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For months there have been rumblings within the birthing community, that the Duchess of Cambridge could be using Hypnobirthing to help her with her labour. Last week was the first time I’ve seen this being reported in the main stream press.
The Times – ‘Kate considers hypnosis to help her through the pain of childbirth.’
Daily Mail – ‘Is the Duchess of Cambridge thinking of using hypnosis to ease pain of childbirth?’
(incidentally, both headings mention pain but to understand HypnoBirthing is to understand that pain is not an inherent and presumed part of childbirth.)
When the pregnancy was announced I decided not to become involved apart from to wish the couple well. But now with the media becoming interested in HypnoBirthing, it’s not something I can ignore so easily because it’s going to capture women’s imagination about their own pregnancy and make them question how they might want to give birth. And it’s this underlying message I encourage my clients (and anybody who’ll listen to me) to explore. It’s why I teach HypnoBirthing, it’s why I set up Baby-Birth and it’s why I spend time volunteering with my local midwives to help improve maternity services in our community.
My key message regarding pregnancy, labour and birth is one of positivity and if this media exposure is going to encourage women to explore their options then this can only be a good thing. As I say to couples when I’m speaking at the local hospital, there is a completely different childbirth world at your fingertips but you have to know it’s there in the first place. I’m hoping to sow seeds of curiosity. Well, thanks to these press articles women will begin to explore their options out of which will come a lot of good.
On the 8th November 2011, I wrote to the Duchess of Cambridge and with the letter sent two books which changed my life completely, ‘Childbirth Without Fear’ and ‘HypnoBirthing’. Me writing to her was exactly for the same reasons mentioned above. This matters and it matters because one big seed can be sown. With a figure like Kate Middleton, she is the oak from which seeds will fall and be collected by other women who will look to her as a role model. How she chooses to give birth will likely influence generations of women, just as the Victorias did – one was a Royal Queen, the other a celebrity Queen.
I want women to have a sensational experience and this is easily achieved when you literally put your mind to it.
As a natural childbirth consultant, Sarah helps expecting women and their partners make informed choices about their pregnancy and birth. Sarah teaches Hypnobirthing, lectures about normal birth and founded Baby-Birth – an international website all about pregnancy, birth and the immediate postnatal period.