Katharine Graves tells us about Hypnobirthing

Katharine Graves is the founder of KG Hypnobirthing and the Hypnobirthing Association, who has personally taught hypnobirthing to over 2,000 couples, probably more than anyone else in the UK. Here she takes some time out of her busy day to share her knowledge with us…

I am happy to be giving MyBirthBox mums-to-be an introduction and overview of Hypnobirthing and hope they find the information useful. I think it’s most helpful to answer a few common questions, so I’ll start at the beginning; “What is Hypnobirthing?”…

Hypnobirthing is logical, gentle and profound. It has grown so quickly because, ten years ago, a few brave mothers did the course and it worked so well that they told all their friends. In the intervening ten years, it has grown exponentially and is now a well-known, accepted and effective form of antenatal preparation.

Hypnobirthing helps you release the fears and gives you the tools so that your body can give birth efficiently and comfortably in the way it is designed to do. The combination of easy to learn methods of breathing and deep relaxation and visualisation, combined with positive thought and language, reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety and fear and, as a result, reduce pain. Releasing fear is fundamental to the success of Hypnobirthing.

 

 

hypnobirthing-teacher-katharine-graves-smiling_400x400

Visual affirmations from KG Hypnobirthing:

hypno-affirmation-gentle-labour

 

body-softens-and-opens-wl

  • What is Hypnobirthing?

    Hypnobirthing is logical, gentle and profound. It has grown so quickly because, ten years ago, a few brave mothers did the course and it worked so well that they told all their friends. In the intervening ten years, it has grown exponentially and is now a well-known, accepted and effective form of antenatal preparation.

    Hypnobirthing helps you release the fears and gives you the tools so that your body can give birth efficiently and comfortably in the way it is designed to do. The combination of easy to learn methods of breathing and deep relaxation and visualisation, combined with positive thought and language, reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety and fear and, as a result, reduce pain. Releasing fear is fundamental to the success of Hypnobirthing.

  • What are the benefits of Hypnobirthing?

    • You are likely to experience a more comfortable and sometimes pain free birth.
    • Your baby will arrive to a serene and relaxed environment, alert and ready to bond with you as nature intended.
    • Length of labour is often much shorter with Hypnobirthing births.
    • Less drugs and medical intervention are used in Hypnobirthing births allowing your baby to develop naturally and easily after they arrive.
    • Mums often bounce back quicker after a Hypnobirthing birth as the physical impact of giving birth is reduced.
    • Your birth partner will learn how to support you and have a central and active role in the birth. A truly shared and loving experience.

    The benefits to you are obvious, but the long term benefits to your baby cannot be over-estimated.

    We repeatedly get wonderful birth stories of Hypnobirthing babies being calm, content and sleeping really well. They seem to thrive better. It may seem miraculous but this is how Hypnobirthing is designed to be.

  • Does it mean a pain free birth?

    Hypnobirthing works on the premise that it’s unnatural to have pain [in labour] in the first place. The root of the problem is fear because everybody ‘knows’ that birth is painful so people have a bad experience and they pass it round.

    HypnoBirthing cannot guarantee a pain free birth, but it can give a calm, gentle, more comfortable, birth, which may be pain free. It assists the mother to remain relaxed throughout the child-birth process, and is routinely demonstrated to give extensive pain relief during labour. I frequently get reports of women saying birth was the most empowering and wonderful experience and no drugs were needed.

  • Will I be hypnotised or in a trace to do it?

    Hypnobirthing is about helping you release any fears or worries you may have about birth and giving you information, knowledge, tools and techniques, to help you focus on you and your baby and enter a calm state of deep relaxation. You will be aware of your birth partner and what’s going on around you, but focussed on the relaxations and visualisations that you have practised. You could say that you were hypnotised into fear of birth by what you have seen on the media and the negative birth reports of those around you, and what we do in a hypnobirthing class is help you let go of this negative programming so your body can work in the way it is designed to do – efficiently and comfortably.

  • Does it work for everyone?

    It makes a difference to everyone. There is no special requirement or circumstance you need in place to be able to do hypnobirthing and you can apply the tools and techniques you learn in any birthing environment, even if your situation is not as you had hoped and planned for. To help you get the most from hypnobirthing, we encourage that you spend time at home practising your exercises, relaxations and visualisations to prepare.

  • Which course should I do?

    Our course is much, much more than a few techniques to use in labour, though we give you the techniques too. KG Hypnobirthing gives you the knowledge and the tools to have the best natural child birth for you.

    You need information and knowledge in order to get the best from the system in which you find yourself. You need to understand the implications of the choices you may be required to make.

    Most of all, you need to release fear and learn to trust your body, your instinct, and your baby. In order to do this, you need information and knowledge.
    But we can’t do it for you. We are the signpost. You make the journey. We regard it as our responsibility to give you all the information and support we possibly can to help you, and we will always be there for you to refer to after you have attended a class with us.

    Our Hypnobirthing course is constantly evolving to keep up-to-date with the latest evidence and research, and is now taught internationally: http://www.kghypnobirthing.com.

    There is also the Mogan method: http://www.hypnobirthing-uk.com and various local spin off classes you can find.

    It is important to check carefully the course you are proposing to do, as the content can vary considerably with different methods.

  • Can I just read a book or do an online course?

    People sometimes ask if buying The Hypnobirthing Book and the Colour and Calmness CD is sufficient without coming to a course. The honest answer is, ‘I don’t know’. For some mothers it is, but a course is certainly better. For many it isn’t (though it will always make a difference). The trouble is, you don’t know which category you come into until after your baby is born.

    On the KG course there is additional materials including books, CDs and handouts to support the course teachings to guide your practice at home.

  • When do I need to do it?

    Given the choice, I would advise doing the course in the second trimester of your pregnancy so you can enjoy the benefits during your pregnancy as well as at the birth of your baby. It is not so much a matter of learning facts so they are fresh in your mind, but more a matter of absorbing the information so that it becomes second nature, but KG Hypnobirthing works whenever you do it. I have taught a woman who gave birth two days later, and it worked perfectly well.

  • Does someone need to go with me?

    Your birthing partner doesn’t need to go with you, but he or she will be very glad if they did. Most fathers arrive at the course utterly sceptical and leave extremely enthusiastic. We don’t expect you to believe in it. Why should you? We do ask you to listen to the facts and the logic so you understand how important it is and the difference you as a father or birth companion can make. Have a look at the birth reports from fathers, and you can benefit from their experience.

    The caricature of a father at a birth is someone who is nervous, feeling responsible for the situation she is in, holding her hand and wishing he could help, but not knowing what to do.

    A hypnobirthing father is knowledgeable and able to support her as she gives birth. He is a huge asset in the birthing room, and many mothers say, ‘I couldn’t have done it without him.’ They have practised before the birth which brings them closer together, and he knows he has played an important part in how his baby enters the world. This deepens their relationship as a couple, and his relationship with his child.

    Many women have come to the course on their own if they have a husband who is away on business, as a single mum, if it’s a second baby and they can’t find a babysitter for their elder child, or any other reason and bringing a partner isn’t required for you to get the benefit from it.

  • How much does it cost?

    Fees vary depending on the course you are doing. The fee for you to attend a course taught by Katharine Graves as a couple or individual is £347.

  • What do I learn on a KG Hypnobirthing course?

    • Breathing exercises
    • Deep relaxations
    • Visualisations
    • Very effective work to release fear and build confidence
    • Comforting massage
    • How the father can be your powerful protector and support
    • How your body is designed to give birth with efficiency and comfort
    • Knowledge and information about the whole process
    • How ‘the system’ that you find yourself in works, and how to work with it to achieve the best result for you
    • A simple practice regime to support you at home
    • Understanding how the mind and body work together

Katharine Graves; Achieve a Hypnobirth

Suzanne Shaw talks to Katharine Graves about Hypnobirthing

My Birth Box

Join us at My Birth Box to get the latest news and offers