What Is Hypnobirthing And Why Do Women Choose It?

Hypnobirthing is a birthing approach and technique that focuses on self-hypnosis, breathing techniques and relaxation.

Hypnobirthing is a birthing approach and technique that focuses on self-hypnosis, breathing techniques and relaxation. Many women rate hypnobirthing as the reason for a virtually pain-free birthing experience.
A huge part of hypnobirthing is letting go of the fear associated with the pain of labour. Releasing these fears can also help a woman have a very different birth experience following a traumatic labour. Through hypnobirthing, the spotlight begins to show the magic and beauty of giving birth rather than the sense of dread that many women feel.
Hypnobirthing helps a woman to take control of her birthing experience. For many woman, it can feel as though they are merely a spectator of their own labour and that the power remains in the hands of the doctors and midwives at the hospital. With hypnobirthing, a huge part of the joy is knowing that you have the ability to control how things pan out even if they do not go in accordance with your birthing plan. The idea is that you have the control to respond calmly and in a way that helps keep pain and anxiety to a minimum.

If you have had a traumatic birth it might be hard to relate to just how calm a hypnoborthing birth experience can be. Many women will speak fondly of the contractions they experienced referring to them as “surges” of energy rather than waves of pain. Each surge brings them closer to their baby and through their hypnobirthing training they welcome each one rather than fearing them. In fact, some women smile or laugh through each contraction.
Through the breathing exercises, a woman will find a way to manage any discomfort that each “surge” brings during the labour. Mindfulness and visualisation are strong tools in helping them do this. Many women find a particular memory or image to focus on during a surge and this helps them to almost “leave” the scene and visit that image every time a surge comes along.
It is often the image or emotions connected to a really happy time in their lives or a scene that promotes a feeling of calm and serenity.

A hypnobirth does not have to be a birth that is free from pain-relief options. Many women practice hypnobirthing and choose to opt for gas and air or an epidural for example.

The deep breathing and meditation practices that are associated with hypnobirthing can really help a woman to tune in to her body and focus on the baby during the labour experience. It can give her the ability to block out any extra noise or stress that can often lead to labour slowing down. For this reason, hypnobirthing has been linked to shorter labours.
Other than a shorter and less painful birthing experience there are so many benefits to hypnobirthing. It can help a woman take control of her birth and focus on a birthing plan. In some cases, this can be quite a specific picture of how she wants things to go or more of an idea as to how she would like to feel during the labour.
It can also help a woman communicate better with her birthing partner which can make it easier for that person to know how to help best during birth.

Hypnobirthing also teaches a woman skills that can be applied to any situation in life that involves fear or stress. For this reason, it is considered to be a tool for life.

Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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