How does hypnobirthing work?

How does Hypnobirthing work and what is the difference between hypnobirthing and mindful hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a method to help women and birthing people to keep calm during pregnancy and childbirth.

There is not much research around hypnobirthing available. However, from my experience of giving birth to my four children and supporting families since 2010, I would encourage any family to explore hypnobirthing.

So how does hypnobirthing work? Do you have to be a Hippie?

Hypnobirthing [Hypnosis] works with the power of suggestion. Your practitioner works with you using affirmations, visualisations and suggestion to help you [the birthing mother/person] to relax your body and mind, guide your thoughts as well as control your breathing. Your practitioner does not need to be present during the birth, but you’ll have to practice your techniques thoroughly to fully benefit from them and for hypnobirthing to work for you!

You can learn the techniques during an in-person workshop, or online in a group or a private 1:1 setting. Some parents chose to simply do a self-paced online course or read a book.

Benefits of Hypnobirthing

  • Alternative for anyone who is looking for a non-medical pain relief method
  • Can be used alongside medical and other pain management methods
  • Non-invasive
  • Accessible to anyone who practices
  • No adverse health outcomes / side-effects known
  • Inexpensive
  • The skills learnt are transferrable

Disadvantages of Hypnobirthing

  • Learning the techniques takes time and effort and requires practice
  • The language used in a hospital setting may disrupt the hypnotic state
  • Not provided by the NHS
  • Not everyone can afford a workshop or practitioner
  • Families [mostly first-time parents] have reported that their relaxed state was misinterpreted by medical professionals [midwives] at arrival at the hospital and seen as not ‘far along enough to stay’.
  • May not meet your expectations
Hypnosis + Mindfulness = Magic


Hypnobirthing is a range of hypnosis techniques to help keep you calm and relaxed during the birth.

Why is being calm and relaxed during birth so important?

Well, it’s pretty basic. Our survival instinct makes it important!

Naturally and instinctively, all mammals – including humans – have a fight or flight response when in danger. So when we are scared or anxious or bodies produce stress hormones to help us deal with the situation. Some situations will require us to run and act quickly and the stress hormones help us do so. These protective stress hormones (including adrenaline) block any non-essential systems such as our digestive system and raise our blood pressure and heart rate. Our blood is diverted away from our brain, uterus etc. into our legs and arms.

Adrenaline, while it is a life-guard hormone also slows down labour by inhibiting the hormone oxytocin…

Oxytocin is the hormone of love, labour and lactation. It gives us uterine contraction but also clouds our perception of the intensity. Your natural oxytocin makes you feel better, happier and let’s your body-own pain killers (endorphins) thrive, too.

Nobody wants to give birth in an uncomfortable or unsafe environment

The way our body responds to the environment around us is rooted in the basic survival instinct that we used thousands of years ago. Of course we all know know that your midwives and other healthcare professionals won’t hurt your baby, but we are still ‘triggered’ by the ‘strangers’ in the room and/or the unfamiliar environment. These triggers make us feel out of control and maybe unable to birth our babies without fear and pain taking over. Hypnobirthing techniques aim to deal with your anxieties around childbirth, and to help you create a ‘safe place’ inside your head that you can retreat to at anytime. Other techniques include the toning down of unwanted sensations and thoughts.

What is Mindful Hypnobirthing?

Mindful Hypnobirthing was first introduced by Sophie Fletcher in her book Mindful Hypnobirthing. Sophie Fletcher was the first to combine Hypnosis with Mindfulness for Childbirth.


Hypnosis is the being in a state of consciousness in which one seemingly loses the power of voluntary action. Furthermore they are highly responsive to suggestion or direction. The recipient is always in control of how deep the hypnosis goes and will only accept suggestions/changes which they are willing to make.


Mindfulness is a state of mind where you are aware and live ‘in the moment’. You are paying attention to the here and now. Your awareness is in the present moment while you are calmly acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and sensations.

Mindful Hypnobirthing combines both self-hypnosis as well as mindfulness techniques to enable you and your partner to have an empowered, calm and positive birth experience. I run regular Mindful Hypnobirthing Workshops in and around Bingham, Nottinghamshire as well as online.

Mindful Hypnobirthing in Bingham and online with Tina Gibbs
positive birth affirmations
positive birth affirmations

One thought on “How does hypnobirthing work?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: