Hypnobirthing is a method of birth preparation using a series of simple but effective techniques that can facilitate a calm and natural birth. Far from being a modern fad, it is logical, rational and there is a strong evidence base for its use. Many women approach labour with fear because of the negativity surrounding birth and the assumption that it must involve excruciating pain for the mother. Fear has a physiological effect, making contractions less effective and derailing normal labour. Hypnobirthing teaches the mother to relax and believe that her body is perfectly designed to give birth; when the mother is relaxed her body can release natural painkillers that are far more effective than pharmaceutical drugs. Women using hypnobirthing report needing little or no pain relief during labour and their babies are born calm and alert. Mothers need less medical intervention, and if they do they report feeling much more able to deal with it. Calm and confident parents are empowered to make informed decisions about their care, which can contribute enormously to a positive birth experience.
In Why Hypnobirthing Matters Katrina Berry looks at the origins and rationale for using hypnosis for childbirth, explains what you can expect from hypnobirthing and dispels common misunderstandings in a lively, informative way.
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A practical overview
This interesting little book explores the development of hypnobirthing as an approach to childbirth, from its origins in the thinking of Grantley Dick-Read, to its modern usage in situations from freebirth to caesarean and beyond. Author Katrina Berry points out what a useful coping technique it can be for early parenthood and for life in general.<br /><br />The book goes on to explain how hypnobirthing works, and its relevance for birth partners and midwives. It does not claim it as the province of one particular type of birth, but does emphasise its role in increasing the likelihood of a straightforward birth, and offers information to empower women to make their own choices in any situation.<br /><br />It finishes with a useful comparison of the different hypnobirthing tribes, in their own voices. This gives a real flavour of the slight changes in perspective from one programme to another. <br /><br />Parents-to-be or practitioners with an interest in hypnobirthing can use this book to learn about what it is, and then decide which path will help them on their own journey.
Essential reading for parents-to-be!
The perfect introduction to what hypnobirthing is, and why it's so important (and increasingly popular amongst parents-to-be and medical professionals).<br /><br />Whether coupled with a class, or as a stand-alone aid, 'Why Hypnobirthing Matters' is an easy to read and absorb, extremely informative guide to natural birthing, or hypnobirthing. Debunking any myths of hippiness or pseudo-science, this book perfectly explains how hypnobirthing is simply a return to birthing in partnership with your body, moving away from the modern-day, over-interventionist, over-medicalised 'procedure' birth has become. There is no need for any special beliefs, this book simply and clearly explains what is taking place inside the body of mother during birth, and how her actions (and those of her partner) can best aid a quicker, easier birth. It's so simple, you're left completely at ease with Katrina's teachings, and wondering how on earth it hasn't always been this way.<br /><br />I'd also heartily recommend this book to any medical professional who works in the area of childbirth.
A must read for all expectant parents
I cannot recommend this book enough. Katrina's accessible and informative writing style meant that I practically inhaled this book. I now feel confident, calm, well informed and ready to birth my baby thanks to this book.
I can't recommend this book enough
This book was so helpful for me. I knew nothing about hypnobirthing but this is book is full of easily digestible common sense and realistic suggestions on how to prepare and potentially change your attitude to birth. Kat's writing is extremely eloquent, friendly and supportive. It feels like advice from a trusted friend. There are facts to support all her rationale and interesting case studies that really struck home. It's short and to the point, easy to read perhaps a couple of times during pregnancy. It left me feeling so much calmer and with a greater understanding of my conscious and unconscious mind, my anatomy, the physical process of labour and hypnobirthing. I can't recommend it enough.
It REALLY matters
Why Hypnobirthing Matters is the second title in the Why It Matters series from independent publishers, Pinter & Martin. The aim of the series is to provide readers with concise, balanced and evidence-based introductions to just some of the subjects that parents will be faced with as they navigate the complex and, unfortunately, highly commercialised waters of modern parenting. This installment comes from cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist, hypnobirthing teacher and clinical aromatherapist, Katrina Berry, who has helped hundreds of couples achieve a calm, serene and comfortable birth with hypnobirthing. Although this pocket-sized guide might be small and succinct, its size pleasantly belies the gravity of its message.<br /><br />Why Hypnobirthing Matters begins by exploring the origins and rationale for using hypnosis for childbirth and rightfully starts with the pioneering work of British obstetrician Dr Grantly Dick-Read. The beauty of beginning the book here is that any reader still under the misconception that hypnobirthing is some hippy-dippy, look-into-my-eyes, kumbaya-singing mumbo-jumbo is immediately served the observations of a revered medical professional and is, hopefully, now on the beginnings of a journey that so many hypnobirthing couples have made before them, from sceptics to passionate advocates.<br /><br />Berry goes on to describe the beauty of the birthing body with the same enthusiasm and reverence you would expect from a passionate birth worker and self-confessed birth champion. Of course, despite the awe-inspiring capacity of the female body to give birth, we know that fear and negativity about childbirth continue to prevail in society at large. Berry rightfully attributes the origins of these fears to both the dramatised versions of childbirth that are prevalent in the media (including That-Docu-Series-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named) and, ever so sensitively, to ourselves. Women. We almost delight in sharing so-called ÔhorrorÕ stories, either of our own births or those of our mothers, relatives, friends or co-workers and, as a result, many of us only ever hear one side of the story. Thankfully, Berry has peppered the book with handfuls of the beautiful, positive birth reports (from mothers, fathers and midwives alike) that have come to characterise the hypnobirthing experience.<br /><br />One of the greatest accomplishments of the book though is perfectly articulating not what hypnobirthing is, but rather what it is not. To think hypnobirthing is about learning lots of new things before, or just for, the birth is to miss the point. It is simply about understanding normal birth, having that all-important Òa-ha!Ó moment, and then counter-balancing all of the negativity deep within our unconscious minds by replacing it with truth, trust and positivity. ÒTo understand your body is to appreciate it, and to appreciate it is to start to rebuild trust and confidence in your bodyÕs ability.Ó With that in mind, hypnobirthing is also not at all about having more control over your birth, but rather about surrendering and letting go. Or, as Berry says, to Ògracefully step out of the way and let [your body and your baby] get on with it.Ó<br /><br />I applaud the inclusion of dedicated chapters to fathers and midwives. It would be easy to assume that hypnobirthing diminishes the position of both in the womenÕs birth experience. In fact, itÕs quite the opposite as it gives them both unique and deeply important roles in supporting the mother, and makes a hypnobirthing partner and midwife valuable assets in the birthing room.<br /><br />ItÕs one of the closing sentiments of the book that delivers on the promise of its title. Hypnobirthing matters because birth matters. Our slow and steady decline from normal, physiological birth to disturbed, industrialised birthing practices is not only detrimental to the long-term emotional and physical wellbeing of an individual mother and child, it is also drastically altering the very fabric of our society and the human experience in deeply important ways, some of which we may not yet fully understand.<br /><br />ÒIf we want to make this world a more conscious, connected and caring place for us all we have to start with how we treat women during pregnancy. We also have to create the necessary changes in our current childbirth practices to allow more gentle births to take place. How these babies are welcomed creates their sense of safety, self-worth and belonging and their capacity to have healthy relationships that are based on love, empathy and trust.Ó<br />Ð Anna Verwaal, TEDxABQWomen, December 2012<br /><br />The beautiful side-effect of hypnobirthing is, of course, that it empowers couples with skills for finding calmness and balance not just in birth, but also in life. What a gift it is to the world that hypnobirthing might not just create a ripple effect of positive birth experiences, but an improved quality of life as well.
Fascinating page turner
I wasn't sure how much there was to know about HypnoBirthing, but I was curious when someone gave it to me. This little book is packed with fascinating facts which makes it a real page turner. There's nothing fluffy about it's contents, it's very down to earth. Best of all it filled me full of confidence and excitement about having a baby. A great balancer to all those scary birth stories I grew up with!