The first question people ask me is, what is hypnobirthing? Well, firstly, hypnobirthing is not being transformed into a chicken onstage. It is a technique that combines foundation hypnosis skills with knowledge and education. And really what we’re working together to do is to un-hypnotise. That’s because so much of what we think we know about birth is wrong. We are programmed to fear it, rather than embrace it. Hypnobirthing gives you the facts about natural labour and equips you with the skills needed to make it happen…
Q. What does it involve?
A. Hypnobirthing involves learning with me across 4x 2-3hr sessions.
Within those sessions, I explain what hypnotherapy means, how birth works and what you need to do to have a calm, natural birth. What that involves is some breathing techniques, some ideas for visualisations and what we call relaxation scripts – essentially a very-chilled out story. Once you leave me, however, the work continues.
Consider your hypnobirthing practice much the same way you would your weekly workouts. You need to keep putting in the effort to welcome the reward!
Q. Does it involve weird stuff or airy- fairy stuff?
A. I’m not going to lie, there may be parts of the process that feel a little strange. For example, I’m going to ask you and your birth partner to read some relaxation scripts to each other. You may not have read out loud since school! But, as with everything, once you’ve done something once it’ll continuously get easier. And I promise to do all I can to make you feel relaxed. This is a shame fear zone. And if you burst into laughter, I really won’t mind. Hypnobirthing is grounded in science and evidence – many aspects are more reflective of a biology lesson than anything else.
Q. Why does my birth partner have to be there?
A. Birth partners are an integral part of hypnobirthing. We need them to help pregnant people feel relaxed and to make sure they are safe in labour. Yes, the person in labour will be doing almost all the work, but partners are crucial too.
If your birth partner isn’t convinced, asked them to support you by attending the first session. I promise they’ll leave it feeling excited and ready to be part of it!
Q. Why does it need to be 12 hours?
A. I want to make sure you have as much knowledge as possible to make your birth brilliant. Those 12 hours could end up being the best 12 hours you’ve ever spent learning if it means you have a positive experience at the end of it. And, there’s so much you can take from hypnobirthing that you can use in the wider world too. So it’s a gift that keeps on giving really.
Q. My hospital has restrictions because of COVID-19. Will I be able to use hypnobirthing?
A. Many hospital trusts currently have restrictions in place because of COVID-19 which are impacting whether partners can attend scans, certain parts of labour or in the post-natal ward. These restrictions are being reviewed reguarly so keep in touch with your hospital trust to understand the situation in your area. Nonetheless, many would argue that you need hypnobirthing more than ever. The brilliant thing about hypnobirthing is that it helps you focus and stay in control, regardless of what is happening around you. And, all the evidence-based information I provide you will help you feel more comfortable when making any decisions about your care. But, rest assured, midwives and all the health professionals within maternity units are doing what they can to ensure everyone feels safe and supported.
Q. It’s looking likely I’ll need a caesarean section, should I still attend?
A. A positive birth experience does not necessarily involve a vaginal birth (yep, let’s get used to saying vagina). I’ll work with you to ensure you have a calm birth, regardless of how that happens.
Plus, in talking through how birth works and your options, you might find additional avenues to discuss with your maternity team. However, I should hasten to add, I’m a hypnobirthing teacher, not a medical expert.
Q. Can you help me with any medical questions?
A. My training includes extensive understanding of the birth process, and the many options around it. But I am not medically trained so cannot answer any questions specific to your healthcare needs. What I can do is make sure you’re asking the right questions so that you feel empowered and can remain in control.
Q. I’m terrified of birth. I hate talking about it. What can I do?
A. Although joining an antenatal course might be your worst fear, I believe that knowledge is power. It’s likely your anxiety stems from all the negative imagery and stories you’ve heard to date about birth. But hypnobirthing will allow you to move past these fears and to form positive feelings around birth.
My teaching can be as gentle as it needs to be. But I would strongly suggest you do some hypnobirthing so you can transform your feelings about having a baby.
Q. My previous birth was difficult. Can you help with my next pregnancy?
A. Sorry to hear you had a difficult time with your previous birth. But, yes, I can help! As we work through the course, you may realise where things were more challenging last time. I can help you feel better prepared and ready for a confident and calm labour.
Q. When do you recommend doing the course?
A. We say any time from around 20 weeks and any time up until the baby arrives. Depending on how many weeks you are when attending, I’ll explain the amount of practice needed after the course finishes. But everyone leaves with their notes, the KGHypnobirthing book and access to me as needed!
Q. What do you mean by a natural birth?
A. It’ll all makes sense as the course goes on. But, put simply, it means a birth where your body is doing exactly what it’s meant to do. Trust me, you’ll be blown away by all the cool things that naturally happen.
Q. Are you inclusive?
A. Yes, I welcome everyone to You Had The Power All Along. Please do let me know at booking if there is a certain way you would like me to address you or your birth partner so I can ensure my language reflects your needs. And, if you’re a single parent or a surrogate, my hypnobirthing offering is as much for you as anyone else.
I am also offering one ‘pay what you can’ session a month for those who want to access hypnobirthing but are struggling with finances. Please message me directly to ask about this option.