Richmond, VA--The miracle of birth—you've seen it the movies, you may have even experienced it yourself.
Your water breaks, you go into labor, and for hours and hours, you suffer in agony and pain; but one local mother says that doesn't have to be the case.
"I truly did not feel any pain in my actual delivery," said local mother Lee Waters, who experienced a HypnoBirth.
It's popular among celebrities, and now, more and more women are doing it— HypnoBirthing. It may sound odd, but this unique childbirth method is exploding in popularity.
Jessica Alba, Demi Moore, Cindy Crawford, and Ricki Lake have all done it, and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is reportedly looking into it.
Lee Waters says her experience was a calming one, because she and her husband were trained in HypnoBirthing.
"It was just very calm; there wasn't any screaming or crying," said Waters.
"The more relaxed we are, the better our birth outcome," said Gina Kochany, a hypnotist who teaches hypnobirthing classes in Richmond.
"We teach these tools of relaxation, hypnosis, visualization, deepening," said Kochany.
Over the past year, Kochany's seen a massive increase in the number of couples who want to welcome their little one's into the world with this technique.
It's something 8News Senior Reproter Nate Eaton and his wife, Erica, who are expecting their first child in May, decided to take part in and document their journey.
"I'm hoping to learn how to relax and to learn more about childbirth," Nate's wife, Erica, said. "I'm not really sure what to expect yet."
"I first heard about HypnoBirthing from a friend and then went online and read about it," said Erica Eaton.
Nat and his wife were curious, so they enrolled in classes, where they learned deep breathing, how to stay calm and most importantly, how to relax.
During the classes, the expectant mom and her partner are hypnotized.
Nate admits he was skeptical at first, but says in the matter of a few minutes, he was relaxed and yes, hypnotized.
"It's hard to describe what we experienced, other than to say it was like that feeling you have when you're almost asleep," Nate said.
The more relaxed you are during pregnancy, the more relaxed you are automatically in labor and therefore birth itself.
"When your body's relaxed, then you're able to sort of access parts of your mind and your body that you normally don't," said Waters of her birth experience.
"It's the most relaxing experience you'll ever have," said James Womack, whose been hypnotizing people for 40 years.
"It's an altered state of consciousness in which your body's relaxed but your brain frequencies have slowed," said Womack.
The average person becomes so relaxed during hypnosis, they can hear a watch ticking six to eight feet away.
"A philosophy that birth is natural and normal and women can give birth without peril or pain," said Kochany. "True labor is boring; it wouldn't sell on television, because it can be hours of sitting and talking."
HypnoBirthing may not be for everyone, but those who take the classes, practice and apply the principles say it not only helps during labor, but helps after childbirth too.
To learn more about hypnobirthing, please visit the Virginia Hypnobirthing website.
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