So, you’ve heard about hypnobirthing and wondering what the heck it is?
It’s certainly gaining in popularity with many celebs choosing to use it and members of the Royal family. As a midwife with 30 year’s experience I recommended it to every pregnant woman, why on earth wouldn’t I?!
Read on to find out more and why I rate it so highly…..
What is hypnobirthing?
A safe antenatal preparation course which teaches you (and your birth partner) simple techniques to help you remain calm, relaxed and in control during the lead up to your birth, whilst in labour, birthing your baby and looking after your newborn.
What are the benefits of hypnobirthing?
- Being able to relax yourself both in mind and body has the ability to shorten your labour and reduce the sensations of labour (pain)!
- It puts you in control and gives you the tools to ensure you feel able to make choices that are right for you and your baby.
- You will feel more in tune with your body and baby and instinctively know what you need to do during labour and giving birth.
-Your birth partner will learn how best to support you, making sure you are working as a team.
- You will learn about the birthing process and how to help yourself and your baby navigate the birthing journey.
- Hypnobirthing ‘works’ for any kind of birth – natural, induced, forceps, ventous, caesarean sections, breech, waterbirths, epidurals, twins, ‘high-risk’.
What happens in a hypnobirthing class?
Well you certainly don’t sit around in a circle crossed legged, chanting with a pocket watch swinging in front of you!
- You will learn the importance of being able to stay in control and how to send yourself into a deep state of relaxation whenever you need.
-How the mind-body connection is explored. You will learn the importance of the birthing environment and how to maximize your birthing hormones.
- Helpful techniques are learnt and practised and the importance of continuing practice at home.
- Birth partners role is looked at in depth, giving them a ‘tool-kit’ of helpful strategies so they know exactly what to do to be helpful on the day (or night).
- You will practice simple but highly effective breathing exercises.
- Partners learn a ‘light touch’ massage routine, so lovely for raising your natural endorphins (your bodies natural morphine type hormone).
- Sometimes a birth video may be shown and discussed afterwards.
- You and your partner will explore how to manage if things don’t quite go to plan.
- Your birth preferences may be discussed.
Basically, hypnobirthing is a full antenatal preparation course!
Is hypnobirthing safe?
Ah, now I get asked this question lots and the answer is absolutely yes! A woman using hypnobirthing techniques is actually in more control than one who isn’t. She is in control of when she goes into a relaxed state, how deep she goes and how long she stays there. There’s no chance of getting ‘stuck’ in hypnosis nor can anyone make you do something you don’t want to.
When should I start hypnobirthing training?
That depends on you! Some people choose to start around 20 weeks giving lots of time to practice before needed. Others prefer to wait a little longer starting in the third trimester. I think around 28 weeks is perfect as it still gives time for practice but also its ‘fresh’ in your memory. Having said that I have had clients find hypnobirthing as late as 39 weeks pregnant and still had great results!
How much does hypnobirthing cost?
This really depends on how you choose to learn it and where you live. Some NHS hospitals now offer free sessions, although they do tend to be large groups. There are some great on-line courses which are obviously cheaper than going to someone to take the course. You could read a book and download some relaxation MP3’s (probably cheapest option) or have private sessions in your own home (most expensive) or join a small group.
Should I go to hypnobirthing classes?
Think about how best you like to learn. Some people prefer interaction being able to ask questions as they pop up. Other people are happy to read a book on their own or watch videos on line. I personally feel that unless you are learning as a couple, then you’re probably not going to get the best out of it, but then again anything is better than nothing!
How do I find a hypnobirthing trainer?
I would suggest asking your community midwife first as she/he should be aware of good trainers in your area.
Facebook is really useful, post on there asking for recommendations (most of my clients come this way!)
Google is always helpful, but here are a few links to well recognised hypnobirthing websites where you can enter your postcode and then you will be given a list of trainers closest to you:
There are many more available if you search around!
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