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Is Hypnobirthing Good for my Unborn Baby?

24 April 2023

You may have heard of hypnobirthing as a series of techniques which can help mothers stay calm and experience less pain during childbirth. However, did you know that hypnobirthing may also benefit your child while they’re still in the womb? Read on to find out more.

Helps relax the baby

The connection between a mother and her foetus is such that infants in the womb share what their mother is feeling. There is evidence to suggest that practising hypnobirthing can help relax the baby as well as the mother. When the mother is calm and relaxed, it is thought that this positively affects the foetus, allowing them to stay calm too. Hypnobirthing can also help to reduce pain during childbirth, as the mother focuses on relaxing her body and breathing deeply. This means that she is less likely to tense up and experience pain during contractions, making birthing less stressful for both mother and baby. There is extensive anecdotal evidence linking hypnobirthing with calmer, happier babies. 

Helps improve the baby's health

Hypnobirthing can have positive effects on the baby’s health by reducing their exposure to stress hormones. When a mother is stressed, her body produces adrenaline and cortisol, which can cross the placenta and affect foetal brain development. By helping the mother stay calm and relaxed, hypnobirthing can help to reduce the baby's exposure to these harmful hormones. A research review by Landolt and Milling, published in 2011, found that babies born to mothers using hypnotherapy techniques tended to have higher Apgar scores. Apgar scores are assessments of health given to babies immediately after birth by doctors and a higher score means a healthier baby. 

Helps improve the bond between mother and baby

Hypnobirthing can also help to create a stronger bond between mother and baby. When a mother can remain calm and focused during childbirth, it allows her to be more present and attuned to her baby's needs. This can help foster a deeper connection between the two, which can last long after the birth - indeed, hypnobirthing has been found to be linked to lower incidence of postnatal depression. Additionally, hypnobirthing techniques can help to strengthen the bond between the mother and her partner, by giving the partner an active role to play in the birthing process.

Are there any negatives? 

Learning hypnobirthing techniques is certainly not going to harm your unborn baby in any way. While hypnosis is sometimes portrayed in popular culture as a scary experience where you are not in control, the reality of hypnotherapy is totally different. Using breathing techniques, visualisations and meditation, you will learn how to stay calm and feel in control during stressful and potentially painful situations. Having a relaxed mother who knows how to handle difficult situations can only be an advantage for your baby through pregnancy, birth and as they grow up.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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