Twelve midwives working at Portiuncula University Hospital have completed diplomas in hypnobirthing which allows them to facilitate antenatal classes for birthing mothers planning to have their babies at the hospital.
Irene Mulryan, a midwife at the Ballinasloe hospital, says the hypnobirthing classes aim to prepare people mentally for birth, in the context of birth being a normal event and not something frightening.
“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 caregivers. Having used hypnobirthing, women also reported feeling calmer and more in control during labour no matter what type of birth they had.”
She says the ideal time to attend a hynobirthing class at Portiuncula Hospital is between 24 and 32 weeks. This 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 materials and lunch. Bookings can be made by emailing [email protected] and early booking is advised as the classes book out months in advance.