The Hypnobirthing Mindset Myth

Updated: Aug 4


So I am going to talk about something a little bit controversial today and some of you may not may or may not agree with me. But it's how I feel and I have been thinking about for a while

and it's the part of the whole hypnobirthing world that I don't really like.


You may or you may not have noticed that I don't tend to use the word hypnobirthing very often. I tend to avoid calling myself hypnobirth teacher. I tend to use the word GentleBirth instructor or sometimes call myself a positive birth coach. The reason that I don't use the word hypnobirth is that there is the message or a perception that’s out there, that if you just listen to hypnobirthing tracks and have a positive mindset then your baby is just going to fall out of you. It’s going to be roses and dolphins and butterflies and this mystical experience if you are relaxed and have the right mindset.


And of course, as some of you may know who have already had babies, that’s not necessarily true. I'm sure you've seen that sometimes the hypnobirthing world sells this idea itself and then obviously that doesn't happen to some women. So, then these women are traumatized or they're disappointed because they don't get this birth that there thought they were going to get just by listening to their tracks.


So I don't use the word hypnobirthing sometimes for that reason because to me it takes MORE than a positive mindset. Now, mindset is really important and I teach a lot about that in my workshops. And I get my clients do a lot of practice up front to develop that mindset. But this is not the only thing they need to do or practice. If your baby is in a poor position or are told you need an induction or you end up with C-section then mindset is often not enough. You need other things either to prevent you getting into that position or to help you cope with the situation you find yourself in. So you need your pain relief measures, you need your birth partner support, you need to be educated on all the interventions etc in order to get that positive birth that you want.


It's not just about being as relaxed as possible, there's more to it than that. I had a client recently who had that birth where it was a two hour labor and she said genuinely “I didn't even have to push the baby, she just came out”. So, she had that birth that everybody wants and dreams about. But she did ALL the preparation beforehand. She did her hypnobirthing tracks and mindset stuff, but we ALSO did a heck of a lot of work to get her baby in the right position because she had a history of back-to-back babies. Her partner learned pain relief measures because she wanted to avoid an epidural again as she knew that would impact her positioning and possibly result in another back-to-back baby. She got herself educated with me on her interventions and she said no to things like sweeps and inductions that she knew would put her greater risk of not having the birth that she wanted. So she got her amazing birth because not only did she work on her mindset, but she learned all these other things and put them into practice.


Some women are lucky and have a similar type of fabulous birth as my client. But do you really want to rely on luck? Yes, you can’t always control everything about your birth but you can control the controllables. It's not about having this idealized birth with the rainbows and the roses. I teach you skills and tools to cope with whatever happens during your birth and how to have a positive experience no matter what way your birth goes.


So that’s why I use the term positive birth coach or gentle birth teacher because I think it's a bigger term than hypnobirth. What I teach you is bigger than just mindset. It’s everything you need for your positive birth. So, if you’re preparing for your birth don’t just rely on mindset tools alone. Make sure you have tools for pain relief, your birth partner knows how to support you, and that you’re both educated on birth and all the interventions. All these together are the keys to a positive birth.