Hypnobirthing is something that seems to becoming more well known in the UK. I am not even sure how I came across it because I don't know anyone else that used this technique for pain relief in labour.

Hypnobirthing is not what it sounds like. The way I would explain it (and how I did to my husband and the guy at work) is that it is like sports psychology. Many athletes walk themselves through a match, a track or course to mentally prepare themselves for their upcoming event. Hypnobirthing works like that. You focus on the process in hopes of working with the body to help things along rather than hold it up. So if you tense up, it can slow everything down. The idea is if you can stay as relaxed as possible, you will allow things to progress on. Good thing I explained it like this because otherwise Mr B would think I was more crazy than I already am.

This really appealed to me because I was very scared of giving birth and I am also afraid of needles. Very silly after going through IVF and injecting myself every day I know, but fears are not logical. Mr B was happy for me to try whatever I like, even if he did laugh at me and fall asleep when I was doing my sessions.

When I spoke to the midwives during my pregnancy about hypnobirthing, they were very supportive and said that the women that had used it had really good results. Also many midwives teach hypnobirthing classes.

You can pay for classes which are very expensive. Otherwise you can look up Maggie Howell. She has some CDs that have tracks for use. I used her tracks for my sessions.

You should listen to them leading up to giving birth. They are more like meditations. I am not the sort of person that usually does these kind of things but I was determined to do my best and since I had never given birth before I did not know what the pain would be like.

I was a bit disheartened when I found out that I would have to be induced because if you are induced, you are more likely to have to use forceps or an epidural. This is because unlike when contractions come on their own, they gradually increase so you can adapt to them better.

It was also very tough for me because I could hear the lady next door to me. So I put on some music to drown it out. Then I listened to my CD until I could no longer bare it and remembered I had a TENS machine. Then I used the two together until the midwife came in and I asked for some gas and air. She suggested that we use paracetamol and codeine first.

A new midwife came in to let me know she was about to go into theatre and wanted to know how I was doing. My water's broke without contractions so they cannot check you often for progress due to risk of infection. I told her that I felt I needed to go to the bathroom and she asked to check me. Then she told me that she was going to stay with me because I was 9.5 cm which was the same point when I first came in and hear that lady. I was too quiet for as far along as I was so they were shocked.

Lucky I was so far along because Mr B was getting annoyed with all my requests. I had gas and air for the pushing part. In the end from being induced to giving birth, it was less than 5 hours.

Do I think that it helped me? Yes, it helped me delay the pain relief which is usually needed when induced. It helped me focus on and breathe through the contractions so I didn't tense up and slow down the process which is probably why I had Bug so quickly. I felt it helped me remain calm which was hard for me because I was already upset about being induced and not being able to give birth in the Rosie.

I have a friend who had a disastrous first birth who is now pregnant again. A friend of hers (they live in Brighton- another hippie city) who also did hypnobirthing as well who has convinced her to give it a go this time around. She was in labour for several days. So it should be interesting to see how she gets on.

I did recommend it to another friend who only laughed at me. I thought it would be up her street because she does yoga and is a vegetarian, way more hippie than me!

It worked in my case so I thought I would share this.

Is this something you have heard about?

All the Best!

American to Britain