Frequently asked questions

What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a childbirth method that focuses on preparing parents for gentle birth. In hypnobirthing classes, you will learn proven techniques in an intensive program including deep relaxation, visualisation and self-hypnosis designed to help you achieve a more comfortable birth. Hypnobirthing encourages a peaceful and natural pregnancy, birth and bonding experience for families.

Will I be hypnotised?

Many people associate hypnosis with hypnotists on stage making people act and behave in a certain manner. Hypnobirthing is not giving birth while you are “hypnotised”. 

Hypnobirthing uses self-hypnosis as a tool for deep relaxation and conditioning our mind to release fears about birth to promote the natural release of endorphins. Without realising it, we have all experienced a state of hypnosis in our everyday lives! It may be when engaged watching a movie, deeply focused on a task, immersed in a captivating book or when drifting off to peaceful and restful sleep. In these moments, you are conscious and in control yet in a relaxed, calm and focused state of mind.

How does hypnobirthing differ from other childbirth preparation methods?

Other childbirth methods often teach how to ‘cope with and manage pain’. Hypnobirthing is based on the premise that a healthy woman, with an uncomplicated healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, should be able to birth in a more comfortable manner and without unnecessary interventions. We focus on the joy of birth and positively anticipate our birthing day. When women understand that pain is caused by constrictor hormones often created by fear, they learn to release fear and create endorphins instead. Endorphins are the ‘feel good hormones’ naturally produced when we are calm and happy. We also change our perceptions. Instead of thinking of a ‘long, painful labour’, we replace this thought with expectations of more comfortable birthing. Rather than exhausting, shallow breathing and the distraction techniques of typical “prepared childbirth” programs; hypnobirthing parents learn deep abdominal breathing and total relaxation, enabling us to work in harmony with our body and baby. 

When should I start classes?

You can begin hypnobirthing any time, but we recommend the optimal time to start the course is between 20 and 30 weeks. This allows time to practice self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques for gentle, easy birthing but also ensures that the course is still fresh in your mind. If you are further along in pregnancy, it is still possible to attend classes and achieve a beautiful, calm birth. Please contact me directly about options available.

Should I still attend hospital antenatal classes?

The Hypnobirthing Australia Course is a very comprehensive program in natural childbirth education. Hospital antenatal courses often cover detailed information about interventions, medical procedures during birth and hospital policies. Hypnobirthing educates about the birth process, what to expect during pregnancy, the onset of labour and birthing, how to release any fears and focuses on techniques such as relaxation, breathing, visualisations and deepening exercises to utilise during labour. As a midwife and educator, I believe knowledge is power and encourage families to decide on the avenue that best meets individual needs to promote informed decision-making. The choice is yours, whether you choose to attend just a hypnobirthing course or both.

Who do I bring to classes?

Classes are attended with your birth partner. This is the person you choose to support you through pregnancy and birth such as a companion, doula, sister, friend or mother. You are welcome to attend solo if preferred.

How is the birth partner involved?

The birth partner is an integral part of the hypnobirthing experience, helping to prepare for deep relaxation. During labour the partner guides the labouring mother through hypnosis prompts, relaxation techniques, deepening methods, visualisation, provides comfort measures and joins in welcoming the new baby.

Will I be unconscious or will I remember my birth experience?
Despite misconceptions and misinformation, you are not unconscious during self-hypnosis. The hypnobirthing mother is deeply relaxed, but remains an active participant in the labour process. Hypnobirthing mothers are totally aware of events and may return to a conversant state or choose to become mobile when desired. Hypnobirthing mothers often find they experience time distortion and are not distracted by other people or their birthing environment, allowing complete focus on the birth and baby.
Will hypnobirthing be useful to me if I don’t opt for a natural childbirth or if circumstances necessitate medical intervention or a caesarean birth?
Absolutely. Hypnobirthing classes teach relaxation skills useful to you and your baby, regardless of your birth experience. If medical intervention is needed, you will find yourself better able to remain calm and in control. Mothers who have needed scheduled caesareans for medical reasons report they were totally relaxed before, during and after the procedure. Many report they needed little or no medication following the birth and the transition to parenthood was a positive experience.
What if I am planning a Caesarean birth?

The Positive Caesarean Birth Program is for you. This class specifically designed for families knowing they require a surgical birth. The course discusses tools and techniques to create a calm mindset, improve outcomes and inspire a flourishing transition into parenthood.

Is it true that I will experience a pain-free birth with hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing does not promise painless birthing, though many hypnobirthing mothers do report having a relatively pain-free birth or one that they were able to manage easily. A relaxed mother’s body will produce more endorphins, nature’s own relaxants. Hypnobirthing mothers may still experience sensations of tightening or pressure; but most describe their birth experience as working with their body through the sensations.
What if my doctor/midwife is not familiar with hypnobirthing?

More care providers are becoming aware of the benefits of hypnobirthing. If your care giver is not knowledgeable about hypnobirthing, take the opportunity early in your pregnancy to discuss the techniques you will be using and the calm birthing environment you desire. In class, you will learn how to create birth preferences, helping to communicate birthing goals to your doctor or midwife.

What if I can't find a course that suits?

Contact me to discuss course options tailored to your needs

Do you offer a refresher course?

Yes. If you have completed the Hypnobirthing Australia Positive Birth Program previously, then the refresher program is the perfect option for you.