What is Hypnobirthing and why are the Royals doing it?

PUBLISHED: 15:32 10 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:39 10 March 2019

Charlotte Ashe teaches Hypnobirthing. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Charlotte Ashe teaches Hypnobirthing. Picture: Ella Wilkinson


Kate Middleton used it, and Meghan Markle is planning on using it as she awaits to give birth - but what is Hypnobirthing?

The increasingly popular method of delivery is a type of antenatal class to be used during labour and birth and works by using visualisation and relaxation techniques to calm the body.

Charlotte Ashe, 34, from Hethersett, has diploma in KG Hypnobirthing and teaches the birthing method after using it to have her third child.

The former lawyer quit her job to teach after wanting to share it with families.

She said: “It is a birth preparation course and is based in science.

Charlotte Ashe with husband Simon Leedham, with their children, from left, Immy, Bea, Lila, Noah and  Oli.  Picture: Ella WilkinsonCharlotte Ashe with husband Simon Leedham, with their children, from left, Immy, Bea, Lila, Noah and Oli. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

“You learn what happens to a mother’s body during birth, learning how to release fear surrounding it and how to confidently navigate the health care system when you have a baby.

“The hypno part refers to the use of deep relaxation, positive statements, reframing negative thoughts and fears surrounding birth and learning how to let your body completely take over. When your mind moves out of the way and lets your body do what it is designed to do, birth can be a lot more comfortable and can even be quicker.”

Miss Ashe used Hypnobirthing techniques for her third child after a traumatic time during her previous two labours.

Although she had a cesarean she used the relaxation methods she had learnt to make the delivery as comfortable as possible.

Charlotte Ashe teaches Hypnobirthing. Picture: Ella WilkinsonCharlotte Ashe teaches Hypnobirthing. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

She added: “The first two birth experiences were highly medicalised and not very good experiences so when I had my youngest I decided to make sure it was different.

“I ended up having a really positive c-section, although it wasn’t what I planned, it was all really calm and positive.”

Hypnobirthing does not just focus on the mother. It also highlights the importance of birthing partners.

Miss Ashe added: “There are many benefits, the main being the release of fear. Many women are scared of giving birth and when we are scared our bodies release adrenalin. In labour this serves to cause the uterus muscles to tense up, resulting in cramping and pain. If that fear is removed, the body is relaxed and soft, then labour can progress far more gently.”

“The course also really involves fathers and other birth partners. They learn alongside the mother and are often full of confidence and able to provide incredible support.

This is hugely reassuring to mothers, helps them release lots of oxytocin and endorphins which makes a huge difference to the progress.”

Why chose Hypnobirthing?

Lucy Adams and David King, from Aylsham, took Hypnobirthing lessons and are using the method during delivery.

Ms Adams said: “When we first started I had a pretty calm and open approach. I wasn’t too bothered about birth plans as I felt our baby and the hospital would kind of dictate what would happen.

“I found our antenatal class was rather limited. I could see faces around me in the room becoming more anxious as the midwife went through pain relief and c-sections.

“I’m in control now, I know my body and I know my baby. Together with my partner I know we will make the right decisions.

“Every couple is unique, every baby is unique but we all have the ability to birth our babies in the best possible way.

“It also made me more self-aware, like my avoidance of packing a hospital bag, I have been putting it off for weeks. The list is written but I’m yet to put it all together.”

For more information go to

• Have you tried hypnobirthing? Did it work for you? Email

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