Hypnobirthing: What Is It? The Physical, The Practical & Relaxation Techniques

What is Hypnobirthing?

More and more people are talking about hypnobirthing, and you may just be wondering what it’s about. It’s the question that many ask, and it’s a good one, and here I will try to answer it! The very short answer is that Hypnobirthing (the way Calm Births teach it) is a full antenatal preparation course which includes hypnotherapy techniques to ensure that both the woman or birthing person and partner feel fully prepared, informed and excited about their baby’s arrival, and that the birth experience feels positive and calm no matter what happens on the day.

Essentially we know that if a person is anxious, fearful or worried about their birth experience, it has a profound physiological effect on the process - whether that is for a vaginal birth or a C-Section. So, through a variety of different ways, we work with you to alleviate those anxious or fearful thoughts, to allow the process to be smooth and positive. This is done through a combination of personalised support from the teacher, home learning and the Calm Births syllabus.

So to look at that in a little more detail we can break it down into 3 sections: The Physical, The Practical and The Relaxation techniques.

The Physical

Being pregnant, being in labour and giving birth are all miraculous, amazing things that the body does for us, or sometimes that healthcare professionals help us to do in the instances where we need clinical help. All of these are huge physical undertakings and so much is happening to the body that it can feel frightening and overwhelming.

Therefore our aim in hypnobirthing (specifically in Calm Births classes) is to give you all the information you need to know about what is happening to the body at every step of the way. This means that you will feel fully informed, in control and prepared about what is going to happen and there will be no surprises along the way. This reduction in fear or anxiety about the process makes a fundamental difference to how the body responds during the process itself.

With us you will also learn physical tips such as how to help the baby into the optimum position, how to avoid perineal damage during birth, or how to prepare for a planned C-Section if that is your journey.

The Practical

In much the same vein as The Physical, we know that the more you know about the process, the more prepared and calm you’ll feel, in turn affecting the actual birth.

And so we prepare you practically for birth, including what to pack in your hospital bag, how to get your body into labour, how to know when it’s labour, when to call the Midwife and what happens after you’ve had the baby.

The Relaxation Techniques

This is where the ‘hypno’ bit comes in - and it’s really nothing scary or ‘woo’ - it’s simply learning a really good way to relax whenever you want it. The scientific explanation of this is that you will train your brain to reach the Theta level whenever you want it to - the Theta is where our brain is at when we are just dozing in front of the TV, or engrossed in a film or book, or absorbed in a daydream. We are completely aware all of the time, but just feel really happily relaxed. Now wouldn’t it be great if you could feel that way whenever you wanted?! That’s what we teach you! So that leading up to the birth you will spend lots of time learning this and practising it (which is giving the baby some seriously calming times, which is why hypno babies are generally very chilled!) - then when you’re in labour you can just take yourself away to that lovely place whenever you want to, by yourself and sometimes with the help of your birthing partner.

There is so much more to it, but in a nutshell, that’s what hypnobirthing is! Being a practising Midwife I get to see these techniques in action and they make ALL the difference. You can read lots of wonderful positive birth stories here. If you feel like it might be something for you, please do reach out, we’d love to help you x

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