Lovedbyparents caught up with leading hypnobirthing expert Siobhan Miller, Founder of The Positive Birth Company to find out more on hypnobirthing and what is involved. Siobhan is a mother of three boys and teaches classes monthly in London, Devon and Birmingham.

What is hypnobirthing? How does it work?

Hypnobirthing is a logical, evidence-based approach to birth. It’s simply a form of antenatal education that aims to empower women – and birth partners – to create positive birth experiences, however they choose to give birth. Hypnobirthing really is for all births.  I teach women so they are fully informed about all aspects of birth, including interventions that could be offered, so they are in a position to make informed decisions that are right for them and their babies. I also equip parents-to-be with practical tools they can use, with immediate benefit, in pregnancy, birth and postnatally. These tools include relaxation techniques and are true life skills! Completing a hypnobirthing course will help you feel more confident, calm and prepared for your upcoming birth!

In terms of how it works, everything you learn on a course will help you to relax. Being relaxed is important because when you’re relaxed you produce oxytocin; the hormone that fuels labour and helps with bonding after birth, reducing the risk of postnatal depression. If you are anxious or panicking in birth, you produce adrenaline. This hormone will redirect vital blood and oxygen away from the uterus muscles (where it’s needed) making everything work less effectively, slowing labour down and making it feel more uncomfortable. Whereas oxytocin will do the opposite; it helps the uterus muscles work effectively, meaning labour will be quicker and more comfortable.

Why is it becoming a popular choice for women? 

Hypnobirthing is growing in popularity because it’s changing women’s births – and lives – for the better and word is spreading. It has helped Kate Middleton and other high profile women have used hypnobirthing when giving birth.

I, like many others, discovered hypnobirthing when pregnant with my second child. Having had a difficult birth with my first I wanted to do things differently. Hypnobirthing changed everything for me. I went onto have an amazing home birth with no intervention or pain relief. I felt euphoric! It was the best day of my life! I completed a psychology masters soon after and then trained to become a hypnobirthing teacher. I’m passionate about helping women have better births because the benefits are lifelong especially from a mental health perspective. I have since had my third child, again I used my hypnobirthing tool kit, and had the most peaceful, calm water birth at my local birth centre. I have also taught hundreds of women – and thousands through the digital pack – and am constantly hearing how the course is helping others around the world have amazing and positive birth experiences. You’ll find lots of their birth stories on The Positive Birth Company Website.

Top tips to consider if hypnobirthing is for you?

I hear this a lot: ‘I don’t think hypnobirthing is for me”. If you’re currently growing a human in your uterus, then hypnobirthing is for you! It’s as simple as that.

Hypnobirthing is for all births and all women. You don’t need to subscribe to any particular school of thought, be into meditation, hypnosis, incense sticks or anything else. There is no expectant mother in the world who would not benefit from being more informed, understanding their options, feeling more confident about making decisions that directly affect them and their baby and armed with practical tools to help them have a better birth. If you’re pregnant, especially if you’re feeling a little anxious or nervous, I urge you to look into hypnobirthing.

And if you’re considering an induction or cesarean or if you have medical concerns and think a natural birth might not be possible, still look into hypnobirthing! A lot of people write it off, thinking it can’t be used if they are having a more medicalised birth. I believe it’s even more important to have a set of tools to help you navigate your birth and remain calm when things are more complex or become challenging! Truly, there is no situation where hypnobirthing won’t help.

I have a series of free videos on The Positive Birth Company YouTube channel which serves as a good intro and then there’s The Positive Birth Company Digital Pack – a fully comprehensive online hypnobirthing antenatal course and the world’s most affordable and accessible hypnobirthing program. You can also attend group classes. You will not regret learning more!