Hypnobirthing (Natal Hypnotherapy)

Now in my 7th month of pregnancy, I have become more and more anxious about the impending birth. Random questions such as ‘will I die during childbirth?’ (pretty ridiculous) and ‘what if I just can’t push it out?’ have been ever more present in my mind. Friends of ours who have a one year old recommended we try Natal Hypnotherapy, a version of hypnobirthing devised by Maggie Howell.

I’m pretty open to trying hypnotherapy, although I’ve tried it a couple of times to treat anxiety and I didn’t feel any different after! I think that I had been trying too hard to relax maybe. Meditation and deep breathing has always helped me to relax before, so hypnobirthing sounded great. I was pretty desperate to try anything to help me calm down!

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Example of an affirmation for use during labour

Ruth Sabrosa was recommended to us, a lady who originally used the technique during the birth of her daughter and then later trained as a practitioner. We booked The Natural Pain Relief workshop which was held in Ruth’s home in Muswell Hill. There were two other couples there so it was a nice quiet environment. We were asked to speak about our fears-we all had quite common worries, mainly surrounding pain! The day consisted of three hypnobirthing sessions, with us lying on the floor and Ruth talking us through the relaxation. I really found these sessions beneficial, and some of the things that she was saying did help to allay my fears. The only thing that I wasn’t so keen on was the group work. This was a bit like being back at school where we had to draw diagrams and present back to the class. Others may find this useful, though.

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Relaxing before a hypnobirthing session

My husband and I have since been listening to the relaxation downloads and practicing the other techniques to relax, and both look forward to these times. I am definitely less scared of the birthing process. I did have the feeling that the course promotes natural birth, and felt a little that we were being told that medical intervention is bad, although this was not said outright. I have an open mind, though, and should I end up needing pain relief, I will not feel bad for asking for it!

Ruth is such a warm person and I would recommend anyone who is fearful of labour to attend her classes. She is very open to any questions and gives great advice. I also believe that the techniques that we learned can be used in everyday life to alleviate anxiety.