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The Anxious Romance

Aussies Turn to Hypnobirthing

The tide has turned against optional cesarians in Australia, according to Caroline Marcus of the Sydney Morning Herald. She writes that hypnobirthing -- using breathing, relaxation and visualization techniques to ease labor -- is becoming almost mainstream.

Canberra-based psychologist Shari Read, who led workshops in Sydney in February and May, said that while hypnosis was introduced in Australia as a birthing alternative in the late 1990s, it was only now becoming mainstream.

"Australia-wide, it is picking up," Dr Read said. "There is a little bit of a move - almost a backlash from people. There is the whole 'too posh to push' label attached to some people. Then there are some other people who say, 'No, our bodies are actually designed to do this. We're going to do the best job we can the natural way'."

The article points out that feeling relaxed promotes the release of oxytocin, while stress or fear inhibits it.

See also "Labor Like a Cat" and "Medical Meddling in Birth."

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