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How Does Hypnobirthing Work?

I wouldn't judge you for one moment if your first assumption when you heard about hypnobirthing was something along the lines of 'probably a bit of woo woo hippie nonsense'. I get it, it can totally give of those vibes.

But * s u r p r i s e * it's all based in cold, hard scientific fact!


First we need to understand how your body reacts to fear. When you're scared, your body goes into the 'fight or flight' response. It's your body's natural reaction to danger. Your body is flooded with adrenaline and your blood is pumped to your arms and legs to give you the best chance of fighting off the 'danger' or running away.

If we were still cave people this would be fab!

Imagine the scenario... you're a cavewoman in labour when you realise a sabre tooth tiger is on the prowl, so your body kicks in your fight or flight response. Your body is focused on making sure you've found safety before you give birth, so your labour is stalled while you get the hell out of there or put up a fight.

But that's no help when you're giving birth these days! All that adrenaline can slow your labour down or put a stop to it altogether, even if logically you know you're in a safe space like a hospital or birth centre.

Fear makes birth painful and so much harder than it needs to be because all that blood that's pumping to your arms and legs should be pumping to the muscle that is doing all the work - your uterus!

< Just to be clear, this isn't a scientifically accurate diagram of a uterus.

So... I can just tell myself that I'm safe and birth should be easy, right?! Oh girl, if only it were that simple.

Your brain is like an iceberg. Stick with me on this! We've all seen Titanic, we know that the part of the iceberg you can see above the water is just the tip and the rest of that chunky ice block is MASSIVE beneath the surface.

So think of it like this, the tip of the iceberg is your conscious brain. The logical bit. But the majority is your unconscious or subconscious brain. This is the bit that decides how you feel.

Like, you know logically (in the conscious part of your brain), that a little spider can't do you any real harm. But stored away in your subconscious brain are all these negative stories about scary creepy crawlies and just like that the fight or flight response has kicked in, your heart is beating at a million times a minute and you're getting yourself out of there ASAP. Goodbye spidey!

It's the subconscious part of your brain that decides how your body will physically react. In this case, spiders are stored away under the 'dangerous' file in your subconscious brain's filling cabinet. So even though you can rationalise that there is no real danger, your physical response is reacting to the beliefs stored in your subconscious.

And I'm willing to bet you've grown up hearing a bunch of horror stories about birth and watching a lot of dramatic, emergency births on TV too. It's all tucked away in the subconscious brain.

OKAY LET'S GET TO THE POINT! How does hypnobirthing help?

To make a difference to your experience of birth, we need to let your subconscious brain know that actually, birth is safe! (It genuinely is btw! Your body was designed to be able to give birth!)

Hypnobirthing is lots of simple tricks and hacks targeted at replacing those negative stories and beliefs that you have about birth with lots of positive loveliness!

We can basically train your brain to view labour as wonderful and safe and positive, which in turn will stop your body from triggering its fight or flight response when you go into labour. And without having to fight against adrenaline your birth will be easier, less painful, quicker and you're far more likely to avoid interventions like assisted birth or episiotomy*!

*Episiotomy is a cut between your vagina and anus to make more space to get baby out.

So what are you waiting for? If you're pregnant, now is the time to start practising some hypnobirthing. And if you have any questions, please pop me a message!


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