Doulas and Hypnobirthing

Often when doulas are contacted by a couple who is interested in Hypnobirthing they are asked what (if any) experience they have with this method.  For those of you who feel called to working with these couples, or who have a desire to learn more about Hypnobirthing, we introduce Debbie Catz to you. We sat down with Debbie recently and learned so much about this method and what tools she could teach doulas to integrate into their practice.  Below is a bit of our conversation we would like to share with you.

Debbie will be offering a workshop specifically for doulas who are interested in learning more about integrating Hypnobirthing into their practice in Northern California at Power of Birth.  

Who is the founder of HypnoBirthing and what is it's brief history?

The founder of HypnoBirthing is Marie (“Mickey”) Mongan.  Mickey holds several awards for distinguished service and achievement in the practice of hypnosis.  As a young woman she became educated in the theories of Dr. Jonathan Dye, of Buffalo, N.Y. and Grantly Dick-Read, of the UK, two pioneers in natural birth.  She birthed her 4 children in the late 50s and early 60’s and used no labor pain relieving medication, recognizing that when a woman is relaxed the body works as it is meant to.  HypnoBirthing began in her living room teaching her daughter and a couple of her pregnant friends about relaxation during birth.  It was from this point that it caught on like fire, just word of mouth.  HypnoBirthing has been in existence for approximately 25 years and is practiced throughout the world.

One of Mickey’s most famous mottos is:  “When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change”.  

What was the attraction for you to HypnoBirthing?

I was a psychotherapist/hypnotherapist in private practice for many years when I asked the Universe to bring me work that would bring me more joy.  I watched “Dateline’ one night and lo and behold it was about hypnosis for childbirth.  I found myself furiously taking notes knowing that this is the direction I would be going in.  I researched it and found HypnoBirthing.  Within a few months I was trained and certified and teaching full classes. 

There is a lot I love about HypnoBirthing.  Most special is our 2nd class whose focus is on bonding.  I find that most childbirth education programs fail to spend much (if any) time on the baby and bonding because so much of the focus is on pain management.  I also love that HypnoBirthing does not believe that pain is an inevitable part of birthing.  While we don’t “sell” pain free childbirth, I have surely been to births where the mom is feeling her body working, feeling pressure, but not pain.  Pain is an interpretation of the mind.  We know that what we believe is what we get because the mind controls the body.

I love it because it encourages couples to work together and build trust and confidence. This, of course, benefits babies because couples are more bonded and mothers are relaxed.

Another amazing thing about HypnoBirthing is when a woman trained in HypnoBirthing ends up with a C-Section (we have a 17% C-Section rate compared with a national rate of 32%) it is often reported that she does not need any post surgery pain medication.  The tools learned in HypnoBirthing are tools for a lifetime, not just labor and birthing.  When we relax, everything just works better, like it was meant to.

 Does HypnoBirthing work for everyone or is there a specific type of person that this would be most appealing/helpful to?

That is a great question.  All hypnosis is self-hypnosis.  So, anyone who believes in it will achieve it.  When people understand what hypnosis really is (a deep state of relaxation, the same state we are all in before we fall asleep) it demystifies it, making it that much more doable.   It works best when a woman believes in her body and her ability to birth easily and naturally and chooses that for her birthing experience.  A big part of hypnosis is belief. (What we believe is what we get.) HypnoBirthing does require time to practice, so it is best when taken early to mid 2nd trimester.  Allowing time for our mind to get conditioned to this new way of being, trusting and relaxed, it works more easily.

What would be helpful for doulas to know if a client is interested in learning more about HypnoBirthing?

To know who the HypnoBirthing Educators are in that clients area which can be found on the HypnoBirthing website

When you teach workshops to doulas who want to integrate HypnoBirthing into their practice what can they expect to learn?

*How the mind (autonomic nervous system) controls the body and effects labor and birth.

*By alleviating fear, birth is smoother and easier. 

*How working with HypnoBirthing couples can make their job as doulas easier and often, much faster.

*The different breathing techniques.

*What hypnosis is….and isn’t.

*The role of the conscious mind vs. subsconscious

*Through content and actual experience, they walk away with new tools for helping birthing couples.

*Increase their business by adding HypnoBirthing to their knowledge, giving them a new population to whom they can    offer their services.

Debbie Catz has been a Social Worker for over 25 years. She has extensive experience working with all populations, from children to the elderly, in both the public and private sectors. She received her Masters Degree in Social Work in 1980.

Debbie, an affiliate of the HypnoBirthing® Institute, is certified in Clinical Hypnotherapy and has additional certifications as a HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Educator, HypnoFertility Therapist, HypnoBirthing® Professional Labor Companion (comparable to a “Doula”) and Past Life Soul Regression Therapist. She is also certified in Parenting Education and has extensive experience in the substance abuse field. She is a member in good standing with the National Guild of Hypnotists, one of the oldest and largest hypnosis organizations of its kind.  

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