25 Jan A Sevenoaks midwife’s hypnosis birthing technique ‘will be considered by the Duchess of Cambridge’
The method is one the Duchess of Cambridge is said to being considering for the birth to her third child in April
A new birthing technique which is being used by midwives across Kent is said to be being considered by the Duchess of Cambridge.
Sevenoaks midwife and mum-of-three Anne Bayati, 49, is one of a handful of hypnobirthing midwives in the county.
And although the technique sounds odd – and has many myths surrounding it – Mrs Bayati said it has roots in the history of time.
The method, which teaches women to go into into a trance-like state, has been praised by celebrities such as super model Gisele Bundchen and actress Jessica Alba.
The private London hospital where the Duchess is due to give birth in April – is now training its midwives in the technique.
Mrs Bayati said: “There are a lot of myths surrounding hypnobirthing – that someone is there in front of you swinging a pendant.
“But hypnosis is a naturally occurring state of mind.
“Meditation during childbirth has been going on for hundreds of years – and certain tribal cultures continue to use meditation – that is really hypnobirthing. It may sound weird but it is giving birth in the most natural form.”
Mrs Bayati, who has taught other midwives at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust about the method, said it is one the mum to be must use herself.
“It is about giving mums the tools to allow everyday chatter to slow down so that everyday thoughts take a back seat and what comes through is your subconscious,” she said.
“Birth is often portrayed in a negative way whether that is on TV – as something painful, long and traumatic.
“Seeds are planted in women’s minds that it is not something to look forward to and that builds anxiety so that they get into a fight or flight mode.
“That means releasing adrenaline which is great if you are a caveman but if you want to give birth adrenaline knocks out your hormones and endorphins.”
Both of which, Mrs Bayati said, affect pain and the ability to cope with it.
“The whole physiology of the mind is in the wrong place and it has a detrimental affect,” she added.
Instead, the midwife, who lives with her husband and teenage children in Penshurst, says mums are taught to use music.
Hypnobirthing soundtracks or scents can create a state of super relaxation.
A trial funded by the National Institute of Health Research, published in 2015, found the method significantly reduced levels of anxiety during labour among women.
Tunbridge Wells kindergarden teacher, Sarah Howick, 30, who gave birth to her first baby in November, says the method helped her give birth without the use of drugs.
“It just made me really calm,” she said.
“In the early part of labour I was able to stay home for as long as possible. It calmed me down – and I can be really quite an anxious person. But it puts you into a deep relaxation so that you focus on parts of your body – your toes, your feet. Your whole body loosens while you are having contractions which is really helpful.”
Mrs Howick, of Mount Ephraim, said the technique also helped her husband. The couple, who took one of Mrs Bayati’s private hypnobirthing courses in their own home, were encouraged to share the experience.
“It was very helpful – because Anne explained the whole process and my husband was able to feel more involved. Anne gave him ways he could help me relax – things he could do in labour so it gave him a sense of confidence that he had a part to play, ” she added.
But Mrs Bayati, who runs hypnotherapy birthing classes at Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough Hospitals, and privately in Chiddingstone Causeway, says there are no guarantees women won’t need drugs or even a caesarian.
What it will give them, she claims, is the ability to cope if things don’t go to plan and if they do turn it into a relaxed happy moment for both mum and dad.