A recent story on NBC’s Dateline featured a method of childbirth called hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing is as much a philosophy as it is a technique. The hypnobirthing concept is not new, but rather a “rebirth” of the philosophy of birthing as it existed thousands of years ago and as it was recaptured in the work of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, an English obstretician, who first forwarded the concept of natural birthing in the 1920s. The method teaches you that in the absence of fear and tension, severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labor.
When you have your baby with hypnobirthing, you will not be in a trance or a sleep. What you will experience is similar to the daydreaming or focusing that occurs when you are engrossed in a book or a movie or staring into a fire.
What some childbirth educators, midwives and doulas are concerned about is that hypnobirthing encourages the mother to not focus on her pain, which some find to be counterproductive. As I watched the story, it simply appeared that these women were in very deep states of relaxation, yet fully conscious of what was going on around them.
There are several sites that will inform you more about the hypnobirthing concept and how to find a hypnobirth practitioner.