Hypnobirthing Classes in Sevenoaks
What is hypnobirthing?
are pregnant you may be thinking about how you’re going to cope with childbirth – from easing the pain using drugs like epidurals or through more natural methods such as using a birth pool. One of the birthing techniques you may have heard of has nothing to do with drugs, and its enthusiasts even say that labour doesn’t have to be painful at all.
Hypnobirthing is a complete programme that teaches a simple but specific form of self-hypnosis, along with relaxation and breathing techniques, for a better birth.
You will learn that severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment to labour and that pain during labour is a fear response that may be avoided by learning the right techniques before having your baby.
Using breathing and relaxation methods, the idea is that you can help your body relax and go through the natural process of giving birth without tensing up and feeling scared. You will learn how to release any fears and anxieties about giving birth and how to overcome any previous traumatic births.
Central to hypnobirthing is the use of positive language and keeping calm, learning how to put yourself back in control of your baby’s birth and how you want it to go.
How effective is hypnobirthing?
If you ask around, you’re likely to hear a wide range of opinions on hypnobirthing, from women who swear that it allowed them to have an entirely pain-free birth, to those who did the classes and learnt the technique but still found labour painful.
For some women, while they still experience the pain of labour, they nevertheless find hypnobirthing a useful method to stay calm and in control during labour and birth, even if things don’t go as they may have originally planned. Hypnobirthing doesn’t mean you will be in a ‘trance’ but it does mean you will be in control and therefore more able to relax - but you will be fully aware of what is happening around you.
It can also be good to know that there's nothing to stop you deciding you’d like to use other pain relief when you’re in labour, even if you start off with a plan to just use hypnobirthing.
It has been found that usingself-hypnosis in labour may result in:
- A shorter first stage of labour
- Less intense pain
- Better scores in your baby’s first checks
- A shorter stay in hospital
Can I use hypnobirthing if I give birth at home or in a birth centre?
You can use your hypnobirthing techniques wherever you choose to give birth. Many women who want to try hypnobirthing are keen to have a natural birth without medical interventions. Midwives who attend home births or who work in midwife-led birth centres won't prevent you from using hypnobirthing techniques, and they're likely to have come across other women who have done hypnobirthing before.
Can I use hypnobirthing if I give birth on the labour ward?
You can practice hypnobirthing on the labour ward, and as long as both you and your baby are doing well the midwives and doctors are very unlikely to suggest otherwise.
If you’re at a higher risk of complications, your midwife may have recommended you give birth on the labour ward rather than in a birth centre or at home. Often this is so there will be medical staff and equipment available in case you need more help. So, if you decide to learn hypnobirthing and would like to use it during labour, make sure you mention it in your birth plan, especially as you are unlikely to know the midwives looking after you during labour.
The classes comprise five one-hour sessions. The benefit of completing the course in way is that there is time between classes (usually weekly) for you and your birth partner to practice and absorb the techniques learned. The course includes a comprehensive manual, birth preparation CD and birth support CD. Also included is full nutritional advice for the pregnancy and for after the birth as well as ongoing telephone or email support.
The ideal time to start classes is between 28 weeks and 32 weeks of pregnancy – for the mum-to-be and her birthing partner. This will allow ample time to practise the hypnobirthing techniques. If you are already past this stage, you will still benefit from classes in your last weeks of pregnancy.