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It's good enough for a Princess...Why are Hypnobirthing Courses becoming increasingly popular?

Updated: Sep 11, 2023

I have to admit, the term Hypnobirthing has only recently become a word in my vocabulary, before I ventured into the world of Parent and Baby Well-being, it wasn’t something I had every come across. Now, it’s pretty much all I talk about and how I will be using all the techniques I have acquired as a teacher in my own labour and birth journey in December.

The term hypnobirthing is used to describe the use of hypnosis and hypnotherapy to help improve the experience of childbirth. The origins of most current hypnobirthing programmes can be traced back to the pioneering work of British obstetrician Dr Grantly Dick-Read, who attended a birth in 1912 that would change his life.

Quote from Grantly Dick-Read

Dick-Read suggested that the fear experienced by a woman in childbirth caused blood to be diverted away from her uterus in order to be used by other muscles to enable her to escape from danger if she needed to. The result of this was to deprive the uterus of oxygen, preventing it from carrying out its intended function without pain. He went on to call this the fear-tension-pain syndrome of childbirth.

Dr Dick-Read believed that if a woman was able to eliminate fear during labour, her uterus would return to its normal function, therefore eliminating the pain. He concluded that fear and tension were responsible for 95% t of labour pain and suggested this could be eliminated through relaxation techniques.

We now have a clearer understanding of the science of our mind and the benefits of hypnosis - we know that not only is hypnosis a wonderful tool for relaxation, but it is also effective in changing a person's thought patterns and therefore helps eliminate fear and anxiety going into labour.

There has been an increase in popularity in Hypnobirthing over the years, many high profile celebrities have shared they have attended Hypnobirthing courses and used Hypnobirthing techniques during their own children's births and in 2020, Princess Kate herself actually confirmed that she had used hypnobirthing for all three of her royal births.

While there are no official figures on how many people use hypnobirthing, Google data reveals a very clear growing interest: online searches for hypnobirthing in the UK have more than doubled in the past 10 years.

Quote from Why Hypnobirthing Matters

So why is Hypnobirthing becoming increasingly popular and is it something you should consider?

More women and their birth partners want to feel prepared

Many of my course enquiries come from parents to be who want to feel more prepared for their labour and birth journey. Most messages come from first time parents who fear the unknown and want to feel as prepared as possible, they want additional support and want to understand how they can have the best possible experience. For others, this is not their first rodeo but feel that they weren’t prepared enough and maybe didn’t have the birth experience they had hoped for.

Research shows that a mother who is well prepared for birth, is more likely to have a smoother labour and so attending a course that can help them feel prepared is what has sparked a increase in demand for Hypnobirthing.

"The relaxation techniques I learned in during the course helped me to feel calm and prepared in times where previously I would have been in a complete state of anxiety." - Ashleigh

A concern for rising rates of intervention

There is increasing evidence that babies send chemical signals when they are ready to be born, and in particular when their lungs are ready to start breathing[1]. This causes the mother’s body to produce chemicals called prostaglandins that start the physiological process of labour.

Inducing labour means taking action to bring forward the start of labour rather than waiting for this physiological process to begin. All these methods are trying to stimulate or mimic the physiological process of labour and this can have consequences.

According to NHS Maternity Statistics[2] the proportion of labours in England that are induced has increased from 21% in the year to March 2010 to 34% in the year to March 2021.

Table showing percentage of delivery methods 2010-11 to 2020-21
Table showing percentage of delivery methods 2010-11 to 2020-21

More and more women and their partners want to feel like they have some sort of control on their decisions when it comes to birth interventions and how to communicate them efficiently and effectively with their midwives.

Hypnobirthing gives parents to be all of the information they need to be able to make informed decisions when it comes to how they want their birth experience to be.

The want for less medicalised births and a more holistic approach

Ok, so let's just bust the Hypnobirthing myth that it’s just for hippies and you need to be cleansed by sage and birth in the wild. Even if you have invested in a Hypnobirthing course, this doesn’t mean that all drug options are withdrawn from you. However, if you have attended a course or are planning to do so, you probably have as you intend to have as natural birth as possible, using natural pain relief and birthing techniques.

Lots of women who attend my courses share their main reason for researching Hypnobirthing was because they wanted to understand more about natural pain relief and how to work with their bodies. More and more women are also keen to learn more on home births and less medicalised environments for giving birth.

A woman birthing naturally  at home

"Building a woman's confidence and trust in her body's ability to birth allows her to be able to step gracefully out of the way and allow her body and baby to do what they know how to do."

The need and want to create a support network

Pregnancy can be a lonely journey if you are not surrounded by the right people. Hypnobirthing courses are a great way to meet other mums to be and make new friends…maybe for life. Lots of women look to attend in person courses to gain the benefit of something that is tailored to them and their preferences, rather than a generic online course that doesn’t understand them or their birth preferences.

Become part of a community of like minded women and partners who want to feel empowered, in control, confident and prepared.

Hypnobirthing isn’t just about breathing your baby out… it’s a full birth preparation course, aimed to empower and inspire you to have the best possible birth for you.

Hypnobirthing is for all births!

Let’s create something magical together and join me on one of my courses!

Simply head to my website for more information and follow me on social media to keep up to date with me and my own pregnancy journey.

Love always,


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