This is a question that I am often asked, so I thought I would share with you when I recommend to attend a hypnobirthing course and why.
I always suggest that you begin your hypnobirthing course when you are between 20-30 weeks into your pregnancy. As our course runs for 4 weeks, this will mean that you will be somewhere between 24-34 weeks when the course finishes which is perfect! This is generally earlier than the standard hospital antenatal classes, and I know that it can feel like your birth is still quite far away - but there are some important reasons why I recommend this timing.
Firstly, completing the course early gives you plenty of time to condition your mind and practice the techniques. The subconscious part of our mind is where our deep seated memories, fears, beliefs, emotions and images are held. In our class we use self-hypnosis, affirmations and other techniques to reprogram these beliefs, so that your ‘inner dialogue’ about birthing is more positive, and your fears are not at the forefront of your mind. This can take time, which is why we recommend listening to your hypnobirthing hypnosis and affirmation tracks daily if possible, or at least a couple of times a week. This is so powerful, and really affirms the positive beliefs that we develop in the course. If you begin the course at 24 weeks and practice the techniques regularly - buy the time you reach your estimated due date you would have likely spent over 36 hours conditioning your mind and releasing those negative beliefs and thoughts. This is so powerful! If you attended a course at 37 weeks it would be much harder to fit in this practice! (although it can be done).
The reason we don’t recommend to begin before 20 weeks is so that the information and techniques are still at the forefront of your mind by the time your birthing day arrives. Plus, after 20 weeks you are likely to start feeling your baby move which further strengthens the ability for you to connect with your baby. If you are feeling particularly anxious or stressed then you may want to begin a little earlier, however for most women after 20 weeks is perfect. This ensures that you have plenty of time to develop your own hypnobirthing beliefs but are also not too far away from welcoming your little one into the world.
What if I am already 34 weeks when I find out about hypnobirthing? Can I still do a course?
Absolutely! Although 20-30 weeks is ideal, you really can learn hypnobirthing at any time! I have even taught couples who have reached their due date at the final session, and they have gone on to have beautiful births. In order to really get the most out of the hypnobirthing philosophy you need to practice, practice, practice! The techniques are easy to learn, however it is the repetition that makes them second nature and easy to use during labour. This is important for all couples who complete a hypnobirthing course, but especially those who complete a course later in their pregnancy.
So, to answer your question - you can learn hypnobirthing at any time, however beginning between 20 and 30 weeks is ideal!
My February 2017 Group all ready for their calm, positive and empowering births! Photo shared with permission.
It’s never too late to book in to classes, and my group courses fill quickly so make sure that you book early to avoid missing out! If you are nearing your estimated due date but would like to learn hypnobirthing please get in touch - there are definitely options for you!