Whilst many people who contact me already know a bit about hypnobirthing and know they want to book a course, I often get enquiries from people who are interested but who question “what are the benefits of it and will it work for me, I’m not sure if it is something I will definitely do but I’d like to know more, I don’t know if it will work alongside my current circumstances, I’m interested but my partner isn’t” etc.
Whilst my immediate thought is that I am SURE these people will benefit from the programme (before, during and after their baby’s birth) I understand that some people are uncertain or even sceptical about this approach. Perhaps they have heard so many horror stories from others that they can’t possibly imagine birth being anything other than terrible. Or maybe they have already had discussions with caregivers who are hinting that this pregnancy will end in a caesarean (which is still giving birth by the way!). Likewise, money may be a deciding factor in whether they choose to do a hypnobirthing course and they want to know more before parting with their hard-earned cash at an already expensive time.
There are many reasons why people may feel unsure about booking a hypnobirthing course but so many MORE for why they should!
So when I think about what a hypnobirthing client looks like to me, I think of…
- The woman who feels fearful of the act of giving birth – hypnobirthing reduces the anxiety and worries associated with childbirth as fear has a very negative effect to the process of giving birth.
- The people who want to feel prepared and have proven strategies for how to manage the birth – many people go into labour with no techniques or plan of what they can do to help themselves or their baby. With most other major life events we usually plan and prepare for them – why should giving birth be any different?! Hypnobirthing can give you these.
- The pregnant mum who has a birth partner who wants to know how they can support them – there is a significant element of the course designed to show birth partners what they can do to support the mum-to-be rather than feeling like an onlooker who doesn’t know what to do to help the person they love when they need them.
- The woman who is interested in attending a course but whose partner can’t or doesn’t want to – you are more than enough! What you learn on the course could be the additional support you need and remember, you have all the resources you need within you!
- The women who experience anxiety and are worried about how this will impact on how they will cope with childbirth – you will be given techniques to help remain calm, relaxed and focussed, and these techniques can be used before, during and after birth.
- Women who have previously given birth and desperately want to birth their baby differently this time – we have lots of VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) clients and women who have had previous negative birth experiences who attend classes in order to feel prepared and know their birthing options better this time round.
- To mums who think/know that they will have a caesarean – whether you choose to have a c-section or if it becomes the path your baby’s birth takes, so much of the course can be transferred to this scenario helping you to manage this type of birth. And Hypnobirthing Australia has also pioneered and developed a ‘Positive Caesarean Birth’ course to ensure that ALL types of birth are supported.
- To those who would like to attend but aren’t sure whether to spend the money on a course – hypnobirthing is an ‘investment’ in your baby’s birth. It is an investment in how you will go on to remember that birth forever. You are no doubt spending lots of money already on all sorts of things for baby, but spending money on hypnobirthing is about investing in how they are welcomed into the world – you won’t get the chance to go back and have another go at it!
- The people who are excited about childbirth and who want to make it the best experience possible – the course provides the skills and techniques to help you achieve this and you will see some amazing birth videos to highlight how wonderful giving birth can be!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you see yourself or your birth partner in some of the above, then perhaps it is time to look into hypnobirthing in more detail.
So what are the benefits of a hypnobirthing approach to birth? A recent study evidenced a range of benefits from this type of approach to birth, which showed advantages to both mother and baby including:
- Significantly reduced rates of epidurals and caesarean births
- Less perineal trauma
- Shorter second stage of labour
- Shorter hospital stay following birth
- Reduced need for pharmacological interventions
- Less likelihood of newborn requiring resuscitation
So who is MY ideal hypnobirthing client?
Ultimately I believe every woman and partner will gain lots from my course, BUT, my ideal client is someone who…
- wants to go into birth feeling EXCITED about birthing her baby and is motivated to remove any fears she has about birth and instead wishes to have a confident mindset in the lead up to birth
- is prepared to put the hypnobirthing techniques into PRACTICE and will make time during pregnancy to familiarise themselves with them so that they can benefit her during labour
- is going to take OWNERSHIP of her birth by doing additional research and reading, wants to know her options and choices, and seeks out evidence based information so she can make good informed decisions
- fundamentally believes that birth is a PHYSIOLOGICAL process that sometimes requires assistance, who welcomes this medicalised support if there are genuine medical reasons for it (including women who choose a caesarean birth from the outset for these reasons) but otherwise views birth as an event that unfolds naturally
- VALUES herself, her body, and her choices
- believes that welcoming her baby into the world is arguably one of the most important and special moments we experience and is going to PREPARE for this like it is the most important project she will ever get given in life!
Kerry Sutcliffe is an award winning hypnobirthing practitioner based in Sydney. She has a background in Counselling and Psychology and carries out research at a Sydney based university looking at antenatal education and birthing outcomes for mothers and babies.