Natal Hypnotherapy Pregnancy

Using hypnosis to help overcome morning sickness

Anyone who has suffered with morning sickness will tell you how absolutely awful it can be.  It is an odd time for women. The elation and excitement of being pregnant is often subdued by the intermittent or, often non-stop feelings of nausea, low energy, dizziness and vomiting.  There isn’t a magic pill that will take it away and none of the natural remedies are guaranteed to work.  It is something that you know you just have to put up with. knowing that at some point around 12 weeks (for others it can continue longer) it will stop.

What causes morning sickeness?

No one really understands what causes morning sickness. \it is believed to be triggered by a combination of hormonal, physical and emotional changes that take place when a woman becomes pregnant.

It may be nature’s way of preventing the mother from eating foods that are not helpful to her or her baby. Many women completely go off things like tea, coffee, wine and, believe it or not, even chocolate! However in research studies, far more women went off foods that are recommended as being good for her baby such as fish, eggs or meat.  This is particularly interesting as in a study comparing anthropological reports of 27 societies [i], the seven societies for which morning sickness was completely unknown rarely ate animal products, relying instead on corn, rice, tubers, and other plants.

Is morning sickness normal?

Most websites and pregnancy resources will tell you that morning sickness is considered a normal part of pregnancy quoting that up to 80% of women (in our society) will get it.  Yet research, including a study that came out in Germany has shown that psychosocial variables have a clear influence on incidents of morning sickness. These include levels of stress, social support and emotions relating to being pregnant. Stress in particular has been shown to increase the incidence and severity of morning sickness. An increase in cortisol (stress hormones) leads to highs and lows of blood sugar which bring on bouts of morning sickness.

No one really understand what causes morning sickness, but it is believed to be triggered by a combination of hormonal, physical and emotional changes that take place when a woman becomes pregnant.
Some women completely go off things like tea or coffee

Another theory is that it may be nature’s way of getting a mum to slow down and take care of herself. To begin her journey to becoming a mother by ensuring that she is more aware of the effect her actions have on her baby.

Morning sickness is very common

Whichever view you hold, morning sickness is very common, and in most cases is considered to be a positive element of pregnancy. Statistically morning sickness reduces the likelihood of miscarriage, pre-term birth, low birth weight and perinatal death.

However, if you are suffering from morning sickness you probably do not really care what the theories are or why you have it. You probably just want ideas on how to reduce or get rid of it.

There are several natural ways to help reduce morning sickness. Such as acupuncture, acupressure, taking ginger, peppermint, eating bland foods and grazing rather than eating big meals. Another way that has helped many women, including the Duchess of Cambridge is by using hypnotherapy.

So what is hypnotherapy and how can it help with morning sickness?

Hypnotherapy involves listening to a therapist in person or on a CD or download. They will use calming, relaxing words, imagery and often music to guide you into a relaxed state. In this relaxed state, you are still aware of your surroundings when you could open your eyes and interact. You listen to specific positive suggestions to help you re-frame or change the way you currently respond to things. 

All things in life have a cause and an effect. You hear your name so you respond, you feel hungry so you eat, you stuck in traffic so you feel stressed. The suggestions given are based on the premise that you cannot usually change the cause. You can however change how you respond. Because the conscious part of your mind is resting, you become very open and accepting of these positive suggestions. They become a new way for you to deal with the difficulties you were facing before.

Reducing stress

As already discussed, stress can play a significant part in the onset and severity of morning sickness. However, reducing stress consciously or on demand is a difficult thing to. Hypnotherapy helps you do this on several levels. Taking time out to relax and switch off means that you are reducing the body’s levels of stress hormones. This then calms your thoughts and helps you focus on positive feelings. Whilst in a deeply relaxed state you are listening to positive suggestions. These may be about releasing any tension or stress and replacing them with calmer, more positive feelings. Thirdly whilst in hypnosis you take on new ways of dealing with the stress once you are out of hypnosis and dealing with your daily life (called a post hypnotic suggestion).  By being calmer, more relaxed and less stressed the symptoms of morning sickness will reduce.

Reframe your thoughts

The second key factor is to help you re-frame your thoughts and feelings. Especially about food and smells. Getting positive suggestions helps to change your response. This may include imagining a minty or lemony taste in your mouth which replaces the unpleasant sensations. Or beig attracted to foods that feel and are good for you.  According to the reports on the Duchess of Cambridge :

hypnotherapy took away any negative thoughts connected with food from the morning sickness, and replaced them with cravings for healthy, nutritious food”.

Whilst in hypnosis you also learn an easy and quick-to-use technique to bring about feelings of positivity, energy, and a fresh lemony taste when you go about your daily routine. This can be a really useful tool to instantly feel better at any time of night or day.

Overcome morning sickness track

This form of Hypnotherapy is not just for the rich and famous. My “Overcome Morning Sickness”  Download helps pregnant women to deal with nausea and morning sickness by listening to the cd in their own home.

A survey carried out in conjunction with Pregnancy and Birth Magazine, found that 10 out of 10 mothers would recommend it to a friend. 9 out of 10 felt the significant benefit from using it. Second time Mum Mandy said:

“After listening to your track I stopped being sick after meals. The nausea only comes back very occasionally, and my appetite has improved almost back to normal!  I wish I’d known about it for my last pregnancy, as I suffered really badly until about 18 weeks. I’ll certainly recommend the “overcome morning sickness” to my friends.”

[i] https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2000/05/morning-sickness-protects-mothers-and-their-unborn – Morning sickness is Mother Nature’s way of protecting mothers and their unborn, Cornell biologists find

[ii] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17905253/ Relationships between nausea and vomiting, perceived stress, social support, pregnancy planning, and psychosocial adaptation in a sample of mothers: a questionnaire survey.

(iii) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23232775/ Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy: Prevalence, Severity and Relation to Psychosocial Health

[iii] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17207743/ comparison of different severities of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy relative to stress, social support, and maternal adaptation.

[iv] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14675977/ Psychological health in early pregnancy: relationship with nausea and vomiting

Maggie Howell

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