Maternal Mental Health Week – Perinatal

It’s Maternal Mental Health Week, a campaign that was launched in 2014 to reach out to families, mothers and the general public to raise awareness about the maternal mental health disorders that affect one in five mothers. These illnesses frequently do go unnoticed and untreated and that’s why it is important to have it out in the open so that everyone is aware. Eventually, they can become long-term and affect not only mothers, but the children and partners. Today, we want to talk about perinatal mental health.

Perinatal mental health problems occur during the pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Affecting up to 20% of women, it covers a wide variety of conditions including depression, anxiety and postnatal psychotic disorders.

The escalation of perinatal mental illnesses can be prevented when identified from an early stage but even if it managed to get to a stage where it was not preventable, it is always possible to prevent the negative effects it may have on families. One way in doing this is by using hypnobirthing methods.

Hypnobirthing- what is it. In a nutshell... it’s a full birth education which prepares you for a calm and confident birth, free from fear.

A typical hypnobirthing course is about 10/ 12 hours long and gives you extensive tools and information to best prepare you for your birth - whatever birth it might be. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Breathing exercises;
  • Deep relaxations (a little like meditations);
  • Gentle Massage;
  • Visualisations;
  • Effective work in releasing fear and building confidence;
  • How the birthing partner can be your powerful protector and support;
  • How your body is designed to give birth with efficiency and comfort;
  • Knowledge about pregnancy, birth and the 'system; you find yourself in;
  • A simple practice regime to enable a successful hypnobirth;
  • Understanding how the mind and body work together; and
  • You will also receive The KG Hypnobirthing Book, a relaxation MP3 and handouts.

It isn't the typical “hippy” course you might expect it to be... it’s completely practical. Also it isn’t just for mum; it’s for dad or the birthing partner too. This really can change everything in regards to your birth as it prepares your partner on how they can be the best resource available at your birth, allowing you to feel that extra bit safe and calm.

What are the benefits of doing a hypnobirthing course? Firstly, by preparing for your birth in this way, you are hugely benefitting your mental health. By the end of the course you will no longer fear birth and will be left looking forward to it. A hypnobirthing course can have a massive positive impact on your perinatal mental health. By preparing for a positive birth experience in hypnobirthing, you surround yourself with positivity and a can do attitude. This feeds into everyday life in throughout pregnancy and therefore helps your mental state;

In addition:

  • You are likely to experience a more comfortable and sometimes, pain free birth;
  • Your baby will arrive to a tranquil and relaxed environment, alert and ready to bond with you as nature has intended;
  • The length of labour is sometimes much shorter with Hypnobirthing births;
  • Less drugs and medical intervention are used in Hypnobirthing births allowing your baby to develop naturally and easily after they arrive;
  • Mothers often bounce back quicker after a Hypnobirthing birth as the physical impact of giving birth is reduced;
  • Your birth partner will learn how to support you and have a central and active role in the birth

All these factors help create a positive birth experience which is a step in the right direction to help lead you into motherhood. It’s certainly true that the opposite, negative birth experience hugely impacts postnatal depression and hypnobirthing seeks to avoid this.

HypnobirthMe is based in South London and is run by mum of two, Mary-Anne Constable. She became a teacher following an incredible hypnobirth in 2016. She is also offering Babycare TENS followers 10% off her hypnobirthing course, just quote BabycareTENS. Please go to for more information.