What is hypnobirthing? 

It was World Hypnobirthing Day on March 21st 2022. So what is hypnobirthing, and is hypnobirthing safe? If you’re expecting a baby, read on to find out all about hypnobirthing and our new parent advice around the method.  If you’re entering your third trimester, it’s perfect timing. 

First, what is hypnobirthing? It’s about using hypnosis and related techniques to prepare yourself for labour and the delivery of your child. It’s a reliable way to ease your fears and manage pain better naturally. Hypnosis during birth, as it does at any other time, also happens to feel absolutely lovely, leaving you feeling calm, positive, renewed, and rejuvenated. 


How does hypnobirthing help mums to be?

The word hypnosis describes when someone experiences changes in sensation, perception, thought or behaviour as suggested either by the hypnotist, or during self-hypnosis. It’s an idea that does back a long way but it was formalised in 1989 thanks to a book by the hypnotherapist Marie Mongan, influenced by other believers in natural birth including Drs Jonathan Dye and Grantly Dick-Read.

Hypnobirthing involves a number of relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques designed to help mums-to-be to relax their bodies before and during labour and birth. Once your body and mind are in the completely relaxed state that hypnotism brings, the labour and birth are less painful and faster, simply because you’re not fighting it. You’re achieving the natural process of birth in a calm, positive state of mind rather than being tense and afraid. 

The zen-like mental place you find yourself in when in a hypnotic state helps you to empty your mind and breathe your way through the birth, relaxing your body, reducing pain and letting you respond the way nature intended. A powerful blend of breathing techniques, positive thoughts, positive words and guided visualisation sits at the heart of it all. 

When should you start hypnobirthing?

So hypnobirthing can make your labour shorter, result in fewer interventions, and help you manage the pain naturally. You feel more in control, your baby may have a higher Apgar score as a result, and if you’ve experienced trauma during the birth process before, it’ll calm the bad memories and allow you to cope a lot better. But when is the best time to start hypnobirthing? 

To achieve the most beneficial state of altered conscious awareness, no time is too early. Any time after your first trimester is fine. 

How long does it take to learn hypnobirthing?

How long does it take to learn the hypnobirthing technique? It depends, simply because everyone is different. If you’ve experienced hypnotherapy before, or you already practice self-hypnosis, it might take less time than average because you understand what it feels like, making the state of mind a little easier to achieve. It can take as little as two weeks, but it can also take longer. 6-8 weeks is perfectly normal.  As a rule the more you practice, the easier it’ll be to find and stay in that lovely state of mind before and during the birth. 

How do I access hypnobirthing?

As the word spreads, more companies and individual therapists are offering hypnobirthing classes, courses, and training. You can also learn online. If you have any fears or worries about labour and birth, treat yourself to hypnobirthing and feel the tension drain away. It’s a technique you can also use throughout your life whenever you start to feel stress or worry, whatever the reason. We wish you a wonderfully happy pregnancy and a super-chilled birth!  


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