Hypnobirthing for Birth Trauma
Imagine for a moment you had been preparing for the perfect birth throughout your entire pregnancy, in fact you couldn’t imagine your baby’s birth could be anything but perfect. However, nature had other ideas and you came away feeling traumatised, feeling robbed of the birth you had been preparing so long for.
Time has passed and you are now expecting another baby, you don’t feel excited and in fact feel a little/a lot scared. You worry that history will repeat itself and your baby’s birth will be ‘long’ and ‘difficult’. You think you won’t be able to have the birth you have been longing for, or that your choices and opinions won’t be respected. You feel your voice won’t be heard, you won’t be supported…but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Firstly, no two births are ever the same, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t go on to have a positive birth experience with the help of a birth preparation programme such as Hypnobirthing.
Hypnobirthing…isn’t that that just a celebrity fad?
Preparing for your baby’s birth with Hypnobirthing can help you reduce and even eliminate your fears so that you feel positive and confident going into labour. Just imagine for a moment being able to say “I feel excited about labour and birth”. Hypnobirthing can show you how to change the way you think and feel about birth.
So what is Hypnobirthing? Sounds kind of airy fairy!
Hypnobirthing is the use of relaxation, breathing techniques, self-hypnosis, guided visualisations, and education about how your mind and body works during labour and birth, and it is all backed up by science. Through fear release techniques you will be shown how to help you let go of any concerns and anxiety. Hypnobirthing will provide you with the tools to ensure your baby enters the world as calmly and safely as possible.
It has be shown to reduce the need for pain relief, decrease the length of labour and help your body work more efficiently. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of an emergency C-section or unnecessary interventions and reduce the risk of tearing.
Your birth partner will also learn how to support you in the way that you need them to all while increasing your confidence, and helping you feel empowered to make positive choices so that you and your baby have the right birth no matter how your baby chooses to enter the world.
Hypnobirthing can’t promise you a natural drug free birth but it can certainly show you how to prepare for a positive birth in any scenario.
Can I use Hypnobirthing even though I am still feeling traumatised about my previous birth?
There are some occasions when the trauma is so deep that Hypnobirthing alone may not help, and therefore it would be recommended that you find an instructor who specialises in birth trauma or an appropriate therapist who can help you work through your fears, but your instructor will let you know if this is necessary.
Most people find benefit in the course as it will address any concerns you may be having. You will be shown how to change your mindset using affirmations and positive language to change negative thoughts into positive ones. You will be shown tools to help you remain calm and relaxed allowing you the space and time to discuss any benefits or risks to anything that may be offered to you during your pregnancy and labour.
A Hypnobirthing course will also often cover active labour and positions for a more efficient birth, covering situations where you should seek further medical attention, look at your options for where you want to birth your baby and discuss with you your birth preferences.
There are so many Hypnobirthing courses out there, how do I know which one is best for me?
Have a good look around and do a little homework, most will offer courses in a group setting or one to one courses usually in your own home, however there are some great online courses and home study programs which may also suit your needs.
Enquire with your local maternity unit too as the NHS has a large number of midwives trained in Hypnobirthing to be able to assist and support you during your baby’s birth and some even hold classes to teach hypnobirthing.
If you have more than one instructor locally have a chat with your prospective instructors, the core of most Hypnobirthing courses is going to be similar to the next however you may have a better connection with a different instructor which is also important if you are going to get the most of your course. Prices will vary depending on whether it’s a private/group/home study course, location, experience of the instructor etc.
Often I speak with Mamas who have had a difficult birth who have completed a hypnobirthing course and they always say “what I would have given in the moment to help me have a positive birth” and “I wish I had found Hypnobirthing sooner”. Hypnobirthing could be the most life changing investment you will ever make…every Mama deserves to have a positive birth.
Written by Louise Bates – Hypnobirthing Instructor and Birth Coach
Two free modules of the Limitless Birth Online Hypnobirthing programme available from