Hypnobirthing Meditation

Sep 02, 2022

Chances are, you’re already familiar with at least some aspects of meditation. You may have taken a yoga class and practiced meditation by breathing through stretches or poses. You may have listened to a speaker who prompted you to close your eyes and gently follow their thought prompts. Or, you might just like to spend some time reflecting while reading or after a conversation with a friend. 

The basic tenets of meditation aren’t new. Deep breathing, focus, and mindfulness are part of our everyday journey. They’re part of what makes our human experience meaningful. 

Hypnobirthing takes everything that meditation offers and builds on it. 

Hypnobirthing and meditation both use breathing techniques. Hypnobirthing, however, provides a variety of birth-specific techniques for labor. 

Hypnobirthing and meditation also both use visualizations and affirmations. Hypnobirthing uses images and affirmations that have special meaning for women giving birth. It also develops these images and affirmations into complete stories that address every part of the birth experience. 

In essence, hypnobirthing combines meditation with the lived experience of countless mothers and what made a real-life impact for them. In this article, we’ll talk more about what hypnobirthing and meditation have in common. We’ll also talk about what hypnobirthing adds to meditation for giving birth.


What are the basics of hypnobirthing?

There are several different hypnobirthing meditation classes. A few of these include HypnoBirthing classes, Hypnobabies, and our classes here at HypnoActive

Each class is a little different from the others. For instance, HypnoBirthing classes typically include 12 hours of instruction, while classes here at HypnoActive include 18 hours of instruction. Classes also vary based on the experience of their instructors. 

However, there are a few birth meditation methods that are common to all hypnobirthing classes. These techniques include:

  • Breathing Techniques
  • Affirmations
  • Visualizations

The point of these techniques is to:

  • Feel calm
  • Relax muscles
  • Reduce pain
  • Tap into natural instincts


What are the basics of meditation?

Meditation involves techniques like:

  • Breathing
  • Body scanning
  • Slowing thoughts
  • Concentration
  • Letting thoughts go

These exercises are often practiced through yoga, guided meditation, mindfulness, and mantras.



Yoga is a combination of spiritual, mental, and physical exercise. It comes from Hinduism and was practiced as early as at least 5,000 years ago.

Some of the stretches, poses, and exercises in yoga are similar to other programs like Pilates. As a result, yoga can be very useful for body conditioning. 

However, yoga is more than stretches and exercises. Yoga also involves clearing your mind and breathing deeply into the positions. 

Another key element is letting go of your thoughts. You can do this by focusing on different parts of your body. You can also do this by focusing on specific mantras, often geared towards accepting and loving your body as it is.


Guided meditation

Guided meditation is a meditation you practice by listening to a teacher. You can practice guided meditation in person, or with pre-recorded audio. 

Guided meditations often include a body scan, where the teacher draws your attention to different parts of your body. They also often include some kind of image or scene, where the teacher helps you imagine a place or experience and guides you through it.



Mindfulness is the mental practice of paying attention to the present moment. It involves accepting thoughts, feelings and sensations with curiosity instead of judgment. It also helps you feel more grounded.

Mindfulness is commonly used in therapy. It is even a major tenant of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Just a few benefits of mindfulness include less depression, less anxiety, and even MRI-verified improved brain health. 

One of the simplest ways to practice mindfulness is to pay attention to each inhale and exhale you make, and repeat. However, you can practice mindfulness with any activity. 

You can even practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth or washing your hands. All you need to do is slow down and notice the sensations. Just a few minutes of intentional mindfulness everyday goes a long way.


A “mantra” can refer to two things. The first is a word or sound repeated during a meditation session. The second is a word or phrase that can be repeated in any setting. 

Both have meditative value. 

Repeating a mantra during a meditation session can help you set aside other worries and focus your mind. It can help you focus on sensations throughout your body, such as the vibration of a humming sound. It can also help you focus on a word that represents something important to you. 

Even when you aren’t actively meditating, mantras are a powerful tool. Repeating mantras can help reinforce your goals, retrain your self-talk, and turn down extra mental noise in your head.


What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation is an incredibly well researched practice, and the benefits span emotional, mental and physical gains. As well, the benefits of meditation don’t end when your session is over. Instead, they continue throughout your day and grow stronger with time.

Emotional Benefits

Meditation can help you feel more:

  • Calm and at peace
  • Happy
  • Safe
  • Restful
  • Full of love and kindness
  • Connected with others

According to a Forbes article, meditation can even increase a person’s baseline capacity for happiness by meditating every day. In essence, even a short daily meditation can help rewire your brain and increase your sensitivity to meaningful things in your life. 


Mental Benefits

Some of the mental benefits of meditation can include:

  • Perspective
  • Ability to focus
  • Clarity of thought
  • Patience
  • Increased insights and self-awareness
  • Increased problem-solving confidence

Physical Benefits

There are many well-documented physical benefits to meditation. Some of the most common are:

  • Less stress
  • Less pain
  • Lower heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better sleep

Many of the health benefits of meditation are likely due to reduced stress. Chronic stress is one of the most ignored sources of illness.

Regardless of your situation, reducing stress can have incredible benefits. 

In the case of childbirth, stress and muscle tension make childbirth more painful and difficult. Meditative practices that reduce stress help promote confidence and relaxation during labor. 

That said, like hypnobirthing, meditation works best in conjunction with modern medicine rather than against it.


Is hypnobirthing just meditation?

Hypnobirthing uses several aspects of meditation. These include breath work, guided meditation, mindfulness, and positive statements.  However, hypnobirthing meditation is tailored to the unique experience of childbirth. It empowers women to engage in labor hypnosis for an easier, more comfortable birth.

Below, we’ll talk about specific hypnobirthing meditation techniques, how they are similar to general meditation, and how they are different from general meditation. 


How do you practice hypnobirthing?

Just like with meditation, hypnobirthing techniques may take some getting used to. The first few times you try hypnobirthing meditation exercises, you may feel self-conscious or like you aren’t doing it right. Because of this, the first step is simply just to get started: try a technique, and then try it again.

Also like meditation, hypnobirthing is most powerful when practiced often. Any time you have a few minutes to spare, you can practice hypnobirthing techniques. Not only will you feel better in the moment, but these little exercises will help prepare you for birth. 


Breathing techniques

Meditation often uses breathing techniques. Hypnobirthing does this as well, but tailors these breathing techniques to specific needs during labor.


Calm Breathing

A common breathing technique in meditation is called calm breathing. For calm breathing, you breathe in for four counts and breathe out for 8 counts. Having a longer exhale helps your body relax. A longer exhale tells your body that you are safe by engaging your parasympathetic system (also called the “rest and digest” mode). 

Hypnobirthing meditation teaches calm breathing, especially for between contractions. Calm breathing promotes relaxation and a sense of safety. It also lets the birthing person rest as much as possible between contractions. 

Wave or Surge Breathing

In hypnobirthing, we like to think of contractions as “waves” or “surges.” 

“Wave” or “surge” breathing is about breathing evenly and deeply during contractions. It also involves breathing in and out for the same number of counts. This helps you feel confident as you breathe through the pain or discomfort.



Another birth-specific technique is called J-Breathing. Some people call this technique “breathing baby down.”

For J-Breathing, you breathe in through your nose to the back of the neck. Then, as you exhale, you imagine that you are guiding your baby down your back and out of the birth canal. 

Like calm breathing, wave breathing and J breathing reduce stress. They help you feel in control of your experience during labor. They also relax your muscles, which can help you have a more open and comfortable labor and delivery.



Affirmations are like mantras. Both involve positive statements. 

Common birth affirmations include:

  • I am made to do this
  • I trust my instincts
  • My baby knows what to do
  • Each contraction brings me closer to my baby

There are hundreds of birth affirmations. As you read through different affirmations, you can choose which ones feel most meaningful to you. A personal connection to your affirmations helps your birth meditation and labor hypnosis be more powerful.


Hypnobirthing visualizations can be as simple as a single image. They can also be as complex as a story, as in guided meditations.

These images and guided meditations help you imagine a healthy, comfortable labor and birth. Visualizations are concrete and relatable, making them an important part of hypnobirthing meditation.

When should I start practicing hypnobirthing?

When it comes to general meditation, it’s never too early to start practicing. 

For more in depth hypnobirthing, you may want to take a class.

We recommend starting our HypnoActive classes between 22 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. Like with meditation, hypnobirthing becomes more powerful with practice. Starting early will give you plenty of time to practice.

If you are after 32 weeks, we have a home study course that you can work on at a faster pace. 

You can read more about our classes here.

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