Hypnosis and Childbirth

I’m strongly considering doing a form of hypnosis for the birth of this child.  Specifically, I’ve been looking at Hypnobabies.

I’m attracted to this method for a couple of reasons:

  • I would really like to birth this child without the use of medications. Last time, I opted for an epidural, and what followed was a predictable series of events: stalled labor, pitocin, breaking my water etc.  I believe the epi necessitated the pitocin, and based on my research, the pitocin is probably a large part of what caused my milk to come in late.  I just plain don’t want those interventions again.  Personal choice.
  • I want breastfeeding to start as easily as possible. See above.  Getting started nursing the Grasshopper was terribly difficult.  I know that I am perfectly capable of nursing another child, and I want to make the start of it as easy as possible.
  • I want to be an active participant in this birth. That’s not to say I wasn’t an active participant last time, but I really was tied to that bed.  The epidural essentially paralyzed me from the waist down.  I want to be able to move, sit up, change positions, and do various other things.  I don’t want to have to fight gravity and labor on my back.
  • I am open to and intrigued by the idea of meditation and hypnosis in general. I used to meditate a whole lot.  I loved it.  It helped me feel really good mentally.  I still meditate during yoga practice.  Or I would if I could do yoga right now.  The HG gets in the way of that.

Those are a couple of reasons for me being interested in hypnosis in childbirth.  I haven’t completely gathered my thoughts on why I’m so drawn to this method.  I just feel a pull toward it.

I like the idea that this particular method has a self-study course, which I think will work better for me.  I also love the idea that this particular method teaches an “eyes open” form of hypnosis meaning you can move around open your eyes and do various other things while you’re under the hypnosis.  I think that will really help me feel like a much more active participant in this process.

Have any of you used a form of hypnosis for childbirth?  I would love to hear about your experiences!

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16 thoughts on “Hypnosis and Childbirth

  1. I’ve never tried hypnosis, but I had pain meds with my first delivery and none wit the other two, and as far as I could tell, the only difference was that I surrendered a lot of control in the first one. I think if you make up your mind to go med-free and intervention-free, you can do it, and if the hypnosis stuff helps, then that’s great. Just know that all the stuff is still there if you need it as a back-up option, and that it doesn’t represent failure- just a different direction.

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  2. Love your new blog look!! And I am SO glad that you are feeling better!!!

    (And when you’re feeling up to it, I would love to see a blog entry on “what worked, what didn’t” for your sick times. I have already printed off your last lists and put them in my TTC notebook!!)

    I have heard great things about Hypnobabies!! I took Hypnobirthing (a different method), and it wasn’t that great – class was too short (3 classes) and didn’t have enough practice time or info, and I didn’t do well with hypnosis. Since then, I have heard through multiple channels that Hypnobabies is MUCH better than Hypnobirthing on all fronts, and that it has really great stuff going for it. A friend of mine is a Hypnobabies teacher, and she is very well-regarded. Here is a birth blogger who is a Hypnobabies instructor:

    http://enjoybirth.com/blog/

    I will look forward to hearing your thoughts! Good luck! If we ever have another, I am going to have us take a Hypnobabies or Brio class, and I can’t wait! (Even though it’s theoretical.) Have a blast!!!

    Oh, and if you’re interested in unmedicated birth….. Consider a doula! They rock! I can send you numerous articles that I’ve written about doulas, unmedicated birth, preparing for birth, whatever. Can you tell that I’m a birth junkie? LOL Have fun!!

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  3. Ooohhh! Someone got a facelift! I like it! This subject is fascinating to me, but I certainly was not an active participant in the birth of my son. My doctor said with my tiny petite size, and a hernia I developed from vomiting, that it wouldn’t be successful or safe for me to try delivering myself. Honestly, I was relieved. I was so sick for so long, I just couldn’t imagine having the energy to deliver (I didn’t have the energy to wash my own hair). I’m still interested in what this would entail, so please do keep us informed of your research.
    Kat

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    1. Considering how sick you wete that was a completely reasonable and understandable path. Your HG story gives me chills every time I read it. Scary stuff. Thank God for that ER doc in San Antonio.

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  4. I know. We recently went back to San Antonio and could see the Crocket Hotel from our hotel room. I’ll never stay there again. (That’s where I passed out and all the badness happened). But I was thinking, “That was one of the worst days of my life, but it ended up saving my life…” It’s sad that a doc at a little ER clinic by the Alamo told me what my OBGYN with all of my medical history couldn’t.

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  5. Oh it’s going to take time to get use to this new interface0- I do not accept change without kicking and screaming-lol.

    I used hypno birthing and can’t rave more about it. I did it both times, with a normal pregnancy in a hospital, and an HG pregnancy in a birth center. The next baby (if there is one) will be hypnobirthing home birth. and HG free-right 😉

    I am not totally sure of the difference but from what I can tell of the post, the premesis behind both seem different. It appears to me that Hypnobabies, gives you natrual pain managemnt tools, whereas hypnobirthing seeks to change your mindset about birth from the get go so that there will not be pain.
    The morgan method (ie hypno-birthing) discusses the Law of Attraction (which I am a big believer in) and basically how your body has no physical reason for having pain during labor. It’s all about how your mind has perceived it all these years and therefore, what you expect, you get!! She discusses how to break away from these preconceived notions so that you can go into the new birth feeling ready, prepared and that your body is not supposed to be in pain. She also gives an excellent scientific explanation as to why your body feels pain when you feel fear and how this affects your body’s ability to have your cervix dilate and the contractions your uterus goes through.

    I can truly honestly say that I felt absolutly no pain for my first birth, and I wasn’t actively trying to manage pain. I just didn’t have any. I took a shower, put on my makeup, got my hair done, and spoke right through all my “contractions” I will post video for non-believers. Youc an hear the contraction machine over me trying to talk about how I wanted Lasagna.
    Second baby, I couldn’t talk through my surges (contractions) but they weren’t painful either. Just took more work I think. My son haws always made me work for him! and still does! TMI: I did feel the crowning. I yelled out “holy shit this hurts” but I think it was more of a reaction, because I was just getting nervous and wanted him out but it all happened so quick (30 min. labor seriously) and I did start vomitting, and that just brought back intense HG memories for me. My husband was able to calm me down a bit and baby came out easy and pain free the rest of the way.
    That’s my experience in a nut shell.

    Without having done hypno babies I can’t say I can recommend one either way. Just that I Recommend Hypnobirthing to all my friends and my sister (who had two succesful pain free births).
    I just like the idea that you can change your mind frame, it’s not mind over matter, exactly, which I think hypnobabies is a little mroe of.
    This is rambling, I hope it makes sense, but if there was a poll I would cast my vote for hypnobirthing (and if you need the books, let me know, I’ll send them your way)

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    1. See this is why I want to do more research. In listening to some of the promotional info I’ve been downloading on hypnobabies, it’s more the idea that you completely retrain yourself away from the preconceived notions that birth is painful. Kind of like you say with the hypnobirthing. The thing that’s really attracting me to hypnobabies is that it’s set up to be a self-study. You CAN take a class, but there is a self-study that you can do if a class is not available. It seems like hypnobirthing is more class-oriented.

      I definitely need to do more research.

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      1. Yes, they are both great programs, they’re just different so researching both and going with the one that resonates closest to your own philosophy about birth is key. I’m so happy to read that juliana had such a great birth experience with hypnobirthing!

        Hypnobabies did a great write-up which outlines the benefits that are unique to taking their program. I have it on my site here: http://bit.ly/dUsAQ6 (It would be way too long to write up and explain in a comment box)

        Also, there are 2 women who have taken both programs who have blogged about their experience which you can find at the very end of the page on the post I linked to above.

        They have an amazing home study program which is set up brilliantly to be able to teach you the eyes-open childbirth hypnosis and hypno-anesthesia.

        And just to clarify (because juliana wasn’t sure) Hypnobabies definitely has very powerful hypnosis scripts to change your mindset about birth, pain etc. and also has a powerful ‘visualize your birth’ script which enables you to create a mental blueprint of the birth you’d love to have.

        There is so much I could say on this topic 🙂 I’ll stop there!

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  6. I got a hold of the materials and CDs in my second pregnancy. I have a lot of mamas who *love* hypnobabies and I was curious. I only did the CDs, and my partner read the scripts to me — nothing else. Doing the daily hypnosis sessions was an amazing part of my pregnancy and the whole thing was worth it for that alone! I do think all the “practice” helped me in the early part of my labor, although once it really hit I do not think I was at all under hypnosis. In an altered state — yes! So, for me it was worth it — the peace and strength it brought to me during my pregnancy was quite valuable! and ps: all of the things you want in your birth experience are vastly more likely to occur at home, but you probably already know that. the medical model of birth, is, after all, a model based on pathology and consent rather than normalcy and autonomy.

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  7. Molly, I loved Hypnobabies and can’t wait to start again. I really feel like it kept me so much calmer during my pregnancy and really help that last month when its hard not to get anxious and impatient. I had the affirmations running through my head…”My baby will choose her birthday, my baby knows when to be born” etc etc. There is alot to be said for repeated input! I listened to the affirmations several times a day.
    The other thing I liked about HB was I could decide how much involvement I wanted from DH and really tailor the scripts and cues to those I liked best – for me it was single words- mostly “relax” there was one script about peaceful power that I really enjoyed.
    That being said I did not prepare at all for the carride, I never visualized it, I never even thought of it and it wasn’t in my plan or rehearsal, which was dumb b/c the hosp is about 40mins away and I knew I would be driving in active labor, turned out it was transition. This time around I will prepare for the carride and know what to expect. I plan on practicing in the car (not while driving!) at least a few times.
    With HB you are present, aware, interactive but totally focused and tuned into the baby and your body. Its amazing you will love it! The one thing I will say is that sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief and just allow parts that you don’t accept to fly over you head. One for me was “I am healthy My blood pressure is perfect day & night” everytime I heard that I thought “LIAR! Not it isn’t!” but you just have to let those ones go and focus on the positive. Or I would think “I can move my damn eyelids I’m just choosing not to!” suspended disbelief. It works if you practice and believe that it will work. Good luck can’t wait to hea if you choose HB.

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