Hypnobirthing Australia Conference: Reflections, Awards & Exciting News!

A few months ago I headed up to sunny Brisbane for the Hypnobirthing Australia Annual Conference. This was the first time that I had been to a Hypnobirthing Australia Conference and it did not disappoint! I was so excited to meet all of the other practitioners from around Australia, and to also learn more about hypnobirthing to bring back to you all and implement into my classes.

We had some amazing speakers and workshops, and I thought I would share with you today some of my key take-aways and topics that I found absolutely fascinating.

The day began with a welcome from Melissa Spilstead – Director and Founder of Hypnobirthing Australia, where she spoke at length about the idea of ‘natural progression’. By ‘natural progression’ we are referring to the natural progression through birth, life, hypnobirthing and business. A friend recently commented about how launching a business is a bit like having a new baby – and I can definitely see the parallels!

There are some exciting changes and new things coming to our Hypnobirthing Australia courses which I am SO excited about! I will be sharing more in the coming weeks, but everything that Melissa mentioned I was just nodding my head in agreement and thinking YES this is why I trained with Hypnobirthing Australia. I absolutely love that our course is so up to date, and incorporates the latest research and evidence based information into the hypnobirthing philosophy. As a midwife this is really important to me, and I love being able to share this knowledge with couples preparing for a positive birth.

We then heard from our keynote speaker Dr Sarah Buckley. Sarah is a former GP, mother of four and author of the best-selling book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering – which we recommend and refer to throughout our Hypnobirthing classes. Sarah has researched the hormonal physiology of pregnancy, labour and birth extensively, and shared some of her recent findings with us. I especially loved hearing more about how all of the hormones work so intricately with each other, and what effect disrupting the normal hormonal patterns has on the long term health of mother and baby. We are often quite focussed on just the event of birth and the birth hormones, so it was great to hear more about how the body prepares hormonally over the last few weeks of pregnancy, and also during the early mothering period. Sarah has recently written a report called ‘Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing: Evidence and Implications for Women, Babies and Maternity Care.’ Which is available to download here. The report is very in depth, so if you are keen to learn lots more about the hormones of childbearing then please read the whole report. Even reading the would definitely recommend reading the Executive Summary would be great for building your knowledge and confidence in your body. I also really liked that Sarah used the term ‘physiological birth’ instead of ‘natural birth’ – because everyone has a different definition of natural birth. I really like this term and have been trying to switch over my terminology to reflect this.


Then came our Advanced training practical workshop on incorporating Acupressure into Childbirth Education with Dr Kate Levett. Dr Kate is a practitioner of Japanese and Chinese Acupuncture, educator and researcher. Kate recently completed a PhD randomised control trial looking at the use of complimentary therapies for labour & birth. I refer to this study frequently in our classes so it was fantastic to meet Kate in person! You can check out her study here if you would like to read more. Prior to the conference I had completed an online acupressure training with Kate, so it was fantastic to have the hands on practice with locating and using the various points. Plus, it was really fun practicing on each other! I am looking forward to implementing this Acupressure training into my Hypnobirthing classes. We have been practicing and incorporating this training into our course over the past few months, and I am super excited to share that my upcoming group course starting in August will be the first group that I am sharing this training with as part of the course (you can book your place here). Exciting!!!

The day then finished with Melissa announcing our practitioner awards. I was shocked and not expecting it at all but I received an award! (see top photo). I received the Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding performance as a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner! There are over 150 Hypnobirthing Australia practitioners over Australia, so receive one of these awards was a huge surprise! I absolutely love teaching hypnobirthing and seeing the difference that it makes to your women and their families – this award is as much for you as it is me! Without you I wouldn’t be able to share this program that I love.

Receiving my award from Melissa Spilstead!

Melissa finished the day with an inspiring presentation about following our purpose, and set us a challenge to share a selfie video on social media (eek!). As soon as I got back into Adelaide I got to it and recorded my video about how Hypnobirthing Australia incorporates recent research into our course and why I love that. You can check out my video here.

I hope you enjoyed reading my recap of the day, and hearing a little more about what it is like to be a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner. If you would like to learn more about my Hypnobirthing courses please click here or get in touch and we can chat!

Hannah :)

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