Do you need to do a hypnobirthing course, or is a book enough?

Hypnobirthing is becoming more and more popular every year. It is a trend that will continue, because more women are spreading the word after their positive births. Plus hypnobirthing is in the mainstream media a lot now. There has been a rise of celebrities including Kate Middleton, Fearne Cotton and Giovanni Fletcher who have all spoken positively about their hypnobirths.

With this rise in popularity there are more ways than ever to study hypnobirthing. There are different brands, as well as different teaching methods. In fact there is so much choice now, that it can often seem over whelming knowing where to start. On top of that, everything is priced very differently. A course might cost over £300, whereas a book might only cost £10. So one of the burning questions that inevitably comes up is – do you need to do a hypnobirthing course, or is reading a book enough? Because for that £300 you could buy a lot of books!

The benefits of a hypnobirthing course

There are many benefits to completing an in person hypnobirthing course, compared to studying online or reading a book. Here is a breakdown of some of the reasons why I think a course is better:

  • A hypnobirthing course can be tailored to your individual needs, especially when you book a private one to one course. A book does not know your circumstances, or the reasons why you want to study hypnobirthing. For example, are you a first time Mum needing lots of information on the birth process? Or are you a second time Mum that had a traumatic first time experience and needs extra help relaxing? A good hypnobirthing instructor can focus on areas that you need extra help with.
  • It’s often hard to find dedicated time to practice hypnobirthing, especially with your birth partner. By doing a course, you are committing to at least ten hours of practice together. When you buy a book, you might have good intentions of lots of practice, but sometimes life gets in the way. It’s also really nice to make discoveries together and talk about it straight away.
  • I personally found it hard to convince my husband to read a hypnobirthing book. Not hard, impossible! By doing a hypnobirthing course together, he had to show up and pay attention. He never did get round to reading the book, but was a brilliant birth partner because he learnt everything he needed to know from the course.
  • You get personal touches from a hypnobirthing instructor, that you won’t get from a book or online course. This could be goody bags, messages of encouragement and even pep talks when you’re in labour.
  • Pregnancy can often change, and is not always straight forward. If your personal situation changes, an instructor can help you to understand your situation better and help you to find out what options are available to you.
  • Then there’s the obvious, if you book a group hypnobirthing course you have the chance to make friends. To meet other couples at the same stage of pregnancy as you, to share experiences with, and who will eventually have children the same age as you.

What if you can’t afford a hypnobirthing course?

If you can’t afford a hypnobirthing course, a cheaper online version or book might seem like the next logical answer. But is it going to give you all the tools and help needed for an amazing birth? If you think a hypnobirthing course is best for you, why not message some teachers and see what your options are. Most offer payment plans (I do), some offer discounts for lower income families and some offer pay what you can afford. Unless you ask, you won’t know what is available.

What is there isn’t a hypnobirthing course or teacher in your area?

As popular as hypnobirthing is now, inevitably there are going to be areas where courses are not available. But with modern technology you can still attend a full hypnobirthing course. Lots of teachers now offer classes over skype. This has the added benefit of you can book a teacher that really suits you, rather than just who is closest to you.

There are always going to be situations where a hypnobirthing course is really not possible, so what then? My advice is to read a few hypnobirthing books. That way you’ll get different perspectives and find out what works for you. You can also join online forums and communities for advice and positive stories. I really believe a hypnobirthing course leads to better births, but as with anything, some knowledge and practice is better than none.

If you would like to know more about your birth options, and how to start preparing for a positive birth, you can contact me here.

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