How does GentleBirth work?


GentleBirth is a complete childbirth preparation programme that teaches easy self-hypnosis techniques which enable you to feel calm, confident and in control throughout your pregnancy and during your labour. Developed by Ireland’s leading positive birth preparation programme, developed by birth expert, hypnotherapist and author of Ireland’s two leading pregnancy/birthing guides - ‘The Better Birth Book’ and ‘The Irish Caesarean and VBAC Guide’ - Tracy Donegan, the materials draw on research done by Dr Michel Odent, Dr Sarah J Buckley and Dr Grantly Dick Read. The programme replaces fear and anxiety concerning birth with feelings of confidence and control. 

Most of us have grown up listening to horror stories of childbirth, seeing dramatic and traumatic images of childbirth on medical dramas, in films etc. As a result when we get pregnant our joy can often turn to fear as we realise we actually have to birth the baby and those images and voices come into our head.

GentleBirth changes those perceptions. Working on our subconscious brain – the part of our body that pumps the blood around our body, grows our cells and so forth - it rewires the thinking we have concerning birth and replaces any fear we may have with feelings of calmness and confidence. Self hypnosis and relaxation during labour reduce the hormones that increase pain levels and anxiety (adrenaline) and promote the release of hormones that help labour progress comfortably and quickly.


The GentleBirth course is available in two formats:

  1. A weekend workshop is held each month by a fully trained GentleBirth instructor to facilitate a group of mums-to-be and their partners through the GentleBirth course. The benefits of this course are that you are guided through the 'brain training' process, relaxation techniques and have two days full of opportunities to ask any questions from an experienced GentleBirth mum. You also benefit from learning with the group who will help you learn through their curiosity. The Gentle Birth Weekend Workshop is structured so that you learn the course over two days and then know how to use the Home Study Pack in the weeks proceeding your baby's birth.
  2. The Home Study Pack is available on its own, whereby you purchase the booklet and CD pack and work on the GentleBirth course in your own home, at your own pace. You can link in with other GentleBirth mums through a GentleBirth Facebook Page.


Stack the odds in your favour of having a positive birth for you, your baby and your partner.

Over the weekend you'll learn the following and more:

  • Physiology of the normal birth process
  • Fear Vs Relaxation in during birth - keeping adrenaline at bay
  • Sports psychology techniques for pregnancy and birth
  • The neuroscience of a gentle birth - rewiring your brain from fear to confidence
  • Facilitating the perfect balance of hormones in labour - undisturbed birth
  • Breathing techniques
  • Comfort measures for labour and birth (what you and your partner can do at each stage)
  • Use of the birth ball and other tools in labour (including waterbirth)
  • Bonding with your baby before birth
  • Routine procedures in Irish hospitals and how to avoid unnecessary interventions
  • What happens on admission to hospital?
  • Being a confident birth partner
  • Labour support tools for special circumstances
  • Creating an effective birth plan and how to communicate your intentions and preferences
  • Informed decision making
  • Relaxation techniques for mums and partners for pregnancy and labour
  • Protecting your baby and your body during the 2nd stage (pushing stage).
  • Birth positions
  • Recovery tips

What is the difference between GentleBirth and HypnoBirth?

You can get more information here and if you have any further questions please contact us.

Most couples come to GentleBirth workshops not because they are completely ruling out the epidural but because they want to do everything they can to have a positive experience. The epidural can be a great tool for labour if needed but after your GentleBirth workshop you and your partner will have a multitude of birth 'tools' and strategies in your labour 'toolkit'.

GentleBirth workshops are not like other antenatal classes.  The GentleBirth Workshop is the only class in Ireland that focuses on birth preparation for the biggest day of your life - and your baby's. Lots of classes attempt to squeeze in 9 months of antenatal education in to a one day class as well as birth preparation but we're different. We don't teach you how to change nappies....or how to bathe your baby (we know you'll have that figured out very quickly). Our focus is preparing you for the most positive birth possible - no matter what comes your way on the big day.

I will provide you with the roadmap to a positive birth. With over 3 years of experience supporting clients through Irish maternity services I help you navigate and negotiate the system. You and your partner get the inside track - so you can make the system work for you. 

With over 85% of GentleBirth mums not needing an epidural you're already off to a good start.GentleBirth Mums and Dads are not martyrs or looking for medals. They practice and prepare for the big day just like they would train for an athletic event but the key is mental preparation rather than physical. Mums who attend GentleBirth workshops are from all walks of life - teachers, stay at home mums, scientists, midwives and more. Like you, they've all heard the scary stories and have decided to stack the deck in their favour of having a great birth experience rather than leaving the biggest day of their lives up to chance.

The workshop is for parents who want to be actively involved in decision making and prefer to have an understanding of what choices are available to them for labour and birth in Ireland. You and your partner will learn a LOT more than just self hypnosis. Hypnosis is just one of the many tools you'll have to use on the big day depending on your individual experiences.


When is the best time to come to a workshop?

As soon as you want to start really enjoying your pregnancy - I see couples as early as 9 weeks and as late as 41 weeks. It's never too early, and only too late after your baby has arrived.

Although labour and birth is a serious topic the workshop is a lot of fun (don't worry nobody will be going home barking like a dog) There's plenty of practice too so it makes for a very relaxing, informative weekend.  You'll also see videos of Irish women giving birth, relaxed and confident.

You also receive the complete GentleBirth Antenatal Program Box Set which includes 8 CD's and the GentleBirth Guidebook, if you have not already purchased the Pack.

During the workshop you'll meet other couples who also want to have an active role in working towards a very positive experience. It gives you and your partner a great opportunity to escape life's day to day demands and just focus on each other and your baby for a weekend. You'll both leave the workshop feeling excited about labour - with no fear and ready for the great adventure of parenting - now immune to the scary stories everyone can't wait to tell you.

Is your partner prepared for labour?

It's no secret that most hospital classes don't prepare Dads adequately for birth. In most classes Dads are sidelined and not expected to be involved during the birth. Your partner has a huge role in your baby's birth and most Dads are very eager to understand what they can do to help. During the workshop you and your partner develop a clear understanding of how to navigate and negotiate the overstretched busy Irish maternity system confidently and calmly. Dads/birth partners appreciate the importance of their role as birth supporter, facilitator and advocate on this very special day.

GentleBirth preparation weekend workshops combine birth hypnosis (deep relaxation for pregnancy and labour) and active birthing principles enabling couples to have empowered, confident birth experiences with or without medical intervention at home or at the hospital.



To confirm your booking please choose the best option for you from the four options below.

Workshops are held in The Well, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork (see map below).  Class starts at 1pm on Saturday and ends at 6pm.  On Sunday the class runs from 9am and ends at 3.30pm.

When you add the GentleBirth Antenatal Workshop to your shopping cart you will be asked to choose the date of the workshop you would like to attend. Workshop places are limited - when I receive your payment I will confirm that the date you have selected is available.

I look forward to seeing you there.