Please read this regularly, even if you have prior experience. There are many myths to dispel...
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 state of focus, e.g. daydreaming or watching a film. In this focused state, positive suggestions help to reprogram your mind.
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.
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.
Will someone sit next to me during the birth, dangling a pocket watch?
Nope! You will use self-hypnosis to take yourself into a deep state of focus during each contraction. Your birth partner(s) may assist you - using certain practiced positive triggers and ensuring your birth environment is private and homely, but essentially you are the one in control. 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 focus, relax your body and breathe effectively.
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.
What if random thoughts pop into my mind?
It's fine - 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.
Is hypnosis just relaxation?
No, this is an outdated idea. Evidence finds that hypnosis is a state of deep focus. You can be in hypnosis without feeling relaxed (watching a horror film) and you can be relaxed without being in hypnosis. Relaxation is often used to help quieten your mind and enter hypnosis (it's super useful for much of the birth journey) but during transition and 2nd stage you might feel more energised than relaxed... If you're able to keep focused you're in hypnosis, no matter how relaxed you are.
Is it ok to 'drift off'?
It depends... Fine if you 'wake up' at the end when instructed to (this means that your mind is listening). But if you actually fall asleep every time you use the MP3s, stop listening to them in bed! Hypnosis is most effective when you're focused and listening to the suggestions. Make the time to practise when you're not so tired. Try not to drift off completely.
Can I use my tracks to help me sleep?
Yes, but stick to 'Pregnancy Relaxation' or 'Breathing & Bonding', and ensure you're using them at other times too
I feel more alert than I expected?
Everyone experiences hypnosis a bit differently. Some people feel very aware of their surroundings and can perhaps 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.
Do you have a 'quick reference guide' for birth partners?
No, you're a team, birth partners need to put in the effort too! The course is simple and can be completed in just a few hours, with a few minutes' ongoing practise together each week. If this is challenging consider the mental load and choose birth partners wisely ~ excellent support is crucial.
May I share the MP3s with others?
Sorry, no. I depend on my small income from Hypnobirthing Online. If others genuinely can't afford £30 please request a discount, otherwise it's not great karma to rip off your minimum wage antenatal teacher ;)
Do I need any other books or resources?
No, this is a full hypnobirthing course and everything you need is provided for you. Whilst the various brands have more in common than differences, there's a risk of overload or confusion. For general birth book recommendations check out anything by Milli Hill, Ina May Gaskin, Janet Balaskas, Pam England and Michel Odent.
Can you teach this course at our home?
Yes! I can visit for private, personalised workshops anywhere in the world, see hypnobirthing classes
Can you be our birth doula?
I offer a Cornwall doula service within a 60 minute drive of TR14 0LL
I'd like to offer my clients hypnobirthing, can I work with you?
Explore my hypnobirthing affiliate programme