An Introduction to Hypnobirthing and Review of KGHypnobirthing Online Antenatal Course

I’ve always felt that birth is natural. Women have been doing it for a pretty long time so it shouldn’t be something we are scared of. Yes some people have bad experiences, yes some people need a higher level of support or medical intervention, but I believe for most people giving birth can be a calm and beautiful thing. My view isn’t so different to what I knew of hypnobirthing so when I was offered the chance to review an online antenatal course for KGHypnobirthing I was interested to find out more.

Hypnobirthing course to consider in pregnancy

What Is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is an approach to giving birth which involves relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques. Through positive thoughts and relaxation it empowers women to take control of their labour so pain is removed or, at least, less intense. 

The practising of the techniques helps to remove fear both during pregnancy and labour which results in a calmer birth where women trust their instincts and their body to birth their baby. At it’s core is the principle that when we are scared and our body goes into ‘fight-or-flight mode’ the hormones we most need in labour (like oxytocin, which encourages labour to progress and endorphins which numb pain and help you feel good) are inhibited.

How Do You Learn Hypnobirthing?

For couples interested in using hypnobirthing there are a number of ways to learn including:  attending a course, reading a book or doing an online hypnobirthing course. Whichever option you choose the most important part is practice, lots and lots of practice.

I was invited to review the KGHypnobirthing online course for parents. This is a full antenatal course divided into modules which allows you to follow at your own pace. The flexibility is great if you aren’t able to easily make it to a physical class and it provides more in depth information, support and tools than you would get from a book. The online course is designed to help mothers release fear and approach the birth of their baby feeling positive and with confidence.

About KGHypnobirthing

KGHypnobirthing was founded by Katharine Graves who has been teaching hypnobirthing for over 10 years. She has developed and adapted her courses over the years in response to client feedback and the needs of mothers’ and babies. 

Review of the KGHypnobirthing Online Antenatal Course

My biggest challenge, with 2 children already, was finding the time to listen to the modules and the essential time to practice. Katharine speaks in a slow soothing voice and whenever I tried listening to her in the evenings (often in bed) I would fall asleep. 

I will be completely honest and say that I did not put enough time in to follow the programme fully and if you want to get the most out of hypnobirthing you really need to take some time each day to practice. I would recommend starting as early in pregnancy as you feel comfortable with if you know you won’t have at least 15 minutes each day to practice. The more you fear birth as a starting point the more practice you will need to do.

The online antenatal course includes 12 hours of videos you watch online broken down into 19 varying length modules. You also have access to a digital version of The Hypnobirthing Book, relaxation audio MP3s, supporting documents you can print and a support group.

According to the website the course covers:

  • How your body is designed to give birth with efficiency and comfort
  • Very effective work to release fear and build confidence
  • Understanding how the mind and body work together
  • Breathing exercises
  • Deep relaxations
  • Visualisations
  • Comforting massage
  • How your birth partner can be your powerful protector and support
  • Knowledge and information about pregnancy and birth that you are unlikely to be told anywhere else
  • 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

There were many things I found interesting about the course and hypnobirthing. For instance the language people use has a big impact on how people feel about labour. It’s only after the course I have noticed just how much of the talk about birth focuses on it being incredibly painful. Having given birth 3 times now with pain relief consisting of no more than: paracetamol and TENs machine (first birth), gas & air and TENs machine (2nd birth) and warm water (3rd birth) I would say that while birth is intense I have not experienced the level of pain so many people talk about. Why is that? Based on what hypnobirthing teaches I believe it is because I have a relaxed approach to birth, the chemicals which aid birth haven’t been inhibited by fear and I have followed my body’s lead. I am not saying that it is someones fault if they have a painful or difficult labour, all births are different, but I do know a lot of mums who have feared giving birth, mums who weren’t able to relax and they had worse experiences which supports the theories.

The support during pregnancy and labour also makes a huge difference to how birth feels. I have had midwives who didn’t believe me when I said how I was progressing and midwives who have trusted and empowered me. To have the confidence to trust your body despite how a health professional behaves and to maintain positivity is something you learn with hypnobirthing.

One of the aspects of the language is use of “surge” instead of “contraction”. It’s also about asking people to stop when they start telling you horror stories and asking people to change their language around you if it is negative. 

36 week pregnant woman sitting on the floor

Is it worth learning Hypnobirthing for second or subsequent births? 

Most people look into antenatal classes for their first baby, but I think hypnobirthing can help people a lot if they have had a bad experience in an earlier birth. Yes if you found it painful and had complications etc you might scoff at some of the advice that it doesn’t need to hurt, but it becomes even more important to release that fear. If you had a particularly traumatic experience then you would probably benefit from a conversation with both your midwives and a Hypnobirthing teacher to understand what happened and enable you to be fully open to the Hypnobirthing approach.

Would I recommend the online KGHypnobirthing Antenatal course?

I think the information taught in the Hypnobirthing course is important for couples to know before the birth of their first baby to challenge the perceptions they may have developed from TV and media. The full Hypnobirthing approach won’t be for everyone, but everyone would benefit from taking this course.

The videos are at an easy to understand pace, but one of the benefits to the course is you can watch the video again as many times as you want (you have access to everything for a year). 

To get full benefit from the online course you need to have the time and discipline to watch the videos and practice. The course isn’t about sitting back and listening, it is interactive and you are expected to do exercises. Unlike a course you attend in person there is no one checking up on you, hence the need for discipline, but this balances out well with the flexibility to study when it suits you. 

If you are having a baby (whether first or subsequent) and attending a course in person isn’t convenient for you then I would recommend you consider the KGHypnobirthing online course. To really benefit you need to be motivated to find the time to fully follow the course and practice.

An introduction to hypnobirthing and a review of the kghypnobirthing online course

***Disclosure: I was given access to the KGHypnobirthing online antenatal course in exchange for providing an honest review***

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