by Anne Shuman Urban, BA, CH, CPHI
I’m often asked what drew me to teaching women hypnosis for childbirth. Although I’m sure there is a short answer to that question somewhere in there, my chatty nature usually leads me to tell the story of how I got into HypnoBirthing™.
When I was going through my certification training to become a hypnotist, my instructor was talking about some of the medical applications for hypnosis and mentioned childbirth. In the breath before, she had been telling a story about someone who had gallbladder removal surgery using only hypnosis for anesthesia. I was intrigued. At that time, my understanding of birth was that it must hurt like heck, so I figured that if you could get your gallbladder cut out without drugs, it made sense you could have a baby that way.
My intrigue got filed away where many other interesting but not-yet-useful thoughts go, and I went on with the training, not really thinking much more about it for several months. As I got started with my practice, I began to notice that most of my clients were women. I wondered, “How can I better serve my clients?” It seemed that adding services specific to the unique needs of women would be helpful to them and advantageous to me.
Soon after that moment of inquiry, the catalog of courses available at the National Guild of Hypnotists annual convention arrive, and – lo, and behold! – Marie “Mickey” Mongan herself, creator of the HypnoBirthing™ curriculum, was going to be teaching at the convention. No deliberating there! I registered immediately, feeling glad that I would have another service to add to my practice. Little did I know what lay ahead for me.
I walked into that first day of training in my usual student mode – as well rested as possible and eager to learn. As Mickey began the training, she explained that birth does not always have to hurt. She noted that it is a physical process as natural as breathing, eating, digesting, and the stuff that gets you pregnant in the first place. If all those processes can unfold naturally and comfortably without lots of medical intervention, why should birth be any different?
If I had been in a cartoon, the proverbial lightbulb would have gone off over my head. Not only did her words make perfect sense, I was clear I was in exactly the right place at the right time. It was one of those moments like I have had only a few other times in my life in which I knew my steps had been guided to that time and place for a reason. I was totally and completely hooked. When the training was over, I was floating. Not only was I adding a service, I was participating in something that could help many women fulfill Nature’s design for their birthing and assist them in reclaiming some of the power that millennia of misinformation had drained away.
When people ask me what it takes to be successful at teaching something like HypnoBirthing™, I give them the usual business and marketing advice, but only after I ask them one thing: Are you passionate about teaching it? The most successful HypnoBirthing™ practitioners I know, myself included, are passionate to the core about providing a better option for childbirth. In my experience, those are the practitioners whose businesses flow. Generally, when I’ve met practitioners who are teaching it just because they see it as another income stream, they do ok, but they don’t thrive at it. I’m not saying that you can’t do it that way; I’m sure there must be some out there just teaching. Those I know who have booming HypnoBirthing™ practices are driven – not necessarily about other things – but specifically driven to change the world, one birth at a time. Count me in.
You can find more information about Ann on her website for Hypnosis in Delaware.