What is HypnoBirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a complete in-depth antenatal and relaxation course. It is designed to release any fears or anxiety's you may have about birth and provides you with the tools and knowledge for a relaxed and empowering, calm and comfortable birth to give your baby the best possible start in life.
It is logical, simple, practical, very effective....... and puts YOU in control!
Is this all hippy dippy nonsense?
No! The use of hypnosis is now well recognised within the medical world. There are over 13,000 citations on the website PubMed which includes clinical research and academic papers on the use of hypnosis across all medical disciplines from oncology, to paediatrics to obstetrics. This goes back as far as 1953 when the use of Hypnosis was recommended by the British Medical Association. More recently large scale studies on the use of hypnosis in obstetrics have been funded by the NHS and other national research councils.
In other words, it’s an evidence-based practice that gets brilliant results – take a look for yourself!
Benefits of hypnobirthing, in comparison to the general birthing population:
A shorter average length of labour, in both first and subsequent births.1,2
A reduction in the rate of emergency caesareans from 15% to 4%. 4
A reduction in the use of painkillers.2,3,6,7
An increase in the occurrence of non-instrumental births (that’s the use of forceps and ventouse) from 64% to 84%. 4
A significantly higher number reporting labour to have been a pleasant experience 70% compared with 33%. 3
With all of this in mind, it’s no wonder that 96% of hypnobirthing mums were pleased with the results, would use it again, and would recommend it to other women. 5
12 hours seems a long time! Can I not do a shorter course?
Neither KGH nor Hypnobirthing Haven offer a shorter course (unless you have done a full course previously). This is because it is an in-depth and complete antenatal and relaxation education. It contains that much information it really is very difficult to shorten it. The whole course has been designed specifically to provide the most benefit to a birthing woman. KGH has worked very hard to give it the good name that it has and we as teachers are proud to be a part of it. If we were to shorten the course then we run the risk of missing out vital information/techniques (however small - after all it is not one size fits all so we teach as many techniques to cover every individual) and then clients coming back and saying things like "well I did hypnobirthing but it didn't work" which would more than likely not be the case if the full course had been done.
I’'m feeling really frightened about birth - Will this help?
Yes. It’s not surprising that the first reaction for many women when we think about labour and birth is fear and anxiety. TV, films and other media can often portray birth in a very negative, frightening or dramatic way. Whether your a first time mum or if you have had a previous traumatic experience, Hypnobirthing works because it helps calm the part of the brain that stores these anxieties as well as building confidence and trust in your body.
Is it all about having a pain-free birth? - Is that even possible?
As a Hypnobirthing teacher, I will support you to have the best possible birth experience. I absolutely do teach pain management but hypnobirthing is not about being ‘pain-free’ and it is also not opposed to drugs or pain relief when it’s wanted or needed. However, many women who do learn the techniques report less pain and being able to cope much better.
I am also considering an epidural - Is it still worth using Hypnobirthing?
Yes. For most women who use KG Hypnobirthing, they get a huge amount of benefit from the time they use it during pregnancy. Being able to legitimately take time out of your busy day to go and lie down for half an hour to "prepare for the birth" is invaluable. Also it will give you extra coping strategies to deal with the early part of labour. You may then find that you don't need an epidural or that if you do, you are able to cope brilliantly for longer. Also your baby will benefit from you using hypnobirthing in the later part of your pregnancy which helps them to stay calmer during the birth and postnatal period
Is KG Hypnobirthing credible?
Yes - the training to become a KGH practitioner is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. This means that the leading midwives in the UK agree with and endorse the content of the training programme. KG Hypnobirthing courses are now being run in several NHS hospitals around the UK as well as many midwives being trained in KGH.
Will my midwife take it seriously?
Most midwives in the UK are now aware of the use of hypnosis for labour and the majority are likely to be very supportive. Midwives joined the profession because they felt passionate about normal births and about empowering women to feel confident and in control. Now a days that is not always easy to do as a midwife on a busy labour ward, so when a woman uses hypnosis they are often delighted and really enjoy caring for them
What kind of birth can it be used for?
Absolutely any. Hypnobirthing is not just for ‘first-time mums’ or women planning homebirths. It can be used by IVF mums, twin mums, women planning a caesarean and women having inductions. Time and time again, the techniques have helped them stay calm and feel more in control. It’s also equipped them with mental strategies to cope, even if the birth takes an unexpected path.
When should I do a course?
At any time that is the most suitable for you. The sooner you learn the relaxation techniques and understand how your body works to your advantage during the birth, the sooner you will start to feel more confident. Given the choice, I would recommend doing the course in the second trimester of your pregnancy (from 12 weeks) so you can enjoy the benefits during your pregnancy as well as at the birth of your baby. It is not so much a matter of learning facts so they are fresh in your mind, but more a matter of absorbing the information so that it becomes second nature, but KGHypnobirthing works whenever you do it, it is never "too" late to start. I have supported many clients who have started the course from 35 weeks or even later and have gone on to have very positive, calm, relaxed, even enjoyable births. I have also heard reports from fellow KGH teachers of clients going in to labour the day after doing the course and it still being of huge benefit and making a big difference.
Does the father/my birth partner have to come too?
They don't, but they will be very glad if they did. Most fathers arrive at the course utterly sceptical and leave extremely enthusiastic. We don’t expect you to believe in it. Why should you? We do ask you to listen to the facts and the logic so you understand how important it is and the difference you as a father or birth companion can make.
The caricature of a father at a birth is someone who is nervous, feeling responsible for the situation she is in, holding her hand and wishing he could help, but not knowing what to do.
A hypnobirthing father is knowledgeable and able to support her as she gives birth, however that may be. He is a huge asset in the birthing room, and many mothers say, ‘I couldn’t have done it without him.’ They have practised before the birth which brings them closer together, and he knows he has played an important part in how his baby enters the world. This deepens their relationship as a couple, and his relationship with his child.
Does it cost extra for the father/birth partner to attend the course too?
Absolutely not, the course fee includes the both of you to attend.
Will Hypnobirthing still work if I come on my own?
Yes, definitely. Many women have come to the course on their own if they have a husband who works away, as a single mum, if it’s a second baby and they can’t find a babysitter for their elder child/children, or any other reason. Just remember that KG Hypnobirthing works, and you are very welcome.
And after the course, what then?
You will have my continued support until the birth of your baby. Just drop me a text or email or give me a call if you have started feeling anxious, stressed, being put under pressure or anything at all. You may just want a chat and a bit of a "refresher" if you have done the course early on and it is getting close to your estimated due date.
1. Jenkins MW Pritchard MH. Hypnosis: Practical applications and theoretical considerations in normal labour. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2005;100(3):221-226, 1993.
2. Cyna AM, McAuliffe GL, Andrew MI. Hypnosis for pain relief in labour and childbirth: a systematic review. British Journal of Anaesthesia 2004;93(4):505-511.
3. Smith CA, Collins CT, Cyna AM, Crowther CA. Complementary and alternative therapies for pain management in labour. Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003521.pub2 (accessed February 5 2016).
4. Lycett A. Hypnosis during pregnancy and birth: The science and clinical applications explained. [Lecture] Royal Society of Medicine, 2012.
5. Gallagher S. Hypnosis for childbirth: prenatal education and birth outcome. Unpublished 2001. childbirthjoy.com/Shawn_Gallagher.html (accessed 5 February 2016).
6. Harmon TM, Hynan M, Tyre TE. Improved obstetric outcomes using hypnotic analgesia and skill mastery combined with childbirth education. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 1990;58:525-530