FAQs – Calmbirth®


What is the difference between Calmbirth® and Hypnobirthing?

This is an important question as alot of people think we do the same there but there is a big difference between these two courses. Peter Jackson founder of Calmbirth® has outlined it beautifully on the Calmbirth®website and I would strongly encourage you to read further about this for your own clarification. They are two different modalites coming from two different backgrounds so please visit the Calmbirth® website  http://www.calmbirth.com.au/hypnobirthing-hypnobirth for further information with regard to this question.


Is Calmbirth® all about having a “pain-free” birth?

No Calmbirth is not all about a “pain-free” birth. During the Calmbirth® course, couples learn about the relationship between the expectation of pain, fear, and the resulting biological responses within the body which seem to increase the likelihood of mothers describing their birth as “painful”.  The preliminary evidence from mothers who have completed the Calmbirth® course is that for some of them, when equipped with the knowledge gained from the course, have gone on to have births in which they describe feeling sensations of  “pressure” which can be intense at times, but not necessarily “painful”.

The philosophy of Calmbirth® is that the birthing mother feels less fearful and more confident about her birth and to experience a more positive labour as a result.


Is there any scientific research that has been conducted to indicate that Calmbirth® is effective?

A survey was conducted for mothers who completed the Calmbirth course.  Of the 1064 who completed the evaluation:

60.5% normal vaginal birth 16.2% normal vaginal birth with assistance
15.2% emergency caesarean 4.9% planned caesarean
48.4% had no analgesia or anesthetic during their labour
25.8% who did use analgesia, used gas only

Currently, Calmbirth® is undertaking a scientific research project through the Royal Women’s Hospital in Randwick NSW.


When is the best time to start classes during my pregnancy?

If possible, it is recommended that couples complete the Calmbirth® course from around 22-24 weeks gestation.  Commencing the class earlier in your pregnancy allows you more time to practice the skills and experience the benefits of the bonding and relaxation you will both learn.  Of course, it is not always possible for couples to attend classes earlier but the earlier the better.  Most couples attend the course from between 20 and 36weeks.


Should my partner/husband/support person attend the class too?  Will the Calmbirth® course be useful for him/her as well?

The Calmbirth® course recognises the important role of partners and support people during labour and birth in assisting the birthing mother to maintain her learned relaxation techniques, in providing comfort and anything she needs during birth, and to be an important advocate for her in dealing with hospital staff.  Educating partners and support people is an integral part of the course.  The Calmbirth course content covers practical ways in which support people and partners can assist the birthing mother during the remainder of the pregnancy, and during labour.  This knowledge gives support people the confidence they need to play an active role in the birth and to increase the likelihood of a positive experience for both mother and child, so yes, it is important for partners/husbands to attend and if they cannot, a support person who will be at the birth is encouraged.


Is Calmbirth just about having a drug free, natural birth?  What if I’m already planning a caesarian?

The information and skills you will learn in the Calmbirth® course are applicable for all types of birth – whether it be a vaginal birth, elective or emergency caesarian.  Many mothers who complete the Calmbirth course do go on to have a drug free vaginal birth, and describe their labour as “intense” or “pain free”.  The skills you will learn as a result of doing the Calmbirth course will assist you regardless of how your birth unfolds, and whether or not your birth goes according to plan or requires intervention. Its about ensuring that you feel confident and calm throughout the whole experience.


Can I claim my classes on my Health Fund?

Yes you can depending on which fund you are in and at which level of cover you have. Not all funds cover antenatal classes and not all funds cover Midwives running private classes, so you will need to check firstly if they cover classes and secondly if your level of cover will cover classes too. Here is a list of the Health Funds that currently I can offer provider numbers for. If your health care fund is not listed here, please ask and I will investigate it further and let you know.

  • NIB
  • Bupa
  • Australian Unity
  • Ahm Health Insurance
  • GU Health
  • Defense Health
  • Teachers Health Fund
  • ACA Health
  • Peoplecare health Insurance


Do you offer Calmbirth® classes as private classes?

No – not at present due to other work/study commitments.