Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

Natal Hypnotherapy "v's" Hypnobirthing

(32 Posts)
angfirsttimer Sun 29-Nov-09 15:09:17

Can someone tell me what the difference is? I bought a CD for Natal Hypnotherapy from the NCT website, and it says throughout the information with it please dont confuse us with hypnobirthing.
Have any of you tried the natal hypnotherapy?

heth1980 Sun 29-Nov-09 19:36:17

I've got a natal hypnotherapy CD too. As far as I can make out hypnobirthing and natal hypnotherapy are just 2 different brand names for the same thing! I could be wrong though as I only looked into it briefly.......interested to see what anyone else thinks.

littleomar Sun 29-Nov-09 19:42:00

hypnobirthing is a brand, and i've heard it's quite geared to the way women tend to give birth in the USA (ie doctor-led).

hypnotherapy is a generic term. i had a tailored hypnotherapy session in my first pregnancy. i found it really good for sleeping towards the end of the pregnancy but i'm so knackered this time round i haven't needed it yet. i also swear it helped me go into labour spontaneously when i was threatened with induction. worth a go, anyway.

beautifulgirls Sun 29-Nov-09 19:45:18

I used natal hypnotherapy on a recommendation from a friend, and got on ok with it. Can't comment on the hypnobirthing as I haven't experienced it.

Monsy Mon 30-Nov-09 09:12:11

My son was born using hypnobirthing last year. I don't think it really makes much difference which you use, the general idea is that you are relaxed through your pregnancy, do yogic (stomach up and down) breathing in labour and use the hypno music in the labour room to relax you more. You then try to focus on the techniques but when I was in labour i forgot all the techniques and just focussed on the breathing and hypnotic music and it worked for me and I had a very easy time. I really recommend any kind of hypnotherapy for labour and pregnancy.

Caitni Mon 30-Nov-09 11:13:22

As I understand it they're effectively the same thing - self-hypnosis for birth. But "HypnoBirthing" is an actual brand/trademark type method designed by Marie Mongan.

I've got the natal CD but have decided to do a hypnobirthing weekend too. It's not an actual "HypnoBirthing" one, as those Mongan classes need to be run over 5 nights (which was just way too much of a time commitment for us, on top of our 8 weekly sessions of NCT classes) but is run by a former Mongan method teacher Katharine Graves

Ang you're from the March antenatal thread as well aren't you? I'm also a first timer due in March (2 March). It's getting closer for us now grin

angfirsttimer Mon 30-Nov-09 11:37:13

Thanks ladies thats what I thought.

Listened to the natal Hypnotherapy CD last night on my Ipod and ended up crying! - bloody hormones. I think it was the way she made birth sound so beautiful - if only!

Hi Caitni, yes I am also due March 2nd! It feels as though once xmas is out of the way its going to go so quickly! I am manically reading every childbirth and birth techinique book under the sun to try to get my head around the whole thing!

mumabee Mon 30-Nov-09 12:12:12

Hi, interesting thread as I am due in May and am trying to decide which one, if any, to go for.

I found this comparison (halfway down the page) on the Natal Hypnotherapy site, which ties in with the other posts on the thread :


reikizen Mon 30-Nov-09 12:18:30

I used natal hypnotherapy for dd2's birth and I didn't realise how much it had helped me until I attended a training day for professionals held by Maggie Howell (the woman behind natal hypnotherapy). It was a wonderful birth, and the training was very inspiring. I plan to take it further as part of my midwifery career. No experience of hypnobirthing personally.

Bicnod Mon 30-Nov-09 12:28:19

I did hypnobirthing - I think it helped. This is the course I did (SW London). The course was really good and the CDs/book were helpful as well. I will definitely do a refresher course if I have another baby. I was the only person in my NCT group to do hypnobirthing and I definitely had the most positive birth experience and went into it with a positive and relaxed attitude. I can honestly say I wasn't frightened and stayed in control the whole way through. Partly down to luck I'm sure but I think the hypnobirthing had something to do with it.

whensmydayoff Mon 30-Nov-09 15:23:35

angfirsttimer the difference is, if you had done the actual hypnobirthing course, you'd never have said "-if only"!!!

Ive done course recently after traumatic first birth (emerg c-section) and can't wait until the birth in 5 weeks.

....off to hug a tree!!

Lollyb1 Tue 01-Dec-09 09:43:24

hypnobirthing is american version and gets you to swop words that might possibly have negative connotations for others eg surges instead of contractions. I find this actually increases stress as a midwife as you are so desperate not to say the wrong thing and "spoil" the hypnosis effect. Natal hypnotherapy actually deals with the negativity attached to the words and deals with fears and anxieties more directly. All hypnosis is essentially the same, it is just that they are slightly different approaches. Natal Hypnotherapy also is associated with a lower rate of caesarian, just 9%, compared to 15% for hypnobirthing and 25% ish national rate for caesarian. I used Natal hypnotherapy for both my previous homebirths and also for conceiving number 2 and three (I'm currently 8 weeks pregnant!) I didn't feel the need for any pain relief at all, had no intervention, no stitches and two beautifully calm, quiet and relaxed birth. Highly recommended!!

GracieGirl Tue 08-Dec-09 11:01:47

Don't buy the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs full price from the website, get them cheap from Ebay! Mine cost about £5 each not £40 for a set of 4 from the website.

puddock Wed 09-Dec-09 11:24:06

I am a cheapskate and borrowed both the Mongan HypnoBirthing book + CD and the Howells NH CD from my SIL. Both quite interesting, but I found the voice on the Mongan CD annoying so only listened to it once. I put the Howells one on my mp3 player and listened to it maybe a dozen times when resting (often dropped off by the end).
I am a fairly sceptical person but I really do think it helped me feel less anxious - and less fear means less adrenalin and more chance for the oxytocin to flow and move things along.

MillyMollyMoo Wed 09-Dec-09 13:33:15

Hypnobirthing does rely heavily on the birth partner and mine forgot everything on the day, it all went out of the window.
I still got to 4cm without feeling a thing though and I believe I coped much much better than if I'd done no preparation at all.

oobs Sat 12-Dec-09 15:11:59

i did natal hypnotherapy cd's. really calmed me down and i didn't really panic despite things going wrong in labour (birth partner being sent away, being left alone, bitch of an uncaring unhelpful midwife, waters not breaking, labour pausing) ended up with a natural birth just a bit of gas and air as i really felt i could cope and make it happen naturally doesn't stop the pain though!
saying that though, when the midwives hooked me up to the machine they found i was contracting regularly and with more strength than the woman in the bed next to me who was rolling around in pain. i honestly couldn't feel a thing until much later.

prittypea Tue 20-Jul-10 23:47:30

I did Hypnobirthing and gave birth to 2 of my children using the techniques and loved the fact that my husband was involved! The techniques helped not only me but my hubby too, so that we could really enjoy the experience which I am still on a massive high about a year later as i was able to deliver, very comfortably my own babies!! (brag brag)
My husband and i are even closer than ever due to this life changing experience which the techniques also helped change other areas of our lives. I really put this down to the whole hypnobirthing experience and would highly recommend it to anyone making sure you have a fantastic practitioner - which I did. The course I went to was on Hampstead High Street. Definately worth spending the extra on. Will be goin back to the same course practitioner if I have anymore. I haven't yet read any comments on Natal Hypnotherapy in the same way. Anyone??

NoseyNooNoo Wed 28-Jul-10 12:25:46

Mumabee - thanks for the comparison link - it was quite shocking. I am a HypnoBirthing Practitioner and can confirm that what is said about HypnoBirthing on that page is just not true. It makes me feel realy upset actually.

Bizarrely, the founder of Natal Hypnotherapy is an expert because she has been involved in 4 births. I think this says it all...

Maggie Howell here - founder of natal hypnotherapy. Just to clarify to Noseynoonoo, I have been called an "expert" based on the fact that I have been a clinical Hypnotherapist for 9 years, a trained Doula since 2003, founder of an award winning series of hypnosis CDs which have reached in excess of 50,000 women, Author, expert for Pregnancy and baby magazine, trainer of more than 500 midwives...of yes and mother of 5 home born children.

hmmm not entirely convinced by the comparisons on natal hypno site - it seems to pick and choose info to suit - such as using US c-section stats..... (and I havent tried either course yet!). Being in SWales though, I have no option so will be off hypnobirthing (although i do like the idea of DH being very invloved anyway, even if he doesnt!)

japhrimel Mon 08-Nov-10 18:25:51

Hypnobirthing is an American method that is more full-on (it's more usual to do a full course, costing hundreds of pounds) and (IMO) more "woo-ey".

I chose the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs as I didn't like the American accent with Hypnobirthing CDs, didn't want to do a full-on course, didn't feel that the attitude of HypnoBirthing was for me and just wanted help to learn techniques that I could use no matter what happens with the birth.

Because of OC, I've gone from hoping for a natural home water birth to facing the possibility of early induction. IMO Natal Hypnotherapy is more flexible to change in circumstances than Hypnobirthing (which is more of the attitude that interventions are bad - not helpful when I may well need them to save my baby hmm ).

SVH78 Mon 08-Nov-10 18:52:04

Maggie - I have the pregnancy relaxation CD and find it very sueful. I am in South West London and really want to go on a natal hypnotheraoy course. What is the best way to find my closest practitioner? I did e-mail someone from the webiste but did not get a response.

SVH78 Mon 08-Nov-10 18:52:27

Of course I meant useful not sueful!!

yellowtomato Tue 09-Nov-10 09:50:41

prittypea I know your comments were a while ago but can you give me the details of the course you attended in Hampstead? it sounds great! thank you

FindingMyMojo Tue 09-Nov-10 10:06:38

I used the natal hypno-birthing CD & loved it. It was really very useful tool.

I would have loved to do a hypno-birthing course but they are quite expensive - that is what put me off.

SVH78 - We have a great practitioner in Ewell called Jill Mcandrew who is running the one day Natal Hypnotherapy workshops - go to our site and you can get the dates. There are 2 seperate workshops - one for the hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques and one for practical birth preparation covering massage, physiology, birth partners etc. They are £95 each. Hope that helps.

PinkElephant73 Wed 10-Nov-10 20:29:54

I have a completely open mind about hypnotherapy in general, but I borrowed the Hypnobirthing book from the library and hated it.

It is very "Americanised" and is constantly promoting "Hypnobirthing" as a brand. It also starts with a horror story about the author's experience giving birth in a US hospital in the 50s which bears no relation to what you may experience in a UK maternity ward today, but gives the strong message that hospitals and medical intervention are "bad".

There is a lot of smug talk about "Hypnobirthing mums" and it actually says that HCPs will be in awe of you as you "birth" your baby which I found laughable.

The book advocates the use of castor oil to induce overdue labour which I believe goes completely against current advice in this country.

I wont be buying the CDs needless to say. A lot of it is basic common sense relaxation
techniques and visualisation which I am already familiar with from going to a yoga class, no need to spend hundreds of pounds on attending commercial training courses if you ask me.

pleasantlyoutofdepth Wed 10-Nov-10 23:39:08

I think hypnobirthing has a much gentler approach than people seem to be implying- maybe the book seems a tad more fanatical because this was a totally new movement in the area of childbirth when the author was pioneering it (she's been developing it since the late 50s)and therefore she had to demonstrate a clear and unerring belief in her new system?

This other system sounds like a version of her original method, with toned down elements to fit in better with british sensibilities which is fab, if it makes you more comfortable with the whole thing and you glean the benefits. But dealing directly with the fear through self-hypnosis was the founding concept behind the Mongan method and is totally central to it. Replacing some of the terminology is part of it and I think that whilst some of it is a bit airy-fairy some of it could do with changing as implications can sometimes be scary or unhelpful.

I found the book clear and very informative on the whole historical background of childbirth, examining why so many women are fearful at the prospect. It's certainly helping me to understand and overcome my own fears. I reckon we should get far more reassurance that childbirth can be uncomplicated and natural- before this I'd hardly ever seen it depicted as anything other than traumatic and destined to go wrong in some way.

The only really wide of the mark thing anyone's said is that it's geared toward dr-led birth and frowns on any form of intervention. It frowns on any unnecessary intervention (of which there is a great deal as it's become the accepted norm) and as such it supports a woman's capability to deliver rather than her unquestioning reliance on the advice of practitioners who favour the more medicalised approach to birth.

I recommend it, so far. It seems a healthy way to approach childbirth, which focusses on improving the experience of birth and giving some of the power back to women so they can do what came naturally to them before it was all distorted through ignorance and religious fanaticism. What's not to like?

CountBapula Wed 10-Nov-10 23:59:10

I used the natal hypno cds and found them v useful for relaxation towards the end of my pregnancy, especially as I found it really hard to sleep. I ended up going over dates and being induced, so had a very intense labour. The hypno techniques were very helpful in the early stages but by the time I was in active labour it didn't really touch the sides, though the breathing techniques helped me gulp down as much entonox as possible. I got through it on gas and air only though so maybe it did help. Still fucking hurt though grin

CaliforniaStars Thu 11-Nov-10 10:14:53

I have no experiance of natal hypnotherapy, but prior to the birth of my daughter I attended a hypnobirthing course (using the Marie Mongan method.) I have to say, I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Our teacher was brilliant (a big part of making the whole thing a success) and included general advice in the course to avoid having to take a NCT class too. My daughter was born at home and the birth was actually enjoyable (sorry if this sounds really smug but it's true!). My son was born last year in hospital also using hypnobirth.

pinkelephant73 - you may well laugh at this, but on both occasions the midwives caring for us commented at the end that they didn't see births like that often and were amazed at how relaxed, calm and in control I was. On both occasions we were pretty much left alone right up until the very end. I realise this sounds very cheesy, but it's true!

I would defintiely reccomend it. Having said all this, I don't believe I was hypnotised at any point. It's all about deep relaxation, going with and not fighting your body, and breathing. Your partner does play a large role too. In answer to some of the other posters comments, yes it does say that we should change the language of labour (contraction / surge) but it's up to you how far you take this (we didn't ask our midwives to use any of this language. We just asked them to honour our calm environment).

I do also agree with pinkelephants comments about yoga helping though. Essentially (for me) it was just about deep relaxation, and if you can find this another way then that might work just as well for you!

CaliforniaStars Thu 11-Nov-10 10:27:10

Just to add something further, I think your committment and belief in something plays such an important role. I think that whatever method you choose - natal hypnotherapy, yoga, hypnobirth - if you believe in it enough it'll work as well for you as any of the others. The power of positive thinking and having a focus (method) of any kind that you believe in can only be beneficial. Labour is such an unknown and potentially scary thing for lots of people. If you go into it armed with something you feel confident will help, chances are it will.

My other advise would be not to take it too seriously. We never wrote birth plans, because ultimately anything could happen,and as lovely as 'breathing your baby out' sounds, you never know what's going to happen. Stay open minded.

ReshmaHypnobirthing Tue 15-Jul-14 07:38:19

I know that this thread is quite old. As this has popped up again I wanted to give my details as I am sure some ladies might be curious as to who taught prittypea! I teach in NW and SW please follow www.hypnoclinic.net to see the course options. Bicnod we would love to see you again for a refresher! Happy birthing ladies, whichever course you choose to take will be the right one for you. I truly believe that we are guided to what is right for us

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now