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19th Aug 2015

More women than ever using hypnobirthing techniques during labour

Katie Mythen-Lynch

A philosophy designed to help women give birth naturally and without medical intervention, HypnoBirthing classes are experiencing a significant spike in popularity.

In fact, so many women are turning to self-hypnosis in the UK that midwives there believe that HypnoBirthing will be standard antenatal practice within the next ten years.

According to a report in The Guardian, almost 25 per cent of pregnant women at Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust in Essex took a HypnoBirthing course, offered for free through the NHS, before giving birth.

“HypnoBirthing is where water-birthing was 20 years ago.” said midwife Teri Gavin-Jones. “Back then it was considered a bit weird and there was a lot of scepticism from the medical community. But now every trust in the country does water births. Give it 10 years and HypnoBirthing will be standard antenatal practice. It’ll be mainstream.”

While every labour and delivery is different and there are no guarantees, HypnoBirthing Ireland say that  65-70 per cent of HypnoBirthing mums don’t need any form of pain relief because the technique helps them experience any pain as ‘pressure’.

According to the website, a further 20-25 per cent of HypnoBirthing mums only require something mild, like gas and air. “The remaining 5-10 per cent usually fall into what we call ‘special circumstances’, where medical intervention is required.” says a statement on the site. “However, the HypnoBirthing mums still tell us that HypnoBirthing really helped – even if they were induced, or ended up with a Caesarean.”

Irish HypnoBirth expert Emily McElarney says the last 12 months have “extremely busy”. The mum of three, who works with couples all over Leinster, told

“I worked with lots of first time parents-to-be but also couples on second or subsequent pregnancies after a traumatic experience the first time around. I gave birth to my third Hypnobaby myself in January 2015, so I’m just back to work myself and am already seeing huge demand for my group classes.

“It’s fantastic to see the hospitals embracing HypnoBirthing and supporting mums with their preferences for birth. The Mongan Method, which is the original HypnoBirthing method is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year. It’s great to see it as a worldwide movement now after it’s humble beginnings in the US – established by a mum (Marie Mongan) wanting better for other mums.”

Did HynoBirthing work for you? Share your experience on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.