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Hypnobirthing - more than birth preparation

  • by Wiebke Madden - Feb 14, 2024

As with all classes at Maitri, the teachers and facilitators are freelance, so do contact Wiebke directly for bookings or further information. She also offers mum & baby yoga with a focus on mum recovering after birth, and hope to offer pregnancy yoga in time. Visit her website here: where you can also find a full version of the article.

You might also be interested in parent & baby-in-sling dance classes with us!



When I was pregnant with my first child, I didn’t really think about any additional birth preparation. I took part in antenatal classes offered by the NHS, and I did pregnancy yoga as I couldn’t do my normal yoga routine any longer. I thought that I probably should keep doing some sort of movement rather than stopping it completely. Physical birth preparation is probably as important as mental birth prep, which is why pregnant women should always try to stay fit throughout pregnancy. That can be a daily walk, swimming, yoga, or any other form of gentle exercise. But how would you prepare mentally and is this important? Why would you do Hypnobirthing? Isn’t that the same as an antenatal class?

What does Hypnobirthing do for you?

A Hypnobirthing course is a complete birth preparation program, that teaches for one the psychology of birth: how your mind triggers the production of certain hormones during pregnancy and labour which can either disrupt the natural flow of your physiology OR can help it to work more efficiently (we aim for the last one of course). Hypnobirthing teaches you how to stay calm and relax on demand, to avoid the stress hormone adrenaline and support the production of good birth hormones (oxytocin and endorphins) instead, which are needed to reduce the reception of pain and also to make labour most efficient. Hypnobirthing brings back our primal instincts: birth is a very natural and instinctive process for our body. A Hypnobirthing course further makes you understand the maternity system, your birth rights, options available and how to make truly informed decisions – which is crucial in birth too, since it is YOUR body, YOUR baby, YOUR choice.

Why does a positive mind-set matter for labour?

If we are honest, we all have a lot of worries, fears and concerns when we think about labour and birth. If I would ask you to write down the first three things that come to mind when you think about birth, you probably would come up mainly with negative thoughts. like traumatic birth scenarios shown on TV. The problem is that if we expect birth to be negative, it probably will be negative. On the other hand, if you don’t expect pain and don’t fear birth and have a positive mindset about birth, your body will stay relaxed and will only produce good hormones which support an easier, efficient and more comfortable birth, which leads to a positive birth experience.

What has that to do with the hypnosis part?

We do not assume that everyone is scared of birth. But we all can get caught up in that cycle, if birth takes an unexpected turn or if you feel out of control, feel unheard, feel vulnerable etc. During a Hypnobirthing course we go into detail, how our mind works and why we cannot know if and when a moment of stress and the production of adrenaline gets triggered. To break the cycle and calm your mind and body on demand is then crucial. And this is what we do in Hypnobirthing: women using hypnosis, breathing techniques and the knowledge provided in Hypnobirthing report feeling like they are safe in their birth bubble or somehow lost in their birth dream but still focused and absolutely in control.

Can I not just decide to stay relaxed during labour?

Well, not really. Relaxation is a skill and needs a bit of practice, especially if you want to relax on demand in challenging situations or moments of stress. Relaxation is trained with some breathwork and hypnosis techniques, where you focus all your energy on your breath and your mind. The more often you practice certain breathing techniques to calm your mind, especially connected to some form of visualisation, the easier and faster you will learn how to relax on demand. Did you know that these cognitive techniques are not only used for birth prep, but also for other mental work such as grief or anger management or even to reduce anxieties or panic attacks e. g. quite a powerful tool.

Why is relaxation during birth needed?

Relaxation is key during pregnancy and birth to have a positive and calm birth experience and to also stack the odds in your favor for a straightforward and easy birth. Often women end up being exhausted in labour as their tense muscles work harder than they should, as their breath isn’t ideal to save energy, as their body is just not working as efficient as it could be. Further down the line this can lead to interventions such as inductions, medication, assisted births or c-sections.

That being said, taking part in a Hypnobirthing course will not guarantee you a straightforward birth. It will not guarantee you a certain outcome. It can’t. Every birth is unique and can take unexpected turns. But it can train your body and mind to best support your baby’s birth. It prepares you for birth properly to have the most positive birth experience – regardless of if it’s a natural waterbirth, homebirth, assisted or cesarean birth.

The knowledge gained and the tools given during a Hypnobirthing training will help you to stay in control of your own experience and to go into labour with complete confidence, for you both, you, and your birth partner.

If you are interested in Hypnobirthing or if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me personally or find more info on


Wiebke Madden

Hypnobirthing Coach | Mum & Baby Yoga Teacher

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Maitri Studio Limited
4 The Mount, Belfast, BT5 4NA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9099 2428

Company number: NI635546