Are you interested in working with mums-to-be, supporting them through a very special time in their lives? Helping expectant mothers to prepare for their birth provides a hypnotherapist with the opportunity to make a real difference to someone’s birth experience. But, what does it take to provide hypnosis for childbirth?
This week, Hypnotherapy Directory member Catherine Evans answers our questions.
What skills are needed to provide hypnotherapy for expectant mothers?
When you’re working with expectant mums to prepare them for childbirth, it’s useful to know the process of the development of the baby and childbirth itself. You also need to know the natural process involved in labour and how anxiety prevents or hinders those natural processes from taking place. When a woman in labour understands how her body works, she is better able to work with it instead of against it, allowing the natural progression of labour to take place.
What challenges do you face in providing hypnobirthing? And, how is it possible to counter these?
Mums-to-be are often anxious about the process of giving birth; whether due to their previous experience of childbirth, because of fears related to stories they’ve heard from others or from irrational beliefs such as believing that they won’t be able to deliver their baby naturally. For some mums, there may be secondary fears that are related to childbirth such as a fear of hospitals, needles, medical procedures or they may have a medical condition which may make childbirth more difficult for them.
There is a wealth of research which strongly suggests that the use of hypnosis during childbirth helps to reduce anxiety, which is known to be counter-productive during labour. It also increases the possibility of a shorter labour, reduces the need for pain relief, allows the mum-to-be to feel more in control and, in turn, creates a more positive birth experience for mum and baby (and dad, too).
What has working with expectant mothers taught you?
Women are far more aware of Hypnobirthing now and there’s lots of anecdotal evidence in the press and on social media to support its use during childbirth. Working with expectant mums is a very special experience and whether you’re working with groups or on a 1:1 basis, each mum-to-be is different and will bring her own story. It’s also not just about the mums. Dads-to-be (or the birth partner) also benefit from the use of hypnosis in preparing for the birth and being able to support mum during labour.
The process of working around childbirth usually provides a very positive experience as, generally, you’re not working with a problem to start with – but to promote a relaxing, calm and confident birth. In some cases, however, there are more complex circumstances to deal with and you need to be aware of your own feelings around childbirth as it may involve working through more difficult issues which can sometimes be challenging.
What are the best steps to train in order to provide hypnobirthing?
Having experience of working with pregnant women as a Midwife, I felt able to use my maternity and hypnotherapy skills to help my clients. I decided to undertake a Hypnosis for Childbirth course as part of my CPD. I found the depth of information that I gained from the course invaluable, adding to my knowledge and skills. So, no matter what your previous experience, I would firmly recommend finding a specialist Hypnobirthing course (there are various ones out there) to expand your knowledge and skills and fully prepare you to help mums-to-be to feel calm, confident and in control through their birth experience.