Over the last few months the team have shared various labour stories and although straightforward all used traditional pain management. We have heard a lot about hypnobirthing and it is something we are really interested in. Non of the team have got direct experience of the technique so when The Portland hospital got in touch with details on hypnobirthing we were really excited to share it with you.

There are many ways to manage pain, stress and anxiety during childbirth. If you’re determined to do everything you can to enjoy a natural labour, you might want to consider the advantages of hypnobirthing. It is also very useful during pregnancy if the woman is very anxious about her birth even if it is planned c section or they will use epidural. Not only for those who are determined but for women who want a positive and safe birth.

What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a relatively new form of self-hypnosis that helps with relaxation and pain management during childbirth.

It is a simple technique taught at any time in pregnancy and with practise it is a skill easily used during labour. It involves both physical and mental relaxation without the use of medication. Hypnobirthing is particularly beneficial because it helps mums-to-be to take long and deep breaths – aiding pain and stress management. This natural technique involves visualisation and deep meditation.

Hypnobirthing classes involve various breathing and relaxation methods, but they are always geared to the needs of the individual. Although there are some key techniques used, they can be modified and enhanced based on your specific needs.

While hypnobirthing is suitable for most women, it works best if you enter into it with an open mind. Particularly if you’re keen to have a natural birth without painkillers or an epidural, this way of staying in control of your anxiety, your emotions and your pain could be ideal.
One of the main reasons expectant mums choose hypnobirthing is because it can result in a shorter labour. There is also evidence to suggest that this natural method of pain and stress management during childbirth can result in better obstetric outcomes and higher neonatal Apgar scores.

(Apgar scores are results based on initial assessments of a newborn – based on pulse, skin colour, movement, grimace and respirations).

Read Linsey’s story

If you’re still having doubts about the effectiveness of hypnobirthing, read Linsey’s story. She is a busy professional who wanted to explore various natural birthing methods. She was given some literature about the various options available at The Portland Hospital, and hypnobirthing immediately caught her eye.

Linsey started attending hypnobirthing classes at The Portland with her husband Adam – and they both started to feel more relaxed. Indeed, Adam revealed that he was feeling a lot calmer and less stressed at work because he was using the relaxation techniques he’d learned.

Linsey gave birth to her baby in a birthing pool. Instead of relying on medication for pain relief, she used the breathing and visualisation techniques that were taught at her hypnobirthing classes. At one stage during her labour, Linsey was able to focus her mind to such an extent that the words of her husband and her midwife barely registered. To this day she remains proud of giving birth without any form of prescribed pain relief.

Can hypnobirthing work for you?

It will always make a difference, if you are confident you want to learn theses skills and self-assured that you can concentrate and control your thoughts during the rigours of childbirth, there is an excellent chance that hypnobirthing will enhance your experience. The deep relaxation techniques you will learn will help to take away the fear of childbirth. If you have an open mind, the visualisation techniques you’ll be taught will help you to control pain, regulate your breathing and minimise your anxiety levels.

A number of studies have highlighted the benefits of hypnobirthing. The relaxation techniques involved make easier labours more likely. The women in these studies who used birth hypnosis bled less, and they were less likely to need their labour augmented. In short, being relaxed during labour is good for you and your baby – which is why an increasing number of mums-to-be in the UK are choosing hypnobirthing.

Although many women start hypnobirthing classes at around 30 weeks, the techniques taught can help you to control pain and stress for the rest of your life. So if you want to make the most of the childbirth experience by avoiding medication, hypnobirthing could be your best and can be taught to compliment other pre-birth classes.

We would be really interested to hear your experiences of hypnobirthing. Did you use this technique or are you planning to for your new arrival?

Image by Divine Day Photography

This post is brought to you by The Portland Hospital – the only private hospital in the UK dedicated exclusively to the care of women and children. For more information, please visit – www.theportlandhospital.com