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A Sage Birth is a wise birth...

How does hypnobirthing work?

The term "hypnobirthing" always seems to cause people to cringe. However, the "hypno" bit refers to hypnotherapy where language and relaxation are used to guide a person to unlearn the fears and assumptions that are stored in their subconscious.  


When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, think back to any TV show, or film, you have watched where someone is giving birth. It's often a scene filled with drama, emergency, fear, and panic, right? Usually the woman pictured is on her back, very vulnerable, and being coached to push by well-meaning health professionals and beeping machines. On top of this, I imagine you've probably heard many horror stories from friends, friends of friends, family members, and colleagues. All of this information does a stellar job of filling your sub-conscious with fear, a sense of danger, and a disbelief that natural childbirth could work.

​In hypnobirthing, you are encouraged to turn off One Born Every Minute, and instead to seek out positive birth stories, and over time rewrite the narrative in your mind to believe that natural birth is safe, wonderful, and empowering.​


A pregnant woman at an antenatal class is kissed on her bump by her toddler

If you enter labour in a state of fear, you are likely to then feel tense in your body which leads to sensations feeling more painful. Have a go just now at stretching out a tight set of muscles, like your hamstrings, and you'll see what I mean. Gritting your teeth and holding your breath? Yeah I bet that hurts! Now, try exhaling, smiling, and releasing tension in your jaw and shoulders. Suddenly, the same exercise becomes powerful rather than painful. This is how hypnobirthing works. In a state of calm, the sensations of labour can be seen as powerful, strong, and maybe uncomfortable, rather than necessarily something painful. 

Fear Hormones

If you are in a state of fear, you are also likely to be producing adrenaline. Adrenaline is part of your fight or flight alarm system and is a really useful hormone if you are being attacked or come face to face with a sabre tooth tiger. It causes your heart rate and breathing to speed up and blood to rush to your extremities, ready for action. ​In the first stage of labour, when your uterus is contracting and releasing, and your cervix is opening and thinning, this is not useful.


For things to work optimally, your parasympathetic nervous system needs to be activated; this is the state of calm and rest. ​When you are in a state of calm, blood can flow optimally to your uterus, which is working hard to prepare your body for your baby's birth. The hormones of physiological birth can also flow and operate optimally when you feel calm and relaxed.

A newborn has been born by hypnobirthing by water birth in a birth pool

If adrenaline is your enemy, in the first stage of labour, then oxytocin is your best friend. Oxytocin is the LOVE hormone that makes you feel warm and fuzzy. When you are calm, confident, and relaxed, and are left undisturbed, in a quiet, dark space, then oxytocin will flow optimally and support how well your body functions in labour. When oxytocin flows optimally your body will also release endorphins, which are the body's own natural pain killer which can ease the sensations of your uterus contracting and releasing and help the experience to feel pleasurable, rather than painful. 

Hormones in a physiological birth

Will hypnobirthing make my birth pain free?

I can't promise that hypnobirthing will make your birth pain free because pain is entirely subjective. Certainly, having oxytocin and endorphins flowing, and your body being in the calm state of the para-sympathetic nervous system, you are more likely to be relaxed and experience the sensations of labour as powerful, or even pleasurable, rather than painful.  

Is hypnobirthing only for natural, water births?

Although you may be encouraged to plan and prepare for something like a natural, water birth, if that's your vibe, the beauty of hypnobirthing is that it equips you with a toolkit to feel in control and with techniques you can use in all kinds of births, from induction of labour, to caesarean sections. For a caesarean section, you can enter a deep state of calm, and confidence, when entering the operating theatre, and meet your baby blissfully, ready to bond. You can even plan for a "gentle caesarean" which aims to mimic aspects of a calm, natural birth, so you and your baby have a calm and peaceful birth experience.

a newborn cuddles her mother an antenatal class teacher

Why you should choose Sage Birth

A hypnobirthing antenatal teacher smiles at the camera
  • You will be offered a comprehensive 12 hour hypnobirthing programme. This will give you plenty of time to ask questions, consolidate your knowledge, and build up confidence.

  • I have completed my Diploma in KG Hypnobirthing, the original UK hypnobirthing course and gold standard of teacher training. 

  • As a Clinical Associate Psychologist I am uniquely positioned to understand birth from a psychological perspective and explain the mind-body connection to you in a way that is rational and scientific. 

  • Having completed post-graduate research (MSc, MSc)  I am skilled at understanding research, critiquing literature,  breaking down statistics, referencing clinical guidelines, and shifting through the noise. 

  • I am passionate about supporting women to maximise their power. Birth is a feminist issue. 

  • I am also a mother to two lovely children. I get it. The birth of your baby is a day you will never forget and I want that to be full of joy and magic for you and your baby. You only get to do it once. Completing this course is the best gift you can give yourself, and your baby, during pregnancy. 

What is included on your hypnobirthing course?

The Sage Birth hypnobirthing course offers you complete antenatal education, with all the benefits of hypnobirthing, over a 12 hour programme. On the course we will cover:

  • Physiology of birth

  • Breathing techniques for different stages of labour

  • Relaxation strategies

  • The stages of labour

  • Birth places 

  • Asking questions and making informed decisions

  • Methods of induction of labour

  • Types of pain relief 

  • The role of the birth partner

  • What happens once baby has arrived 

What's really important about hypnobirthing
though, is the way it makes you feel.


During your pregnancy, being armed with knowledge of birth physiology softens your fear of the unknown. Understanding birth choices, and making a detailed birth plan, eases your uncertainty. Knowing how to ask questions, and how to work collaboratively with your caregivers, strengthens your resolve and sense of autonomy. Approaching birth in a calm, and relaxed, state helps you imagine your baby's birth as joyous and serene, not something to be feared. In combination, you will be a confident couple, ready to trust your body, your intuition, and your baby.

a hypnobirthing antenatal teacher's baby yawns on a sheepskin rug
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