These are some of the questions I'm most often asked. Should you want to know anything that I haven't covered (or just more about what I have) then please phone or email me.
Loads – and they're all positive. Improved immune function, increased feelings of well-being, more energy, lowered stress levels and better sleep is often reported. In addition to confidence in the body's ability to work, a release of fear and stress reduction, HypnoBirthing® parents will also have skills which can be used forever in many different capacities (not just with the birth of your next baby).
He or she will learn very specific massage techniques and will be learning to help the mum deepen her level of relaxation. They will also learn how to confidently communicate with medical professionals, allowing control of the birthing situation in a calm and relaxed way.
There are many, many misconceptions around hypnosis – largely fuelled by those old Hammer Horror films with the swinging watches and, more recently, TV stage hypnosis (and Little Britain!).
The truth is that stage hypnosis is not a true representation of therapeutic hypnotherapy. Anyone of at least reasonable intelligence can be hypnotised and all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.
So no one can be put into hypnosis, get stuck in hypnosis or be controlled by anyone else (and definitely not made to cluck and run around like a chicken!).
Hypnosis is a focused state of concentration. Another person can only facilitate and help deepen what is already a natural process. The key is practice.
No more than top sports stars who are "in the zone" or "in flow". Everyone experiences hypnosis differently, there are no rights or wrongs. Sometimes you can hear every word being said while other times you're just aware of a pleasant "inner" journey – just as in the many times you experience hypnosis throughout the day (daydreaming, driving, reading . . . )
Although the earlier you start the more time you have to practice, waiting until at least the 20 week stage will enable you to really feel your baby's response and interaction in the process (babies especially love the relaxation exercises and practice and you can really tell!)
I love hearing this because the biggest sceptics tend to become the biggest believers. There is no particular belief system required for HypnoBirthing® or hypnosis in general.
The course is designed for couples, although this could be a friend or someone else who can help you with your practice and possibly attend your birth. I have taught mums whose partners are away and haven't been able to attend most of the classes or those without partners and, with their baby as their birth companion, they've had great births.
HypnoBirthing® is not just about intervention-free, drug-less, wholly natural births. The techniques learned are beneficial to any experience. The preparation for birth itself and parenting is wonderful. As is greater relaxation, enhanced bonding with the baby and the ability to be calm (and thus ensure a good supply of oxygen to your baby) in whatever choices you make or whichever turn your birth experience may take.
No-one can do that. The success of the techniques is related to the amount you practice conditioning your body and mind to relax. There are many factors that affect birth, many of which you will learn to influence during the course while others can be less predictable. The current studies on HypnoBirthing® show that 65-70% of mums give birth with no need for pain relief and a further 20-25% use only milder forms.
HypnoBirthing® is NOT a generic term for hypnosis for childbirth. The philosophy of HypnoBirthing® is such that the classes concentrate on helping to eliminate the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle through the teaching and demonstration of relaxation, self-hypnosis, massage techniques, discussion, lots of videos of birthing and full inclusion of and distinct roles for the birth companion. The time-proven success of HypnoBirthing® is based on this – not on the teaching of methods for controlling pain as is often the case in other classes. HypnoBirthing® is a trademark registered for HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method. Hypno-birthing, hypno birth, etc. is not the same thing so "Demand the Original; Expect the best". A list of practitioners trained and accredited by the HypnoBirthing® Institute can be found here
A book or a CD will not take your calls when you feel the need to talk with someone, answer your questions, give you an extra session, send you more information, deal with your fears regarding birthing, repeat a demonstration . . .
Exactly what I thought when I was pregnant! And exactly what a lot of parents on their subsequent pregnancies that come to my classes thought when they had their first babies. The NHS classes prepare you to give birth in a way that fits into the routine that the hospital or birthing centre has and the instructors are restricted by this in what they can teach and the information they can give parents. What you get on this course goes way beyond what these and other ante-natal classes teach – from breathing techniques which maximise what's happening in your body (not encourage you to hyperventilate), learning about what is actually happening in your body during the stages of labour and why nature just can't be improved upon! You can use the techniques for subsequent births (and I've yet to hear a HypnoBirthing mum say, "never again .. . ") and for reducing stress in many other situations.
Some of what you will learn includes: