Are you curious about hypnobirthing and whether it's right for you? Deborah Nicholls-Lee sits down with Inbal Sigler from Isis Hypnobirthing and Yoga to ask all the questions you've been wondering about.
1. What is Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing is a comprehensive, evidence-based birth preparation course. It is based on the premise that giving birth is a normal and natural experience. Hypnobirthing provides parents with the essential knowledge and practical skills needed to experience their birth in a comfortable and healthy manner.
Parents learn about the birthing process and simple and easy-to-learn techniques they can use, such as deep relaxation, visualisation, special breathing, and massage.
Hypnobirthing aims to free your mind of fear and tension so your body can be free of pain and function as it was created to. By working to release prior programming and harmful emotions about birth, you can gain full trust and confidence in your ability to birth your baby.
2. What is the difference between the standard hypnobirthing course and Isis Hypnobirthing?
Isis Hypnobirthing draws on Inbal’s knowledge and experience as a hypnobirthing trainer, doula, yoga and pilates teacher, and as a Chinese medicine practitioner. She brings all of these worlds and practices together in the course in order to support your unique journey.
Once a month, Isis Hypnobirthing runs the information evening "Pain-free Birth - A Myth or Totally Within Reach?". Inbal is also happy to meet with couples over a cup of tea at her studio, where she will gladly answer your questions without any obligation for you to enrol.
3. How can hypnobirthing help me?
Your body will feel more flexible, strong, and lengthened. You will also feel prepared to take on the arduous and beautiful transformation of pregnancy and birth grounded in a deep dimension of calm. These sensations feed into the baby, providing him or her with the best possible start in life, as they enter the world in a peaceful way, greeted by calm and loving parents.
4. Will I be hypnotised?
Unlike the stereotype of someone clicking their fingers and putting you into a trance, hypnosis actually means a natural state of deep relaxation, paired with selective, focused attention.
This state of intense inward absorption enables one to experience suggested changes in sensation, perception, thought, and behaviour. In other words, it means that we all have this innate ability to retreat from the stimulation of the outside world, and settle into the quietness of our being. It happens when reading a book, watching a movie - any activity which causes us to lose track of time and space, and become fully immersed in the experience.
Hypnosis is a voluntary state, it is our choice to become receptive and enter this relaxed state of mind and being. We can disengage and broaden our sphere of awareness at any time. We are conscious and in control throughout.
5. Why does hypnobirthing support childbirth so well?
This relaxed focused state of awareness is designed to happen naturally during the sacred time of giving birth. The unique cocktail of oxytocin, beta endorphins, and other hormones generate an altered and heightened state of consciousness which helps the mother transcend the physical sensations of the surges, and contributes to a smoother birth experience.
The weekly Hypnobirthing sessions, paired with routine practice of relaxation throughout the pregnancy, help the mother bypass her critical, rational part of the brain and gain easy and quick access to her subconscious, where the system of our belief is stored.
With repetition, the subconscious mind comes to accept the suggestions and images as being real. The mother is confident that she can achieve the experience she wishes to have: a smooth, and healthy birth.
Once her birthing day arrives, the mother is able to withdraw from her surroundings and activate a pre-conditioned relaxation response, so her body can quickly and easily and perform its job to its best ability.
6. Does hypnobirthing guarantee a pain-free birth?
No professional hypnobirthing trainer will make promises about how your birth will unfold.
However, when the mother
- approaches the birth with a relaxed attitude of confidence and curiosity
- feels safe
- is given privacy
- is treated with patience
- has the right care providers
her body and mind have the best chance of enjoying the high levels of oxytocin and endorphins flooding through her, which help her register the physical sensations differently.
Instead of perceiving them as “pain”, she may experience them more as “pressure”, “heaviness” and even “pleasure". If we mindfully choose to look differently on the experience, the experience will be different.
7. I would like to give birth in a hospital. Can I still practise hypnobirthing?
Of course! Hypnobirthing is especially useful in an unfamiliar environment such as a hospital and will help the mother get into a relaxed state of mind. During the course, we talk about the various procedures a mother can expect in hospital, empowering her to make her own decisions about any interventions she is offered.
The course covers all the scenarios a mother may encounter at a hospital, including C-section. With both planned and emergency C-sections, there are many options to help make the experience safer, gentler, and more welcoming to both parents and baby.
Hypnobirthing is all about arriving fully prepared, knowing all our options beforehand, and yet keeping ourselves open and relaxed to whatever is waiting for us.
8. Is it suitable for mothers having a second or subsequent baby?
Inbal works with many mothers who wish to experience their birth differently from the previous one. Mothers whose first birth was traumatic or left them feeling depressed or dissatisfied may wish this time to have more access to information and to exercise greater control over the birth experience.
Some mothers who had a wonderful hypnobirthing birth the first time, sign up for a refresher of the course’s content and spirit.
The course is also an opportunity for some precious quiet time with your partner, focusing your attention on this pregnancy, before heading back to your busy family life with your other children.
9. How long is a hypnobirthing course?
There are two options:
- A four-week course. Lessons are once a week and are three hours long.
- A one-day intensive course (eight hours).
You can choose a group, semi-private, or private course.
10. Can my partner or a friend come too?
Your birth partner is an integral part of this wonderful life experience and is warmly encouraged to take part in this programme.
Knowing that her partner has a clear understanding of the birth process and how to help her, is crucial in increasing the mother’s self-assurance and sense of security.
The relaxation techniques are important for the partner too, whose calm approach and confidence in the birth is reflected on the mother. She knows she has a strong pillar of support in her partner. Using the hypnobirthing techniques together, they can experience a birth that is an intimate and loving experience that they will cherish forever.
For more details, visit Isis HypnoBirthing and Yoga or visit the Facebook page. You can also e-mail your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0685365403. Amsterdam Mamas are entitled to a discount.
Disclaimer: Isis HypnoBirthing and Yoga has paid to be featured on Amsterdam Mamas because they believe that their services would be of interest and benefit to our readers, and we think so too. For more information on sponsored posts and advertising on Amsterdam Mamas, please see our Advertising and Disclosure policy.
Deborah Nicholls-Lee is a British national who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. A former French and English teacher, she now works as a freelance writer and editor while raising her two children. See her website to find out more about her work.
Inbal Sigler is the founder of Isis HypnoBirthing & Yoga. She is also a certified HypnoBirthing trainer, Yoga teacher specialised in pre- and postnatal, and a doula.