Hypnobabies vs Hypnobirthing: What’s the difference?

Jul 18, 2022

Parents-to-be have many options when it comes to childbirth education classes. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the differences and similarities between Hypnobabies vs Hypnobirthing.  

We’ll also talk about The Curtis Method. Specifically, we’ll discuss what The Curtis Method has in common with both of these methods, and what it adds.


What is Hypnobirthing?

What is hypnobirthing? Hypnobirthing is a pain relief approach that breaks the fear-tension-pain cycle during childbirth. Hypnobirthing classes prepare women for childbirth by teaching hypnobirthing techniques such as:

  • Visualizations
  • Affirmations
  • Breathing exercises

For some women, hypnobirthing helps childbirth feel so natural that they don’t notice pain.


What is the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing?

When you see HypnoBirthing spelled with a capital H and B, you’re reading about the Mongan method of hypnobirthing. The Mongan method was founded by Marie Mongan, the hypnotherapist who invented hypnobirthing. Classes draw heavily from Marie Mongan’s book, “HypnoBirthing: The Natural Approach to Safer, Easier, More Comfortable Birthing.”

HypnoBirthing classes include 5 classes at 2.5 hours each, coming to a total of 12.5 hours of class time. According to the HypnoBirthing official website, some of the topics addressed in class include:

  • Self-hypnosis
  • Breathing and visualization
  • Nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding support
  • Potential complications or interventions
  • Stages of labor and natural induction
  • Massage and other comfort measures
  • Partner training and support

In short, HypnoBirthing is the technique that aligns with hypnotherapist pioneer, Marie Mongan. It has helped prepare women for childbirth all over the world. The technique has also helped to transform our culture to one that celebrates childbirth instead of fearing it.


Is Calm Birth the same as hypnobirthing?

CalmBirth is a program created by an Australian midwife, Peter Jackson. He observed that women who felt fearful had more painful deliveries. He wanted to create a program that would help women maintain a sense of deep relaxation throughout labor and delivery.

CalmBirth includes many of the same techniques as hypnobirthing, including breathing and visualizations. However, they aren’t the same thing. Hypnobirthing primarily relies on alert hypnosis for pain management. CalmBirth, on the other hand, relies on deep relaxation as a normal and natural physiological response. It uses methods like vocalizations to help engage that physical response.

In essence, hypnobirthing and CalmBirth both rely on the mind-body connection. Hypnobirthing accesses that connection more through the mind. CalmBirth establishes that connection more through body-focused exercises.

CalmBirth typically has around 12 hours of total class time.


What is Hypnobabies?

Hypnobabies is a method of hypnobirthing based on Gerald Kein’s “Painless Childbirth” program.

Like other hypnobirthing classes, Hypnobabies teaches expectant parents about “eyes open” hypnosis. This active hypnosis helps transform uncomfortable birth sensations into natural and empowering feelings. 

However, the Hypnobaby philosophy emphasizes that complications and pain are sometimes unavoidable.  So, Hypnobabies spends more time teaching about complications during birth, levels of pain during labor, and how to meet those challenges. They also talk more about pregnancy nutrition, postpartum care, and breastfeeding.

How long is a Hypnobabies course?

One key feature of the Hypnobaby approach is its depth. Hypnobabies classes are often longer than regular hypnobirthing classes. Each course includes 18 hours of coursework instead of 12 hours. 


Hypnobabies vs hypnobirthing: the rundown

In essence, the difference between hypnobabies vs hypnobirthing is one of depth. Both hypnobirthing and hypnobabies teach active and alert hypnosis to help mothers through labor. Unlike many hypnobirthing courses, however, the Hypnobaby approach follows a standard, in-depth curriculum. This curriculum includes:

  • Prenatal nutrition and exercises
  • Potential complications during childbirth
  • Postpartum care for mothers
  • Breastfeeding preparation and information

Hypnobabies courses are up to 50% longer than most hypnobirthing classes. They total 18 hours (three hours per class, six classes) instead of 12 hours.


The Curtis Method

Now that we’ve looked at the differences between hypnobirthing vs hypnobabies, we’re ready to talk about the Curtis Method.

At HypnoActive Birth, we teach using The Curtis Method.

Like Hypnobabies, the Curtis Method goes beyond your typical hypnobirthing class. Specifically, the Curtis Method focuses on practical exercises to use during pregnancy and labor. Many of these exercises come from a technique called Active Birth.

In Active Birth:

  • You can move freely
  • You don’t have to stay in bed or in positions others dictate
  • You can choose positions that bring you comfort and ease
  • You can trust your body’s instincts

The Curtis Method puts hypnobirthing and Active Birth together—giving you the tools you need for a HypnoActive birth. 

As one client describes,

“I practiced and prepared my mind and body in order to do the one thing my body was made to do, give birth.”

HypnoActive also includes CalmBirth techniques such as vocalizations. In essence, HypnoActive Birth approaches the mind-body connection from both sides. 

Our founder, Lauralyn Curtis Kohl, started HypnoActive birth during her third pregnancy. Her first two deliveries had been difficult, and she wanted something better for her third. 

Now, she is a certified:

  • Hypnobirthing Practitioner
  • Hypnotherapist
  • Yoga Instructor
  • and Doula

Lauralyn’s clients often express surprise at how beautiful and empowering labor can be. One client reports, 

“The midwife checked me during labor and said, ‘Wow I’m so impressed by you! You’re at an 8 and you are so quiet!’ It was complete euphoria.”

At HypnoActive Birth, Lauralyn combines her knowledge into an empowering and integrated experience. Since founding HypnoActive Birth in 2010, she has helped over 4,000 families have their own beautiful birth experience. 


What does the Curtis Method add to Hypnobirthing?

The Curtis Method includes all of the foundational material used in hypnobirthing classes. This includes breathing techniques, visualizations, affirmations, nutritional information and physiological explanations. 

Unlike most hypnobirthing classes, our classes include a total of 18 hours of childbirth education. For our in-person and virtual courses, the 18 hours are spread across 6 weeks in 3-hour blocks. For our home study, the material is prerecorded and can be viewed at your own pace. 

Similar to Hypnobabies, the Curtis Method contains more pregnancy and childbirth education than typical hypnobirthing classes. 

However, our classes also provide additional, exclusive childbirth preparation, which we explain below.


What does the Curtis Method add to Hypnobabies?

Unlike Hypnobabies, HypnoActive focuses on principles of Active Birth as well as hypnobirthing. This includes physical exercises, vocalizations, and Daddy Doula training.

Our classes also include take-home resources, on top of 18 hours of class time. These materials include:

  • Our Daddy Doula cheat sheet
  • Our 120-page exclusive class workbook
  • 12 birth videos from real HypnoActive parents
  • Birth preference worksheets
  • 8 hypnobirthing soundtracks

Lauralyn, our director and instructor, has spent thousands of hours teaching at HypnoActive.  As a doula, yoga instructor, and hypnotherapist, she has worked on creating the best package for expecting parents.



In short, there are many childbirth education classes that can help prepare you for birth. Some of these are:

  • HypnoBirthing using the Mongan method
  • Hypnobabies 
  • CalmBirth
  • HypnoActive classes using the Curtis Method

At HypnoActive, we offer in-depth, comprehensive education about hypnobirthing and Active Birth principles. You can learn more about our classes here.

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