Calm Birth and Hypno-birthing

CalmBirth is a pregnancy and birth education program designed to reduce the stress and anxiety that many women feel when they think about the forthcoming birth of their child. CalmBirth founder, Peter Jackson, is an Australian midwife who had seen scores of women suffer extreme anxiety and fear when birthing their babies.

He believed that the answer to this fear lay in the preparation for the birth, and education around the natural process of birth. He created the CalmBirth program so women could feel empowered and excited about their labour and the birth of their babies.

The philosophy of CalmBirth is based on the belief that pregnancy and labour are normal life events and that birth can be a positive, joyful and calm experience for everyone involved.

The program hinges on knowledge and awareness and includes the following components:

  • A focus on the woman’s body and how it is designed to conceive, grow and deliver her baby
  • how to work with this natural process during labour
  • consideration of the couple’s preconceived ideas about birth and ways that these beliefs can impact positively (or negatively) on the birth experience
  • the Mind-Body connection and how to harness the power of visualisations
  • relaxation and breathing techniques, and visualisations and other focusing techniques (which research shows can have a positive impact on birthing outcomes)
  • bonding with the baby and why it’s important, and
  • ways to feel more confident about the birth experience and how to take control.

The focus is on a natural birth, but the program acknowledges that intervention is sometimes necessary for the health and wellbeing of the mother or the baby. The course offers ways of embracing the birth experience, however it unfolds – whether it be a natural delivery without pain relief, through to a caesarian section.

The author of the program, Peter Jackson, has used techniques based on his experience as a Private Subconscious Mind Therapist, as well as the research of cardiologist, Dr Herbert Benson, on the Relaxation Response.

CalmBirth and Hypno-birthing are often thought of as the same technique. While there are some similarities, the distinct difference is that they reflect the occupation of the Founders of each practice. CalmBirth was created by a midwife, through the use of his professional experience and the research of other doctors; hypno-birthing was founded by a hypnotherapist.

While both focus on reducing the fear and anxiety around birth, and through this having a positive impact on the birthing experience, hypo-birthing uses hypnosis as it’s primary tool. Whereas CalmBirth teaches relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques that can be drawn on throughout the labour. CalmBirth practitioners need to be qualified in teaching the course and need to have prior professional experience working with pregnant women and the birthing process (such as GPs, obstetricians, midwives and accredited doulas).

Used correctly and practised beforehand, the techniques learned in the CalmBirth program can assist you to have a calm, empowered and more joyful birth experience.

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