People often telephone me to ask if it would be ok for them to have hypnotherapy when they are pregnant. Of course the answer is what would you be having hypnotherapy to achieve?
It is important during pregnancy for a woman to keep a sense of calm and wellbeing. The physical relationship between a mother and her child is symbiotic, which means one affects the other. If a mother is feeling good it adds to the healthy growth, development and wellbeing of the child.
If you are stressed, unhappy, angry or distressed, this affects the development of the child adversely. Unhappy mothers tend to produce unhappy children who do not feed or sleep as well as other children and tend to cry more.
A child in the womb at some level senses everything that the mother experiences.
One of the biggest reasons women telephone me when they are pregnant is to stop smoking.
Smoking is highly detrimental to the developing foetus, increasing risks of low birth weight and premature labour. Lower maternal blood oxygen levels during smoking also interferes with the child’s breath and nervous system so stopping smoking at the earliest opportunity during the first trimester is essential to produce a healthy baby and hypnotherapy is the perfect, side-effects-free method to achieve that goal.
Some women also suffer severe morning sickness during the first trimester and some even later. This is an inner ear problem, immune response to the foetus and a gastrointestinal sensitivity which can be very upsetting and ever dangerous to the stage to inducing a miscarriage in extreme cases.
Along with dietary changes hypnosis can help the mother gain more settled control over her body and intestinal responses.
Many women also choose to learn to give birth under hypnosis to increase comfort and control of contractions, not have anaesthesia or analgesia and get the chance to be more fully present in the birthing experience.
Hypnotherapy during pregnancy is also a good way to deal with any outstanding issues that may be disturbing you or causing anxiety or depression.
Suddenly when you are pregnant you may find yourself overwhelmed that things that you never dealt with that now seem even bigger when you are about to become responsible for another person’s life. Gentle and easy hypnotherapeutic techniques can help you resolve those issues fast so you can enjoy your pregnancy.
Since hypnosis takes the mother’s brain down into alpha and theta slower brainwave activity states, it helps calm the baby and down can give special time for both mother and baby to match biorhythms and commune.
Research has shown that mothers who learn to practise self-hypnosis during pregnancy tend to have stronger bonds with their infants.
So the answer is yes, in the right hands of a highly trained and experienced professional, hypnotherapy during pregnancy is extremely safe.
I want to emphasise the phrase however ‘highly trained professional’. Be sure you choose a practitioner who is well qualified and belongs to a nationally recognised hypnotherapy association.
Hypnotherapy can be a wonderful experience during pregnancy.Dr Tracie O’Keefe DCH, BHSc, ND, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist. Counsellor, PACFA registered Mental Health Professional and Naturopath In Sydney. You can get help by booking an appointment with her at Australian Health & Education Centre.