I came across hypnobirthing after being given a cd and using it prior to the birth of my youngest Lily. I had a
really positive birth experinece as a result. Miriam Greaves is a Hypnobirthing Practitioner in Surrey and has
very kindly agreed to tell us a bit about what she does and her experiences.
“Hypnobirthing is an antenatal programme designed to release fear, build confidence during birth and provide
you and your birth partner with the knowledge and tools you need for an easier, more comfortable positive
birth experience. Nature designed women’s bodies to give birth efficiently and comfortably. The problem is,
women’s minds are loaded with fear and negative pre-conceptions of childbirth which can prevent this system
from working properly when women go into labour.
Fear releases the hormone called adrenaline that slows, and can ultimately halt, the progress of birth. When we are
able to release fear and tension, our bodies produce endorphins – the ‘feel good’ hormones. These hormones
inhibit the production of adrenaline and stress hormones, thus allowing a mother to achieve a shorter and more
comfortable birth for herself and her baby. Hypnobirthing parents learn how to achieve this state through breathing
and relaxation techniques which enables the mother to work in harmony with her body and her baby. The course
gives women and their partners practical skills to assist, not only in childbirth, but throughout pregnancy and
post-birth. It empowers them to feel prepared and confident about the birth and to build a close bond with their
Why did you become a Hypnobirthing practitioner?
Like most women, when I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified of giving birth. Friend’s birth stories,
TV, social media, to name a few, all portrayed birth as something to fear. After practicing hypnobirthing during
my pregnancy, the birth of my daughter was drug-free, calm and serene. I became incredibly passionate about
the power of the female and the right every woman has to have a positive birth experience. So, I quit my job
working in theatre in the West End and trained to become a Hypnobirthing practitioner. With my son’s birth only 14
weeks ago, I had a very different experience. I had a placenta abruption and so my son was born by
emergency caesarean. This couldn’t have been further from the home birth I had planned and hoped for.
However, that evening, whilst I laid in hospital with my baby boy, I realised that I could draw many positives
from the experience and that was all thanks to Hypnobirthing. Not only did myself and my husband use the
Hypnobirthing tools to relax and remain calm but I also knew how to remain in control, ask the rights questions
and ensure that I was making informed decisions. I felt respected and listened to. This can make for a positive
birth experience no matter what journey your birth may take. I would say that I used Hypnobirthing more with
my son’s birth than I did with daughter and for very different reasons. I feel privileged that, as a Hypnobirthing practitioner, I have
experienced both the drug-free water birth as well as an emergency caesarean – I used Hypnobirthing for both
and my experiences have only cemented by belief in the power of what I teach.
How is hypnobirthing beneficial to your baby?
Hypnobirthing enables a mother to have a calm and gentle birth for herself, which in turn means a calm and gentle birth for her baby. A baby who enters the world alert, to be greeted by a mother who is also alert, loving and confident, starts life and forms its first relationship in the world in the best possible way.
A relaxed and happy mother produces endorphins that pass through to her baby, rather than stress hormones. Hypnobirthing babies are reported to be more calm and often feed better and put on weight quicker. They frequently sleep through the night earlier and are more settled….I wish I could guarantee this but I can’t! However, it was certainly the case for my children.
When is the best time during pregnancy to start practicing Hypnobirthing?
I recommend that couples or individuals attend the course anytime from their 20th week of pregnancy.
The earlier you start, the longer you have to practice the all-important techniques of Hypnobirthing. If you are
more than 36 weeks pregnant and don’t have time to attend the full course, then I offer weekend group courses
as well as one-to-one intensive courses. It’s never too late to learn Hypnobirthing. I have taught women at 39
weeks and they have gone on to have beautiful births. I also offer an ‘Introduction to Hypnobirthing’ course which
is one and a half hours long – for those that may need a refresher or want to know a little bit more before
committing to the full course. As well as the Hypnobirthing courses, I do relaxation classes for pregnant women
who simply want an hour of relaxation and time to put into practice their Hypnobirthing techniques.
You have also set up ‘Mama Mojo’. Can you tell us more about it?
When I had my daughter, one of the things I found difficult was the complete shift in my every day life.
Nothing prepares you for how different your life becomes when you enter into motherhood. I had worked in
London in a very high paced job and suddenly I was finding it tricky to fill my day. That’s not to say that I didn’t
absolutely adore being a new mum. I took to it like a duck to water and was always out at baby classes or meeting
other mummy-friends for coffee. However, I missed elements of my old life and soon came to realise that I’d lost
my ‘spark’ or my fun ‘mojo’. So, I set up an instagram account called My Mama Mojo and started focussing on the
things that made me happy each day. Becoming a mother didn’t have to mean letting go of everything I knew
before. If anything, I could use my experiences to make motherhood even more colourful and exciting. So, given
that my history is in theatre producing, I decided to start setting up exclusve Mama Mojo events in Surrey for
Mamas and Mamas-to-be to spark up their mojo and motivate them through motherhood. I organise events with
guests speakers and professionally led workshops so that Mamas can come together and share thoughts and
experiences with other like-minded women.
For more information about Miriam and the Hypnobirthing courses she offers, you can find full details on her