Hypnosis is a method of preparation for childbirth with several objectives. To get to know your body better, to better deal with pain and to experience a magical birth! Far from being a show worthy of Messmer, it is a real solution for a serene birth. We went to meet Manon, a hypnotherapist specialising in perinatal care.
Hello Manon! Who are you and how did you discover hypnosis?
I am the mother of a 2 year old girl, Nine. I discovered hypnotherapy following a trapeze accident. My operation and all my rehabilitation were done under hypnosis. The power of the unconscious mind over pain is incredible! I retrained for 18 months and opened my own practice in the south of France.
How does one become a hypnotherapist for future parents?
Once my practice was launched, I wanted to follow my true passion: perinatality. I trained with Lise Bartoli. She created HypnoNatal, a specific method to prepare for pregnancy and childbirth. This method is different from its American sister, hypnobirthing, which puts aside pain. I created my method by taking the best of both and by being inspired by my own childbirth.
Who can benefit from perinatal hypnosis?
Parents come for serenity, most of them are very scared and want to be reassured. Some mothers want a method of preparation for a physiological birth, without anesthesia. In fact, hypnosis is adapted to all deliveries, whether they are natural, with epidural, or a caesarean… My mission is to say to the mothers “Yes, childbirth hurts, but you’ll get through it. It is a useful pain, the most useful of your life and it is temporary”.
What can hypnosis do for me?
Hypnosis provides mental support, effective tools for surviving contractions and keys to understanding your body better. Knowledge is power! For example, if I am stressed, I will secrete adrenaline. My uterus will be less oxygenated and therefore I will have difficulty contracting and I will be in pain… On the contrary, if I bring calm or tenderness, my body will produce oxytocin, which will help me. When you know this and you know how to apply it, you are reassured.
How do your perinatal hypnosis sessions work?
I offer packs for expectant parents with videos to train in hypnosis and physiology, audios and coaching. The audio sessions to prepare for childbirth last 30 minutes. For the maternity ward, there are two types of sounds: 5-minute audios, to be listened to between two contractions to get back into one’s bubble, then 1-minute audios focused on the contraction. Pain has three components: what I have already experienced as pain, what I am projecting and what is really happening. If you take away a third of the projection and a third of the past, the contraction from before, then there is only a third of real pain left! I even get feedback from midwives who have listened to the audios in the delivery room and recommend them. Finally, I have a What’s App group called Village where mums meet to support each other.
Is hypnosis dangerous?
This myth does us a great disservice. Under hypnosis, no one is forced. We are far from the magic shows that ask us to imitate a chicken! In fact, hypnosis is a state that we all experience every day. It is similar to a daydream. Do you know that state just before you fall asleep? A very popular session is when the dad guides the mom through a beach visualization exercise. He takes her on a sensory walk. Where are we going, what do you smell, what do you hear?
What advice do you give to future parents to better prepare for childbirth?
You have to be prepared not to have an epidural. Then, close your ears to the catastrophic stories of childbirth of your friends. These stories are terrible in our subconscious. I advise parents to get trained and to include the co-parent!
What is the role of the father/co-parent in childbirth?
The father or co-parent is an actor in his own right. He can prepare the mother by knowing the different steps. He is no longer limited to the one who waits in a corner or faints in the birth room! I teach the co-parent to do hypnosis on his or her partner. Thus, another dimension is created between the two of them. We are naked in a state of hypnosis. The other one makes us feel good, we trust him. The benefits are also felt during the postpartum period. Communication is more fluid and the role of the father/co-parent is reinforced.
Do you also offer a postpartum package?
Postpartum is a very difficult period, families need support! I propose a pack around the following themes: signs of the baby, babywearing, baby’s sleep, food diversification, our identity (life as a couple, new identity as parents), better managing fatigue. Always with explanatory videos and hypnosis audios.
We love following your tips and videos on Instagram!
Thank you! Covid, my pregnancy and then postpartum prompted me to start an Instagram account and my online method to reach the most people online. On Instagram, I have a lot of fun and a real community that has questions and needs answers.
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