NY Daily News: Debi Tracy on the Royal Birth
Kate Middleton is considering a delivery technique dubbed hypnobirthing — and natural-birthing New York City moms have already given it a royal thumbs-up.
As her July due date approaches, the Duchess of Cambridge — who christened the Royal Princess cruise ship in Southampton, England, on Thursday in her last public appearance before the prince- or princess-to-be crowns — is reportedly eying the obscure delivery method, in which expectant moms practice breathing, recite mantras and think happy thoughts.
Fans of hypnobirthing say it results in a pain-free birth experience — for all parties.
“It was totally amazing,” said upper West Side mom Krystal Lonsdale, who credits hypnobirthing with imparting her 9-month-old baby, Bridget, with a mellow temperament. “She is so happy, because that’s the way she came into the world.”
New Hampshire mom Marie Morgan invented hypnobirthing after giving birth to three kids in the ’50s and ’60s, when doctors often knocked moms out cold during labor in a technique called “twilight sleep.”
“Two drugs knocked the mothers out, and when they woke up, they were holding their babies,” says Yeshiva University psychologist and hypnobirthing advocate Charles Swencionis.
Frustrated by the experience, Morgan spent decades crafting a more mother-friendly way to mitigate birth pains, unveiling her technique in the 1992 book, “Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method.”
In the years since, hypnobirthing has become increasingly popular in New York, and even more so across the pond. The program typically includes five sessions of 2½ hour classes with a hypnobirthing educator. Women learn four tenets of self-hypnosis, including deep relaxation, visualization, breathing techniques and affirmations.
“The technique is about childbirth without fear,” says certified hypnobirthing and childbirth educator Debi Tracy. “If we set our intentions on it being a wonderful experience, then our body will do whatever dance it needs to do to get there.”
If moms can keep themselves from being afraid or getting tense, they shouldn’t feel any pain, says Tracy.
To prepare for labor, many hypnobirthing moms listen to CDs full of mantras and practice visualizing themselves with pain-free abdomens.
“I learned that I was in control of my own experience, and how powerful meditation can be,” says Lonsdale, who listened to 22 hours’ worth of CDs before giving birth.
Tracy herself has tried it both ways, giving birth to her first child without hypnobirthing techniques and going into her second pregnancy with the education she needed.
“Once my birthing partner brought me into a more relaxed zone, I could let go,” says Tracy. “You can release whatever you’re fearful about. Then things went on beautifully.”
If Middleton is giving hypnobirth serious though, as Britain’s Now Magazine reports, Tracy says she’s making a wise choice for the future king or queen of England.
“If we welcome our babies in love instead of fear, we’ll create a world of love,” says Tracy. “With the overprocessed medical stuff we use 90% of the time, what kind of world are we creating?”