Hypnobirthing is a method of birth preparation using a series of simple but effective techniques that can facilitate a calm and natural birth. Far from being a modern fad, it is logical, rational and there is a strong evidence base for its use. Many women approach labour with fear because of the negativity surrounding birth and the assumption that it must involve excruciating pain for the mother. Fear has a physiological effect, making contractions less effective and derailing normal labour. Hypnobirthing teaches the mother to relax and believe that her body is perfectly designed to give birth; when the mother is relaxed her body can release natural painkillers that are far more effective than pharmaceutical drugs. Women using hypnobirthing report needing little or no pain relief during labour and their babies are born calm and alert. Mothers need less medical intervention, and if they do they report feeling much more able to deal with it. Calm and confident parents are empowered to make informed decisions about their care, which can contribute enormously to a positive birth experience.
In Why Hypnobirthing Matters Katrina Berry looks at the origins and rationale for using hypnosis for childbirth, explains what you can expect from hypnobirthing and dispels common misunderstandings in a lively, informative way.