Press for Hypnobirthing


Below is a selection of national press coverage in which I’m featured or quoted talking about HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method.

Croydon Advertiser


Sarah Abay shunned hospitals and any pain relief, choosing to give birth to her twin boys at home with only meditation and relaxing music to soothe her. What is more, the 34-year-old mum says she did not feel even the slightest twinge of discomfort. She puts this down to HypnoBirthing – the practice of using self-hypnosis, visualisation and breathing techniques to relax and reduce pain. Sarah gave birth to Barnaby, who weighed 7lb 13oz, and Gabriel, who weighed 8lb 4oz, on Monday night… with her labour taking just three and a half hours.

‘My friends and family thought I was mad, but people have been naturally giving birth for hundreds of years without needing hospitals or drugs,’ she said. ‘I wanted to be in a relaxed, comfortable environment and I was adamant that I was going to be at home. Everyone seems to have a horror story about giving birth but this wasn’t really painful – all I could feel was pushing.’…

For the couple, who consulted Addiscombe-based hypnotherapist Lisa Jackson, the birth was a quiet affair. Chris said: ‘Sarah didn’t scream or moan once. Because she was meditating throughout the birth the midwives and I stayed quiet and would talk about what to do next, like checking heart rates, outside so as not to distract Sarah. No one was shouting at her or telling her to push, it was a fantastic environment.’…

Croydon University Hospital’s deputy head of midwifery, Sue Stock, was one of the midwives at the birth. She said: ‘We always support home births but we haven’t had anyone choose to give birth to twins at home in the last seven years.’

Prima Baby magazine


Suzy Doyle, 33, from Carshalton, Surrey, describes the birth of Sophie, now nearly five months.
2.30am ‘A day before my due date, I started to get a dull tummy ache, like mild period pain, every 20 minutes. I sat on the bed practising my HypnoBirthing breathing.’…
9.45am ‘Natalie, my doula, arrived. She kept me focused on my HypnoBirthing breathing and gave me some lavender oil on a tissue to inhale with each contraction.’…
11.30am ‘With Natalie’s help, I got out of the pool and back on my knees with my head resting on the sofa. My body seemed to go completely still for a few minutes and I felt very calm.’
12 noon ‘Within three or four contractions Sophie was born, weighing 7lb 6oz. The midwives caught her and passed her to me, while Steve cuddled us both. I just kept looking from Sophie to Steve. I felt so happy, amazed and proud.’

Prima Baby magazine

Birth doesn’t have to be like an episode of ER. OK, so these types of births make the best TV, but the majority happen with a lot less drama. After all, women are designed to give birth, and have been doing so for many, many years. If you want to get back to basics and tune into your natural birthing instincts, a course in HypnoBirthing might appeal. HypnoBirthing aims to give women the confidence that they can give birth naturally, and teaches breathing, hypnosis and visualisation techniques to help them do just that, explain HypnoBirthing teachers Lisa Jackson and Michelle Pearson. This was something that proved a big help to Claire Arnold, 22, from Dunstable, when she gave birth to her second baby, Adeleine, now 6 months. ‘I’d had a difficult first birth, but learning HypnoBirthing techniques really helped my fears. I felt in control during labour, and trusted my body. The pain did not register until Adeleine was crowning, at which point I felt some burning. One more push and she was born!’ says Claire.

HypnoBirthing teachers suggest slow and deep breathing during ‘surges’ – the HypnoBirthing term for contractions – where you breathe in deeply to a quick count of 20, and out deeply, again to a quick count of 20. ‘Breathing like this helps to maximise blood flow and oxygen to your uterus and creates space in your abdomen so that the muscles of your uterus can dilate your cervix more easily,’ explains Lisa.

Pregnancy & Birth magazine

‘In HypnoBirthing we never refer to contractions,’ says hypnotherapist Lisa Jackson. ‘We call them surges. And we never say pain, we say pressure or tightening. If you use gentle, less negative terms, your expectations will be more positive and so will the outcome.’

‘Give yourself a positive affirmation you can repeat every day,’ says Lisa. ‘For example, ‘My baby’s birth will be easy because I’m relaxed.’ The message will sink into your unconscious mind and, when it comes to B-day, you’ll feel calmer and more in control of the pain.’

‘Try to imagine your vagina slowly opening like a lotus blossom, with the soft petals unfolding around your baby’s head,’ says Lisa. ‘If you can get this peaceful image fixed in your mind, you’ll be more likely to relax your vagina to allow your baby’s passage through it. Relaxation also encourages the production of the hormone oxytocin, which stimulates your uterus to contract.’

Croydon Guardian

‘… The premise [of HypnoBirthing] is that, by teaching deep relaxation methods or using hypnosis, the fight-or-flight response that would divert blood away from the uterus is reduced. This means the uterus is able to function optimally. This apparently results in far less discomfort and quicker births (by up to three hours in the first stage, during which the cervix dilates). Lisa said: ‘Most couples remark on how they experienced far less pain during labour and how they felt in control during the entire process. Even women who have had to have a Caesarean have said how the hypnotic techniques they learned helped them stay calm when they had to make difficult decisions.’… Lisa and Ian Russell, parents to James, said: ‘We are happy to say that we had a really great birthing experience. We went into the birthing pool at 1am. James arrived three hours later. We can honestly say that the HypnoBirthing training really helped us to stay calm and in control. The breathing, the CD and most of all, the light touch massage that Ian did so tirelessly for many hours, all made the pain manageable.’


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