If you’re pregnant, you might be considering hypnobirthing – or perhaps you’ve heard of it, but you’re not quite sure what it is! Some hospitals in the UK say 25% of women who give birth there have done a hypnobirthing course, and the numbers are rising.
“Hypnosis puts you into a relaxed state and can take away fears,” says practitioner Katharine Graves. “Relaxation also encourages the production of your body’s natural painkillers.” We’ve got some great tips from experts here which explain a bit about it, and might help you decide whether to go for it, or not! Hypnobirthing can give you a more positive birth experience “Hypnobirthing is a set of tools, techniques and from a Calm Birth School perspective, an attitude towards birth, that empowers mums and dads during their birth preparation, so they are able to create positive birth experiences.
We teach Mum, how to stay in a deeply relaxed state whilst she is birthing, so she works with her body, as opposed to against it, with the use of breathing techniques, visualisations and probably most importantly the facts and the science behind the birthing body,” says Hollie de Cruz from The Calm Birth School.
Your partner can get involved too “So many women will say that their partner was such a major part in their success with hypnobirthing. It is actually the complete opposite … in that dads are so much more involved because they learn the techniques along side mum and are able to help maintain the state of relaxation that she needs,” says Dany Griffiths from The Wise Hippo.
It can help you tackle your birth fears “Hypnobirthing teaches you to explore fears that may come up during the birth; this means that you are able to see them for what they are, and your partner is able to support you in the right way when or if they do arise. This is crucial when it comes to homebirth as often it’s moments such as these that can turn into a transfer,” says Sophie Fletcher, author of Mindful Hypobirthing.
It can help you stay open-minded about your labour “In hypnobirthing they say to be “prepared to meet whatever turn your birthing may take”, remember there is no such thing as a perfect birth, just a birth that’s perfect for you – however and wherever you may be,” says parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith.
It works best if you find a local class and attend during pregnancy “With practice over a few weeks, the techniques become second nature,” says Maggie Howell, founder of Natal Hypnotherapy.
Consider it for your second or third baby, even if you feel it didn’t ‘work’ last time “I find that mums often have a very different experience second time around even having done hypnobirthing with their first child. Our focus is achieving the right birth for everyone on the day where informed decisions are made along the way. We are training more and midwives in hypnobirthing now and more are definitely becoming more familiar with the techniques,” says Tamara Cianfini from The Wise Hippo.
Have you tried hypnobirthing? What was your experience like?