By Michelle Roberts, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Delivering a baby is a very stressful time, but some couples say they found a way to help them stay calm.

It’s called “Hypnobirthing.”

The parents take a series of classes that stress a combination of relaxation and breathing to control labor and birthing pain.

It’s considered a replacement for an epidural.

Instructor Alisha Tamburri believes this approach allows a woman to feel more relaxed and more excited about the upcoming birth.

“This course is now kind of taking over what Lamaze was,” added Tamburri.

During the sessions, a mother also learns visualization, to imagine the baby easily descending and leaving her body.

They also learn to “breathe the baby down.”

Hypnobirthing has grown in popularity, with enrollment in classes doubling nationally in recent years.

Medical professionals say they can see the difference these classes make.

“We find that the women who do hypnobirth are much more relaxed. They have much calmer babies,” Susan Minich, a midwife, said.

Haley Schwartzkopf delivered Lilah without an epidural, and some help from Ryan.

“I did try to put my hand on her belly and I said breathe into my hand and she threw my hand away!” said Ryan with a laugh.

“At that point she was beyond that mostly. It was kind of talking and reminding her to breathe. I did actually use some of the technique myself to breathe because I figured if I am calm, I can help her stay calm,” added Ryan.

Haley said hypnobirthing helped her at all stages of her pregnancy. “It was wonderful.”



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