What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a fully comprehensive birth education programme, where you will learn simple but effective techniques to help you have a calmer, more comfortable birth. In your hypnobirthing classes you will learn:

  • How to eliminate any unnecessary fear or anxiety and approach your birth feeling positive and confident.
  • How to protect yourself from negative cultural perceptions and ‘horror stories’ about birth.
  • Skills which will help you to control your fight/flight response during your birth so that you can avoid panicking and stay calm and in control whatever the situation.
  • How to use deep relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques to help you manage the sensations of labour, reducing the likelihood that you will need pain relieving drugs.
  • How to ‘breathe’ rather than ‘push’ your baby out, reducing the likelihood of tearing or perineal trauma

Does Hypnobirthing Work?

Hypnobirthing will almost certainly help you to feel more confident and less anxious as you approach your birth. There’s also an excellent chance that you will be able to learn some techniques which will help you to stay calmer and more comfortable than you might have been otherwise. Hypnobirthing cannot guarantee that you will have an easy unmedicated birth, but it will certainly improve the chances of one if that’s what you are aiming for. Hypnobirthing is suitable for all kinds of births. Whether you are planning an elective caesarean, an induction, birth with an epidural or a home waterbirth, hypnobirthing can help you to have the best experience possible.

Of course, some people experience greater success with hypnobirthing than others. We would recommend that to maximise your chances of success you should think carefully about how you choose to learn. A well designed, comprehensive course with an experienced teacher who has first-hand experience of supporting women using the techniques, will always be preferable to trying to learn from a book. You will also need to practise at home!

Is Hypnobirthing Safe?

Hypnobirthing is absolutely safe. A hypnotic ‘trance’ is actually a perfectly natural state that we all experience on a daily basis. It is often described as the experience of being deeply relaxed but intensely focused at the same time. It could be compared to being lost in a daydream or completely engrossed in a movie or a book or a fascinating conversation. You remain fully conscious but able to effortlessly tune out any distracting external stimuli. It is usually associated with an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion meaning that it can be used to help transform unhelpful or unwanted thought or behaviour patterns. Hypnosis has been used by the medical profession to help with pain management for almost 200 years – long before modern anaesthesia! Hypnobirthing classes teach you the techniques you need to be able to stay in control of your own mind and body. All the knowledge you will gain is grounded in science and supported by evidence.

Will hypnobirthing give me a pain-free birth?

There are lots of reports of hypnobirthing people having pain-free births. Many people do not describe the sensations they feel as pain, but pressure and I have seen, first-hand, women so deeply relaxed that they appear to be sleeping, even when labour is well established.  However, a pain free birth is not something that can be guaranteed and it’s not the focus of the course. Birth is unpredictable and there are many different factors that can affect the experience that you have. But being prepared for what might come up during your labour helps you to cope better. We also know that being able to relax both mentally and physically can significantly reduce the intensity of the sensations of labour, helping you to stay relatively comfortable and reducing the likelihood that you will need an epidural. The aim of Hypnobirthing is not to provide you with the picture perfect pain-free birth, but to give you everything you need for a calmer, more comfortable birth where you are in control.

What else will I learn in hypnobirthing classes?

At BirthSense, we want to give you the most comprehensive birth preparation programme possible. We know that whilst hypnobirthing techniques are one of the most effective tools in your tool kit, there are multiple factors that can affect your birth experience and we want you to learn about all of them! That’s why our courses include:

  • How you can use movement and positioning to help baby move through the pelvis more easily
  • Specific techniques to help turn a breech or back-to-back baby
  • Information on water birth, caesarean birth and inductions
  • Options for pain relief
  • Home birth, midwife led units, and consultant led care
  • Your options, choices and rights in the UK maternity care system
  • How to make a birth plan
  • What to pack in your birth bag
  • Breastfeeding preparation
  • Early days parenting

Do I still need to book NCT classes if I am doing hypnobirthing?

We can’t speak for other hypnobirthing providers, but we think that, at BirthSense, we cover absolutely everything you need so there is no need to attend any other classes if you don’t want to. That said, many of our clients do attend both and feedback suggests that, whilst they may not learn anything brand new at additional antenatal classes, they really benefit from having the positive messages we teach reinforced and from meeting other pregnant couples in their local area.

Is there a Hypnobirthing class near me?

Our practitioners teach in a number of different locations around Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. We can also travel to you for private classes in your own home.  If you can’t see a class near you listed on the website, please  give us a call as we are usually able to help.

Do you offer an intensive course over one or two days?

Although we do, on occasion, teach hypnobirthing like this (usually only privately when someone has left it a bit too close to their due date to do a normal course), we don’t feel it’s ideal. Firstly, hypnobirthing can be quite an intense learning experience and we think you will take a lot more in, if you break it up into manageable chunks. Secondly, because hypnobirthing involves practising the techniques at home, we think that it’s best to leave at least a week in between sessions so that we can support you properly as you build up your confidence and skills in using them.

How much do Hypnobirthing classes cost?

The cost of Hypnobirthing classes varies depending on the provider, the content, duration and format of the course and the area that you live in. As a rough guide you can expect to pay somewhere between £200 and £350 for a 10-18 hour group course over 4 -6 weeks. You might pay more than this in London. If you opt for private lessons, the cost will usually be a bit higher. An online course is usually the cheapest option, but it may not provide you with the same level of understanding and ongoing support that group or personalised classes would. Like all decisions in childbirth and early parenting, the right option for you will be entirely dependent on your needs and priorities. We’re happy to talk you through your options if you’d like to give us a call.

Our group course prices are listed here. A typical private course with us would usually consist of 4 x 3 hour sessions and cost around £360. At Birthsense we believe that everyone should be able to benefit from hypnobirthing whatever their financial circumstances. If you have a set budget in mind or you are on a low income and struggling to meet the cost of a course, please get in touch and we will try to help.

When should I start Hypnobirthing classes?

It is never too early or too late to learn about hypnobirthing, but we find that the ideal time to start your hypnobirthing classes is somewhere around 24-28 weeks pregnant. You want the information you learn to be fresh in your mind, but you also need time to practise the techniques. Don’t worry if you’ve left it later than this before deciding you’d like to learn Hypnobirthing. If you can finish most of the course before your labour starts it will still be beneficial. If it’s really late, we might suggest the best option is a more intensive private course. We run courses a minimum of every other month, so if you know early on in your pregnancy that you’d like to book on then you should always be able to find a class at the right time for your estimated due date.

Do I need to bring my partner to my Hynobirthing classes?

Although women can, and sometimes do, attend classes alone, we would certainly encourage you to bring your birth partner to as many of the sessions as possible. We think it is important for them to understand the techniques you are using and to learn how best to support you in the birth room. We understand that for many people, it can be difficult to commit to a weekly class at a specific time. We try to hold our group courses at a time that suits people with normal office hours, but if that’s not you then talk to us. We may be able to find a suitable solution. If you are a solo-mum and would like to find out about the possibility of hiring a doula to be your birth partner, then please get in touch.

Can I learn hypnobirthing at home?

It is possible to learn hypnobirthing techniques at home on your own. But you will not get the same interaction that you will in a group course. If there’s something you don’t understand, you can’t ask the instructor. You don’t take part in practical activities to help the knowledge land. There’s no opportunity for discussion with your classmates, which can really help facilitate learning. Many people also really enjoy the social side of attending a group course. Meeting people who are at the same stage of their journey as you can be hugely beneficial for ongoing support. Many of our clients have made lifelong friends on their courses. Having said that, an online course can be a good option for those people that are unable to attend group courses or private sessions, which is why we’re busy developing ours, so that we can support even more families.

What happens if I have to miss a session?

We understand that sometimes couples may have to miss one or more of the sessions on their course and we are keen to offer you as much flexibility as possible. It is often possible for you to make-up the equivalent session on another course so please talk to us if this is something you would like to know more about. Alternatively, your practitioner may be able to offer you a private session in your home or even a shorter ‘catch up’ on skype.

How do I become a Hypnobirthing teacher?

There are a number of different training providers offering hypnobirthing practitioner training in the UK. Each provider’s methods and processes are slightly different so it’s important to find the company that you feel fits you best. These courses also vary in price largely, so look at what you’re getting in terms of time and content for the price and decide which course you feel is the best option.

At Birthsense, it’s important to us that all of our teachers are practising birth professionals so that they have real life, practical, ongoing experience of supporting births. If you are a doula or midwife who is interested in teaching BirthSense courses then get in touch.

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