Lisa says one of the major advantages of hypnobirthing is that women practising the techniques tend to stay at home longer and cope very well with the early stages of labour. This means that they are usually in established labour by the time they attend the hospital.
Through the use of hypnobirthing techniques, Lisa has seen first-time mums appear like they are not in labour at all, and others look like they have had an epidural. "However, it does seem to depend on the person and how much they are invested in the techniques," she adds.
"Some women feel that it is useful in the early stages but then may need additional pain relief as labour progresses. Some women don't feel it works for them but I think it is definitely worth a try, even just for keeping calm and focused, regardless of the type of delivery."
Some alternative, natural and holistic approaches to labour, with thanks to Melanie McArdle, Gentlebirth Instructor, birthtobaby
Doula: A birth support partner whose services are usually engaged in the hope of achieving a natural birth experience.
Tens machine: Small portable battery-operated device which transmits small electrical pulses to the body. It's thought the electrical pulses prevent pain signals from reaching your brain and stimulate your body to release natural endorphins.
Even though her labour didn't wholly go according to plan, beginning with an induction and ending with an episiotomy, she found hypnobirthing techniques an enormous help. Friends and family, including her husband Andy, who is an advanced paramedic, were a little cynical at first, but came wholeheartedly on board when they realised it was something she really wanted to try.
"The whole idea with hypnobirthing techniques s to prepare and have as many insights as possible, but obviously labour goes its own way. It's a lot of practice at home as it's very much getting used to the language."
Together, Sarah and Andy practised using 'scripts', which helped bring Sarah into a relaxed state. "The lengths of the scripts shorten, the closer you get to labour," she explains.
The couple used two specific words, one to bring Sarah into a relaxed state and the other to encourage her to resume alertness. Sarah said it didn't fully switch things off during labour but it did help to reduce the sensations.
During labour, Sarah declined continued use of gas and air as she found coping through her hypnobirthing techniques more helpful. "Andy talked me through a surge with pre-practised things that would bring me down into the relaxed state."
As Sarah's labour progressed, it became evident that medical intervention was needed to assist baby Finn's birth and, at that stage, Sarah had to move away from some of her birth plan as she needed to help a quick delivery by pushing, which is in contrast to the hypnobirthing teaching of breathing the baby down. "At the end of the day, your birth plan is to have your baby born safely," she says. "Hypnobirthing got me through two days in labour and right up until 20 minutes before Finn was born. Source: Irish Independent by Jen Hogan