What is hypnobirthing and does it really work?

Have you heard of hypnobirthing, but not sure what it is? We chat with Kathryn Wilde, birthing expert, birth support and hypnobirthing teacher at Belly Birth and Bubs, to find out the facts behind this birthing philosophy.

Hooray, you are pregnant! After the realisation has sunk in and the morning sickness has (hopefully) abated, it is time to think about how in the world this baby is coming out.

A woman’s body is designed to birth naturally—it does a very good job of growing a tiny human, so it can certainly do the end bit. But there is so much fear around pushing out that precious bundle that, in the chaos of contractions and amidst all the policy procedure, it is so common for fear to set in. Something that birthing expert Kathryn Wilde says is the last thing your body needs when birthing your baby. 

“I found the birth system very fear based,” Ms Wilde. “It’s no surprise that so many women experience birth trauma.”


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What is hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a well-established birth education program that focuses on methods of deep relaxation, positive thinking and empowerment to reduce fear and anxiety in childbirth. It also gives you the knowledge to make the decisions when it comes to the birth of your own baby. Ms Wilde says there are never any wrong decisions in birth as long as they are your decisions.

 The ‘hypno’ refers to the self-hypnosis techniques you learn, as hypnosis is a great state of mind to be in to birth your baby. Ms Wilde explains you may or may not use hypnosis in your birth; it is just one of the many tools that you learn in a hypnobirthing course. The course is not simply a box ticking exercise of things to do in your labour but rather a program to equip and empower you, no matter what path your birth may take. 

“When you are relaxed, your body readily releases more hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers and said to be 20-times more effective than morphine,” Ms Wilde says. She will even teach you and your birth partner how to produce more of these beautiful hormones when you need them.

“Hypnobirthing mothers often describe birthing as the most wonderful and empowering experience of their lives,” she says. “That’s what I would love to give to all birthing women.”


How is hypnobirthing taught?

Hypnobirthing is taught through a two-day course with a qualified instructor.

“The course I teach is the Positive Birth Program from Hypnobirthing Australia, it is a comprehensive private antenatal course,” Ms Wilde says. “I leave no stone unturned when it comes to birth. It’s not only about learning tools, but how to then take them into different birthing situations. I want you to know in your heart you gave that baby the best birth possible with the circumstances you had.” 

At the core of the program is giving women the power back to make decisions about their birthing situation.

“I truly believe that when the woman is making the decisions, birth is something that she’s doing and she’ll feel positive and empowered by that experience. Whereas when someone else is making decisions for her, then birth is something that is happening to her and that’s where birth trauma stems from,” Ms Wilde says.

A large part of hypnobirthing is educating the partners to be the advocate in the birth room.

“I spend a whole unit teaching the partners the power and the tools they need,” she says.

“The things I can teach them to do are amazing. Such as, how to encourage baby to turn, how to open the pelvis, acupressure points, how to talk to the care team and what questions to ask… And these are just the start. We go through all of this as hands-on training.

“The result is just this beautiful experience of watching the couple working together to birth the baby. And then that stems into parenthood as well and how then they take on that journey together.” 


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What does hypnobirthing teach?

  • How birthing muscles and the body work
  • Self-hypnosis to remain calm and positive
  • How to remain calmly in tune with your body
  • Relaxation techniques to release pain-relieving hormones
  • The tools needed to make informed choices and the confidence to enact those choices
  • Everything you need to know about birthing.
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Is hypnobirthing a technique you have used? Is it something you’d like to try for the birth of your child?


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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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