What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnosis for birth has actually been around since the 1850s, but the first Hypnobirthing programme was developed by Marie Mongan in 1990. Marie had used self-hypnosis and deep relaxation techniques herself when she gave birth, and so when it was time for her first grandchild to be born she wanted to help her daughter in the same way. Her grandson was birthed naturally and Hypnobirthing was born too.
Hypnobirthing courses are all about trusting yourself, your body, and your baby. You will learn all about the Hypnobirthing toolbox, which includes deep relaxation, breathing techniques, self hypnosis, and more. There is no hippy dippy nonsense, everything is based on science and you have the choice to put these tools together as you feel comfortable. We teach you that birth is a natural event, not a medical experience, and that it should be a calm, joyful experience. By learning Hypnobirthing, you will gain confidence to have the birth you want.
What will you learn?
A woman's body is designed to give birth naturally, so we show you how your uterus works during birth if there is no fear and tension holding you back. Fear creates tension, which creates pain. If you can eliminate that fear, things generally go much more smoothly.
You will learn about how the fear associated with childbirth has developed down the ages, how it is something we have come to expect in the Western World, but how things were once very different.
As well as teaching you how to re-educate your brain to try to reduce fear, we work through a variety of simple breathing techniques, deep relaxation methods, self-hypnosis scripts, affirmations and visualisations, all of which you can use as you choose to help increase your confidence as you prepare for birth, and for deep relaxation during birth.
We also cover basic antenatal information, nutrition, posture, how to make your birth plan, how to bond with your unborn baby, how to prepare for labour, what to expect as you go into labour and through the different stages, and what to expect just after birth too.
You will learn that when a women is properly prepared for birth and trusts her own body, birthing will be a calmer experience and, even if things do not go exactly to plan, it can be a joyful, positive time.
Read more about the classes here.
Nicki takes you gently and confidently through the hypnobirthing method with plenty of room for learning and reflection. The course provided practical breathing tools and methods to suit different individual styles (so it’s not one size fits all). The work on understanding your fears (and processes for moving past these) was excellent and really helped me. I rave about hypnobirthing and highly recommend Nicki to anyone!
I find it hard to relax - will I be able to do this?
Yes! Some people find it easier to relax than others - you just need to practise. Hypnobirthing is about giving you tools, and these include tricks for quick relaxation and for deep relaxation. If you find it hard to relax, you probably need this even more than other mums-to-be, and you'll find that some of these tools help you relax in your everyday life too.
What if I miss a class?
If you can't make a class, please let me know as soon as possible. We may be able to change the date if other couples are agreeable. If this isn't possible, you are welcome to join the next group for the class you missed. If this isn't possible either, you are welcome to do a one-on-one with me for an extra fee. You will still receive all the notes from the class you missed and can email or call me if you need help.
Does my partner have to come?
Most partners find the classes really useful - giving them confidence so that they can support you during birth, and also giving them stress-relieving and positive tools that they can use during everyday life. In fact many of the tools you learn in class are useful for everyday!
Your partner should attend the classes if possible. If your partner cannot make it, someone who will be with you at the birth should come with you so that they can learn how to help support you. If you would rather come by yourself or don't have a support person, just let me know. Class fees are per couple, not per person.
I'm VBAC/having a multiple pregnancy. Can I do HypnoBirthing?
Absolutely! There are often additional worries and anxieties associated with VBAC or multiple pregnancy births, so I have extra hypnosis scripts just for you. I can also arrange an extra one-on-one session if you feel like you need it after completing the course.
Will it be too 'woo-woo' for me?
I really don't think so. I originally thought it was 'woo-woo' too - it's the word Hypnobirthing - but it's actually based by education and observation and research. Everything we learn is common in everyday life, and it's just understanding how the brain works and affects us. And if there is something that really doesn't work for you, you don't have to do it. I give you a toolbox full of techniques to use and you certainly don't have to use them all.