What is Hypnobirthing?

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering what hypnobirthing is. Hypnobirthing has got a bit of a naming problem… today I’m here to bust some myths about what hypnobirthing is.

Not so ‘woo’

Hypnobirthing, put simply, is a form of birth preparation. The quality and detail of courses vary wildly and so I’m focusing specifically on what I teach in my courses for the purpose of this article!

Hypnobirthing has two focuses. The ‘hypno’ part refers to hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a way of speaking directly to your subconscious mind. With hypnotherapy, we are using words in a focused way to undo or unpick any existing assumptions, fears and anxiety.

Hypnobirthing uses this process to help rewire the brain. Through the practices we teach, we equip expectant parents with the skills to speak directly to their subconscious minds and start to reframe ideas about birth.

On the course, you will learn about the connection between your nervous system and your subconscious mind. The skills you learn on the course will allow you to access deep relaxation and calm even at the most intense parts of your labour experience.

A bunch of tools and techniques?

Hypnobirthing is a life skill. Being able to understand how to work with your subconscious mind and reframe ideas about childbirth is incredibly powerful.

The subconscious mind is most receptive when our logical mind is calm and quiet. It is this reasoning that drives much of the tools and techniques we teach in hypnobirthing classes. Many of the tools and techniques taught in hypnobirthing courses are relaxation techniques.

Using these allows you to calm your nervous system and encourage your brain to release a strong and consistent flow of birth hormones. Birth hormones are quite shy, and so by creating a mindset in which we feel safe, confident and held is vital.

The ability to stay calm and relaxed is really useful when baby gets here too. We need the same ‘birth’ hormones once baby gets here to develop a strong bond, initiate breastfeeding and keep our little ones feeling safe.

So is it just relaxation?

For some courses, they’ll just teach you the tools and techniques. However at Journey Ahead the course is further reaching and provides a full antenatal education.

Yes, you’ll learn how to ‘do hypnobirthing’, but you’ll also learn the science behind why it works, how to navigate the healthcare system to make informed choices and so much more.

The Journey Ahead antenatal course also factors in a lot of learning about the fourth trimester. My work as a postpartum doula means I’m well placed to be able to provide guidance and education on your recovery, baby’s recovering and vital aspects such as infant feeding and body care.

Hypnobirthing with Journey Ahead is so much more than just relaxation. It’s a whole system of preparation through bump, birth and beyond. It’s a choice to have a positive birth experience that you look back on with joy and fondness – no matter how your birth unfolds.

Is it just for ‘natural’ births?

This is a common misconception. It is true that in the world of hypnobirthing we believe that pregnant people have been conditioned to fear birth. Birth is too often seen as a dramatic, frightening, painful experience.

For most people, birth is a beautiful, life affirming and empowering experience. Those that commit to learning a new narrative about birth often lean towards a physiological birth experience where their body goes into labour naturally and they often (but not always) just use the techniques to work through their labour experience.

Having said that, hypnobirthing is for all people, and all types of birth. Why go through a birth experience that has intervention or an abdominal birth experience because you feel like you have no choice? Why go through these experiences feeling fearful and like you want them to be over and done with? Those whose birth experiences aren’t ‘natural’ aren’t any less deserving of a beautiful, calm experience.

It is for this reason that my course equips you with the skills to make informed decisions that are right for you – based on evidence and research – and not fear. It will give you skills and knowledge to move through your experience (whatever it looks like) with joy, confidence and a sense of empowerment.


Want to learn more? Check out what’s covered in my group antenatal course and one to one sessions for more information.

Want to book a class? You can find all my upcoming class dates and book here.

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