How can hypnobirthing help me in labour and birth? Here’s 10 ways..

One of the things that I absolutely love about hypnobirthing is that there really is something for everyone when it comes to looking for tools to prepare for your baby’s birth.

When your considering different forms of antenatal preparation for the birth of your baby – hypnobirthing can help both physically and mentally.

So here are just a few of the ways it can play a huge roll during labour and birth.

1 – It helps you to understand that your mind has a lot more influence over your body

Its true, our mind and our body are essentially the same thing and when it comes to pregnancy and birth – having an understanding of the way that our body can be impacted during birth can really help us to see why a relaxation toolkit… aka.. a hypnobirthing toolkit can be a great idea.

If you think about it, our mind controls so many reactions within our body – like when you find something funny, you laugh. You don’t stop and then think to laugh!

Well its the same in labour, if we feel safe we can let go in order to birth our babies.

2 – Hypnobirthing provides you with a variety of tools that help you to feel calm in a variety of different birthing scenarios

Home birth, induced birth, caesarean birth, hospital birth, freebirth… the list goes on – regardless of the type of birth you are planning for – there are loads of different tools that you can try to help you to prepare for birth.

That’s what I love about hypnobirthing – everyone will use the tools different.

In my hypnobirthing sessions, I break the toolkit down into 3 sections – mind tools such as visualisation, physical tools such as items that can change your environment and breathing techniques

3 – It helps you to understand your body and therefore helps you to work with it instead of against it

I don’t know about you but I didn’t have a clue how my body worked in labour before I had Charlotte. Having an understanding of the purpose of contractions, how our uterus works in labour and how we change in our behaviour as labour progresses can help build your trust in the process.

Birth is a biological requirement and just like with so many other bodily functions.. it just happens.

Also understanding a bit around birth positions, particularly ones that help you work with gravity and support yourself and your baby to birth can give you the confidence that you were designed to do this!

4- Hypnobirthing helps your birth partner to gain confidence in how to support you during birth

Hypnobirthing can be just as useful for your birth partner, after working with hundreds of families – its been really great to see how it can make all the difference to your birth partner.

It can help them see that they do have a really important role during birth and opens up conversations about the different ways that they can support whether that’s through setting up your birth environment or advocating for you during labour.

5 – It can help you tune into your instincts

Often, having an understanding of our bodies along with relaxation techniques helps us to tune into our instincts easier during labour – its often said that hypnobirthing mamas or parents stay at home longer before going to the hospital as they know its not yet time.

It can also help with choosing birthing positions, making decisions in labour and tuning into your baby.

One of the most important things I talk about in my sessions is instinct – for many years, we have almost learnt to not trust our instincts during birth and this doesn’t need to be the case.

6 – It can help you feel confident about advocating for yourself not only in pregnancy but during birth too

A really key part of a hypnobirthing course is understanding how to advocate for yourself during labour and birth.

Sadly, our maternity care system is currently quite stretched with many policies and procedures in place that don’t always work on an individualised basis and this can mean that some parents want further information or a different care pathway.

Whilst hypnobirthing isn’t about giving you advice, a key element is educating you on how to feel confident on knowing your rights.

7 – It can help you to write birth preferences based on what really matters to you

Completing a hypnobirthing course often provides you with most of the information you’d like to write in your birth plans as a hypnobirthing course can really help to highlight ways that you want your birth to look and feel.

This can also be useful for both your birth partner as a tool they can use to advocate for you as well as your caregivers such as a midwife or doctor.

8 – It can help you to feel more comfortable as your labour progresses

During a hypnobirthing course, we will go through loads of techniques that can help you to feel more comfortable as your labour progresses – whether that’s through learning massage techniques that can help ease any discomfort , breathing techniques to help your muscles to relax and active birth positions that you can use for resting or however you feel during labour.

9 – It helps you to understand the different stages of labour and how best to prepare your environment

Often birth partners I work with say that this has been one of the most useful parts of the course as it helps them to understand what to look for in terms of a change in your body language.

We will talk about things like setting up your environment, how to adapt it in different locations if your choosing to birth outside of the home and also things like what to expect when your placenta is born.

10 – It can provide you with confidence and excitement

And of course, last but certainly not least!

This is the whole reason why hypnobirthing exists – to help you to feel more in control of your birth!

Many parents that I’ve worked with often say that our hypnobirthing course has helped them to feel empowered about their choices and for me – this is the ultimate goal as a hypnobirthing teacher!

What do we cover on our hypnobirthing classes in Leeds?

Hypnobirthing is something that I recommend to everyone in pregnancy, whether its your first baby or your fifth baby. Hypnobirthing gives you and your birth partner the opportunity to understand not only how birth tends to work – it helps you to prepare a toolkit of techniques that help you to feel more in control during in labour.

Often, women and birthing people will look to start hypnobirthing in their second or third trimester to give time to explore not only hypnobirthing techniques, practice birth breathing but it also gives you the option to explore things in more detail if your still not sure what you feel is right for you.

Whether that be location of birth such as a hospital birth or a homebirth or if your wanting your baby to have skin to skin or vitamin k at birth.

The Happy Little Nest group face to face group hypnobirthing classes are a brilliant way to not only connect with other parents to be in Leeds, but they give you the opportunity to learn from other people and their experiences.

Group hypnobirthing classes in Leeds cover all elements of hypnobirthing such as breathing techniques, making informed choices for you and your baby, the birth journey and the birth partner role.

For further information – head to the antenatal section of The Happy Little Nest website to find out availability and when the next courses are due to take place or check out the what’s coming up bar below.

Where is the best place for me to give birth if I live Leeds?

As soon as you fall pregnant and you make that first appointment with the midwife, its often a bit of a surprise to be asked where you would like to give birth to your baby! You’ve only just found out you’re pregnant and particularly if its your first baby, it might not have been something you’ve even considered yet.

Many of the hospital trusts are now offering a self referral option so do take a look at individual hospital websites for ways to do this too. Rest assured – you can always change your mind later. In order for the NHS teams to be able to work out how many babies are being born around the same time in their area, they like to be able to work this out in advance! It’s also good for them to be able to direct you to the right area when it comes to you care.

If you’re having a baby in Leeds there are a lot of options available when it comes to different labour wards and birthing centres.

Hospitals and Labour Wards in Leeds

Hospitals are where labour wards or obstetric wards are based within hospitals and are where the vast majority of babies are born in the UK. There is access to all methods of pain relief, obstetric teams and this is were all assisted births and caesareans take place.

LGI – Leeds General Infirmary (Leeds City Centre)

LGI is one of the biggest hospitals in the Yorkshire area and is often the recommended hospital for specialised maternity care should you or your baby need additional support from a variety of specialists (your midwife will discuss this with you during your antenatal appointments).

St James / Jimmys (Leeds City Centre)

This is a smaller unit further towards the top of Leeds City Centre.

Hospitals and Labour Wards in Harrogate

If you live you live in Leeds, you may also be able to use facilities outside of a Leeds postcode.

Harrogate District Hospital (Harrogate town centre)

A smaller recently refurbished labour ward or delivery suite.

Hospitals and Labour Wards in Bradford

You may also be able to use facilities in Bradford.

Bradford Royal Infirmary (Bradford City Centre)

Airedale General Hospital (based in Steeton which is in-between Keighley and Skipton)

Birth Centres / Midwifery Led Centres

Birth centres are exclusively ran by midwives, in some areas of the UK we have freestanding midwifery units – however, in Leeds and West Yorkshire area – all birth centres are attached midwifery centres (attached to a labour ward / obstetric unit).

Whilst women and birthing people may be asked to meet a certain criteria for birthing in a birth centre – you are fully within your rights to challenge and negotiate with those supporting you during pregnancy.

Bradford Royal Infirmary – The Bradford Birth Centre – attached to the labour ward

Leeds General Hospital / LGI – The Lotus Midwifery Unit – attached to the labour ward

Homebirth

If you are considering a homebirth in Leeds there is a homebirth team and home birth midwives who are able to provide support for you and your baby from around 37 weeks of pregnancy.

When it comes to picking a place to give birth to your baby, you are able to change your mind – this is your baby and your birth!

What can I do to support early labour?

When it’s clear that labour is about to begin, many of us tend to think it’s time to make arrangements to go to the hospital or stop everything we are doing and focus on the labour.

  • It’s estimated that for many spontaneous labours (ones that start without any form of intervention) we can spend up to 70% of our time at home.
  • Heading to the hospital or having your midwife come over soon can actually slow down the labour process so listening to your body and tuning in with what’s happening is important to time it right! Here are some tips on what to do during early labour, as part of my full hypnobirthing class 
  • We talk through how labour tends to work during my full hypnobirthing classes and it’s a great opportunity for you to have a think about what you might want to do, what support you might want and what you might need too! 

Here are some tips, let me know what you think and whether you used any of these in your labour!

  • Continue as normal for as long as you feel that you can. Distract yourself with things that you enjoy doing, go for a walk or make some delicious food.
  • Eat a good meal and get hydrated!
  • Get into a rhythm of using calm breathing during your surges or contractions
  • Don’t get too hung up on the pattern of your surges or contractions, ask your partner to support with this so that you can focus on raising your oxytocin!
  • Stay in your own environment or private space as long as you can – this will help the oxytocin flow!
  • Listen to your instincts, you know your baby and your body better than anyone
  • Listen to your body, rest when you need to and move your body intuitively

What can I do if my birth plan changes during pregnancy or labour?

How often is this something that goes through your mind? During pregnancy, feeling really passionate about a specific type of birth and then thinking the words.. What if? 

Early on in my pregnancy with Charlotte, I was really passionate about one specific type of birth.. A water birth. 

Yet I always had this niggle in the back of my mind thinking.. What if my plan needed to change? I just didn’t want to be disappointed if I couldn’t have that birth I knew I really wanted. 

I wanted to feel mentally prepared if things needed to change, protecting my mind was crucial to me.. The more I could protect my mind, the more confident I would feel… so I came up with a plan.. The what if’s plan, one that I would use to stay focused and positive, a plan that my hubby could refer back to and I would be confident that he would remember my givens – some form of optimal cord clamping, skin to skin as soon as possible and finding out the sex of our baby ourselves (best moment of my birth btw..!) 

When my waters broke just before 36 weeks, I felt that it might impact a few of my preferences which it did.. Yet I still felt really content and positive, I believed that my baby was ready, I trusted myself that I could do this.. And I knew that Craig and I were on the exact same page on how to help me feel safe and protected should I need intervention. 

One of the most important things that I teach in my sessions is around having a plan if things need to change.. We talk about what intervention actually is.. Sometimes why its used and how to listen to your gut when choosing what to do next.

We talk about elements of baby care so that you feel confident in what you absolutely want and we talk to our birth partners about creating a plan – a plan that is created and then left at the bottom of the bag and is only pulled of IF needed.

In a nutshell.. It’s one of my favourite affirmations, ‘I take control of what I can and I let go of what I can’t’. We continue to focus on that birth experience you want, focus on how you’re going to feel when you meet your baby for the first time.. All the time knowing that if it’s needed, you’ll feel confident and in control if your birth journey changes.

If you’d like to learn more about my hypnobirthing classes, head to the class page or feel free to secure a space on a session for just a £50 deposit.

You’d do your research before a holiday, so why not birth?

This is one of the ways that you can take back control of your birth ?⠀

When it comes to booking a holiday, we spend so much time looking into it. Where to go, what the hotel looks like, what sort of place it is but for some reason we don’t always do the same thing when it comes to the most important days of our lives – when our baby is born.⠀ ⠀⠀

One of the best ways to feel in control is by doing your own research and asking questions when you’ve got something that just keeps niggling at you. Don’t ignore your niggles- they are there for a reason.⠀

I don’t mean searching through Google where there can be unreliable information, I mean having a look at reliable sources of information – once you’ve got this, you’ll feel more informed and be able to make a decision that works for YOU no one else. ⠀


So many women say to me that ‘I’m not allowed or ‘they told me’ but at the end of the day, who’s baby is it? Whose body? Whose birth? ⠀

You are in the driver’s seat, just like you are when it comes to booking that holiday and remember that no question is a silly question!!!⠀

If your anything like me you might get white coat syndrome around medical professionals, yet, it’s important to remember that we are all people.. all on the same par so if you think your question will make you feel better- ask it and don’t ever be afraid to say it’s not right for you… because it’s 100% you’re right ?⠀

Tips for having a Positive Cesarean Birth

It’s National Ceaearean Month and I thought that I would share some tips with you on how to have a positive c-section birth experience, its something that comes up in conversation with so many of the mamas that I work with. You can absolutely still take control in so many different ways in a cesarean birth and have that positive birth experience!

Here are a few tips on how to have a positive cesearean birth experience.

  • Plan ahead, speak with your birth partner and let them know what your wishes are should you have a c-section in order for them to be able to support you
  • Prepare some music that you would like to take into the theatre with you, some hospitals have speakers and can play this for you or you could listen to on headphones!
  • Have a look at Gentle C Sections, these are where your baby is born slowly and almost replicates going through the birth canal, flushing out any amniotic fluid and the baby being born more gently
  • Ask for the electrodes to be put on your back so that you can have lovely skin to skin with your baby without the worry of any wires! Birth partners can also do skin to skin at this time too!
  • Optimal Cord Clamping – This can still be done in a c-section with the blood in your baby’s cord passing through to your baby after they have been born!
  • Take a hanky with your favourite scent into the theatre with you, this will help to remind you of your happy place
  • Use birthing breathing, this will help you to feel calm and relaxed throughout the birth of your baby

Did you have a cesarean to give birth to your baby? What sorts of things did you use to focus your mind during the birth – please share in the comments so that other mamas to be can see!

Did you know that hypnobirthing is to help support during cesarean births? That’s what I love about hypnobirthing, it is so adaptable and about planning for every type of birth. Our needs and wishes need to be supported when it comes to us birthing our babies and my classes are there to help support you with making decisions on what is important to you.

Is hypnobirthing really for every type of birth?

In a nutshell, yes it is! I often speak with parents to be or people who have heard of hypnobirthing and it amazes me how many people think that it’s all about being hypnotized, birth breathing or the name putting them off or that it’s for only one type of birth.

Hypnobirthing is about feeling like you are in control of any type of birth experience whilst using a variety of relaxation techniques that you and your birth partner can use – it’s about making informed decisions so that you feel confident and at ease with any changes in your medical care.

I may be biased, but there is nothing but benefits to doing a hypnobirthing course whether it’s your first baby or subsequent births.

Interested in a private class or a group class in Leeds or other areas of West and North Yorkshire? Drop me a line or give me a call – I’m here to support you with any birth choices you make!