top of page

Hypnobirthing® FAQs (Frequently asked questions) 

How is Hypnobirthing® the Mongan Method different from other Hypnosis for birth courses?

Developed in 1988, HypnoBirthing®- the Mongan Method, is the original hypnosis for childbirth program. Unlike hypnosis on its own, Hypnobirthing® is a complete childbirth education program combining the best of childbirth education with self-hypnosis techniques to teach you how comfortable birth is possible. While some forms of hypnosis for birth might leave you disconnected from your birth experience or numb, Hypnobirthing uses a type of self-hypnosis that is simply a deep state of relaxation leaving you awake, aware of everything that is going on around you, in control, & able to fully participate and enjoy you birth. Thousands of women from all over the world have used Hypnobirthing to have safer, easier, more comfortable births.

Does Hypnobirthing®- the Mongan Method have any advantages over mail-order hypnosis for birthing programs?

Yes! Hypnobirthing ® has been refined over the last 20 years to be the very best in childbirth education! When you choose to take Hypnobirthing classes, you and your partner have access to your own personal Hypnobirthing expert (your teacher) to answer questions, personalize your education, help you optimize the techniques you are learning, and guide you through special circumstances. Classes are a special time set aside for you and your partner to focus on preparing for your birth without the distractions that often occur when you are studying by yourselves and you won't just be learning deep relaxation techniques for birth... Hypnobirthing will teach your partner how to support you during your labor with examples of special techniques and practice sessions in class. You'll learn about the anatomy of labor, practice different positions/exercises to facilitate labor and maternal comfort levels and watch videos of the techniques in action to better prepare you both for your birth. Put simply, the depth of the class experience just can't be duplicated with a mail-order course!!!

How does Hypnobirthing® work? Is it a type of "mind distraction" technique?

 Unlike some childbirth programs, Hypnobirthing does not use distractions to help you endure or get through your contractions or techniques to "trick yourself" into thinking that you are not in pain when you really are.

Hypnobirthing teaches you that extreme pain is not a necessary component of childbirth. With Hypnobirthing® you will learn how the birthing muscles are designed to work "in perfect harmony" (the anatomy of labor) and how to work with them, allowing your birth to progress without tension which causes pain. You'll learn how to achieve deep relaxation, to trust birth, your baby and your body and how to rely on your own birthing instincts to have the best possible birth for you! With Hypnobirthing you'll learn how to experience birthing in an atmosphere of calm relaxation, free from fear & tension that prevents birthing muscles from functioning as nature intended. In this serene state,without the stress hormones that counteract the process, your body will release it's own natural anesthesia, endorphins, which will allow you to have a comfortable, gentle birthing experience!

Is it a type of brainwashing or mind control? Will someone else be in control of my mind or how I behave? 

Absolutely not!!!! Unfortunately, stage Hypnosis is the type of hypnosis that most people are familiar with (where someone is supposedly "hypnotized" to act like an idiot on stage for entertainment purposes), but there are several different types of hypnosis. In addition to stage hypnosis, there is "Therapeutic Hypnosis" which is intended to assist in ridding of habits, anxieties, phobias or to aid in weight loss or self confidence issues (this type of hypnosis is popularly used to "stop smoking"). There is Medical Hypnosis which is performed by a licensed health professional to treat certain medical conditions or is used in place of anesthesia to numb areas when surgery is necessary on people who are sensitive to anesthesia (one person I know recently used this type of hypnosis instead of anesthesia during an 8 hour breast reconstructive surgery during her battle with breast cancer) and there is Persuasive Hypnosis which is used by religious leaders (often cult leaders), marketing organizations, politicians & others to sway followers. There is also subliminal hypnosis in which subliminal suggestions are used without the person being aware of it (often used in tv commercials). Hypnobirthing is none of these! 

It is important to note that all hypnosis is "self-hypnosis". No one (not even a stage hypnotist) can put you into a state of hypnosis or make you do something unless you want to. Once in a state of hypnosis, no one can convince you to act in a way that you do not wish to. It is up to you to decide which suggestions you want to act upon and which ones you do not wish to follow. If someone tried to manipulate you to do something that you do not want to do, you would come out of hypnosis instantly and refuse to do it... it is as simple as that.

So, what type of hypnosis is Hypnobirthing® ? Will I be in a trance, disconnected from the experience, "inside myself" or "on an island somewhere" during my birth? 

Hypnobirthing is as much about de-hypnotising as it is about learning an actual "self-hypnosis" technique. For most of their lives women are inundated with negative stories of other women's birthing stories. They are surrounded by negative images of birth from the media, friends, family and perhaps even their own experiences. The first job of Hypnobirthing is to teach you how safe, gentle, comfortable and joyful giving birth can really be! 

The self-hypnosis techniques used in hypnobirthing are in actuality simple, deep relaxation techniques that balance the autonomic nervous system & teach you how to stay profoundly calm & relaxed (and thus comfortable because your uterus isn't fighting against unnecessary tension) during your birth. The breathing techniques you will learn to use while in deep relaxation oxygenate nearly 8 times as much blood per breath leaving your uterus and your baby supremely oxygenated thus adding to the efficiency & comfort of your birth. You will be awake, aware, in tune with your body & birthing instincts and completely connected with "reality", yourself and your baby at all times!   

I'm a Christian. Isn't Hypnobirthing® against my religion?

Absolutely not, because Hypnobirthing doesn't employ any type of brain washing or mind control (quite the opposite in fact), Christians can benefit from its use. No one will be exerting mind control over you at any time! The bible teaches us that fear is not of God and that all good things are a "gift of the lord". Since Hypnobirthing helps women overcome fear and because a gentle, safe birth is a good (indeed a wonderful) thing, I believe that the relaxation and breathing techniques used in Hypnobirthing are truly a gift from God. Should you need more information on the "curse of eve" and how it relates to comfortable childbirth see my section on Christian relaxation

Will my birth be painless?

HypnoBirthing® does not promise painless birthing. What it does promise is that by changing your beliefs and perceptions about birth, releasing fear and limiting thoughts, and practicing the relaxation & breathing techniques, you will have a safer, gentler, more comfortable birth than you may have had otherwise. Completely painless birthing is certainly possible using the HypnoBirthing® techniques, but pain perception is an individual thing and there are many contributing factors that cause childbirth to be perceived as painful. Pain is the body's way of telling you to do something different. In childbirth this could mean relax more, change positions, eat, drink, rest or whatever else your body tells you to do. HypnoBirthing teaches that in the absence of fear and tension, severe pain does not have to be a part of the birthing experience.

I'm a first time mom. Will Hypnobirthing® work for me?

Yes! Hypnobirthing works wonderfully for first time mothers! First time mothers have a "clean slate" so to speak when it comes to birthing experience and thus can easily adopt positive beliefs about birth without having to go through a negative experience first. Many first time Hypnobirthing moms are surprised to find their labors shorter & easier than average first time moms. 

I've given birth before (maybe even several times before) & it really hurt. Will Hypnobirthing® work for me?

Absolutely! As someone who had spent over 50 hours in labor with my previous births (most of that time screaming, LOL) followed by a fast, painless hypnobirth, I can personally attest to the fact that Hypnobirthing works! The wonderful thing about having given birth before is you know what you liked and what you didn't which will help you be better prepared for birth this time. HypnoBirthing helps you release your fears, anxieties, and limiting thoughts about birth and teaches you deep relaxation techniques -- something you probably didn't have when giving birth before, and Hypnobirthing classes include a fear release session to help you release the fears associated with past birth experiences that may negatively impact your birth. With your newfound HypnoBirthing skills, your future birth experiences can be profoundly different from past birth experiences. 

I have a very low pain tolerance. Will Hypnobirthing® work for me?

Yes! Hypnobirthing teaches that pain is not inherent to birth. Its not about learning to tolerate the pain, its about the fact that birthing shouldn't be painful in the first place! Many native and primitive cultures experience birth without pain (providing that they have the proper nutrients and food sources available) as do most animal mothers in nature. The purpose of pain is to tell you when something is wrong with your body. No other bodily function (digestion, eliminating, breathing, etc.) is painful in the absence of a problem. When pain occurs during birth, it is usually caused by tension in the uterus which limits blood flow to the uterine muscles, restricts oxygenation of the muscles & allows lactic acid to build up. With the deep relaxation and breathing techniques you will learn you will not be tolerating pain, you will be preventing it and in the presence of little or no pain, even us wimps (yep, I'm right there with ya!) can have a natural childbirth.

I have long labors. Will Hypnobirthing® work for me?

Labor lengths can vary greatly from woman to woman and from birth to birth. The fact that you have had one, two or even more long labors does not mean that your current labor will be long. There are many factors that can contribute to long labors. Genetics, the shape of your pelvis, the position you are in for labor and birth, your baby's position, certain medical interventions and maternal stress/fears can all contribute to long labors. With Hypnobirthing you will learn positions and breathing techniques that can optimize your labor & how to release fears & doubts that may cause tension during your labor so that you actually can relax during your birth. Your will also learn how to relax deeply so that your labor will be more comfortable. Because your body can work more easily & quickly when you are relaxed, Hypnobirthing moms often see a reduction in length of labor (some, by several hours;) . Even if your labor is longer than average, you will be able to perceive the time as passing quickly and can be rested and comfortable throughout the process.

What if I'm planning on using medication?

Mothers who plan on using medication can most certainly use Hypnobirthing. Hypnobirthing can be used to keep you comfortable until you are far enough into labor to receive pain medication and can help ally fears surrounding pregnancy, labor, birth & parenting. Hypnobirthing will give you the information you need to be a part of the decision making process during your birth. In fact many mothers who planned on using medication are surprised to find that they are very advanced in their labors by the time they think to ask about an epidural. 

What if I'm a VBAC mom? Will Hypnobirthing work for me? Can it help prevent the stalled labor or fetal distress that led to my last cesarean?

Yes, yes and yes!!! Hypnobirthing helps to restore your faith in the process of birth and in your own ability to give birth; something that many VBAC mothers struggle with. You will learn to release fears and prior birth experiences and prepare to birth the way you envision without fear and tension holding you back. Hypnobirthing can help you achieve a gentle, joyful VBAC by providing your baby with optimal oxygen levels, giving you multiple strategies to deal with slowed or stalled labor & keeping you comfortable and calm thus helping you to avoid an epidural (a special concern for VBAC moms since epidurals can cause problems like stalled labor & fetal distress which may lead to a repeat cesarean).   

What if I'm likely to have a cesarean birth?

Hypnobirthing will teach you to be in control of your perception of your birth from start to finish. Whatever turn your birthing takes, you will be able to have a calm, confident demeanor & thus able to fully participate in the decision making process and in welcoming your baby to the world. No matter how your baby comes into the world you will want to make it the calmest, most gentle experience possible. Hypnobirthing teaches you how to do this. Hypnobirthing mothers often report recoveries (both physically & emotionally) that are faster, easier & more comfortable because they were so relaxed and in control during and after the experience. Visit my gentle c-birth page for more ideas on preparing for a cesarean birth. 

Do I need a partner? 

No, Hypnobirthing teaches that inside of each and every mother is the innate knowledge of how to birth her baby. Hypnobirthing will give your partner an integral role in your birth by teaching your partner how to fully support & nurture you while you are using the breathing & relaxation techniques, how to participate in the decision making process (to insure that you have the best outcome), & how to bond with the baby before & after the birth. The same relaxation techniques that you will use to stay relaxed & comfortable during your birth can be used by both you & your partner to deal with stress and tension in every day life. Partners / support persons are encouraged to attend classes as it is best if he or she understands the method so that they can learn how to support you instead of unintentionally hindering your efforts during your birth. 

bottom of page