I have a confession to make…I’m a doula and I thought birth was always painful.

After ten years of supporting over 250 families, I now know that this is not always the case.

I’ve witnessed all kinds of births, from water births to home births; hospital med-free births, epidural births and c-sections; gentle and calm births, as well as loud and boisterous births. They were all beautiful because a new life was entering the world and two people were becoming parents. But the births that surprised me the most were those that were seemingly calm, gentle and experienced with minimal pain.

That’s right. Minimal pain.

For years I considered those women to be ‘lucky’. But in retrospect, I have noticed some common factors among these births. Factors which I believe to have contributed to a gentle and calm birth experience. Here’s what I’ve observed:


These women were supported by caring, loving people.

They had a supportive healthcare team that did not insist on interventions.

Their births were uncomplicated.

They were not rushed.

These women gave into the sensations of their birthing body.

They were introspective and mostly disconnected from the people around them.

They trusted their body to birth a healthy baby.

These women remained calm throughout their labour.

They used their breath and the power of their mind to keep them focused and calm.


Today, I have a fresh perspective on childbirth.

It’s not a new idea by far; in fact, in 1942 Dr. Grantley Dick-Read wrote in Childbirth Without Fear, that “No other natural bodily function is painful, and childbirth should not be an exception.”

Taking this into consideration, I decided to train and certify as a HypnoBirthing® Practitioner. HypnoBirthing believes that, “a normal physiological process does not need assistance.  It needs only the patience of birth attendants to resist the temptation to disturb its rhythm and flow in the absence of special circumstances”. Marie F. Mongan.

HypnoBirthing is a comprehensive childbirth education program that teaches techniques that can be used during labour to help people have a calm and gentle birth experience, whether that’s at the hospital or at home.  

This doesn’t mean that every labour will be ‘pain-free’, or that women shouldn’t be vocal or they shouldn’t get an epidural. Every birth is unique and circumstances may change.

Our classes help women prepare for the best birth outcome possible, and to prepare for the unexpected….because even if a birth doesn’t go as planned, we are still able to give our babies (and ourselves!) the gift of a peaceful, gentle and calm birth-day.  

For more information about our classes please visit http://www.gracefulbirth.ca/hypnobirthing/
Or about HypnoBirthing in general please visit https://us.hypnobirthing.com/about/what-is-hypnobirthing-definition/

~ Grace Jose