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What happened when I asked ChatGPT, “What is Hypnobirthing?”

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

Now, I don't want to put myself out of a job here but I was curious what a robot might answer. I sometimes find it hard to articulate in a succinct way because I want to bust all the hippy myths at the same time as explaining the science and evidence behind this Antenatal birth preparation technique, which mostly results in me stumbling over my words.

And I have to be honest, Chatbot did a reasonably good job of explaining it to a degree. So let's take a look at what he/she/them/they said,

Chat GPT being asked What is hypnobirthing
Can ChatGPT do a better job than me at answering this question?

  • Chatbot started where I may not have personally but I'm rolling with it. Self Hypnosis. Now let me clarify, all types of Hypnosis are self hypnosis and we ALL go into these states every single day. That period just before you fall asleep or just as you're waking, is self hypnosis. When you are driving in the car and can’t remember the last 10 miles, that's self hypnosis. So my answer to this is Yes, and No. Yes the techniques that Hypnobirthing teaches you will help you anchor a deep state of relaxation, but no, just because I don’t like to use the term self hypnosis personally as it conjures up a skewed view of what Hypnobirthing is.

  • Breathing Techniques: Yes Hypnobirthing does teach 1-3 breathing techniques. Learning to breathe deeply and calmly activates our parasympathetic nervous system. When we activate this “Rest and Digest” system through breathing, it slows our heart, lowers blood pressure and promotes digestion. Our body enters a state of relaxation, and this relaxation breeds recovery. Thus making a far easier journey for you and your baby in birth

Muhammad Ali used hypnobirth technique visulisations to achieve his goal
Muhammad Ali using Visualisation to realise his goals

  • Visualisations. By this point I'm noticing that Chatbot maybe understands some of the techniques used in Hypnobirthing but it has yet to identify what it is. But I'm still rolling with it. Yes, Hypnobirthing teaches the power of visualisations. But it's not new nor exclusive to Hypnobirthing. Buddha is quoted as saying "What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create." In hypnobirthing we work on creating a mental blueprint of your ideal birth. Just as Usain bolt does before a race “I just visualised and then executed my plan.” or Muhammad ali told himself every day “I am the greatest”. It's a tried and tested technique to rewire our minds to believe what is possible.

  • Education: I quite like this one, yes it is indeed an education but not just in birth. Hypnobirthing is steeped in science so it is primarily an education of psychology and physiology. How your mind and body are connected and it focuses heavily on hormones, how they are promoted or hindered. Yes, an education, but far deeper than you might expect.

women hypnobirth in a bath
Women practicing Hypnobirth relaxation
  • Supportive environment: I wasn’t expecting Chat Bot to come up with this one so i’m actually pleasantly surprised. Hormones are affected by our surroundings. Think about shopping on Oxford street, at Christmas. It's busy, it's loud, it's an attack on all of our senses and for most of us we would be feeling quite stressed. That's our hormones reacting to our environment. Now think about having an uninterrupted bath, low lighting, candles, your favourite music and some nice bubble bath. Feels nice right? That's your hormones, sending messages to your brain about your environment and signalling it to release the appropriate hormones. In hypnobirthing, we know which hormones we need to produce and which we need to avoid so we manage our environment to facilitate that.

Well Chat GPT, you surprised me, the above are maybe not the first things I would have mentioned personally but I think it's a good start. My personal way of explaining what Hypnobirthing is would be as follows, “It is an education on the physiology and psychology of birth, creating an understanding of how the mind and body are connected and what techniques can support our body to birth our baby with ease and resulting in a positive experience”

I must say that I am delighted that Chatbot didn’t talk about birth being “pain free” or “unmedicated”, 2 very annoying but common myths. Hypnobirthing helps you understand pain, and reframe pain. Studies show that people who have taken a Hypnobirthing class perceive less pain than those who did not take a class, but it certainly cannot guarantee a “Pain Free” birth. Studies also show that those who practise hypnobirthing need less medical intervention (a result of the right hormones being produced, less perceived pain and the parasympathetic nervous system working). But Hypnobirthing teaches about all possible interventions and how to make informed choices about them. When we know that 34% of women will be induced, it’s important we explore it and prepare for it in a positive way.

How to choose your Hypnobirth coach

Look for one that focuses on the science, gives you time to put the tools into practice and one that includes the birthing partner. There are plenty of reputable coaches out there but be careful as it is an unregulated industry. If they're promising a pain free birth, run a mile. Check out the packages offered by Your Birth Story, A Berkshire based coach, for a complete guide to hypnobirthing.

hypnobirth class being held in  reading, berkshire by Your Birth Story
Group Hypnobirth Programme by Your Birth Story, held in Padworth, Berkshire

Top 3 tips for Hypnobirthing

  1. Practice makes perfect

  2. Get the birth partner involved

  3. Know your rights and feel empowered

Find out more tips and tricks at

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