HYPNOBIRTHING IS AN INTELLIGENT, HEARTFELT AND INFORMED APPROACH TO CHILDBIRTH
Our hypnobirthing course is a complete antenatal preparation and the
most evidence-based programme available.
WHAT IS HYPNOBIRTHING?
Hypnobirthing is a logical, effective and science-based approach to childbirth preparation.
Every woman is physically designed to give birth, but we live in a culture where fear and negativity often dominate our perception of birth. The thing is, fear and tension often prevents the birthing muscles in your body to function as they naturally should, making labour feel more painful and like a negative experience.
Hypnobirthing teaches simple and effective deep relaxation and visualization techniques combined with positive thought and language to reduce fear, anxiety, tension and stress - tools which will enable you to have a positive and empowered birth. These skills will stay with you beyond the birth of your baby. They will help you reframe any ingrained fear or negative perceptions of giving birth and allow you to work with your mind and body to achieve a calm and positive experience that will have lasting impacts on your wellbeing.
You will also gain an in-depth understanding of how the body works during the birthing process, medical interventions and how to navigate the turns of your labour as well as the hospital system – which will empower you to make confident and informed choices so you can own your birth experience.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT
There is now irrefutable scientific evidence on the power of the mind-body connection. We now understand the influence of meditation, mindfulness and visualization on everyday stress and anxiety. Mindful meditation has been shown to strengthen brain connections, reduce pain and decrease the production of stress hormones in the body.
The British Medical Association reports that women who use a form of deep relaxation and focus during labour have more frequent spontaneous births with less complications and less need for medical intervention. There is less request for pain relief and labours are shorter.
Educating ourselves and understanding how the body works during the birthing process is a fundamental part of a calm birth. The more we understand the birthing body the easier it is to work with it.
Hypnobirthing is not related to ‘stage hypnosis’, it does not mean you will be “hypnotised”, unaware of your experience, in a trance state or asleep. Rather, you will feel relaxed, fully aware and in charge of your body and mind. You will be able to chat and move about as normal at all times, but in a focused and calm state.
Hypnobirthing does not promise a certain type of birth and it does not mean unexpected things won’t happen. The course will also cover how birth sometimes can take a different journey and it will teach you to feel calm and empowered to create a positive and joyful experience even when things don’t go to plan, no matter the type of birth and whether it takes place at home, in a birthing centre or at a hospital.
Hypnobirthing does not apply to people with particular beliefs or prior knowledge or experience. Some mums and dads start the course quite sceptical at first, until they understand and see for themselves what the course can do. In fact, the more sceptical they are to start with, the more they rave about the transformative benefits of hypbobirthing.
REFRAME, NURTURE, LEARN, GROW, CONNECT
Achieving a calm and happy birth is a journey.
We are here to inspire, support and guide you.
Frequently asked questions
Why attend a course and not read a book or watch videos online?
Research shows that we retain approximately 10% of the information we read, and 75% through the exchange of verbal communication and practice. It's also difficult to recreate the same feeling of a really good class alone, in front of a computer. If you are taking a group class, setting an intention together with a large group feels special. You will meet new like-minded parents-to-be going through the exact same journey and create a motivational community which makes you feel more at ease and supported.
In addition, we will cover specific topics such as different labour scenarios and how to navigate different health care providers in the UK - information which is unlikely to be found elsewhere with specificity. Someone else might also ask a question that you might not have considered before.
I also work with parents to understand what they want to get out of the course, that way I'm able to run each course taking their individual wishes and needs into consideration and I also provide full ongoing support beyond the course.
I believe in a medical approach to birth, is hypnobirthing against it?
No, hypnobirthing is about becoming educated about the birthing process to avoid unnecessary medical interventions, as well as making you in control of your experience and giving you a voice. Many hospitals in the UK are now training their doctors and midwives in hypnobirthing so they can better support you. The logic of hypnobirthing is about bringing childbirth back to basics, and allowing (and supporting) the human body to perform what it is naturally designed to do, which is at the heart of medicine.
Is hypnobirthing worth it?
The arrival of a new baby can indeed be very costly, but what we can’t put a price on is a woman’s birthing experience. A bad birth experience can follow you for life, it can make the first days and weeks of parenthood very difficult as you will be struggling to get over a negative memory, and it can increase the risk of postnatal depression. Often times there is no second questioning when it comes to paying for a wedding, for example. We become complacent when it comes to the most important days of our lives. Giving birth should be no different; every woman deserves a birth that she feels in control of. Attending a good antenatal preparation class should be a main priority during pregnancy. Treat your birth as you would treat getting married or buying a house, invest in it as you would any other major life event.
This is not my first baby, how will I benefit from the course?
Hypnobirthing prepares you for your current pregnancy, regardless of how many children you already have. You often hear the words “if only I had known… I would have made a different decision”. It is the second time mums that can really tell you the difference that hypnobirthing makes. The course helps you let go of any previous negative birth experience, as it will reframe your thoughts and prepare you to embrace and look forward to this birth.
I’m at the end of my third trimester, can I still attend the course?
Yes, although practicing the hypnobirthing techniques gradually over time is recommended, you can most definitely still experience the positive effects of hypnobirthing even in the last days of your pregnancy, and you will gain important knowledge about the medical care system that you otherwise wouldn’t have. We offer a flexible and intense last minute course, get in touch so we can arrange the best option for you.
How is the course different from NCT?
Both courses have different approaches, NCT cover the functional things; they don't specifically focus on a particular method of preparation for birth. A lot of parents attend NCT for the social aspect, with the aim of making friends. We feel strongly about the social aspect, and with every group class, the aim is to create a community where you will share this journey together. Birth Secrets is not only a hypnobirthing course, you'll be introduced to a network of local groups and support contacts in your area (e.g. postnatal doulas, local breastfeeding mum groups, mum and dad meet-ups, baby yoga, baby massage classes, infant play groups and much more), that extend far beyond the group of parents who are attending the classes with you.
Is hypnobirthing against pain relief?
No. Hundreds of thousands of births happen every day and yet every labour is a unique experience that unfolds in different ways, only a mother knows how she is feeling and what she needs. For this reason, my hypnobirthing course is not prescriptive about what you have to do during birth. Instead, you will have all the knowledge to make informed and confident choices about the best course of action for you and your baby when the time comes.
What if hypnobirthing isn’t for me?
Hypnobirthing is for any woman carrying a baby and looking to take a relaxed and informed approach to childbirth. You will learn that every woman is capable of having a calm birth experience. You will anticipate your birth with excitement, not fear.
How does the course benefit my partner?
Hypnobirthing is equally important to both mum and dad/partner. Your partner will learn how to support you and relax you as well as recognise different stages of labour so you are both prepared and aware of how your labour unfolds. He/she will have a central and active role in the birth and it will feel like a truly shared experience. The course is also a great bonding moment for couples, and a place to unwind and focus on yourselves and on your baby’s arrival, surrounded by an informal and positive environment, which is sometimes challenging to nurture during our normal busy lives during the week.
I’m high risk and/or know I might not be able to have a natural birth, can I still benefit from hypnobirthing?
Without a doubt, the techniques learned during the classes and the knowledge you will obtain is designed to support you no matter the type of birth you have, even if you’re having a planned induction or c-section. In fact, it’s even more of a reason to attend the course as you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of all procedures, and most importantly, you will be armed with tools to help you remain calm, fearless and empowered to make informed choices and to feel proud of the type of birth that was right for you and your baby.
I can only attend one course, is hypnobirthing enough?
Our hypnobirthing course is a complete antenatal course, it covers all stages of labour, birth, interventions (and the reasons for them), hospital procedures, first newborn stages, and most importantly, it aims to make you look forward to your birth as a joyful and empowering moment in your life. Parents who also attend another course realise that they are the most prepared in the room, as they don’t have the anxiety and fear they often see in other parents.
Does the course cover breastfeeding?
Yes, we will cover the basics of breastfeeding. You will also receive reading recommendations and local expert contact recommendation (i.e. lactation consultants, workshops and local breastfeeding support groups), however, it is not the focus of our course.
What if I’m also taking another antenatal course?
That is perfectly fine, you will find that hypnobirthing is complementary to other antenatal courses and a unique added bonus, as you'll also feel mentally and emotionally prepared.
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