What is HypnoBirthing™?
HypnoBirthing™ is a childbirth method that focuses on preparing parents for gentle birth. In HypnoBirthing™ classes, you will learn proven techniques in a well-thought-out program of deep relaxation, visualization, specialised breathing techniques, physical preparation and self-hypnosis. All of these are designed to help you achieve a more comfortable birth. HypnoBirthing™ encourages a calm, peaceful, and natural pregnancy, birth, and bonding experience for families.
How does HypnoBirthing® differ from other childbirth preparation methods?
Unlike other childbirth methods that teach you how to cope with and manage pain, HypnoBirthing™ is based on the premise that childbirth does not necessarily need to be painful if the mother is properly prepared and relaxed. When women understand that pain is caused by constrictor hormones, created by fear, they learn, instead, to release fear thus creating endorphins—the feel good hormones. They are then able to change their expectations of long, painful labour and are able to replace them with expectations of a more comfortable birthing. Rather than exhausting, shallow breathing and the distraction techniques of typical “prepared childbirth” programs, HypnoBirthing parents learn deep abdominal breathing and total relaxation, enabling the labouring mother to work in harmony with her body and her baby. This allows her to achieve a shorter and more comfortable labour for herself and baby.
When should I start the classes?
You can begin classes anytime after your 20 week scan. Somewhere between 25-30 weeks is ideal, as the success of the course is linked to the amount of practice you do, but many women start much later and still benefit hugely from the education they receive and the techniques learnt. Provided you can finish the course before you give birth, it’s still going to help (in fact women have given birth half-way through the course and it still helped). It’s advisable to book in advance as classes are very popular.
How is the Birth Companion involved?
Birthing Companions are a very important part of HypnoBirthing™ success. He or she practices with the mother in helping to prepare for deep relaxation. During labour the Birth Companion guides the labouring mother through hypnosis prompts, relaxation techniques, deepening methods, and visualizations, provides comfort measures, and joins in welcoming the new baby, often by receiving the baby as he emerges. Whoever you choose (we recommend it’s the father / partner if at all possible, as it helps build a strong relationship with the child), they should ideally attend all the classes and be with you at the birth. However, sometimes this is not possible, and so tuition can be adapted so you can still enjoy all the benefits from hypnobirthing if the partner cannot attend.
Will I be ‘out of it’ or will I remember my birth experience?
Despite misconceptions and misinformation, you are definitely not ‘out of it’ during self-hypnosis. The HypnoBirthing™ mother is deeply relaxed, but she is also an active participant in the labour process. Though she is deeply relaxed, she is totally aware and may return to a conversant state or choose to become mobile whenever she desires. HypnoBirthing™ mothers often find that they experience time distortion and are not distracted by other people or their birthing environment, while they focus on their birthing and their baby.
Will HypnoBirthing® be useful to me if I don’t opt for a natural childbirth or if circumstances necessitate medical intervention or a surgical birth?
Absolutely. The things you will learn in your HypnoBirthing™ classes will help you to learn relaxation skills that will be useful to both you and your baby, regardless of your birth experience. In the event that medical intervention of any sort is needed, you will find yourself better able to remain calm and in control. Mothers who have needed scheduled caesareans for medical reasons report that they were totally relaxed before, during and after the procedure. Many report that they needed little or no medication following the birth, and they were able to return to normal functioning in a very short period of time.
Is it true that I will experience a pain-free birth with HypnoBirthing™?
HypnoBirthing™ does not promise painless birthing, though many HypnoBirthing™ mothers do report having a pain-free birth or one that they were able to manage very easily. When the cause of pain–fear that constricts the birthing muscles—is eliminated, birthing can be accomplished in a shorter period and much more comfortably. A relaxed mother’s body will produce more endorphins, nature’s own relaxants. HypnoBirthing™ mothers may still experience sensations of tightening or pressure; but most describe their birth experience as working with their body through the sensations, and thus avoiding the excruciating pain that is frequently spoken of by women who choose other methods of preparation for birthing. Here are some impressive statistics:
We find that around 65-70% of HypnoBirthing™ Mums don’t need any form of pain relief. Nearly all the mums in this category simply don’t experience any pain – just powerful pressure and tightenings.
Around a further 20-25% only require something mild, like gas and air. The remaining 5-10% usually fall into what we call ‘special circumstances’, where medical intervention is required. However, these HypnoBirthing™ mums still tell us that HypnoBirthing™ really, really helped , even if they were induced, or ended up with a caesarean.
Remember – the aim of HypnoBirthing™ is not a completely pain-free and picture-perfect ‘natural’ birth (although that is very possible). It is to have a calmer, easier, more comfortable birth – where you are in control – and in a way that most mirrors Nature.
What if my doctor/midwife is not familiar with HypnoBirthing™? Can I still use this method and how can my healthcare providers help me to achieve my HypnoBirthing goals?
More and more care providers are becoming aware of the benefits of HypnoBirthing™. Many hospitals offer HypnoBirthing™ as an option in their childbirth education programs, and HypnoBirthing™ is now taught in some schools of medicine to student doctors. If your care giver is not knowledgeable about HypnoBirthing™, take the opportunity early in your pregnancy to discuss the techniques you will be using and the type of calm birthing environment that you desire. In class, you will learn how to create a plan of Birth Preferences, which will help you to communicate your birthing goals and preferences to your doctor or midwife.
Who is HypnoBirthing® suitable for?
HypnoBirthing™ is suitable for both first time Mums and those who already have children. It helps Mums who are anxious because they have never experienced birth, those who are fearful due to a bad experience last time, those who just want a calmer, easier, more natural birth experience or someone who is booked in for a c-section (click here for more information).
Is HypnoBirthing™ safe?
Hypnosis is completely safe and a very pleasant experience. It involves a state of deep physical and mental relaxation similar to that of daydreaming. Unfortunately media and stage portrayals of hypnosis have left a lot of people with a mistaken view of what hypnosis is and what it can (and can’t) do. Please visit the myths about hypnosis section of the website for further explanation.
When and where do HypnoBirthing™ classes run?
For up-to-date information please see the course details page.
How much do HypnoBirthing™ classes cost?
Please see my course details page.
If you have a question that is not answered above or elsewhere on the site, please contact me directly. I will be delighted to answer any queries that you may have.