How does Hypnobirthing work?

The science behind hypnobirthing

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If I had a pound for everytime someone had used the one 'woo woo' to describe Hypnobirthing, I'd be incredibly rich. I totally get it though- my vision of hypnobirthing before I really knew what it was, was that you would be joined at birth with a woman in a floating dress, banging a gong and chanting at you. How wrong I was!

Education for me is a catalyst to change, empowerment and being able to have a voice. My passion is to learn, investigate and study evidence-based research.  So it was a huge surprise in the early days for me to learn that hypnobirthing is based on neuro-science, the physiology of birth and a large component is actually antenatal education. 

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Not many people actually really know what hypnobirthing is and I don't think it's name does it any favours. It conjures up ' being out of control', 'being hypnotised', 'vagina whispering'. None of which, thankfully are true. The irony is that through the use of hypnobirthing, women are far more empowered, than if they hadn't used it. 

It's actually about using self-hypnosis, where the birthing person is totally in control of the situation and is better prepared to navigate their birth. It is a technique that allows you to learn about the powerful connection between the mind and the body- which we already know is used by olympic athletes and successful, well-known individuals. 

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How does hypnobirthing work?

As human -beings we were built to reproduce and to survive. The moment we suspect our safety might be compromised, our reaction is to panic. Our limbic system tries to protect us if it fears that we are in danger and releases a stress hormone which triggers our 'Fight, Flight or Freeze' response. This will then trigger a physical response, such as sweaty palms, increase in heart rate and tension in the body. This leads to a more painful experience, labour slowing and even stopping. 

We want to train the mind to work with the body and optimise production of all the positive birth hormones that we need, such as oxytocin. Many people have preconceived ideas about birth, either culturally or through other people's or their own negative experience. Hypnobirthing helps to rewire negative perceptions of birth through understanding the relationship of the mind and the body.  

 

  • Imagine spending over 10 hours learning about your pregnancy and birth. Discussing all of your concerns that you may not have had time to discuss with your midwife.

  • Learning exactly what will happen to your body and what you can do to make sure baby is in an optimal position.

  • That you're implementing positive things that are going to potentially allow for a calmer, shorter and more positive birth.

  • Learning the physiology of birth and understanding neuroscience.  

  • A hypnobirthing toolkit of techniques, approaches and resources to use during your labour which will benefit you and your baby.  

  • Different hypnobirthing strategies to use for early labour, home birth, the drive to the hospital and when you arrive. 

The secret tools to hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing Toolkit

  • How to use affirmations for birth

  • Relaxation tracks to calm and focus your mind

  • Visualisations

  • Breathing

  • Fear release exercises

  • Optimal Labour positions

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Who will hypnobirthing benefit?

  • Someone who likes to be in control

  • Someone who is used to planning

  • Someone who likes to be educated 

  • Someone who values birth and the experience

  • Someone who fears birth

  • Someone who struggles with anxiety

  • Someone who has a previous negative birth experience

  • Someone who has experienced a traumatic past event.

  • The birth partner

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You will learn so much about your choices and be able to advocate for yourself and your partner. Birth may show you a curve ball and we will discuss and  what this looks like and how you will be able to respond, so that you are still able to achieve a positive birth. I will always start by telling you that there is no such thing as a perfect birth but there are absolutely so many techniques you can practice, information you can learn and resources you can use to make sure your experience will be so much better than without hypnobirthing

Why can't I just read a book on hypnobirthing?

So you absolutely can and this will definitely benefit you but it is also really important to be able to practice the techniques with an instructor - you really do need to put the work in. Each pregnancy is also very different and by investing in an instructor you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that are specific to your pregnancy and birth. How many times have we started a course online or signed up to something and then not completed it? Doing a course with a fully qualified instructor will not only offer you personal support but will help to make you accountable for doing the work and preparation that is needed for birth.

Is Hypnobirthing worth paying for?

As someone who didn't prepare for births and experienced shock, a traumatic birth, postnatal anxiety and post traumatic stress. I would do anything to rewind that time. To Ensure that `I was doing everything possible to make sure I was starting from the most positive position as a parent. To be in control, educated and equipped and to have a birth story I was grateful for. If you value wellbeing, your emotional experience - hypnobirthing is certainly for you. 

Hypnobirthing Beyond Birth

  • Postnatal wellbeing- remaining calm and mindful navigating the challenges of having a baby

  • Job Interviews

  • Overcoming stressful experiences

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