After just 5 hours of labour, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton and Prince William, welcomed their third child on 23 April 2018. The arrival of Prince Louis sparked a frenzy of media attention, with many reports focusing on the Duchess of Cambridge’s choice to use hypnobirthing to support her through the birthing process, reporting that nurses at the Lindo Wing, where Kate gave birth, were recently trained in hypnobirthing.
Hypnobirthing is rapidly growing in popularity in the UK, being used to aid fertility and ease birth, with many NHS trusts now offering courses and some midwives training as hypnotherapists.
Hypnosis has been used as a technique to support labour for many years, with the written records dating back to the mid 1800s. The National Council for Hypnotherapy says that modern hypnobirthing practices can “help overcome fear and anxiety around conception, parenting or birth itself. It can reduce stress and anxiety (not just for you, but also for your baby), boost your confidence to be a parent and give mothers a feeling of control so the birth experience is the best it can be”.
Hypnobirthing teaches the mother specific pain control techniques along with relaxation exercises which leading to significantly faster births with fewer medical interventions and faster recoveries; this type of birth experience is believed by many to reduce the risk of post-natal depression. Partners who are involved with the hypnobirthing training also report a significant reduction in stress and anxiety surrounding becoming a parent.
Melissa Ayling – a new mum and hypnobirthing practitioner ended up giving birth in a car on the way to hospital – described her experience of birth as “I just allowed my body to give birth and my mind had to stay calm and trust and surrender.” She credits the good nature of her baby to how calm she was during his birth.
The National Council for Hypnotherapy agrees, stating that babies born to mums who have practiced hypnosis and deep relaxation techniques during labour may also be calmer, sleep better and feed better. This mind body connection can also be used in other ways as another new mother who used hypnobirthing writes. Ms Doenges wrote that she spent her pregnancy telling her baby its due date was the first week of July in order to avoid being induced. Her baby was born on the 5th of July in what she describes as an “awesome experience”.
With over 1,800 therapists around the UK in its directory, the National Council for Hypnotherapy is an excellent resource for finding a qualified hypnobirthing practitioner. Search now to find practitioner near you.