Below are a sample of some of the most frequently asked questions that I receive. If there is anything else you would like to know though, please do not hesitate to contact me.
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is based on the belief that, when your natural birthing instincts are allowed to play out, you can have a comfortable, calm and gentle birthing. By using special breathing techniques, deep relaxation and visualisations you can become empowered and confident in trusting that your body and your baby know how to birth intuitively. A Hypnobirthing course also includes optimal birth positions, physiology of birth, compiling birth preferences, confidently communicating with care providers and natural methods to encourage labour.
What are the benefits of Hypnobirthing?
Who is Hypnobirthing suitable for?
Hypnobirthing is suitable for anyone who simply want a calm, gentle and easier birthing experience for themselves and their baby:
There is no single type of person that Hypnobirthing is more suitable for. You do not have to have used relaxation, visualisation or self-hypnosis techniques before and you do not have to be planning a drug free or vaginal birth.
Hypnobirthing is suitable for any type of birth environment whether it be at home, in a stand alone or alongside midwife led unit or in a consultant led unit or hospital.
Are you actually hypnotised when using Hypnobirthing?
Hypnosis is a means of inducing a level of consciousness that is characterised by relaxation. It is assisting you into a relaxed state preparing you to achieve a chosen or desired outcome (in this case a calm and easy birth). Being ‘hypnotised’ is simply being assisted into a state of hypnosis. Unfortunately we usually associate the word ‘hypnotised’ with TV or stage hypnosis meant purely for entertainment.
Hypnosis in Hypnobirthing is where, as your practitioner, I will give you the tools to enable you to achieve a state of deep relaxation and focus in order to harness your inner strength and release any fears, anxieties or negative emotions you might have so that you can achieve a calm, easy and comfortable birth.
Does Hypnobirthing guarantee a pain free birth?
No, taking a Hypnobirthing course will not guarantee a particular path that your birth will take as it is dependent on a number of other factors, particularly the amount of practise you put in outside of the course itself. Other specific circumstances may arise which cannot be controlled.
Hypnobirthing Mums frequently require no pain relief and they experience pressure rather than pain, and others only require something mild like gas and air. Hypnobirthing Mums state that the techniques they learnt really helped even if they were induced or required a Caesarean.
Do I need to do a full course or can I learn Hypnobirthing from a book at home?
If the only option open to you is to read a Hypnobirthing book then do it as you will undoubtedly gain huge benefits compared to doing nothing. I would, however, highly recommend doing a full course as there are additional benefits you just wouldn’t get otherwise:
When is best to start a course?
The most optimum time to start a Hypnobirthing course is between 24 and 30 weeks but the time you start is a very personal decision. You may prefer to start earlier to give you more time before the birth to practise and embed the techniques and skills into your daily routine. You may prefer to start later so the course content remains fresh, the birth feels more imminent and you are more in tune with what your pregnancy is leading to.
What does a course include?
The full Hypnobirthing course is comprised of 5 weekly sessions, each lasting around 2 and a half hours. This is the same whether you take a private or group course. The reason the course is spread out over 5 weekly sessions is to allow time for reflection on issues that may arise during the sessions, time to practise the techniques that are learnt, and time to generate questions and find out the answers. Flexibility can be discussed where time is a factor, such as if you are very late on in your pregnancy.
You and your birth companion will receive resources throughout the course, including the accompanying Hypnobirthing book and the accompanying CD. Doing a course also includes any support you may need up until the birth; additional questions answered, continued guidance in particular technique, specialist sessions focused on particular circumstances or just a chat and a catch up!
Do I need to do any other antenatal courses as well as Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal course comprising all the major elements associated with pregnancy and birth that you would cover in an alternative course. The areas not covered in Hypnobirthing, which may feature in other antenatal courses, are those associated with baby care after the birth.
What is a birth companion?
A birth companion is anyone that you choose to have present with you at the birth of your baby. This could be a partner/spouse, a parent or other family member, a close friend or a professional birth companion, also known as a doula. Anyone can be your birth companion as long as you feel safe and confident with them and they understand in advance how best they can support you.
Does my birth companion have to attend the sessions?
In Hypnobirthing the role of the birth companion is incredibly important and so they are integral to what is covered in a course. It is important that they understand the philosophy of Hypnobirthing and know about the techniques so they can be the best support for you. If your birth companion cannot attend all the classes in a course, or you would like to involve a second birth companion, please get in touch to discuss the best approach.
In Hypnobirthing, what will my birth companion need to do?
Your birth companion is an integral part of a HypnoBirth as they will act as your advocate by protecting your space, defending your birth preferences and supporting you in accessing deeper levels of relaxation. Your birth companion should be there for you in whatever capacity you want, but the key to this is preparation and communication between you. A birth companion may be present for practical support (helping with position changes, fetching clothing/snacks, setting up the birth environment) and emotional support, or they may guide you through breathing techniques, read scripts to deepen your relaxation, recite affirmations and encourage the use of visualisation.
It is important that your birth companion is actively involved in the practice of Hypnobirthing techniques so that you are both at ease with all the tools you may wish to use during the birth. This practice will ordinarily be alongside you rather than on their own but they may wish to do their own reading or their own ‘revision’ of scripts and techniques to build their confidence when using them.
Try to ensure that your birth companion has had the opportunity to ask you questions and be open to listening to their concerns or queries. Remind them that their presence and involvement is incredibly important to you and reassure them that there is no pressure on them to be anything other than themselves.
Can I HypnoBirth without a birth companion?
The Hypnobirthing course assumes the presence of a birth companion but a positive, calm and satisfying HypnoBirth is definitely possible without having a birth companion. You can still benefit greatly from completing a course alone and you are welcome to do so. Hypnobirthing is based on having complete faith in the ability of your body and your baby to work together, you may be more than able to reinforce this deep sense of strength and faith in nature’s design for yourself. In order to practise scripts, utilise spoken affirmations and be guided into deeper levels of relaxation you may need to use alternative strategies such as recording someone speaking scripts/affirmations for you to listen to and using audio versions of relaxation material. Ensure you have produced a thorough birth preferences document so your care providers need to ask fewer questions and try to meet the midwives who are likely to be at your birth beforehand.
If your circumstances are such that there is no one (family or friends) you wish to have present at the birth, but you would still like to have someone to support you, who you have met in advance and have built a level of trust with, then you may wish to consider using a doula (doula.org.uk).