Frequently asked questions...


What is hypnosis?

Can anyone enter hypnosis?


Will I lose control and become a zombie?


Will someone sit next to me during the birth, dangling a pocket watch?

We're doing NCT / active birth classes / yoga classes - can we use hypnobirthing too?


Are midwives and hospitals supportive of hypnobirthing?


Is there scientific proof that hypnobirthing works?

Which birth hypnosis company should we choose? Are you regulated?


Do you recommend any hypnobirthing books or CDs?


Other providers claim they teach the 'original and best' hypnobirthing - is this true?


Can you promise us a pain-free birth?


Why don't you teach hypnoanaesthesia for birth?


How often should we practice during pregnancy?


Do we listen to the MP3s during the birth?


How do we download your birth hypnotherapy audio MP3s?


How do we know it's working?


I can't switch off, I keep getting distracted


I keep 'drifting off' during your MP3s, does this mean it's not working?


I don't drift off at all during your MP3s, does this mean it's not working?


Does my birth partner have to practice with me?


Can you visit for home sessions and / or attend my birth?




What is hypnosis?

Ever been so absorbed in your thoughts that you can't quite remember some of the journey home?! Hypnosis is a completely natural, relaxing state, similar to daydreaming or meditation. The 'busy' part of your mind quietens as you focus deeply on positive suggestions that help to reprogramme your mind.
Try my free hypnobirthing taster session to see for yourself.

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Can anyone use hypnosis?

Yes. Because it's a natural state of mind, everyone is capable of entering hypnosis if they want to. The more you do it, the better you get at doing it - just like learning any other skill. It's a myth that some people are unable to be hypnotised. However, if you have
epilepsy, a heart condition, narcolepsy or asthma you should consult with your doctor first before using hypnotherapy. Never use hypnotherapy whilst operating heavy machinery (e.g. driving!) or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if you suffer from psychiatric or psychotic illnesses that distort your sense of reality.

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Will I lose control and become a zombie?

No - you are always completely in control. Stage hypnosis can demonstrate the amazing power of suggestion, but the showmanship element makes it seem like something it's not. A person engaging in self-hypnosis may 'come out of it' any time at will, e.g. if your phone rings you can choose whether to answer it. The experience of hypnosis is just deeply relaxing and normal.


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Will someone sit next to me during the birth, dangling a pocket watch?

Nope! You will use self-hypnosis and deep breathing to take yourself into a deep state of calm and focus during each contraction. Your birth partner(s) may assist you - using certain practiced positive triggers and ensuring your birth environment feels calm and homely, but essentially you are the one in control of switching off the busy part of your mind. The more you practice, the better you get at going rapidly into hypnosis. With very regular practice this skill becomes more and more automatic, enabling you on the day of the birth to easily switch off, sink deep down and breathe calmly.


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We're doing NCT / active birth / yoga classes - can we use hypnobirthing too?

Yes. Hypnobirthing complements all of the above. I don't teach that you have to lie still and be quiet throughout your birth. The most important thing is that you feel positive about birth so you can connect with and listen to your body's needs. Sometimes you'll want to be still, sometimes you'll want to move - that's fine! 'Active birth' just means being actively in control of choices, your breathing, your position etc.

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Are midwives and hospitals supportive of hypnobirthing?


Yes. Over the past few years awareness and understanding of the benefits of hypnobirthing has been widely accepted. The Royal College of Midwives suggest hypnobirthing as a coping strategy in their 'Ten top tips for birth' .


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Is there scientific proof that hypnobirthing works?

Yes. Although it's challenging to ensure homogeneity of techniques, various randomised controlled trials from all around the world have demonstrated that hypnobirthing (compared to non-hypnobirthing) may contribute to women having births that are shorter, more comfortable, more natural and also more satisfying (even if they had medical intervention) (research link).
We certainly know that relaxation in itself is very helpful during childbirth (research link). We achieve very positive results from our own hypnobirthing survey too.

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Which birth hypnosis course should we choose? Are you regulated?


There's no legal requirement for hypnobirthing teachers to be trained or regulated. My hypnotherapy diploma exceeds the national occupational standards and as such I am with the CNHC - the Royal College of Midwives and Department of Health approved register of qualified hypnotherapists. The register is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, who report to Parliament and are also responsible for other professional bodies such as the GMC (doctors) and NMC (nurses and midwives). Furthermore, I am also trained to an HNC equivalent level in midwifery, and hold certificates in active birth, childbirth education and doula'ing. I have full professional, indemnity and public liability insurance.

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Do you recommend any other hypnobirthing books or CDs?

I provide everything you need including downloadable audio hypnosis sessions. If you're looking for birth book recommendations seek out those by midwife Ina May Gaskin and doctors Sarah J Buckley and Michel Odent.

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Others claim they teach the 'official' / original or best' hypnobirthing - is this true?

Don't be misled by marketing claims. There are many different companies and independent practitioners all over the world. The word 'hypnobirthing' is legally considered generic and as such describes any methods of preparing for birth using hypnosis. Origins date back to the early 1940s.

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Can you promise me a pain-free birth?

Whilst the experience of a pain-free birth is definitely possible (with 0% fear and total relaxation), interpretation of sensations can be subjective. For some it may feel like what they would describe as pain, at times, despite having practiced effectively. I do not teach that if a woman feels pain she has 'failed' at hypnobirthing. 

On the flip-side, the more a mum expects it to be painful, the more tense and painful it is likely to be.

During pregnancy, most of my mothers adopt an attitude of curiosity about how their contractions will feel under hypnosis. However you interpret them on the day, trusting in your body and being able to switch off, let go, relax and breathe effectively throughout helps a great deal... "I accept all of the natural sensations of birth". Read some of our hypnobirthing stories to find out how they did... Steph in Cornwall says:

"I deliberately chose to not interpret the contractions as pain, instead I thought of them as "a really intense feeling that requires all of my focus" 

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Why don't you teach hypnoanaesthesia for birth?

On rare occasions nature can throw a spanner in the works. Severe pain for a relaxed and confident mother is not normal - it's a sign that something is wrong and to get help. I wouldn't want hypnoanaesthesia to potentially mask that. 


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How often should I practice during pregnancy?

As a general guide, think about practicing at least two or three times a week before 34 weeks, and daily thereafter until you give birth. Practising can include using my hypnobirthing MP3s and rehearsing with your birth partner.

Try and mix up the times and places you practice - you could be giving birth any time of day!

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Do I listen to the MP3s during the birth?


Your two x 30 minute affirmations tracks are appropriate for sticking on repeat during established birth. Or buy the birth music (backing music to the MP3s). These work as a powerful hypnotic trigger to help you recall your familiar state of positivity, calm and relaxation.


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How do I download your birth hypnotherapy audio MP3s?

Signed-up parents-to-be are given an access username and password. For each MP3 there is a download link. Clicking on each link triggers the file to download. If you have an iPhone or iPad you might need to download the files to a computer first and sync your device afterwards. Or use a 3rd party app to save the MP3 files such as Documents 5 or Downloader

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How do I know it's working?

Everyone experiences hypnosis a bit differently, but as long as you're actively listening to and agreeing with the suggestions, it's sinking in. Every time you enter hypnosis during pregnancy it becomes more natural. As long as you've practiced regularly during pregancy, you can trust in your own self-hypnosis skills during the birth too.

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I can't switch off, I keep getting distracted

You don't need silence for self-hypnosis. With practice and experience you'll learn to rise above any potential external or internal distractions. Beginners can sometimes feel frustrated if a random thought pops up... the trick is to let that thought pass quickly through your mind, and return your attention to the sound of my voice. Otherwise you may spend all your time saying "shut-up!" to yourself and miss the whole session! Likewise, don't get hung up about any external noises. Just focus on my voice as the most important sound you hear.

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I keep 'drifting off' during your MP3s, does this mean it's not working?

No - especially if you 'wake up' at the end when instructed to (this means that your mind was still listening). But if you fall asleep everytime you use the MP3s, stop listening to them in bed! Hypnosis as an intermediate state between being awake and asleep, where brainwaves slow down and the subconscious becomes more suggestible. It's most effective when you're listening to the suggestions. So at least sometimes, make the time to practice when you're not so tired. Try not to drift off completely.

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I don't 'drift off' at all during your MP3s, does this mean it's not working?


Everyone experiences hypnosis a bit differently. Some people feel very aware of their surroundings and can almost recall every single word of a session, others say they almost forgot where they were and can't consciously remember absolutely everything. Either example and everything in between is completely normal.  

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Does my birth partner have to do the course with me?

You are a team - the more birth partners get involved during pregnancy, the more equipped they will be to support you effectively during the birth. Ideally, your birth partner(s) should follow all of the steps too. If this is not possible you need to clearly spell out your expectations of their role on the day, and why. Their direct or indirect assistance can really help you to feel safe, quieten your neocortex and relax deeply. Choose your birth partners wisely!

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Can you visit us for home sessions and / or attend my birth?

Possibly! Contact me for more info

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