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Birthing my second baby was the greatest achievement of my life and I couldn’t have done it without the amazing, informative and empowering Natal Hypnotherapy. 

—Sophie - home birth

Natal Hypnotherapy™ is a form of hypnobirthing that revolutionises womens birth experiences by teaching them to overcome fear and work with their bodies during birth. Natal Hypnotherapy is the UK’s leading approach to hypnobirthing. It was created by clinical hypnotherapist & mother of five, Maggie Howell in 2000 and has developed and changed alongside the UK maternity system.

Frequently asked questions about Natal Hypnotherapy

Women learn Natal Hypnotherapy hypnobirthing techniques by listening to a series of relaxing CDs in the privacy of their own home and following the step-by-step Effective Birth Preparation Guide Book. Gemma Nealon, experienced midwife, therapist & mum, offers the in-depth Natal Hypnotherapy workshops from Mulberry House in Edinburgh’s West End. The comprehensive range of CDs & the Effective Birth Preparation Guide Book are all available from the Positive Birth Scotland shop.

Whilst listening to the CDs, the mother is guided into a deeply relaxed state using breathing techniques, guided imagery and visualisation. Once in a daydream-like state, she is taken through a detailed visualisation of the delivery from a physiological perspective – almost like a dress rehearsal of the birth. This way she can practice her labour and respond to any sensations and changes she might experience. By listening to the CD over and over again, her body and mind become more and more familiar with the processes of a calm relaxed birth, so increasing her confidence and reducing a lot of the anxiety. As the mind does not know the difference between imagination and reality, once you go into the labour for real the body recognises the sensations and triggers and says: “Oh yes, we have done this before – this is a sign for me to relax, stay calm etc..”.

As any midwife will tell you, the most important way to help yourself during birth is through relaxation and breathing.  The two day Natal Hypnotherapy workshops teach more in depth self hypnosis skills plus a wide range of practical and informative tools and techniques to help both mother and her birth partner feel more confident and prepared for birth. I wouldn’t be offering Natal Hypnotherapy workshops unless I felt there was evidence to support this technique as a way to achieve a calm, relaxed birth with reduced and manageable sensations of contractions.

Self hypnosis is a skill, and as with all skills, it needs to be practiced.  Once acquired it is a skill for life if practice is maintained. The facts speak for themselves: Natal Hypnotherapy users have an average Caesarean rate up to half the national average and are recommended by 97% of users.  Medical research has repeatedly found that hypnosis reduces surgical intervention, use of pain medication, mum’s pain perception, and labour times. Read more research about the success of hypnosis in childbirth on the main Natal Hypnotherapy website.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Natal Hypnotherapy™?

Natal Hypnotherapy™ prepares women emotionally, physically and mentally for conception, pregnancy and birth. Women learn a combination of self hypnosis techniques, deep relaxation and guided visualization to help them overcome fears, create a state of calm and relaxation, be more confident and so have a calmer, more relaxed pregnancy and birth. The method was developed by UK Clinical Hypnotherapist Maggie Howell in 2000 and has helped tens of thousands of women in the UK.

Is it the same as Hypnobirthing?

Whilst Hypnobirthing has become a generic term for many methods of hypnosis for childbirth, Natal Hypnotherapy is different. Natal Hypnotherapy was founded by Maggie Howell in the UK, and is now accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. It was been designed alongside the NHS, where it is greatly welcomed and recommended by over 2300 midwives and birth professionals. Midwives and obstetricians welcome it because it does not require them to change their language when supporting women in labour like other methods of hypnobirthing (for example, ‘contraction’ to ‘surge’ or ‘ pain’ to ‘sensation’). Natal Hypnotherapy empowers a woman to lead herself into hypnosis, which means she is less reliant on her birth partner. It is also unique as the mother is encouraged to find a breathing pattern right for herself. Natal Hypnotherapy scripts can be tailored to the participant’s needs and the CD’s use a British accent.

Is Natal Hypnotherapy™ recognised by the medical profession?

Yes, over 2300 midwives and birth professionals across the UK are now recommending Natal Hypnotherapy™ techniques. In addition hypnotherapy is an accepted therapeutic practice, having been recognised by the British Medical Association since 1955. Furthermore, Natal Hypnotherapy is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives.

What do women have to do to learn the techniques?

Women learn Natal Hypnotherapy™ techniques simply by listening to a series of relaxing CDs in the privacy of their own home. A soothing voice guides them into a calm state, teaching breathing and relaxation, followed by positive suggestions designed to increase the listener’s trust and confidence. The comprehensive range of CDs are available from preparing to conceive through to support with breastfeeding.

Are more in depth courses available?

Yes – Natal Hypnotherapy™ run antenatal birth preparation courses across the UK. The intensive 2 day courses are run by fully qualified and insured Natal Hypnotherapy™ practitioners. All courses are monitored and regulated to ensure a consistently high standard of tuition. The courses teach more in depth self hypnosis skills plus a wide range of practical and informative tools and techniques to help both mother and her birth partner feel more confident and prepared for birth.

Has Natal Hypnotherapy™ won any awards?

Yes – it was awarded the “Practical Parenting – Pregnancy product of the year” and the “Practical Parenting Editor’s award”

Do women recommend Natal Hypnotherapy™?

Based on a survey of 768 mums who responded to a post natal questionnaire, 98% would recommend the CDs as an essential part of their pregnancy kit.

What if my birth doesn’t go according to ‘plan’?

Whilst research shows that Natal Hypnotherapy greatly increases positive labour & birth outcomes for Mums and babies, the thing about birth is that you can not ‘plan’ it. Natal Hypnotherapy recognizes that in some circumstances medical intervention is needed and greatly received, and therefore teaches you to focus on feeling relaxed and positive, regardless of the outcome. Many women and birth partners who have used Natal Hypnotherapy when their labour and birth didn’t go to ‘plan’ still report a positive experience. In fact, the skills that we teach on the workshops are perfect for these circumstances.

I keep hearing from everyone that labour is extremely painful. Can it make my labour pain-free?

Whilst some women using these techniques report this as their experience, Natal Hypnotherapy teaches you to manage and control the sensations of birth regardless if they are ‘painful’ or not. The techniques taught in Natal Hypnotherapy offer a natural way to reduce pain in childbirth without the use of drugs. Trust and practice is the key to success.

 

WORSKHOPS

Natal Hypnotherapy workshops for parents in Natural Pain Relief and Practical Birth Preparation

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CONTACT

I am happy to chat informally about Natal Hypnotherapy and how it can help you personally, please feel free to get in touch.

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I absolutely loved Gemma’s Natal Hypnotherapay course. I went in with no real expectations and have left feeling so inspired and positive about the birth. We stumbled upon the course by chance when looking at hypnobirthing courses, and feel so lucky to have found it. It all makes so much sense and I am now looking forward to bringing my baby into the world when he or she is ready to arrive. I’ve been listening to the birth rehearsal track every day and I can feel myself becoming more and more positive. Thank you!

—Kim Falconer