Rules and Regulations in Hypnobirthing

Welcome to the Aspiring Hypnobirthing Instructor podcast. I’m your host, Liz Stanford, hypnobirthing instructor, hypnobirthing trainer, hypnotherapist mindset coach, author and owner of The Calm Birth School. In this podcast, we get to explore all the reasons why you should train to teach hypnobirthing. You’ll understand more about what the training actually involves, what it’s like to teach hypnobirthing, and also what it’s like to run a business in the birth world. I can’t wait to take you on this journey and give you all the information you need.

Another week, another podcast episode. Here I am this week talking about some of the rules and regulations that you might come across if you decide to work in the area of hypnobirthing. And the truth of the matter is, there are no specific rules or regulations because hypnobirthing is effectively an unregulated industry. Yep, you heard that, right! Anyone can claim to be a hypnobirthing instructor without having done any particular training, and anyone can set up a hypnobirthing training program and call themselves a hypnobirthing brand or a hypnobirthing trainer. There’s nothing stopping anybody doing that. You would hope that people would approach it in a more ethical manner. And of course, make sure that they are certified or have done an appropriate training program before calling themselves a hypnobirthing instructor or practitioner to protect themselves, but also to protect the people that they’re going to be working with in terms of training programs.

Again, you would hope that somebody wouldn’t set up a hypnobirthing training program without the appropriate skills, qualifications, and experience before they start charging people and training people to teach hypnobirthing. And in terms of that, I think it’s important when you’re exploring different methods of hypnobirthing that you take a look at, you know, where has this program come from? Who’s written it? What’s their level of understanding and experience? What are their values and beliefs when it comes to birth? Are you going to feel aligned and are you going to feel really safe and secure in not only the information that they’re providing you, but also the experience of the course of the training, the way that they’re going to potentially teach you or train you? Is it all fit for purpose? And a few ways that you can explore that is you could take a look at, as I said, the individual, the owner of the brand or the company or the person who’s written the program what their credentials are.

So how long have they been involved with hypnobirthing? Do they have any other relevant qualifications like being a hypnotherapist or NLP coach or a mindset coach? Like none of those are prerequisites or must haves or have too’s, but might give you an indication of how, much that person knows about the topic of hypnobirthing or how they might be able to expand beyond just having done, you know, a training course themselves, for instance. And of course, the level of experience is really important. Like how much does the person who’s written the program been involved in the program or owns the company or the brand…How much do they really understand hypnobirthing and who are they who are making it available to and accessible for as well? So those are some things to consider when you are looking at different brands and who it is that you want to train with and who you want to work with.

But there are potentially some guidelines and ethical principles we might call them, that hypnobirthing instructors could follow themselves to ensure that they’re offering a safe service and a safe practice to the people that they work with. So, thinking about ethical conduct, first of all, hypnobirthing instructors are expected to act ethically and maintain professional standards in their interactions with clients, with colleagues, and with the wider community as well. So whoever you decide to do your training with, like The Calm Birth School for instance, we have terms and conditions which do lay out some of the expectations of the people that we train and how we expect them to conduct themselves.

In terms of working specifically with clients, that ethical conduct also includes respecting client’s privacy and their autonomy as well. So for instance, you know, we collect birth stories from our instructors’ clients and we share them on our website, in our community group on our social media platforms. And usually it accompanies a photo, either of the person who’s given birth or the family or the baby. And we explicitly have to get consent before sharing that anywhere because obviously that’s very private and it’s very personal. And that individual has a right to ask for that to be sort of taken down at any point in the future as well. It’s also important for hypnobirthing instructors to provide accurate information about hypnobirthing which is kind of subjective in a way because it depends on how they’ve been taught hypnobirthing.

There are some brands which are definitely more leaning towards creating perfect and pain-free birth, even though they might not explicitly say that and might also be a little bit more anti induction or anti intervention. And that might be the perfect fit for some people in terms of training to teach hypnobirthing, but also in terms of learning hypnobirthing during pregnancy, that might be exactly what they want and that’s fine if that matches their values and beliefs. But there are other brands, like myself, like The Calm Birth School, and, and I’m not alone in this, where we don’t view birth striving for this perfect and pain free birth experience. We very much believe that birth can be positive in lots of different types of experiences or situations. And in particular with The Calm Birth School, we very much view hypnobirthing as an idea or philosophy, a set of tools and techniques and mindset, which you can apply to any situation that you are experiencing, when you are in labour or giving birth, and in order to create the most positive experience that you can,rather than to create a specific type of birth.

Other things to consider in terms of ethical conduct is maintaining appropriate boundaries in relationships with clients as well, and ensuring that you are not overstepping their boundaries and they’re not overstepping your boundaries. So hypnobirthing can be quite an emotional job to have. You do get very connected to the clients that you work with, and they get very connected to you and you do build lovely friendships. And obviously beyond the course that can blossom into a friendship and the boundaries will change. But during the time that you are teaching people, it’s obviously very important to maintain those boundaries. In particular, a boundary around not impressing your own personal view about their options or choices would be super important. So if, for instance, you believe that everyone should have a home birth that might not be right for your client, for their particular situation, and therefore you should not overstep the boundary of encouraging them down that route.

Rather presenting them with information, with evidence and allowing them to make their own mind up about where it is that they want to give birth. Another thing to consider is certification. And so that’s what The Calm Birth School does. We certify people to teach hypnobirthing. And the way that I feel our program is really justified in calling itself a certified program is because we are accredited with ThinkTree, which is an international accrediting organisation, and they are incredibly thorough. A lot of accrediting bodies in my experience are not as thorough as how I have found ThinkTree. I know from working with ThinkTree and actually physically spending time with one of their assessors they’ve gone through my course and how I teach it, they know and I know that it the way that it is designed is a very good learning experience and that’s why it was accredited with a level three diploma.

But that’s not to say that any courses that, you know, don’t have that level three diploma, that they’re awful or anything like that at all. And that’s not even to say that courses that aren’t accredited are awful. I guess it might just give you some reassurance that somebody else has been through and explored and taken a look at actually the setup of the course and what it involves. And they have given it a big tick in their experience that it is fit for purpose and designed for people to actually go away and have learned and absorbed the information that you’ve presented them with or that I’ve presented them with. So typically a certification course involves completing a course of study. Mine is for 12 weeks- demonstrating proficiency. So the individual doing the course has to demonstrate proficiency in hypnobirthing techniques and also in understanding the different concepts around hypnobirthing. And so there are lots of ways that we assess people at The Calm Birth School. So we do things like quizzes. We set activities that people have to complete, written assessments, presentations. So we are assessing and providing feedback all along the way so that people feel confident and comfortable in what they’re learning.

I think as well informed consent is also really important. It is really important to that before a hypnobirthing instructor has signed a client, that the client is aware of what hypnobirthing is, what it involves and what they will experience on a course i.e the use of hypnosis and various different techniques that they, that the client would get involved in. And so important for, for instructors to obtain informed consent before providing any hypnobirthing services. So at The Calm Birth School, we get our instructors ask their clients to sign a document to say that they understand what they’re entering into, and they’ve considered any sort of risks or benefits. And another really important thing for hypnobirthing instructors to consider is their scope of practice. So it’s really important to understand that hypnobirthing instructors are not being trained to be hypnotherapists, and they are not being trained to be medical or health practitioners.

They, so they’re not midwives, for example. So they should not step outside of their remit or their role. Their role is to deliver the hypnobirthing course and they are specifically not allowed or they shouldn’t provide medical advice or diagnose any medical conditions. And similarly they shouldn’t deliver any hypnotherapy outside of their scope of understanding when it comes to hypnobirthing. So generally a hypnobirthing instructor, if they don’t have a hypnotherapy qualification, will read scripts, that have already been written by a hypnotherapist, whereas a hypnotherapist would be able to guide a client through, various different scenarios using various different techniques because that is what they have been specifically trained in. And another thing to consider as well is continuing education. Hypnobirthing instructors should engage in ongoing education, professional development, and that would help them to stay open to developments within the field and also to help them expand their own knowledge, their own level of experience as well.

So at The Calm Birth School, we do our best to provide access to ongoing continual development to our instructors. So for instance when you sign up to do a hypnobirthing training course with the Calm Birth School, you also get a birth trauma competency workshop, which helps you to feel comfortable and confident working with people who’ve experienced some birth trauma in the past. And it also covers some mental health issues that you might come across in clients, et cetera, to give you some support in working with those people and delivering a hypnobirthing course to those, those people. We also have external trainers that we work with to provide things like anti-racism training and also LGBTQ competency.

Finally, something else that hypnobirthing instructors should consider is having an insurance policy, which they will renew every year. I’m not an insurance specialist, but I would recommend speaking to various different insurance companies and requesting information about what kind of policy they think you need. In my experience, it’s usually public liability and malpractice. And at least you would then be able to have a level of confidence or reassurance that you’re supported by that insurance policy should anything occur whilst you’re working with clients. Insurance policies tend to be around about a hundred pounds a year and some brokers or providers allow you to pay monthly as well. So I hope that today’s episode has been useful. I know there’s a lot of information there. If you have any questions about anything that I have mentioned or discussed, then please reach out. I’d love to share more information with you or answer any questions that you have.

Okay, so that’s it for today. One technical issue, during that podcast episode, which I hope you didn’t notice, but maybe you did. And all that’s left to say is I’m running a free masterclass towards the end of this month. It’s the 28th of March, 2023 in case you are listening to this beyond March, 2023. And it’s called, Are You Ready to Be a Hypnobirthing Instructor? This masterclass will give you a really good understanding about what’s involved in training to teach hypnobirthing, what it’s like to run a business in the birth world, more about my course, more about The Calm Birth School and you get to ask me any direct questions that you have and meet other people who are interested in training to teach hypnobirthing as well. If you are interested in signing up for that, click here and if you input your information, you will get all the details. So have a lovely week and I’ll be back here next Wednesday. Bye.



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