When Esther Croft fell pregnant with her first child while living on the other side of the world she was a little nervous about giving birth.
But after trawling the internet she found a solution that appealed – hypnobirthing, a relaxed and natural approach to what is often thought of as a scary and painful experience.
She ‘‘dragged’’ her husband off to the classes and after an ‘‘empowering’’ birth she was a firm believer. Now Croft teaches the method to expectant mothers and their birth partners.
‘‘We take the fear out of childbirth,’’ she says. ‘‘ Even just the expectation of lots of pain makes your body shut down and go into flight or fight mode through the labour.
‘‘Changing your mindset and learning the actual science behind it helps take away a lot of that fear.’’
The Three Kings resident says it is about finding a deep state of relaxation.
‘‘It isn’t stage hypnosis – which is what most people think of when they think of hypnosis.
‘‘Most people have actually experienced some level of hypnosis in their daily lives. A common one is when you are driving your car and arrive at your destination but can’t remember the last half an hour. It is like a state of day-dreaming.’’
Everyone can find a state of hypnosis, Croft says.
‘‘Mothers come in with different levels of fear which is hands down the biggest hurdle. Already confident mothers find it a bit easier.’’
The mother of two says just like antenatal classes, hypnobirthing sits well alongside hospital births.
‘‘We are mammals and essentially like all mammals we need to feel