HypnoBirthing in the Media
My radio interview with Jason of Your Health, your Choice from Raglan Community Radio all about a positive birth and hypnobirthing
Radio Interview Audio File
HypnoBirthing on the rise in NZ
Featuring Kate who completed the HypnoBirthing course with Helen in 2017, her birth of Mia, and Helen
Read the birth story
My story begins with my waters releasing at 0230hrs, I felt so excited as I knew soon I would get to meet our baby. I got back into bed and put my rainbow relaxation and birth affirmations on repeat and went to sleep. Within about 40 minutes my surges began coming and going, I felt calm and let my body continue with its journey. By morning I got up with my family had some breakfast and decided to continue my day as normal to allow myself to keep relaxed and calm. I called and updated my midwife of my progress and she informed me to call her when I felt I needed her.
We planned for a homebirth, everything was in its place and ready for our baby. As the day continued my body decided it was far too sunny to continue with surges so they decided to stop. I went for my afternoon nap and continued with the rainbow relaxation and my surges commenced again. By 6pm they were becoming regular, I did my surge breathing and my 5,4,3,2,1 as needed. By 9pm I knew my body was progressing, I continued breathing through and being at complete rest in between surges.
I had an amazing support team which included my mum, husband, midwife and two cat doulas Indie and Mila. Indie never left my side she sat on the side of the breakfast bar as I breathed with my surges while Mila helped with some light touch or light “lick” massage on my legs.
Nick my husband was an amazing support he did light touch massage and constantly reminded me to breathe and keep relaxed. He remained so calm and supported me the whole way through. While my mum was on heat pack duties, and pressure point massage.
I called my midwife at 130am to come to my house, when she arrived she checked to see my progress and I was already 7cm!!
I was ecstatic and felt so empowered. I continued with a combination of rainbow relaxation, affirmations and a soft music playlist. I listened to these tracks so many times im sure its well engrained in my subconscious and feel I could resite them word for word.
I stayed at 7cm at next check and my surges has slowed down to 2:10 so my midwife put clary sage oil on my belly to increase them. My surges became more frequent and strong instantly it was incredible how my body responded. Some hours later I was still 7cm and found that my baby’s head was not well flexed. I felt teary and worried that she would not get into the correct position, I refocused with my birth affirmations and support from my midwife and family.
With a combination of left side lying and standing with one leg up on my birth ball lots of crying and determination she rotated into the correct position. At 730am my midwife checked my progress and I had reached 2nd stage. By 822am I gave birth to our beautiful daughter Sienna.
It is such an empowering experience that I will never forget. I am so grateful we attended Helens hypnobirthing classes as it has not only given me skills for birthing but for life. I am also a registered midwife, it has given me invaluable knowledge to work in partnership to empower women to use the incredible power which is our mind.
Oh Baby Magazine
Meghan Markle’s HypnoBirthing Plan
As Meghan Markle nears her due date, tabloids and sources have been stirring about what her Royal birthing plan will entail. In an interview with Vanity Fair, sources close to Markle and Prince Harry said that the Duchess of Sussex is planning for a “natural birth,” which we can assume means a vaginal delivery sans pain medication — a.k.a an epidural.
“Her mother is very into anything that is holistic and natural, and having been brought up with yoga and mindfulness, it’s all very much part of Meghan’s birth plan,” the source told Vanity Fair. In preparation for delivery, Markle has allegedly hired a doula, started acupuncture sessions to “boost blood flow to the uterus,” and learned hypnobirthing.
If you’ve never heard of hypnobirthing before, it might sound completely woo-woo, but it’s actually a common technique that’s popular with people giving birth, with and without drugs. Hypnobirthing entails self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques that you can implement to feel better during labor, Marie Mongan, a hypnotherapist and creator of the Mongan Method HypnoBirthing told Refinery29. At its core, hypnobirthing is based on “the belief that every woman has within her the power to call upon her natural maternal instinct to birth her babies in joy and comfort in a manner that most mirrors nature,” Mongan wrote in her book.
The point of hypnobirthing is to essentially learn how to reframe pain as something positive, so that you’re prepared for the sensations of childbirth, and ready to cope with the pain, Mongan told Refinery29. This involves a combination of deep breathing techniques, visualization, and meditation prompts. As you can imagine, this takes practice; if you want to try hypno-birthing techniques, you have to take classes to train your mind to go quickly into a deep relaxation state.
Deep relaxation and hypnosis might give you Get Out vibes, but it’s important to note that hynpobirthing doesn’t hypnotize you to a comatose state, Mongan said. You’d remain totally awake during hypnobirthing, it’s extremely relaxed.
6 Feb 2019 https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/02/223525/meghan-markle-baby-birth-plan-doula-hypnobirthing
Baby and Child article
If you’d asked me back in January, when I discovered I was pregnant with our first baby, what my birth plan was, the answer would have been simple. An elective Caesarean, please. No natural birth process for me. Too posh to push? Er, yes actually. However, since then I’ve had a bit of an epiphany. The first time she (we’re having a girl) kicked in my tummy, I was faced with an overwhelming desire to begin motherhood with the least trauma possible. My feeling was that taking the all-natural route would give us the opportunity to bond, unencumbered by unnecessary medical interventions and major surgery.
I immediately began looking for an alternative to the standard, medication-fuelled options and I came across something called HypnoBirthing. A quick scoot through Google brought up cheery stories of women who had used the technique and claimed to have experienced comfortable, pain-free and, in some circumstances, orgasmic births (yes, really!). I’m a cynical Brit through and through so anything slightly happy-clappy usually sends me shrinking into a corner, but in this case I was interested to learn more and investigate whether this particular technique could coax me away from the epidural needle and the possibility of elective surgery.
“Experts believe it is fear and tension from preconceived notions of child birthing that actually causes labour pain”
About the technique
Jasmine Collin is a Dubai-based HypnoBirthing practitioner who teaches couples according to The Mongan Method – a technique founded by American hypnotherapist Marie Mongan 20 years ago. During the 1950s and 1960s, when it was common practice in the US to forcibly anaesthetise mothers in labour and deliver their babies with forceps, Marie was pioneering gentle, calm and natural birthing. She was inspired by the theories of English physician Grantly Dick-Read who published Childbirth Without Fear in 1933, which proposed that it is fear and tension from preconceived notions of child birthing that actually causes labour pain. It is this belief that sits at the core of HypnoBirthing, which Jasmine describes as “a childbirth preparation-method that helps women to connect with their natural instincts, enabling them to have a safe, gentle and comfortable birthing experience, whilst feeling calm, confident and in control”.
Having discovered The Gentle Birth Method by Dr Gowri Motha when she was pregnant with her first baby, Amber, Jasmine prepared for her daughter’s arrival by listening to a self-hypnosis CD every day for the entire third trimester. “I kept an open mind regarding pain relief but found on the day that I didn’t need it at all,” she said. “In fact I didn’t even realise I was in labour for most of it. I was amazed at how my body just knew what to do and how it completely took over. My first labour and birth left me with a newfound respect for my body as well as an extremely empowering and positive experience. I was able to physically recover very quickly and easily bonded with Amber, which made my transition into motherhood a smoother one.”
Determined to share her positive experience with others, Jasmine used her second pregnancy with son Indiana to enhance her training as a practitioner in The Mongan Method. She says, “Although he was there at my first birth, I found my husband was much more able to be emotionally involved with my second [labour] as he had been to HypnoBirthing classes and had practised with me in the weeks before. The sound of his voice during the birth was what really helped me to relax and the whole thing was much more of a team effort.”
Far from playing the helpless onlooker, fathers have an important role as a birthing partner at HypnoBirths and are educated as such during classes. Couples are taught breathing and relaxation techniques together with affirmations, visualisations and self-hypnosis to help keep them calm and relaxed for the smoothest possible births. Fathers are encouraged to practise these skills at home with their partners, reading relaxation scripts and prompting correct breathing.
It’s this inner calm and focus that seems to be the very cornerstone of the successful HypnoBirth. “From very early on we are inundated with negative images and stories about birth from films, soap operas, stories from well-meaning friends and family,” observes Jasmine. In one HypnoBirthing exercise, couples are encouraged to address their preconceived fears about birthing and parenting and replace these beliefs with positive and empowering thoughts.
These UAE-based mums swear by HypnoBirthing
When Elena Malone took Jasmine’s HypnoBirthing classes in preparation for the birth of baby Ruby in 2012 she found the fear-release and visualisation exercises particularly helpful. “I heard about HypnoBirthing from a friend who took Jasmine’s classes and delivered her twin babies naturally with no drugs. I was amazed when I heard about it,” she says. Of her birthing experience she adds, “I wanted to celebrate my pregnancy and birth. I also wanted to try to do it without drugs. I can’t say that I didn’t feel any pain, but the HypnoBirthing classes gave me tools to use when I found the birth difficult.”
Another HypnoBirthing advocate, Monika Goss, used HypnoBirthing during both of her pregnancies to deliver daughters Isabelle and Emily. “With Emily’s birth, in particular, the whole experience was just amazing thanks to HypnoBirthing,” she recalls. “Both my husband and I worked really well together on relaxation, breathing and visualisation.”
Concurring with Elena’s experience Monika comments, “I can’t say that either of the births were pain free, but the HypnoBirthing techniques allowed me to manage that pain quite well,” and she is happy to recommend the birthing method to friends who seek a positive and natural birth experience.
While the aim of couples who take classes is to experience as natural a birth as possible, Jasmine says, “Sometimes there may be circumstances where they may need medical assistance or have to compromise on their birth wishes but women who feel calm, in control and consulted, rather than having things done to them, will have an overall positive feeling about their births, and this is the most important thing.”
Having read and heard of others’ positive birth experiences it’s difficult not to be converted to the HypnoBirthing philosophy. The statistics are clear; women who practise HypnoBirthing have fewer incidences of interventions including episiotomy, inductions and surgical births, and experience shorter, more comfortable labours with faster recovery times and even lower frequency of post-partum depression. Babies with a calmer birth are immediately more alert and sleep better. Fathers play a key role in birthing, which enhances their bonding experience with the baby. Far from being the ‘hippy-birthing’ I anticipated, I now feel confident that, when the day comes, I have the tools to remain calm. My body will know what to do and I can look forward to meeting my baby without fear.