Hypnobirthing insights: the power of visualization in childbirth.

lotus flower unfurling
Envisioning the petals of a Lotus Flower or a Rose gently unfurling can be a great visualization of the cervix softening and opening.

A brief introduction to visualization & Hypnobirthing

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word visualization as “the act of forming a picture of somebody/something in your mind”. According to research using brain imagery, visualization is an effective tool, because when we visualize an action, our brain generates an impulse that instructs our neurons to perform that specific action. An effective way to experience the full benefits of visualization would be to consider incorporating it with other tools and techniques, such as self-hypnosis, breath work, affirmations, anchor touch and trigger words. Hypnobirthing Australia’s Positive Birth Program is a great resource to consider if you want to make the most of your visualization practices.

What is a neural pathway?

A neural pathway is simply a connection that is formed between another neuron, and these connections occur when you repeat certain actions, activities, or words. 
Visualization is effective because it’s creating new neural pathways, and therefore embedding new memories or behaviors into our subconscious. Verbally guided visualization tracks, like those available in Hypnobirthing Australia’s Positive Birth Program, can be a really effective practice for beginners who are new to visualization.

Now, let’s dive deeper into how the brain actually works during birth:

If a mother’s birthing environment is maintained, she feels safe, loved, nurtured, and her need for privacy is respected, then she will be able to switch off her Neocortex, the frontal portion of the brain that is associated with high-level thinking. This part of the brain isn’t largely required, and at times may actually switch off the limbic system and the Reptilian portion of the brain associated with instinctual birthing behaviors.

Utilize visualization to keep stress hormones at bay:

Switching off our Neocortex can also reduce levels of the stress hormones, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline, which can negatively impact physiological birth is the body is flooded with high levels.
At a systemic level, visualization and techniques that promote deep relaxation can reduce levels of these hormones and cultivate a sense of calmness and confidence.


Tapping into the power of visualization through meditation, self-hypnosis, and other relaxation practices can create new neural pathways. By embedding these new messages and associated behaviors into our subconscious, we don’t need to “think” or activate our neocortex, we can simply slip into a state of deep relaxation when required.