Category Archives: Birth

Hypnobirthing… what do we actually mean?

There has been a bit of a debate over the last week in my online “birth community” about whether the term “hypnobirthing” puts people off, or gives the wrong impression, makes false promises or just won’t work for everyone, and this had come from practitioners themselves.

The term “hypnosis”, the argument goes, can be off-putting but only, I believe, if it isn’t explained properly. Every day each one of us spends some time in a state of natural hypnosis, when daydreaming, or even reading or watching TV. We switch off from our surroundings but our senses are still aware of all that is going on around us. In a state of hypnosis, a fire alarm, or even a whiff of burning smoke, (unless in a therapy session with a hypnotist who is working on sensory perception, but then you would expect THEM to recognise the signs) will have everyone heading for the door, no question.

SO what does hypnobirthing do? The term was first used by an American hypnotherapist, Marie Mongan, but has come into widespread use over the years. There are various types of training to be had, all with similar aims but varying methodologies. I chose to train with Maggie Howell as a Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner, as there was no change to language used to describe birth: we call a contraction just that, as how often might a midwife say “that was a good contraction”? The key is repetition and the teaching of self-hypnosis, using “3,2,1 relax” by now a very familiar trigger for me which can send me way down into hypnosis in a heart-beat! Continue reading