IS HYPNOBIRTHING BEING DILUTED?
So, please, hear me when I say, I have NO problem with hypnobirthing evolving but I DO (it seems) have an issue with it being diluted. Now, I know that some people will roll their eyes at me and think I am some old fuddy duddy wanting to stay in the dark ages. I remember eye rolling just under 10 years when I was frustrated with how the brand, I was affiliated with at the time didn’t seem to be able move with the times across all areas (we are talking technology, communication, language, ethos, values etc) and I didn’t have any other option but to just put up with it, if I wanted to keep doing what I loved. This isn’t that and this isn’t 2012…
Hypnobirthing has been in my life for 15 years now (I stumbled across it in a desperate google search- yes we had google back then- when I was pregnant and terrified of what lay ahead…and it changed everything for me).
I used it to help me prepare to birth my babies, I trained to teach it over 10 years ago (with the original method of Hypnobirthing) and started training other people to teach it 4 ½ years ago.
I have seen it evolve, significantly, and that is a good thing. I like to think that I have been part of that evolution along with other amazing hypnobirthing trailblazers, many of whom have moved onto to do other work now. The most significant thing that has happened within that evolution, which has been beyond amazing for hypnobirthing and for the people preparing to use it, is that it has moved away from the idea of hypnobirthing being a “type” of birth and it is no longer about creating perfect and painfree births. It is for all births and it is for everyone. Many of the current hypnobirthing brands and methods very much adopt this (but needless to say, some are still stuck in the past).
Another part of that evolution and something which The Calm Birth School absolutely identifies with is ensuring that we are allowing hypnobirthing to evolve with societal and maternity issues. For example, the fact that there is a disparity in maternal mortality rates when it comes to Black and Brown women compared to white women. The rise in the LGBTQ+ community and the call to be more inclusive of their rights and accessibility to antenatal care. The increase in birth trauma, especially since the pandemic, and the need to be competent to work with people who have suffered trauma.
Hypnobirthing can and should evolve to be able to serve all types of people, communities and issues that pregnant women and people find themselves facing in 2022. I am all for that. I want to be a part of that. I am a part of that.
But…that isn’t dilution. That is progress.
I will absolutely hold my hands up and here now and say, I may have played a tiny part in the dilution and I am figuring out why and how and when that occurred and course correcting.
The dilution that I see is the stripping away of what hypnobirthing really is, what its routes are, why it is so powerful and actually what a hypnobirthing instructor is and does. This is something I have been thinking about for months and months and now finally I want to speak out about it.
Now, hear me out (again), I know that over the years people (including hypnobirthing instructors) have had issues with the name “hypnobirthing” and it would put people off accessing an amazing antenatal education/experience…because it was too woo woo or “out there”. I know that that is dilution in itself and I know I avoided calling my offerings hypnobirthing for a short while. But now that hypnobirthing is a buzz word, its basically in the mainstream so the term is more acceptable which means more people use it to describe the service they offer. How the world evolves eh?
It was only this week that I discovered that some businesses promote their services as hypnobirthing workshops/courses but it doesn’t actually involve any hypnosis…I have no names to share and I don’t know who these people are (I am not interested either- I am a drama free zone).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that these workshops aren’t fantastic or that people aren’t having positive births because of them (I hope they are) but you can’t call a book a book, unless it’s a book…am I right?
Hypnobirthing is a package deal. Its hypnosis, breathing techniques, visualisation, relaxation, affirmations and education. It CAN also be MORE than that depending on the instructors training and background but…if you are getting anything less…it’s not hypnobirthing.
I have so many more thoughts on what else is happening, why and how this will affect hypnobirthing in the future and perhaps most importantly, what I plan to do about it…but for another day perhaps.
What do you think? Is hypnobirthing being diluted?