What is Hypnobirthing?

pregnant woman preparing birth classes in Utrecht

What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is an extensive pregnancy course that prepares you for childbirth in a positive way. The course aims to release tension and build confidence in the natural birth process by practicing relaxation techniques and asking questions about your birth care. It helps mother and birth partner to be well prepared for any situations and circumstances at birth. 

Positive birth culture?

Hypnobirthing originated in the west in response to a birth culture focusing on insecurities and fear, in which the pregnant woman is a needy suffering being rather than an energetic healthy empowered woman. Our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends, colleagues and neighbours often unconsciously pass on their negative experiences and thus influence the image you have about giving birth. In addition, the media often gives an indiscriminaated picture of giving birth. Women who lie with their legs wide on their backs on a hospital bed giving birth with bystanders who loudly shout “Press! press!”. Often these depict difficult, painful and anxious birth stories, where the mother has to be saved by medical staff. This can make you, as an expecting mother, look up to childbirth.

Empower the primal woman in you

Hypnobirthing aims to help you learn how special a birth is, taking into account as much as possible what suits you and your baby. Using Hypnobirthing tools, techniques and birth formation to make choices your family carries with you throughout life as a seed of peace and confidence. And empower you as a primeval woman. How do you work towards the best possible delivery for you, your baby and your partner? By being in-depth aware of the physiology of birth, how body and mind work together and how the medical system we are in works, you can formulate the right questions and wishes to achieve the birth you want. You don’t know what you don’t know without the help and information you receive during the Hypnobirthing course. 

Naturally giving birth without pain

Hypnobirthing is sometimes said to be intended to give birth naturally without pain. Well, of course, there are women who give birth without pain with hypnobirthing, but I will tell you that in most cases it is not. However, hypnobirthing teaches you how to deal with the pain and you prepare your body to make everything run as smoothly as possible. So how exactly does that work? There are two hormones that play an important role in this.

Oxytocin plays the main role. You might know it as the love or cuddle hormone. You make it when you fall in love, make love and breastfeed. And it is essential in childbirth. The more oxytocin you have in your body, the faster and more effective the birth becomes. That’s because this hormone makes your delivery muscles work optimally. It makes your uterus soften and move up to get ready for birth. If you are calm, your body can produce this hormone in large quantities.

The supporting role is for the endorphins, which work together with oxytocin as a powerful painkiller. As a result, you experience pressure rather than pain during childbirth. The pain you do feel is manageable. If these two hormones get ample work, then the natural birth process works optimally. Hypnobirthing is therefore aimed at letting you produce these two hormones as much as possible. Therefore, it is often used in home births, but also in hospitals and birth clinics (with or without medical indication) the birth process works the same way! The hypnobirthing techniques can therefore be applied in all locations and in situations. 

What are hypnobirthing techniques?

Because the importance of rest and the production of oxytocin and endorphins during childbirth is so great for optimal birth, the Hypnobirthing breathing techniques, Hypnobirthing scripts, Hypnobirthing affirmations and the supplemental body work are all aimed at keeping your delivery calm and confident. It is a sophisticated package of relaxation techniques, including breathing for the “up” and “down” phase of Hypnobirthing, the birth environment and light touch massage. 

“Up”-breathing is used in the first stages of childbirth, when the uterus opens (from 0-10 cm dilation) and extends in preparation for birth. In addition, you can visualize a rising hot air balloon. “Down” breathing is used in the phase when the baby is brought out naturally by the muscles of the uterus. Suitable visualizations include falling raindrops or a waterfall. Together with me as a teacher we practice these breathing techniques and investigate which visualizations are best for you, so that you no longer have to think about them during your birth. 

image of waterfall as hypnobirthing down breath visualization

What is KG Hypnobirthing?

KGHypnobirthing is a complete prenatal training programme that is simple, logical and in-depth, widely applied in British hospitals. The results of hospitals, midwives, mothers and fathers speak for themselves, as evidenced by their hypnobirthing experiences and stories. I chose this variant because it is a European variant of hypnobirthing, supported by a large network of birth workers who continuously improve the method. The extensive pregnancy course has been tightened up over time in response to what mothers, their partners and babies need and to make them more and more effective. In addition, as a Dutch hypnobirthing teacher, it gives me the space to also bring my additional knowledge with body-mind techniques, so that it is tailor-made not only for you as an expectant mother, but also for me as a teacher. What I also like about the method is that the importance of practice is underlined. Because practice makes perfect 🙂

What else do I need to know for a positive birth?

So practice. Use the techniques and practice with them on a daily basis. Otherwise, you have the chance that you will not reach the “result” you are looking for. Every woman, every baby and every birth is different. So have realistic expectations. By taking the course you can discuss and tailor your expectations and wishes with other students and the teacher. Together you know and learn more than just. And if you are well prepared, your wishes are clear, you are well informed and you have practiced daily it is up to you. To your body, your mind and your intuition to do it, confident that you can. In the environment where you feel at home and at ease, with a partner and any loved ones or doula that will put you at ease and give you relief where necessary. You can do it! Really!