A Dad's Honest View of Hypnobirthing

When my wife, Jess, first mentioned the word hypnobirthing I wasn’t sure what she meant. It was definitely something I hadn’t heard of before and seemed like a bizarre idea. To me, it sounded like a way of hypnotising yourself to make giving birth easier. I was sceptical because I wasn’t sure what she was getting herself into, and worried that she was going to put herself through an experience that she might regret afterwards. Maybe she had to look into someone's eyes or follow a swaying clock until she fell into a deep state of hypnotism. How wrong I was!

Hypnobirthing was nothing like I expected. The course was very informative and I learnt things I never even realised happened when a woman gives birth. My confidence in the process grew each step of the way. I actually became excited for the next class! It was clear, concise and you wouldn’t believe - fun.

Learning what a woman’s muscles and hormones do for her to give birth was completely fascinating. Finding out about each stage of labour and what a woman's body is doing at those stages was a big thing for me. My knowledge of this was very limited, maybe even non-existent, but my respect and admiration for what a woman’s body does and the strength they have during birth just grew dramatically and at a very quick pace.

The classes brought the whole experience into perspective and I felt really involved in the birth preparations. I Ioved learning what I could do to help my wife as her birthing partner. Before, I thought I would be completely helpless whilst my wife was in labour and having a hard time, but after completing the course I understood I had a job to do to help her have a calm and positive birth and I knew exactly how to do it. From when Jess first started labour to the very end when our little boy came into the world I was there, by her side, guiding her through each step.

One of the most beneficial parts of the course was learning about our choices. This allowed us to really think about what we wanted to happen and what different options would offer us. I didn’t even realise we had options and choices! For example, we knew from a very early stage that we wanted to go to a hospital with a birthing centre rather than one that didn’t because that suited my wife’s birthing preferences and medical history. We learnt that you can be in control of your birth. You are allowed to say ‘no’ to suggestions from midwives, doctors and consultants if you feel it is not right for you and your baby. The course taught us how to gather as much information as possible so we could make the right decision ourselves. This made Jess so much more relaxed about the prospect of giving birth for the first time because she knew that when the time came, she had the power to make the choices that were important to her.

Then it came to the things that I thought were more ‘hippy dippy’ - breathing techniques and relaxation scripts. Little did I know that these are based on scientific evidence. Practising the different types of breathing techniques each night was a great experience for me. I could see that they were helping Jess massively, calming her when she was having a bit of a wobble, and the fact that I had learnt them as well meant that I could support her to get through the more intense ‘surges’ that she experienced. The breathing techniques not only calmed her down, but made sure she could supply her uterus muscles with as much oxygen as possible so they could work efficiently to birth our baby easily and safely.

Because I had learnt so much from the course, I feel that I would have been very little help otherwise. It was a great preparation not just for Jess, but for me. I felt like I knew everything I needed to know to support the mother of my child and be the best birthing partner I could be.

The amount of great things I got to do as a birthing partner felt very rewarding. Helping my wife with the breathing techniques, supporting her through each stage and each surge, and using positive words and phrases to help relaxation and calm gave me a purpose and completely changed my experience of being a birthing partner.

I am so enthusiastic when I speak to people about hypnobirthing now and recommend it to anyone and everyone. The whole experience was exactly what we wanted. It was calm throughout, which made a huge difference for our baby Ezra too. His heartbeat stayed steady the whole time, there were no complications and I feel this is largely down to hypnobirthing. It’s a brilliant experience for all mums and their birthing partners. I was so proud of my wife when she decided she wanted to qualify as a hypnobirthing teacher. The experience was so amazing it made her want to help women have a beautiful and empowering birth which I think highlights just how much of a positive impact the course had on us.

If your partner is thinking about doing a hypnobirthing course and you’re not so sure, I would say just do it because I know you won’t regret it. Hypnobirthing is growing in popularity so quickly and I believe that is because there are so many couples sharing their magical experiences with the world. You can use the knowledge to achieve the best birth for you and your baby whatever that may be. It may be the only birth you ever have or you may have already had a baby, but this course will bring the magic of bringing a child into the world to life and make it a positive experience.

You can find more about what the Beautiful Birthing Company’s antenatal education and hypnobirthing course involves here, and if you’re ready to start your journey on a positive and beautiful birthing experience, book here.

Jessica Neal