24 April 2023
With horror stories of difficult births ringing in their ears, is it any wonder that expectant mums are turning to hypnobirthing?
Although hypnobirthing doesn’t promise an entirely pain-free birth, the relaxation and visualisation techniques, the breathing exercises, and a deeper understanding of how the body and mind work together offer a much happier alternative for the anxious and fearful mum-to-be and dad too.
From its beginnings in the 1980s to the present day, hypnobirthing has steadily grown in popularity, with a sudden surge of interest in 2018 following reports that HRH The Princess of Wales used hypnobirthing techniques to help her through the birth of Prince Louis.
But how do you find the right hypnobirthing classes for you and your partner?
As an endless source of information, the internet provides a mind-boggling array of hypnobirthing advice, books, classes, teachers, and self-help activities, all guaranteed to bamboozle an already challenged baby brain.
Like most expectant mums, you can expect to attend regular check-ups with your local healthcare provider, usually via the NHS.
Their online service also provides a comprehensive range of excellent advice and information along with a list of antenatal classes in your area simply by inputting a postcode search. The list includes a selection of hypnobirthing options.
As recently as September 2022, however, an extra page has been added that will ultimately list only Antenatal Hypnobirthing Classes For A Calm, Positive Birth.
The UK’s National Childbirth Trust has been one of the most trusted providers of antenatal and postnatal classes, advice, and care for over 60 years. NCT courses on everything baby-and-parent are found easily via their online search. Once again, a postcode search, with the addition of your baby’s due date, will create a list of appropriate course options for you.
Although the NCT doesn’t specifically teach hypnobirthing techniques, their classes do include elements of teaching about hypnobirthing as well as breathing techniques and ways to stay relaxed during labour. However, the NCT recommends specialist hypnobirthing classes for a more targeted approach to learning specific techniques.
Since the first Covid-19 lockdowns in March 2020, teaching and learning opportunities for just about everything have been adapted for use online. Face-to-Face courses became a ‘no-go’ for a while, and Zoom was suddenly the way ahead!
As we move on from the worst years of the pandemic, online courses remain a very popular option. Whether you choose online or in-person courses however, is a very personal choice and considers factors such as cost (online is usually cheaper), learning styles, your availability, mobility, and general health etc.
Many hypnobirthing practitioners operate independently, or are affiliated to a particular brand or website, and inputting a keyword search, for example, hypnobirthing, into your general search engine will list numerous results.
You can also input a more general search for hypnotherapists and narrow it down through individual enquiries.
However, as expectant parents, you want the best for your unborn child, both now and later. The Hypnobirthing Association provides a directory of registered KGHypnobirthing teachers across the UK with qualifications that are accredited by the Royal College of Midwives so you can be sure you are in safe and capable hands!
Finally, pregnancy doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. As well as supporting you and your partner, Hypnobirthing classes and groups can provide endless opportunities to meet and greet other couples, create support networks and potentially make lifelong friends.
Alternatively, many Hypnobirthing teachers provide individual support and lessons tailored to your own specific needs. There is however usually an extra cost involved.
Pregnancy and birth are unique experiences and each one deserves the best of care and attention for the unborn baby and for the parents. Hypnobirthing can help to create a calm, relaxed, yet active birthing environment in which we are present and involved.