CALM, gentle and pleasurable are three words not usually associated with childbirth.
But an increasing number of Sunshine Coast women are embracing an alternative birthing concept known as hypno-birthing that offers to make this a reality.
Hypno-birthing classes teach mums-to-be and their partners how to use their mind to eliminate fear, tension and pain in the hope of a natural and drug-free birth.
The techniques embraced include relaxation, visualisation, controlled breathing, self-hypnosis and positive affirmations.
Sunshine Coast based hypno-birth instructor Marilyn Colvin Boon helped implement the program in the UK and Australia.
Ms Boon said the Coast maternity hospitals had been open to women using the hypno-birthing technique.
"Childbirth should not be seen as a medical event," she said.
"It is a pleasant experience to get pregnant, so why should birthing not be?"
Ms Boon said little or no intervention was important in hypno-birthing.
"When a woman is interrupted during birthing it changes her emotional state," she said.
Maroochydore's Kari Bourne used the process during the birth of her child last year and said "there was no swinging pocket watch" above her head.
"Hypno-birthing is about having the right state of mind ... it's not magic," she said.
"It is about including your partner in the birthing experience."
Maroochydore mum Alana Hodgins agreed.
"My birth was absolutely amazing," she said.
"There was a moment towards the end when I panicked and lost focus, the pain was intense," she said. "But my partner helped get me back on track.
"My daughter was silent when she was born. We had a beautiful 20 minutes together before she cried."
President of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Dr Rupert Sherwood said there was nothing unusual about the concept of hypno-birthing.
"It is very important to have a support person, to feel safe."
However, Dr Sherwood said women should not feel a sense of
failure if they don't have the exact birth they planned.