I went on a natal Hypnotherapy course yesterday with its founder Maggie Howell and feel compelled to sing its praises. Often condemned as quackery, hypnosis has been an often overlooked and niche way to prepare for birth. But hopefully not for much longer. Not only are the benefits of hypnotherapy discernable - reducing rates of intervention in birth and significantly improving a woman’s experience of labour- but the tools are reassuringly simple.
Using relaxation, breathing, visualisation and gentle suggestion, women are encouraged to change their perception of birth and develop confidence and self- assurance in the face of labour. There are no miracles, no tricks and no hidden agendas. Natal hypnotherapy simply harnesses the extraordinary power of the mind and a woman’s own resources- all a woman needs to do is be willing to set aside some time each day or every few days to relax…… and who could say no to that? As Maggie reiterated a number of times, even if a woman derives no other benefits from the hypnotherapy sessions ( which is unlikely), then the simple act of relaxation would do her the world of good.
At one point during our day, Maggie led us through a visualisation. We were asked to lie down and make ourselves as comfortable as we could despite the hard wood floor. As open-minded as I consider myself, there was a little part of me- the one that reels at new age speak and water features and the like- that didn’t want to lie down and didn’t believe I could switch off. That little part of me was wrong. The fifteen minutes felt like an hour and the wooden floor like the softest feather-filled mattress. With a baby who still won’t sleep through the night, that fifteen minutes was a god-send, and I confess I was sold. ( Incidentally, Maggie confessed to a previous incarnation as a successful business woman and a sceptic of all things new age. She might adopt a measured voice and there is a gentle soundtrack which provides a backdrop for her voice, but the ‘fluffy’ boundary is not crossed.)
For more information or to try out a CD then visit the hypnotherapy website www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk
Have you had experience of natal hypnotherapy? Have you been on a course or used the CDs? I would be fascinated to know what you think…….