FAQs about Hypnobirthing

What’s the history of Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is soundly based on established medical knowledge with positive, proven results.

The origins of most current hypnobirthing programmes can be traced back to the pioneering work of eminent British obstetrician Dr. Grantly Dick-Read. After witnessing a homebirth in the slums of the London Docks in 1912, where the mother refused any pain relief and then proceeded to give birth quickly and with no pain or problems, Grantly Dick-Read was truly amazed.

The mother’s comment after giving birth when he asked why she refused the pain relief was “It didn’t hurt. It wasn’t meant to, was it, Doctor?” This experience was defining, and after a career of working on the battle field and in hospitals around the globe he theorised that fear was the overriding cause that led to pain in childbirth. He hypothesised that when you are fearful, you tense up and the natural birth process is inhibited and becomes longer and consequently more painful. He stated that this was because if a woman was experiencing fear during labour, then blood would be diverted away from her uterus to other muscles to enable these muscles to help her flee from the danger (perceived or otherwise). So the uterus was deprived of oxygen and so unable to work as efficiently and without pain as it was designed to do by nature. He called this phenomenon the ‘fear-tension-pain syndrome of childbirth’, concluding that this syndrome was responsible for 95% of labour pain that would otherwise by eliminated through relaxation techniques (such as those  that I teach and encourage people to practise on my KG Hypnobirthing courses).

Why KG Hypnobirthing?

KG Hypnobirthing is a complete in-depth antenatal training programme designed to release fear and build confidence during birth. It is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. KG Hypnobirthing is the original UK hypnobirthing course which is designed especially for mothers in the UK. The course is constantly evolving to keep up-to-date with the latest evidence and research, and is now taught internationally.

A KG Hypnobirthing course not only equips you with the hypnobirthing information, but uniquely gives you the knowledge to understand your options and the implications of the choices you make. As well as teaching you the techniques needed for a successful hypnobirth, it gives you the information to navigate the system in which you find yourself to achieve the best outcome for you and your baby.

What will I learn on a KG Hypnobirthing course?

Hypnobirthing is a process, not a method as such; the aim is to help improve the experience of childbirth, taking into account the mother’s emotional well-being as well as her physical and mental experiences and well-being. It is a full antenatal course (with time for you to ask questions) and teaches:

  • How to have a positive pregnancy and a positive, comfortable and empowering labour
  • Breathing exercises
  • Deep relaxations
  • Visualisations
  • Very effective work to release fear and build confidence
  • Comforting massage
  • Coping strategies and tips
  • How your birth partner can be your powerful protector and support
  • How your body is designed to give birth with efficiency and comfort
  • Knowledge and information about pregnancy and birth that you are unlikely to be told anywhere else
  • How ‘the system’ that you find yourself in works, and how to work with it to achieve the best result for you
  • How to work with your midwives to have the best results for you
  • A simple practice regime to support you at home
  • Understanding how the mind and body work together
  • How to start the bonding process with your baby
  • How partners can be powerful and helpful birth partners and your advocates during labour

What are the five ‘Cs’ of hypnobirthing and why do they matter?

  • Confidence- when you feel confident, you relax and work with your body in the way nature intended.
  • Control – with the knowledge you have, you are enabled to take control of how you give birth.
  • Choice –when you feel in control, the choices you make are the best choices for you and for your baby.
  • Calm – when you feel calm throughout the birth you are relaxed and your mind and body work together in harmony.
  • Comfort – the result is that your body works efficiently and comfortably. A KG Hypnobirthing birth can be the most wonderful and empowering experience of your life.

How will deep relaxation and positive visualisation help during birth?

Unfortunately due to many factors such as TV programmes, films and internet chat groups the majority of women nowadays presume that birth is excruciatingly painful and horrible. This presumption and resulting potential fear will lead a woman to instantly and unconsciously tense up her body in anticipation of pain and discomfort. If your body tenses up, you create problems for yourself and your baby during labour which increases the chances of pain and intervention and the length of labour. KG hypnobirthing breaks this vicious cycle of tension, pain and fear increasing the chances of a wonderful, empowering and comfortable birth.

What course material is provided?

The official KG Hypnobirthing book.

Colour and Calmness Relaxation CD.

A course folder filled with handouts and information to use as a guide.

When should I start my KG Hypnobirthing course?

If you’ve discovered Hypnobirthing then you could beat any stage of your pregnancy or you might even be anticipating getting pregnant.

Many future parents arrive at Hypnobirthing having consumed a very large amount of information on the internet and with their heads quite possibly buzzing with everything they’re trying to take in. Add to that the fact that you’re far more likely to find articles on what can go wrong with a pregnancy than anything else and this can create a level of anxiety. Hypnobirthing aims to combat that and the positive effects can be felt immediately, meaning there’s no wrong time to start.

It is never too early to start Hypnobirthing.

Many expectant mothers are particularly interested in how to manage the birthing experience itself, which is something Hypnobirthing can offer. However, the approaches we use work the best when practiced until they become second nature. This is why Katherine Graves advises that it’s never too early to take up Hypnobirthing. Controlling stress and promoting confidence in your body is something that takes time and no small amount of self-confidence to develop, both for you and your partner. And the positive results for the approaches aren’t just restricted to the birthing experience itself but can help make the entirety of the pregnancy a far more calm and enjoyable experience.

KG Hypnobirthing will teach and encourage you to have faith in your body and your ability during pregnancy. Because Hypnobirthing is about empowering women to have faith in what is a perfectly natural (and rather necessary) part of life, it’s never too late to pick it up either! Just like anything else, the techniques taught through KG Hypnobirthing become easier the more you practice and even if you’re later into your pregnancy that doesn’t mean that the approach won’t be effective. If you’re finding yourself growing anxious about your birth then these techniques can help, no matter what stage of pregnancy you’re at, especially if you have a birthing partner to work with you both before and during the birth.

Given the choice, I would suggest doing the course in the second trimester of your pregnancy so you can enjoy the benefits during your pregnancy as well as at the birth of your baby. It is not so much a matter of learning facts so they are fresh in your mind, but more a matter of absorbing the information so that it becomes second nature, but simply KG Hypnobirthing works whenever you do it.

What are some of the benefits of KG Hypnobirthing for mothers?

On the course mothers will learn easily how to induce themselves into deep relaxation using simple techniques to help stimulate the hormones oxytocin and endorphins, which are the body’s natural anaesthetic and 200 times more powerful than morphine and so can relieve un-necessary pain during labour and birth. By releasing fears, stress and tension and replacing negative thoughts and expectations of labour (that most people have had instilled in them from an early age) and replacing them with calm emotions and positive thinking, mothers can feel more confident, in control and relaxed throughout labour.

  • It prepares mothers for labour and giving birth both mentally and physically as well as taking into account the emotional well being of the mother.
  • By eliminating fear and tension of childbirth, the mother will be able to relax and enjoy her pregnancy and anticipate a wonderful experience.
  • Practicing hypnobirthing is a time for the mother to relax and unwind.
  • Mothers are more likely to experience a wonderful, calm, happy & often pain-free births.
  • Gain confidence and belief in her body and baby.
  • Considerably shorter labours.
  • Can improve oxygen levels.
  • KG Hypnobirthing mothers do not have doubts about their natural ability to birth babies.
  • Reduces the risk of needing an episiotomy or other intervention.
  • Reduces the risk of damage to the perineum.
  • Higher level of endorphins produced.
  • 70% of hypnobirths are unmedicated which result in the mother being able to benefit from her body being flushed with the oxytocin her body has naturally produced, which many have said feels like ‘being on a natural high’ leading to easier, happier time in bonding with your baby.
  • Lets you stay in control of your body.
  • As a full antenatal course you will have learnt about various different options that available to you while you are in labour.
  • Wonderfully elating starting point to begin motherhood.
  • Mothers often bounce back quicker and more easily and comfortably after a KG Hypnobirthing birth as the physical impact of giving birth has been reduced.
  • Breastfeeding is normally easier to start as mothers feel happier and proud of what their bodies have accomplished, as well as having more energy following an easier birth.
  • Greatly reduced incidences of postnatal depression.
  • The techniques learnt on the hypnobirthing course can be adapted to help you stay calm and in-control of a number of situations for the rest of your life.

What are some of the benefits of KG Hypnobirthing for fathers?

Fathers or birthing partners can often feel left out or powerless during pregnancy and birth, they don’t necessarily understand what and why a woman is feeling in pregnancy and they don’t know if or how they will be able to help and support her during labour. This stress is often unconsciously passed to the mother. But by the end of the course they are left feeling more confident and a true part of the experience.

  • Fathers are able to a feel part of the pregnancy and so are able to bond more with the mother and baby before the baby’s birthday.
  • It gives fathers a key, active role during pregnancy and labour instead of feeling helpless or stressed out. Fathers are able to share in what can be one of the most loving and awesome experiences in the couples lives.
  • Gives fathers a greater understanding of the process of pregnancy, labour and birth and the options available and so eliminating fear of the unknown.
  • Gives fathers the tools and confidence needed to actively assist and support their partners to have calm and empowering births.
  • He can act confidently as an advocate for his labouring partner, taking any stress away from her, allowing her to let go and focus on the birth.
  • With a calm and positive labour, fathers are able to welcome their new babies into the world happily and with a greater sense of achievement knowing how they supported and helped their partner.

 What are the benefits of KG Hypnobirthing for the baby?

Your baby has been safely, snuggly and quietly protected inside your womb for a number of months before birth; they have never been subjected to harsh lights or very loud noises or any extremes in temperature. So matching these conditions at least in the first few hours after birth is very important for your baby’s ease of transition in this world. A happy, calm, peaceful environment is easily attainable for KG Hypnobirthing families.

  • The use of interventions are reduced when KG Hypnobirthing is practiced, leading to less trauma.
  • A relaxed happy mother has high levels of endorphins that pass through to baby, as opposed to stress hormones.
  • Can improve the baby’s oxygen levels and blood flow during labour.
  • 70% of hypnobirths are unmedicated and drug free.
  • Scientific research has shown that Hypnobirthing babies generally have healthy birth weights and higher APGAR scores.
  • A calm and drug free birth leaves baby alert and calm, which in turns makes (breast)feeding easier.
  • Gives babies a beautiful, happy start to life.
  • Hypnobirthing babies are reported to be more content, feed better, sleep better and are generally a lot calmer (not just in the immediate hours post birth).
  • Your baby will arrive to a serene and relaxed environment, alert and ready to bond with you as nature intended.
  • The fact that less drugs and medical interventions are used in Hypnobirthing births means that your baby is able to develop naturally and easily after they arrive.

Will hypnobirthing help me if I need to have an induction or Caesarean birth or if I have an epidural?

In some instances, medical intervention is required for the safety of the mother and her baby. Hypnobirthing can help you stay in a calm and positive state of mind and help you be better prepared for any change in circumstances. Hypnobirthing mums say that the techniques really helped – even if they were induced, had an assisted birth, had an epidural or ended up with a Caesarean. KG Hypnobirthing is a full antenatal course on which you will have learnt about a number of different circumstances that can occur during labour and the options available to you so that you can continue to make informed decisions throughout labour if need be.

In fact, the principles of hypnobirthing will help you in other experiences outside of labour including being able to stay calm, in control and thinking positively both in a busy, stressful work place environment or at home with the potentially tiring demands of family life.