The words we use within the hypnosis scripts are so important because the subconscious is so literal. You want to avoid using words that are negative, create bad feeling and are limited, e.g. Can’t, won’t, must, should, try, don’t etc. and use words that are positive and enabling, e.g. Exciting, calm, serene, powerful, joyful, confident, trusting, powerful etc.

Remember to always focus on what you do want as opposed to what you don’t want. So rather than saying “You don’t feel any fear when thinking about the contractions”, it would be better to say, “the thought of a contraction makes you feel confident and calm”.

Reading speed

Reading a hypnosis script is often the thing people find most difficult because they think they have to sound a certain way or not use any emotion in their voice. It’s actually very simple, just imagine you’re speaking to a young child to try and get them to sleep – you wouldn’t want to get them over excited so your voice would remain calm, you’re not going to speak too loudly because that wouldn’t be relaxing and even though its fine for your voice to show emotion, you wouldn’t want to be too over the top. You also want to make sure you speak slowly so your breathing rhythm naturally slows down. An effective technique to master the correct speed is to repeat the sentence you have just spoken, under your breath. It will seem very odd at first and impossibly slow but the more you practice the more you get used to it. If you’re wanting to ask your partner to record the script for you, have them read this paragraph first.

It can also be really useful to include your name in the recording at certain points, because it makes your subconscious pay attention.

Recognition of the hypnotic state

Depth of trance is not important, nor is fading in an out of what is being said, nor is being able to remember what happened or, indeed remembering every single word. What is important is you’re taking the time out to relax and give your body the opportunity to rest so you can benefit from the relaxation response and start to feel more positive about the prospect of giving birth. If you fall asleep then you’re giving your body what it needs but the likelihood is you’ll wake up when you hear the count up to 5. Remember, everyone is going to experience things differently but some common elements associated with a hypnotic trance are:

  • Feelings of weight change – some people will experience feelings of heaviness whilst others feel lighter.
  • Some may report feeling they are floating above the surface they are lying/sitting on, whilst others feel as though they are sinking into the floor or their chair.
  • Tingling – you may notice a tingly feeling all over your body which is probably due to the dilation of the capillaries, a result of relaxation.
  • Time distortion – when someone is in hypnosis, their awareness of time can become quite distorted. Time or the awareness of it is a neocortex manifestation due to our need to measure and assess. In other words, if you’re not using theanalytical part of your mind, time becomes irrelevant and you may find it difficult to accurately work out how long you have been in hypnosis. You can encourage this sense of time distortion during labour with post hypnotic suggestions so your perception is one of having all the time you need to feel wonderfully relaxed and refreshed between each contraction, and the time of each contraction feels as if it is just a few seconds.
  • Heart rate – the heart rate will slow during hypnosis. Internalised emotional response – you may experience intense emotional feelings that someone observing you might not even be able to notice. This could be anywhere on the scale between excessive happiness or dramatic tears and it could be physical such as an increased heart rate or emotional.

This list is not exhaustive.
A good indicator you’ve been hypnotised is when you’re re-orientated, you may take a little while to return completely to awareness, you may even feel a little dazed. It’s always a good idea to give yourself a bit of time when you first come out of the trance before you spring up and carry on with the rest of your day.


An abreaction is an emotional release. It can happen because you may have let go of an intense fear or even because you have had some sort of internal revelation and it can be quite extreme. It may happen during the session or can happen once you have been re-orientated. It may be quite alarming to experience, but it is actually very positive and shows the hypnosis has had a profound effect. If it does happen, use your exhalation breath to calm yourself down and give yourself a minute or two just to ground yourself.

Use the relaxation techniques that you feel will help to ground you.

The purpose of teaching you hypnosis techniques for use in childbirth is really equipping you with the ability to hypnotise yourself. All of the relaxation techniques we’ve talked about are all methods by which you can take yourself into a hypnotic state.