What is Hypnobirthing?

Previously, Hypnobirthing was lumped in with and got a very brief mention along with the analgesias in the antenatal education classes and was thought of as being a bit of a hippy thing to do. Deemed to be something only those who were having the “all natural birth” would seek out and practice.

Any birth can be a Hypnobirth, regardless of how and where the baby is born. If the mother is calm, feels in control, has a degree of comfort and has choices about the care she receives and what she would like to do, it can be used very successfully along side other comfort measures. Every woman is unique.

It is difficult to pinpoint what Hypnobirthing is. It is as much a philosophy for pregnancy and birth as it is a method. The techniques you learn are useful not only for the birth itself but also for the stressful times in pregnancy and early baby days when they won’t sleep and you’re figuring out how to parent and be a new family. The ability to go into a state of deep relaxation is a benefit and a life skill.

Let us not forget the baby.  Calm, confident parents will have a positive effect on their baby. This is a massive bonus.

What Hypnobirthing is not, is stage Hypnosis. I won’t be making you think you’re an animal and do daft things. You will be aware at all times that I am speaking to you and are comfortable and relaxed. 

Thanks to the like of Chris Evans discussing it on his BBC Breakfast show, it is being discussed more regularly, women are hearing more about it and more Midwives and Obstetricians are seeing the benefits. Most recently it has been getting the celebrity stamp of approval from the likes of Unmumsy Mum of Facebook, Suzanne Shaw, Giovanna Fletcher and Sandi Thom. 

Hypnobirthing has been shown to decrease:

  • Fear, anxiety and tension
  • Labour length
  • The need for other comfort measures
  • The need for medical intervention
  • Caesarean rates
  • Length of hospital stay
  • Recovery time after birth
  • Incidence of postnatal depression

Hypnobirthing has been shown to promote:

  • Comfort, confidence and a calmer pregnancy and birth
  • Informed decision making
  • A more positive relationship with the birthing team
  • Higher Apgar score
  • Ease of breastfeeding
  • Transition to parenthood
  • a more active role for the birth partner

(Swencionis et all 2012)