According to a recent survey, three quarters of expectant mums found the thought of giving birth a terrifying experience.
But one Shrewsbury midwife is trying to lessen that fear for mothers-to-be using a new ante-natal technique called ‘Hypno Birthing’.
Annie Tyrrell is an experienced midwife at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital who has run ante-natal classes for many years. She now runs Shropshire HypnoBirthing and offers classes for expectant mums and dads at her home in Lea Cross.
The concept, which has its roots in an ancient idea by Aristotle, involves using deep relaxation and breathing techniques during child birth to take away the fear of pain and ease the birthing process.
HypnoBirthing claims to allow women to have their babies without the need for painkillers.
Annie explained: “Once you get rid of the fear you relax so the birthing muscles work as intended. You breathe your baby out. It allows the woman to have the best birth for her.
She added that the technique it is not like Derren Brown’s style of hypnotism but all about breathing and relaxation.
“You sit on a chair and there is music playing. You are really involved so you breathe with your contractions. There is different breathing for different stages of labour combined with visualisation. The woman is in a zone, she is fully aware of what is going on but she doesn’t want to talk.
“The babies come out calm and full of their mother’s love. This is an imprint for the future relationship. It is magical.”
Annie said classes involve learning about breathing techniques and watching videos of women giving birth using ‘HypnoBirthing’.
“You wouldn’t know the woman was in labour, when you work with your body labour is easy,” she said.
She said initially couples have been wary of the technique but have changed their mind once they begin the classes.
“Some of the men are very, very sceptical at first but once they realise how HypnoBirthing works they are totally on board,” she said.
The classes have built up a fan base with many mums and dads commenting on their success on the Shropshire HypnoBirthing website.
One father wrote: “The birth was fantastic! Rachel didn’t use any pain relief at all, and she was calm and in control throughout .She didn’t make a sound, just focussed totally on her breathing and listened to me.
“It was really calm and peaceful and lovely. I am totally in awe of her, she was absolutely brilliant!”
“The Hypno Birthing techniques were fantastic. It was a truly beautiful experience. Rachel says that she didn’t really feel any pain throughout, just pressure and tightening,” he continued.
Annie, who has been running the classes for two years, said many people have contacted her after hearing about the sessions through word of mouth.
She said: “I find quite a few people who do yoga and know about relaxation are interested in the classes. Lots of people have heard about it from others.
“I am holding a coffee morning on April 16 for the parents who have now had their babies using Hypno Birthing.”
The concept, which has been popular in London for many years, has been gaining more interest from people in Shropshire and Mid Wales. It is wonderful and I feel privileged to offer these classes,” Annie said.
The two and a half hour sessions run for five consecutive weeks, usually on a week day evening. Sessions can be booked any time from the 25th week of pregnancy. Group courses cost £280.
Annie works with four couples at a time because she said this dynamic works well. The next sessions will begin on Tuesday.
For more information visit http://www.shropshirehyp nobirthing.co.uk/ Or e-mail annie@shropshirehypno birthing.co.uk