Based on the current advice/information from Helen Carr (Complementary Therapy Midwife and Hypnobirth Instructor).

pregnant homepathyWhat is hypnobirth?

Hypnobirth is a birth preparation programme that guides and prepares you to birth in a calm and peaceful manner. Its roots are based in the fact that childbirth is a normal, natural and healthy function for women. It originates from the work of Dr Grantly Dick–Read, an English Obstetrician, who, in the 1920s, was one of the first to drive the concept of natural birthing. He noticed that women who were calm and had positive expectations of birth, tended to experience less pain than women who were frightened. He concluded that fear creates tension, which creates pain. His book ‘Childbirth without fear’ advocates that women learn relaxation and breathing techniques, and hypnobirth builds on these techniques.


How does hypnobirth work?

The programme teaches you that in the absence of fear and tension, or certain complications, severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labour. When you are completely relaxed and free from any fear, your body is able to work naturally to help you birth your baby. When in a calm and relaxed state, your body’s natural relaxant – endorphins (a natural pain killer, 200 times stronger than Morphine), replaces the stress hormones that constrict muscles and cause pain. The preparation of this programme teaches you how to remove the fear and anxiety, manage the tension and therefore you approach birth feeling calm, confident, aware and in control.


What do you learn in the hypnobirthing sessions?

During the sessions and through practice at home, you are taught how to achieve deep relaxation by practicing methods of visualisation and self-hypnosis. These techniques are also taught to your birth companion, who will learn to reaffirm the techniques and support you during birthing. You will also learn breathing techniques as well as antenatal preparation to positively prepare your mind and body for labour. If birthing does not go to plan and you require an instrumental or surgical birth you can continue to use these techniques to help you remain calm, relaxed and in control. Hypnobirth is about achieving the safest and most comfortable birth.


What are the benefits of hypnobirth?

The deep relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques that you will practice throughout your pregnancy become life skills. This preparation is not only useful for labour and birth but also has positive effects for you and your baby during your pregnancy and continues into your postnatal period. The result is a programme that puts you in control both during your pregnancy and birth and enables you to have a more comfortable, calm, relaxing and rewarding experience.



– Reduces stress and encourages positivity in pregnancy

– Addresses and reduces/eliminates fears

– Can significantly shorten the first stage of labour

– Eliminates or greatly reduces the need for painkillers

– More rapid postnatal recovery for mum

– Babies tend to feed and sleep better and are generally calmer

– Promotes special bonding of mum, baby and birth companion

– Creates a more integral role for the birth companion

– Returns birthing to the beautiful, peaceful experience nature intended

– Provides families with invaluable life skills

Here at the Royal Bolton Hospital we offer hypnobirthing classes on a Tuesday and Wednesday evenings  from 6:30 – 8:30pm in the Women’s Health Care waiting room.

The course is taught by midwives who are also hypnobirth practitioners. The course is taught over four sessions in small classes and each session lasts two hours. The cost of £150 includes a hypnobirthing book, relaxation CD/MP3 and hand-outs.

You must book a place on the course to be guaranteed a place – please do not turn up without booking. For further information and to book a place on our hypnobirthing course please phone tel: 01204 390978.

If you require further information please email: hypnobirthing@boltonft.nhs.uk