Through the media, the term ‘hypnobirthing’ is becoming much more widespread. With celebrities and even the royals discussing their experience of hypnobirthing, people are beginning to wonder what all this hype is about. While it is obvious that it has something to do with birthing a baby, often people have preconceived ideas of what hypnobirthing is. From this, they deduce that it just isn’t for them. In truth, the name does not really truly represent its true value or the content of a course.
Contrary to belief, hypnobirthing is for everyone and can positively impact the journey of your birth wherever that journey takes you. It’s not just for those seeking a natural birth. But is a form of preparation that can hugely affect how you feel both during and after your birth experience
So… what is hypnobirthing?
First, let’s bust three of the most common hypnobirthing myths:
Myth 1: Hypnobirthing is ‘hippy dippy’ and will put me under a spell
The ‘hypno’ bit in ‘hypnobirthing’ is indeed referring to hypnotherapy however, you won’t be clucking around like a chicken if you do a hypnobirthing course! Hypnotherapy is primarily the use of words – words presented in a positive and more focused way to help us let go of some of the negativity we have all acquired in life. It’s about training our minds to enter a state of deep relaxation where we are completely in tune with our bodies and able to trust our instincts. We can liken this ‘hypnotic’ state of deep relaxation to that time in the morning when we’re just waking up and drifting in and out of consciousness or when we’re drifting off to sleep at night.
By practising relaxations during pregnancy, not only are you helping to reframe any negative thoughts you may have surrounding labour and birth, you are also preparing your mind for the journey you have ahead. If you have practised entering this state of deep relaxation in pregnancy, you will get there much more easily during labour. Where the mind leads, the body follows… so if you have a calm and relaxed mind, your body will be calm and relaxed too. As a result, your uterus muscles are able to work much more efficiently.
Myth 2: Hypnobirthing means I will have a natural vaginal birth
Hypnobirthing is a system of letting go and of building confidence and is done in preparation. It is a full birth education and empowers the woman to have the confidence to trust her body and her instincts and make decisions that are right for her and her baby. These informed decisions may mean accepting an intervention of some kind or even a caesarean. If your birth journey takes a different route to that which you had hoped for, hypnobirthing gives you the ability to stay in control and understand your options. It is how you feel about your birth experience that is most important.
Myth 3: Hypnobirthing guarantees me a pain-free labour and birth
Many people believe that hypnobirthing is a method of pain relief. However, hypnobirthing works on the premise that pain is not there in the first place. Through entering a state of deep relaxation, a woman is much more in tune with her body and is likely to interpret the sensations from her uterus in a different way. We all experience pain differently and while nobody can be guaranteed a pain-free labour and birth and should definitely never be promised one, hypnobirthing mothers often talk about the power and strength of their surges (contractions) during labour rather than pain. Hypnobirthing helps you to work with your body to support a more comfortable and gentle birth for you and your baby. Pain relief options are still available to you as a hypnobirthing mother and are there should you reach for them. Essentially, it’s all about building your knowledge and understanding your choices.
Hypnobirthing is a complete birthing programme which supports women and their birth partners in their preparation for labour and birth. There is a lot of science in a hypnobirthing course as we look at the way a woman is designed to give birth naturally and what actually happens during the birth process. Knowledge is power and through developing your understanding of the physiology of birth, you are more likely to have the confidence to trust your instincts. By practising relaxations you also feel positive and empowered and are more in tune with your body.
I run online taster sessions, via Zoom, every month so if you’re interested in finding out more or want to book on to a taster session or the full course, email firstname.lastname@example.org.