I’ve had a lot of pregnant friends (and a few without a child growing inside their uterus) ask about my experience with Hypnobirthing. For those of you unfamiliar with the birthing technique, click on that link. There is a lot of good information there. Before I get into this though, I’d like to add a disclaimer. This is just my personal experience. I actually never had time to finish the course. There were parts of Hypnobirthing I really enjoyed, and parts I skimmed over. It’s all a very personal experience. That being said, here’s what I think about it.
I did a home study from HypnoBabies because there wasn’t a class close enough. Because it was a home study, it was all on me to listen to the hypnosis CD’s and daily affirmations, as well as read the book and do the lessons. I’ll be totally honest when I tell you I did not listen the the affirmations daily, though I did listen to them a few times a week. And as I said before, I ran out of time before finishing the course.
There was so much about it that I really loved and a little that was a bit much for me. I definitely think it helped me relax and focus for the first few hours of labor. I was able to use hypnosis to fully relax my body when contractions hit. Distract myself with my happy place. However, the last two hours of labor, my contractions were so close together and painful I couldn’t clear my mind in between them, making it hard to use the hypnobirthing techniques to relax.
Overall, I do think it lessened my pain, especially for the first five hours. Even in those last two hours, Jonathan was able to help me remember certain aspects of Hypnobirthing to help ease the pain a bit, even if I couldn’t fully use the techniques.
In addition, Hypnobirthing, from what I learned, has a few ideas it’s built upon. There is something called the “Bubble of Peace” which helped me out a lot when people started telling me their horror stories from labor & delivery. I was able to tune the stories out and remember that every birth is different. I didn’t take it as far as Hypnobirthing preaches to do (putting your hand up, stopping the horrific story, and informing the storyteller I wanted only positive birthing stories), but instead I used my hypnosis distraction techniques to tune out.
There were a few things I disagreed with concerning Hypnobirthing. It is seemingly very anti-hospital, anti-doctor, anti-medicine. Which is fine. I knew that going into it. However, there were times when I found myself reading terrible stories about C-sections in my HypnoBabies book. I used my “Bubble of Peace” and closed that chapter right up. If something went wrong during my delivery and I had to be wheeled away to the operating room, I didn’t want to have those terrible stories circling in my brain. Another thing I personally didn’t agree with was purging any movies, television shows, stories from friends and family that portrayed birth as something painful and scary. Some people might find this very useful, however, I did not. I knew these were movies. I knew every birth is different. These things did not affect me.
I’d definitely recommend Hypnobirthing. I’ll use it again with future children. The best advice I can give is to really have an open mind about it and really, really practice. It gets a little granola sometimes (says the lady who gave birth standing up with no medication and with the help of a midwife and a doula) but it can be very helpful!
Anyone else out there do Hypnobirthing?