Search
  • Terri B-R

I recently posted an article on my Facebook written by the Standard Newspaper interviewing Megan Rossiter from Positively Birthing. It's on the back of this article I have been inspired to write my own blog on the Advantages of HypnoBirthing. If you haven't read the article head over to my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/cornwallhypnobirthing) and check it out. It's a really positive media article where Megan talks about the evidence based research and says that “Current research shows that women who prepare for labour through the practice of hypnobirthing experience overall shorter labours with less intervention and reach for less pharmacological methods of pain relief, That’s not to say the hypnobirthing can’t still be incredibly effective for women who choose to use epidurals or accept medical intervention. Hypnobirthing tools enable women to feel calm, confident and in control and is suitable for every kind of birth- whether that’s a water birth in your living room, an induction with an epidural or a C-section."

The many benefits are widely spoken about by a large number of parents who have participated in a face to face taught Hypnobirthing course - just check out my Testimonials page on my Website to see some wonderful examples! Below I have summarised what I believe to be the common and main advantages of Hypnobirthing:

Empowerment – The feeling of confidence and empowerment from taking control of your birth is priceless. Learning to trust in your body and your ability to accomplish anything you put your mind to gives you added confidence that stays with you for a lifetime.

Less pain – Learning how to reduce or eliminate the cause of pain, HypnoBirthing mothers are much more comfortable during childbirth. Many do not require any pain relief and some experience entirely pain-free births.

Shorter labour - Working with your body, rather than resisting, you can significantly shorten your labour, leaving you refreshed and ready to raise the beautiful baby you have just given birth to.

Teamwork – One sometimes unexpected side-effect of HypnoBirthing is the additional closeness you feel with your partner. Fathers (or other birth partners) play a major role in HypnoBirthing, both leading up to, and during the birth. Working together to bring your baby into the world in the most gentle and calm way possible is the ultimate in teamwork, and sets the stage well for the ultimate team challenge – raising a child.

Drug-free baby – You have spent nine months avoiding any substances that could harm your child, why change that during the birth? Using HypnoBirthing during labour helps mums avoid exposing their babies to any pain medications, giving them the best possible start in life.

Life skills - You will gain understanding of the power of your thoughts to create both positive and negative change in your life. This knowledge, along with the instant relaxation and deepening techniques taught in the course, are invaluable tool for relieving stress in everyday life.

Drug-free mother – The female body is perfectly designed to create life, nurture the unborn child, and give birth. Natural labour sets in motion a chain of events and chemical responses in the body that promotes easy labour, quick recovery, hassle-free breastfeeding and deep, instant bonding with your baby. By eliminating unnecessary pain, mothers can avoid using pain relief medications that can interrupt these finely tuned processes.

Confidence to avoid unnecessary interventions - By choosing the right care provider and asking the right questions at the right time, HypnoBirthing families are able to avoid any interventions that are not in the best interest of their child. In the event that intervention is necessary, these families are confident in the knowledge that they explored the alternatives, and are often more satisfied with their birth experience as a result.

Calm baby - Your unborn child is picking up cues about the world well before they are born. Practising self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques during your pregnancy can reduce the amount of stress hormones your baby is exposed to, leading to a calmer baby.

If you're currently pregnant and reading this thinking you'd be crazy not to sign up for a Hypnobirthing course now, then send me a message and lets get something in the diary! My next group Hypnobirthing course is at Penrice Birth Centre in September. All the details can be found on my website under the 'The Course ' tab.

If you're looking for a private course in the comfort of your own home then I have availability from September (some limited space in August). I will always try to work with someone's personal circumstances. I understand that plans change, life gets in the way! I always aim to be flexible, understanding and approachable. If you need flexible sessions at different days and times, or if you need a payment plan to spread the cost - just ask. I will do my very best to accommodate any requests.. I don't want anything to stand in the way of your Hypnobirthing journey with me as I know what a wonderful experience it will be.

If you are reading this and have already done a Hypnobirthing course with me or another practitioner in the past, what do you feel were the main advantages of the course for you?

I could not be more excited to announce that I am now qualified Traumatic Birth Recovery (TBR) 3 Step Rewind Technique Practitioner! As a qualified Hypnotherapist I already use rewind technique in my ‘tool kit’ of therapies, however I was really keen to learn and train with a birth trauma specialist to make sure I was giving the very best care and therapy to the clients I work with. The sad fact that 30% of all parents would describe their birth as traumatic tells me there is a definite need for such therapies to be available and easily accessible.

I recently attended TBR 3 Step Rewind training with the wonderful Alex Health – owner and founder of TBR 3 Step Rewind Technique. I already followed Alex’s business page on Facebook and Instagram and was aware how her technique was the original in the UK and considered the best by many professionals, and it had amazing results. I was sure she was the practitioner I wanted to work with (not to mention her method has the same initials as my name – it was a sign!) No sooner had I made the decision to invest in this training, it popped up on my Facebook that Alex was coming to Exeter. A rarity to get local (ish) training here the South-West, so I signed up straight away. Having now completed by case study have been signed off as a registered practitioner.

So what is TBR 3 Step Rewind?

TBR 3 Step Rewind is a fast, gentle and (in most cases) effective process that works on trauma symptoms stemming from a traumatic birth experience. It can be used to make powerful, instant and lasting change. The trauma event doesn’t have to be the actual ‘birth’ – it can be effective with any event that holds trauma for example breastfeeding, poor postnatal care, miscarriage, fertility treatment and still birth.

To understand how this works its useful to understand the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from a neurological perspective. “The symptoms experienced by someone who has gone through a traumatic event can be distressing day to day. Constant replaying, or avoiding the memory, hyper vigilance, anxiety and anger can all wear away at a person’s confidence and resilience after a while.

The fight or flight response is one of our most primitive survival systems and is designed for to allow us to act in the face of life-threatening danger. The highly aroused emotions of fear and helplessness present during the trauma become inextricably, biologically linked to the memory of the event.

A person suffering from PTSD symptoms is triggering their fight or flight response unnecessarily when there is no present danger, constantly reliving what happened and igniting the feelings all over again each time. From a neurological point of view these symptoms can be compared to a faulty burglar alarm that is triggered and goes off for no reason.

The rational, thinking part of our brain (pre frontal cortex) can be thought of as the policeman in this scenario. He tries to reassure the owner (the traumatised person) that nothing is wrong but he can’t be heard over the alarm. This is why sometimes well intentioned advice to ‘move on’ or ‘get over’ what happened is pointless because the connection has been made and so it is extremely difficult to rationalise or to wilfully stop the thoughts or feelings.” Alex Heath (www.traumaticbirthrecovery.co.uk)

The 3 Step Rewind treatment involves 3 stages:

* The treatment would start by hearing your birth story (if you are happy to tell it) and then understanding the changes you would like to feel and experiences if your trauma symptoms were lifted.

* The next stage of the treatment involves a deep relaxation, similar to hypnosis or meditation. I will guide you into a relaxed state. Whilst in this state you will be guided through remembering the event in a specific way, all the while feeling safe and secure.

* The third stage is imagining the future, free from the trauma symptoms; coping, feeling and responding differently.

So to outline - the TBR 3 Step Rewind is a form of therapy - it is a brief intervention that seeks relief of PTSD symptoms. In the majority of cases people report a significant diminishing or complete eradication of symptoms and heavy feelings, but on a rare occasion the treatment needs to be repeated. The great thing about this technique is if talking about your traumatic experience makes you feel uncomfortable there is no need the share what happened to you. You will need to remember it yourself, but you can do this without re-telling it out loud.

It is never too late to recover! Don't think that just because your trauma experience happened a long time ago that it is not relevant. This treatment is equally effective 3 months after the event as it is 3 years or even longer after the event. If PTSD symptoms or heavy feelings are still evident then the treatment is useful in eliminating them. It might be that you recognise that some of the unhelpful responses that you have day to day are as a result of what happened. If this is the case then this treatment can help.

I will now be offering this therapy as part of my range of services. If you’ve read through this blog and thought that this is something that you could benefit from or you are curious to talk through in more detail please contact me via email (info@cornwallhypno.co.uk) or give me call on 07900805116 to arrange a free 30 minute consultation.

Updated: May 17

With the word ‘Hypnobirthing’ really getting out there now, and more and more practitioners popping up across the country and midwives training in the technique, I thought it would be useful to outline what Hypnobirthing means for me and also to get the message out there that not all Hypnobirthing courses or workshops are the same, or more importantly taught the same!

Firstly, a bit of background - The word HypnoBirthing itself was coined by the creator of the very first programme – Marie Mongan – it originated in America just over 30 years ago. The actual word ‘HypnoBirthing’ is patented and copyrighted in America which means that the word can only be used to describe the original method (Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing) over there. However when the HypnoBirthing method grew and made its way to other countries around the world the copyright didn’t travel with it – meaning that anyone could write and develop their own method of Hypnobirthing and call it just that! There was actually a huge legal battle with Marie Mongan trying to reclaim the name as her own, against other practitioners (who used to affiliated and registered with her brand) who had decided to branch off on their own and create a rival programme - the most famous being KG Hypnobirthing. Unfortunately for Marie, she lost the legal battle and the word ‘Hypnobirthing’ is now used in the UK as a general/generic term and can refer to many different forms of practice and many different methods. For example, as a qualified clinical hypnotherapist I could write a script for pregnancy and childbirth and call it Hypnobirthing.

A quick search of the word Hypnobirthing on Google will bring up a whole host of different courses – to name just a few: KG Hypnobirthing, The Wise Hippo, The Calm Birth School, The Positive Birth Company, Natal Hypnotherapy, The Little Birth Company, and many other smaller methods created by individuals who teach independently. Now not surprisingly they all have very similar concepts and the same message and roughly the same techniques as part of their teaching – relaxation, affirmations, self-hypnosis, breathing techniques etc, however they are all slightly different. But what is even more different, is less about the actual course method and more about who is actually teaching it! (I will explain more and elaborate on this future down…)

So, what do I teach? My courses are based on the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing; however I also bring in my knowledge and learnings from my Antenatal Educator and Birth Doula qualifications, my knowledge as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, my own birth experience and my experience of teaching for 5 and a half years and attending births as a Doula (and even to an extent I use my Degree in Psychology too). The reason I chose to teach The Mongan Hypnobirthing method is because at the time (nearly 8 years ago when I learnt it) it was the most popular, and very few of the other programmes existed, it was (and still is by many) considered the Gold Standard of Hypnobirthing because it is the original, and some will say at the centre, of what many other methods are based on - I am also looking to educate myself in the KG method as many Cornish midwives are training in this method .

The course is a complete Birth Education Programme that teaches simple but specific self-hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques for birth. But that’s not all it’s about! HypnoBirthing is as much a philosophy of birth as it is a technique for achieving a satisfying, relaxing and stress-free method of birthing. During the course you will learn how to tune in to your natural instincts, call upon your body's own natural relaxants thus lessening discomfort. It will help you to eliminate your fears and enter your birthing with calm confidence. But that’s still not all!

The course also educates you on how the body works, what the uterine layers are doing during labour, the importance of the mind body connection, and I also help and support you to write a detailed birth plan (birth preferences). This part for me is such an important part of the course I teach, and over the years I have developed and improved this section of my teaching greatly. For anyone who has done Hypnobirthing with me they will know this is the part where I get most passionate!

Now here’s the bit where I’m going to go back to what I said regarding the difference between the classes/courses and who is teaching it. I will teach you relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, coping strategies, yes, but I will teach you so much more than that too. A massive part of my teaching is about educating you on choice, about making informed decisions that are right for you and your baby. My approach is women/person centred and I am not medically trained! ‘But surely that’s not a good thing to be boasting about?’ I hear you say?! Well actually, yes, it is! Because you see, I am not governed or led by contracts, by guidelines, by procedures or protocols.

I am 100% objective. I will give you both sides, all sides, every angle! I will help you to understand that you always have a choice. That things should not just be ‘done to you’ because a guideline suggests it, and I will help you to understand that language such as ‘right, it’s time to examine you so pop up on to the bed’ is not OK!! I am coming from a place of freedom, where I will give you facts, evidence-based research, and remind you time and time again that it is your body, your baby and that you have a choice, despite what you may be led to believe – I do not have to adhere to local authority/trust guidelines with my teaching. If you don’t like the thought of a vaginal examination and really don’t want one – well then that’s fine, you do not have to have one because they are a choice and not part of mandatory care! I will help and support you in getting the information and education you need to feel confident and comfortable with your decision to decline them. If you want to homebirth after a previous c-section (meaning you would be birthing outside of medical guidelines) then I will completely support you in your decision and adapt my teaching to best suite your needs. My teaching style, my approach and the support I offer will always be objective and not clouded by any other internal or external factors. I never advise!

I guess I want to bring your attention to the difference between a full Hypnobirthing antenatal education course and a one off or one hour workshop or class where you learn hypnobirthing techniques. There are numerous places where you can learn Hypnobirthing techniques - online, at pregnancy yoga or Pilates classes, during some antenatal classes, by reading a book and self teaching, audio recordings - all of which are wonderful and useful and great tools to have and learn during pregnancy. I'm so pleased that these amazing resources are out there and easily accessible to most people. It is most definitely a positive thing to do, whatever way you do it. As you can imagine, there is a huge price difference between all of the above too - ranging from free classes to maybe £15 per session, and if you are learning the techniques as part of a full Hypnobirthing course then it will cost around 200 - 300 pounds on average.

For example, with a free one hour workshop you will touch on some Hypnobirthing techniques and learn some valuable skills, however a full course will cover and teach you so much more. The price of a full course reflects this. I am a small, independent business. My classes are my livelihood, but this is so much more than just a job to me. Unfortunately I am not in a place to offer my time or expertise for free, I do offer a free taster session once a month when possible – however I actually believe to give something true value putting a price on it is important – something being free doesn’t always mean it’s best suited to you. My Hypnobirthing course is 10 hours in total, It is so much more than learning Hypnobirthing techniques.

With the word meaning so many different things to different people I encourage you to do your research when choosing your Hypnobirthing antenatal education – in fact, I implore you to see past the thinking that all hypnobirthing courses, workshops and teachings must be the same. If Hypnobirthing to you is about breathing and relaxation then that’s great – there are many amazing local businesses such who offer pregnancy Yoga, Pilates and mindfulness that can help with that. If it’s learning about the more medical side of birth, to feel empowered with your decisions on pain relief etc then the NHS Bump to Baby sessions or the free sessions offered at Penrice Birth Centre are a great place to start. If Hypnobirthing to you is about listening to guided recordings or online courses, then right here in Cornwall we have a wonderful self-employed independent practitioner who offers a very useful online course. However, if Hypnobirthing means being fully educated and empowered, and learning from a practitioner who prides herself on being women centred, objective, impartial and fully supportive of choice – then give me a call!