Frequently asked questions

What is hypnosis?

Hypnosis is natural and safe. It is a state of altered awareness characterised by a feeling of relaxation and ‘letting go’. We all drift in and out of different levels of awareness many times each day. A good example is if you have ever driven from one place to another and were not really sure how you got there, or if you have read a book and become so absorbed in it that you have lost track of time and been unaware of your surroundings. Another name for hypnosis is trance.

What is hypnotherapy?

Hypnotherapy very simply is hypnosis for therapeutic purposes. During hypnotherapy you are guided to achieve a deep state of relaxation. When you are in this relaxed state the subconscious mind becomes very aware and receptive to new perspectives, ideas and positive suggestions.

How does it feel to be hypnotised?

It feels wonderful. Hypnosis is a natural state that feels similar to that feeling you get right before you fall asleep at night. Some people feel sensations of being as light as a feather whereas others feel so completely relaxed that they experience a feeling of heaviness. There is no right or wrong way to feel but you will most likely experience exceptional relaxation which can only be a good thing!

Is hypnosis safe?

Absolutely! It is a natural state that we all experience every day. You are always fully in control and could not be made to do anything against your will.

What is hypnosis for childbirth?

Our Shakti Birthing course teaches you self-hypnosis, deep relaxation, breathing techniques and visualisation to help you feel calm, confident & in control during childbirth. These hypnotic techniques can also help with pain/discomfort management.

What are the benefits of hypnosis for childbirth?

There are many wonderful benefits!. Hypnosis for childbirth can help you

Eliminate or reduce fear & anxiety
Learn deep relaxation & breathing techniques
Feel calm, confident & control during pregnancy & childbirth
Significantly reduce the need for medication/intervention
Experience a shorter labour
Effectively manage/control any discomfort
Have an empowering & positive birth experience
Reduce the possibility of post-natal depression
Enhance lactation for breast feeding
Have a calm, laid back baby! In our society many have the perception that labour and birth are stressful/painful. Managing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol help reduce fear and pain during labour. Hypnobirthing takes this and adds relaxation and self-hypnosis with the intention to let you concentrate and connect with your body and your baby.

Who can attend?

Anyone who is pregnant and ideally their partners too!

Should my partner/birth partner attend?

Yes! In an ideal world both mum & partner/birth partner would attend. Your birth partner is an integral part of the process. They will learn that they are not just a bystander and will learn invaluable techniques to support you through your unique experience.

If you do not have a birth partner who can accompany you, you are of course still welcome to attend and learn all the powerful techniques to help you remain calm, confident & in control.

Can I get paid time off work to attend a course?

Great news! Did you know you are entitled to fully paid time off work for antenatal care? This not only includes medical examinations/appointments, but also includes antenatal classes, birth preparation courses and relaxation classes.

If you are anxious/worried/concerned in any way about about labour or birth and feel the need for additional support then your Midwife/Doctor/Healthcare Professional can recommend a Hypnobirthing Antenatal Preparation Class or an Antenatal Breastfeeding Workshop and you are entitled to attend AND still be paid by your employer. It is law!

Your employer may ask you to get written proof from your Doctor/Midwife that hypnobirthing has been recommended for you. You will need to get this time off agreed in advance. So speak to your midwives/health professionals and ask for a letter, in our experience most are willing to recommend relaxation and childbirth preparation classes alongside your antenatal care.

As the father of the baby, you are entitled to unpaid time off for two antenatal appointments.

For more information on this and other pregnancy rights check out these websites:

Can you guarantee I’ll have a discomfort free labour?

No, unfortunately not. You will learn powerful discomfort management, relaxation and breathing techniques to help you throughout the birth. The more you practice the better at the techniques you will become. Working with your breathing and your body gives you a greater sense of control and you will feel much more relaxed. When you are relaxed you are much less tense which means you feel much less discomfort.
The aim of the course is to enable you to remain as comfortable as possible, however there are many factors that can affect a birth, and no way of knowing in advance what those factors will be or how you personally will experience them.

Where/when are courses run?

Shakti Birthing (formerly Bath Hypnobirthing Centre) offers courses in Bath, Bristol, Bradford on Avon and Cardiff. Courses will be offered in London, Norwich, Cambridge and Ipswich later on in 2019. For more information on exact location/dates please see 'Book a course'

When is best to attend?

An ideal time to attend would be between 27 - 32 weeks pregnant, allowing you good time to practice. There really are no rights or wrongs though, some mum's to be are keen to start earlier around 20 weeks so they have longer to practice and occasionally I get a call from someone at 39 weeks!

If you're unsure feel free to contact me to discuss in further detail

Do I need to book?

Class size is limited so advanced booking is essential.

If you want to have a chat before booking on please do contact me, otherwise go straight to the booking page.

What is your cancellation policy?

Shakti Birthing operates a cancellation policy. This is necessary due to limited class sizes. Please ensure you read this information before booking.

Cancellations received less than four weeks before the course start date will be subject to a cancellation fee of £120.00

Cancellations received less than two weeks before the course start date will be subject to a cancellation fee of £180.00

If for any reason you need to swap your course dates for another location/month I will do my best to accommodate you. However, please be aware as courses get booked up quickly I cannot guarantee that a space will be available. If a swap is not possible and you need to cancel, the policy above applies.

How much does it cost?

Shakti Birthing Hypnobirthing Course: £250.00

This price includes all course handouts, scripts & memory stick/CD

We are happy to offer a flexible payment plan should you find it difficult to pay in onel lump sum. Please call 07889 014942 or contact me to discuss in further detail.

How long does the course last?

The course lasts around 8 hours (including a short break for cuppa and lunch) and is taught on one full day ( usually midweek) Feedback from clients over the last 8 years has led me to change my usual timings to offer a full day course. The most prominent feedback has been that weekly smaller sessions takes a large time commitment especially when many people choose to attend NCT classes, pregnancy yoga and pilates etc which generally run over evenings. This way Shakti Birthing leaves you valuable evening and weekend time and you can also get paid time off work. Win win!

Do I need to bring anything to a course?

Some of the course you will be sat on chairs but when we practice the visualisation/relaxation sessions you will be laying down on the floor. Please bring yoga mats/cushions/blankets if you can. I supply some but not enough for everyone. If you cannot bring any of these items do let me know in advance. Also bring drinks/snacks/food. I will supply tea/coffee/water biscuits and fruit but please bring anything else you might like. Can I ask though that the snacks/food do not have too much of a strong smell please. For mum's to be experiencing nausea/sickness strong smelling food can add to their discomfort.

I think I may have to be induced, will hypnobirthing help?

Whatever type of labour/childbirth you experience we want you to be feeling calm, confident and in control. That is key. Hypnobirthing teaches you the art of relaxation, you learn to take fear out of the equation and learn to manage any discomfort you may experience. In short, yes!

What kind of hypnobirthing do you offer?

In 2009 I trained under Sharon Mustard who developed Easibirthing® which is a UK based model of hypnobirthing, it was developed with midwives and complements UK birthing practices. As I am a fully qualfied clinical and cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist I have also merged some very powerful therapeutic techniques alongside the Easibirthing® method. Our hypnobirthing training is termed 'advanced' as all our easibirthing® practitioners are required to already be qualifed hypnotherapists or hypno-psychotherapists so they have have an advanced expertise and knowledge of the psychological processes involved and how our brain works. This means that easibirthing® hypnobirthing training will not only teach techniques such as relaxation but will also teach how to manage sensations of pain and discomfort by re-programming the brain's response to messages from nerve endings. The use of the term ‘hypnobirthing’ on this website and any promotional material is used as a generic term and is not referring to HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method. Hypnobirthing The Mongan Method was a model first developed in the USA by Marie Mongan, based on the work by the English obstetrician Dr Grantly Dick-Read. He is regarded by many as the father of the natural childbirth movement and he dedicated his life to educating expectant parents about the benefits of giving birth naturally, with as little intervention from obstetricians and health professionals as possible. Dr Grantly Dick-Read’s findings and work have influenced many healthcare practitioners throughout the world who are challenging the often held belief that childbirth should be feared or a traumatic experience. The HypnoBirthing Mongan Method was developed and based on American birthing practices. easibirthing® shares the principles of natural birth but has been developed in collaboration with midwives to reflect UK birthing and midwifery practices. The easibirthing® model was developed by Sharon Mustard who is based in Salisbury and has been teaching Hypnosis for Childbirth to mums for over 14 years.

Whose voice is it on the recordings you supply?

I had all the recordings professionally edited in a recording studio (with my voice) to ensure the highest quality sound.