Ipswich: Hypnotherapy for expectant couples

A pregnant woman can get hypnotherapy sessions to relax her during the birthing process.

A pregnant woman can get hypnotherapy sessions to relax her during the birthing process. - Credit: PA

MIDWIVES at the town’s hospital are set to deliver hypnotherapy lessons to pregnant women to help them relax during childbirth.

Ipswich Hospital, whose maternity team won the Maternity Service of the Year award at this year’s Royal College of Midwives Annual Midwifery Awards, is to become the third NHS hospital in the UK to offer hypnobirthing.

Hypnobirthing is a technique that women and their partners learn and practice for labour and childbirth. It includes self hypnosis, deep relaxation and breathing techniques. This helps couples to feel calm and confident throughout the birthing process and reduces anxiety and pain levels.

Trained hypnobirth midwife Angela Leach said: “We will teach women how to deeply relax during the sessions and encourage daily practice of the techniques at home during the pregnancy. This will enable women to become confident with the techniques and be fully prepared for when the big day arrives.”

Relaxation is good for women at any stage of pregnancy although the hypnobirthing sessions are ideally aimed at women between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.

Angela’s colleague Claire Lyes added: “It’s a couples’ course and it’s crucial for the partner to learn how to properly relax too.”

The hypnobirthing course is an evening class at the hospital once a week for four weeks. It costs £200 per couple and includes reading material, a CD and ongoing telephone and email support from the midwives. The first courses begin in April.

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If you’re interested in joining a class, or want to find out more, email hypnobirths.midwife@ipswichhospital.nhs.uk