More and more regularly now I am meeting hypnobirthing clients with a fear of blood or needles. This can also include a fear of hospitals or GP practises and also procedures such as smear tests or internal examinations.
The terms used may be aichmophobia, belonephobia or trypanophobia but the results are usually the same - Raised anxiety, sweating, shallow breathing, a drop in blood-pressure and the possibility of passing out.
It is important when teaching antenatally that we ensure that our clients are not suffering from fears or phobias such as these. It is all good and well us teaching people to remain calm and focused, to not fear the process of birth but if we do not approach a fear of needles or blood with those who have this fear, then we are letting them down.
So, if you or your birth partner have an uncomfortable fear or phobia that may upset your labour and birth plans do seek help.
I personally suggest the following:
EFT - Emotional Freedom Technique is a straightforward practice of tapping on specific meridian points while focussing on the fear or feeling or problem. It works on the energy systems of the body and is a healing technique that uses the body's natural stress-reduction points to produce rapid change.
The wonderful thing about EFT is that you don't have to believe in it. It just works.
So, for me it is the first thing in my toolkit that I will use to reduce or entirely move a fear or phobia from a client.
Hypnosis - Many habits, fears, addictions and phobias can be diminished and removed with the use of hypnosis. The practitioner induces what we term a 'trance state', which is a highly focused but incredibly relaxed state of being. During this we then alter beliefs, or thoughts or with the client's assistance re-frame memories and desensitise trauma. We can instil new more beneficial beliefs and thought processes. I often refer to this as your blueprints. Some of your blueprints that your unconscious mind holds are positive and helpful, some are not. A hypnotherapist is there to change and work on the negative and faulty blueprints.
CBT & Mindfulness - These are approaches to teach you to change the way you think and act. They create a new learned behaviour where you become more aware of what you are doing and when and whether it is beneficial or negative to you.
Most importantly though I would like you to understand that fears and phobias CAN be changed. You do not need to be afraid of blood or needles or spiders or smear tests and there are steps that you can take to remove these fears.
So, if this is you then find a practitioner and book in. If you are an ante-natal or hypnobirthing teacher, just ask your clients. They may well feel a bit embarrassed but they have no need to be. Then refer them onto an EFT practitioner or a hypnotherapist.