What to expect from a HypnoBirth class

If ever there’s a time to get in touch with your spiritual side, it’s gotta be when creating a life. 

While a HypnoBirth class may sound like a strange convention of hippie mums (hypnotherapy, meditations, affirmations and visualisations) what you learn in the class can really offer practical benefits to your birthing experience.

We chatted to Shanae (mama to cheeky Hamish) about how she found her HypnoBirth class.

Why would you choose a HypnoBirth class?

The HypnoBirth Australia website sells us with this description:

“With the help of hypnotherapy, the birth of your baby can be a more calm and relaxed experience; one where you are in the driver’s seat, rather than feeling like a passenger. This is likely to reduce the need for interventions during your birthing.”

So it’s an ideal birth class choice for:

  • Mums that want to have a natural birth without intervention.
  • Control freak Type A mums who want to feel like they’re ‘in the driver’s seat’.

Shanae said, “I listened to the Australian Birth Stories podcast quite a bit when I was pregnant. A lot of the mums on there had done a HypnoBirth course and loved it.”

(PSA: Australian Birth Stories is fab. Check it out.)

What does a HypnoBirth class cover?

Classes generally run over 12 hours across two days. While different classes may cover slightly different material, they’ll all generally focus on the following.

How birth works

“It covered the anatomy of the pregnant body, the stages of labour and birth and explained how all the different chemicals and hormones played a different role in birth preparation,” Shanae explained.

Control freak mums, you may benefit from knowing what’s happening at each stage of labour. Learning how birth works can help you feel a bit more ‘in control’. 

The importance of relaxation 

Shanae loved learning about the inner workings of hormones and how they help in the labour process. Her HypnoBirth class drove home, “how important it is to try and be as relaxed as possible and reduce stress, because stress hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) can inhibit or slow down labour.” 

HypnoBirth explores how to get comfortable in the birthing environment to assist in generating the right kind of hormones – the ones that give labour a zhuzh. 

Meditations and visualisations

Meditations and visualisation can help reduce stress during labour (as much as stress can be reduced when you’re in absolute f*cking pain).

“They provided guided meditations for the birth, education lessons on breathing techniques for contractions and different breathing for pushing,” Shanae shared. “They also focused on visualisation, with diagrams of the ideal baby position for birth, and encouraged me to visualise my body giving birth the way I wanted it to.”

Partner involvement

HypnoBirth classes encourage you to bring your birth partner along. They’ve got an important role to play in all of this, after all – and not just as the primary recipient of passionate verbal abuse.

“They educated my partner on how to help me during the birth process, and taught him certain massage techniques to help with pain relief,” Shanae said.

Breathing techniques

Breathing strategies can work a treat in managing labour pain, and Shanae was a big fan of this part of the class.

“The biggest thing I got out of it was the breathing techniques,” she said. “They really worked during the contractions. I learnt that contractions only lasted for a minute and one of the affirmations they kept saying was ‘you can do anything for a minute’. Honestly, that helped me get through it because I knew that I just had to tough it out for a minute and then I’d get a rest.”

Are there downsides to a HypnoBirth class?

HypnoBirth classes are designed to alleviate fears of childbirth, educate you and prepare you to feel confident and in control during your labour and birth. In saying that, you may want to check that your class also covers what happens when things don’t go to plan.

Creating a written birth plan can help you articulate what you want for your birth, but it’s important to be prepared for all scenarios.

“The course was very pro ‘no-intervention, natural birth’, so that’s kind of all we focused on,” Shanae shared. “We didn’t really cover epidurals or inductions or caesareans and I had to have all of those things.”

There are plenty of different types of birth classes you can take in the lead-up to your labour – HypnoBirth is just one! Take a look at what type of birth class might suit you.

Share this article with a mama-to-be who wants to attend a birth class.

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