Does hypnobirthing REALLY work?
Does hypnobirthing really work?
If I had a penny for every-time I have been asked this question over the last 9 years, I’d be rich beyond my wildest dreams! It comes up time and time again…But the truth is, the only reason why the question arises is because people don’t really understand what hypnobirthing is…and it isn’t a “working thing”.
Stay with me!
Over the years we have seen a steady, steady increase in the amount of pregnant people having births that just don’t look like the births we grew up watching and learning about from soaps, TV, films and other people. It seems that more and more people are having births without the panic or the threats of punching people in the face. So naturally there is more and more curiosity about it.
This combined with high profile names and celebrities such as The Duchess of York and Fearne Cotton sharing stories of powerful and euphoric birth experiences more and more women & birthing people are wanting in on the action. This is all great. Really, really great.
However, at some point in the journey to helping women feel empowered about their birth experiences came a message that diluted fundamental truths about the experience of hypnobirthing. Things have maybe got a little hazy, fuzzy around the edges and I just want to clear that up right here and right now.
You may have heard (or got the impression) from being in certain facebook groups, hanging out on insta or chatting to other people (who may or may not have had their own hypnobirth experience), what “hypnobirths” ‘SHOULD’ be like.
Words like, pain free, perfect, silent and deeply meditative are just some of the things I have heard claimed about hypnobirthing from a ‘one-size fits all’ perspective. And quite honestly that message is as much as a dis-service to women and birthing people who want and deserve to feel great and powerful about their birth experience, as the trite spouted by the other end of the spectrum, that birth is something to be endured for the sake of the beautiful little baby you get to hold at the end.
The truth as always, lies in the middle of these two extremes. What is really important to remember is that hypnobirthing is not a type of birth. Its not like a water birth or an abdominal birth…it doesn’t fit into a category where you either have it or you don’t- its not that black and white. There is no benchmark for “achieving” it. You can’t succeed or fail at it so similarly it can’t work or not work…
Are you still there?
Hypnobirthing isn’t about how loud or quiet you are.
Whether you have a natural or an assisted birth.
Whether you love every minute and feel the power and intensity of each surge like a moving through your body or if you yell “gimme the epidural!”.
A person in labour using hypnobirthing can roar like a lioness feeling every sensation with acute intensity, or they can internalizes their energy and birth peacefully in the corner.
All experiences are valid and none fit into the non-existent category of a “hypnobirth”.
Hypnobirthing is a mindset, yes.
Hypnobirthing provides you with tools for your metaphorical tool bag, yes.
Hypnobirthing gives you all the techniques you need to help you stay calm, yes.
Hypnobirthing will help you to build your confidence and empowers you to ask questions about your options, yes.
Hypnobirthing means your partner will be as prepared as you are, yes
Hypnobirthing kicks your fear to the curb allowing you to experience your birth more positively, yes.
Is hypnobirthing a type of birth…no. Does it work? No. Does it not work? No. It is not a working thing! You can’t succeed or fail at it, there is no box to tick to say you had a “hypnobirth”.
Regardless of how your baby enters into the world when you have learnt how to let go of fear, work with the biology and physiology of the body and know how to set up your birth environment and team in a way that is going to support and nurture you, you can have THE most empowering and positive experience. This is the message I feel very fortunate enough to share via our TCBS Instructors across the world.
So if you’re ready to start your hypnobirthing journey, The Calm Birth School way, take a look at our directory here and get started with an instructor in your area (or work on line with one of your choice!).