My Journey to HypnoBirthing

Guest Blog Written By Chic Mamma: Holly Hagan

When I got pregnant in February 2012 I was certain would deliver my baby in the hospital. The hospital would be the place, I thought, where I would feel comfortable and safe. Because after all, childbirth is an incredibly painful experience. I would want the support of the medical team in case anything went wrong. And you always hear of things going wrong because babies just weren’t meant to come out that way.

I wanted to prepare myself for the most excruciatingly painful experience of my life. I asked my midwife if she could recommend a book for me about what labour is really like. She looked at the bookshelf in the clinic and handed me a copy of “The Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin and a DVD called Gentle Birth Choices. I was very curious to see what an actual unmedicated labour and delivery was like. All I knew about birth was what they show on TV and I was pretty sure that’s not exactly how it goes.

I was about 5 months along by then and finally the nausea was wearing off, so I started to read. The book described each of the stages of labour, what is happening physiologically, how the woman might feel at each stage, how the birth partner might feel at each stage, and what the birth partner can do for the woman during each stage. Yikes, I started to prepare myself for a painful birth.

Then I got to the video. It followed 6 women through their labours and deliveries. Two home births, two birth centre births and two water births. I tried to detach myself from the hippy-alternative commentary just to see what an unmedicated birth was like (so I would know how loud to scream).

Well, it got me. I cried every time the baby was born. And I was so amazed that the women were not screaming. Where was the chaos and blood? Hmm. I better investigate this further to see if this video just happened to capture the 6 women in the world who did not scream their way through natural childbirth.

I cautiously searched YouTube for “home birth” videos.What I saw was amazing. Here are a couple of my most memorable ones:

A Commentary of the Birth of Love
Mom and Dad Catch Baby

I probably watched about 10 natural births and read pages of testimonials from women who gave birth at home and/or in the water. Water can be very soothing I learned. I came across videos by Ina May Gaskin and I bought and read one of her books, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I also saw this term come up, HypnoBirthing.

I was skeptical about HypnoBirthing at first. I assumed that someone would have control over me during childbirth and I wanted nothing of it. But, it’s actually about self-hypnosis, and if that word doesn’t sit well with you, replace it with “relaxaton”, self-relaxation. HypnoBirthing is about becoming completely relaxed during childbirth and letting your baby and your body do what they are meant to do. The classes help you let go of assumptions you have about the process of birth and help you understand what is happening to your body during labour so you can break the fear-tension-pain cycle.

There are birthing affirmations and guided relaxations to listen to every day from 34 weeks onward. It actually takes practice to relax. Who would have though? There were times I was listening to the relaxation CD, thought I was completely relaxed, and then realized I was still holding tension somewhere in my body. Then, I would focus on relaxing that part of my body. Over time, I was able to go into deep relaxation faster and faster. And that is the idea of practicing relaxing, so that when the contractions, or surges, come on you can quickly go into a state of instant relaxation.

If you believe at all in the mind-body connection then you have to explore HypnoBirthing. The birth of my daughter was smooth and easy. I was not in pain. There was intensity, but I was not out of control. I worked at staying relaxed. I went inward and listened to my body. The whole experience was truly exhilarating. Because I was so relaxed, my body’s natural “pain relievers” were able to dominate my system. I was on a natural high. My labour lasted only 6 hours. That’s not very long, especially for a first baby. I think my labour was so short because I was so relaxed, I wasn’t creating resistance. I had no need for pharmaceutical pain relievers either.

For me, it was about changing my attitude about childbirth from a medical event to a natural event. I am an info-seeker, an analyzer. I don’t make important decisions on a whim. I research it and investigate my options, and my research lead me to HypnoBirthing. It was the logical conclusion to my research, there was no doubt about it.


Still high from the birth 3 hours after my daughter was born.

*For more from Holly click here to check out her blog*

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.