What exactly is hypnobirthing anyway?
The main thing that really drives me mad about hypnobirthing, is the name. There, I've said it.
I get asked to do a lot of 'Parents to Be' Events for Mama's and Papas, speaking to funnily enough parents to be about birth preparation.
I usually start by asking who has heard of hypnobirthing and what people know about the importance of relaxation during pregnancy and birth. I also throw it out there that the term 'hypnobirthing' is a PR nightmare! From Victorian ideas about hypnosis to flower-clad hippies, the phrase can conjure up stereotypes that appear too alternative to be useful or credible in a few easy steps.
Let me demystify this by stating that hypnobirthing is just a combination of hypnotherapy and birth education. There are no magic beans, no crystals, no howling at the moon, no incense and no secret code to be cracked. I teach about how the body works to your advantage during birth, how any partners can support and offer a range of different relaxation techniques to practise and use. The techniques that I teach are based on self-hypnosis and relaxation exercises that have been developed by clinical practitioners and are used within the NHS and health systems around the world.
Evidence points to the fact that the more relaxed women feel during the birth, the more fear and tension are reduced or eliminated, alongside pain. It's all good stuff, it's just a shame about the name.