"The phrase 'hypnobirthing' conjures up images of sitting on the floor cross legged and chanting, however this is not what we experienced. The positive affirmations and scripts have been excellent in helping me feel calm about pregnancy and birth.' - S & T
Some commonly asked questions are set out below, however I am always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Is hypnobirthing just for hippies and Derren Brown?!
No! There is nothing radical or woo-woo about it. It is logical, it is scientific and it is evidence-based, and it is becoming increasingly publicised. All sorts of women, from celebrities to the Royals, are discovering hypnobirthing and using it to have wonderful, positive births.
Is hypnobirthing safe?
Absolutely. This is not stage hypnosis! You will be conscious, alert and in control of your body at all times. You will simply feel very relaxed and calm.
Having a baby is expensive! Is hypnobirthing worth the investment?
The birth of your baby will be one of the most significant experiences of your life. Not only will you benefit from the confidence and peace of mind that you will develop throughout your pregnancy, but you will have a real impact upon how positive your birth experience is. It will be a memory that you carry with you for the rest of your life. Your birth experience can affect you emotionally, mentally and physically in both the short and long term. In my view it is the one part of having a baby that is worth investing in the most. In 30 years time you will never look back and think "I wish I'd spent less on my birth and more on that buggy"!
When can I take part in a hypnobirthing course?
At any time. To be truly effective during birth, the relaxation techniques should ideally be practiced and so it is generally recommended that you start the course mid-way through your pregnancy, any time from about 20 weeks. If you were learning to play the piano, you would expect to practice in order to be able to play it well and without thinking about every single note. That being said, even if you discover hypnobirthing at 38 weeks pregnant, you can still make a big impact upon your state of mind and the birth experience that you go on to have.
Can hypnobirthing help even though I've given birth before?
Yes! Hypnobirthing can be extremely effective with any birth, whether it is your first, second, third, fourth....! Of course hypnobirthing is great for first time mothers, because a lot of the fear experienced by women exists in the unknown. By educating yourself about how your body will work in birth, you can really start to trust in yourself and look forward to birthing your baby.
If you have experienced a negative birth experience previously then hypnobirthing can be particularly helpful at re-framing the way you look at birth. The knowledge you will gain in our classes may also help you understand why your previous birth unfolded as it did, and equip you with the tools to feel more in control of events this time around. A previous negative birth does not mean that your next birth cannot be an amazing, empowering, positive experience.
Can hypnobirthing help with birth by caesarean section?
Yes! Whether your caesarean birth is planned or unplanned, the relaxation techniques are entirely transferable and can help you cope with what many women find to be a very daunting experience.
In addition, no birth can be planned 100%. So whether you are planning a vaginal birth but end up having a caesarean, or you are planning a caesarean and go into labour early, hypnobirthing will give you the tools to cope with every eventuality.
Finally, nobody takes any decisions about their birth lightly. Hypnobirthing is a full antenatal course which ensures that you have all the information you need to ask the right questions and make the big decisions.
Can I use hypnobirthing as part of a hospital birth?
Absolutely - nothing is ruled out with hypnobirthing! Furthermore, it is so important that you feel happy and confident about where you choose to give birth, wherever that may be. Through learning about hypnobirthing you will discover the ways in which you can transform the hospital environment into one which makes you feel relaxed, familiar and comfortable.
Can I still receive pain relief if I use hypnobirthing techniques?
Yes! Have all the drugs or none of the drugs - its up to you!
Many women find that hypnobirthing allows them to really tap into their body's natural endorphins however, and they often find they do not need as many drugs as non-hypnobirthing mothers.
Would my birth partner benefit from learning about hypnobirthing?
It is really important that your partner understands the purpose of your hypnobirthing and how it works. Ideally, they should take the full course with you, so that they can fully support you and be your voice when you are busy birthing your baby! If that is not possible, we will give consideration to how you can still gain the most from hypnobirthing.
I'm pregnant with twins! (Or more!) Can I still benefit from hypnobirthing?
Absolutely. It is suitable for every type of birth and will provide you with reassurance that you can have a wonderful, positive experience when birthing more than one baby.
I have been categorised as 'high-risk' and so am having a consultant-led pregnancy. Can hypnobirthing still help me?
Yes! Hypnobirthing can help you to feel relaxed and calm even when you are in the most stressful of circumstances. What's more, the full antenatal education that it provides you means that you will feel better informed to deal with some of the issues that you are likely to face in your consultant-led pregnancy and birth. You cannot get the right answers unless you know the right questions.
Can hypnobirthing benefit me if my labour needs to be induced?
Yes! You will learn all about induction with its various pros and cons, and you will also equip yourself with coping mechanisms to help you to feel in control throughout your induced labour.
I'm terrified by birth! What if I'd rather just not think about?
You can put your hands over your ears and eyes as much as you like, but this is happening! And ignoring that fact will not make you feel better, nor will it make your birth better. In fact, it stands to make it significantly worse. How about, instead, getting rid of that fear altogether and starting to feel genuinely confident about your body's abilities. A Strong Like Mama course will leave you excited about your birth and looking forward to meeting your baby.
Can hypnobirthing help me relax before and after birth?
One of the wonderful, perhaps under-appreciated, things about hypnobirthing is the effect that it can have on your state of mind both during your pregnancy and after you have given birth. A hypnobirthing course is inevitably aimed at giving birth, however the self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques are transferable and can be used to cope with anxiety or stress both before and long after your birth.
Do I need to do a course, or can I just read a book about hypnobirthing?
You can of course just read a book, as I did first time around (see my "About me" page), and you will learn a lot. But when you are faced with the reality of birth, you need your hypnobirthing techniques to come naturally. Without effort and conscious thought. A Strong Like Mama course, and the practice that you will then do to really embed all that you have learned, will enable you to reach that point.
In addition, a Strong Like Mama group course provides you with the opportunity to get to know a group of like-minded mums and dads, going through the same life-changing experience that you are going through! And that cannot be achieved through reading a book.
Where are your courses run?
Strong Like Mama group courses are currently taking place online only (via zoom), due to the pandemic. For private and refresher classes, I am teaching both online, via zoom, and face to face. If you alive within half an hour of Tonbridge, Kent, I will travel to your own, whether that is in Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks or the surrounding areas, and teach you in your garden in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss a payment plan.