Valeri Audino is terrified of a trip to a dentist, yet she has sailed through four natural childbirths without fear — and almost without pain.
What’s her secret? Hypnobirthing, which teaches self-hypnosis to keep a woman relaxed and calm during labor.
“You aren’t supposed to think of it as painful but rather as a natural thing that your body is meant to do,” says Audino, 35, of North Royalton.
She learned about the technique on television years before her first pregnancy. She sought out a hypnobirthing class in her second trimester with her daughter Lindsey, eight years ago.
Audino used relaxing music and scripts read by her husband, Joe, to relax her and keep her calm in the midst of the hospital’s typical chaos. “My husband put a sign on our hospital room door, ‘hypnobirthing in process,’ ” she says. “I told them what I was doing and that I didn’t want them in there every 20 to 30 minutes checking me.
“They didn’t believe me the first time,” she adds.
Audino insists that she experienced no pain aside from the “very uncomfortable part” during pushing and episiotomy. “I believe there’s a strong relationship between fear and pain, and I didn’t fear labor at all,” Audino says. “You just have to believe in yourself that you can do it.”
And the skills she learned through hypnobirthing make her a better mom. “Having four kids and a crazy life,” she says, “I don’t think I’d be able to handle it if I didn’t have this relaxation tool.”