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Sacha Taylor HBCE DipHB(KGH)
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History of Hypnobirthing

The Origins of Hypnobirthing

‘HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method’ was originally established in the United States by Marie Mongan, who is the founder of The HypnoBirthing Institute.

When Marie Mongan’s daughter expressed her desire to have a child, she called upon her own experience of having laboured calmly, gently, and naturally, using the theories of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, during the births of her four children back in the mid 50s and early 60s.

Using her counselling background, and her skills as a Master Hypnotherapist, she developed the HypnoBirthing program for her daughter and two friends. The success of these births brought several hypnotherapists to Marie’s office, asking to be trained in whatever she was doing in birthing.

From there the program grew and took on a life of its own. Medical people who witnessed HypnoBirthing became interested, and many became practitioners. Childbirth educators from other programs came to be practitioners as well.

Soon, the natural appeal of HypnoBirthing began to spread into the mainstream. Not long after that, in 1993, HypnoBirthing was introduced into Canada, and later into Australia, and finally into the UK.

Since then, many thousands of parents and their babies have joined the ranks of HypnoBirthing families. Today, HypnoBirthing is taught all over the world.

The Foundation of Hypnobirthing

Hypnobirthing is based on the work of Dr Grantly Dick-Read, an English Obstetrician, whose principles are also the foundation of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).

In his book “Childbirth Without Fear”, originally published in 1933, he states that:

“There is no physiological function in the body that gives rise to pain in the normal course of health. In no other animal species is the process of birth apparently associated with any suffering, pain or agony, except where pathology exists or in an unnatural state, such as captivity.”

When we’re afraid, our body diverts blood and oxygen from non-essential defense organs to large muscle groups in our extremities. Our face drains of blood and we are said to be ‘white with fear’.

Dr. Dick-Read hypothesized that the fear felt by a woman during childbirth also caused blood to be filtered away from her uterus, so it could be used by the muscles that would flee the dangerous situation. As a result, the uterus was left without oxygen and could not perform its functions efficiently or without pain.

This belief led to Dr. Dick-Read’s theory that fear and tension cause the labour pains in approximately 95 percent of birthing women. He termed this phenomenon “the fear-tension-pain syndrome of childbirth,” and he believed that by eliminating the fear, women could return the uterus to its normal function, thereby eliminating the pain.

The Home of Hypnobirthing in the UK – KGHypnobirthing

Having established herself as a leading HypnoBirthing Educator and Hypnotherapist over many years, in 2012 Katharine Graves first published ‘The Hypnobirthing Book’ and established the first dedicated UK-based Hypnobirthing programme to better support families with an updated course, better suited to our local needs and it has gone from strength to strength since then.  Having trained over 2000 KGHypnobirthing Teachers, and establishing the first Hypnobirthing course to achieve Accredited status from the Royal College of Midwives, Katharine is an inspiration to many.