Enjoy a natural birth with my


"My hypnobirthing program will show you how to give birth feeling relaxed, confident and in control. It includes a downloadable hypnobirthing book, 3 hypnobirthing MP3s and worksheets to help you fully prepare" ~ Heidi Woodgate

Heidi Woodgate, creator of Blissful Birth hypnobirthing

Blissful Birth is a downloadable hypnobirthing program which helps you overcome your fears and worries about giving birth. It includes our hypnobirthing book, MP3 series and exercises so you can fully prepare.

It’s like having your own private hypnobirthing classes at home.

You’ll learn self hypnosis techniques to will help you go into labor feeling relaxed, confident and in control.

Why does this make a difference? Well, as part of the survival instinct, your body knows how to slow down labor at times of stress and danger. This makes giving birth longer and more painful, but keeps you safe.

The problem is, it cannot tell the difference between the physical stress of encountering a wild animal and the emotional stress of expecting a long or painful labor.

Staying calm, relaxed and in control with Blissful Birth hypnobirthing means your body can just get on with the process of giving birth, so you can enjoy far less labor pain and a faster delivery.

This is the hypnobirthing program I personally used for the birth of my two sons, one of which I had the complication of a slipped disc to deal with too. You can read my birth story here.

What is hypnobirthing?

Self hypnosis has long been used as a way of reducing pain and anxiety, and ‘hypnobirthing’ is a generic term used in the UK and around the world to refer to any use of hypnosis techniques for childbirth, such as positive affirmations, breathing techniques, and deep relaxation.

Blissful Birth, like most hypnobirthing methods, is based on the philosophy that fear and anxiety interferes with giving birth, causing longer labor and more pain.

This philosophy came out of the work of British obstetrician, Dr Grantly Dick-Read (1890–1959), in his 1933 book “Childbirth Without Fear”. Dr Dick-Read was the first president of the National Childbirth Trust here in the UK.

woman practising hypnobirthing

Although most jurisdictions legally recognise the use of the word hypnobirthing as a generic term, this hasn’t stopped a number of companies around the world from registering trademarks which include this generic term.

So, when you hear someone talk about having used ‘hypnobirthing’ to give birth, it doesn’t tell you which method of hypnobirthing they have used…

And there are quite a few now, including:

  1. Blissful Birth hypnobirthing (my own approach)
  2. HypnoBirthing: The Mongan method
  3. Katherine Graves Hypnobirthing
  4. Mindful Mamma hypnobirthing classes
  5. Confident Childbirth classes
  6. and many more!

Why choose Blissful Birth hypnobirthing?

We’re not going to knock the other hypnobirthing classes out there, because they also work, and they have a lot of supporters worldwide. And some of the hypnotherapists who run them are colleagues I’ve rubbed shoulders with over the years.

But here are some reasons why you might choose Blissful Birth:

Blissful Birth is based on modern cognitive approaches to hypnotherapy which are scientifically proven to work even better than traditional approaches.

You can learn our techniques in the comfort of home, whenever it suits YOU!

You can download our programme and get started within 5 minutes of ordering!

Blissful Birth is a fraction of the cost of attending a hypnobirthing class

It works beautifully alongside pretty much any other approach, so there’s no downside!

You can learn more and order my Blissful Birth Hypnobirthing book and MP3s here.

When should I start practicing Hypnobirthing?

You should start practising hypnobirthing as early as you can, so that by the time the labor process starts, you’ll go into it feeling confident and in-control.

That said, it’s never too late to start! I had one expectant mom contact me just 5 days before she went into labor, and she still got so much from my Blissful Birth hypnobirthing mp3s and workbook.

You can read her birth story here.

Can you teach yourself Hypnobirthing?

Yes! You absolutely can teach yourself hypnobirthing, and that’s exactly why I created Blissful Birth! Like all forms of self hypnosis techniques, hypnobirthing techniques teach you how to achieve deep relaxation and confidence that your body can do what it needs to naturally.

You’ll learn the importance of deep breathing, how to manage labor and delivery pain through dissociation, how to release fear and anxiety, and hopefully achieve a positive birth experience. You’ll also find practising hypnosis during pregnancy a great way to relax and adjust to the changes that pregnancy brings.

Look, it goes without saying that preparing for the birth experience can be stressful, and it really helps if you have someone to support you in your preparation. This could be your birth partner, midwife, hypnobirthing instructor or other hypnobirthing moms you met at a group.

Classes can therefore be very helpful for expectant mothers who are strongly fearful (eg tokophobia) or who doubt their ability to learn without professional guidance.

What are the benefits of hypnobirthing?

benefits of hypnobirthing

The benefits of hypnobirthing include a shorter Stage 1 labor, less pain overall, an unmedicated birth (or at least less reliance on pain medication), faster recovery times, a calmer baby, and an overall more positive birthing process.

These benefits have been pretty well established in medical studies as well as in the anecdotal experience and birth stories of hundreds of thousands of women worldwide.

Another benefit is that you can use it regardless of whether you are giving birth at home, in a birthing center or in a hospital.

As mentioned before, I recommend you choose to hypno birth in a hospital or birthing suite where specialist medical interventions are available should everything not go to plan.

What are the disadvantages of Hypnobirthing?

The most obvious disadvantage of hypnobirthing is that it doesn’t guarantee you will have an event free birth or retain complete control. But then, nothing really can do that.

Some hypnobirthing classes, although well intentioned, can be a little heavy on the importance of natural birth, and this leave the poor mother feeling like she has failed if plans for a natural birth have to change at the last minute.

Another disadvantage of hypnobirthing is that you will encounter disbelief from some people, even your closest friends. They may unintentionally try to scare you with their own birth horror stories, especially if this is your first labor.

Finally, the idea of hypnobirthing was championed in some areas by the home birth movement, and this has left some expectant mothers unsure if hypno birth and home birth are the same thing.

I can assure you they are not, and my own recommendation is that hypnobirthing techniques be used to support natural birth in a hospital or birthing suite, where trained medical staff are on hand should things not go as expected.

This usually provides the best of both worlds, and many progressive hospitals now have midwife led units for mothers wanting a more natural childbirth experience.

Does Hypnobirthing speed up labor?

It’s usually fear and stress that slows down labor. That’s because when your body thinks you are in danger, it tries to avoid giving birth until you are safe. This creates a vicious spiral.

By teaching you how to stay calm, relaxed and feeling in control, your body can do what it is designed to do naturally, and labor can proceed smoothly and easily.

Is it possible to give birth without pain?

pain is subjective

Pain is a very subjective and emotive experience. What is excruciating for one person may be very tolerable for others. And in some cases, people can get intense pleasure from the endorphin rush that pain brings.

So it really isn’t possible, accurate or ethical for anyone to promise a pain free natural birth.

Even in the case where an epidural or caesarian section is used, there is going to be some pain and discomfort at some point. Recovery from a C-section can take 6 weeks, and pain and discomfort from the birth process are still felt after an epidural wears off.

In short, neither medicated or unmedicated birth can be guaranteed pain free.

If you learn to use the pain management techniques taught in hypnobirthing, you can feel more comfortable after birth, even if you had medical interventions.

Is Hypnobirthing less painful?

It certainly can be, and many mothers find they can manage pain and discomfort very well with hypnobirthing techniques.

Where most hypnobirthing classes and techniques shine is in helping mothers to interpret the sensations they feel during the birthing process differently. To be able to distance themselves when feelings are strong, and to work with their contractions, not against them.

One technique I teach is how to avoid using emotive language that creates fear. For example, if a midwife asks you “how bad is your pain?”, this sends a powerful message to you that:

  1. You are in pain…
  2. The pain is bad…

This can cause fear and pain to escalate. Whereas if the midwife asked you “how comfortable are you right now?”, there isn’t anywhere near the level of negative emotion.

Can you have pain relief while Hypnobirthing?

Yes, absolutely!

Although many of the mothers who choose to use hypnobirthing would rather minimise or avoid the use of pain relief medication, there is nothing about the hypnobirthing approach that would prevent you from using other forms of pain relief if needed.

So unless there is a medical reason why you are unable to use other forms of pain relief, the ultimate choice on pain relief is yours to make.

There are plenty of unmedicated pain relief options that can be used alongside hypnobirthing, such as massage, hydrotherapy (water birthing pool), and emotional support.

See our main article on pain management during labor for more info.

Will I be asleep during labor and delivery?

No! Hypnobirthing techniques teach you how to distance yourself from pain (known as dissociation) as well as how to naturally anesthetize parts of your body as needed.

These techniques, which have been used for centuries in major operations where regular anesthetic is not possible, allow you to fully embrace and engage with the child birth experience, which many women find incredibly empowering.

Do you push during hypnobirthing?

hypnobirthing brings empowerment

Yes, you still push during hypnobirthing, though this is often easier because you will be in a much more relaxed and comfortable state than most women, and a relaxed body can just do what it needs to do naturally.

Compare this to the usual fearful mother who is fighting to push out her baby when her body is trying its hardest to slow down labor.

It does this because it interprets the fear and anxiety as actual danger, and our survival instinct is to get to a place of safety before giving birth.

How is hypnobirthing done?

Each hypnobirthing approach is different. Some train up a network of practitioners to run antenatal classes over a period of a few weeks. These may or may not include traditional childbirth education along with the hypnosis techniques.

Other approaches run one-day hypnobirthing classes, backed up by books and downloadable hypnobirthing MP3s.

My Blissful Birth hypnobirthing is designed so you can “do it yourself”. It’s written in workbook style, which means it gets straight to the important points rather than making you wade through pages of filler and waffle.

My focus is on giving you the information you actually need for home study, rather than trying to impress you with my depth of knowledge, so I can sell group classes (I don’t).

It’s also backed up by my hypnobirthing MP3s, which make it simple to practice the core relaxation techniques you need to learn before labor begins.

It’s “horses for courses” really – all the hypnobirthing approaches work, and have supporters.

The choice for you, really, is whether you prefer to do an in-person class of some sort or whether a downloadable hypnobirthing technique is more up your street.

How much does hypnobirthing cost?

The costs can vary enormously, depending on whether you work one-to-one with a practitioner, attend hypnobirthing classes, or simply download a hypnobirthing home study program like Blissful Birth.

Of course, if you choose to work with a practitioner in person, either one-to-one or in a group class, it’s going to be a lot more expensive than the DIY option.

One-to-one sessions with a certified hypnotherapist will generally cost at least $80+ per hour. A group class is likely to be around $150 per day per couple. This means the overall cost of practitioner guided learning is typically going to be around $300-500 overall.

Blissful Birth, by contrast will put the same information into your hands for less than the cost of a large takeaway pizza. They only difference is you have to practice without practitioner support, and you don’t get to meet other expectant mothers like you would in a group class.

My recommendation, if you are veering towards practitioner guided, is to register for a group class, and then get Blissful Birth and start using it right away while you are waiting.

After all, the sooner you start practising the techniques, the quicker you’ll feel comfortable and confident using them!

And as yummy as pizza is, Blissful Birth Hypnobirthing will be far more useful to you in labor!

Does Hypnobirthing actually work?

Yes, but only if you practice hypnobirthing techniques so that you can go into labor feeling relaxed, calm and in control.

I’ve personally used Blissful Birth hypnobirthing techniques for the birth of both my sons, and the first came when I had a slipped disc.

I’ve published my birth story here, which goes into all the details.

Should I do a Hypnobirth on my own at home?

While hypnobirthing has often been linked to home birth, I don’t recommend or promote that.

My personal recommendation is that you find a birthing center or hospital that offers a more natural birthing experience, rather than going it alone at home. See: Tips for a natural birth in hospital.

That way, if for any reason you experience complications and need more specialist medical care, the help you need will be close at hand.

If a home birth is important to you, then think carefully about how you will access medical care if it is needed.

And remember, the ultimate choice is yours to make, in consultation with your medical provider, and you should never feel pressured into having a home birth by anybody else!

Final Thoughts (Debunking hypnobirthing myths)

hypnobirthing myths debunked

People are often under a number of misconceptions about hypnosis, and this may influence their willingness to consider hypnobirthing.

So I thought I’d finish by putting some of these to rest:

It’s a form of mind control

This is probably the biggest fear people have and it could not be further from the truth. If that were possible, I’d be able to claim 100% success rates!

Hypnosis is simply a way of focussing your attention in ways that help you, and you are always in control at all times.

A hypnobirthing mp3 or class is like a map for how to reach the outcome you desire.

But here’s the thing. YOU are the one who decides whether to follow that map or not!

You cannot be forced to do anything.

That’s why a hypnobirthing practitioner can only give you SUGGESTIONS (not commands).

I don’t want to be in a deep sleep

You won’t be! Even if you managed to achieve such a deep state of relaxation and dissociation that you appeared to be in a deep sleep (what we call somnambulism), then your next contraction would bring your awareness back to the here and now.

And as before, you would have to CHOOSE to take yourself there.

If you don’t want to, you won’t!

I don’t want to lose my free will

I think we’ve covered this already, but just to confirm… using hypnobirthing techniques will not affect your free will, and in many cases the empowerment it brings can make your free will stronger.

For example, a mother who is calm, relaxed and feeling in-control is going to be much more likely to make her wishes known than one who is frightened, in pain and feeling she should not question the midwife or doctor.

It will stop me doing my usual tasks

The state of focus required to achieve hypnobirthing is much the same as the level required to watch a movie, drive a car or read a book.

In the same way that you can pull over to take a call, put your book down to chat, or pause the movie to answer the door, you can choose when you take yourself into a focussed state of relaxation and when you choose to be fully alert and doing other things.

But chances are, during a contraction you won’t want to be doing anything other than your hypnobirthing.