal outside the womb. There is nothing that anyone gives her in the way of instruction.

 Within minutes of being born, she releases her anal sphincters, and out comes her first stool, or she pees. How does she do that without a chart of how to perform timely bodily functions?

 Over time, as she grows and develops, with nothing to tell her how or when or how many times, she learns that she can sneeze to clear her nasal passages; she can signal that she is hungry or wants attention if it’s not readily there; she startles and becomes alert if she is frightened; and, if she feels secure, she can relax and fall asleep in loving arms. What did she do to learn to fall asleep? Nothing! Who taught her to awaken? How did she know she was hungry?

 Fast forward to when she is a teenager. Her body changes with nothing but internal hormonal secretions to act as catalysts – she becomes a woman. The power of nothing is, and has been, alive in her human experience in so many ways, and she has mastered many functions with nothing but instinct to guide her.

 Nothing has to teach her that she is experiencing her first love. She instinctively knows it and feels it. And when the time is right, there is nothing she has to study to learn how to express that love physically.

 But enter the miracle of pregnancy, and all of a sudden, her previous trust, power, and confidence crumbles. She is now taught that her body is incapable of leading her through what should be a perfectly magical time. She must now be carefully taught how to nurture her pregnant body and her baby and ultimately how to give birth.

 She is further taught that her trust and dependence is best placed outside of her own abilities and externally placed into the hands of others – strangers, trained and practiced experts, who know better than she. She needs them now to efficiently and conveniently manage her birth. They will teach and guide her along each step of the way. Instinct be damned!

 She is now categorized onto charts – primagravida, and she’s put onto schedules, and regimens. She learns that she is inadequate and almost irrelevant to her own birthing experience.

 For the woman who senses this as a disconnect, there are two options. She can go along with the prevailing model, or she can trust birthing, register for a HypnoBirthing class and learn to do nothing!!

 We know that many of our moms hear a common question when they say they are preparing to birth their baby with HypnoBirthing. The question often is “Are you out of your mind.” In truth the response to that is “Yes.” To rely on her basic birthing instincts, a mother literally needs to be “out of her mind”. That’s where she turns her birthing over to her body and gets her mind and the regimens and techniques out of the way.

 That’s exactly where we want our moms to be. When we teach them otherwise – how to do, and when to do, and how often to do – we confuse the inner consciousness, which controls instinct. Instinct no longer can function – we have stifled the natural function with the clutter of confused, panicked mind talk.

 We strip it of the internal knowing, and then we turn to drugs as an external means of forcing the body to do what it used to know how to do. We know that drugs inhibit the bonding experience at birth, and mind talk also inhibits bodily function. Instead of achieving the objective, we confuse the body and it abdicates.

 My question to all is: How dare we? How dare we presume to think that we can manipulate and redesign and introduce confusion into the experience with our own special outlines, instructions and techniques? How dare we mess with what is already perfectly created?

 When we distribute charts and lists and lessons, filled with exercises and positions and advice,in effect,we are telling our parents that they need to do more and they need to do it this or that way at particular times. We need to bring about an awareness that what we teach in HypnoBirthing is not the cornerstone of HypnoBirthing, but rather suggestions to pass time.

 Parents panic. They are afraid they will forget what we carefully instilled. They question are they doing it “right’? The only important thing is that they learn to do nothing – to just “allow” – to be the mammals that they are and return to their basic instincts.

 Birthing has a rhythm and a flow, and every bit of “fixing” that we impose helps to disturb and shut down that very rhythm and flow. What they need to develop is a mastery to be “Out of their minds.” We need to stop humanizing birth. We have to put aside our own egos and our need to be a relevant factor in their birthing.

 The time has come when we need to stop labeling these births as “exceptional” and “fantastic” and “out of this world.” They need to be seen as the norm and not out of the ordinary. When we no longer feel that we have to talk about how shocked and surprised the caregivers are, we will have begun to make progress. These will be the births that all mothers will expect when they are “out of their minds” and doing Nothing.

 —Mickey Mongan, Director and Founder of the HypnoBirthing Institute


Making Friends with Your Fairy

February 8, 2011

Come on girls – it’s time to make friends with our labia!  This isn’t necessarily easy. In fact, even the thought of posting this blog leaves me uncomfortable.  How can it be that talking about something as basic to birthing as our vaginas leaves me feeling anxious about upsetting or offending people?

 During my sex education classes at school, we had diagrams of our ovaries and uterus, and the triangle between our legs, but no diagrams of our labia.  Our rather uninhibited teacher suggested that us girls take a look at our nether regions with a mirror.  We recoiled in horror!  Disgust! How gross could people get?!!!  Yuck!  I hadn’t read Germaine Greer at this point, but I do remember thinking there was something slightly wrong with my friends’ reactions.  Is it really that bad?  I had looked at it with a mirror, (though I wouldn’t dare admit it) and it seemed okay.

 Have you ever noticed that as a culture, we have easy, well known, friendly words for male genitalia (willy, dick) but female genitalia is either never really called anything (“front bottom”, “down there”) or it has a personal pet name which others don’t necessarily use (what is yours?).  This is a common problem for parents of little girls – as to what to call it.  For parents of boys, it’s easy.  It’s your willy.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have something as simple and straightforward for your girls’ special parts too?

Ironincally, there is one place where, in our culture, we can get a really good look at labia.  This is a place where vaginas are celebrated.  Revered.  Explicitly displayed and labelled.  This is in the realm of pornographic material.  In men’s worlds, not womens.

 So, my point is that either our vagina is gross, or it’s invisible, or it’s a sex toy.  I think, in terms of birth preparation, it is important to address all these three, because they all play a part in our fear of birth, and thereby can threaten the best of birth preparation courses. So when it comes to childbirth, this gross or invisible or sexy part of ourselves has to rise up to the challenge of turning us into mothers.  If we can get our heads around that, it will help our vagina get itself around our baby’s head.  We don’t want to view birth as gross (it’s amazing and beautiful), we don’t want to ignore the role of the vagina (it has quite an important role!), and we don’t want to fret about the sexy part (you’re amazing and feminine when you birth a baby).

So get cracking (excuse the pun) with your birth preparation, from a psychological as well as educational point of view.  Depending on what your issues are, you might want to practice the perineal massage which we cover in class (don’t worry, we don’t actually do it, or demonstrate it.  It’s all out of a book….). This will help you to make friends with this important and feminine part of your birthing outfit. If you’re worried about not staying sexy, ask your partner to stay up at the top end during the elaborate exit.  If you don’t want instruments or fingers in your special bits, you might choose to decline internal examinations.  Either way, don’t ignore your vagina.  Whatever you want to call it, it is a special and important part of birthing and it deserves some proper respect and admiration.