How did Hypnobirthing Start?

The idea of returning to a more natural birthing experience was pioneered by English obstetrician Dr Grantly Dick-Read.

A chance phrase by an uneducated women living in a hovel in Whitechapel in the 1920s, that childbirth wasn’t meant to be painful, led the young Dr Dick-Read to dedicate his life to promoting natural childbirth.  Dr Dick-Read began to explore the notion that, in the absence of fear and tension severe pain does not have to accompany childbirth.  And that the body's natural endorphins can replace the stress hormones that cause the pain.

Inspired by the writings of Grantly Dick-Read, the NCT was started in 1956 by Prunella Briance, who placed an advert in the personal columns of the Daily Telegraph and The Times inviting interest in the formation of an association to promote and better understand the Dick-Read system of natural childbirth.  She received overwhelming interest and support and so the Natural Childbirth Association was formed, which later obtained charitable status and became the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).

Another very important advocate for the natural childbirth was Michel Odent, a French obstetrician (now retired), who introduced the concept of birthing pools and home-like birthing rooms.

There is some controversy as to who actually coined the term hypnobirthing, but two American women both began to use it in the 1980s and who have been instrumental in the spread of Hypnobirthing are Michelle Leclaire O'Neill whose work was partly based on Dr Dick-Read’s research, and Marie Mongan who founded The HypnoBirthing Institute in America.



Dr Grantly Dick-Read M.A., M.D.
"There is no physiological function in the body that gives rise to pain in the normal course of health. In no other animal species is the process of birth apparently associated with any suffering, pain or agony, except where pathology exists or in an unnatural state, such as captivity."
Above, an excerpt from Revelation of Childbirth [William Heinemann Medical Books, 1942] later renamed Childbirth Without Fear.

If you are looking for prenatal classes in Kent and want to learn more about this natural birthing programme, you can explore this site and then contact us for a chat and discover if this is just what you’ve been looking for.

© Sandra Handford 2011 All Rights Reserved