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How to use hypnobirthing techniques at antenatal appointments?

Hey mamas, what I love about hypnobirthing techniques, is how adaptable they are. My eldest is nearly 4, and I still find myself using my calm breathing techniques to hold back from shouting after his shoes are still not on his feet after the billionth time of asking! Hypnobirthing techniques are incredibly adaptable to a wide range of contexts…basically, any time you feel stressed or anxious - my husband even uses some of them when he goes to the dentist. 

Practising the techniques at antenatal appointments can be particularly powerful. Not only will you be able to practise using them, but you will also see proof they work. This will increase your confidence in labour itself. If you’re not sure what Hypnobirthing is, READ IT HERE

So, what kinds of techniques can you use at antenatal appointments, as well as during labour of course?

A pregnant calm deep breathing

1. Calm breathing - this particular hypnobirthing technique is commonly taught in pregnancy yoga or Pilates sessions, as it is used to override your body's stress response and helps you get into / stay in your calm nervous system (parasympathetic). Goodbye racing heart, shallow breathing, and shaking hands. This technique can be used any time you feel your fight or flight response activating and it will go a long way to calm you down. Aside from the wonderful physical response this hypnobirthing technique creates, it also distracts your mind, giving you something else to focus on. For example, if you’re having your blood taken, and you know it will take 60 seconds, you know you only need to do 6 breaths and it will be over. Focusing on that will make it feel like time is passing quickly. Having something to focus on stops you from swelling on what is actually happening. 

2. Visualisations - There are various different hypnobirthing techniques that take the form of visualisations. One particularly powerful one is to be able to go to your happy place. It can be very stressful when you are somewhere you feel scared or aren't feeling 100% safe. Of course, we can't physically run away, as we know the appointment/procedure/birth has to happen. But being in a state of physical fight or flight and not being able to fight or flee can feel very hard. Having the skills to escape mentally to a safe, happy place, can transform your whole birth experience. I personally like to revisit a Cuban beach lol, and I know my husband always goes to New York during his dentist appointments. This particular hypnobirthing visualisation also works wonders during smear tests…just a little tip!  

3. Take more time - One of the things Hypnobirthing hammers homes, is that you have time. Decisions are often presented as if they need an immediate answer, but that's only the case in emergencies. In the majority of cases, you can ask for time. When it comes to your body and your baby, it's important to fully understand your choice, with ALL the benefits and risks associated with making that choice. It's perfectly fine to tell your midwife or doctor that you will call them with a decision once you've done your own research. Remember, this is your experience your baby + your body, so don’t feel pressured to decide anything on the spot. So long as you and your baby are both well and there are no current and immediate health concerns, you can take your time in making decisions. Using the phrase “so long as mum and baby are both fine, we’d like time to NOT be a factor in our decision making”…or something similar. Your bodily rights don’t go out the window just because you are pregnant.  

A pregnant woman relaxing in a beautiful scenery

4. Positive Affirmations - the positive birth affirmation hypnobirthing technique may sound a bit hippie, but affirmations have been proven over multiple studies to increase confidence, and to help you feel more positive and empowered, as they can reach your subconscious brain if recited/read repeatedly over time. There are plenty of positive affirmations available online or email me and I will happily share mine with you. You can also write your own to work on your personal concerns. E.g. if scans make you nervous, you could write yourself an affirmation along the lines of “My baby is happy and healthy, and seeing them makes me feel excited.” We believe what we tell ourselves, so tell yourself something positive. Have you ever met anyone who tells you constantly how unlucky they are? I bet they then actually do have bad luck. What our mind believes, our body achieves.  

Hopefully, you've found some of these tips helpful. Please send it to a pregnant friend if you have one. If you want to learn more and are looking for some antenatal and hypnobirthing support, please give me a shout and get in touch so we can chat about how I can support you during your pregnancy + birth.

Or contact me here:

Small course group running in July 2024 at John Lewis, Norwich. Book here:

Private 1-1 courses on request.  


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