Imagine labour & birth, re-framed as a positive, empowering, even euphoric experience. Sound too good to be true?
That is the birth that hypnobirthing advocates claim is possible.
What is Hypnobirthing?
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Hypnobirthing is a system developed to help women through labour and birth. It involves visualisation, relaxation, massage and breathing exercises.
The aim is to identify and release the fear surrounding birth and reframe it in positive language.
For example, instead of thinking about getting through the next painful contraction, you are encouraged to focus on how each ‘surge’ or ‘wave’ brings you closer to meeting your baby.
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Busting the Myths
The term Hypnobirthing can be misleading – there is no hypnosis involved and you will be fully conscious and aware of what is happening at all times.
The method simply provides tools and techniques that you and your birthing partner can use to remain calm and focused throughout the final stages of your pregnancy, labour & birth.
Can Hypnobirthing Replace Pain Relief?
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Every birth is different, and the only person who can decide which method of pain relief is right for you is you.
Hypnobirthing techniques can be used alone or in conjunction with other pain relieving options such as a birthing pool, gas and air or epidural. The decision is 100% yours.
Some women claim to have experienced a pain-free birth using nothing but hypnobirthing techniques, though these cases are of course the exception rather than the norm.
Celebrity Mums Who Hypnobirth
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Hypnobirthing classes have grown steadily in popularity over the past decade or so, often through word of mouth from one mum to another.
Many celebrity mums have opened up about their positive experiences with hypnobirthing, including Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, Giovanna Fletcher and Fearne Cotton to name but a few. It is even rumoured that The Duchess of Cambridge practices the techniques.
How Can I Learn Hypnobirthing?
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If you are interested in finding out more, we recommend investigating what’s available in your local area. In some parts of the UK, hypnobirthing classes are offered at reduced rates or even for free on the NHS.
Many private practitioners offer classes in small groups with other couples, or as one to one sessions.
And if classes aren’t an option, there are plenty of books, DVDs and other materials available to help you go it alone.