Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal programme which teaches mums and dads the physiology of a woman’s body during labour and childbirth, the relationship between the mind and body an how to apply relaxation techniques using self-hypnosis. It enables a woman to work with her body, which is naturally designed to give birth and to replace fear with a calm confidence.
When calm, her body produces the hormone oxytocin, which helps her uterine muscles work more effectively and efficiently. Oxytocin triggers the production of endorphins, which are often referred to as nature’s pain relief, so the body is perfectly designed to give birth efficiently and comfortably; the perfect system is already in place.
It promotes a more natural birth with less need for medical intervention (as and where appropriate) which is empowering for both mother and father in helping them make informed decisions throughout labour.
Hypnobirthing aims to create a calm and peaceful environment for welcoming a new baby into the world and is therefore beneficial for mummy, daddy and baby too. The essence of hypnobirthing is to do with mindset, where the mind goes the body follows. The two are so closely linked which is why hypnobirthing is so effective as we tap into the subconscious brain to help release any fears associated with childbirth.
This is where it differs from other antenatal programmes. When our thoughts are positive, the body responds really well. It’s not so much about having the perfect birth since we don’t know how each labour will progress but it’s about how you feel about it. It’s a powerful set of techniques, which alongside the in-depth information about the physical process of labour enables a woman to have a sense of control of her birth experience. How you feel about your birth experience matters and hypnobirthing provides you with techniques which will have a positive impact. This is backed up by the science of what happens to our bodies when we experience either negative or positive emotions both during labour and in general. I’m so passionate about helping women to realise just how amazing and strong they are when they have a baby!
Hypnosis is a natural state of mind between being awake and asleep which we all experience on a daily basis. An example is when you drive your car to the shop and when you get there you can’t really remember the journey because your mind was elsewhere! You’ve still been aware but your subconscious has taken care of the skills needed for driving and has allowed you to think of other things. I guide you to learn how to practice self-hypnosis by using scripts which use visualisations to essentially “talk” more directly to the subconscious. It’s really relaxing!
I usually suggest that couples do the workshop between 20-30 weeks as this gives plenty of time for practising the techniques. Practice really makes a difference as the subconscious needs lots of repetition as it doesn’t respond in the same way as our conscious “logical” brain. This is why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive messages, especially in relation to childbirth. The subconscious will believe the thoughts you have if they are repeated consistently.
This is why hypnosis is so effective in the treatment of habits and fears. The subconscious is a primal protective system, it’s like an alarm which is set off if we feel threatened in any way. All of life’s experiences are stored there. That’s why we can’t recall everything, it’s like a filing system. As soon as it perceives a threat, whether real or imagined, the alarm goes off and the body goes into freeze-fight-flight. This fear response is called the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenalin is released as the body prepares to take action. It’s a super effective system which humans evolved to protect them from threatening situations. It’s incredibly useful and almost instant, in fact sometimes it feels like we react before we have had the thought!
Unfortunately, the other side to this is that it can overreact to situations, even if there is no immediate peril. Fortunately, us clever humans have found ways to access the subconscious and change the messages it believes, if they are not serving a useful purpose.
The hypnobirthing workshops are aimed at women who want to take a deep-dive into how the mind and body work together in childbirth and learn how to apply the techniques to support them in whichever way they choose to birth their baby.
It’s an amazing course, and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it’s changed my life! It helped me immensely when I had Louis and has done since he was born too! And with so many mums going on to teach hypnobirthing after they have experienced it first-hand, it’s a pretty good review of how effective it is! Although you can have success by learning hypnobirthing yourself, I believe you will get the best out of it by having someone to guide you through it. I thought I could do it by myself in my first pregnancy but I discovered that I didn’t really invest myself mentally in it. I didn’t commit to really understanding it and I didn’t have anyone to talk to about the questions I had. I knew I wasn’t going to let that happen the second time round and I’m incredibly grateful that I followed my instinct to do the course.
You can find out more and read Louis’s birth story here.
So hopefully you know have a better understanding of what hypnobirthing can do for you. If you come along to my workshops you will receive a parent handbook, a KG hypnobirthing book, hypnosis MP3 for listening to at home and ongoing support following the class. I want to make sure that you get the most out of your hypnobirthing experience so I will be available to answer your questions, point you in the right direction or chat if you need someone to listen.
It’s a decision you will always be thankful that you took!