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One of the greatest and most special moments in life is giving birth. This is the miraculous culmination of creating, nurturing, and eventually bringing forth a brand-new human being. However, although the birthing process itself is something beautiful, it is a fact that many women feel anxious about labour and birth because of the fear of pain associated with it. That is why many mothers-to-be are usually eager to find out ways on how to reduce labour discomfort and health care professionals are helpful by providing information about pain relief options and techniques for coping effectively during labour.

For expectant mothers who would prefer to have a natural childbirth, there is an option that does not necessarily involve pain – a Hypnobirth.

What is Hypnobirthing?

The origins of this natural birthing technique were discovered in 1913 by renowned UK obstetrician Dr Grantly Dick-Read after he witnessed a homebirth in London where the mum refused any pain relief and then proceeded to give birth quickly and with no discomfort.

This experience was defining, and after a career of working in hospitals as an obstetrician he theorised that fear was the overriding cause that led to the pain in childbirth. He hypothesized that when you are fearful, you tense up and the natural birth process is inhibited and becomes longer and consequently more uncomfortable.

This finding was supported by a study published in 1957 by the British Medical Association (BMA) which stated that ‘hypnosis is an effective method of relieving pain in childbirth’ and proposed that all doctors should train in hypnotherapy to facilitate relaxation and remove tension in the body.

Since this discovery, Hypnobirthing courses have been developed by hypnotherapists in conjunction with health professionals and taught to many couples worldwide. In the UK, Hypnobirthing burst into the limelight in 2013 when Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge mentioned that she had used hypnobirthing techniques during her pregnancy and that she was going to Hypnobirth during the birth of her first-born son – Prince George.

Hypnobirthing gives you the knowledge and the tools to have the best natural birth for you. It is a method of helping women prepare for a positive birth—and this will always mean something different to everyone. Any birth can be a Hypnobirth, as long as the mother and birth partner feel that their desired birth outcomes have been satisfied.

The hypnotherapy-based techniques learned during a hypnobirthing course help a woman manage any anxiety or fear that she may be having about the childbirth process. It involves self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques practised during pregnancy which help to relax the body in preparation for labour and birth. At the core of this gentle birthing experience is “Mind over Matter” and when the mind and body are in a complete relaxed state, birth is prone to happen more quickly and painlessly as the body does not fight the natural process.

How Does Hypnobirthing Work?

The main ethos of hypnobirthing is fundamentally learning how to relax, using different methods such as:

• breathing techniques
• massage techniques
• listening to relaxation scripts
• visualisation of positive images
• comforting massages

The other part of the course focuses on the birth itself. The basis of Hypnobirthing is that fear during birth can be the source of many problems, so Hypnobirthing courses try to address these fears with knowledge.

Hypnobirthing classes offer the opportunity to discuss birth in depth and provide women with the facts and realities of childbirth. Classes will teach you about the process of birth and the changes that the body undertakes before, during and after birth. The overall aim is to alleviate any pre-existing fears and to view pregnancy, labour and birth as a positive and empowering experience. It is about encouraging women to trust their instincts and their bodies.

Does Hypnobirthing Work?

The available evidence suggests that self-hypnosis may be helpful for women in labour. It appears to reduce the overall use of pain medication during labour and can result in a more positive birth experience. Hypnosis for pain relief seems to be especially helpful when combined with water immersion during labour, and researchers have found no adverse effects or outcomes when using hypnobirthing techniques.

What Does the Research Say About Hypnobirthing?

There is evidence to suggest that Hypnobirthing can:

• result in a shorter labour
• lessen the need for pharmacological pain relief and medical interventions
• reduce levels of fear and anxiety during and after birth
• assist with a quicker recovery time post delivery
• aid women in having a more comfortable and sometimes pain free birth
• teach birth partners how best to provide labour support and have a central and active role in the birthing process

When Should I start Hypnobirthing?

The recommended time to begin hypnobirthing classes is usually in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy between 20 weeks and 28 weeks, although classes can be taken at any time depending on personal preferences.

Hypnobirthing Classes in Dubai are offered by our Midwife Emma Robertson, a Registered Midwife who graduated from the University of Dundee, UK with a BSc Midwifery. Emma has 11 years of midwifery experience, having worked in both the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and in the private sector in the UAE.

She offers online group Hypnobirthing courses through her company-Simply Birth. She is passionate about supporting women and their families during pregnancy, birth and beyond to ensure that they have a positive experience throughout.


For more information about Hypnobirthing course dates and fees, Call or WhatsApp Dr Gowri Ramanathan Clinic on +971569573787