What is hypnobirthing and how can it help me?
ZenBirth hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal education programme. Our programme gives you everything you should expect from a professional antenatal course. You will gain knowledge about how your birthing body works, about what to expect from your maternity care, about your birthing options, tools and techniques, and about the choices available to you so that you can have the best possible birth on the day. We also cover writing your birth preferences and tips for settling in at home with your new baby.
In terms of the hypnobirthing tools, you will learn easy and highly effective breathing, relaxation, self-hypnosis and massage techniques. You will gain an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of your birthing body, and how deeply connected your mind and body are. The course helps you become more calm and confident about the birth and becoming a parent. We give you valuable, evidence-based information, as well as using hypnosis and deep relaxation to release any fears and worries, and to increase positive thoughts and feelings about the pregnancy, birth and becoming a parent.
The hypnobirthing tools and techniques, together with effective birth positions and a calm, supportive birth environment, help you achieve a calmer, gentler birth experience. The course is designed to help you and your birth partner become more knowledgeable, informed, confident and prepared, even for the unknown. It doesn't matter if you are having a home water birth, a managed hospital delivery or a planned or unplanned c-section. Hypnobirthing teaches you how to feel calm and relaxed about your baby's birth, whatever your circumstances.
We offer a full hypnobirthing programme to ensure that you are well-prepared and have all the tools and knowledge needed to make the best choices for your baby's birth. The full course includes a minimum 10 hours of teaching time, plus ongoing support afterwards. Courses are tailored to your needs, even in a group setting. We always ensure that all your individual questions and concerns are answered so that you feel well prepared for birth and your journey into parenthood.
I am afraid to give birth, can you help me?
Yes! Hypnobirthing is all about getting rid of fears and building up your confidence. We have supported clients with significant fears, anxieties and phobias around pregnancy, labour and childbirth (tokophobia, emetophobia, etc).
Please contact us for a chat. We are always available to answer your questions and provide support as you prepare to welcome your baby.
When should I start the course?
You can start your course any time from 20 weeks. However, it is really never too early or too late to take your hypnobirthing course. Obviously, the earlier in the pregnancy you do your course, the more time you have to enjoy practicing the breathing, relaxations, hypnosis and other techniques. However, even couples who start the course very late in pregnancy (35+ weeks) have gone on to have wonderfully positive births.
ZenBirth couples have started their courses as early as 15 weeks, and as late at 38 weeks. However, on average, mums tend to be about 30 weeks when they start the course. They also consistently book the course between 1-2 months in advance.
From our course evaluations and birth experience surveys, we know that over 99% of respondents felt 'more confident' or 'much more confident' after taking the course, and over 98% have reported feeling satisfied with their birth experience.
Should I take a group or private course?
This is up to you and how you would like to engage with the course. Whether you take a group or private course, you will receive the complete hypnobirthing programme, audio recordings, course manual and ongoing support.
In group courses, you get the benefit of meeting a group of parents during a similar stage in life and on a similar journey. Many parents become good friends and meet up socially after the course, which is an added benefit of a group antenatal education. Courses are kept small enough to ensure that everyone gets personal attention and that individual questions and concerns are answered.
In private courses, couples have the benefit of one-to-one attention in the comfort of your own home. The course can be more flexible and can be tailored much more specifically to your individual needs or special circumstances.
I am not sure whether to do hypnobirthing, or classes offered by NCT or the hospital.
We do get this question a lot, and it is a tricky one to answer in an unbiased way, because we are obviously offering our own complete hypnobirthing antenatal education programme. But, what we can say, is that you must do a course that appeals to you personally, and that is most applicable to you, your circumstances, how you want to give birth. It doesn't matter what other people do or tell you to do. Do what will be of the greatest value to you personally.
We have personal experience of NCT classes ourselves, and these were valuable in their own way. Hypnobirthing also offered us and others something more. Hypnobirthing provides a fantastic range of practical tools and techniques, hypnosis to release fears and build confidence, a focus on birth partner support and making informed choices, and plenty of information to help you to be truly prepared for a positive birth and for starting life as a parent. Our group classes also offer an opportunity to meet other like-minded people at the same stage in life. Some of our testimonials offer views that can help answer this question from those with first-hand experience.
My partner is skeptical, but I still really want to do the course.
It is natural for some people to feel unsure of things with which they are unfamiliar. Many dads and birth partners, and even some mums, arrive at the start of the course feeling skeptical, especially if they have never used self-hypnosis or other relaxation techniques before. However, this disappears quickly.
Usually by the end of the first section of the programme, which covers the perfectly-designed anatomy and physiology of the birthing body, people realise that this approach is very sensible, practical and rational. The benefits of the relaxation techniques and other tools are also beneficial beyond childbirth, and equip parents with skills that are useful in day-to-day life.
I don't have a birth partner, can I still attend the course?
Yes, of course you can. The course is designed for mum together with her birth companion. So, if your partner cannot attend or if you don't have a partner, you may attend on our own or you may bring along a relative or friend who will support you during the pregnancy and birth. If you attend on your own, the instructor will do any partner exercises together with you and ensure you are fully accomodated. We have had mums attend on their own, with their sister, a friend, their doula, mum, aunty and even their own dad. Whoever you wish to bring is fine.
I have special medical circumstances, can hypnobirthing still help me?
Absolutely yes! Having taught hundreds of couples since 2011, we have worked with many women with medical conditions or special circumstances. It can be argued that hypnobirthing acutally comes in to its own when there are difficulties or challenging circumstances. Hypnobirthing prepares couples for whatever turn the birthing may take. You will be knowledgable, have the ability to ask educated questions and make informed decisions. So even if things don't go according to one's ideal 'plan', you will remain in control and call the shots..
There have been couples who faced unexpected challenges and experienced a complete change in plan, but still come back reporting how positive the birth was and how they used hypnobirthing through things like induction, c-section, vaginal breech delivery, pre-term labour, etc. If you have a condition or situation you wish to discuss, please contact us.
I am having a planned c-section, can hypnobirthing still help me?
Yes! As above, hypnobirthing helps you get prepared, whatever the circumstances around your pregnancy and birth. If you are going in for a planned c-section, we can tailor a private course to you and guide you through preparing for this, so that your baby's birthing day can be calm and joyful. If you wish to discuss your situation with us, please contact us.
I had a c-section with my previous birth, and I want a natural birth this time.
Hypnobirthing is exactly the thing to help you achieve the birth you want. We have supported countless women planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and all of them achieved the positive birth they were hoping for. Building your confidence and belief in your body is key, as is helping both mums and dads getting rid of any fears and trauma from the previous birth experience. See our
birth stories and
testimonials for what ZenBirth families have to say about their experiences.
I've never used hypnosis/hypnotherapy before, what will happen?
Hypnosis is not actually like what you might have seen on TV or at a stage show. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis, so it really is all about you and what you want to happen. Your instructor will guide you through breathing, relaxation techniques and visualisaions to help you reach a profoundly deep state of relaxation. When you are deeply relaxed, your subconscious mind becomes easily receptive to positive messages. The hypnosis used in hypnobirthing works to release your fears and anxieties, build your confidence and prepare you mentally for the best possible birth for you and your baby.
I did hypnobirthing with my previous birth, do you offer refresher sessions?
Yes, we do. We have helped many couples the second and third time around. The refresher sessions are offered privately and are tailored to your individual needs to help you enjoy another beautiful birth. Please
contact us to to arrange your refresher course.