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Hypnobirthing - What's in a name?

I often contemplate the name Hypnobirthing. Does it give off the wrong impression? Scare clients off? Get people intrigued enough to look in to it further? Attract clients even?

I've thought about a re-brand at times. I think it's fair to say a lot of people have misconceptions about the course based on the name, in fact last week one of my lovely clients told me that her (insert popular antenatal class) teacher informed her class that you actually get Hypnotised! Thankfully my client put her straight.

What could I change it to?

Any of those work. But actually, Hypnobirthing includes all of those words when you gain a simple understanding of what we do. It's common to have to dispel myths around our courses so let's take a look at some.

Myth 1 - Hypnotism

When I was around 10 years old I went to a live Paul McKenna show. The highlight for me was at the break when those under Hypnosis were let loose on the audience. I remember a man trying to convince us that his sooty puppet was God. It was hilarious. I loved watching the TV shows but noticed on the live show just how many people were chosen and yet sent back from the selection.

I'd seen the movies where people were Hypnotised to do crazy things and give up important information and found it very interesting on my training with a Hypnotherapist to hear that nobody will ever say or do anything under Hypnosis that they are not completely in control of and aware of, this idea is a very media driven myth. Ah! So all the people being sent back to the audience at the live shows were perhaps more introvert?

You will not be asked to share your secrets or believe you're orangutan. The 'Hypno' association simply comes from the deep level of relaxation you aim to achieve, the importance of words and suggestion and the concentration and hyperfocus that you can experience with Hypnosis. Have you ever lost yourself in music or a good book? Zoned out on a familiar journey? Had that feeling of falling when you're trying to fall asleep? We're regularly in the 'trance state' that Hypnosis can achieve.

Myth 2 - Hippies

Hypnobirthing is for everyone. Every birth plan, every family, every parenting style. Everyone. I'm not sure what it is about the name that encourages people to believe that it's going to be a chanting, incense burning, tree hugging experience but I'm pleased to dispel this myth. We empower you to make your own choices.

Hypnobirthing is a full antenatal education. Most clients, especially the more sceptical, tend to be really impressed with the logic and science involved in the theory sessions. We delve in to the physiology of birth, the intricacies of the muscles and hormones involved, we look at current policies and procedures in the UK system, we help prepare you to make informed choices about your care. We of course provide the tools to benefit from relaxation and think positively about birth.

Of course if you want to chant and burn incense, go right ahead, it's completely your choice. We talk a lot about choice.

Myth 3 - The Natural Birth

Hypnobirthing prepares women for all birth choices. The techniques and the logical aspects can certainly help women towards achieving a natural birth if that is what they want to achieve, but the tools are just as valuable for a cesarean birth, an induced birth, an assisted birth or a medicalised birth. Some women do report that the powerful techniques have enabled to them to progress with a drug free vaginal birth, other have found them invaluable for supporting them alongside various pain relief methods or surgery. In all situations, Hypnobirthing can help keep both Mum and Baby calm and relaxed and you can find a range of birth stories on our website.

Our goal is for you to achieve the best birth for you, and to come out of it feeling that it was a positive birth, that you had informed choices and that those choices were respected.

KGH have the resources to support cesarean births, breech birth, induced births and everything in-between.

On our courses we cover the stages of labour so that you feel fully prepared for your birth. We know that birth can be unpredictable and that's why we ensure you have in-depth information about your birth choices to be fully informed, whichever road it takes.

Myth 4 - You cannot relax in labour!

Now this one, we can thank the media for. How often have you watched birth on a Hollywood movie or documentary and seen the mother calm and relaxed and peaceful? We have been programmed to believe that birth is an emergency, that it is painful and that fear is part of it. Perhaps you have been told negative stories by family and friends. Understandably, the idea that you can be calm during labour may seem foreign, you may not have thought much of it, but unfortunately these preconceptions can actually make a big difference to how comfortable you are during your labour. Our courses work on changing that perception through relaxation scripts, videos, birth stories and most importantly education.

We will allow you to experience and practice relaxation and provide you with tools such as light touch massage and breathing techniques in order to get your oxytocin flowing when you most need to. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone during birth, it keeps your labour progressing, it keeps you calm and relaxed and you will learn both how to help and hinder it's release.

This feels like a good time to share with you a short clip from my labour. This is 5 minutes before my daughter is born using Hypnobirthing techniques.

If you would like to learn more about Hypnobirthing and experience an enjoyable and beneficial pregnancy relaxation, book on to one of our free, no obligation taster sessions. Come and find exactly out why Hypnobirthing is the latest trend in antenatal education.

KG Hypnobirthing Harrow & Herts have been delivering courses since 2012. Founder Crystal's birth is shown on all KGH teacher training courses and parent courses around the country.

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