What is hypnobirthing? This is a really simple question, but I find that it’s a difficult question to answer in just a few sentences, because it is made up of so many things. So to best explain what it is, I like to use an analogy…
Hypnobirthing is like marathon training..
Imagine that you were about to run a marathon, you would envisage that 26 miles is likely to be both a mental and physical challenge, so you would do some training, you would prepare for the race. It’s highly unlikely that you would turn up to the starting line of a marathon having done no training in advance. it’s the same with birth, birth is likely to be one of the most physically and mentally challenging things you will experience, so therefore it is advisable to put in some preparation beforehand. That’s what hypnobirthing is, it is a preparation course which will prepare you mentally and physically for birth. Sticking with this analogy, I’m not saying that if you prepare, you will win the race, or that you will break a world record. You could have eaten something dodgy the night before, it could be raining or you could just have a bad day, there are lots of variables which come into play which we can’t control. It’s exactly the same with a hypnobirthig course, I’m not saying that if you do a hypnobirthing course that you will have the most perfect, text book birth where baby floats out of the pool after a 2 hour labour, all I mean is that by preparing for birth you will be equipping yourself with the tools, knowledge and confidence to be able to navigate birth however it unfolds for you on the day.
Ok, so hypnobirthing is a birth preparation course, but what does it actually involve? What does a hypnobirthing course involve? Let’s take the actual word, hypnobirthing and break it down. First of all, I should say, that I hate the name, I really don’t get on with it. I think that it completely misrepresents what the course is actually all about. People assume (understandably) that it is an ‘alternative practice,’ that it’s ‘just for hippies’ or that it’s just for women who want water births or to birth at home. When in actual fact, hypnobirthing is a practical and logical course which is rooted in science. So if you have some preconceived ideas which might be putting you off, then, that’s normal, but hopefully after reading this article, you’ll see that hypnobirthing is for all types of births.
So back to the word hypnobirthing, let’s break it down into the two parts= hypno+ birthing..
Let’s take the ‘birthing’ part first, this is the bit we are most likely to grasp easily.
The ‘Birthing’ part of the course focuses on the body and the physiology of birth. You’ll learn the science behind how it all works so that you can understand what is going on and how you can best support the natural process. I personally, LOVE this part of the course, I remember when I was learning about hypnobirthing before the birth of my first child, when I learnt all about the hormones and how it all worked- it was such a lightbulb moment for me. I remember thinking ”oh I get it now” I get what I’m supposed to do to support my body and give it everything it needs in order to birth. This part of the course gives you a fundamental grounding in the birthing process so that you can then build upon this knowledge with the other elements of the course, which all work to support the natural physiological process of birth.
Which leads me nicely on to the ‘Hypno’ part of the course. This can sometimes be the bit which people can seem quite alien to most people, mainly because most of us haven’t experienced hypnosis before. But trust me, It isn’t as strange as it may sound. In my course, I ask my clients ” What do you think of when you hear the word hypnosis” Nine times out of ten they say something along the lines of..”Darran Brown making people rob a bank” or ” Being made to cluck like a chicken.” In both of those examples, people are being made to do things seemingly out of their control, however, hypnobirthing, couldn’t be further from this, Hypnobirthing is all about working with your mind, being in control of your mind (Not out of control!) When we talk about ‘hypnosis’ in hypnobirthing all it really means is using some relaxation techniques to get your mind into a really calm state so that your mind doesn’t ‘get in the way’ of the birthing process. This is a very top level explanation of what it’s all about and how it works, but I hope that you can see that it’s actually very logical and practical.
So if you have been wondering, what is hypnobirthing? Will hypnobirthing help me? Then I hope you can see that it absolutely can. Hypnobirthing can help you to prepare for birth, by giving you tools, knowledge, confidence and the ability to play a fully active role in your birth. Trust me, it’s a game changer!
If you would like to learn more about how hypnobirthing can help you to have a positive birth experience then get in touch via the contact form on my website.