Some Christian moms are hesitant to look into Hypnobabies for fear that hypnosis conflicts with their faith. They may feel that it is too “new age” or they will be disconnected from or unable to control their mind or body.
I would like to address some of these concerns in this post and will include a link at the bottom for another further articles to read. This is a topic that is discussed occasionally on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group, we have a lot of Christian moms on that group and I have included a lot of their input.
Personally, I am a Christian and personally find no conflict in using hypnosis for childbirth. In fact, I have found that the Hypnobabies program helped me to become in better touch with my reliance upon God and the amazing beauty of how He created me to give birth to my babies. I also felt more connected to my body and birth and in control of myself during Bryson’s birth!
My favorite scripture is “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 I feel that Hypnobabies helped me to have the power of knowledge of normal birth, increase my love for my body and baby and helped me have a more control of my mind in preparing for and birthing Bryson.
Who is in Control?
Let’s clear up some misconceptions about hypnosis. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. In Hypnobabies moms learn to get themselves into that deep relaxed state. In every script they listen to, they are reminded that THEY are in control. They can enter or exit this relaxed state at any time. So they are completely in control.
I never found anything in the program that would undermine any of my Christian beliefs. It actually helped me to love and appreciate myself, and the gift of having a child so much more, because I was focusing my mind on it regularly. Besides, we must CHOOSE to use the tools that allow our bodies to relax easily, it’s not like it’s forced upon us. This same kind of programming happens to us throughout our lives anyway, this is just purposely choosing to make it all positive about childbirth.
Christ said that to, “love thy neighbor as thyself” was the greatest law second to loving God himself. You must have love for yourself in order to do this. The whole program is based in loving, respecting and showing gratitude for yourself and your baby. I see nothing to worry about!
Hypnosis is a Natural State
Here is something that Kerry (creator of Hypnobabies) said, “Hypnosis is something that we all already do many times a day, so it’s a very natural thing in our lives and is not an “altered state”. We are automatically in hypnosis when driving, swimming, doing other sports, sitting in church or a lecture, reading, watching television or movies or on the computer (a screen of any kind) and when waking up or going to sleep. In Hypnobabies we are simply guiding that process in a very positive way to create an easy, fear-free comfortable childbirth experience.”
What is on the CDs?
Moms are also encouraged to listen to the scripts at least once while alert so they know what they are hearing. (Many moms fall asleep during the scripts and don’t “remember” what is on them.)
Everything on the scripts are all very positive and uplifting messages about your body, baby and birth. Here are a few mom’s comments about what is on the CDs
1. I know it’s common for Christians to be anti-hypnosis out of the fear that your mind will be open to negative influence. As we all know, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. No one can force you to do anything that is against your beliefs.
Anyone who is concerned about anything on the Hypnobabies CDs can simply listen to them in a conscious state (while washing dishes or whatever) to make sure that they are comfortable with all the suggestions given.
There has never been anything on the CDs or in the scripts or materials that goes against my Christian values or beliefs. I actually view hypnosis as a gift from God since I’ve found it to be a wonderful tool. :-)
2. I’m also Christian and have never had issues with hypnosis. (I have two Hypnobabies with another one on the way.) I’ve viewed it as more prayer-like meditation. I also feel that the Hypnobabies program has helped me trust in God even more. He made my body perfectly so that I can give birth, when I trust my body to do its job, I am really trusting that God made everything perfectly.
Just my thoughts. I also like the suggestion to listen to the CDs while doing something active so you can hear the whole thing and make sure there isn’t anything that offends you in it… I personally have never felt that anything Kerry said was contrary to anything I believed.
3. I don’t see any conflict with it at all. In fact, I think it’s more Christian to do what you can to bring your little blessing into the world in a calm manner free of drugs. The argument in the church against hypnosis historically is that it leaves your mind open to negative influences. There’s nothing on the CDs as far as I know that would conflict with your beliefs–if I heard anything that conflicted with my beliefs I wouldn’t be doing it.
Some hypnosis programs do lean towards a new agey feel. Hypnobabies is very mainstream in its orientation.
After I had my first successful Hypnobabies delivery, I came upon a copy of the Mongan Hypnobirthing book at a resale shop and bought it thinking it would make a nice additional resource for my next birth. When I became pregnant again, I started reading it, and was pretty much shocked at what I read.
The whole earth mother, goddess within, and rejection of the Eve story as a fabrication of men to keep women oppressed, line of reasoning behind why a woman can birth naturally and use hypnosis to help her achieve this goal was a big turn-off to me.
I am forever grateful that this was not my original introduction to hypnosis in birth, because it totally falls in with the types of negative preconceptions that Christians have toward hypnosis and the like and I am afraid I would have rejected the idea as not in line with my personal values.
I think Kerry has done an incredible job of empowering women to embrace their innate ability to birth their babies and find the strength within themselves, without relying upon ideas that *some* will find offensive.
Hypnosis is very similar to meditation, which is well supported in the Bible.
Do they think hypnosis is too New Age? I am a Christian AND I went to Seminary, and I don’t see any problem with it. Hypnosis is like a deeper form of meditation – and meditation is mentioned many times in the Bible as a good thing. There are passages of the Bible that talk about meditation, removing grief or fear from the mind, and putting away pain from the body (because isn’t that what we’re doing with Hypnobabies?)
Incorporating your beliefs into Hypnobabies
Kerry, “Many of our moms on this list are Christian and have had wonderful success with Hypnobabies while incorporating their beliefs onto the scripts and hypnosis practice as well as adding prayer into the actual hypnosis when giving birth. I have come to realize that that women know what they need and will find it in Hypnobabies, adapting it perfectly and serenely to their own religious or non-religious belief systems. They always do.”
When I am in my Special Place, it’s always me, the baby, and God behind me supporting me. I have recently begun to get involved in my faith again and I view this whole process of pregnancy, birth, and the hypnosis preparation for it is very spirtual. It’s like God is there(literally in my special place with me), telling me that he created me for this very process to bring this new life(again that he created) into the world with peace and love.
Here is a link to another article with more information.