Using the original HypnoBirthing method developed by Marie Mongan
I would absolutely love to work with you on creating a positive pregnancy and birth experience. I want to help you think about the kind of birth you want, and then guide you through the excellent HypnoBirthing programme, which contains many different forms of learning, so that you can give yourself the best possible chance of the kind of birth you most would like.
I used HypnoBirthing myself for the pregnancies and births of my two daughters and had an amazing experience with it — and I would say that I still use many of the techniques, approaches and skills I learnt as part of HypnoBirthing in parenting them now that they are 3 and 5 years old!
I teach HypnoBirthing courses throughout the year, with options for either a Thursday evening and Saturday morning class. Each course runs for five 3-hour sessions, and at the moment it is all being taught via Zoom. I chose the name ‘HypnoMamaBears HypnoBirthing’ for my classes to suggest both fierce strength, and the instinctual, physical love between parent and child. If you would like to find out more about my classes, you can find more information by scrolling down this page, or by contacting me for an initial free phone call to see if HypnoBirthing would be a good fit for you.
I feel passionately about letting more women know about the possibility of birthing in a way that feels calm, joyful, wonderful, and where you feel deeply connected to your baby throughout. I want as many women as possible to be able to access the astonishingly powerful methods, techniques, concepts and ideas of HypnoBirthing.
By choosing to do the 15-hour HypnoBirthing course, you will gain access to an amazing range of resources including the full course materials with audio tracks, affirmations, birth videos, hypnosis scripts and other course materials; be engaging in a very high level of hypnosis and thought-pattern-change training; have 121 focused help and attention in learning the complex breathing and visualisation techniques and physical exercises; a full education in the history and biology of birth with an understanding of how this impacts you and your family; and a very high level of therapeutic support and guidance through the release of fears and negative thought patterns in terms of your own internal ‘stories’ around pregnancy, birth and parenthood.
I chose the name ‘HypnoMamaBears’ for the HypnoBirthing courses I’ll be running because I wanted to honour the deep, primal love between mother and child, parent and child, as well as the fierce, protective strength that people often find within themselves as they become parents and that women often find within themselves as they become mothers. Connecting and leaning into both this love and care for your child, and also this strength and power, are both important elements of HypnoBirthing.
Developing and really leaning into the bond parents are forming with their unborn child using HypnoBirthing techniques is very significant for a whole range of reasons – it makes a great start to your relationship with your child as rather than having to instantly ‘bond’ on the day of birth, you are building that relationship deliberately from much, much earlier. It means means that you can start enjoying your relationship with your child right from the beginning, and it means that you will be releasing lots and lots of oxytocin throughout your pregnancy — the calming ‘love hormone’ or ‘hug hormone’, which is wonderful anyway, in terms of your and your baby’s wellbeing during pregnancy, and also happens to be the hormone connected with the starting and the progression of labour and birth. By soaking your body and mind (and your baby’s!) in oxytocin and fully activiating the healing, calm parasympathetic nervous system during pregnancy, you are priming your mental and physical functioning and doing the necessary preparation to allow your body and mind to function in an ideal oxytocin-led way during labour and birth.
The element of power and strength that is developed and honed using HypnoBirthing techniques is also important, because in pregnancy and birth it takes strength and determination to be able to be assertive about the kind of birth you want, the kind of parent you want to be. And it takes strength and grit and a high level of connectedness to a sense of personal autonomy and power, too, to be able to dedicate yourself to practicing the HypnoBirthing techniques, and by doing so to to actively assume a strong, active role in what your pregnancy labour and birth are like.
HypnoBirthing also teaches the deep, deep level relaxation that is necessary for natural birth to be comfortable, calm, safe and peaceful. It is absolutely possible to birth in this way without painkillers and also without high-level or unmanageable pain. Many women who use HypnoBirthing in this way report low pain, very manageable pain, or even in some cases no pain at all. Women who have used HypnoBirthing often also talk about feeling calm, feeling in control and centered. Other women who have used HypnoBirthing talk about feeling feelings of intense joy and euphoria throughout labour and birth.
And of course there is no one kind of HypnoBirthing or no ‘correct’ way of HypnoBirthing. If you are booked in for a C-section, HypnoBirthing can still be of huge value and use to you, because deep relaxation is also very useful both before and after any major operation — it promotes better outcomes and speeds recovery time. And during any and all kinds of birth, it is hugely beneficial both psychologically and physically to be able to remain deeply calm throughout, and the more relaxed you are, in the vast majority of cases, the better everything will function in terms of labour and birth, and even in terms of birth involving surgery.
It is also important to understand that much of HypnoBirthing goes beyond the actual day of birth in terms of what you gain and learn. You will deepen and strengthen your relationship with your partner. (And if you don’t have a partner you will strengthen your internal relationship with yourself.) You will learn high-level, intensely effective meditation and hypnosis skills, so that you can calm yourself swiftly in almost any given situation. You will be devoting time to consciously forming and nurturing your relationship and your bond with your child right from the very beginning, when you are still carrying them inside of you.
I can imagine no better preparation for the important, magical, challenging role of being a parent to a baby, and then a child, than to study HypnoBirthing.
First of all I absolutely do not feel fearful about birth or about the next couple of months of being pregnant. But also I just feel much calmer in myself generally. I think it’s been very powerful for both of us together as a couple to have been working on our breathing, and for both of us together to have been listening to the track.
VANESSA + STEPHEN
How Does HypnoBirthing Work?
With the aim of making it easier to understand what HypnoBirthing actually is, and how it can work so effectively, I have grouped the many different elements of Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing under four main headings: ‘Hypnosis for Pregnancy and Birth’, ‘The Biology of Pregnancy and Birth’, ‘The Physical Preparations for Birth’ and ‘Re-writing Your Internal Birth Story’.
hypnosis for pregnancy and birth
If you’ve ever seen a horse or a cat give birth, you will have observed that when the time comes, the mother animal instinctively seeks out a space that feels hidden and safe, and also then instinctively goes into a state of deep, deep, relaxation, almost so that they seem asleep. This very deep level relaxed state is crucial for the smooth functioning of birth, but sometimes for us humans, our complicated minds, and our fears and inherited myths and ideas about birth can interfere with this important natural instinct towards deep level calm and relaxation. But it is possible to reconnect with this instinctive behaviour through a thorough and intensive training in hypnosis, which is simply a name for a very relaxed and focused state. The depth of hypnosis necessary for peaceful, joyful, easeful birth is far greater than that which we would normally need or work with in hypnotherapy, so therefore the process of learning about and practicing hypnosis is also quite different, more complex and more involved. In a HypnoBirthing course you receive very intensive training in high-level meditation, relaxation and self-hypnosis skills and techniques.
Breathe your body open.
Three highly effective breathing techniques specifically designed for the different parts of labour and birth
There are three breathing techniques that are taught as part of hypnobirthing — relaxed breathing for in-between surges (or contractions), slow balloon breathing for during surges so that you can work with your body and your baby in a really ideal way while your cervix softens and opens, and the powerful j-breathing or birth breathing for active stage of birthing, When your baby is ready to come out into the world.
Vivid, beautiful images
Hold beautiful, detailed, complex images in your mind, that will allow you to easily and quickly connect with a sense of happiness and calm.
learn to visualise your baby inside of you in tiny wonderful detail, and to form gorgeous visual metaphors for birth, pregnancy and parenthood, and how to connect these visual metaphors to a particular emotional state, at first basing your imaginative work on the scripts and images provided, and going on to invent scenes and imaginings of your own
Deeper, and still deeper, into calm
Become able to deepen your trance state, and to move swiftly from worry or stress down deeply into a state of ultimate calm.
it is possible to deepen a hypnotic state still further using techniques knon as ‘deepeners’. There are many different kinds of deepener that can be used in hypnosis. in hypnobirthing you will be taught a wide range of them, so that you have a great deal of knowledge and resources in terms of how hypnosis works, and you will be able to select the tools and techniques you think would be best suited, both in terms of your home practice, and on the day of your birth.
Train yourself to enter hypnosis on your own command
Affirmations are an excellent tool both for changing the way you think and feel about something quite rapidly, and also for creating an established, easier path to a state of calm and positivity.
There is a list of specially designed hypnobirthing affirmations that everyone on a hypnobirthing course is given. They are very beautifully put together and essentially provide you with calm, positive ‘answers’ to anything negative that anyone might say or have said to you about birth or pregnancy, or that you might say or have said to yourself.
CONTEMPORARY AND EXTEMPORARY LEARNING
Plenty of opportunity in each class for practicing hypnosis in different ways
Learn how to most effectively practice hypnosis by yourself at home and as part of a pair with your birth partner by practicing in class with an expert instructor.
contemporary learning is simply where you are learning-by-experience in the current moment. So in each class you will learn that hypnosis feels calming, relaxing, pleasant, and is reasonably easily achieved because you will be experiencing this.
Extemporary learning is the fascinating concept that you can learn things without actually doing them, before actually doing them at all! If the mind can visualise it in detail, this will help the body to perform it later.
TRAINING IN THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF HYPNOSIS
A Detailed and transparent process
Learn all about hypnosis so that you can be in charge of the process and understand exactly what you are doing and why.
In hypnobirthing, we equip both partners with an excellent understanding of what hypnosis is, and all the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how to use it in different settings and different ways. By the end of the training, you will know a great deal about hypnosis and be thoroughly empowered to use it in any way you wish, whenever you wish, and to make your own decisions about which particular techniques you are going to choose to focus in on.
A GOOD LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE
One of the biggest things I think we’ve gained from it has been the education – We’ve just learnt so much about birth, what it can be, what it should be. It’s been an absolute 360 in terms of the idea of birth we would have had before from family, friends, TV, the media and so on. I never knew that birth could be so beautiful and so calm before learning everything I’ve learned on this course. Not, this ‘ordeal’, necessarily. That it can be a different way.
And that’s given me a good level of confidence about my own birth.
VANESSA AND STEPHEN
The biology of pregnancy and birth
I honestly find it astonishing that I managed to get to the age of 30 without having any idea about how my womb worked, or what actually happens physically during labour and birth. We are taught plenty in school about how we digest our food, and how our respiritory system functions and so on. But nothing about the womb! Nothing about why girls and women get period pains. Nothing about the mechanics of labour and birth. And certainly nothing about how a deep state of calm, with the fullest possible activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, is absolutely necessary for a calm, easeful, safer way of birthing. It is deeply empowering to learn more about how your body works, and this knowledge then allows your actions, thoughts, and feelings to be more informed and educated. Once you learn more about your body’s amazing mechanisms and systems, and how it all works together, you will naturally become less afraid and more excited, more joyful about birth.
THE MUSCLES OF THE WOMB DURING LABOUR
Understand your womb
Know how to create the right conditions for smooth, easeful birth.
During Labour the muscles of your womb move in a special and particular way. If there is not enough blood, oxygen, and the correct hormones flowing towards the womb, then labour may either stop, not be as effective, or not start in the first place. It can also cause labour to be very painful because the whole system then gets out of sync.
WHat your womb needs from you in labour in order to continue smoothly with its jelly-fish-like motions is a deep, deep state of calm, so that all the necessary blood, oxygen and hormones can flow easily towards it, and of course, towards your baby.
SYMPATHETIC AND PARASYMPATHETIC NERVOUS SYSTEMS
Understand the physical reality of emotion
The more you an understand about the way your thoughts, emotions and body interract, the more you are able to make sensible, positive choices.
As part of hypnobirthing there is a thorough exploration of both the sympathetic nervous system, which is more active when we are in a state of anxiety, anger or low mood, and the parasympathetic nervous system, which is more active when we are in a state of calm, happiness and peacefulness.
rather than just teaching you techniques and tools for putting yourself in a more relaxed, more positive state, hypnobirthing provides a decent training in exactly how mood, emotional state, stress levels and so on have a major physical impact from the point of view of pregnancy and birth.
THE MANY MIRACULOUS CHANGES
in pregnancy, labour and birth that happen to make birth easier
Detailed knowledge about all of the many, many ways your body is excellently preparing to make birth easy, calm and smooth, right from the moment of conception.
There can be a bit of an idea of birth as something we have to ‘do’ or to ‘get right’, which if you’ve never had a baby before, or you have experienced a birth that did not go as you would have wished, can perhaps feel a bit nerve-wracking, a bit pressured.
It is deeply reassuring then to learn about all the hundreds of little ways that your body knows what to do and has actually been quietly, slowly preparing for labour and birth from the very beginning.
THE PHYSICAL PREPARATION FOR BIRTH
Sometimes HypnoBirthing can have a bit of a name for being a bit ‘airy-fairy’, a bit ‘floaty’, a bit separate from the actual, physical realities. It is nothing of the sort! It is deeply tied to the actual, physical biology of the womb’s movements and the whole process of labour. The breathing work of course also has a very tangible, physical side to it. And as well as preparing yourself in a mental, imaginative way, HypnoBirthing also involves preparing yourself in a practical, physical way.
YOUR POSITION AND THE POSITION OF YOUR BABY
Understand the significance of posture and positioning during pregnancy
Avoid pelvic girdle pain, lower back pain and other physical annoyances. Give your baby the best chance of settling into an ideal position.
It is more difficult of course to maintain correct posture and a straight spine etc while pregnant, but not doing so can lead to certain physical aggravations from the minor to the severe. Plus, the position of your spine and pelvis on a daily basis have a strong impact on the position your baby ends up in, which of course has an impact on birth.
Prepare your vagina and perineum for birth
A technique that used to be handed down woman to woman.
this is a practice recommended by the nhs to all pregnant women, and there are many studies that show that if practiced daily for 5 minutes from 32 weeeks of pregnancy, it substantially reduces your chances of tearing.
HypnoBirthing offers training in perineal massage technique, and help with any blocks you my have to engaging with your body in this way, plus tailored visualisation processes to combine with this physical practice.
EXERCISES TO HELP WITH STRENGTHENING AND OPENING
Become strong, powerful and flexible.
There are clear physical benefits to becoming strong and flexible during pregnancy, or to maintaining your strength and flexibility. And there is a need to learn softening and opening exercises too. In HypnoBirthing you cover all of this (though also we recommend that you do pregnancy yoga for more expert help in this area) plus teaching about ideal nutrition and hydration during pregnancy.
There are also key mental and emotional benefits to this aspect of the program. Much of hypnobirthing is concerned, in different ways, with allowing women to feel very relaxed and also very powerful and strong.
RE-WRITING YOUR INTERNAL BIRTH STORY
Unfortunately, as a result of films we’ve seen, books we’ve read, stories we’ve heard and perhaps even our own negative or traumatic experiences or the difficult experiences of those close to us, we can end up with a very negative impression of birth. HypnoBirtihng is an extremely process for allowing people to access a means of re-writing their own internal narratives and ideas around birth, as well as around pregnancy and parenting more generally. This is not to say that there is a need to pretend that birth has never previously been difficult, traumatic, dangerous and so on. It is more a case of how much is someone seeing that difficulty, that trauma, that danger as intrinsic to birth itself? Is it possible, perhaps, for birth to be different? Does birth have to be a horrible ordeal? Is it supposed to be? If you have a lot of negative internal programming around birth, then it may well feel this way or seem this way. HypnoBirthing allows you to release yourself from fears and negativity, so that you are able to view things rationally and reasonably. In fact, for the vast majority of women, it is possible for birth to be peaceful, calm, joyful, comfortable, safe. HypnoBirthing allows you to decide on your own story. What do you want your birth to be like? What do you want to spend your time imagining, and, broadly, expecting? What do you want to be thinking and feeling when you hear the word ‘birth’, or when you imagine your baby being born?
THE HISTORY OF CHILDBIRTH: MYTH, BELIEF, SOCIETY AND ILLUSION
Learn how a negative narrative around birth developed over time
Unfortunately, historical and social factors that have nothing to do with birth, have a role in how we view birth today
just one example…. We know that in early human history women were worshipped and adored as miraculous bearers of life. The early religions are full of vibrant, powerful mother goddesses.
with the expansion of particular empires and powers, sex, physicalty and women’s bodies in particular were used as a means of control and came to be seen as dirty and shameful, and women who would previously have birthed with groups of other women around them were left to birth alone, with the idea that what they were doing was shameful in a state of high level negativity and fear.
RELEASE FROM FEAR, NEGATIVITY AND TRAUMA
Go deep in an extended fear release session. You are still 100% in control the whole time.
Let go of fears, traumas and negative inherited beliefs in a deeply relaxed hypnotic state where deep-level change in the subconsious mind is possible.
many parts of the hypnobirthing course are helpful in learning how to release yourself from trauma, fear and negative beliefs. INdeed, almost all of it, almost every element of the course, is useful from this point of view,
But there is one particular element of the hypnobirthing course, generally right at the end of the third session, which is particularly helpful and transformative from this point of view.
This is a deep-level fear release session which you are guided through by the instructor while in a state of deep-level hypnosis. Because you are in deep hypnosis, it is easier for you to access your beliefs and fixed ideas, and to alter them if you wish — to follow the mechanisms and metaphors of the script being read to you to gently say goodbye to certain thoughts, ideas and fears that no longer serve you, or perhaps never served you at all.
POSITIVE BIRTH STORIES AND FILMS: RESHAPING THE NARRATIVE
Witness the possibility of birth being calm, joyful and relaxed
View beautiful, special films of births where the parents are in control and peaceful and delighted with birth
some of these films you can only get to see if you are enrolled on a hypnobirthing course — these are films from hypnobirthing families, given to the organisation on the understanding that they would only be shown to other people doing a course. of course it is quite a different level of privacy to have your birth film shown to people doing the same birthing course you did, as compared to for example putting it up openly on youtube.
amazingly though, there are people who have put their beautiful birth videos up on youtube or in other public places, so it is also a possibility to find positive birth stories in these other ways. There is also the option of going along to meetups of the positive birth movement to hear positive birth stories there. and there are interviews and written stories that you can access as well.
ROLE OF THE FATHER / PARTNER / BIRTH COMPANION
Bond with your Partner or Birth Companion at an even deeper level
Have someone there to guard your birth environment, so that you can focus on going into hypnosis. And have someone with you who has also trained in hypnosis, and can help to swiftly guide you back in, should you want this help at any point during labour and birth
Dads and partners are generally hugely relieved to see and understand that through the use of hypnosis, birth does not have to be an ordeal, but can in fact be peaceful, joyful, calm, comfortable.
Also, hypnobirthing provides a dad or partner with a really clear role. This is essentially to protect and defend the birthing space so that the mother can focus on going into hypnosis.
There is hypnosis work to practice at home as a couple as part of hypnobirthing, and the time spent in this way helps to powerfully deepen and re-affirm the bond between you.
also, through this practice, dads and partners learn a great deal about how to put themselves into a state of calm, so as to support the mother’s self-calming work.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOUR BABY
Bond with your Child Before Birth
Relax and allow yourself o really fully enjoy and cherish your role as a parent right from the very beginning.
If you are very busy with work, or stressed about something in your personal life, or simply quite preoccupied with other things, then it can be tricky to fit in much time to bond with your unborn child. Or perhaps it might just make you feel a bit silly!.
There are real advantages though to establishing a bond with your baby really early on, and starting to sing to them, read to them, talk to them, and having your partner or birth companion do the same. This will help to relax you, your body and the child you are carrying.
And it will mean that rather than having to suddenly ‘form a bond’ after birth, you are simply stepping gently into a new stage of that already firmly established bond.
It will also make birth easier because you will be able to draw on that relationship as part of birth.
ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING AND STEPPING INTO YOUR POWER
Change your relationship with Yourself and how you relate to Others.
Learn how to be determined and powerful in your pursuit of the birth you want and in your defence of your health and wellbeing, and the health and wellbeing of your child.
It’s so easy to end up living life according to other people’s ideas and beliefs about things. and other people may well have strong ideas and opinions about how you should approach birth, or a little later, how you should approach parenting.
Hypnobirthing teaches you useful ways of being strong, purposeful and powerful in resisting the pull of what other people want you to do if it is not in fact a good fit with what you yourself need or want or think is best.
My Classes: HypnoMamaBears HypnoBirthing
I have chosen the name ‘HypnoMamaBears’ for the HypnoBirthing courses I will be running from April 2020 because I wanted to suggest both the deep, gentle, relaxed love and bonding that is the absolute antidote to fear and stress — learning highly effective ways to access this kind of love and positivity and ease is a crucial element of HypnoBirthing. And also because I wanted to suggest the power and fierce strength that HypnoBirthing works to create in each woman and each couple, each Birth Companion. You hear a lot about how women need to be relaxed during pregnancy and birth. And certainly it’s true that deep level relaxation will help inestimably with pregnancy, labour and birth. But you don’t hear as much about how women need to be powerful when they are pregnant and when they are labouring and birthing, perhaps because, unfortunately, it is considered less acceptable for women to be powerful than to be relaxed. But the power, the strength, the fierceness, is important too. By connecting deeply with your power and your own positive, strong self of self, with who you are as a person, what delights and pleases you, what you believe in, what is important to you, you are connecting with the power and strength you need to make your own choices around pregnancy, birth and parenting, and to powerfully breathe your baby into the world with a feeling of strength, deep primitive instinct and joy.
I have chosen to have a weeknight class and a weekend class so that each couple can come at a time that suits them best. If you are away for one or two of the evenings or one or two of the Saturdays on your particular course, it will probably be possible to switch to a couple of alternate classes for those particular units. I have allowed 3 hours rather than the usual 2 and a half hours for my classes, just to allow a little extra time for questions from people doing the course, and a small amount of additional in-class feedback on people’s use of breathing and other hypnosis techniques. For each pregnant mother who attends a HypnoMamaBears HypnoBirthing class, I will also be offering a free one-hour 121 session to work in an individualised way on the HypnoBirthing Breathing techniques. This session will also provide each pregnant mother with the opportunity to ask questions in a more private, individualised setting about any of the areas covered in the HypnoBirthing course.
Benefits of Choosing HypnoMamaBears
When it comes to selecting your HypnoBirthing course, there are many advantages to choosing HypnoMamaBears HypnoBirthing. And to choosing me as your HypnoBirthing Instructor!
- 15 hours training in the excellent HypnoBirthing programme from someone who has used the programme herself for two relaxed, joyful, low-pain births and is hugely enthusiastic and passionate about every element of the process. You can read my story here.
- Training provided by an experienced hypnotherapist. Not all HypnoBirthing Instructors are hypnotherapists, and my training and work in this area gives me a great knowledge and understanding of hypnosis, mental health, and the application of hypnosis in creating calm and positivity in your daily life, and in moving yourself towards your goals and dreams, in terms of birth, parenthood and beyond. Additionally, if something difficult were to come up for you as part of the programme — past trauma or difficulty relating to birth or parenting for example, then I would also be able to arrange separate sessions to help you with this.
- One hour free individual session for each pregnant mother to work in a more detailed and individualised way on the breathing techniques of HypnoBirthing.
how is it structured?
At any one time, there’s a choice of two different HypnoMamaBears classes you can attend. Each will consist of five 3-hour sessions. If there is one class out of the five that you cannot attend, it will probably be possible to shift to the relevant unit in the other class, or in one or other of the next two classes to start running. Please contact me to discuss if this is an issue for you.
Each year I run two courses starting from the beginning of every second month – January, March, May, July, September, November. One of these is a Thursday evening course, and one is a Saturday morning course.
Thursday evening class, 6pm – 9pm,
FROM SEptember this will, most probably, be taught in person at the alma vale centre in clifton bristol (see contact page for location details)
saturday morning class, 10am – 1pm,
CURRENTLY BEING TAUGHT ‘LIVE’ ONLINE VIA ZOOM (VIDEO CALL)
Upcoming course dates for autumn 2020:
Thursday 3rd September – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 10th September – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 17th September – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 24th September – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 1st October – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 5th November – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 12th November – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 19th November – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 26th November – 6pm to 9pm
Thursday 3rd December – 6pm to 9pm
via Zoom (video call)
Saturday 5th September – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 12th September – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 19th September – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 26th September – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 3rd October – 10am to 1pm
via Zoom (video call)
Saturday 7th November – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 14th November – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 21st November – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 28th November – 10am to 1pm
Saturday 5th December – 10am to 1pm
READY AND PREPARED
I feel really ready and prepared. Rather than just rushing around trying to get loads of stuff done, or fit it lots of things before our baby comes, I feel like we’ve both learned how to really carve out a space for just resting and relaxing in a really effective way, where you can just completely let go. And I think the tools we’ve learned in order to be able to do that, the hypnosis, the breathing, the exercises, will be a huge advantage in birth, but also during our first few weeks and months as parents.
Here are some answers to the questions I get asked fairly frequently about HypnoBirthing, and about my own HypnoMamaBears HypnoBirthing course. Please do feel free to contact me if you have questions of your own.
why is a live, taught marie mongan hypnobirthing course (whether via zoom or in-person) better than doing a prerecorded online course or DIY-ing it from a book?
It’s important to say that there certainly are plenty of people who have amazing, peaceful births using methods they have learned and practiced from an online course, or by following the method in a book and downloading tracks etc. That being said, there are many advantages to doing an in-person course.
Firstly, is much easier to learn the three HypnoBirthing breathing techniques with an instructor to guide you, see what you are doing and give you detailed in-person feedback, and also be able to provide in-person demonstrations, whether that is via Zoom as would be the case currently, or in a physical venue.
Then, it is easier to learn about hypnosis more generally with an instructor there to guide you in and out of hypnosis several times during each session. And at the end of the third HypnoBirthing session there is a very powerful fear release session, where the instructor guides the class into a very deep state of hypnosis and takes everyone through an intensive process of imaginatively releasing and letting go of deep, residual fears and negative thoughts and feelings around birth and parenthood. This process in particular would be difficult to replicate without the help and real-time guidance of an expert instructor. And the same is true to an extent of other therapeutic elements of the live taught HyppnoBirthing course, such as the work around thought pattern change and altering your own internal stories about birth and parenthood.
In addition to this, many HypnoBirthing mums (myself included!) report that attending an actual class at a specific time (rather than the looser structure of home study) was just wonderful for really getting their partner on board with the whole thing and fully engaged in the process. Attending a class together, where you are both learning simultaneously, is an enriching and bonding experience.
And for everyone — Mums, partners, all Birthing Companions — it is such a gorgeous, relaxing way to learn, because the sessions are carefully structured and managed so that while you are attending a course you are continually being guided in and out of hypnosis, and therefore continually becoming more and more relaxed, and continuously entering deeper into the ideal state for learning, absorbing new information and taking on new ideas.
I'm a bit confused by all the different types of hypnobirthing. Are they all the same or quite different? which one should i choose?
It would be misleading to suggest that every programme that uses the word ‘hypnobirthing’ is more or less the same. In fact, there are quite major differences, and some of the courses / types / methods have actually strayed so far from the ideas and concepts being put forward by Marie Mongan when she came up with the word, so as to be a different thing entirely! That being said, I certainly do not know nearly as much about the other methods as I do about the Marie Mongan Method — the original form of HypnoBirthing, and the one in which I trained first as a pregnant mum and then as an instructor. But the impression I have is that there are quite wide differences sometimes in terms of both the practical methods, the philosophical approach and the level of depth and breath in terms of training. Certainly it would seem to me that the original form of HypnoBirthing is the most comprehensive in terms of the training it offers, and the most radical and far-reaching in terms of its ideas.
Of course you should feel free to do your own research and investigate the different options. And it is true that we are all individuals and that different methods may well suit different people. One idea would be to talk to a few different instructors in the different courses and ask a bit about what is covered as part of their particular training course.
WhY SHOULD I CHOOSE YOU AS MY HYPNOBIRTHING INSTRUCTOR?
As well as being a HypnoBirthing Instructor I am an experienced hypnotherapist. This means that I have additional skill and learning in using hypnosis, so I am ideally equipped to teach you and your Birth Companion about how to enter hypnosis, what hypnosis is exactly, and to find solutions and workarounds with you for any difficulties you encounter as part of your process of teaching yourself self-hypnosis. Because of my role as a hypnotherapist, I also have a lot of experience in working with people therapeutically and holding space for them in a way that feels warm, safe and relaxed. And if anything difficult were to come up for you as part of learning HypnoBirthing — a particularly difficult memory from a previous birth perhaps, where you were in need of help beyond the HypnoBirthing programme, then I would be able to offer you separate sessions to work through this. Of course, you could also go to a different hypnotherapist for this, and if you were on a course with someone who is not a hypnotherapist, they would be able to point you in the direction of different therapists anyway of course, but sometimes people wish to see the same professional for different things, and in this case, you could.
I am also someone who has real lived experience of going through the HypnoBirthing process and having a really positive experience both in pregnancy and during labour and birth. That gives me a huge amount of belief, joy, passion and enthusiasm for the HypnoBirthing method and in what I am doing as an Instructor, and I think that belief, energy and passion can be hugely helpful in this kind of process.
your timings don't quite work for me, can i do a hypnobirthing course with you at a different time?
I may be able to arrange to teach you and your Birth Companion individually, if the timings of this are workable. Please feel free to contact me to discuss potential details of this. However, this would be at an additional cost — please see my Pricing page for details of this.
when should i start doing hypnobirthing?
There is no right or wrong time to start HypnoBirthing, but there are various factors to consider. First of all, it is important to say, please do not worry or feel you have left it too late if your birth is only a short time away. Many women have beautifully positive, relaxing and peaceful birth experiences after doing a HypnoBirthing course in the latter part of pregnancy. And if you are due in only very short time, it is a possibility that special arrangements could be made for you to take the classes closer together, and if I am unable to provide this personally, I may be able to put you in touch with someone else who could offer this, so please do still get in touch.
At the same time, if it is possible for you to start early on in your pregnancy, then this is what I would recommend doing. And really, the earlier the better, The reasons for this are twofold. First of all, you will quite simply have more time to practice the techniques, to become very highly skilled in the breathing work and in entering hypnosis, and more time to reframe and reshape your thought patterns and deeply held beliefs. Then, there will also be a great benefit to your pregnancy from practicing deep-level relaxation really early on — pregnancy is a time when we are particularly open to the influence of stress, so your physical and mental health will benefit from this relaxation work immensely. And in turn, of course, your baby will also benefit.
can hypnobirthing help me move on from a previous traumatic birth experience?
Yes, absolutely it can. In fact, I would say this is almost one of the most powerful aspects of HypnoBirthing — the extraordinary power it has to help people transform and positively reinvent their attitudes towards birth, even if they have been through a traumatic birth. If you have had a difficult or traumatic birth experience previously, you may well have been left with feelings of bewilderment, sadness, anger around that experience. HypnoBirthing can be a powerfully therapeutic process for letting go of those feelings, releasing yourself from them, and re-orienting yourself towards this birth as a different thing, its own thing, that can exist and occur in its own very different way. You will also be learning the tools, ideas, concepts and techniques you need to give yourself the very best chance of a very different and much more positive experience this time around.
what if it doesn't work?
HypnoBirthing is a very effective and fully comprehensive system of learning. It is not so much a case of ‘does it work?’, as it is not something that is done to you, with you as a passive receiver of it. Rather it is a question of ‘can I use HypnoBirthing to achieve the kind of birth I want?’. And to that I would say yes, in the vast majority of cases, you absolutely can. Barring very unfortunate and unlikely circumstances — where you become very unwell for example, or your baby does — there is not much in the way of you being able to learn the fantastic techniques, ideas and methods of HypnoBirthing and using these to create the kind of birth you would most prefer. Of course, there is a certain amount of engaged effort necessary on your part, but all of the exercises and activities are very enjoyable, relaxing and pleasant, and have the additional benefit of allowing you to connect deeply with your partner and/or Birth Companion, and your baby.
What if my partner isn't up for it?
Very often, not always, but often, Dads / Partners will be a bit wary of HypnoBirthing to start off with , or even downright against it. But similarly once they have come along to their first class, they are very often the most won over out of everyone. They can see and appreciate, right from that first session, the scientific basis of what we are doing in HypnoBirthing, how it is all very sensible and practical from the point of view of human biology. And right in that first session they gain practical experience of what hypnosis is like, and how relaxing and pleasant and enjoyable it is, and often they absolutely love it.
I would be very happy to talk with your partner on the phone if they have any questions or concerns.
And if they are really not willing to engage with HypnoBirrthing, and it is something that you yourself feel would be helpful, then you may want to consider the possibility of having a mother, sister or trusted friend come along with you to the classes and be there at your birth. Another option might be to look into working with a doula, who would also be welcome to attend classes with you. Of course, you would also be very welcome to attend classes by yourself as a pregnant mother studying HypnoBirthing by yourself.
I'm a single mum, can i come along to a group class by myself?
Of course you can. And you would find a very welcoming environment there.
That being said, you may wish to consider bringing along someone — a mother, sister or trusted friend who could also be there at the birth — simply from your own point of view, because it is so helpful to have someone to practice hypnosis with you at home, and someone to support your HypnoBirthing on the day of birth by ‘guarding’ your environment from distractions and interruptions and unwanted elements, and also so that you have someone to guide you back into hypnosis should you need this help at any point.
do you teach couples individually, and can you come to my house and teach me hypnobirthing?
I. may be able to arrange to teach you and your Birth Companion individually, if the timings of this are workable. Please feel free to contact me to discuss potential details of this. However, this would be at an additional cost — please see my Pricing page for details of this. If we arrange individual tuition for you or for you and your partner then yes I may well be able to travel to your home, depending on the times and distances involved! (Please note, at the current time, I am carrying out all teaching of HypnoBirthing via Zoom, and of course it is not currently possible for me to visit you in your home. However, please do contact me if you would prefer for sessions to be taught to just yourself and your partner individually, as it may be possible to arrange to do this via zoom, rather than your joining a group class)
I AM STRUGGLING WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH, WILL HYPNOBIRTHING WORK FOR ME?
It may well be that HypnoBirthing could play a hugely positive element in improving your mental health, as there is a therapeutic element to it, and you would be learning how to deeply, fully relax, and this is so helpful from a mental health point of view. At the same time, depending on the level of what you are experiencing, and how long you have been experiencing it for, it may be necessary for you to seek additional help alongside HypnoBirthing. This could be from a hypnotherapist, myself or another practitioner, or from a counsellor, psychotherapist or other form of therapist. In the first instance, and particularly if you have not done so already, it would be a good idea to speak to your GP and also to your midwife about what you are experiencing.
In some cases, it may be quite workable to receive additional help and support for mental health alongside doing a HypnoBirthing course, and in other scenarios it may perhaps be ideal to have some sessions with a therapist first, and at least begin a therapeutic process, before beginning a HypnoBirthing course. Please do feel free to give me a call to discuss all of this and what your options might be if you feel that this would be helpful to you. My number and email address can be found on the Contact page.
Fundamentally though, yes HypnoBirthing can definitely workou well for you. So long as any additional needs for mental health support are met, there is no reason it would not be as effective for you as for anyone else.
I HAVE TOKOPHOBIA, AN EXTREME FEAR OF BIRTH, WILL HYPNOBIRTHING WORK FOR ME?
Yes! In fact I would say that HypnoBirthing is very much the absolute ideal thing for you to be doing. And it may very well be all you need to resolve this issue, because HypnoBirthing is an incredibly powerful process for letting go of negativity and fear around birth. And if there is a need for additional work to clear your fears, then you could come and see me or another hypnotherapist for some extra fear release work. But as I say, in the case of this particular issue, this may well not even be necessary, because the whole programme of HypnoBirthing is so specifically targeted on transforming the way you think and feel about birth. Please do feel free to get in touch if you would like to hear more about how HypnoBirthing would be an excellent process for you to go through.
I AM BOOKED IN FOR A C-SECTION, CAN I STILL DO HYPNOBIRTHING?
Yes, absolutely. However, this would need to be on either a course of all people having C-sections, or taught as an individual course for just you and your birth partner. If neither thing is possible in terms of times / dates etc, then I would be happy to connect you with other HypnoBirthing Instructors who might be better placed to offer these options. The reason for not teaching women aiming for vaginal births and women having definite C-sections in the same class is that it is necessary for the women aiming for vaginal birth to be wholly focused on this and excited about this etc. Also, there are many things we would cover in a regular HypnoBirthing course that would just be unnecessary if you are definitely having a C-section, and similarly, there are things I would teach to a group of women preparing definitely for a C-section — for example how to create a gentle C-section environment — that would be specific to that group.
I'm not at all a hippy-ish person, I'm very down to earth, common-sensical and practical, is hypnobirthing really for me?
HypnoBirthing is for anyone who is pregnant and wants to have a calm, joyful, safe, comfortable birth.
I am a bit wary of using hypnosis. What is it and is it definitely safe? Will I be giving up control over my own mind?
Hypnosis is simply where the different parts of your brain come together and focus on the one thing in a relaxed, focused state. It’s something you have already experienced whenever you get really ‘swept up’ and absorbed in a great book, a wonderful experience or a great conversation with a friend. Or whenever you have experienced doing something in a state of ‘flow’, where you are doing something you are skilled in and you have a feeling of it being easy, effortless almost, and you are fully caught up with what you are doing, this is also an experience of hypnosis. In HypnoBirthing, we would simply be giving you the opportunity to learn how to use hypnosis more deliberately, in order to learn how to put yourself into the ideal super relaxed state for birth, and also in order to facilitate thought pattern change in terms of the way you think and feel about birth. You would learn many different ways of accessing a relaxed, daydreaming, pleasant hypnotic state. Significantly though, whichever method you are using to do this, you will always remain fully in control at all times. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, so it is never something someone else is doing ‘to’ you — rather it is something you learn to be able to do to yourself, as and when you wish.
BOOK WITH ME
I would love to hear from you, and if you do have any questions at all, please do feel free to give me a call on 07984128511.