Over the past two years, twelve midwives working at Portiuncula University Hospital in Balinasloe have completed a Diploma in Hypnobirthing which allows them to facilitate antenatal classes for birthing mothers planning to have their babies at the hospital.
Irene Mulryan, one of the midwives at Portiuncula Hospital, explains the benefits of hypnobirthing.
“The aim of the hypnobirthing classes is to prepare mentally for birth, in the context of birth being a normal event and not something to be frightened of. Often the name ‘hypnobirthing’ conjures up images of being hypnotised but this is not the case. It is a strategy with numerous coping tools which helps couples to understand and appreciate the physiological process of birth. It enables women to prepare to give birth by the use of breathing and relaxation techniques, massage and positive visualisations.
“Women and their birth partners who attended the hypnobirthing classes report feeling more informed and empowered after participating in the class. Birthing partners felt more involved and in partnership with the mother and the care givers. Having used hypnobirthing, women also reported feeling calmer and more in control during labour, no matter what type of birth they had,” Irene commented.
The midwive outlined the ideal time to attend hypnobirthing classes during pregnancy.
“The ideal time to attend a hynobirthing class at Portiuncula is between 24 and 32 weeks which allows time to practise the learned techniques. The two day course is held over a weekend and there is a cost of €50 to cover the materials and lunch. Bookings are made by emailing [email protected] and early booking is advised as the classes book out months in advance,” Irene concluded.