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How natal hypnotherapy supports childbirth

Helping you be in control, more relaxed and ready for labour


Pregnancy can be a confusing time so much information out there! How do you choose the right ante natal education well here I explore one option.

I first met Maggie Howell in 2007 when I attended one of her Natal-hypnotherapy course’s she runs to enhance the practice of health care professionals caring for women during labour. Her study day was amazing and really ticked all the boxes for me. I truly believe that women have the power to birth their own babies naturally if they are well informed, supported and are able to overcome the fears created by a modern society.

As a practicing midwife I myself have witnessed the many benefits to women who have undertaken a natal-hypnotherapy course prior to going into labour. I noticed that these women were calmer, in control when they used their hypnotherapy during labour and they had normal labours no other pain relief and they had normal births with no intervention and for the women I cared for they didn’t require stitching afterwards (this is not evidence based it is my experience).

As a midwife I understand how the body works.  Women need to produce lots of Oxytocin, this is the hormone that enhances labour as well as love and breastfeeding. In labour Oxytocin produces contractions and produces prostaglandins which move labour along by increasing the contractions. Oxytocin production can be impaired during labour if a women feels stressed or fearful.  In this case she will produce Adrenaline and Cortisol which are our fight or flight hormones and these hormones will counteract the good work that Oxytocin is doing, thus slowing down our labour. If a women in labour produces too much Adrenalin her  labour can literally stop in its tracks.

What Natal-hypnotherapy does amongst other things is help the labouring women stay calm and relaxed thus producing Oxytocin in the amounts required to help labour progress. Studies have shown that the length of labour can be reduced by an average of 3 hours for women using hypnotherapy see here for research details.

There are many testimonials to the benefits of using hypnotherapy during labour. However I have discovered that despite being recognised as an alternative method of coping with labour, women still lack information regarding how to use hypnotherapy and where to find or undertake courses.  Not all NHS midwives are informed about the benefits of hypnotherapy use during childbirth.  However one small piece of research has demonstrated that hypnotherapy can reduce fear and anxiety for women. Women using hypnotherapy felt more relaxed about their childbirth experience in the postnatal period see here for details.

Maggie Howell and her team at Natal hypnotherapy have devised an online step by step course that  is designed to do the following:-

  • Reduce pain in labour
  • Help you be more in control
  • Feel more confident
  • Deal with any fears
  • Feel fully prepared for labour
  • Have a calm and more manageable birth experience

Many women seek out private Antenatal education.  The NCT classes are very popular however they are run at certain times and can be quite costly.

The advantages of this online course are that you can undertake the modules in your own time. You receive the best advice regarding the physiology and psychology of childbirth and the cost is reasonable.

What I am interested in as a Midwife is what you think about Natal hypnotherapy as a possible tool to aid childbirth? Is this what couples want? Would you be confident undertaking an online course and is the price right for you?

Please use our contact form below to submit your thoughts and feelings regarding the course and your chance to win a £20 Mothercare Voucher!

Childbirth is a normal physiological process.  In the 21st century women have more choice regarding birth than at any other time in history.  Yet statistics suggest that 70% of women fear childbirth. My antenatal education and that of Maggie Howell and other organisations set out to reduce your fear and anxiety.  However the key lies within you.  You are the person that helps bring your baby into this world.  You owe it to yourselves to treat yourself to love kindness and knowledge. Whatever you choose we are here to support you.

To see all my blogs like my FACEBOOK page today and keep up to date.

Best Wishes Wendy Kuharska Founder of Call The Midwives

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