Hypnobirthing- will you make me eat an onion?

I love the way the world works. Way back in 2011, I met Chloe Rivers, in ENTIRELY different circumstances to how I know her now. Then time did its thing, and after years of nothing, here we are again. In that time, Chloe has given birth to her adorable daughter, and is now a qualified hypnobirthing teacher- so naturally, I wanted her input for the site. I’ve practised hypnobirthing in a few different ways now (read my reviews of online courses from Positive Birth Company, and The Mindful Birth Group), and while I’m not sure that every facet of it works for me, I’m definitely on board with the idea.

I’ve asked Chloe (@east_london_mum_) to put together a little FAQ, for all you sceptics, newbies, or utterly terrified women who just cannot get on board with the idea of squeezing a kid out of you.


Hypnobirthing is a HUGE topic, how, why, where, when, WHAT?!

Since I started my journey into the Hypnobirthing world, I’ve had countless people ask me every question under the sun about it.

So here is a round-up of my most asked questions, to give you the lowdown on what Hypnobirthing is all about...

What even is it?

Put simply, hypnobirthing is a preparation for birth. Using relaxations, breathing and visualisation techniques, we can reprogramme the brain to think more positively about pregnancy, labour and birth.

Ok I get it. Wait, no I don’t….

By using relaxation scripts I’m able to put you into a calm state, and while you’re in this state, I’ll bypass your conscious mind and speak to your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious is kind of like a data bank, where your long term memory, creativity, beliefs and intuitions are all stored.

Using words, I can chip away at any negativity you have in your subconscious, surrounding labour and birth, and replace it with calm, confident feelings that will leave you looking forward to birth.

Does Hypnobirthing work for every type of birth?

If you practice then yes, of course it can!

Hypnobirthing is for all types of births - vaginal/c section/forceps etc. It’s all about increasing your sense of control, so you are prepared and confident, no matter how your baby arrives into the world.

When I teach parents hypnobirthing, I stress to them that this isn’t magic - there isn’t a light switch I can turn on for them for it to work, practice is the absolute key.

Will you make me eat an onion?

I think I get asked this the most. People presume I’ll hypnotise them - sorry to disappoint! I’m not Paul McKenna…

The hypno part of the word ‘hypnobirthing’ refers to hypnotherapy.

The techniques I use, help you reach a deep state of relaxation, this will give you the ability to change the way you think on your own terms - you are always aware and in control of your body and mind throughout the process.

So in answer to this one, no, I won’t make you eat an onion, cluck like a chicken or any of those stage show things!

How much practice do I really need to do?

The more you practice, the more you’ll benefit - simple.

II would suggest every evening (or when you’re relaxed) for about 20 minutes if you can. You wouldn’t take on a role in a play and not learn your lines, nor would you sign up for a marathon and not train - the same goes for birth. Plan, prepare and practice everything and you’ll find hypnobirthing has a positive impact on your birth.

When is the best time to come on a course?

I’d say any time which suits you, but probably any time after the first trimester would be ideal.

Will it give me a pain free birth?

I can’t guarantee that - no one can. We all feel pain differently and if we were to look on a scale of 0 being no pain and 10 being the highest level of pain, many mothers who use hypnobirthing report having low pain sensations closer to the 0 mark.

I talk about the ‘Fear, Tension, Pain triangle when teaching as it’s the simplest way to explain the physiological effect that your brain has on your body resulting in pain. Fear in the mind makes the body tense, when your body is tense so are your birthing muscles. This causes restricted and slow movement which can be painful and can slow down labour, then because of this pain, you are fearful and so on.

I address these fears head on through the course, helping the mums-to-be understand how to stay relaxed and in control, calm and confident.

Two very important things to remember -

1.The mind is more powerful than people realise

2. Your body was born to do this

For more information regarding hypnobirthing with Chloe, visit her Instagram page @east_london_mum_, or enquire about antenatal courses with @happyparents.happybaby

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