Your Hypnobirthing Antenatal Course Questions Answered 


What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing uses antenatal education, self-hypnosis, relaxation, massage and breathing techniques to help release any fear or tension you may have around birthing your baby. Check out my blog for more information

Does hypnobirthing work? How effective is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing can trace its roots back to the work of Grantley Dick-Read in the 1930s. Since then there have been many studies looking at the positive impact learning hypnosis for childbirth can have on women. A systematic review in 2020 concluded "it improved childbirth experience by reducing fear and pain and enhancing a sense of control. It improved women's emotional experience and outlook towards birth with less anxiety, increased satisfaction, fewer birth interventions, more postnatal wellbeing and a better childbirth experience overall."  Catsaros S, Wendland J. (2020) Hypnosis-based interventions during pregnancy and childbirth and their impact on women’s childbirth experience: A systematic review. 

When should I book / attend a hypnobirthing course?

My hypnobirthing courses are taught in small groups so that I can give you the best possible personalised support. It is best to wait until after your 20 week scan to start the course, but you are welcome to attend anytime between then and the end of your pregnancy. It is preferable to start no later than 36 weeks, but if you are reading this later on in your pregnancy, then it is absolutely possible for hypnobirthing to work for you if you are able to put the practice in. 

What are the benefits of hypnobirthing?

It can help you feel more confident and less scared when it it comes to birthing your baby. You are able to go through labour feeling in control which can lead to a more positive birth experience. Hypnobirthing also reduces anxiety and  fears related to pregnancy and childbirth. This can lead to lower perceptions of pain during labour and a shorter labour.

It can also promote positive mental health and self-confidence after birth.

Can you teach yourself hypnobirthing?

Teaching yourself at home seems easy and simple: buy a book, download some music from the internet, watch some hypnobirthing births on YouTube and away you go. BUT you're missing out on so much! A hypnobirhing course contains so much more than a book,  especially the ongoing support.  I will be able to offer both you and your birth partner antenatal support not just when we meet but on going if you need it until the birth of your baby. I will make sure both of you are involved so you can work together as a birthing team!  A course also means we can work through coping techniques together, making sure that you are getting them just right so they will be of maximum benefit for you on the day. You will also have a chance to meet other local parents on the course going through similar experiences to you, which could become a postnatal support group too if that is what you. wish.  

Does hypnobirthing replace the need for other pain relief during labour?

Straight up, hypnobirthing does not promise you a pain free labour, but women often feel more in control and able to deal with the sensations because they have an understanding of what is happening and how the body works during labour.  Some women find they can use the techniques and coping strategies throughout labour whilst others prefer to keep an open mind and use hypnobirthing strategies for as far as they feel comfortable before opting for something else. There is no wrong or right way to do it! If you want to avoid drugs completely then hypnobirthing will certainly help you but it will also serve you well when you are labouring at home, in the car transferring to hospital, in triage and so on. 

Do I have to be having a home-birth or using a birth centre to use hypnobirthing techniques?

Absolutely not! Home-births and the use of the birth-centre are not always options for people, but hypnobirthing is and it can be used in all settings. Midwives are trained to recognise the benefits of hypnobirthing. 

Can I use hypnobirthing techniques if I am having a caesarean birth?

Even if you do have to have a medically managed birth, it is still the birth of your child and whatever the circumstances, relaxed and calm is always going to be be a million times better than stressed and scared.  

Does my birth partner have to attend a hypnobirthing course with me?

Ideally, yes. It is a good idea for the person who is going to be with you during the birth, to come to the course.  It helps you to feel supported and at the same time, it gives them invaluable skills and knowledge to help you during labour and, of course, they then feel so much more a part of the process. You are more than welcome to attend by yourself if you would prefer.  If your partner is a little skeptical then I will do my best to win them over with the science behind it all.  

Is hypnobirthing mind control?

NO!  Forget anything on television, hypnosis is not magic!  A hypnotic state is something we all enter into several times a day. Have you ever driven the car, arrived at your destination and can’t, for the life of you, remember how you got there? That is a hypnotic state. It is not the same as being asleep or unconscious and the only person who has control over the situation is you.

A hypnotic state is induced by encouraging you to focus on your breathing and your body which enables you to switch off the thinking part of your brain.  Whilst you are in a relaxed state of mind, i.e. in a hypnotic state, there is direct access to the subconscious where we can replace existing negative beliefs with powerful positive ones  e.g. ‘As a woman you have a powerful ability to birth your baby’.  Because these suggestions are being made to the subconscious mind, they are more likely to be accepted by you than if the suggestions were given to your conscious mind.  If at any point you become uncomfortable or don’t feel safe anymore you can simply open your eyes and you will come out of it.

What platform are your online courses and taster sessions run on?

The courses are facilitated on Zoom which is free to download on a computer, tablet or smartphone. 

Will I need to keep my webcam on if I take part in an online course?

Ideally, yes. It makes it easier for me to talk to you and for the course to be more engaging. I appreciate there may be times though when you might have to turn it off for a minute or so if something is going on in the background. 

What essential oils are beneficial for labour?

I am qualified to give guidance on the following essential oils that form part of the course and their uses for labour.

Lavender: Lavendula angustifolia/vera/officinalis

Clary Sage: Salvia sclarea

Frankincense: Boswellia carterii

Mandarin: Citrus reticulata

Peppermint: Mentha piperita

Spearmint: Mentha spicata

Where is the best place to source essential oils?

Essential oils can be purchased online or from health food / alternative therapy outlets. Make sure they are a pure essential oil and not a man-made synthetic fragrance and buy organic where possible. 

Disclaimer & Practicalities

The information, techniques and exercises provided within the courses available or downloads used during your own time are for educational purposes only. Do not use the hypnobirthing downloads or practice the techniques or exercises contained within these downloads whilst driving or operating machinery, If you suffer from epilepsy, clinical depression or any other nervous or psychiatric condition please check with your doctor / medical professional before using hypnosis as their can be individual contraindications. 

Aromatherapy for childbirth may not be suitable for all. Learning the skills is no guarantee you will be able to use them during your labour. This may be down to hospital policy or your own suitability at that time. Please check with a doctor or medical professional that aromatherapy will be suitable for you to use. 

The information provided is not a substitute for proper medical advice. If in doubt, please consult your doctor or licensed medical practitioner.

Do you have a course cancellation policy?

Birth Preparation with Joy courses are services. Provision of the service is considered to have started once we have sent you your booking confirmation and any pre-course material if required. If you wish to cancel your booking, refunds will only be given on the following basis: A full refund if a cancellation is notified 7 days or more prior to the commencement of the course; 50% refund if notification is received 6 days or less before course commencement. Refunds are not available after course commencement.

Can I pay in instalments?

Please contact me. 

What happens if Birth Preparation with Joy has to cancel a course due to unforeseen circumstances?

If an in person course is cancelled - you will be offered a place on a next available in person course that has availability or the option to transfer to an online course. If these are not suitable, then a full refund will be made. If an online course is cancelled then you will be given the option to transfer to another online course. If there is not a suitable date then a full refund will be made. 

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