Mums-to-be are being offered the chance to learn self-hypnosis techniques to help them through labour.
The natal hypnotherapy workshops focus on relaxation techniques to help women feel calm, in control and fully prepared for the birth of their child.
Those opting to take part will be taught about natural ways to reduce pain during childbirth, self-hypnosis skills to overcome any fears or anxieties and effective breathing and relaxation techniques.
“It’s about understanding how the body’s working and how you can help it,” said Sue Symonds, community midwife for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
“Most people’s perception of hypnosis is stage hypnosis but self-hypnosis occurs naturally to all of us such as when you read a page of a book but cannot recall what you have just read or when you are driving the car and suddenly realise you can’t remember the last part of your journey.
“Fear and anxiety can have a negative impact on your body during birth but the self-hypnosis can help reduce this. It’s about learning how to achieve that deeply relaxed state of mind.”
Claire Marron of Marton was very sceptical about the techniques but decided to give them a go when she gave birth to her fourth child, Alfie, now 16 months.
“I was a very nervous pregnant lady but I had a calm, positive, empowering birth with no problems and no pain relief,” said Claire. “I could not believe it.
I just managed the pain using the hypnosis skills.
“My husband could not believe the difference – he said it was like he was watching a different lady! I just wish I had found out about it with my first baby.”
The six-hour workshops are held within the maternity departments at James Cook and Friarage hospitals and cost £80 per couple.
To find out more contact the community midwives office on a Wednesday or Friday morning between 10am and noon on 01642 854880.
Natal hypnotherapy complements the trust’s existing aromatherapy and massage in pregnancy service. Aromatherapy can be used before, during and after the birth to help relieve everything from back and pelvis problems to stress and anxiety.
Aromatherapist midwife Anna Reeve said: “The one hour sessions are also a great opportunity for women to ask any questions and talk about any worries they may have.”
For more details call Anna on 01642 854881.