What are hypnobirthing techniques?

hypnobirthing Mar 20, 2024
Sophie Fletcher Hypnotherapy
What are hypnobirthing techniques?

In my recent podcast series, I recorded my answers to some of the most asked question about hypnobirthing on Google. With all the episodes now up, it is fascinating to see which are the most listened to answers.

The most popular episode is… 'What are hypnobirthing techniques?' which tells me that there is still work to be done to demystify what hypnobirthing is all about. In this post, I am going to summarise some of the key techniques you can expect to find in a hypnobirthing programme. If you want to know more you can, of course, listen the first series of Hypnobirthing: Twenty Questions wherever you get your podcasts..

Breathing Tools

At the core of hypnobirthing lies the practice of mindful breathing. Birth breathing techniques go beyond simply inhaling and exhaling; they aim to induce a state of relaxation and support the body's natural birthing instincts. One fundamental technique is the lengthening breath, where the out-breath is longer than the in-breath. This helps activate the soothing system, releasing oxytocin, the "love hormone," and keeping adrenaline levels in check. Other techniques, such as the 5 in and 5 out breath, provide balance and rhythm during labour. Additionally, specialised pushing breaths can assist mothers in the later stages of labour, if they need something extra, harnessing the body's innate wisdom to guide the birthing process.

A good teacher will show you how to condition your body to using these automatically through effective hypnotic preparation. 

Self-Hypnosis Tools

Self-hypnosis is a powerful tool that enables individuals to enter a deeply relaxed state, accessing their subconscious mind to influence their thoughts and perceptions of pain. In hypnobirthing, self-hypnosis techniques are utilised to alleviate fear and tension, allowing mothers to tap into their inner resources and embrace the birthing journey with confidence.

Imagery and Visualisation Tools

Personally I prefer the word imagery as not everyone can visualise. The two are very different things. Imagery plays a central role in hypnobirthing. You can change your perception of sensations by using colour and shape imagery. You can mirror images, like flowers opening. The body is surprising receptive to this and there of records of these types of tools being used for centuries. 

 However, although I don't use the following imagery tools, reasons for which I explain in my podcast. Some classes do. They may encourage mothers to imagine their ideal birthing experience, imagining a tranquil environment, supportive caregivers, and smooth, effortless labour. Mental rehearsal imagery in my view is not a well adapted to birthing as it is to other areas of hypnosis. 

Audio Tracks

Audio tracks are an invaluable resource in hypnobirthing, providing expectant parents with guided meditations, affirmations, and relaxation exercises to support them throughout pregnancy and labour. These hypnosis tracks serve as a portable toolkit, allowing mothers to immerse themselves in a state of relaxation whenever and wherever needed.

They can also benefit from non-hypnosis tracks such as a soothing background track from prenatal yoga or any familiar or relaxing music, audio tracks offer a continuous source of support and reassurance.  

Affirmations or Positive Statements

Affirmations are positive statements that affirm the mother's belief in her body's ability to give birth naturally and confidently. These affirmations serve as a form of self-empowerment, reshaping the inner narrative to one of strength and resilience. Whether spoken aloud or silently repeated, affirmations instil a sense of calmness and trust in the birthing process, reinforcing the mother's confidence in her body's innate wisdom.


Anchors are sensory stimuli that trigger a specific emotional response or state of mind. In hypnobirthing, anchors are used to create a calm and supportive birthing environment, associating certain sights, sounds, or scents with relaxation and comfort. Whether it's a familiar object, a favourite scent, or a soothing piece of music, anchors help mothers maintain a state of relaxation and focus during labour, enhancing their overall birthing experience.  

Antenatal Knowledge

Beyond the techniques themselves, hypnobirthing equips expectant parents with essential antenatal knowledge to understand the physiological processes of labour and childbirth. By demystifying the birthing process and empowering parents with evidence-based information, hypnobirthing fosters a sense of agency and informed decision-making. Understanding the role of hormones, the stages of labour, and the importance of creating a supportive birthing environment empowers parents to approach childbirth with confidence and clarity.

Thank you for reading this blog post. If you found it insightful, don't forget to sign up to my email newsletter for access to free audio tracks, hypnotherapy resources and special offers. 

If you have any questions about hypnobirthing register for my free hypnobirthing session on 9 April, 7pm (UTC) or listen to Hypnobirthing: Twenty questions wherever you get your podcasts.

You can follow me on YouTube and Instagram @MindfulHypnobirthingBook for more content.


If you are interested in the audio tracks check them out here

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