What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a range of techniques taught via interactive classes, from audios and books, which enable those who have learnt about breathing, visualisation and how to make choices in maternity care, to achieve a more relaxing and empowering birth.  

The key to achieving this is the work you will do during learning hypnobirthing to release fear, stress and worry, which will enable your body to work efficiently and comfortably. 

The media’s portrayal of birth 

In modern society we are exposed to multiple messages through many media outlets about birth. Most of these are depicting traumatic and frightening images, as drama attracts more viewers/readers/clicks. This can trigger worry and anxiety for couples birthing their babies, as this message has been sent to them from an early age that birth is not normal and enjoyable, but scary and an experience which they will be lucky to come out of the other end unscathed.   

The importance of hormones during labour 

The hormone oxytocinwhich is also responsible for us falling in love, needs to be produced in the right amount for the labour and birth of your baby to go smoothly. Anxieties and tensions inhibit your labouring hormones from working how they should, by producing adrenaline, which in turn, slows or stops your labour, as when you don’t feel safe, your body interprets this as a dangerous time to give birth. Producing optimal levels of oxytocin will not only help you to have an easier birth, it helps you to bond with your baby and promotes breastfeeding. 

How hypnobirthing works 

Women and their partners who have learnt hypnobirthing techniques report that these have been invaluable for helping them during labour and birth, as well as empowering them to navigate the maternity system. 

Hypnobirthing is not just for women wanting to have a natural drug free birth but can be utilised by all women to help them feel in control and to help to reduce anxieties and tensions surrounding labour and birth.  

Releasing fear, with the practical techniques of breathing, visualisations and relaxation are key to learning how hypnobirthing can work well for you. 

There are books and CDs available, but the best way to learn is through interactive face to face classes, which are now available in many areas of the UK. 

How can hypnobirthing help me? 

  • Hypnobirthing enables you to train your mind to focus and allow your body to labour without the tension and anxiety created by overthinking normal physiological processes. 
  • It gives you audios to listen to, which enable you to practice using breathing and visualisations to help you to focus and learn how to calm your mind during labour and birth. 
  • Hypnobirthing techniques can be used when your labour and birth doesn’t necessarily follow the pathway you thought it would. It can enable you to remain calm and in control for decision making and procedures that previously you may have imagined to be frightening. 
  • Hypnobirthing techniques can enable your body to relax much more easily. By learning how to switch off the thinking part of your brain and zone out, your body can labour more effectively. 
  • Classes can empower you to navigate an often complicated maternity system, so you and your partner can make the best choices that are personalised for your own unique situation. 
  • Techniques that you learn can be used during the postnatal period, as well as for other scenarios in life when you need to be assertive but to remain calm. 

One of the best and most effective Hypnobirthing courses available in the UK is KGHypnobirthing. In fact, all the midwives at My Expert Midwife are qualified KGHypnobirthing teachers. If you are interested in finding out more, please follow this link

Here are some of the things the women say about their births after attending KGHypnobirthing courses: 

“We did an intensive one-to-one course at my home when I was 39 weeks (I stumbled across HypnoBirthing at the 11th hour literally but was still adamant that it would be beneficial to me) & the birth experience that followed has completely changed my life in an amazing way.” 

I have to say, and from the bottom of my heart, that even just the one session of hypno birthing and listening to the CD in the week before, helped immensely. We went to the hospital after the waters broke as surges had not began and they sent us home. I went into my “hypno zone” as Mike calls it, breathing, being in touch with my body and letting it do what it knows how to do and just helping it along. 4 hours later when we were back in hospital, the midwife couldn’t believe that I was fully dilated and ready to push! 

Blake was born and on the breast just over 9 hours after my waters broke. No pain relief apart from a tens machine in early labour. Not even gas and air!! 

(apart from the few small stitches I needed)! 

So, we wanted to say thank you. What an amazing, lucid experience!”  

“I felt amazing especially when I was told I had reached 8cm. What really helped was understanding what my body had been trying to do through the surges- it was easier to ‘welcome’ rather than dread the surges and know that each one was one less that I’d have to do and brought our baby nearer to us”. 

 

Summary 

In summary, hypnobirthing is not just about trying to have an unmedicated birth, it is about reclaiming control around the choices you have for your pregnancy, labour and birth. Hypnobirthing can provide you with the tools to help you have a calm and more comfortable pregnancy and labour, so you can look forward to your baby’s birth being a positive one.

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