Pregnancy is a tricky time for women when it comes to their health and the health of their unborn child. Worries run deep and solving most of these anxious moments weighs heavily on the soon-to-be mother`s mind. Enter - Hypnotherapy and meditation. Today Dr. Snehal Shah, a clinical hynotherapist, tells us about her philosophy that says - healthy mothers give birth to healthy and happy babies. Through her clinic - Viha - Dr. Shah helps mothers through labour, child birth and early parenthood, all while integrating different therapies that involve hypnosis, meditative techniques, and breathing. Here are some excerpts from an interview with the doctor...
Hypnotherapy is a relatively lesser known method of treatment in India. Could you tell us a little about how this is relevant to pregnancy, and how it helps in healthy deliveries?
Pregnancy is a physiological condition where women undergo a lot of physical, emotional and mental changes. With it comes anxieties and fears and pains like backache and morning sickness, labour anxiety etc. Through hypnotherapy we program the mind and make the whole journey of pregnancy and child birthing a comfortable and a pleasurable experience. We make the would-be mothers connect with their babies through visualization and verbal facilitation. Similarly, we teach the mother hypno-birthing techniques, which are very effective to deal with labour. During the prenatal programme the mother is made to visualize the entire labour process and under hypnosis, positive auto suggestions are fed into her mind. Certain breath techniques are taught, and once this entire experience is re-enforced multiple times, the mind is programmed to undergo the process smoothly. Happy and healthy mothers give birth to happy and healthy babies.
Your programme, Viha, stresses on breathing techniques and meditation. With respect to this, could you explain `Rechaka` to us?
Meditation and Breath techniques significantly improves the overall fitness of the mother and hence the baby growing within her. One such technique known to deal with labour is the Rechaka breath technique or the prolonged exhalation technique. Throwing breath out and maximum exhalation is the secret to relaxation while in labor. The mother has to breathe in for a count of 4 secs or as convenient, and slowly breathe out for double the count. This is to be repeated whenever contraction is felt in the first stage of labour, while the mouth of cervix is opening i.e. dilating. An alternative to the same is to breathe in air and while exhaling , hum “ AUM” or any pleasing sound. It helps the mind to relax and feel peaceful.
While prenatal yoga is helpful in alleviating ill-health during (or even after) pregnancy, can a person with a sedentary lifestyle try it for the first time in pregnancy?
Yoga is not just about certain asanas or exercising. It`s a way of life, or a way of living. Yoga can be practised by anyone. Prenatal yoga focuses on toning up the pelvic floor muscles and joints so that it strengthens it and makes it more flexible and hence facilitating towards normal delivery. A holistic integrated approach empowers not only the mother, but also the child for a better health and hence a better life. Be it working women, or home makers with a sedentary lifestyle, or even mothers who suffer from morbid illnesses like high blood pressure, diabetes or other illnesses, this integrated approach will definitely help them live a healthier life.
How often in a day, week or month do you recommend that a pregnant woman practise prenatal yoga?
Different trimesters require different asanas, and yoga should be done under strict supervision and expertise. Once the mother learns the asanas, it should be done for few minutes daily. Asanas can be done under supervision. However the meditative and breath techniques are advised to be done daily. They are very simple techniques, yet very effective and powerful to develop a close bond between the mother and the baby.
Once someone signs up for Viha, do they need to follow a strict dietary plan as well?
Viha prenatal programme educates the would-be mothers about the different stages of pregnancy, and what should be done, and what not. It counsels the mother on diet and nutrition related to pregnancy and post partum. Like which foods are rich in what nutrient content, emphasis on calcium, iron and protein intake, its different sources and what food combinations best meet the daily requirement of nutrients. They need not a follow a specific diet if they sign up for Viha, however incorporate how much ever they can in their day to day lives, so that their body and baby gets the best, yet correct nourishment from their diet.
BDST: 1338 HRS, JAN-23, 2013
Edited by: Sharmina Islam, Lifestyle Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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