Meghan Markle is reportedly following in Kate Middleton’s footsteps, learning hypnobirthing techniques in preparation for the latest baby royal. Cosmopolitan magazine reported that a source close to the newlywed couple said that Meghan’s goal is to have a natural childbirth, at home if possible.
Hypnobirthing is widely supported by both the NCT (the UK’s largest charity for parents) and the NHS, with several trusts now offering hypnobirthing as standard to expectant mothers in their catchment area. The NCT conducted a review of studies into hypnobirthing and found that the use of hypnosis during childbirth lead to shorter labour, less intervention including fewer epidurals and lower pain relief and that it was strongly associated with higher levels of maternal wellbeing and satisfaction.
What are hypnobirthing sessions like?
Most hypnobirthing progammes are between 4 and 12 sessions depending on which programme you choose or the hypnotherapist who you are working with. Usually you will be taught a variety of techniques that will help you remain calm and relaxed and your partner will be involved as well, forming a support system for you during the birthing process. You may also be given CDs to listen to before and during the birth.
A hypnobirthing programme will typically include:
- Suggestions to increase your confidence and trust in your body
- Tools and visualisations to let go of any fears or anxieties
- Techniques to manage any discomfort or pain
- Understanding of the stress response on the body during labour
- Suggestions for your partner to use to create a sense of calm in the room
- Self-hypnosis (awake) techniques
As Hypnotherapy is largely hands-off and non-invasive, with no reported side effects, it is one of the most relaxing, enjoyable and safe therapies to use during pregnancy and birth. Many mothers who have used it during pregnancy and birth say they sleep much better and are much calmer during pregnancy.