Hypnobirthing easing mothers-to-be through birth experience


Anita Melville and Pip Wynn Owen. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Anita Melville and Pip Wynn Owen. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

LESS than a month out from her due date, Anita Melville says she feels calm and optimistic about the birth of her first baby.

The North Perth resident is mid-way through Hypnobirthing Australia classes taught by Mt Hawthorn childbirth educator Pip Wynn Owen.

The courses include four three-hour classes a month and use deep relaxation, self-hypnosis and breathing techniques.

Ms Melville said she had used hypnosis before and found it had been effective.

“You want the best for your baby and I’m not an earth mother but this makes good sense,” she said.

“It’s not hippie or witch doctory – it’s very practical.”

Ms Melville said in her parents’ generation, giving birth was almost “secret women’s business”.

“There’s nowhere in formal education that you get to know what your body is capable of doing.

“If you can understand the mechanics of it in more intense moments, it will really help to visualise and focus on that rather than get swept up in the pain.”

Ms Wynn Owen, who is a midwife, said the program taught couples to feel more in control and confident about the birth of their baby.

“We talk about fears and managing those fears through education and self-hypnosis, which is guided meditation,” Ms Wynn Owen said.

“We want to try break that connection people have between birth and pain.

“Couples, and birth professionals, are realising that the Hypnobirthing Australia philosophy has evolved from the previous hypnobirthing models that preach natural birth at all cost.”

Ms Wynn Owen takes classes in North Perth, Applecross and Darlington and will expand her services to Wembley in June.

“I’m finding a lot of clients birthing at St John of God Mt Lawley and Subiaco are living in the western suburbs,” Ms Wynn Owen said.

“We know if women have a fear of childbirth they are three times more likely to get post natal depression.

“Hypnobirth is about managing whatever turn your birth takes and keeping stress levels down has benefits for both mum and baby.”

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