Hi there! This page is just for you...
First, congratulations! I hope you're reading this because your partner is having a baby and she's been muttering about Hypnobirthing. And maybe you've been thinking, 'What on earth is Hypnobirthing?'
So you had a look, or your partner sent you here, and now you want to know more.
So here goes...
What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is an antenatal programme. But it's not the same as your regular antenatal programmes. Yes, some of the basic information will be the same, because we talk about things like how the body works during pregnancy and birth, and that's obviously the same whether you are planning a Hypnobirth or not. But all the other information is different.
Hypnobirthing uses tools that you and your partner can pick and choose from to make them work for you. Education, breathing techniques, relaxation, self-hypnosis, visualisations, and affirmations. Some of these suit some people more than others, but all of them are useful.
You'll learn about birth, how to intervene for your partner during birth, how to support her physically and emotionally, how to help with gentle massage and practical stuff, why birth is often so traumatic, and much more.
There are three different types of breathing taught in the classes and the first is useful for everyone. I promise you'll need it at some point in your everyday life!
Everyone needs to learn how to relax. You'll learn how to help your partner relax but you might find you learn how to relax yourself.
This isn't as scary as it sounds! You've probably gone into self-hypnosis yourself while driving a familiar route. It's that day-dreaming state when you're fully aware but a bit switched off. You'll learn how to help your partner go into self-hypnosis and send her deeper if she's starting to panic during birth. If you're worried that this is where it gets 'woo-woo', read further down.
This really sounds a bit 'woo-woo' , but we all do it. Who doesn't visualise themselves being successful, or winning something. Lots of top sports people use visualisation to help them win a game or match, and so do many celebrities. You visualise something you want, and then you are more likely to work towards it, to be positive about it, and it is more likely to happen. Your partner will be visualising a calm birth, and the more she sees it happening, the less likely she is to be fearful, and the more likely it is that she'll have the birth she wants.
Similar to visualisations, this is repeating something over and over until you believe it. It's like a team facing a big match and chanting winning slogans over and over until they believe they will win. The more they believe, the more likely they are to win because they will fight for the win. If a team believes they will lose, they probably will. If your partner believes she will have a beautiful birth, she will lose that fear and tension and things are much more likely to go smoothly.
Why do I need to go to classes too?
Your partner needs support. It is possible to take Hypnobirthing classes without a birth partner, but it is so, so much better for a mum to have someone who understands what she is trying to learn, who is able to read some of the self-hypnosis scripts for her, who can give her the massage they've learnt and help her during birth.
And you're actually going to learn a lot too! You'll learn how to support your partner during the birth, but you also might find that the relaxation, breathing and other tools benefit you as you try to juggle your life with a new baby.
I recently had a couple who tried to learn online hypnosis for a first baby and actually came to me for a proper course with their next one as the birth partner didn't feel confident. Classes will give you confidence to intervene for your partner if necessary, to ask questions, to have the right tools at hand to help her relax more deeply.
Why does it cost more than other antenatal classes?
Well, for a start, you get a proper book, MP3 relaxation tracks, and a heap of printouts in a folder. Then think of the time you're spending in the class and the support you get. Not many antenatal classes will offer help and support once your course is finished. We cover all the important stuff you get in most traditional antenatal classes and much more on top.
Then think about how much your partner's well-being and your baby's well-being is worth...
It's estimated that 30-50% of mums have a traumatic birth experience, with many of them developing post-natal depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Hypnobirthing reduces this rate dramatically. I totally understand that having a baby drains the finances, but a traumatic birth can cause huge issues (including financial) later in life, for both mum and baby.
(Incidentally, it's thought that about 10% of partners have depression or PTSD following a traumatic birth too.)
If you want to read more about the cost, I wrote a blog article here.
Isn't it just a load of 'woo-woo'?
To be honest, I thought the same when I first heard about it! But self-hypnosis isn't the same as stage hypnosis. There's no people clucking like chickens, I can't convince you to tell me your darkest secret or give me your bank details, it's just deep relaxation. There's no weird or wacky stuff. It's stuff we do every day, like switching off and zoning out when someone boring is talking, or talking ourselves up when we need to do something challenging. No 'woo-woo' here...
So, that's Hypnobirthing for birth partners. If you're still not sure, give me a call or email me. I'd love you to be on board and support your partner and baby,