Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Birth Partner do?
The Birth Partner is an integral part of the Hypnobirthing experience and practices with the mum during classes and at home.
During labour they guide the labouring mother through hypnosis prompts, relaxation techniques, deepening methods, and visualizations, provide comfort measures, and joins in welcoming the new baby.
The Birth Partner can be the father or a sister, mother, a doula or a good friend and although they play an important role it is also possible to do Hypnobirthing without one, however I would advise you to have someone with you if you can.
How do your Hypnobirthing classes differ from other antenatal classes?
It depends on the class but in general unlike other childbirth methods that teach you how to cope with and manage pain, Hypnobirthing is based on the belief that childbirth does not necessarily need to be unbearably painful if the mum is properly prepared and relaxed.
When women understand how their bodies are perfectly designed to give birth and that they will naturally release all the drugs needed - they are able to release fear and change their expectations of long, painful labours into calm, positive and empowering ones.
My classes also recognise that birth is an emotional and spiritual journey as well as a physical one and they prepare couples to enjoy their pregnancies and birth in more conscious ways.
What kind of techniques will I learn through attending Hypnobirthing classes?
We focus on breathing, relaxation, affirmations, visualization and self-hypnosis. Parents come away from the classes with a toolbox of techniques that they can call upon during labour and birth. All of them are designed to enable mum to enter a state of deep relaxation, to maximize the release of endorphins and oxytocin and to assist all the normal and natural functions of the body during birth.
Hypnobirthing is more than just a collection of techniques though; it's as much a philosophy of birth as it is a method of birthing. During the classes we focus not just on the techniques but a couples beliefs and fears about birthing and parenting with the aim of replacing old limiting thoughts and beliefs with positive and empowering ones.
Will I learn any other birthing techniques as well as Hypnobirthing?
Absolutely yes! I will be sharing with you all the skills and knowledge I have learnt over the years of teaching hypnobirthing classes and working as a doula. Including different positions for birth, the importance of baby positioning, rebozo techniques, counter pressure, massage techniques, acupressure, tapping and much much more…
Is it true that I will experience a pain-free birth with Hypnobirthing?
I wish I could, but I'm afraid I can’t promise a painless birth. Some Hypnobirthing mums do report having a relatively pain-free birth though and many more say that they were able to manage it more easily. Some even describe their births as ecstatic or even orgasmic - yes you read that right!
Will Hypnobirthing be useful to me if I don't opt for a natural childbirth or if I need intervention or a surgical birth?
Absolutely! The things you will learn in your Hypnobirthing classes will help you to learn relaxation skills that will be useful to both you and your baby, regardless of your birth experience.
In fact the benefits of Hypnobirthing start way before the birth. Your baby feels everything that you do and so by being relaxed and calm throughout your pregnancy you are giving your baby a wonderful environment to grow in both physically and emotionally.
If medical intervention of any sort is needed, you will find yourself better able to remain calm and in control and to make informed decisions that are right for your circumstances. Mums who have needed caesareans for medical reasons report that they were totally relaxed before, during and after the procedure and many report that they needed little or no medication following the birth, and they were able to return to normal functioning in a very short period of time.
Will I be unconscious and will I remember my birth experience?
You are definitely not unconscious during self-hypnosis but you will be very deeply relaxed, you may well sleep through a lot of your labour too.
You are totally aware however and may return to a waking state or choose to get up and move around whenever you desire.
Hypnobirthing mums often find that they are not distracted by other people or their birthing environment, while they focus on their birth and their baby and they can experience time distortion where time seems much shorter than it is.
How much at-home practice in addition to the classes is recommended for optimal results?
It depends on when the classes are started. An ideal time to start them would be 26 – 30 weeks. If this was the case, at least 1 hour of daily practice for mum and a couple of hours a week as a couple would be a good start.
If you do the classes later then you would need to put more time in each day as you are doing it over a shorter amount of time.
Your home practice is absolutely crucial to the success of the techniques being effective on the day. The more practice you do the more natural and automatic it will become and the more effective it will be on the day.
What are the advantages of going down this path as opposed to other antenatal class options?
Statistically, women who use Hypnobirthing tend to have shorter and more comfortable labours and births. They have less need for inductions and interventions, including episiotomy, medication or surgical birth. They use fewer drugs or no drugs at all, which means less risk of side effects on mother and baby.
They are usually more awake and energized and they have a more satisfying experience with faster recovery rates. It also has great benefits for babies including a confident and relaxed mother, a calm and relaxed pre natal period, a calmer birth with less trauma, higher levels of alertness at birth and the ability to sleep and nurse well due to fewer drugs in their systems.
And dads get lots out of it too. They feel confident about their role and ability to help mum stay relaxed. They are involved in the preparation and play an integral part in the experience, which help enhance bonding with their baby.
What if my doctor/midwife is not familiar with Hypnobirthing?
Can I still use this method?
If your caregiver is not knowledgeable about Hypnobirthing you will need to discuss the techniques you will be using and the type of calm birthing environment that you desire. I suggest you do this early on in your pregnancy to ensure that your Dr and hospital is supportive of your choices.
During class, you will learn how to create your Birth Preferences, which will help you to communicate your birthing wishes to your doctor or midwife in more detail.
If you ever feel that your doctor or hospital is not supportive of your choices I would suggest you find one that is and I can help guide you if you wish.