So yesterday morning, my mother-in-law forwards me an article from the Daily Mail, saying “I thought you might be interested in this.”Can hypnosis really beat the pain of having babies? The NHS thinks so”
My first reaction was ‘wow, some national publicity…that’ll be a good thing’. Maybe it might help nudge my own business along a little, but as I read the short article, I came away irritated.
The article’s tone is written in a ‘believe-it-if-you-will’ attitude rather than a solid well-researched article that proves that hypnobirthing works and explaining how. Instead it’s all very wishy-washy with poor explanations, poor choice of words (‘wackiest advocates’), which leaves the reader who may have not known anything about hypnobirthing, with exactly the same misconceptions that I was hoping that the article would have dispelled.
Here’s my take on how the article should have been written:
How hypnosis helps mothers overcome the pain of childbirth
Hypnobirthing is an antenatal preparation technique that has been steadily gaining momentum in recent years, all across the world
Whilst in the past it was down to the mother to independently find out about hypnobirthing and find a local instructor, now even the NHS has seen the benefits and are themselves investing in training midwives how to teach mothers within their antenatal care. They are now advocates of this technique are showing mums (and their birthing partners) how hypnobirthing can benefit both mum and baby during pregnancy, labour and birth.
First-time mums are usually bombarded with birth stories from well-intentioned family and friends that usually involved ‘pain’. Yet the pain within childbirth is scientifically and logically explained in hypnobirthing courses; the majority of the so-called pain is due to fear within the mind and tension within the body. (Oh no, they’ve told me it’s going to hurt, which triggers the body to find pain).
When the mother is calm and relaxed through practicing hypnobirthing, she will feel pressure and intensity throughout established labour. However many come away reinforcing that it wasn’t painful. (Why? Because she understands that her body and baby are working in unison and she will relax and trust in her body and nature to do what it has been perfectly designed to do).
Because hypnobirthing mothers have a greater appreciation of what the body is going through in order to birth the baby and are well-informed, any fears they may have had prior to their course would have been worked through with their qualified hypnobirthing instructor. Hypnobirthing mums often experience shorter births, have less need for medicalised pain relief and fewer medical interventions.
Hypnobirthing is also reported to have had a positive impact on mothers who have been induced medically or have needed C-section.
The NHS and midwives are now embracing hypnobirthing teaching because if they have happier and calmer mothers in the labour ward, this will make the working environment a better place to be. It’s a win-win situation.
Many NHS hospitals are offering classes, some do it as part of their antenatal teaching for free, and some offer it as an add-on with a fee. There are more and more independent hypnobirthing instructors across the country offering a more personalised service for those who prefer a more in-depth course.
If I were the author of this article in the Daily Mail, I would have included sources like the Wise Hippo or Katharine Graves from the Hypnobirthing Association to give a stronger quote backing up the article followed by one or two positive birth stories… There are thousands out there…
I hope that my article is slightly more balanced and informed (in the short word count that I had) rather than an article that is written by someone who will never appreciate the experience that is carrying a child to term and then going through labour and birth.
One final note, mothers do have the choice to attend a hypnobirthing class in their local hospital, or they can find a local private instructor. As with anything NHS vs private the treatment and individual attention that you will get will differ greatly. So it’s horses for courses.
If you’re in the Essex area, look up Magical Baby Moments… I’ll be really happy to personally help you through your pregnancy to ensure that you are well-prepared for labour, in the right mind-set and ready to birth your baby in a calm and relaxed way.