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Hypnobabies Can Create Calmer Childbirths

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- More Minnesota mothers are choosing a new way to bring their babies into the world to help deal with the pain of childbirth, showing that the mind can be more powerful than medication when it comes to the miracle of birth.

When Lindsay McCoy's first birth wasn't the experience she hoped for, she turned to a new program that helps women with natural birth. She found Hypnobabies childbirth hypnosis as it helps release the fear of the experience.

"Hypnosis is not that stage hypnosis, and it's not mind control," she said. "It's really a way of being able to relax your body and your mind. And when your body and mind are relaxed, then your birthing muscles have nothing in the way. They can work much more smoothly and more efficiently."

So Lindsay and Matt McCoy invited us to witness the intimate experience firsthand. With Lindsay in her tub and the Hypnobabies soundtrack playing in the background, she's called up her midwives.

Every day for the past few months, the McCoys have listened to soothing music and practiced daily medical hypnosis scripts to encourage deep relaxation.

"When I can put my hand on her shoulder and tell her to relax, I can see it actually does something and makes me feel like I am here," Matt McCoy said. "I have a purpose."

And when the baby starts to move downward, Lindsay McCoy puts what's known as hypnotic anesthesia to use, cueing the word "peace."

Lindsay McCoy becomes so quiet that she barely notices when baby McCoy has arrived.

With a healthy girl in her arms, Lindsay McCoy immediately called her birth easy.

The experience has inspired Lindsay McCoy to become a Hypnobabies instructor herself.

Her midwives and doula say Hypnobabies moms often have calmer, quicker births -- even outside the home. About 90 percent of women in the course give birth in hospitals.

"It brings you to a place where you can stay connected with what your body is doing," said traditional midwife Jeanne Bazile. "And if you've been taught and been encouraged that birth is a natural process, then going into it with that mindset can be helpful, too."

Lindsay McCoy is the only local instructor of the Hypnobabies program, and a Fairview Clinics midwife warns that the technique is most effective with a willing partner, and with timing.

If you start using it too early, it will be hard to maintain for eight to 12 hours, the midwife said.

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