As I type this, the word on the street is that our everyone’s favourite princess is poised to deliver the latest Royal baby. Rumours have been flying around about whether Kate will be ‘too posh to push’ or will opt for a more active birth.

claireWe turned to our birthing expert and guest blogger, Claire Cornthwaite – aka Hyponomum – for her take on the imminent Royal birth and the some sound advice on birth options.

“The Princess effect has made a big impact on the birthing world with much speculation surrounding how Catherine will chose to birth and what particular programme she may have followed in preparation for the birth of the royal baby in a few weeks’ time. Hypnobirthing has been mentioned several times as the Princess’ favoured choice of antenatal class  – so what exactly does in involve?

The name may be slightly off-putting for a few – clearly not for Kate and William – however the benefits sincerely out way the slightly hippy-ish name. I was drawn to taking Hypnobirthing classes during my first pregnancy 7 years ago as I wanted something a bit different from the norm. The thought of enduring labour was becoming a personal nightmare and I felt I was setting myself up for a really traumatic experience. WHY? Because I had unknowingly taken on everyone else’s perception of birth – the concern, the worry, the pain relief choices – it no longer looked like an achievable venture. Everyone was comparing it with having teeth pulled rather than the “best day of my life” event that I really wanted it to be.


I trawled the internet and Hypnobirthing became my saviour. I knew as soon as I read the book that there was a different way to birth. It didn’t need to be as traumatic as people had made it out to be and I learnt that I definitely didn’t need to be devoting time through my pregnancy worrying about labour – I needed to embrace it rather than fear it.

Persuading my husband that it was a good idea was the hard part – in his sceptical state we attended classes and soon progressed from hoping it would work to using so much of the skills penciled in for the birthing day throughout the pregnancy itself. Birthing companions learn tools and techniques to apply to their partners including massage, acupressure points, helping with breathing practice and most importantly how to encourage deep relaxation with exercises and scripts taught and practiced through the class time.


Our TMK correspondent, Rosie, used hypnobirthing techniques

So why may Kate and William have been drawn to Hypnobirthing? The program of the course teaches deep relaxation and self hypnosis as part of the core syllabus alongside the “regular” antenatal teachings of birth phases, birth physiology etc. The classes educate the mother to embrace the processes of labour and use the knowledge learnt on the course to relax into the birthing experience and work with her body at delivering baby in a smooth and calm way. Sounds a lot nicer than enduring it doesn’t it?  This approach means the deep relaxation and self-hypnosis allows the mind and body to work in complete harmony, very much the way nature intended women to birth.

One of the main draws for choosing Hypnobirthing for many couples is how much the course concentrates on the birthing companion’s role. It highlights what a hugely important role throughout the pregnancy and on the big day itself the partner has, teaching specific tools to offer support and help. Often partners will feel as though they are a spare part to a woman labouring and feel unable to participate in any way, however this approach helps any feelings of inadequacy and often strengthens the parents bond during the process. And if William is anything like my husband, he will use the techniques himself, as you can transfer these self-hypnosis skills to everyday living and benefit from the relaxation and confidence.


So with only a few days to go until the Royal baby is due, I hope Kate and William are practicing their relaxation and I, like many others, will eagerly await the details of how William Jr came into the world…..

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If you would like to know more about Hypnobirthing techniques, head over to New Life Sussex, where Claire is ready to help or to point you in the direction of a class near you.[/stextbox]