What is hypnobirthing?

A birthing method that many expecting mothers choose to practice is hypnobirthing. Essentially a method of self-hypnosis, hypnobirthing uses guided focus, meditation, and deep relaxation tools to put the mother in a calm mental state. 

This isn’t the idea of hypnosis that you see in TV shows. Instead, it’s a method that can allow the mother to actively manage uncertainty, fear, and even pain, and work towards creating a calm, gentle birth experience. 

So let’s take a closer look into this practice, so you can get a deeper understanding of why many women choose it as part of their birth plan.

Why do people choose to use hypnobirthing techniques?

Help boost confidence

Hypnobirthing is a practice that uses self-hypnosis techniques, relaxation exercises, and positive affirmations to help you effectively manage all the sensations and processes that your body undergoes during birth.

The philosophy behind hypnobirthing is to provide you with confidence in your ability to work through discomfort, by actively training your brain to use methods that can bring your body physically into a state of deep relaxation.

Many women choose hypnobirthing as a way to feel more in control of their birth, to seek a method where they can feel confident that they are able to manage the unknown ahead of them.

Reduced medical intervention

One of the big reasons that women may choose hypnobirthing is because it’s a medication-free method of giving birth. By using deep relaxation techniques instead of medication, it theoretically helps to manage discomfort associated with birth, relying instead on the hormones the body produces to combat any pain and stress.

However, if things don’t go as planned, it’s best to have qualified medical professionals on hand to provide the support you need to safely give birth.

Create a structured birth plan

When choosing hypnobirthing, the expecting mother will generally go through a structured process to become confident in the technique. You will usually attend a series of hypnobirthing classes, where you’ll learn a range of tools and techniques to help reach that state of deep relaxation. Presented in easy-to-understand, bite-sized segments, you will also be given time to practice them, and even homework to ensure you continue this practice.

It’s not a technique you choose to use on the day: when undertaken correctly, hypnobirthing is underpinned by weeks of regular practice, which means that you’re well-prepared to perform the techniques when the day comes.

Partner involvement

Another reason many women choose hypnobirthing is because partner involvement is a big part of it. Partners are included in all of the classes, and they are involved in learning and practicing the relaxation, pain relief, visualisation, and meditation techniques. Depending on how you choose to perform your hypnobirthing, your partner’s voice may even be your guide through the process.

Because of this partner involvement, it’s a method that some women feel can bring them and their partner closer together. For the partner, it also provides a way for them to feel more confident about the birth process, which in turn can help support the expectant mother through the experience. 

Common hypnobirthing techniques

Hypnobirthing is based on numerous concepts and techniques that are designed to work together to induce a state of detached concentration. Some of these include:

Specific breathing patterns

Slow, deep, and rhythmic breathing is practiced to help manage pain, and promote and maintain relaxation during the hypnobirthing process. It allows the mother to steady themselves, and focus on the air going into and out of their lungs, rather than other bodily sensations.


Birthing partners are encouraged to use massage and light touch techniques, based around certain patterns, to provide comfort and relief during labour. The idea is to calm the body, releasing endorphins to numb pain, allowing them to focus on their hypnobirthing training.

Scripted relaxation exercises

Hypnobirthing often includes scripted relaxation exercises that use mental imagery and specific, step-by-step situations to guide mothers and birthing partners through progressive muscle relaxation, promoting a sense of peace and calm. 

Positive affirmations

Part of the relaxation techniques can involve repeating empowering statements related to childbirth, strength, and motherhood. These affirmations are designed to replace negative thoughts and fears with positive beliefs about the body’s ability to give birth.

Anchoring techniques

Anchoring techniques are a method of physical touch or a gesture, chosen by the mother, that they teach their brain to associate with a specific state of relaxation. The anchor touch can then be used during labour to induce a calm and relaxed state when needed.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these techniques can vary from person to person. 

Hypnobirthing typically involves thorough preparation and practice, and hypnobirthing classes are recommended for expecting mothers who plan on using this technique during their birth.

Looking for hypnobirthing in Bunbury?

Hypnobirthing is a technique that many women choose to support them during their labour and birth experience. When undertaken correctly, it can be a useful tool to help you manage the uncertainties surrounding your child’s birth, in a way that can empower you to feel in control.

Brecken Health Care Bunbury is here to provide you with the information you need to determine if this method is right for you.

Book an appointment with our women’s health doctors or midwife to discuss this practice and learn more about how it works.