For anyone who’s gone into labour thinking they knew what they were in for, the general consensus is that birth has an uncanny way of reminding you that control is a very abstract concept. But there are some ways to help you get through delivery more positively—perhaps even with less pain.
HypnoBirthing is an antenatal class that aims to equip expectant mothers with the tools to relax more, and trust your body to do what it’s been designed to do. The course teaches the central tenets of natural birth; how the body works during delivery, particularly the functioning of muscles and hormones, and how the two work together perfectly. The core of the hypnobirthing philosophy is that being relaxed means an easier birthing experience—better for baby, too. Ultimately, it’s about releasing fear of the unknown, by educating yourself on the natural miracle of birth.
As the name suggests, HypnoBirthing applies self-hypnosis techniques, such as special breathing and visualisation. You remain fully awake, and fully in control, but more focused on delivering your baby in a positive, relaxed way.
The program was designed by Marie Mongan over 17 years ago, and has gained a solid reputation both in medical professional and anecdotal spheres. Research has shown that self-hypnosis during labour is linked to reduced labour time, reduced medical intervention, and reduced postnatal depression—to name a few benefits.
For more info on HypnoBirthing, and a list of national qualified practitioners, see here.