Frequently asked questions
What will I learn in the course?
Everything you need to know to achieve a safer, easier and more comfortable birth. To explore the myth that pain is a necessary accompaniment to labour. What’s wrong with labour as it exists with most other childbirth methods. Techniques of deep relaxation to help you eliminate the Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome. How your body is naturally designed to conceive, nurture and birth your baby with ease and comfort. To create your body’s own natural relaxant, the only safe labour enhancement. Natural ways to bring your body into labour without artificial chemical induction. How you and your birthing companion can create a birthing environment that is calm, serene and joyful, rather than tense and stressful. Gentle birthing techniques that allow you to breathe your baby into the world without the violence of hard physical pushing. To use your natural birthing instincts to birth your baby in a way that most mirrors the way that nature intended
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a childbirth method that focuses on preparing parents for a gentle birth. In Hypnobirthing classes, you will learn proven techniques in a well-thought-out program of deep relaxation, visualisation, and self-hypnosis. All of these are designed to help you achieve a more comfortable birth. Hypnobirthing encourages a calm, peaceful, and natural pregnancy, birth, and bonding experience for families.
How does Hypnobirthing differ from other childbirth preparation methods?
Unlike other childbirth methods that teach you how to ‘cope with and manage pain’, Hypnobirthing is based on the premise that a healthy woman, with an uncomplicated healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, should be able to birth in a more comfortable manner and without unnecessary interventions. We focus on the joy of birth and positively anticipate our birthing day. When women understand that pain is caused by constrictor hormones, created by fear, they learn, instead, to release fear thus creating endorphins—the feel-good hormones. They are then able to change their expectations of long, painful labour and are able to replace them with expectations of a more comfortable birthing. Rather than exhausting, shallow breathing and the distraction techniques of typical “prepared childbirth” programs, Hypnobirthing parents learn deep abdominal breathing and total relaxation, enabling the labouring mother to work in harmony with her body and her baby. This allows her to achieve a shorter and more comfortable labour for herself and the baby.
When Should I Start Classes?
You can begin Hypnobirthing any time, but we recommend that the optimal time to start your course is between 20 and 30 weeks. This will give you time to practise the self-hypnosis, relaxation and other effective techniques for gentle, easy birthing but also ensures that the course is still fresh in your mind. If you are outside of that range please don’t worry – you can definitely still attend the classes and achieve a beautiful, calm birth.
Should I Still Attend Ante-Natal Classes?
The choice is yours. The Hypnobirthing Course is a very comprehensive course in natural childbirth education. Hospital Ante-Natal courses cover a lot of information about interventions and medical procedures during birth. In Hypnobirthing we learn all about the birth process, what to expect during pregnancy/the onset of labour/birthing, how to release any fears associated with birthing and we learn techniques (relaxation, breathing, visualisations and deepening) to use during labour. Having said that – Melissa is personally of the belief that ‘knowledge is power' and the knowledge that you will gain through antenatal classes, along with your Hypnobirthing classes, can help you to make informed decisions.
Who Do I Bring to Classes?
Bring yourself and your birth companion. Your birth companion can be your partner, doula, sister, friend, mother – whomever you feel will best support you throughout your pregnancy and birth. However, you are also welcome to come solo if you prefer.
How is the Birth Companion involved?
The Birth Companion of the mother’s choice can be an integral part of the Hypnobirthing experience. He or she practices with the mother in helping to prepare for deep relaxation. During labour, the Birth Companion guides the labouring mother through hypnosis prompts, relaxation techniques, deepening methods, and visualizations, provides comfort measures, and joins in welcoming the new baby, often by receiving the baby as he/she emerges.
Will I be unconscious or will I remember my birth experience?
Despite misconceptions and misinformation, you are definitely not unconscious during self-hypnosis. The Hypnobirthing mother is deeply relaxed, but she is also an active participant in the labour process. Though she is deeply relaxed, she is totally aware and may return to a conversant state or choose to become mobile whenever she desires. Hypnobirthing mothers often find that they experience time distortion and are not distracted by other people or their birthing environment, while they focus on their birthing and their baby.
Will Hypnobirthing be useful to me if I don’t opt for a natural childbirth or if circumstances necessitate medical intervention or a surgical birth?
Absolutely. The things you will learn in your Hypnobirthing classes will help you to learn relaxation skills that will be useful to both you and your baby, regardless of your birth experience. In the event that medical intervention of any sort is needed, you will find yourself better able to remain calm and in control. Mothers who have needed scheduled caesareans for medical reasons report that they were totally relaxed before, during and after the procedure. Many reports that they needed little or no medication following the birth, and they were able to return to normal functioning in a very short period of time.
Can Hypnobirthing be beneficial to someone who has special circumstances, VBAC or who must have a C-section?
Hypnobirthing is very beneficial to Mums who have special circumstances. Many obstetricians, midwives and doctors are now requesting that mothers take a Hypnobirthing Course or similar before VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean).
Is it true that I will experience a pain-free birth with Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing does not promise painless birthing, though many Hypnobirthing mothers do report having a relatively pain-free birth or one that they were able to manage easily. When the cause of pain–fear that constricts the birthing muscles—is eliminated, birthing can be accomplished in a shorter period and much more comfortably. A relaxed mother’s body will produce more endorphins, nature’s own relaxants. Hypnobirthing mothers may still experience sensations of tightening or pressure, but most describe their birth experience as working with their body through the sensations and thus avoiding the excruciating pain that is frequently spoken of by women who choose other methods of preparation for birthing.
What if my doctor/midwife is not familiar with Hypnobirthing? Can I still use this method and how can my healthcare providers help me to achieve my Hypnobirthing goals?
More and more care providers are becoming aware of the benefits of Hypnobirthing. If your caregiver is not knowledgeable about Hypnobirthing, take the opportunity early in your pregnancy to discuss the techniques you will be using and the type of calm birthing environment that you desire. In class, you will learn how to create a plan of Birth Preferences, which will help you to communicate your birthing goals and preferences to your doctor or midwife.