Updated: May 11
Seven years ago when my husband and I told people we had attended a hypnobirthing course to prepare for the birth of our baby, we got many a raised eyebrow and lots of hilarious ‘did you have your wind chime and joss sticks with you?’ comments. Of course, we both knew something these people didn’t, that hypnobirthing is in fact logical, scientific, profound and just the best way to prepare yourself and your birth partner for labour. We laughed off these comments, and pretended not to notice the eyebrow raises because from the moment we stepped through the door of our course we firmly believed in it.
WHAT HYPNOBIRTHING IS NOT
Firstly, A LOT of people assume hypnobirthing is happy clappy, everyone dancing around in a trance whilst waving wind chimes around. And, I kind of get it. The name itself is misleading and it’s a totally normal response to be cynical of something we know nothing about. Add to this the fact that the vast majority of us have grown up believing birth is scary and dangerous and something we have to ‘cope’ with and ‘get through’ in order to have our babies, and of course the idea of hypnobirthing is going to get some laughs.
Hypnobirthing is NOT stage hypnosis. No one can be made to do something they don’t want to do and I certainly don’t put anyone into any kind of trance and make them cluck like a chicken during my course.
Hypnobirthing also isn’t a method of pain relief. Many antenatal classes list hypnobirthing amongst the pain relief options. But it isn’t. To say it is a method of pain relief implies there will be pain to relieve. And while, of course, we don’t ever promise you a pain free birth, hypnobirthing can definitely make it a more comfortable birth. Pain is incredibly subjective and is simply a perception of a sensation. Your idea of pain is entirely different to mine. And so no, birth isn’t always pain free. But it can definitely be comfortable.
SO WHAT IS HYPNOBIRTHING?
Hypnobirthing is simply the use of words. It uses techniques from hypnotherapy (hence the word hypno in its name) to replace negative thoughts we hold about birth with positive ones. It is about how powerful the mind is and how this can affect how we birth our babies.
Hypnobirthing also teaches you how to relax so that during labour you are calm and comfortable, allowing the correct hormones to get to work and enabling birth to be as efficient and comfortable as possible.
Hypnobirthing is also incredibly logical. It teaches you about what is actually happening to your body during labour. On my course, we talk about the uterus and the cervix and demonstrate (through the use of videos and props) the action that takes place whilst we are in labour. Once you know the ‘science’ behind it, it becomes much less scary. It’s simply two muscles working together to allow your baby to be born.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE HYPNOBIRTHING?
Because everyone should! Seriously though, on my hypnobirthing course you will get a FULL ANTENATAL education. You will learn all about the physiology of birth, how the mind works, why the mind is so powerful, the techniques to calm our minds so we can birth better. You will be empowered to make decisions that are right for you, your confidence and self belief will grow, and you will be learning everything you would at any other antenatal class plus lots of amazing extras.
Obviously, as a hypnobirthing teacher I believe everyone should do the course to prepare themselves. And you might be thinking, well of course she’d say that! And you’re right. But before I became a teacher I was a pregnant woman just like you are. I was a bit sceptical at first too, but I was also scared of giving birth and wanted so desperately to have a positive experience. I had two amazing births using hypnobirthing (you can read my birth stories here) and have seen many friends go on to have similar experiences using hypnobirthing too. This is why I wanted to become a hypnobirthing teacher. To impart this knowledge and give other women the chance to have a positive experience.
Find out more about the courses I offer here.