What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is both a philosophy for birth and a method for birthing, which focuses on the use of self hypnosis, visualisation, relaxation and breathing techniques to help women achieve a calm and natural birth experience. The basic premise is that birth is a normal, natural and healthy function of the body. A hypnobirthing mother will embrace and enjoy her body’s instincts of pregnancy and birth.
The origins of hypnobirthing can be traced back to the work of Dr Grantly Dick Read, a British obstetrician who was a true pioneer for natural childbirth. He spent 35 years transforming obstetric practice to be a more natural process for labouring women. His book, Childbirth Without Fear, brings together a lot of his research and anecdotes of his personal experiences which go hand in hand with the hypnobirthing ethos.
“I am persuaded from long years of experience amongst women of many nationalities that good midwifery is essential for the true happiness of motherhood – that good midwifery is the birth of a baby in a manner nearest to the natural law and design – and good midwifery, next to wise and healthy pregnancy, sets the pattern of the newborn infant and its relationship to its mother.”
― Grantly Dick-Read, Childbirth Without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
What are the benefits of using Hypnobirthing?
There are various benefits to using these techniques, they can help eliminate Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome, reduce the need for medical intervention, increase confidence in the body’s natural ability to birth and maintain a relaxed and controlled mind set throughout labour. It is also said that the benefits extend on to baby, as babies born using hypnobirthing tend to feed better, sleep better and be calmer.
How can you support parents who want to use Hypnobirthing?
Supporting expectant parents who want to use hypnobirthing is a matter of respecting their views, encouraging them to make informed decisions and reinforcing positivity for their birth experiences. Treating each woman individually and learning about their birth experience preferences is also really important. Parents who have been preparing for labour using hypnobirthing will have practiced various techniques that will be put into practice during labour. Their birth plan will outline details of these practices alongside their preferences with regard to the birth process. Most importantly any queries should be addressed to the birth partner away from the labour woman to minimise any disruption to her relaxation.
It is worthwhile being familiar with hypnobirthing practitioners in your local area to be able to signpost women for courses and support group that are in line with their wishes.
About Babies In Waiting
Babies in Waiting was founded by Jo and Emily Bull. As trained hypnobirthing practitioners with their own birthing experiences and professional backgrounds in teaching, hypnotherapy, doula support and homeopathy, they created a comprehensive antenatal course. Alongside hypnobirthing classes, Babies in Waiting provide pregnancy relaxation and baby massage.
The Babies in Waiting team takes great pleasure in informing and supporting couples during their pregnancy journey, through their birth experiences and beyond. Our aim is to nurture and empower couples during the most unique and special time of their lives.
~Babies born beautifully~
References and further reading:
Childbirth Without Fear by Dr Grantly Dick Read
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Birth Matters, A midwife’s Manifesta by Ina May Gaskin