Everything you Need to Know About Hypnobirthing
- Jasmine Collin from Love Parenting UAE, Nabta Health’s hypnotherapy partner, takes us through her guide to all things Hypnobirthing.
- Learn how Hypnobirthing supports natural birth, reducing pain and creating an optimal environment during labour.
- Nabta’s aim to empower women to reach their health goals as naturally as possible is very much in line with Jasmine’s approach and the benefits of hypnotherapy in labour.
- Book Jasmine’s popular online Hypnobirthing course here.
You may have heard of hypnobirthing due to its increasing popularity with expecting parents and celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Angelina Jolie.
It’s even been suggested that royal family members, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle used it to prepare for their births – but what exactly is it and why are so many women turning to Hypnobirthing?
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a childbirth preparation method taken as a set of weekly classes either in groups or privately, any time between 20-35 weeks of pregnancy. There are lots of styles of Hypnobirthing available today but they all originate from the Mongan Method, which is over 30 years old. There are also online Hypnobirthing classes available too
There are a lot of misconceptions as to what Hypnobirthing is and the type of person who chooses it.
Many think it’s just for hippy types wanting a home or water birth or those seemingly crazy women who want to do it without pain relief, but the truth is, all women can use it to have a calmer more positive birth experience, no matter what birth they choose or what path it takes.
What is the aim of Hypnobirthing?
One of the aims of Hypnobirthing is to support and increase the likelihood of physiological birth with the least amount of chemicals and interventions wherever possible.
However if drugs or medical interventions are truly needed it enables the couple to remain calm and make informed evidence based decisions for themselves and their baby.
What are the benefits of natural physiological birth?
Studies have shown us that women and babies who have natural physiological births benefit from better health outcomes, adjustment to life outside the womb, emotional satisfaction with the birth experience and being able to cope well with the transition to motherhood.
Read more about physiological birth and its benefits for families and society as a whole.
Hypnobirthing promotes births that mirror nature as closely as possible so that babies and families can get off to the best start possible.
What if natural birth is not possible?
Unfortunately, natural physiological birth is not always possible in our current birth culture. There are a large number of influencing factors that we can’t control and birth can be quite unpredictable. So it’s important to acknowledge the wide range of birthing styles, combinations of drugs, interventions and different experiences that can happen, so we can fully prepare couples for all eventualities.
The great news is that the knowledge and techniques learnt in Hypnobirthing classes are applicable in all situations and in all types of birth. In fact the tools can be even more useful in assisted births like C- sections, epidurals and inductions etc. because they keep the mother and baby calm during potentially more stressful events.
Real Hypnobirthing stories
Here are a few birth stories from parents who had all types of birthing experiences and how Hypnobirthing helped them through.
As you can read in the birth stories, Hypnobirthing can benefit mothers and babies in all situations – but it’s not just them that benefit. Let’s not forget the partners.
These days’ partners are not just welcome in the delivery room; they are expected to support the mother during labour and birth. However, without adequate training this can throw them into an environment and situation that they are not adequately prepared for.
In Hypnobirthing classes partners gain invaluable knowledge and skills that they can apply in the birthing room to ensure a positive birth experience for the mother, baby and themselves.
And the benefits don’t just stop in the birthing room. Lots of couples continue to use the tools for relaxing the mind and body long after the birth is over.
So how does Hypnobirthing work exactly?
It empowers couples with the knowledge and belief that women’s bodies are designed to grow and birth their babies and that childbirth is a natural physiological process.
It promotes healthy nutrition and physical exercise in pregnancy as being key factors in having a safe and easier birth as well sharing top tips on how to get the baby into the optimal position for birthing.
Like any big physical event such as running a marathon or climbing a mountain, it’s not just physical preparation that makes the difference. Yes, physical fitness plays a big part, but a positive mindset and being emotional fit is just as important, and this is where Hypnobirthing comes in.
Hypnobirthing de-hypnotises couples from all the negative information and fear that they’ve been conditioned with all their lives and updates their mindset through guided visualisations, affirmations and fear release work, all while they are very deeply relaxed or ‘in hypnosis’.
Being in a natural state of hypnosis, promotes deep relaxation and being open to suggestion, so during pregnancy we can give the mind set an upgrade by accessing the sub conscious mind and reprograming it with more positive beliefs, thoughts and feelings about birth.
When pregnant woman are calm and feel fully supported, their babies, who are literally swimming in their emotions, also feel the benefits. During classes there is also a focus on pre birth family bonding and this helps couples to adjust to their new roles and embrace early parenthood more easily.
Hypnobirthing during labour & birth
When a woman goes into labour with less fear and more understanding of how her body works and what it’s doing at each stage she can accept it more easily and experience it in a more positive way. When she relaxes and welcomes the sensations, rather than fighting them, they can then become easier to manage.
Practically speaking Hypnobirthing teaches couples how to maximize the normal physiological birth process by creating the optimal environment for birth.
Humans are biologically programmed in the same way that all mammals are and our birth environment needs are very similar. All mammals birth more easily in safe, warm, dark, private, quiet and undisturbed settings where there is no rush and no feeling of being watched or observed.
In this ideal setting the perfect and natural combination of birthing hormones can be released and labour can progress.
If however there is any sense of a potential threat or disturbance, our fight or flight response can release hormones that will slow or even stop labour. Even a bright light or a cold room is enough to slow down labour.
It’s not always possible to control the external environment though, for example when driving to the hospital or in a typical hospital room, where it’s normally bright, busy and rushed, with lots of observation, disturbances and possible fear triggers.
Hypnobirthing skills are crucial in these less than optimal settings because they enable the mother to create a calm and resourceful internal mental state. Using her practiced breathing, visualisations, affirmations and hypnosis she can bring her body and mind into a deep state of relaxation as if she were in the ideal environment.
The body cannot tell the difference between real and imagined, so she can use this mind-body hack to convince her body that it’s a safe space and a good time to be birthing her baby. The body then continues releasing the perfect cocktail of hormones for a quicker, easier and more natural birth.
But what about the pain?
A birthing mother automatically reduces pain by being calmer and less frightened of the birth, and in calm, safe settings the birthing body naturally produces endorphins, our own natural pain relief, to help us cope with the intense physical sensations.
In addition, Hypnobirthing mums can use hypnosis to disrupt and change the way that their brain processes pain signals. They also learn mental coping strategies and physical comfort tools to deal with any discomfort that they feel.
All these factors make it less likely that they will need pain relieving drugs or unnecessary interventions and they tend to have more straightforward and quicker labours.
Of course if a woman is struggling then there is a selection of pain relieving drugs that the hospital can offer. The aim of Hypnobirthing however is to ensure the couple have a complete toolbox of skills and techniques that they can utilize before getting to that point, so that it can be delayed or avoided all together.
But, no matter how a baby is born or whatever interventions or drugs are used, the most important elements for every birthing mother are that:
- She feels calm, safe, and supported throughout.
- She feels that she did her best and gave it all she had.
- She feels treated with dignity and respect.
- And she was able to make her own informed choices about her baby, body and birth, every step of the way.
These are the key ingredients to a positive birth experience and what Hypnobirthing is all about. Surely every mother and her family deserves this birth experience…not just the hippies.
Jasmine Collin is a mother of two, a qualified Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner, Childbirth Educator and Doula who specialises in Hypnobirthing and Parenting
Originally from the UK she is the longest running teacher in the UAE and has been teaching her award winning ‘Love Birthing’ classes since 2009.
She is the co founder of Love Parenting UAE, winner of the 2018 Time Out Kids Award for ‘Special recognition for pre and post natal care’ and is dedicated to helping couples have calmer, more positive births so that they can ‘Love Birthing’ no matter what kind of birth they choose or what path birth takes.
For more information contact: [email protected]
You can book Jasmine’s popular online Hypnobirthing services on the Nabta Women’s Health Shop.
Nabta is reshaping women’s healthcare. We support women with their personal health journeys, from everyday wellbeing to the uniquely female experiences of fertility, pregnancy, and menopause. You can track your menstrual cycle and get personalised support by using the Nabta app.
Get in touch if you have any questions about this article or any aspect of women’s health. We’re here for you.