What is Hypnobirthing?

(10 minute read)

This blog post has been brought to you by Zoe and Maria, co-founders of About Little Humans. 

The word “hypnobirthing” can sound intimidating or airy fairy and you might be sceptical about it. However, it has nothing to do with hypnosis or being put to sleep! Hypnobirthing doesn’t let somebody else take control from you - it actually does the opposite. It gives you control over the progression of labour and birth. It gives you the confidence to stand up for yourself and claim the birth that you’re dreaming of. It gives you the chance to prepare for birth.

But what exactly is hypnobirthing? It’s simple. Hypnobirthing takes away the element of fear using positive thoughts and by helping you understand, using evidence and logic based facts, why labour is not meant to be dramatic and painful as presented in the movies.

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There is also a relaxation element to all of this which is what is referred to as “hypnotherapy”. For us, it is more like meditating. You may already be doing a variation of this when you’ve had a tough day. Maybe you dim the lights, light a candle, pour yourself a drink, take deep breaths and say to yourself that tomorrow will be a new and better day. The objective is the same, to learn to manage your thoughts and be calm. Midwives are often blown away by the calmness of hypnobirthing mums during labour, as they have a different attitude towards birth.

Hypnobirthing is nothing new. It’s existed for decades and originated from Dr Grantly Dick-Read’s work who, in the 1920s, noticed that women who had positive expectations of birth and who were calm, tended to experience less pain than women who were frightened. Fear creates tension, which in turn creates pain.

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Hypnobirthing has gained significant attention worldwide, proving highly beneficial for countless women during labour. Its surge in popularity can be attributed to the growing awareness of the increasing medicalisation of childbirth. Across the globe, there's a rising trend in birth interventions, often driven by the practice of 'defensive medicine' among healthcare professionals. This approach leans towards frequent medical interventions as a precautionary measure, sometimes influenced by the familiarity and specialisation of doctors in these procedures.

Undoubtedly, we appreciate and celebrate the remarkable advances made in medicine over the last century. However, amidst these advancements, it's crucial to recognise that birth is a profoundly natural process, often not necessitating extensive medical interventions. While we value and rely on medical progress, acknowledging the balance between intervention and the innate birthing process is key.

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How hypnobirthing has changed our lives

Before practising hypnobirthing, we both thought birth was a means to an end and that we would be spending a few painful and uncomfortable hours in labour, possibly in agony but at the end it would all be worth it.

We share with you our personal hypnobirthing experiences:

Maria: ‘I mean I remember asking my mum as a teenager to show me how much birth would hurt and she gave me a good pinch on my arm. So even as a child, the concern about birth started to build up. After that, all birth stories I would hear would end with: “it was painful but worth it”. Hypnobirthing has completely changed the way I view birth. During my pregnancy I surrounded myself with like-minded hypnobirthing mums who shared extraordinarily positive birth experiences with me. I suddenly found myself looking forward to being in labour and spending those special hours with my husband. I wanted a vaginal birth, without any medical interventions and preferably without an epidural although I wasn’t excluding it. In my late pregnancy I was advised by my obstetrician to be induced, something which I did not expect. I used what I had learned in hypnobirthing and decided to accept the induction and then asked for an epidural. Our daughter was born in between laughing fits between my husband and I. Ten minutes after she was born, I would be happy to do it all over again. To be honest, for me hypnobirthing was not just for giving birth. Even after Cassandra was born, it’s helped me view life in a more positive way. I find myself being calmer and more patient as a person’.

Zoe: ‘I always wanted to experience a vaginal birth. I wanted to feel and see my baby being born. But I was terrified. When I did a tour at my local hospital in the UK there was someone there talking about ‘hypnobirthing’. I wondered, what on earth is this? Little did I know that hypnobirthing would change my life. I got my partner involved as well, he was sceptical at the beginning but once he heard a few things about it and saw all the logic behind it, he was impressed! It gave me the tools to think positively and not be afraid. What I love about hypnobirthing is that it truly makes you look forward to your birth - I couldn’t wait. I wrote my birth plan with an open mind. I noted that my goal was to achieve a natural birth but I was okay with taking drugs in case I needed them. This made me feel more relaxed - having a birth plan was so important, it made me feel prepared - even when I knew that it doesn’t always go to plan. I gave birth in a midwife-led birth centre in my own birth pool just like I wanted! I was not only able to have the birth that I always wanted but I also enjoyed it’.

We’ve had such different birth experiences and we both felt that they were very positive and special. Which comes to show that there is no right and wrong way in going about giving birth and that hypnobirthing can help you regardless of the birth that you choose to have. One thing is certain - hypnobirthing has made us feel passionate about spreading positivity!

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A few words for About Little Humans

We are Maria and Zoe, the co-founders of About Little Humans, inspired to create the platform after personally experiencing the transformative effects of hypnobirthing during our pregnancies and births. Both certified through the Royal College of Midwives in the UK, we have undergone extensive training and hold diplomas in teaching hypnobirthing.

Our collective expertise has culminated in 'Birth Ready’, a comprehensive online antenatal course meticulously designed to equip expecting parents for their little one's arrival. Beyond education, our primary aim with the 'Birth Ready' pack is to instil a sense of empowerment and positivity, guiding parents-to-be toward a confident and joyful birth experience.

You can find more information through our website Homepage | About Little Humans

Email: hello@aboutlittlehumans.com

Instagram: @aboutlittlehumans

Facebook: About Little Humans

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