Frequently asked questions
What are the benefits of hypnobirthing, when should you start, how much does it cost, and do you have to be a hippy to do it?
What is KG hypnobirthing?
KG (Katherine Graves) Hypnobirthing is the original UK Hypnobirthing course which is designed especially for mothers in the UK. The course is constantly evolving to keep up-to-date with the latest evidence and research, and is now taught internationally. A KG Hypnobirthing Course not only equips you with hypnobirthing information, but uniquely gives you the knowledge to understand your options and the implications of the choices you make in the context of giving birth in the UK. If you want to find out more about KG hypnobirthing before signing up to a course, you can download the first chapter of the Hypnobirthing Book for free through the Katharine Graves website.
How does hypnobirthing help mums?
Hypnobirthing helps mums feel less fearful and more in control of the birth experience. When we are scared, we release adrenaline, which acts against oxytocin (the hormone that makes labour progress well) and endorphins (nature’s pain relief). When we feel calm and safe, oxytocin flows freely; as a result, the muscles in the uterus work efficiently, the cervix opens, and a birth can more easily take its natural course. In my teaching, I recognise that not all mums want the same birth experience - ideas about place of birth and pain relief, in particular, vary greatly. Also, some mothers, because of their individual situations, will require medical intervention in their labour and birth, and we are fortunate to have a maternity system that caters for these different needs. If you take a look at my birth stories, you will see how hypnobirthing helps you approach any birth with calm and confidence.
What's in it for the partners?
Hypnobirthing includes dads and partners in the birth preparation, and also helps them release any fears or worries they might personally have about childbirth. A calm partner, who understands the natural birth process, makes for a relaxed and positive birth companion; this keeps adrenaline out of the birth room, and helps dads and partners enjoy their transition to parenthood. Hypnobirthing can also enhance a couple's relationship - by attending sessions and doing ‘homework’ together, new parents often feel more connected as they navigate this unknown territory.
How is hypnobirthing good for babies?
Hypnobirthing increases the likelihood of a natural birth, which is the gentlest transition from womb to world, and a wonderful start to early life, feeding and bonding. In some births, medical intervention will be necessary and welcome - in this event, hypnobirthing will help mums and dads remain calm while they make important decisions about their care. Empowered, happy parents will always benefit a new baby, however he or she is born!
When's the best time to start?
There is no single, perfect time to do your hypnobirthing class, but it is a good idea to give yourself plenty of opportunity to practice. Starting the course between 20 and 30 weeks gives you lots of time to learn the techniques, while making sure the information is still fresh in your mind as you approach the birth - the more preparation you do, the more relaxed you will be during your pregnancy and at the time of the birth.
How much does it cost?
Signing up for a hypnobirthing course is a big financial commitment for most couples, and at a time when you are already likely to be feeling stretched. Our hypnobirthing birth stories will, I hope, demonstrate that hypnobirthing is a good investment, not just for the birth, but as a way of staying calm and focused in pregnancy and the early days of parenthood. Click on classes to get more information about the course content, cost and payment options.
Do I have to be a hippy to do it?
No! Plenty of pragmatic and, dare I say it, cynical parents have given hypnobirthing a go and been pleasantly surprised by its benefits. Mindful meditation and hypnotherapy are used in many areas of healthcare, including the treatment of phobias and chronic pain management. It doesn't take too great a leap of imagination to see that these techniques can be of equal benefit in childbirth. Besides, there's nothing wrong with being a hippy! Pregnancy and birth are periods of profound change in our lives; seeking a deeper understanding of our bodies and minds at this important time is an eminently ‘sensible’ thing to do. Our hypnobirthing parents' birth stories give more insight into how hypnobirthing works in practice, and how it can be helpful to you.