Trish Christy
Written by Trish Christy

Hypnobirthing combines hypnosis with relaxation and breathing techniques to bring about relatively pain free childbirth. The mum-to-be will attend 4 or 5 sessions during the last trimester together with a birthing partner. This could be her husband or partner, or it may be a friend or relative who is committed to being with her during the birth. These sessions take about an hour and can be private, or can be done in groups of up to 6 couples. They would ideally be spaced about a week apart.

Who can benefit from Hypnobirthing?

All pregnant women can benefit from hypnobirthing techniques, whether it is your first or your tenth baby. Even those who are having caesarean births can benefit from hypnobirthing. A relaxed, happy mum will produce a relaxed, happy baby. Hypnobirthing can reduce the duration of the labour as the birth happens naturally, allowing the mother to bond easily with her baby. The baby is more likely to be calm and free from stress, and the likelihood of post natal depression may be reduced.

What will you learn in the Hypnobirthing sessions?

You will learn relaxation techniques, which allow you to relax far more than you ever thought possible. These techniques can be used during pregnancy and of course during labour. You will also learn breathing techniques for the labour that enable you to ‘breathe’ the baby out rather than pushing it out.

We will discuss positions that the baby may adopt in the womb, as well as suitable positions for the mum-to-be to adopt during pregnancy and labour. We also cover terms that may be used by the midwife, and make birthing plans and lists of what to take with you to the hospital. The benefits of a good diet and suitable exercise will also be discussed.
Having a birth partner present at the hypnobirthing sessions means that there will be someone present at the birth who can remind the mum-to-be of the breathing and relaxation techniques, and help her with self hypnosis during the birth.

Why use hypnosis?

Hypnosis is used to remove any fear of the birth and to prepare your mind for the arrival of your baby. It is very common for well-meaning friends and relatives to tell you stories of painful births, which are often greatly exaggerated and create unnecessary fear and tension in the mum-to-be. This fear causes her muscles to tighten, making the birth more difficult. If there is no fear, there will be no tension.

In addition, you will be taught in hypnosis how to numb parts of your body, which is not only useful in itself at the time of the birth, but it shows you the tremendous power of your mind, making you realise that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Hypnosis can also be used in cases where the baby is not lying in the most advantageous position, to encourage the baby to move in preparation for the birth.