I have been sharing hypnobirthing since the beginning of 2009 and have seen perception and awareness of it grow and change in the 14 years since then.
There are a few different "brands" of using hypnosis for birth and lots of people claiming they offer 'hypnobirthing' now that it has increased in awareness - there's no regulations so it's important you research who you choose to work with at this important chapter in your life.
I believe it's important to work with the person in front of me and so bring my experience as a doula, clinical hypnotherapist, CBT counsellor, mindfulness teacher and aromatherapist to offer a truly holistic antenatal preparation course.
That's why it's Hypnobirthing+
What is hypnobirthing+?
Sometimes it’s easier to say what hypnobirthing ISN’T!
It IS grounded in science - you will gain an understanding of how the birthing muscles and hormones work in perfect harmony - as they were designed to - when your body is sufficiently relaxed and you trust birth.
It IS rational - you will discover how what's happening in your mind affects the physiology of your bodiy; and how to train that human mind of yours to work FOR you.
It IS for EVERY kind of birth experience - understanding your options opens them up. Making decisions based on intuitive intelligence means a calm, confident birth wherever and whenever.
It IS MORE than just for birth - this conversation, these skills we practice; it’s for mums and dads, it’s for all of us to use in life, work, play, the challenges and the opportunities in life
It IS using hypnotic tools - hence the HYPNO of hypnobirthing. This preparation goes much further than other antenatal preparation precisely because of the use of hypnosis. We work with both the conscious and the unconscious parts of the mind.
I’m a geek for the why of things and I appreciate you may be too. You can expect me to talk about neuroplasticity and all the latest scientific understandings of how the mind and body work. You can expect me, however, to also talk about lunar cycles and channeling goddesses; I’ll probably mention how my grandmother was a witch and how women are like wolves too!
Who is HypnoBirthing+ suitable for?
It’s for everyone!
Seriously, whether this is your first or sixth baby, it helps women who are scared of birth because they've never done it before, who are fearful because of a bad experience last time, or who just want a calmer, easier, more natural birth experience. We all bring the benefits and wisdom of previous experiences, and the baggage and beliefs that come from previous experiences too. Hypnobirthing+ is a chance to explore what our minds are saying to us and how our bodies are responding.
Hypnobirthing+ is not about a particular kind of birth, it’s about a particular kind of woman approaching birth. A strong, determined woman making good decisions for her and her child; not based on fear but information and instinct.
It doesn’t require any particular belief system, or prior experience. I have worked with women with IVF pregnancy, placenta praevia, obstetric cholestasis, gestational diabetes, "advanced maternal age" (drives me mad that expression!) and all manner of circumstances. Every woman's pregnancy and birth is unique and this approach helps everyone.
When's the best time to do hypnobirthing+?
I have tailored hypnosis and mindfulness recordings to support you right from the first trimester. I'm a strong believer in doing the course early so you have plenty of time to absorb the information and for it to become second nature rather than to have it fresh in your mind. I always recommend starting sooner rather than later, if at all possible.
Hypnobirthing+ is about SOOOO MUCH MORE than the day your baby is born. The approach and techniques we share will help you enjoy your pregnancy all the more, and I'm regularly told how much it's helped both mum and dad sleep, work and live better.
Once you're conscious of the fact that this is YOUR birth, YOUR baby and YOUR body, and that you have many options and all decisions are yours to make, it opens up possibilities you may not yet be aware of. So starting sooner means a more enjoyable pregnancy and plenty of time of practice and absorb - key with hypnosis training. It also allows you to be aware of your options and start putting in place what will best help you through birth and beyond. All of this takes time.
Having said that, I had one couple who gave birth after attending just the first of four classes and told me how helpful it had been (!), so the real answer is that hypnobirthing always helps, but you do run the risk if you leave it too late, that the baby will arrive first, and then you'll wish you had done it sooner. It's worth also mentioning energy levels. The ease and flexibility of joining online from your own home is wonderful but even so, beginning a six week course when you're heavily pregnant and feeling more tired and wanting to retreat can be challenging - worth bearing in mind.
Do dads come too?
Absolutely! Everything we discuss throughout the course is relevant to every single one of us, whether pregnant or not (perineal massage may be an exception to this, although partners can help with this too!). Learning how to calm your nervous system, to ground your emotions and to integrate a helpful way of thinking are life skills for every single one of us. I have many partners tell me they're using the philosophy and techniques which have helped them work more effectively, sleep better and even pass driving tests!
Having a supportive partner who understands what helps and hinders the birth process and is confident in their role to support birth is integral to a positive birth experience which is why I have hypnosis sessions specifically recorded for expectant and new fathers. I find that some men beginning the course with me may not be quite sure why they’re there or indeed what they’re coming to. It’s these very same people who by the end of the course are driving everybody around them crazy as they extol the merits of hypnobirthing.
What can I expect to receive?
Working with you in the way that works for you
Sessions are held live online in our own zoom room. Engaging in these transformational conversations and practices in your own home contextualises the approach to the place where, hopefully, you’ll spend much if not all your birthing time and enhances being able to visualise it in your own space. We’ve also found the ease and flexibility allowing folks to dial in from wherever they are without being tied to a location is invaluable.
The group course will return in 2024, with the publication of the revised and updated 'Why Hypnobirthing Matters'.
In the meantime I am, mostly, focussing on tailored one-to-one support. I have options to suit everyone.
"I know just what I want"
One private session
Perhaps you want to boost confidence, a chance to go through your birth preferences, a quick hypnobirthing top-up, or you feel that you are one switch away from the change you want? You just need to flick a switch in your brain or brush up on some tools.
Sometimes when you know what you want to do it takes a recalibration, and help, to focus both consciously and unconsciously on your intention. This one-off 90 minute session is a chance to turn a page and make the tweaks needed.
A hypnosis audio-track will keep you on track.
Three is the magic number
Three private sessions
If you've done hypnobirthing before or don't have time for a full course then this is the option for you.
In these three sessions we'll debrief previous experiences, discuss affirmations, how and why they work and what yours might be, I’ll have you think about what feelings and qualities you want to strengthen within and how we can anchor that to all of your senses for birth. We will explore mindfulness of body and breathwork for birth (and life), massage for quick endorphin release and intense surges. We will explore your birth preferences and plans for the 'fourth trimester'.
You will have access to a bespoke playlist of hypnosis and mindfulness recordings to support you.
The full 12 hour hypnobirthing+ course
This is the gold standard, personalised private support for those engaging with hypnobirthing for the first time. 12 hours together (6 sessions of 2 hours scheduled to suit you) to talk through and practice every aspect of hypnobirthing preparation so you feel fully calm and confident through your pregnancy, birth and beyond.
This comprehensive course has been curated over 14 years of teaching hypnobirthing to thousands of expectant parents and includes 40+ hypnosis and mindfulness audio recordings, a tailored journal and copy of "Why Hypnobirthing Matters".
You will also have my ongoing support throughout your pregnancy.
Done hypnobirthing before?
Life is different with your second or third pregnancy, right?
You look longingly back at the time you had in your first pregnancy to talk things over, dream and imagine, take a bath, go to yoga and engage with your hypnobirthing practice. Now there might be times when you even forget that you're pregnant!
If you're expecting another baby and have done a hypnobirthing course before, I offer a personal approach to bringing it to life again for you now. We can get together online for one, two or a few private sessions. We'll debrief your first birth, bringing the benefit of hindsight forward and addressing and leaving behind anything that concerns you. We'll explore your options and desires this time around and get creative with how you practice hypnobirthing in a busy life.
These private sessions are often more therapeutic in nature which gives us chance to bring my CBT, mindfulness and hypnotherapy training to you specifically. You’ll have access to the 40+ hypnosis and mindfulness recordings I offer those doing the full course with me and following our session/s I will send an email with tailored resources to support you moving forward.
Investment in the environment
Any materials I produce are all made with sustainable, recycled and recyclable materials. Essential oils are organic and ethically sourced.
In celebration of supporting a thousand babies with hypnobirthing I have partnered up with Tree Sisters to give back to Mother Nature & embed restoration within Berry and Bloom's ethos.
What does this mean?
This means that for every hypnobirthing course booked, a tree will be planted in the Berry & Bloom forest.
Not only are you investing in your own growth, but you’re helping to build forests & improve communities, too!