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What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a complete childbirth education program. Hypnobirthing teaches you to enter a totally relaxed state and allows you to experience the contractions of childbirth as pressure or tightening rather than pain. Because of this distinction we call contractions ~ surges. Hypnobirthing's philosophy believes that birth doesn't have to hurt, muscles doing their job properly do not hurt and the uterus is just one giant muscle, therefore a laboring woman shouldn't feel pain, the cause is psychological rather than physiological.

How Can the Pain of Labor Be Psychological?
Fear stimulates the production of adrenaline, adrenaline causes the uterus to tense and blood to flow to the extremities leaving the uterus with insufficient oxygen, this in turn causes the pain commonly felt during a contraction. To remove fear is to remove pain. In HypnoBirthing you will be taught to experience a “surge” rather than a contraction, you will be working with nature, not against it, in a calm and fearless state of mind.

Can Anybody Do It?
Yes! With time, patience and practice Hypnobirthing will work for anyone. Some may find they are more susceptible and may find that the effects are much stronger for them, but Hypnobirthing can benefit anyone!

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis a naturally induced state of relaxed concentration-a state of mind and body in which we communicate suggestions to our subconscious mind. This part of our mind influences what we think, how we feel, and the choices we make.

There is no magic to achieving success with self-hypnosis. Almost anyone who chooses to can reach deep relaxation and redirected focus.

Will I Still be In Control?
Yes! Lots of people worry that Hypnobirthing will be similar to stage hypnosis or that seen on TV where people are made to impersonate chickens and the like. The fact of the matter is, with Hypnobirthing you are in complete control, nobody can make you do anything you do not want to do and you will remain lucid throughout the whole of your birth experience, just very very calm.

What if I have a medically necessary induction or cesarean Section – Will it Still Benefit Me?
Yes! Hypnobirthing isn't just about natural, drug-
free, vaginal births, it can be used for any type of birth experience! It is wonderful at helping prepare you for the birth itself, but the benefits do not end there. Hypnobirthing can help you experience a happier, more relaxed pregnancy, will help with bonding with the baby, with breastfeeding and with life after the birth.

When Should I Start?
Ideally you should start as soon as possible, often 28wks is the recommended start time, but you can start sooner or later, the sooner you start the longer you have to practice.

Does My Partner Have to Come Too?
Ideally your partner will come with you, Hypnobirthing is designed to be taught to couples, this could also be a female friend or relative though.

If I Learn Hypnobirthing Am I Guaranteed a Pain Free Labor?

65-70% of Hypnobirthing moms give birth with no need for pain relief at all. A further 20-25% only use milder forms of pain relief. One thing is for sure though, even if you do require some form of pharmaceutical pain relief, your birth will definitely be calmer and more positive!

Hypnobirthing main page

Adapted from  with permission from  Sarah Ockwell-Smith, HBCE