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  • Writer's pictureClaire Norris

Is hypnobirthing for me?

Updated: May 21

Birth preparation classes

⚡It's not really my type of thing.
⚡I'd never be able to relax.
⚡I'm just going to go with the flow.
⚡It's not realistic, I just want the drugs anyway.
⚡It probably won't work.
⚡It's not worth the money.
⚡I'll feel silly doing hypnosis in the labour ward.

I've heard all this and more, and I said them all myself back in the days before I tried it.

Back in 2011 when I was introduced to Hypnobirthing, I believed all of the above.

You may be wondering, like I did, - is hypnobirthing for me? Is is airy fairy bull? Will it be a waste of money?

If you're thinking it won't help, that's because most people's focus is on whether it'll stop pain, make birth easy, or keep them in a trance at all times during labour.

Birth preparation classes
So what's the deal with Hypnobirthing?

Don't let the title put you off - Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal education course covering practical techniques to help you through labour. It is very much NOT just a fancy way to breathe baby out, it is NOT putting yourself into a trance listening to whale music and hoping to feel no pain. It is NOT aiming for the perfect birth. It is NOT just for easy low intervention birth.

So what is it then?

It is about changing your mindset. It is about feeling calmer, more in control, confident.

Maybe you're already feeling pretty ok about birth: that's fine you don't have to be terrified before you turn to hypnobirthing..
I get plenty of parents in my class who are feeling absolutely smashing about birth; confident and calm already - hypnosis skills will enhance that and give them a focus. It will give the birth partners a role. Even if the partners are already feeling confident - it will give them practical skills to apply on the day to keep everything on track.

So what else will you actually GAIN from Hypnobirthing?

✴️You'll gain many different options to use on the day and beyond to navigate the hard work of labour and birth.

✴️You'll gain mindset skills for the whole parenting journey for years to come.

✴️You'll gain practical comfort techniques.

✴️You'll gain mind calm skills, relaxation, and breathing.

✴️You'll gain effective ways to deal with fear - we don't pretend you won't be scared at times but we show you how to deal with it.

✴️You'll feel empowered, informed and able to work with whatever labour and birth bring on the day It's really my much more than that - it's a complete antenatal education program giving you knowledge and info into birth. It is a way of enhancing your communication skills to negotiate your care - so you become part of the decision making process around your birth. This way you don't just feel like things are being done to you - it gives you back control and confidence. It is a complete game changer in terms of your mindset - you'll know what you want and how to work towards it. You'll go from feeling ok and winging it, to feeling prepared, ready and knowing you have lots of options to make it the best birth it can be for you.

You'll know that it won't go out the window if things don't go to plan - because you'll have a complete set of skills to deal with it. The hypnosis skills aren't just for birth either - many people still use them years later for life.

We need all the help we can get right now in this crazy world and hypnobirthing will continue to give you mind-calm, relaxation, and stress management skills long after birth.

It. It is also suitable for all births including c section. It is also flexible - if you can't do the full course we can cover just the essentials, or even a birthing power hour to give you some easy coping techniques. We can also do a specific c section course.

🌟If you'd like to feel ready, prepared and confident about birth, it's definitely your thing.
🌟It doesn't really matter if you can't normally relax - it's not all about relaxation anyway.
🌟Going with the flow is ok, but it's much better to have some way of coping and staying calm if things get tough.
🌟My course is realistic, honest and down to earth - I tell it like it is and make sure what I teach you can be used in any situation.
🌟I don't care if you still want all the drugs - the course even covers the additional pain relief options.
🌟It's not something that either works or doesn't work - it's about gaining tools and techniques to help you no matter what birth brings.
🌟It's affordable and an investment in you - do you know many parents are still using their Hypnobirthing skills long after birth, for everyday life.
🌟Not only do lots of maternity staff know what this is and welcome it- some of them even teach classes.
🌟Nobody will have to do anything silly and nobody will even know you're "doing hypnosis" in labour unless you tell them.

But what actually is it we do?

Hypnobirthing is a general term for using hypnotherapy techniques to prepare the mind and body for birth. Hypnosis is a natural state that we all go into daily - similar to daydreaming or when we are totally absorbed in a book. We are then taking this natural state of mind and using it to give ourselves a mental rehearsal of birth - we are dispelling the fears and replacing them with confidence and calm. With our conscious, analytical, thinking brains active we are less likely to take on board new suggestions that we can feel calm, confident and deal with whatever birth brings. However, during hypnosis this part of the brain takes a rest and we can speak directly to the part of the brain where the fears and doubts are - and put them in their place. It's not a case of saying we should never feel fear - rather we are teaching ourselves what to do with it!

But how do we actually do this?

This could be by listening to an MP3 recording where you'll be guided into a state of relaxation and calm, while listening to positive suggestions about birth - a bit like a mental rehearsal.
In my classes it also involves self hypnosis training - so I'll show you how to take yourself into hypnosis and how to easily calm your mind whenever you need to. This will involve breathing, relaxation, visualisation and calming techniques. Added to this, the full hypnobirthing course also involves lots of practical education about labour and birth - what to expect, how to cope with contractions etc.

Why is this useful for labour?

During labour our bodies actually benefit from being relaxed and calm - this helps to produce the beneficial hormones such as oxytocin - the one that causes contractions and helps labour to progress. Also endorphins - the feel good, calming hormone that helps to reduce pain perception. By utilising relaxation techniques we are helping to keep ourselves in the calm birth cycle - we feel capable, in control and calm - this helps the beneficial hormones do their job. We then cope better as labour progresses - we are not dreading the next contraction, we are meeting it head on and dealing with it. Reducing adrenaline in labour - the fight - flight -freeze hormone is important as this one can interfere with the beneficial labour hormones and slow things down - after all a mammal giving birth would benefit from a stalled labour to give them chance to escape the predator - this is very useful in a dangerous situation but not so good in a labour ward. By keeping adrenaline to a minimum we avoid going into the fearful birth cycle: tension - pain - fear - more tension - more adrenaline - more fear - more pain. This is often easier said than done during labour when it's long, painful or frightening. Or if we are in a strange place feeling observed, tense and tired. That's where hypnobirthing comes in. It helps you deal with all this. Hypnobirthing is really aiming to give your body the best chance of just doing what it needs to do during labour.
It's about teaching you about the science of how your body works during labour, what it needs, and how to help it. It gives you skills to calm your mind and feel more in control. This is far more effective than just trying to calm down on the day and hoping for the best. You may know that staying calm and relaxed will be better during labour - hypnobirthing shows you how.

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