Natural Childbirth

If you have been exploring natural childbirth options such as hypnobirthing and hypnobabies, then I’m sure you realize that there are a lot of methods and philosophies out there.  So I’ve decided to include this brief overview about some of the more popular methods:

Natural Childbirth Methods:

The Bradley Method: This program teaches childbirth as a natural process that can be prepared for with education, preparation and a supporting coach.  They teach a variety of natural techniques including natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition and exercise.  The main focus is on relaxed abdominal breathing and relaxation of the body during labor.  The Bradley Method is taught in small classes, typically done over 12 weeks.

Lamaze:The Lamaze method was developed in 1951 by Dr. Fernand Lamaze, and was based on childbirth techniques that he had observed in Russia.   The method focuses on childbirth education classes, deep relaxation, breathing techniques, and emotional support from the father as well as a specially trained nurse.  Lamaze International provides childbirth classes and many other valuable resources.

Childbirth without Fear: This was the title of a 1933 book, written by Grantly Dick-Reed.  He theorized that fear and tension cause 95% of labor pains, and that eliminating the fear would eliminate the pain.  This was a very controversial viewpoint, and I think he may have overstated the facts a bit.  But fear and tension are clearly major factor in labor pains, and many childbirth methods have are rooted in his philosophy including the Mongan Method.

Calm Birth: The Calm Birth program is based on both mind/body medicine and on meditation science.  The prenatal classes focus on three meditation processes that teach women how to tap into the body’s innate abilities.  Lessons on complete breathing are also an important component of the classes.  Natural Childbirth is encouraged, but the meditation is still very effective in conjunction with any medical interventions that are necessary.  Many scientific studies have found major health benefits from meditation. 

Comparisons:

Hypnobirthing Vs. Bradley Method: Like the Bradley method, Hynobirthing and Hypnobabies teach powerful breathing and relaxation techniques.  The advantage of hypnobirthing is the addition of hypnosis to dramatically reduce pain.

Hypnobirthing Vs. Lamaze: Lamaze is certainly beneficial and has a long track record.  But hypnobirth techniques add medical hypnosis for the pain reduction and elimination.  While deep relaxation along with breathing techniques can reduce pain, I think that the additional benefits from hypnobirthing make it the best choice for most women.

Hypnobirthing Vs. Calm Birth: Calm Birth focuses on using visualization and meditation to put your mind in a fearless state with an increased tolerance for pain.  Hypnosis birth methods are designed to dramatically reduce the sensation of pain, while maintaining self awareness.  There is also an Australian birthing method known as Calmbirth.  The founder of Calmbirth actually started with hypnobirthing, but developed this new method which places less emphasis on self-hypnosis.

Related Resources:
Hypnobabies vs. Hypnobirthing
Comparison of Hypnosis Birth Methods