If you’ve been planning for a family, finding out you are pregnant is a very exciting time. But it can also be a nerve-wracking time, particularly for first-time mums.

Hypnobirthing is an education programme which aims to help women build confidence towards their due date

Hypnobirthing is an education programme which aims to help women build confidence towards their due date

You’ve taken the test and it’s come back positive! Fantastic. You’ve announced your news to your family and friends who are all just as excited as you are. You’re planning the nursery and thinking about what type of pram to buy. And then it dawns on you that you have to actually give birth!

The thought of going through the experience of labour, whether you have given birth before or not, can be quite daunting. Nobody wants anything to ruin the excitement of a pregnancy, but there is always a little apprehension about the idea of giving birth. Hypnobirthing is something which can reduce anxiety and increase relaxation in the months before the due date.

Hypnobirthing prepares you completely for a calm, comfortable and controlled birth, aiming to reduce any fear, so you can really enjoy those precious moments throughout pregnancy.

It is an antenatal education programme which prepares the woman and her partner for the birth of their precious newborn baby, giving them the tools they need to achieve a satisfying birth experience - free of fear and full of joy.

The techniques can be used throughout pregnancy, labour and birth, and also in the postnatal period. Breathing techniques and relaxation scripts are taught to give the expectant mother confidence about giving birth.

Angela Wilson is a fully trained hypnobirth teacher and says the more informed a woman is, the more she will feel confident in her choice of healthcare.

“I trained to be a hypnobirthing teacher after seeing the fantastic results being achieved by women using this technique, whilst working within my role as an NHS midwife.

“These women felt more empowered, achieving calm and comfortable births - some even reporting it to be pain-free.

“I am a strong advocate of women being fully informed about the choices they can make about their upcoming births. It’s all about empowering women and them feeling confident to question - and sometimes even challenge - the care pathways being offered to them.”

The benefits of hypnobirthing do not just present themselves antenatally and during labour, either. In fact, the positive effects continue once the baby is born, for both mother and child, says Angela.

“Achieving a calm and comfortable birth, which the woman feels in control of, helps to result in a calmer more settled baby and mother.

“For the mother, being in control of the decisions made surrounding the birth ultimately results in a happier birth experience. Needless to say, a happy mum makes for a happy baby, and this experience can only serve to impact future pregnancies and births in a positive way.”

There are a number of different methods which can be used with hypnobirthing. Angela offers the widely used and recognised Katharine Graves method, which is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. The course is 12 hours in total and is split into 3 or 4 sessions - in privacy and familiarity of couples’ own homes.

With the woman’s best interests and freedom of choice always being at the forefront, Angela says finding the right teacher for you is important in the hypnobirthing process.  

“The best way to find a teacher who is right for you is to look into teachers in your local area. Meeting them for an informal chat is a good way to find out if you feel comfortable with the person - doing this will provide the most benefits from the course itself.

“Searching online is a good place to start, but always ensure that your teacher is fully qualified.

“Looking at the KGHypnobirth website will show you a full list of their current accredited teachers in your area. Most teachers, such as myself, will have their own website too.”

To find out more about the hypnobirthing course that Angela offers, visit www.hdhypnobirth.co.uk

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk

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