Hypnobirthing – a few things to know

Self hypnosis during labour

Giving birth is one of the most important moments in your life. It’s a moment of joy for you both as a couple, the moment when you start a family.

However, the actual moment of birthing can be quite stressful for all parties involved. Labour is painful and, naturally, women look for ways to alleviate the pain and take the stress away.

Birth planning

During the pregnancy is recommended to create a birth plan where you can add ideas and express what you would like to happen whilst in labour.

You can look at methods of birthing, take notes of different classes you might attend (antenatal or hypnobirthing classes), made notes of where you would like to give birth and who you want to be there with you at that special moment.

The birthing plan can change as your pregnancy progresses and you can discuss this with your midwife.

Whilst creating your birth plan. You might want to start considering what pain relief methods or alternatives you would like to use.

Labour pain relief methods

  • Breathing
  • Lots of movement and change in position
  • Massage
  • Gas and air during labour
  • Injections
  • Local anaesthetic – epidural
  • Waterbirth
  • TENS machines

Alternative pain relief methods

  • Aromatherapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Reflexology

There are apps to help you during labour: breathing techniques, hypnosis, calming music.

One of the most sought after methods is hypnobirthing.

What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is an alternative method used as pain relief during childbirth.

This method takes into account the physical stress as well as the psychological aspect of birthing. It is aimed to calm and balance the general well being of the mother and the newborn. It creates a peaceful, calm and relaxing atmosphere that benefits all parties involved in this natural process.

This self-hypnosis method became known in 1989 when a hypnotherapist wrote a book related to giving birth through hypnobirthing.

It may well be a method used even in ancient times when incantations and mantras were said during child labour.

How does hypnobirthing work?

This method works by teaching your body and mind to calm and relax. Hypnobirthing uses self-hypnosis through visual imagery, affirmations and relaxation techniques and exercises. It brings you to a deep state of relaxation.

It is important to start preparing for hypnobirthing during pregnancy, training your mind to relax and relieve stress. You can attend special classed that are led by trained instructors.

You will learn how to deal with the fear and anxiety of labour, learn breathing techniques.

The good news is that there are now apps that can bring these classes in the comfort of your own home so that you can prepare for the actual childbirth on your own.

Is hypnobirthing suitable for all?

As this technique involves self-hypnosis, it is a method that can be used by any woman during labour. Most importantly, this is a very safe way to ease your pain.

It can be done at home, at a birthing centre or in the maternity delivery ward in the hospital. It’s suitable for first-time mothers, for women that have given birth before, for women that have undergone C-section or even if you decided to have an epidural.

The hypnobirthing can be used through your pregnancy to help you prepare for the actual childbirth, whilst in labour and even when breastfeeding as it relaxes the body and mind.

How to prepare for hypnobirthing?

You might want to discuss this technique with your partner and your midwife and add it into your birthing plan. Some hospitals have midwives that are trained for hypnobirthing.

Prepare for hypnobirthing by:

  • Creating a place where you can relax
  • Surround yourself with things you love and make you happy
  • Attend classes if possible
  • Play relaxing music
  • Watch Youtube videos related to this
  • Read books related to this alternative method
  • Listen to podcasts about hypnobirthing
  • Download a hypnobirthing app
  • Look for tips or reviews on hypnobirthing from other moms
  • Practice deep breathing and other breathing exercises
  • Try to meditate and visualise places that have a calming effect on yourself
  • Use powerful and soothing words to empower and induce a state of well being
  • Practice pelvic exercises

Hypnobirthing techniques

  • Breathing – is the most efficient way to relax your body. Practise deep breathing to bring a state of tranquillity.
  • Visualising – bring to your mind images that induce a state of serenity. Try to envision an easy birth and the moment you first lay your eyes on your baby.
  • Affirmations – Practice daily relaxing affirmations related to how you want your childbirth to be. Tell yourself to remain calm, unperturbed and strong. Replace the word pain with sensation training yourself for an easier childbirth.
  • Self-hypnosis – entering a state of hypnosis where you remain aware of what happens around you and you can fully participate in delivering your baby
  • Massage

Does hypnobirthing work?

As each woman is unique, there might be differences in how this experience is perceived. There are plenty of testimonials of successful hypnobirthing stories form the couples but also midwives and doctors.

The success of this method is placed on the fact that the fear of childbirth process is hugely diminished and this has a positive effect on the psychological perception of labour.

Benefits and advantages of hypnobirthing

  • Positive attitude towards childbirth
  • Relieving the stress and trauma associated with pain during labour
  • Improved breathing during contractions
  • Labour might last less
  • Natural method
  • The woman is in control of her birthing
  • Creates a healthy link with your partner
  • Reduces the need for using other pain relief methods
  • The body and mind are more relaxed
  • Helps immediate bonding with the newborn

Are there disadvantages in using hypnobirthing?

  • The cost of hypnobirthing classes (starting around £200 or $300) might be seen as an obstacle. However, there are ways to learn how to do this yourself and the cost would be reduced.
  • Not knowing if you are doing things correctly
  • Your personal experience might differ from other women’s

Hypnobirthing is a method used by women around the world with different results. As this is a natural method there is no harm in starting to gather more information about it.

Research online, read books, download hypnobirthing apps and try this for yourself.

Practising relaxation it can only help you to be prepared for this amazing experience so have a go at it and you might even decide that this is the best way to go through labour.

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