What's the Difference Between GentleBirth and Hypnobirthing

Sometimes I’m asked is GentleBirth is the same as hypnobirthing? I’m always delighted when someone asks me this question as it gives me an opportunity to share with Mums and Dads exactly how unique the GentleBirth programme is.

GentleBirth focuses on 3 core areas for the most positive birth possible.

We offer expectant Mums and Dads easy to learn ‘brain training’ tools for a positive birth including (CBT) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness techniques, medical hypnosis and sports psychology. Hypnosis is a wonderful tool and can be very effective but not everyone is equally hypnotizable – and some Mums just cannot be hypnotized. Hypnobirthing although effective for many relies on one tool (and usually only one CD). Over the last ten years supporting women in labour I’ve found that having more than one tool in your toolkit is essential for the best birth possible no matter what kind of birth you’re having - and having a Plan B is always a sensible idea.

As a Midwife I’ve seen that the more tools a couple has access to on the big day the more prepared and confident they feel and the more emotional resilient both parents are adjusting to life AFTER labour with a new baby.

You’ll develop and master these skills as you work through the GentleBirth programme. With a little help from neuroscience you’re physically changing the structure of your brain (DIY brain remodelling) and the results will change the way you react to the world forever – not just on the day your baby arrives. You’ll also have ongoing support from our online private Facebook group of over 1200 GentleBirth Mums.

Physical Comfort Measures

You and your birth partner will learn physical comfort techniques and tips used around the world by midwives and doulas for the best birth possible. You’ll have a toolkit full of comfort strategies to keep you calm, confident and in control before, during and after your baby arrives including strategies to help your baby into optimal position and ways to reduce the side effects of an epidural should you need one.

Navigating the System

Navigating the maze of options during pregnancy can be daunting. A key section of our workshops is navigating and negotiating the system for the most positive birth. Many couples are unaware that routine interventions used frequently in Irish maternity services are outdated and no longer considered to be of any benefit to healthy Mums and babies. In UK maternity services these routine interruptions to the birth process such as breaking the waters, admission CTG, restrictive time limits are listed on a national ‘Do Not Do’ list in maternity care. Understanding how Irish maternity services work helps you create and then confidently communicate meaningful birth preferences to staff so your clincial care is evidenced based – not policy based. We’ll help your partner feel very comfortable asking simple questions to find out if and deviations from your birth preferences are due to medical necessity or bed shortages.

Hospitals offering hypnobirthing classes are unable to include this information as many of the maternity unit practices policies do not reflect best practice. Midwives are employed by the maternity unit so are limited in the information they can provide. As independent facilitators of birth preparation classes GentleBirth provides you with all of the information you need so you and your partner can make informed decisions about your care and your baby’s.

Ten Reasons to Choose GentleBirth Classes

1. Proven: GentleBirth is a proven, safe, effective program to reduce anxiety during pregnancy and pain during labour within a hospital (or home) setting. It is recommended by midwives and consultants. 98% of mums will use GentleBirth in their next pregnancy, 85% had no epidural.

2. Expertise: GentleBirth was founded by Tracy Donegan, Midwife, author of The Irish Better Birth Book and positive birth expert. Tracy is the Irish Daily Mail maternity expert, Eumom pregnancy and birth expert and is a regular contributor to Easy Parenting. Tracy has been training birth Doulas (professional birth partners) in Ireland and abroad since 2006. Over 2000 couples have attended a GentleBirth workshop with Tracy. Tracy has guest lectured in the Coombe Hospital, DkIT and CUMH in Cork on promoting normality in birth using hypnosis and personally trains and asseses all GentleBirth Instructors. Tracy provides advice and information on the GentleBirth private Facebook group.

3. Medical Professionals: GPs, midwives, nurses and other medical professionals attend and recommend GentleBirth workshops for evidence based medical information and best international practice.

4. Science: The GentleBirth program is backed by science. GentleBirth takes a unique approach to positive birth preparation by using tried and tested techniques and exercises to challenge and change the way you think about birth, breastfeeding and beyond.

5. Comprehensive Materials: Everything you need for pregnancy, birth and beyond is included in our 3 practice CDs + 5 bonus CDs and Guidebook.

6. Choice: You choose the format that suits you - a hands on workshop with your partner or homestudy course with ongoing support.

7. Meetups: Come along to one of our regularly scheduled coffee mornings to meet our instructors and other GentleBirth Mums and babies.

8. Epidurals: Our goal is a positive birth – with or without medication. Most GentleBirth Mums cope well without pain relief but if you choose to have an epidural you and your partner will understand how to optimise the use of your epidural to reduce side effects for you and your baby.

9. Evidence Based Information: All of the information provided by our Instructors is based on international best practice so you and your partner can make informed decisions about your care.

10. Community: Join our private Facebook page to connect with other GentleBirth parents and our resident positive birth experts.

How does GentleBirth Compare with Hypnobirthing?

What's Included?

Hypnobirthing

GentleBirth™

Developed by a health care professional (Midwife)

No

Yes

Number of practice CDs

1

3 practice CDs + 5 Bonus CDs

CDs available for immediate download online?

No

Yes

Created specifically for local maternity practices.

No

Yes

CD for Dads included

No

Yes

CD for Driving included (GentleBirth on the Go)

No

Yes

CD for Labour Induction

No

Yes

Suitable for independent / home study

No

Yes

Available as a weekend workshop?

In some areas

Yes

Ongoing support available for homestudy?

In some areas

Yes

VBAC Homestudy program?

No

Yes

Includes a specific role for Dads

Yes

Yes

Includes Mindfulness Techniques

No

Yes

Includes Sports Psychology Techniques

No

Yes

Includes Labour Acupressure Techniques

No

Yes

Includes Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

No

Yes

Includes hypnosis and visualization

Yes

Yes

Includes Prenatal Baby Bonding CD

No

Yes

Includes information on coping with a challenging birth.

No

Yes

Includes an online support network to connect with over 1200 GentleBirth mums and private Facebook page.

No

Yes

Confident Breastfeeding CD

No

Yes

Quick recovery, confident parenting hypnosis CD included as standard

No

Yes

CD for a Positive Caesarean

No

Yes

CD for Breech

No

Yes

CD for Twin Pregnancy

No

Yes

Postnatal CD for New Mothers and New Dads

No

Yes