Hospitals Report A Sharp Rise In Popularity Of Hypnobirthing Classes

19 August 2015

Pregnant woman

If you've relied on hypnobirthing to help you during labour and birth, it might not surprise you to learn that it's growing in popularity. Indeed, hospitals are reporting a sharp rise in the number of women wishing to take hypnobirthing classes as part of their antenatal care.

In case you've missed the story, the Guardian reports:

"Hospitals around the country are reporting a steep rise in the demand for classes in hypnobirthing, which focuses on relaxation and self-hypnosis during the birth process. When Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust in Essex began offering hypnobirthing classes in 2012, it was running one class a month, teaching about 48 women a year. After steady increases in 2013 and 2014, the trust made the decision to offer the course for free. They now run 10 hypnobirthing courses a month and predict they will instruct between 720 and 960 women in hypnobirthing in 2015."

When my lads were born I'd never heard of hypnobirthing but by the time I was expecting my third child, a hypnobirthing class was on offer as part of my local antenatal care.

I don't mind admitting that I was seriously sceptical about the whole thing at first, and even as I listened to my CD of positive birth affirmations (yes, really...) as I fell asleep each night towards the end of my pregnancy, I wasn't sure that it wasn't all a bit, well, weird.

And while I'm not about to bore you with all the gory details of my labour experience, suffice it to say that I credit hypnobirthing with the fact that I had a quick, natural labour which was overall a very calm and peaceful experience.

Now I don't say that to gloat - having been present with a friend when her labour went awry, I know that hypnobirthing isn't some kind of magic trick or fast track to a pain-free labour or delivery.

But while my contractions - or surges, as hypnobirthers prefer to call them - were far from painless, I do think the combination of hypnobirthing classes, affirmations, relaxation techniques and breathing exercises all conspired to help me approach labour in a much more relaxed state than usual.

I also love the fact that hypnobirthing is gaining ground with mums-to-be because of word of mouth - there's something really refreshing about the idea of mums finding and sharing techniques that help them through labour.

We'd love to hear your hypnobirthing thoughts and experiences - share them in the comments or over on our Facebook page. Did it help you during labour ? Was yours 'pain-free' or was hypnobirthing more about helping you prepare and feel calm and relaxed for giving birth?

TOPICS:   Parents

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