The Four Basic Hypnobirthing Techniques

Hypnobirthing is becoming more widely recognised but people continue to ask what is the basis of the technique. According to to Mongan Method, the four basic hypnobirthing techniques are:

  • Breathing
  • Visualisation
  • Relaxation
  • Deepening

Now we know that there are lots of book and CD’s out there and reading them once or twice will give you an idea but it won’t give you the conditioning you need because conditioning needs the dedication of both your mind and body.

An athelete would never compete without ensuring that their body was conditioned, why should birthing be any different?

We found that it was the Relaxation and Breathing techniques that were key to our amazing birth and would love to share this quote with you:

Muscles send messages to each other. Clenched fists, a tight mouth, a furrowed brow, all send signals to the birth passage muscles, the very ones that need to be loosened. Opening up to relax these upper body parts relaxes the lower ones“. William Sears & Martha Sears.

Hypnobirth – 19-July-2012

Birth Story from Saz C ….

I was really disorganized throughout most of my pregnancy! Our little girl was planned, but as with all major events in life, she decided to come into existence when our lives were very busy. I think my mum was so worried that we weren’t preparing for our little arrival that she almost moved in and decorated the nursery herself at one point.

My lack of preparation extended to being too late to attend any of the NHS classes. At 37 weeks I booked two sessions with a local, private midwife from a personal recommendation. She was absolutely fantastic and my first introduction to hypno-birthing. She lent me a CD to listen to and explained that rather than getting too stressed about the finer points of the ‘technique’, the core idea was to relax and let your body do what it has been naturally designed to do.

The principle of going through labour as naturally as possible really appealed to me as I really don’t seem to react well to any drug, even Paracetamol makes me feel strange! So, while being open to the fact that I may change my mind mid-labour and in the ‘throws’ of contractions, I decided to give the hypno-birthing a go.

I didn’t get on very well with the CD in the end, but downloaded the Andrew Johnson app for my ipod. All you had to do was listen to the audio every day. I felt a little skeptical about attempting to do labour naturally but realized I had nothing to lose by listening and giving it a go.

As the days went by I felt more and more relaxed and convinced that whatever labour faced me with I was going to be able to handle it, the audio seemed to give me an inner confidence in myself to deal with the unknown I was about to face and the pain that I was certain to face.

Anyway, this all happened over the short space of one week. I woke early one morning with (what I thought) was awful Braxton Hicks. These continued all day and seemed to be getting worse. They started getting more regular and more painful, which is when I rang the hospital. Being 38 weeks and still with fairly spaced contractions they told me to hold off coming in and give them another call in a couple of hours. By 6pm I was sure I needed to go and get checked, which is what we did, but was still not entirely convinced I was in labour.

The nurse examined me, confirmed I was definitely in labour and tried to get me to guess how dilated I was. I reckoned only a couple of centimetres…she laughed and said 8cm!

The birthing pool was prepared, I got in and within 3 hours our little one joined us.

I had gas and air in the pool, which definitely help take the edge off. But what truly amazed me throughout the entire process of labour, was that all of the little phrases I had listened to in the hypno-birthing audio were strongly repeating themselves to me in my mind.

Every time I felt a state of panic at the pain, or started feeling scared at what was happening to me, or out of control – the thought that the more I relaxed, the more quickly my body would be able to get on with the labour. I literally felt like I’d gone into a zone of relaxation that my mind was in full control of.

Previously sceptical that ‘hypno-birthing’ was just nonsense, I now really truly believe that everyone should give it a go. It helped me more than I ever thought possible. I felt in control of my pain rather than letting it take over and as a result I was more relaxed and labour happened quickly and smoothly.

Onika was born weighing a perfect 8oz 5lb

Celebrities who have used Hypnobirthing

The premise of The Rose Diaries is about the real life stories of real people, not glamorous celebrities. However when it comes to Hypnobirthing, it is all about mindset and that is the centre of any hypnobirth, whether it be a “normal” or “celebrity” mum.

We were delighted to find that Jesscia Alba is a huge Hypnobirthing fan, “The labor was more like meditation,” she says. “I did yoga breathing. I was focused.” She was openly talking about Hypnobirthing on the Ellen Degeneres show and its fantastic that a popular actress is prepared to share the benefits of Hynobirthing with a wider audience. Other celebrity Hypnobirthing mums include Demi Moore, Jade Jagger and Ricki Lake.

There are lots of people that still believe hypnosis is all about waving a clock in front of your face but the Monghan method simply teaches about breathing and relaxation. Celebrities love to endorse products, perfume and clothing lines but if having a celebrity endorse the benefits of Hypnobirthing, then thats the kind of endorsement we like.

Water Birth – 25-Apr-12

Birth Story by Sarah J ….

“I had a hypnobirth at home, in my own living room, in a birthing pool, only my husband and the midwives were present.  There was a student midwife also who attended and this was her very first birth – she was absolutely amazed.
The early labour wasn’t as straight foreword as I’d hoped as I had had 6 days of early, latent labour and pretty much constant contractions for the whole 6 days.  They stopped for the odd hour but it was pretty gruelling – these contractions were fairly strong in my back and would last up to 60 seconds but would not get any closer than 6-7 minutes apart.  Due to the long latent phase, I had started to doubt myself whether I could actually do the hypnobirthing and whether I could maintain a relaxed state for long enough.
When labour day arrived, I woke up and thought my waters had broken in the early hours, these were slightly tinged red and so the midwife had suggested I go to hospital but came and assessed me first, the fluid had started to run clear by the time she arrived at my house so agreed that I was OK not to go to hospital. Throughout the day, the same contractions I’d been experiencing for the 6 days continued, and even stopped for a few hours, so I was very frustrated, as my waters had broken there is a 24 hour window for a home birth otherwise there is a risk of infection and delivery has be done in hospital.  However, at 6.30 pm I experienced a pop and a gush and my main waters broke – again they appeared to be tinged with blood so it looked like I may have to deliver in hospital.  By the time the midwife arrived the fluids were again running clear and my contractions had quickly got to 4 minutes apart and lasting 60 seconds.  It was decided that everything was fine and that I was ok to go ahead with my home birth and my husband began filling the birthing pool.
By the time the second midwife arrived, the surges were now very powerful.  I was managing the surges really well using my hynobirthing ‘up’ breathing techniques, I don’t quite know what happened.  I didn’t do anything consciously, I never needed to use any of the birthing or relaxation scripts to help to get me into the ‘zone’.  David and I had done a lot of practicing, every day for the last few weeks, we had practiced the relaxation scripts, to help me get into a deep state of relaxation, and help with the breathing up to assist the opening of the cervix.  I found that as soon as I needed them, my body just took over, on arrival the midwife commented how calm and relaxed I was and how I was handling the surges incredibly well.  I was assessed internally at around 9pm and was found to be around 5cm.
I was not aware of a lot of my surroundings, I was just so deeply relaxed and concentrating on managing the arrival of my little baby, I was just aware of a deep sense of calm excitement and I couldn’t wait for the arrival of my little girl.  The labour progressed really well, and while I was concentrating deeply during the surges, I was still able to talk and communicate effectively with the midwives and my husband when needed.  The pool was ready just in time, I entered the pool at around 10.30 and began to experience much stronger surges, but instead of feeling more pain, I was able to relax more deeply and found myself getting more excited with every surge as it meant my baby was getting closer to arriving.  The relief of the warm water was incredible, its like any existing tension in my body just disappeared.  The increased power of the surges told my body that my baby was on its way and I automatically began breathing my baby down, visualising my baby making its way through the birth canal, I used a visualisation of a powerful water fall to help ‘see’ my baby coming down through the canal.  I don’t recall having to use any strong pushes and I didn’t experience any strong sense of pain.  It wasn’t exactly easy but it was actually quite enjoyable.
The midwives had given me no coaching, they didn’t tell me when to push or how hard etc, they just allowed my body to do what it needed to do, and nature took over.  I was aware that the midwife was telling me that the baby was crowning and that if I reached down, I could deliver my baby.  I reached down and just a second later I was lifting my own baby gently to my chest.  She was perfect, quiet and completely calm.  It was the most beautiful, awesome experience I could ever have imagined and the absolutely perfect welcome to the world that I had dreamt of for my baby.

Esmae was born at 11.54pm on Wednesday 25th April 2012.”