Does it work?

Yes! is the simple answer.  The body knows how to birth a baby, everything a woman needs is already inbuilt and imprinted. The only thing that can derail this is fear.  When Adrenalin comes into play, it cancels out vital birthing hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins.  The reason we’re made that way, makes good sense.  Picture a pregnant cave woman out gathering wood and berries for her cave.  Her contractions start, and by their intensity and frequency she knows if she needs to return to the cave or should hunker down and give birth there and then.  Should a Saber-Toothed Tiger suddenly put in an appearance at that point, the resulting adrenaline rush would stop labour in its tracks so she could get herself and her unborn child to safety.

Nowadays, we don’t have to worry about too many four legged animals roaming the labour wards, but Saber-Tooth Tigers can appear in many guises – a strange room, a woman screaming next door, an un-sympathetic midwife or consultant or a TV documentary on how awful birth is.  Hypnobirthing gives you valuable tools to remain calm and relaxed at all times, encouraging the powerful birthing hormones to do their stuff and keep Adrenalin at bay.

Some hard facts :-
Scientific research has shown that women who use hypnosis for labour have more frequent spontaneous births with less complications and less need for medical intervention.  There is less request for medicated pain relief and labours are shorter.

Will it make my labour pain-free?

No.  To promise that labour will be pain free is both mis-leading and, potentially, problem making!  The contractions have a physiological purpose – not only do they tell us how far along we are in labour but they also send messages to the brain to produce more of the powerful labour hormones to keep the labour going in the direction it needs to and to help manage those increasingly strengthening contractions.  The SereneBirth prep hypnobirthing  techniques help women to work with the contractions, rather than suffer from them.  Being able to recognize potential adrenaline causing situations and having the tools to deal with them certainly makes the contractions much more manageable and many women report feeling only the slightest sensation, but to say that you won’t feel them is un-realistic.

How is it different from other ‘hypnobirthing’ courses?

The term ‘hypnobirthing’ has become the generic term for any course that uses hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis to help the process of birth.  It is a bit like saying you are going to ‘do the hoovering’ when infact you are using a Dyson!

SereneBirth preparation has been developed in the UK through Dani’s experience of teaching Natal Hypnotherapy, practicing as a hypnotherapist and her many years of teaching antenatal education to expectant couples.

All ‘hypnosis for birth’ courses use professional hypnosis techniques to help couples prepare for the birth and all teach relaxation, however SereneBirth Preparation courses are specifically tailored to each participant. You and your partner are asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire when booking the course, so we can be made aware of any specific issues you’re concerned about.  You will be given downloads of hypnosis sessions that are in the familiar voice of your practitioner (and for those partaking in the Luxury and Bespoke preparation packages the scripts can be personalised using your name and referring to any particular anxieties or concerns you may have.)  You’re encouraged to find the level of breathing which is most comfortable for you with the emphasis being on the depth and rhythm of breath, rather than any set patterns and timing.

Most importantly, you leave the course with the skills required to take yourself into self-hypnosis.  Your partner also leaves with the skills to help you, if you need it and a huge dose of confidence that he or she has a very important role to play.  The Midwives welcome SereneBirth preparation because it doesn’t require a change of language (e.g. ‘surge’ instead of ‘contraction’) from those attending the birth. It has helped over 100’s of couples have a more positive birth experience!

What if my birth doesn’t go according to plan?  Does that mean I’ve failed?

Absolutely not!  There is no such thing as ‘failing’ at birth, it’s not an exam, it’s an experience.  The truth is, nobody knows exactly how any birth is going to go.  Whilst positive thinking and the techniques taught by hypnobirthing can greatly increase your chances of a straightforward birth, nothing in life is ever guaranteed which is why we encourage you to think about how you want to feel before, during and after the birth.  For example, ‘I want to feel empowered and in control’ rather than ‘I want a water birth’.  Feelings can remain with you, however you end up giving birth to your baby.

I have to have a Caesarean section because of a pre-existing/current medical condition.  Does that mean I can’t do the course?

Firstly, check you do need a caesarean. Read up on the subject, do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions, you might be surprised.  However, even if you do have to have a medically managed birth, it is still the birth of your child and whatever the circumstances, relaxed and calm is always going to be be a million times better than stressed and scared.  Whichever hormones are surging through your blood stream, are also going to be surging through your baby so it’s easy to see what’s going to be best for all concerned.

Do I need the course if I’m already doing NCT or other antenatal classes?

The SereneBirth Preparation  packages are specifically designed to run alongside other Antenatal Education classes. If you are not doing any other form of antenatal education then you have the option of our Luxury package.  If you have all the antenatal education you need then come along to our SereneElements pregnancy relaxation classes, which will give you the perfect opportunity to relax whilst creating a bit of positive belief too. Click here for more information.

The difference between SereneBirth preparation classes and other antenatal classes is at NCT or hospital classes, information you receive is processed by your conscious mind. Whilst you can see staying relaxed and breathing through labour makes sense, when labour starts, any negative information, feelings and thoughts about birth lodged in your subconscious surface and cause the body to release adrenaline.

SereneBirth preparation uses hypnosis techniques and mindset to change those thoughts and feelings lodged in the subconscious.  So whereas, previously, a contraction could cause you to tense up with fear, through post hypnotic suggestion, you learn to relax through the contraction, letting your body do what it does best.  The mind and body work as one, so if your subconscious believes you can birth your baby, your body will simply get on with doing it.

SereneBirth courses are about preparation for birth instead of just information.

Is Hypnosis Dangerous/ Will I be under somebody else’s control?

NO!!!!!  Forget anything on television or in novels.  Hypnosis is not magic!  A hypnotic state is something we all enter into several times a day – ever driven the car, arrived at your destination and can’t, for the life of you, remember how you got there?-Hypnotic state!!  It is not the same as being asleep or unconscious and the only person who has control over the situation is you.

We induce a hypnotic state by allowing the subject to relax, focusing on their breathing and their body.  In a hypnotic state, the therapist can suggest changes to beliefs and attitudes by having direct access to the subconcious, i.e. ‘As a woman you have a powerful ability to birth your baby’, ‘Contractions are merely powerful movements of the Uterus’, ‘Labour will take as long as necessary to bring your baby safely into the world’.  If at any point the person becomes uncomfortable or doesn’t feel safe anymore they will simply open their eyes and come out of it.

Dani Diosi has been trained by Maggie Howell who established Natal Hypnotherapy, is a qualified hypnotherapist, birth doula and NCT trained antenatal educator.  As part of upholding her qualifications she has to undergo regular CPD sessions to ensure her knowledge is accurate and up to date.  She is a member of FEDANT (Federation of Antenatal Education) and is fully insured. .

How big are the groups?

The groups are made up of three couples, maximum.  Classes are kept small because it makes for a more relaxing environment and means that everybody’s needs are more likely to be met.  Courses are more often than not are accompanied by a homemade cake or two – Dani feels it adds to the learning experience! They are plenty of local restaurants and cafes nearby for your lunch break.

Does my partner need to attend?

It is a good idea for the person who is going to be with you during the birth, to come to the course.  It helps you to feel supported and at the same time, it gives them invaluable skills and knowledge to help you during labour and, of course, they then feel so much more a part of the process.  If your partner feels nervous at the thought of attending, call Dani for a chat and she’s usually able to put even the most panicked of partner’s minds at rest.