FAQs about Hypnobirthing

What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is much more than self-hypnosis and hypnotherapy – It is a way to work with the body to ensure a positive birth experience. Hypnobirthing utilises positive words in a purposeful way to remove negative thoughts and enable a calm, comfortable and relaxed birth. The course will provide you with the knowledge to ensure your experience is rewarding and enables you to enjoy pregnancy, birth and beyond.


  • Aids a calm, comfortable and natural birth
  • Helps to reduce or completely cut out medical interventions
  • Can shorten the length of labour
  • Enables you to feel more in control of your birthing experience
  • Can lessen the physical impact of childbirth
  • Helps to ensure that partners are more involved and gives them an active role to play
  • Maximises the chances of Baby entering the world drug free.

In Hypnobirthing classes, you will learn proven techniques in a well-thought-out program of deep relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis. All of these are designed to help you achieve a more comfortable birth.

How does Hypnobirthing differ from other antenatal courses?

Hypnobirthing is much more than an NHS or NCT course. Like these courses it provides you with the information and knowledge to take control of your birth experience, helping you to understand the choices available to you throughout your pregnancy and birth. However unlike other antenatal courses that teach you how to cope with and manage pain, Hypnobirthing is based on the premise that childbirth does not necessarily need to be painful if the mother is properly prepared and relaxed. The fear-tension-pain cycle is the main cause for negative birth experiences and with the tools and techniques taught at Hypnobirthing classes, mums-to-be can overcome this fear and release endorphins – the feel good hormones which help achieve a more natural and comfortable labour.

Will Hypnobirthing be useful to me if I don't opt for a natural childbirth or if circumstances necessitate medical intervention or a surgical birth?

Absolutely! The things you will learn in your Hypnobirthing classes will help you to learn relaxation skills that will be useful to both you and your baby, regardless of your birth experience. In the event that medical intervention of any sort is needed, you will find yourself better able to remain calm and in control. Mothers who have needed scheduled cesareans for medical reasons report that they were totally relaxed before, during and after the procedure. Many report that they needed little or no medication following the birth, and they were able to return to normal functioning in a very short period of time.

What is the partner's role in Hypnobirthing and at the birth?

The partner's role is vitally important, ensuring that the birthing plan is followed as closely as possible. This includes protecting the mother's space, making sure all those involved in the birth are aware of the mother's wishes and that they want to use Hypnobirthing techniques to deliver the baby. The partner is there to support the mother and provide prompts and reassurance where needed.

Why learn with me?

I have become a Hypnobirthing instructor as I have experienced first hand the positive and empowering effects that Hypnobirthing can have. I have seen the amazing effect it has on the birth experience for myself, my husband and son, and many of my friends who have also utilised the techniques and skills taught by Hypnobirthing. I have been trained by Katherine Graves who is the leading authority on Hypnobirthing in the UK, I have a degree in Psychology, an advanced diploma in Hypnotherapy, and an advanced diploma in counselling which enables me to deliver a range of services and a wealth of information at my courses. I have worked within the NHS since 2008 and although I am not medically trained, I have worked hand in hand with midwives to improve their proceses and help them work more closely with mothers during pregnancy and in labour. I am an extremely good listener who is motivated to ensure the parents I work with get the most out of their pregnancy and labour.

How did Hypnobirthing Start?

Michelle Leclaire O'Neill in 1987  authored books on the subject including 'HypnoBirthing the Original Method' and is the person accredited with the origin of Hypnobirthing. Her work was based partly on previous research by English obstetrician Dr. Grantly Dick Reid some 50 years ago.

Other people instrumental in the spread of HypnoBirthing include Marie Mongan who founded The US based HypnoBirthing Institute, Katherine Graves who is the leading authority on Hypnobirthing in the UK, and Michel Odent who did a great deal in the 1970s to promote the cause of homebirthing, and the use of birthing pools.

What is the effect of Hypnobirthing on my baby?

Hypnobirthing helps mothers to give their babies the best possible start in life – bringing them into the world in a calm and natural way. This means that because Hypnobirthing babies are not traumatised from a difficult delivery, they have fewer if any drugs in their system. They often do not cry at birth, score highly on their APGAR tests showing that they are alert and healthy, and grow into calmer and happier babies who sleep and feed well.

Does Hypnobirthing mean I will be under hypnosis?

Many people think of clucking chickens and swinging watches when they hear the term Hypnosis however it is not this at all!

Hypnobirthing helps you to put yourself into a state of deep relaxation – this is known as self-hypnosis. Many of us go into a similar state on an almost daily basis when performing routine tasks. For example, how much of your daily commute do you actually remember between leaving home and arriving at your destination? It is that day dreaming feeling. Whilst in this mindset you remain entirely in control, and can hold conversations and make decisions, but you are able to slip in and out as you wish. It is an incredibly enjoyable – and surprisingly easy – state of mind to attain. With the body in such a state of extreme relaxation, birth really can be a comfortable, quick, easy and empowering experience for the mother.

When should I start the lessons?

You can start as early or as late as you like. As long as you keep up the practice, the earlier you start is generally better, but most people will begin lessons around 2-3 months before they are expecting their baby. Even if you didn't learn until the day before your baby's arrival Hypnobirthing will still help you.

Should I do the lessons alone or with my partner?

Most mothers attend Hypnobirthing lessons with their partner or the person who will be with them at their baby's birth as it is very helpful for them to understand its principles and to help you to practise. However, it is entirely up to you.

Who does Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is becoming increasingly popular and mainstream. It is no longer considered 'alternative' but is seen as a common sense solution for many mothers-to-be who want to give birth in a calm, relaxed and natural way, without the use of drugs. The Katherine Graves course has been accredited by the Royal College of Midwives, there are many papers and studies currently underway to look at Hypnobirthing and its outcomes.

As well as the thousands of mums across the country who have Hypnobirthed their babies, a number of high profile mums and mums-to-be have also chosen Hypnobirthing. They include:

Kate Middleton, who was reported to be considering it as a calm and relatively pain free way to bring the new Royal into the World – read the article here.

Hollywood actress Jessica Alba gave birth to her second daughter in 2011 using Hypnobirthing – read the article here.

Supermodel Miranda Kerr used Hypnobirthing techniques in the build up to and during the birth of her son – read the article here.

Where can I get more information?

Contact Lisa Urquhart: lisa@hypnobirthingandbeyond.co.uk

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