CHILDBIRTH can be portrayed as an excruciatingly painful experience, but a new resident is hoping to change Gladstone's perceptions.
Hypnobirthing classes will soon be offered in Gladstone, and local mums are embracing the natural birthing process.
Shari Lyon is a certified Hypnobirthing Australia practitioner, having studied an American and Australian program of hypnobirthing after using the techniques for the birth of her first son.
She said her decision to learn hypnobirthing had been an easy one.
"I looked after myself during pregnancy. It didn't seem right that come the birth I would have a chemical drug that could affect my baby," she said.
The program teaches mothers and partners techniques of breathing, relaxation, visualisation and self-hypnosis.
"In this calm state, your body's natural relaxant, endorphins, replace the stress hormones," she said.
Ms Lyon is the only practitioner between the Sunshine Coast and Cairns.
"I think Gladstone has become a boom town, and there has been such a growth of families moving in, but it hasn't quite caught up with pregnancy support for women, so I'm hoping to change that."
She said the parents decidde on their care providers and they still gave birth in hospitals.
"They still go and birth like they normally would. However, they have a birth plan and they talk to their care provider and tell them they will be hypnobirthing."
Couple uses breathing to control pain
PAM Syposz and Aldo Olarte were the first Gladstone couple to take on the hypnobirthing technique.
Annabelle Olarte was born on July 19.
"I wanted to try and have a drug-free birth if possible and I asked my doctor if there was anyone who can help with breathing techniques or anyone who can teach me to naturally manage pain, and she didn't know of anyone in the area," Pam said.
About a month before her due date, the copule began classes with Shari.
"We had four three-hour classes and spent time practising the breathing and relaxation techniques each day."
Pam went on to have a natural labour.
"There was a moment where I thought, 'I can't do this - I need (an epidural)', but it was good because I had my partner with me, who was prepared. In the course, he learned to remind me that I can do this," she said.