Frequently Asked Questions

It makes sense that you might have some questions about HypnoBirthing, especially if the concept is new to you. I’ve compiled some questions and answers that I come across on a regular basis. If you have more questions, simply pop me an email or a message via the contact page, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have.

What does HypnoBirthing involve?

HypnoBirthing involves using visualisation and relaxation techniques to help women have more positive birth experiences. It looks into birth options, what REALLY happens in your body during labour, and how you can optimally support your body’s natural function. We look at how modern, managed birth practices undermine the body’s natural abilities and make the whole process harder on moms and babies – leading to unnecessary interventions that leave mothers feeling traumatised and out of control. We look at what the true implications of possible interventions are, so you can make truly informed choices about what you want your baby’s birth to look like. We discuss birth caregiver options, and help you understand which type of birth worker best supports your personal birth hopes. 

Why is it important for me to be fearless during labour?

Fear during labor activates our primal fight-or-flight mechanism, causing stress hormones called catecholamines to slow down digestion, make the speed up, force blood to the arms and legs, and ultimately deplete  flow to the uterus, creating uterine pain and hindering the labor process. This is when labour usually stalls, and mothers are scared into accepting interventions to speed up labour again. Once you know that fear is to blame for the resting labour, you’ll also know that you simply need to find a way to relax again to help labour establish a natural rhythm again.

Marie Mongan, who is the creator of the original HypnoBirthing concept and course, is also a hypnotherapist and hypno-anesthesiologist. Marie says that it is physically impossible for the body to be relaxed AND in fight-or-flight mode at the same time. By replacing fear with relaxation, a different (and ideal) set of chemicals come into play: oxytocin, labor hormones called prostaglandins, and endorphins combine to relax the muscles and create a sense of comfort.

Why is it valuable for me to get independent information and education (in stead of the course offered by the hospital or birth centre I'm at?

Once you learn about birth from the HypnoBirthing perspective, you will be informed and empowered to ask your birth care provider the right questions. This decreases your chances of being blind sided by a care provider whose care model might not line up with your birth preferences, which in most cases leads to unnecessary medical interventions, conflict, and distress.

When should I start my course?

Hypnobirthing will be of benefit whether you begin early in pregnancy or very near the finish line, though most begin between 24 and 30 weeks.

When should I enroll?

Classes tend to fill up pretty quickly, so it’s best to enroll as soon as you’ve made your decision to do the HypnoBirthing Antenatal course. If you’re not sure about which course dates will be ideal for you, you’re welcome to send me an email and I’ll help you figure it out.

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a safe, natural state of selective, focused attention, and typically people in hypnosis feel fully present, though very relaxed. All of us cycle through the various states of consciousness on a daily basis, as we transition between being awake and alert, to focused and relaxed, sleepy, and fast asleep.

Hypnosis is simply a skill you can acquire to intentionally move from one state to another, with specific intentions in mind. By intentionally creating the state of hypnosis you can achieve a deeper level of relaxation than might normally be available to you, all the while remaining calm and aware of everything around you.

Will I be asleep or unconscious?

While using hypnosis you will be fully awake, you will be aware of everything around you and be fully capable of having conversations with others, and you can choose to move out of self-hypnosis at any time.

Will I remember everything?

Self-hypnosis will help you to be more relaxed and calm, and will not alter or eliminate any memories. The calm and absorbed state of focus allows you to create a mental, emotional and physical environment that’s primed for a positive birth experience.

Will my labor be pain free?

HypnoBirthing does not promise that you will have a pain free labor – however, the philosophy of HypnoBirthing is that extreme pain does not need to be a normal accompaniment to a healthy woman with a normal labor. Using hypnosis for childbirth will help you to feel more relaxed and calm, focusing on welcoming each surge as a step closer to holding your baby in your arms.

How involved will my partner be in the birth?

If your partner is able to attend classes they will be included in all the activities and encouraged to practice with you between classes. During class partners learn the most effective ways to support you. Your tuition includes your partner.

Why a 5-week course?

Why I prefer to teach over 5 sessions – 12.5 hour minimum tuition:

Self-hypnosis and deep relaxation are very effective tools. For you to be able use them when you are in labour is an acquired skill, that needs to be learned gradually in stages and practiced in between sessions. This ensures that you have the time to develop the conditioned responses that make HypnoBirthing so successful. There is no short cut, and this why we teach our course over 5 sessions.

Learning HypnoBirthing over a day or weekend does not work as effectively to absorb and remember the techniques. The brain and body memory have a limited learning capacity, especially in pregnancy! It is for this reason that HypnoBirthing is ideally taught most effectively in 4 or 5 sessions.

This course also allows the time to explore your feelings, relax with your partner and to resolve and release any anxieties that may arise. We like to work with you personally and to follow your progress, so that we can ensure that you are fully ready, relaxed and confident as you approach the birth of your baby.

I would like to attend alone - is that okay?

Yes, absolutely. Hypnobirthing is flexible, and we’ll work together to ensure you feel equipped to use techniques independently.

Can I bring more than one support person to class?

If you have more than one life partner or are part of a parent group, your group is welcome to attend at no additional fee, however it’s important that you reach out before enrolling so we can help you choose a class with adequate space.  If you have a partner and would also like to bring a third person (like a friend, doula, family member), this can be arranged on a space-available basis.  Please be in touch if you have questions about this.

Can HypnoBirthing help if I’m planning an epidural, induction, or cesarean birth?

Yes, it can. Self-hypnosis is beneficial for all types of birth, regardless of whether or not you are choosing an unmedicated path, medicated pain relief, or having a cesarean birth. The techniques you will learn in classes will enable you to discover ways of relaxing and ensuring a calm environment, all leading towards a positive and empowering experience. Depending on your situation, you may prefer private classes over a group setting, so we recommend setting up a phone call to discuss your options.

What is the policy for making up a class?

We do our best to provide a makeup policy that is convenient and also maintains the integrity of the Hypnobirthing program. With this in mind, we reserve space in each group for one makeup couple in each series (seats reserved on a first-ask basis), with some limitations (see below).

  • Class 1 and Class 2: These sessions are the foundation for Hypnobirthing’s theory and techniques and may not be taken out of sequence. If you know in advance that you cannot attend Class 1 or 2 in your series we may be able to accommodate you in an earlier class series free of charge.
  • For all other classes when space is available you’re welcome to make up with another group free of charge.
  • When a group makeup class is not available due to schedule or capacity limitations, private sessions may be arranged for an additional fee (depending on teacher availability).
What if I have more questions?

We’d be happy to schedule some phone time to go over your questions. Contact us, and we’ll work with you to arrange a time to connect.

Is HypnoBirthing For Me?

Do you want to believe that your body is instinctively capable of childbirth - without it having to be the scariest, most painful experience of your life?

Do you picture yourself fearlessly bringing your baby into the world with confidence and joy?

Would you like to reduce the likelihood of traumatic and unnecessary emergency interventions?

Are you someone who enjoys questioning social convention, learning more on a continuous basis, and making up your own mind about things?

Do you value understanding all your options, and being able to advocate for yourself with confidence?

Have you had a scary or unpleasant experience with a previous birth, and are focused on having a better experience this time?

If so, then yes, HypnoBirthing is for you.

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From time to time I will be sharing positive birth stories from the mothers who have attended my course, as well as some key insights, positive vibes, handy resources, birthing tips, and affirmations. Sign up if you could use a positive, natural birthing boost.

Charine Els

HypnoBirthing Practitioner

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(+27) 082 457 1413
hello@breathebirths.com

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