I’ve heard so much about hypnobirthing recently that I wanted to find out what it was all about. So I asked around my friends and found the lovely Rebecca who runs a local company called Beau Baby. She has kindly agreed to answer my questions on Hypnobirthing. If you are pregnant and wandering whether hypnobirthing is for you then hopefully this post will help. So without further ado I will hand over to Rebecca…
My name is Rebecca Rowley and my company is Beau Baby– based in Lancashire. Beau Baby is a bespoke service for pregnancy, birth and postnatally- specialising in pregnancy relaxation, hypnobirthing and postnatal support.
The birth of Beau Baby came after the birth of my son. As a paediatric nurse, I was initially very fearful and anxious for birth- someone recommended hypnobirthing and the rest they say ‘is history’..!! To experience first hand how fears and anxieties can be eradicated m- to say I was blown away is an understatement. If my views and beliefs can change so much I knew I had to do something about it to support, educate and empower others. I love what I do and get to work with some amazing women and their birthing partners.
1. What is Hypnobirthing and what are the benefits?
Hypnobirthing is a complete birth education programme, that teaches simple but specific self hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for a positive, calm, birth experience.
Being scared, fearful or anxious about giving birth can have a negative impact on your body during pregnancy and labour preventing the birthing muscles of your body from functioning as nature intended them to.
Hypnobirthing helps you reprogramme your subconscious mind and gives you the tools so that your body can give birth efficiently and comfortably in the way it is designed to.
Ultimately hypnobirthing is an easy, affordable way to learn effective relaxation and breathing techniques that help you:-Overcome fear, Reduce pain, Feel more confident, Feel more prepared & Learn life long stress management skills
2. Are there any downsides to HB?
There are no downsides or side effects to hypnobirthing – unlike many medicines. Entering into hypnosis via a deep relaxation technique can only be brought about by yourself and is brought about in a safe and controlled way. The worst that will happen is that you actually fall asleep and wake up when you are ready!
Unfortunately, TV, film and stage portrayal of hypnosis has left a lot of people with a mistaken view of what hypnosis is, and what it can (and can’t) do.
Hypnosis is absolutely safe and nothing to be scared of.
3. Who is HB suitable for?
This is the beauty- hypnobirthing is suitable for anyone and everyone! Hypnobirthing can help women who are scared of birth because they’ve never done it before, who are anxious because of a bad experience last time, or who just want a calmer, easier, more natural birth experience.
4. Can you guarantee a pain-free labour and delivery?
Hypnobirthing is not about guaranteeing a pain free labour and picture-perfect ‘natural’ birth (although that is possible). It is to have a calmer, easier, more comfortable birth- where you are in control – and in a way that most mirrors nature.
Hypnobirthing teaches you natural ways to work with your body to reduce the level of pain experienced during labour.
Hypnobirthing works with whatever a women wants in labour- whether that be pain relief or not. It empowers her to make those choices- but statistics show women who choose hypnobirthing are reported to have less, or for some, no pain relief through labour and birth.
5. Will I lose control if I practice HB?
Absolutely not! If anything you will gain control. Taking yourself into hypnosis, into deep relaxation, can only be done by yourself and no-one else. You are not unconscious but simply in a dreamy, relaxed state in which you can hear everything that is being said and you are aware of your surroundings.
With hypnobirthing (in fact, virtually all hypnosis), you are aware of what is going on around you but you can just ‘tune out’ the distractions.
Hypnobirthing teaches you how to put yourself back in control of your birth – rather than blindly handing your birthing experience over to your doctor or midwife.
6. Do I need to attend classes or can I teach myself?
The benefits of attending a hypnobirthing course either as part of a group or privately are huge. There are many additional aspects gained from the course including support from your practitioner right up to your birth.
You can,if you choose, teach yourself and there are lots of self taught programs on the internet. One couple who were debating whether or not to attend a course or self teach summed their course experience up perfectly “the difference between attending a live performance of your favourite band compared to downloading their album”.
7. What happens if I feel I need an epidural/medicated pain relief or c-section? Will it all be for nothing?
Birth is a natural normal occurrence but unfortunately there are times when birth might need support. The beauty about Hypnobirthing is all the tools and techniques learnt can be applied to any birth.
By breathing and relaxing through birth, you and your baby will be able to cope with all situations more effectively. But obviously this is a skill- this is where the practice from the hypnobirthing comes into its own.
Women who have used hypnobirthing and have needed medical support (including inductions or caesarean sections) have said afterwards that being taught hypnobirthing was invaluable- with staff at the hospital often commenting they were the calmest person in the room!
8. When is the best time to start HB?
The sooner the better- ideally anytime after 20 weeks pregnant and up to 35 weeks pregnant. Like any childbirth preparation class, the success of the techniques is related to the amount of practice you put in. The more you practice the techniques and listen to the hypnobirthing downloads, the more effective the suggestions will be. Similar to running a marathon- you wouldn’t start your training the month before and hypnobirthing is just the same. Although saying that there are still some women who haven’t heard about hypnobirthing and stumble across it very late in pregnancy- even listening to a hypnobirthing download once will have a positive effect.
9. Do I need to have my partner present for the HB classes?
Birthing companions are a very important part of hypnobirthing success. On the hypnobirthing course run at Beau Baby there is a specific section for birth partners- the support they can give the woman is invaluable and can be the difference to how the birth unfolds. If your partner/husband cannot attend your mother, sister or friend can also be your birthing companion for the course and birth.
Woman of course do attend on their own and it’s not to say they won’t have a calm, empowered positive birth experience. It is often heard that the fathers are more sceptical so decide it is not for them. In fact those that are persuaded to attend the more sceptical they are to start with, the more evangelical they are when they discover the power of hypnobirthing!! The course empowers them as much as the mother.
10. What would you say to a woman who was dubious it could work for her due to a previous bad labour/delivery?
Do it! Any previous bad labour/birth can often leave a lasting effect on the mother. The amazing process with hypnobirthing-no matter what a woman’s fears/concerns/anxieties are, stemming from her previous experience, the tools and techniques to support her this time round will enable her to put those fears/anxieties/concerns at bay.
It is important to talk through her previous birth experience so all options can be explored for her impending birth. Birth holds no guarantees but hypnobirthing can most definitely help create a different mindset as labour/birth approaches for the second or subsequent time.
If you would like to talk to Rebecca about the services that Beau Baby offer then you can find her here:
Facebook: Beau Baby
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A massive thank you to Rebecca for taking the time to answer my questions!
Have you tried hypnobirthing? Are you thinking about trying it? I’d love to hear what you think of it all so leave me a comment in the box below