Is Hypnobirthing for me?

Is Hypnobirthing for me?

Photo Credit Krista Evans Photography

To be honest Hypnobirthing is not something I had ever heard of during my first pregnancy. It was my first pregnancy though that made me shift my focus to pelvic health physiotherapy and now that a big percentage of my caseload is pregnant women, I am learning so much more about Hypnobirthing. What I have come to learn from the women who have described it to me is that it provides them with a strategy to help calm their mind and work with their body to be an active participant in the delivery of their baby and that there is a focus on breath work and imagery that facilitates opening of the pelvic floor. Given this is a big component of my teaching, I find these clients able to marry what they have learned from Hypnobirthing with what I teach them. More and more, I am being asked about Hypnobirthing and since I am no expert so I reached out to Stephanie Mundle who is a DONA certified doula in the Okanagan and is an accredited Hypnobirthing educator.

Here are some commonly asked questions and her answers:

Q: What is Hypnobirthing?

A: HypnoBirthing® is a method that guides and prepares a woman in giving birth in a peaceful manner. It is a program that considers the psychological and physical well-being of the mother, birth partner and baby whether that be in a home or hospital delivery. The HypnoBirthing® program includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning.

Q: How will Hypnobirthing help me during the labour and delivery process?

A: Birthing parents are better able to appreciate the benefits of calm, gentle birthing, making the experience a joyful one for mother, baby, and birth companion. In a series of five confidence-building classes, they learn what makes labor hurt; but more importantly, they learn the logic behind why labor doesn’t have to hurt and what they can do about it. Moms and their birth companions study the physical and chemical changes that occur over a period of time when fear and anxiety are allowed to accumulate. This awareness of the fight, flight, or freeze response helps them to choose calm. They practice HypnoBirthing® techniques in class, designed to help them see the relationship between fear and the possibility of pain. These exercises become life skills that also shore up their parenting skills. Armed with this knowledge, the pattern of calming techniques and steps that they learn helps them to create endorphins and avoid the effect of the negative hormones that cause their bodies to constrict, rather than open.”

Hypnobirthing can help:

  • You learn to reach deep levels of relaxation to eliminate the fear that causes tension and pain
  • Reduce and often eliminate the need for chemical painkillers and drugs.
  • Shorten the first phase of labor
  • You feel more alert, fresh, awake, and energized
  • Through breathing techniques keep oxygen supplied to your baby during birthing
  • Empower you and your partner to achieve a gentle and calm birth
  • Give your birthing companion an active role in the process
  • You experience less fatigue during labour
  • You learn to embrace the concept of pre-birth parenting

Q: Is there any research that supports Hypnobirthing?

A: There are some evidence based research studies supporting the use of hypnosis for childbirth preparation. However, like many other treatment methods, there needs to be more research aimed at exploring the efficacy of Hypnobirthing.

Q: Can Hypnobirthing only be done in a course? Are there any books that allow learning from home?

A: Anyone can buy and read a Hypnobirthing book but it does not include the auditory visualization or any of the practical components. Although you will learn about the history, it is the actual practice that you experience in class that is the most beneficial.

Every mom-to-be is unique in her journey through pregnancy but also in her beliefs about the ideal birth plan. The reality is that birth is a very primal experience and we have little control over the situation. However, the number of women who are requesting unmedicated home deliveries is growing and as a result, women are seeking out options such as Hynobirthing to support them in their birth plan. I encourage you to be an advocate for yourself and seek out the services that meet your unique needs.

Q: Where do I find more information about hypnobirthing?

A: Stephanie Mundle @ is right here in the Okanagan!


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Melissa Dessaulles

Melissa is a pelvic health physiotherapist at Wave Physiotherapy in Kelowna, BC. She is an active mom of 2 young kids. Her own experiences with post partum recovery have made her passionate about helping other moms.

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