Q&A

It’s completely normal to have a lot of questions about hypnobirthing. I love to chat to hypno-interested women and couples, but here you’ll find my answers to some of the most common questions.

What was the best thing about hypnobirthing for you when you had your baby?

To pick one thing is really hard! The relaxation element was a big part of it for me; it was so nice to take time to bond with my baby. Also, learning how to induce myself into deep relaxation using simple methods, and how to stimulate the hormones oxytocin and endorphins, which are the body’s natural anaesthetic – I found this all fascinating.

Another key thing was learning about the birth partner’s role. It meant that my partner could act confidently as an advocate for me, taking any stress away from me, allowing me to let go and focus on the birth. It was him who stood our ground about not wanting to go into hospital (there was a midwife shortage at the time and this was what they were asking of us).

We knew we’d be more comfortable at home, and he was able to explain this over the phone. We managed fine at home, and in plenty of time the team found a way to send out two midwives to us, and we didn’t have to go in.

I used all the tools and techniques throughout labour, and I had the right birth for me on the day, it at home in a birthing pool. I love how now that my son Noah is asking about how he was born, I’m able to share the story with him, remembering all the happy things that happened (on his birthday!), such as

  • going for a walk and my waters breaking the very moment I got back inside the house (phew!),

  • and eating chocolate brownies with the midwives just before he arrived. Read my full birth story here.

 

What are the benefits for baby?

Babies tend to feed better and sleep better when they have had a calmer experience coming into the world.

Studies have shown higher Apgar scores among hypnobirthed babies than average.

They also associate the relaxation tracks with mummy’s calm time when they were inside, and still enjoy these on the outside!

 

Does my partner have to come to the classes too?

The course is for you and your birth partner. Your birth partner could be your baby’s dad, your own mum, perhaps your best friend or sister, or maybe you’ve found a doula that will support you.

Birth partners are sometimes a little sceptical of Hypnobirthing, they may not be sure at first, and this is fine, they have no idea what to expect. But once they have listened to the facts and what the course provides, they tend to leave looking forward to the next session!

I explain some of the concepts using analogies from sports, and share statistics and psychology that you can’t argue with.

Maybe you’re a dad-to-be and when you picture yourself in the birthing room, you feel nervous, not sure what to do, you want to help your partner but have no idea how.  

Once you complete the hypnobirthing course, you’ll feel knowledgeable, confident and able to be of great support to your loved one in so many ways, bringing you both closer, and deepening your bond as a family.

 

What are the benefits of hypnobirthing for dads/birth partners?

As dad/birth partner attending the course, you will:

  • Discover your key role during pregnancy and labour instead of feeling helpless; be a true part of the experience.

  • Gain a full understanding of the process of pregnancy, labour and birth.

  • Learn the tools needed to support your partner have a calm and empowering birth.

  • Have confidence to act as an advocate for your labouring partner, taking any stress away from her, allowing her to let go and focus on the birth.

 

Can I come alone?

Whilst there are huge benefits to coming with your birth partner, yes of course you can come alone.

I understand that you may be a single mum, or your partner can’t make it due to work, or maybe you have another child to look after.

Whatever the reason, hypnobirthing can still work for you.

My husband/partner works away and I’m not what dates we can commit to. How flexible are you on dates?

Very! The course works best as 4x 2 hour classes, spread over 4 weeks.

It’s important to have some time in between each class, to practice what you’ve learnt, and build up the practice over the time before baby arrives.

I run group courses on dates set in advance and these tend to be consecutive weeks, the same day of the week over a 4 week period.

For private classes I am happy to be super flexible as to meeting your needs. This may mean scheduling a more spread out pattern of sessions, or sessions closer together, or even over say 2 longer sessions instead of 4.

There is also the option that you come for the sessions in person and you partner join via Skype from wherever they are in the world. We can provide the course materials advance to make this work just as well as if they were here.

 

When is best time in pregnancy to start the course?

It is recommended that you and your birth partner start your classes between 20 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, so that you have plenty of time to practice all the techniques you’ll learn.

But it’s never too early to start. Once you’ve booked on, I will send you the relaxation tracks to listen to in advance of the sessions.

If you are nearer your baby’s due time, don’t worry it’s not too late either. You can still fit in a huge amount in a short space of time, so do get in touch and we can have a chat.

 

When using self-hypnosis, will I feel in control?

Yes completely. Please read my full explanation of hypnobirthing here, which will explain away any concerns you have about ‘hypnosis’.

 

Why should I choose Happy Births?

I’m really passionate about teaching you the tools you need to birth your baby calmly and enjoyably, so that you will be left with only happy memories (as I feel so thankful to have for my own baby’s birth).

Being a qualified hypnobirthing practitioner, teaching the wonderful Calm Births course, as well as being a mum who has been in the very shoes you find yourself in now, all mean I care very much about the quality of the service you receive.

See what the course includes here.

The support from me doesn’t end the day of your last class – I’m available for any questions or follow-up appointments that you may want or need.

I also run coffee mornings and meet ups in the park, which provide a great opportunity to get out with your new baby, and meet other new parents and parents-to-be.  

Join the Happy Births parents’ private Facebook group for more support and local connections.

It’s all about community. I can put you in touch with a number of expert local professionals covering all areas of pregnancy and the life with a new-born – see my Local Loves page.

Look out for FREE taster sessions, which are an opportunity to meet me, get a flavour of the course, and to ask any questions.

 

Will my birth be painless and drug-free if I use hypnobirthing?

It might be!  Some mamas report just that. However, being more pragmatic…. hypnobirthing is not a miracle pill! Hypnobirthing gives you the best possible chance of having a normal, vaginal birth.

But if you are planning a different type of birth, that’s great too – the techniques you’ll learn make a big difference to all birth preparation. 

What’s important is that you are armed with a range of ideas and techniques to explore on the day. Surges are powerful things, but so is the mind. A little knowledge about the mind-to-body interaction goes a long way.

If you end up wanting pain relief, if your baby needs a little helping hand, or if you have scheduled a Caesarean section, this is all fine! You can still look back with only positive memories – how you feel becomes more important than what actually happens.  

Whatever type of birth you are dreaming of (or end up having as bringing life into the world can take some unexpected twists and turns), it’s essential that you can go to a deep level of relaxation to keep you and your baby calm. Believe me; this skill will come in extremely handy in your new life as a parent too.

My first birth was ‘difficult’. What can hypnobirthing do for me?

I meet lots of mamas who very sadly came away from their first birth feeling traumatised, and robbed of the birth they had been preparing for. Maybe this is how you feel?

Things didn’t go ‘to plan’, there were unexpected and unwelcome surprises, and maybe you spent a long time in a lot more pain than seemed fair.

Do you look back and it feels like decisions were made on your behalf, without you fully being made aware of the reasons, the consequences, and the alternatives?

Now you are expecting another baby, and rather than excitement you actually feel a bit/very scared. You’re concerned that history will repeat itself, and your next baby’s birth will too be ‘difficult’ and ‘long’. You worry that you won’t be able to have the birth you dream for, or that your choices and thoughts won’t be respected.

However, it really doesn’t have to be this way. Your voice CAN be heard, and you CAN be supported, and you CAN have a safe, calm, positive birth for this baby,

Please be reassured, that no two births are ever the same. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t go on to have a positive birth experience with the help of birth preparation tools such as hypnobirthing.

Imagine for a minute being able to say ‘I’m feeling excited about labour and giving birth – this time around will be different’. Hypnobirthing can help reduce, and even eliminate your worries and fears, so that you truly do feel this positive and confident.

As mentioned before, hypnobirthing can’t promise you a natural, drug-free birth, but it can certainly show you how to prepare for a positive birth in any scenario.

If you are feeling deeply traumatised, it is possible that hypnobirthing alone may not be enough, and therefore I recommend that you look for an appropriate therapist who can help you work through your fears – some specialise in birth trauma. Do contact me and we can discuss this.

Most women find benefit in hypnobirthing, on the course we will cover any concerns you may be having. You’ll learn how to change your mindset using affirmations and positive language to change negative thoughts into positive ones.

You’ll gain tools to help you remain calm and relaxed, allowing you the space and time to discuss with midwives and doctors the benefits and risks for anything that they may offer you during your pregnancy and labour.

We also discuss active labour and positions for a more efficient birth, consider the pros and cons for the various options for where you want to give birth, and cover situations in which seeking further medical attention and advice is the right thing to do.

Mums who have had a difficult birth and then go on to complete a hypnobirthing course often say ‘I wish I’d found hypnobirthing sooner’ and ‘it changed everything for me’.

Hypnobirthing could be the most important and potentially life-changing investment you will ever make. You deserve to have a positive birth. I hope this helps – please get in touch if you would like to discuss your particular situation.

What do midwives think of hypnobirthing?

From personal experience during the pregnancy with my son, all the midwives (Royal Berkshire Hospital) we met and who did a fantastic job on the day of his birth, were absolutely huge fans of hypnobirthing.

It’s now common for midwives to themselves train as hypnobirthing teachers; they have witnessed the benefits for babies and parents, and get the hypnobirthing bug as well!

They know that hypnobirthing reduces the need for interventions or surgery.

Arguably, a midwife’s job is made much easier if a couple have completed a hypnobirthing course – it means they are well prepared for the experience, and educated about their options and the choices they need to make – instead of being frightened and in the dark about the whole process.

Midwives want you to have a positive, happy birth experience, so from all accounts they are supportive of the tools you use to achieve this.

It is possible that your midwife or caregiver isn’t familiar with hypnobirthing. So, early on in your pregnancy you can share with them the type of calm birthing environment you would like, the techniques you’ll be using to achieve this, and the ways in which they can best support you.

On the course, you will learn how to develop a ‘Birth Preferences’ document (note: not a ‘Plan’!). This will help you communicate your birthing ideals and preferred choices to your midwife or doctor.

 

Can’t I just read a hypnobirthing book and listen to relaxation tracks online?

This ‘easy’ method is of course an option; however it carries the risk that you won’t know until afterwards if it’ll work for you or not!

Attending the classes with me as your positive birth champion means you’ll gain so much more. The techniques won’t just be words on a page; we actively practice them all together and my coaching ensures you’ve truly ‘got’ them.

The tools will become everyday habits meaning that on the day you’re fully prepared and rehearsed (as much as you can be!).

Personally, choosing to spend money on a hypnobirthing course was the absolute best decision we made when pregnant.

Without the knowledge, care and guidance of our teacher, and the regular sessions to attend and practice learnings from in between, I doubt we would have taken on even a small percentage of the stuff that ended up being essential to our birth story being as positive as it is.

 

We simply can’t afford the investment of hypnobirthing classes…

It’s true that having a baby can be a very expensive time!

I learned too late on for the big purchases (cot, pram system, Snuzpod, bouncy chair….) that there is an amazing second hand market for quality baby stuff and this would have saved me a heap of cash.

Also, a lot of the financial outlay is completely unnecessary - babies don’t need much really – and you’ll find friends and family are keen to pass on their children’s still-fab-condition bits and bobs. So my number one piece of advice is ask people around you before you splash out!

I appreciate that even being super savvy about expenditure; it can be tough with reduced income on maternity leave looming. I believe that financial status shouldn’t be a barrier to you accessing this all-important birthing service.

Please call me on 07740349946 if you have a genuine case and we can talk about it in complete confidence to find a solution (payment plan, reduced rates etc.).

 

Should I still attend hospital antenatal classes?

This is completely up to you.

The course I teach is a comprehensive course in natural childbirth education. Antenatal courses run by hospitals often cover a lot of information about interventions and medical procedures during birth.

In hypnobirthing, you’ll learn all about the birth process, what to expect during pregnancy/the onset of labour/birthing, how to release any fears associated with this, plus techniques (relaxation, breathing, visualisations and deepening exercises) to use during labour.

However, I also believe that ‘knowledge is power’ and the knowledge that you could gain through antenatal classes, alongside with your hypnobirthing classes, can help you to make informed decisions.

So ultimately, the choice is yours whether you choose to attend just my course, or both.