Hypnobirthing: Stockport mum claims to help women deliver with NO noise or pain

For most expecting mothers, the idea of giving birth is absolutely terrifying.

Women’s labour pains versus a blow in the privates for a man has been the subject of furious debate between both genders for decades – but it’s understandable why women can go into childbirth feeling nervous.

These days, thousands of expectant mothers are receiving help from an unusual source to ensure that they get through the day in one piece: hypnotherapy.

After feeling the benefits of hypnosis during labour first-hand, Eleanor Gibbons-Modral, from Mellor in Stockport, gave up her job as a teacher to impart hypnobirthing techniques to mums-to-be full-time.

Eleanor told MM: “When I was pregnant, I was scared stiff about giving birth and screaming my head off in the room, so I was just researching things that might make you calm and relaxed.

“I knew that hypnotherapy can help people to stop smoking or lose weight so I wondered if it could help with giving birth and I discovered it could.

“I took the course myself and it was so amazing and worked so I decided then ‘right, I’m changing careers all women need to know about this!’ so I trained in it so I could become a teacher.”

Over the last few years, there has been a shift towards home births as more women look to take deliveries away from the clinical confines of a hospital room.

There has also been a growing desire to step away from the use of pain-relieving drugs during pregnancy to be fully conscious when bringing a new life into the world.

YOU’RE UNDER: Hypnobirths can be painless and silent (©Amie Cullen with thanks)

And hypnobirths are also quick as well as painless (and silent), claims Eleanor.

She said: “My own birth was brilliant, it was three hours and 21 minutes.

“Hypnobirths often tend to be quicker as women are not subconsciously fighting their bodies. I did it without drugs and just used gas and air when I was dilated 10cm.

“I had my eyes closed and did it in silence. There was so much going on around me but I just didn’t realise – I was completely in the zone,” she said laughing.

“I wouldn’t describe the feeling of labour as painful, it was just a slight discomfort. There was also no tearing which a lot of women obviously want to avoid.

“To be honest, I didn’t trust it completely, when I first came to check out the hospital before the birth I was still like, ‘can I change my mind and have the drugs?’ but it was such a nice birth I didn’t need them in the end.”

Eleanor insists that when she was under the spell during her own birthing experience, it was Mother Nature in charge instead of the mum-to-be herself.

“The science behind hypnobirthing is pretty simple,” she said.

“When you go into labour your body knows exactly what to do, your body floods with natural endorphins which is a natural pain relief to help you give birth.

“If you get scared your body produces adrenaline and the natural endorphins stop. The adrenaline stops your muscles from pushing out the baby as your body thinks you are in danger, so this slows down the labour or sometimes stops it all together.

“The hypnobirthing teaches you to keep calm and relaxed, and helps you have the best birth for you, whatever the labour throws at you.”

It is rumoured that hypnobirthing has fans in very high places and even got the royal seal of approval as it has been alleged that the Duchess of Cambridge listen to hypnobirthing CDs before giving birth to baby George.

Jessica Alba is another celebrity mum to endorse the practice and Angelina Jolie is said to have used hypnobirthing when she gave birth to Vivienne and Knox via caesarean.

As well as being a full antenatal class, Eleanor’s sessions will help mothers with particular breathing techniques to put themselves in a trance for when they go into labour.

“Everybody has heard horror stories about someone being in labour for 72 years and someone’s legs falling off. We watch One Born Every Minute and get scared and every birth on EastEnders and there’s never a normal birth it’s always dead dramatic and something goes wrong.

“We get conditioned into thinking it’s going to terrible, scary and that we can’t do it – but we can.

“We teach women to put themselves in trance, sidestep the voice that says I can’t and use the hypnosis track to plant positive messages about birth to recondition us into knowing that we can do it, tapping into your natural birthing instinct.”

The marriage of hypnotherapy and childbirth together is not a new idea, the first mention of using hypnotherapy in childbirth was by English obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read in 1942.

TINY FEET: Eleanor wants hypnobirths to be the best they can be (©Amie Cullen with thanks)

The idea of hypnotherapy often conjures up the idea of Derren Brown and cruise ship entertainment, which often leaves people feeling unconvinced about the practice.

Eleanor said: “Almost all of the dads who come are sceptics, they’ve often been dragged along by their other half and they just don’t buy it. They’re just like – prove it.

“If somebody’s a critic but you can’t prove it to them until their wives and girlfriends do it in labour. But then it’s always those people who will turn around and become the biggest advocate for hypnobirthing and shout the loudest as they are so amazed by it!”

Studies have also shown that babies who are born into a calm environment are often calmer, more likely to sleep through the night and less likely to have colic.

Eleanor’s course provides hypnotherapy techniques for expectant mothers which can also be used after their pregnancy.

“I think often a stumbling bock is the fact people have to pay,” Eleanor said.

“We provide taster sessions and it’s then when couples realise this is worth paying the money for.

“People spend £20,000 on their wedding yet they don’t get themselves ready for the special day and the actual birth. They may have bought all the cute bits and pieces but not on the actual labour itself.

“When you think about what you spend on things for the baby, it’s not a lot and it is giving a baby the best start.

“What we do is ensure that whatever birth your turn takes, you have the best birth you could have had for you and your baby.”

For more information, visit Eleanor’s website.

All images courtesy of Amie Cullen with thanks

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