Certified HypnoBirthingand childbirth educatorsacross the globe will be implementing an entirely new curriculum in their courses as early as next month,Allison Thompson, a certified HypnoBirthing and childbirth educator,said at an information session in Toronto on Tuesday. 

According to Thompson, the HypnoBirthing Institute has begun training practitioners in the new curriculum, which is a completely revamped version of the Mongan Method, the curriculum used by Marie Mongan to found the HypnoBirthingmethod. 

In an interview after the session, Thompson said, “The new curriculum is taking an approach to strongly emphasize instinctual birth…When we breathe air, our body uses what it needs from that air and lets go of what we don’t need. We don’t need to understand how that works in order for it to work, it’s just something our body does for us. Giving birth is very much in that same realm, in that our bodies are made to do it and know how to do it. If we’re in a state of relaxation, then our bodies can do their work properly.” 

“I had a great HypnoBirthing experience and I would 100 per centrecommend it to any pregnant woman who asked me about it,” said Ashleigh Max Waters, a previous client of Thompson’s and a guest speaker at the information session, in an interview discussing the course and the upcoming curriculum changes. “I don’t see any circumstance that someone would be in where they wouldn’t be able to use at least one of the updated techniques of HypnoBirthing.”

“I would recommend it, because prenatal education in general is important,” said Sarah Windard, a naturopathic doctorat Your Downtown Doula, in an interview about the new curriculum. “The philosophies in HypnoBirthing are very normalizing in describing birth. It makes it seem less medical and scary, and more natural.” 

According to a 2006 oppositional study conducted by Childbirth Connection in theirListening to Mothers II (LTM-II) report,76 per cent of women received an epidural, and 22 per cent used some form of medication for labour pain control, even when using HypnoBirthing techniques. 

However, the updates to the Mongan Method aim to reduce labour pain and reliance on medication for pain control in labour, although still offering medication for clients who request it, said Thompson in an interview.

Regarding the way that the new HypnoBirthingtechniques would battle oppositional statistics like the ones presented by LTM-II, Jenny Telfer-crum, a pelvic health physiotherapist at the Womb in Milton, Ont., said in an interview, “I would say that the reason I support it wouldn’t be that it would make birthing pain free. Research does not support HypnoBirthing being pain-free. But it is new, fresh education and tools that are used to help it be a more relaxing, easy birth.”

This story was written in October 2018 as an assignment for the Ryerson School of Journalism.