If you’re a regular reader of Rock My Family then you’ll probably have read the various and very different labour stories from each member of the team. If you haven’t then you can read all about them by clicking the ‘Birth’ option from the ‘Glow’ icon in the menu above this image. Despite reading about hypnobirthing, hearing about it from friends and NCT groups, and being fascinated by its philosophy none of us have experienced the technique directly ourselves.

So when Nicky from Mamacan Hypnobirthing joined The Littles List recently, I reached out to ask her if she would like to share her experiences and wisdom with you lovely lot. Fortunately for us she said yes so she’s here today to give you an insight into what Hypnobirthing means for you and how it works. She’ll also be answering any questions you have about the technique on the blog today too so please feel free to ask away by using the comments box at the bottom of the post.

Take it away Nicky….

So What Is Hypnobirthing?

Its suspicious name may conjure up images of incense waving, tie-dye wearing hippies, birthing with dolphins. As much as a small part of me likes the idea of dolphins splashing around my birthing pool, Hypnobirthing is actually a rather scientific, common sense approach to birth. I am a lawyer by trade and naturally quite risk adverse – my first birth was not really the time to try my hand at something that was founded on anything a bit wishy washy.

Hypnobirthing is nothing new. It is arguably what women have been doing for thousands of years before our “thinking brain” got in the way and over complicated things. I like to think it’s a bit like organic food – we are simply stripping things back to basics before all the modern-day meddling.

The foundations of Hypnobirthing are rooted in physiology and it educates us on how our bodies are perfectly designed to give birth effectively. It addresses fears around birth and how they negatively affect your body functioning, and most importantly provides us with a tool box to have a positive, calm and empowering birth experience.

Hypnobirthing Is For Partners Too!

It also gives your birth partner a vital role to play in the lead up and during your birth. Most of us have images of lost looking men attending their partner’s birth, having their hand squeezed and being swatted away like an irritating fly while they try and mop a brow. When it comes to the main event they may be allowed to join in the “push push” chant from the side lines. For Hypnobirthing mums however, their birth partner is their birth environment facilitator, their advocate and their protector. Their role is to ensure you can simply relax, while they take care of communicating with your care providers, ensuring you have everything you need to birth calmly and comfortably. 

Hypnobirthing Classes

Taking Hypnobirthing classes does not guarantee you a “perfect birth”; indeed there is no such thing as a “perfect birth”. There is simply the birth that is right for you and your baby in particular circumstances on a particular day. While Hypnobirthing is associated with natural birth with minimal interventions and pain relief, the techniques taught are invaluable in any birth scenario as they teach you to release fear and anxiety, and have complete confidence in your body’s ability to birth your baby. The relaxation techniques can be used whatever type of birth you have, allowing you to stay calm and in control. 

A Hypnobirthing course is typically taught over about 8 hours (although this differs between teachers), and is broken up into a number of classes. The classes equip you and your birth partner with techniques to practice daily in the lead up to the birth. It does require a commitment to practice and the more you put in the more you get out of it. When the time arrives for you to give birth, much of the hard work has already been done!

As you can see, I feel passionately that all women should have the chance to learn Hypnobirthing prior to their birth. If you’d like to chat more, please do get in touch!

Personally I’d definitely consider Hypnobirthing next time round; I know having chatted with some friends who did attend classes that they found the techniques that they learned invaluable during their labours. Are any of you considering taking classes or perhaps are already doing so? Is there anything you’d like to ask Nicky? Please do feel free to make the most of her guidance and advice by jotting down your questions in the comments box below.

Nicky Khan is a qualified KG Hypnobirthing teacher, accredited by the Royal College of Midwives, and founder of MAMACAN Hypnobirthing, a common-sense approach to birth, based in SW London.