How Can Hypnosis Help You Prepare For Birth?


tackle your fears with natal hypnotherapy

In your normal awake state you use a part of your mind which evaluates all things around you and is rational, critical and analytical. That is the conscious part of the mind.

However when you are in a day dream like state (hypnosis) another part of your mind becomes more active. That is the subconscious and is the part of you that is responsible for all the things we do automatically, such as the beating of your heart, hormone production, elimination system and giving birth. In addition it is the part which stores all your memories, emotions, fears and anxiety.

Using hypnosis, you can access the subconscious easily to deal with, and overcome fear and anxiety associated with pregnancy and labour, and to increase self confidence and trust in your body's natural ability to give birth.

By practising Hypnosis (being deeply relaxed and listening to positive suggestions and imagery) daily before the birth, you are effectively "rehearsing" or "experiencing" in your mind a calm, instinctive birth over and over again. As the mind does not know the difference between things you have imagined and reality, when the actual birth begins, your mind and body are familiar and comfortable with the rehearsed responses and so reacts accordingly. In addition, the hypnosis is conditioning your body to be relaxed and calm no matter what is going on around you.

Therefore, the hypnosis suggestions create a pre programmed response for the birth which is to be relaxed, involved and in control, being conversant when necessary and aware of the experience. Being so relaxed leaves no room for the fear and tension, which are the main cause of pain. This calm state increases your natural pain killers (endorphins), increases the flow of oxygen to your baby and to your muscles, so making contractions more effective, which in turn reduces the need for intervention.

The outcome

By attending the workshops as a mother you will leave with skills which will help you:-

• Overcome fear of birth
• Reduce pain during birth
• Enter deep relaxation in seconds
• Feel relaxed and calm at all times
• Increase your energy and well being
• Sleep well
• Increase bonding with your baby
• Increase your sense of being in control
• Reduced the need for intervention / drugs
• Give birth to a calm, alert baby
• Enjoy comfortable breastfeeding
• Decrease the chance of postnatal depression 

Your birthing companion will leave with skills to help them:-

• Feel calmer, confident and more relaxed about the forthcoming birth
• Have a better understanding of the birthing process
• Overcome their fears, concerns and needs
• Support the mother effectively
• Deal effectively with the medical team
• Make informed choices and decisions

Calmer parents, calmer babies!

Is this a HypnoBirthing® course?
No, Natal Hypnotherapy™ is not part of the US HypnoBirthing® group. Natal Hypnotherapy™ has been developed in the UK by its founder, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Maggie Howell. The techniques have been developed organically through her own experiences of using them for four births, through her work as a hypnotherapist and Doula and her work with leading birth specialists including Michael Odent, Ina May Gaskin and Sheila Kitzinger.

Both HypnoBirthing and Natal Hypnotherapy use professional hypnosis techniques to help couples prepare for the birth and both teach how relaxation, hypnosis and overcoming fear can drastically reduce the level of pain and help the couple feel and be more confident and in control.

The Key Differences Between Natal Hypnotherapy and HypnoBirthing

Natal Hypnotherapy  HypnoBirthing
Created in the UK  Created in the USA
Offers the choice of creating your own tailored script or using the highly successful Natal Hypnotherapy CDs  Uses set pre defined scripts
The course is tailored to each participant. Everyone is required to complete a detailed pre course questionnaire to be sent to the practitioner prior to the course. Hypnosis sessions are personalized to address couples issues  The course follows a standard format with set scripts
The mother learns how to do this all herself - the birth partner learns ways to help her if she needs it.  Requires the attendance of the birth partner during the birth to take the mother into hypnosis
Allows each person to find the right breathing pattern for themselves - the emphasis is on the rhythm and depth rather than timing or set patterns  Teaches set breathing exercises for different stages of labour
The training to become a Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner takes 7- 9 full days  The training to become a HypnoBirthing practitioner takes 2-4 days
No change in words is suggested - simply to focus on the positive outcome at all times and to use words which make you feel good  Requires that you and the medical team use different words for the birth e.g. surges instead of contractions
All Natal Hypnotherapy practitioners are assessed and evaluated after each course. That way we ensure that all practitioners are maintaining a high level of tuition.  Practitioners work independently


The results
Both approaches help mothers feel and be more confident and trusting in the body's natural abilities.  The difference in outcome is on the avoidance of a C section - see below for a comparison


 Caesarean Section Rate

Natal Hypnotherapy Course (feedback from 50 course Natal Hypnotherapy CDs attendees)


Natal Hypnotherapy CDs only (online survey of 769 women)


 HypnoBirthing courses (US HypnoBirthing website)


 National Rate (NHS maternity statistics 2005 - 05)