HypnoBirthing isn’t a hippie thing – just ask Kate
Word is that Kate Middleton is considering HypnoBirthing when she delivers the new heir to the throne in July.
It’s understood the Duchess of Cambridge’s choice follows her use of hypnosis to deal with her severe morning sickness earlier in her pregnancy.
Perth HypnoBirthing expert Pip Wynn Owen said the birthing technique focused on making the process safer, natural, less painful and easier.
Despite the name, it will not have mothers clucking like a chicken – unless they wanted to.
“You will not do anything that you’d not normally do,” Ms Wynn Owen said.
“The name ‘hypnotherapy’ sounds like you’re in a trance with clocks waving in front of you, but it’s not, it’s about being suggestible.”
It involves guided meditation, self-diagnosis, visualisation and relaxation techniques.
“People think it’s kind of hippie but it’s quite common sense, similar to the meditation that is done at the end of a yoga class.”
Ms Wynn Owen said the technique, which had been gaining popularity across Australia in the past few years, was about women listening to their body and being “in a good place” when they gave birth.
“Many women find it hard to get to that place when they are in a hospital, with all the bright lights, the different smells around them and the medical staff coming and going,” she said.
Ms Wynn Owen said she expected HypnoBirthing to take off in Australia if Kate used it.
“Royals and celebrities have always had an impact on the way we birth in Australia,” she said.
Ms Wynn Owen said HypnoBirthing courses gave women the skills to “get to that place” and block out everything else.
“You should be in a calm state yet fully aware; it helps people deal with the fear of labour.”
She said while “natural” did not necessarily mean “no drugs”, it was the initial plan.
Ms Wynn Owen said women often chose to have caesareans out of fear.
“HynoBirthing is about getting women to believe we are meant to give birth naturally, a belief that society has lost.”
The terms used by fans of HynoBirthing also put a positive spin on often negative-sounding jargon.
She said terms such as “incompetent cervix” and “failure to progress” were not helpful to hear during child birth.
Instead of “contractions,” a HypnoBirthing expert encourages women to talk about “surges.”
HynoBirthing is generally taught over a course taking five weeks when a woman is at about 32 weeks into their pregnancy.
Partners are also encouraged to attend the course, as they are expected to play a part in the birth.
They can act as support and deal with doctors so the mother can focus while in when she feels she needs to during labour.
A report by the HypnoBirthing Institute in the United States showed that HypnoBirthing mothers used far fewer interventions during their labour than mothers who did not.
Practitioners found that 65-70 per cent of women did not need any pain relief at all and 20-25 per cent used gas.
The remaining 5-10 per cent usually fell into the “special circumstances” category where medical intervention was required.
One aspect of HypnoBirthing that may prove controversial is the “anti-pushing stance.”
Ms Wynn Owen said holding the breath and pushing with force was not natural.
She encouraged women to instead “go with the body.”
Australian Medical Association (WA) president Richard Choong said while the association would support anything that helped women relax during child birth he disagreed with not pushing.
“The doctor’s recommendations about pushing are in accordance with “going with the body.”
“It’s most important to follow the directions of the doctor.”
There are about 95 HypnoBirthing practitioners in Australia.