Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

When Es­ther Croft fell preg­nant with her first child while liv­ing on the other side of the world she was a lit­tle ner­vous about giv­ing birth.

But after trawl­ing the in­ter­net she found a so­lu­tion that ap­pealed – hyp­no­birthing, a re­laxed and nat­u­ral ap­proach to what is of­ten thought of as a scary and painful ex­pe­ri­ence.

She ‘‘dragged’’ her hus­band off to the classes and after an ‘‘em­pow­er­ing’’ birth she was a firm be­liever. Now Croft teaches the method to expectant moth­ers and their birth part­ners.

‘‘We take the fear out of child­birth,’’ she says. ‘‘ Even just the ex­pec­ta­tion of lots of pain makes your body shut down and go into flight or fight mode through the labour.

‘‘Chang­ing your mind­set and learn­ing the ac­tual sci­ence be­hind it helps take away a lot of that fear.’’

The Three Kings res­i­dent says it is about find­ing a deep state of re­lax­ation.

‘‘It isn’t stage hyp­no­sis – which is what most peo­ple think of when they think of hyp­no­sis.

‘‘Most peo­ple have ac­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­enced some level of hyp­no­sis in their daily lives. A common one is when you are driv­ing your car and ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion but can’t re­mem­ber the last half an hour. It is like a state of day-dream­ing.’’

Ev­ery­one can find a state of hyp­no­sis, Croft says.

‘‘Moth­ers come in with dif­fer­ent lev­els of fear which is hands down the big­gest hur­dle. Al­ready con­fi­dent moth­ers find it a bit eas­ier.’’

The mother of two says just like an­te­na­tal classes, hyp­no­birthing sits well along­side hos­pi­tal births.

‘‘We are mam­mals and es­sen­tially like all mam­mals we need to feel

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