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What is ‘hypnobirthing’?

What is ‘hypnobirthing’?

The Duchess of Cambridge has revealed she used hypnobirthing to cope during the delivery of her three children.

What is ‘hypnobirthing’?

While being interviewed by Giovanna Fletcher for the author and blogger’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, Catherine said her difficult pregnancies caused her to learn about hypnobirthing in an effort to make the births as smooth as possible.

So what is hypnobirthing?

It involves a range of relaxation and mindfulness techniques to help prepare and relax the body for labour.

The term was first coined by hypnotherapist Marie Mongan in her 1989 book HypnoBirthing: A Celebration of Life.

Hypnobirthing encourages a woman to become as relaxed as possible within the body and mind to encourage a quicker and less painful birth.

Meditation techniques used in hypnobirthing include deep breathing, visualisation, prompts from partners and positive affirmations to achieve “mind over matter”.

The Duchess was candid about how hypnobirthing assisted her during pregnancy, particularly when it came to using the techniques to help her deal with hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness.

“It was through hyperemesis that I really realised the power of the mind over the body because I really had to try everything and everything to try and get me through it,” she said.

“There are levels of it,” Kate said. “I’m not going to say that William was standing there sort of chanting sweet nothings at me – he definitely wasn’t!

“I didn’t even ask him about it, but it was just something I wanted to do for myself. I saw the power of it really, the meditation and the deep breathing and things like that – that they teach you in hypnobirthing – when I was really sick and I realised that this was something I could take control of, I suppose, during labour.”

The Duchess revealed the techniques were “hugely powerful” and even allowed her to enjoy labour.

“I actually really liked labour! Because actually, it was an event that I knew there was going to be an ending to. I really know some people do have really, really difficult times, and it’s not for everyone,” she said.

Click here to find out more about the Duchess’ revelations during the podcast.

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