Sep 26 2010

Is Hypnobabies compatible with Christianity?

A sweet friend recently contacted me with concerns about using the Hypnobabies childbirth program, since I am a Christian.

I think Hypnobabies might be a bit misunderstood.

I believe the Hypnobabies course can safely be used by Christians — and people of any faith background.

First, please visit this FAQ on the Hypnobabies site. There’s also a few comments from Christian mothers who have used the program.

Hypnobabies, in a nutshell, is about deeply relaxing your mind and body to prepare it for a more comfortable birthing. When you are in a hypnotic state, you are simply in deep relaxation. It’s like the period between awake and asleep (isn’t that where Neverland is? lol!). You are conscious. You are awake, though you might be so relaxed that you might feel or look asleep.

This hypnotic state that you’re in — it’s a state that you’re in several times per day anyway, whether you realize it or not. When you first wake up or go to sleep, when you watch TV or any type of screen, when you’re driving in your car (ever sorta space out and miss a turn, or become surprised when you realize you’re already at your destination?). With Hypnobabies, you’re creating that hypnotic state on your own (and sometimes with the help of suggestions from the CDs) so that you can relax deeply.

During that time, you’re also hearing positive things about childbirth and learning ways to make it more comfortable for you.

You aren’t allowing yourself to do anything you wouldn’t do. If you hear a suggestion that you would be morally against, you will not accept it. You are not opening yourself up to evil influence.

No one is controlling your mind or body — you hypnotize yourself. There’s no New Agey things going on.

Please also go read this post on Christianity and Hypnobabies.

The post does mention that there ARE hypnosis programs that are New Agey in approach, and programs that Christians should avoid. But Hypnobabies is not among those.

You can download and listen to the free “What is hypnosis for childbirth?” and “Relax Me” tracks to get a better idea of the course. And you can listen to the “Relax Me” track without actually sitting down to relax — listen while you’re cleaning or folding laundry or something if you prefer.

If you still have concerns, you could discuss this topic with your pastor. Have him read the Hypnobabies FAQs and listen to those tracks, too, rather than just a blanket, “Is hypnosis ok for Christians?” discussion — just to make sure you’re all on the same page.

Now, there’s another element to this whole comfortable childbearing stuff. See Genesis 3:16, where Eve is cursed in her childbearing.

There is a LOT going on here and I will need some more time to study scripture and commentaries and compile my thoughts on how I think it’s ok for Christians to seek a more comfortable childbearing, despite the fallen world we live in.

As always, I welcome your comments (even dissenting ones!).

Posted under hypnobabies | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Is Hypnobabies compatible with Christianity?”

  1. I would think that the Christian complaint against hypnobabies would be similar to the Christian complaints against yoga, not those against hypnosis. The self-induced meditative state of hypnobirthing seems more like the self-induced meditations of yoga, from my understanding anyway, where you’re choosing to empty your mind and relax into your body purposefully.

    Disclaimer: I’m not doing hypnobabies this time around, but I am excited to be doing prenatal yoga, and hope that will help, too.

  2. I was just discussing Eve’s curse in relationship to Hypnobabies with my husband who is an Ordained Minister with a Doctorate of Divinity. He explained that the translation of the word “pain” in Genesis 3:16 may be interpreted as “sorrow” in Greek and as “emotional tevailing” in Hebrew. So, the Hypnobabies approach fits perfectly because it still requires women to do the emotional and mental work necessary for a positive birth experience, but physical pain is not neccessary. Additionally, Christ took this curse upon himself with his sacrifice, so we can be assured that a comfortable birth is available to us if we choose to accept this gift. I hope this helps.

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