I’m having a doula for my birth and she’s mentioned the possibility of hypnobirthing. What do you think of it? Should I try it?

Answer: I’m an advocate and yes, I think you should find a practitioner to talk to. Hypnosis is a powerful, natural and safe state of profound relaxation that you allow yourself to enter. You remain in control.

Body and mind are intrinsically linked. If the mind is able to imagine being in control and having a calm, normal and natural birth, free of fear and tension, imagining becomes what you actually experience. Hypnobirthing can be useful by:

  •  Helping to visualise what labour will be like for you
  • Empowering you to trust in your body and to have the birth you, and your partner and your baby would like
  • Giving you a sense of control, by knowing what will happen next
  • Eliminating fear of the unknown and releasing any feelings of anxiety you may have about the birth
  • Imagining the birth going smoothly, easily and naturally, with a wonderful reward – the birth of your baby
  • Visualising you bonding with your partner and baby and recovering rapidly after the birth
  • Rehearsing how it will feel to breastfeed your baby

I’m in favour of hypnobirthing because it has been shown in research studies to have great benefits to mother and baby. Births tend to be shorter and less painful. There’s less use of painkillers, medical interventions are fewer and complications less frequent.

By Miriam Stoppard, The UK’s most trusted childcare expert
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About The Author

Miriam Stoppard
Doctor, businesswoman and Writer

M.D, D.Sc, FRCP, DCL, OBE Doctor, businesswoman and writer, Miriam Stoppard has two sons, two stepsons, two stepdaughters and eleven grandchildren. She obtained the degrees of M.B., B.S., M.D., M.R.C.P., while studying and practising medicine at London, Newcastle and Bristol Universities. In 1998 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London. After seven years practising medicine and specialising in dermatology she entered the pharmaceutical industry eventually holding the posts of Research Director and Managing Director. Later she developed a career in television and to date has published more than eighty books on conception, pregnancy and birth, child care and development, and women's health. She currently writes a daily page for a national newspaper. In addition to two Honorary Doctorates of Science, in 2004 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Law. In November 2008 Miriam received the prestigious Stonewall Journalist of the Year award. In January 2010 Miriam received an OBE in the New Year's Honour List for her services to healthcare and charity. HOBBIES: Family; France; Opera; Skiing

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