Meghan Markle Might Hypnotize Herself When She Gives Birth
Meghan Markle is expecting the royal baby any day now, and the Duchess of Sussex is in full mom-to-be mode, prepping her birth plan. According to reports, Markle is planning to have a doula assist her (something a royal hasn’t done in centuries) and intends to use a technique called HypnoBirthing (also known as the Mongan Method) to deliver her baby.
“HypnoBirthing is a childbirth education course that utilizes self‑hypnosis, guided imagery techniques, affirmations and education for an easier, more comfortable childbirth,” says Isabella Malbin, a certified HypnoBirthing educator and a doula. The goal of the course, she says, is to reduce the fear and tension many women have around giving birth and reduce the pain and discomfort of labor.
“To be honest, I teach the breathing technique to all of my clients,” says Liza Maltz, CLC, a birth and postpartum doula and founder of birthyourownway.com. “Clients often ask me what are the most important things for birth are, and I say ‘your mind & breath are your two most powerful tools.’ They all say [the technique] is relaxing.”
A source told Vanity Fair that “Meg wants a natural birth if she can have one. Her mother is very into anything that is holistic and natural, and having been brought up with yoga and mindfulness, it’s all very much part of Meghan’s birth plan.” If a natural birth is the goal, Malbin says HypnoBirthing definitely can help: “Those who prepare with [the technique] have fewer instances of induction, Cesarean birth, epidural, Pitocin [a synthetic hormone to induce contractions], and episiotomy,” says Malbin. “Families also report feeling more positive about the birthing experience,” she says.
Maltz agrees. In her experience, moms are able “stay centered and in control while being loose and relaxed.” And even if an unmedicated, natural birth is not your style, the techniques can still be helpful. “Even a planned C-section can use the breathing technique while getting the epidural or through surgery to relax themselves,” says Maltz.
The official program is a five-week course, and each weekly class is two-and-a-half hours. If Markle really is planning to use the technique, chances are she’s already begun practicing (Malbin recommends expectant women start taking classes between 20 and 30 weeks of pregnancy. For those who can't take classes, Maltz recommends reading the book the method is based on, HypnoBirthing by Marie F. Mongan. Another option is to learn from a doula who specializes in the technique.
Much like her sister-in-law Kate, most things Meghan tries have a surge in popularity, so if it’s confirmed that the Duchess of Sussex used the technique, it’s likely you’ll be hearing even more about it. “The demand is already growing for calm birthing experiences,” says Malbin.