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Hypnobirthing: yay or nay? - Page 2

post #21 of 43

I did hypnobirthing with my first child. Took classes and practised regularly for 3 months. I was very relaxed during pregnancy.

Labor hit me like a rock. After my water broke, right at the beginning,  I was like in transition for 12 hours or more. I didn't use ANY of the hipnobirthing techniques. My baby was posterior and asynclitic and I ended up in a C section after 15 hours.

Our instructor didn't have any baby yet...and she was so convinced about the whole thing that it is up to you being pain free. That is so unrealistic for some kind of births.


This time I'm practising with the pink kit. And I find the knowledge I'm learning with it it's so much more empowering that the crap of hypnobirthing. So, with all respect, I'd totally ignored your friend opition, let her think what she wants. 

I would consider hypnobabies but not hypnobirthing.


post #22 of 43
I have used and taught both HypnoBirthing (used in 2002 and 2004, taught from 2004 - 2006) and Hypnobabies (used in 2006 and 2008, taught from 2006 - 2010). I like Hypnobabies MUCH more for LOTS of reasons. smile.gif

With HypnoBirthing there really is an underlying premise that any woman who feels pain brought it upon herself because "birth isn't supposed to hurt". I have personally experienced painfree birth, so I know it is possible, but I have also experienced births that were not as comfortable. Same woman, different physical cirumstances due to baby's presentation, complications, etc. It is unnecessarily harmful/cruel to suggest that women only feel pain because they "didn't do it right". When I was still teaching HypnoBirthing, some instructors gently pushed for modifications to the program that would benefit the mothers using it. These suggestions were rebuffed because the program was "great" as it was and did not need to be altered. I eventually grew too frustrated with the organization and also felt like I needed to offer something more comprehensive and effective to my students.

Hypnobabies is great! It gets revised frequently based on feedback from users and instructors. Hypnobabies is not hyper-focused on "painfree". It can happen, and I think it's more likely to happen with the use of hypno-anesthesia, but women aren't placed in this situation of judging themselves the way they are with HypnoBirthing. Hypnobabies also includes information on fetal positioning and other comfort measures. It is important, especially if comfort is a high priority, for women to take their daily hypnosis practice seriously. It is also important to start using the hypnosis techniques early and often because that is what will allow them to be maximally effective. Ultimately, though, women will do whatever they need to do in order to give birth to their babies. I like that the focus with Hypnobabies is to help prepare moms to navigate whatever happens with tools to stay calm, focused, and as comfortable as circumstances allow. smile.gif
post #23 of 43


Originally Posted by laylasmomplus1 View Post

I'm sure it depends on the teacher and it sounds like you shouldn't take it from your friend.

Excellent point!  I took a HypnoBirthing class during my first pregnancy because there weren't any Hypnobabies instructors in my area at the time and I thought a live class would be better than the Hypnobabies Home Study.  Unfortunately, I was wrong, and the HypnoBirthing class I took was very disappointing and I had to spend a great deal of time and money on supplemental materials to accomplish the birth I wanted.  That said, I know there are some good classes out there, because some instructors see the shortcomings of the official curriculum and add a great deal to it.  The problem with that is, there is no way to tell in advance if you're getting just the regular class, or one from an instructor who has more information and skills to teach.   That is why I think there are some potential benefits for some women from taking HypnoBirthing, but I just don't feel comfortable recommending it. 


In my case, I experienced unusual complications that could have been at least minimized, if not avoided, if I had recieved even basic natural childbirth information in the HypnoBirthing class.  My body needed me to move, and HypnoBirthing had only taught me to remain comfortable while remaining totally limp.  I wasn't able to work with my body as I needed to, and it put my baby at risk and nearly earned me a very unwanted c-section.  I was extremely lucky to have an excellent caregiver who was patient enough to let things proceed as long as baby and I were safe.  I did have a vaginal birth and I did remain comfortable, but it was longer, harder and more dangerous a birth than it needed to be.  However, I accomplished that in spite of HypnoBirthing, not because of it.  Even in the midst of the birth I told my husband several times, "Next time we're learning Hypnobabies!"


Ironically, despite having a comfortable birth, when I called my HypnoBirthing instructor to tell her about it, her response was, "Wow, do you think you just didn't practice enough to stay relaxed, or what?"  She was still completely brainwashed into thinking that relaxation during birth meant 0% chance of complications.  Grrrrr.


I did choose to get the Hypnobabies Home Study for my second birth, and LOVED it.  It addressed every shortcoming I saw in HypnoBirthing, and gave me so much more than I knew I needed to learn!  The skills allowed me to simply get in-tune with my body and baby and move intuitively through my birth in whatever way I needed.  Yes, I was completely comfortable, but even if I hadn't been, Hypnobabies did so much to keep me calm and relaxed that I know I could have handled the birth beautifully even if it had been uncomfortable.  Learning Hypnobabies made me realize that a "successful" birth didn't mean pain-free, it meant having the knowledge and skills necessary to have the safest, most relaxed and comfortable birth possible under whatever circumstances arose.  My Hypnobabies birth was so amazing, despite experiencing complications similar to my first birth - which I handled easily using my Hypnobabies skills and movement, that my husband and midwife talked me into becoming a Hypnobabies Instructor.  I've been teaching for over 6 years, and some of my greatest "success" stories involve women who had very complicated and even dangerous births.  But they used their skills beautifully to remain relaxed and clear-headed, make good informed decisions, and give birth in the safest way possible - what ever that meant in their situation.  There can't be any "blame" on mom for anything, because there is no failure in birth.

post #24 of 43

wow the last two post have really brought me to a profound thankfulness that when i was first looking into hypno anything, that my gut told me to go with the HypnoBabies program, I'm in my second week currently and liking it, though it still feels a tad hokey to me, i know i will learn more and get into it more as the weeks go by, I'm open to it all as much as my analytical mind can be right now.

post #25 of 43

An analytical mind is a wonderful asset when learning self-hypnosis!  That is exactly why it appealed to me as much as it did.  (I'm an engineer.)  Hypnobabies helped me understand the confusing birth stories I had grown up with and explained why birth doesn't have to be a horror story.  The explanation of how and why hypnosis works made perfect sense.  (I'll admit, I found it fascinating and did more research, which confirmed and enhanced the information in Hypnobabies about hypnosis.)   And all the natural childbirth information was absolutely priceless for me.  Hypnobabies gave me great information and things I could do to prepare myself mentally, physically and emotionally, rather than just hoping my birth would go well, and I would know what to do.  What more could an analytical mind want?  Honestly, after my first Hypnobabies birth I had a brief feeling of guilt that so many women "work" so hard to give birth and it seemed so easy for me.  Then I realized that Hypnobabies allowed me to do much of the work as preparation for the birth, so I was able to just relax and allow my body to give birth without feeling like I had to do much of anything besides go along for the ride.


As for it seeming hokey at times, there's nothing wrong with feeling that way.  It's to be expected from any self-hypnosis because it is focused on giving suggestions to the subconscious mind.  The subconscious mind is very simplistic and literal.  It is very much like a toddler in how it understands thing, so it needs different language to understand concepts.  It understands simple, straightforward ideas and commands, but doesn't have the elegance to follow the subtleties of our conscious mind.  So it's fine if you consciously find some of the language hokey, because that language isn't meant to be accepted consciously, it's there to help explain your goals to your subconscious mind.  Just as you talk to a small child differently than you address an adult, there is a "right" way to address the subconscious mind, and that sounds a little simplistic to the conscious mind.

post #26 of 43

It's so completely hokey but does work thumb.gif

post #27 of 43

yeah i do totally agree with you, i was not complaining out the hokey or my over thinking, i was just acknowledging it

post #28 of 43

Nay - but only because I prefer Hypbirth.  I looked into both of the other programs, but ultimately went with Lori Dorman.  I liked how she was supportive of the full range of outcomes - home birth, assisted birth (meaning foreceps or the like) or airlifted babies by c-section.  I never felt like there was one way to have my babies or a goal of a perfect birth.  It was all about having the best possible birth.  I loved it, and would recommend it to anyone.  There were a few moments that didn't work for me - but I was easily able to rework it for my preference (visualizing the Virgin Mary as my birth attendent, for example.)  I've been able to use the techniques in other areas of life as well, so I felt like I got far more than a pregnancy/birth benefit. 

post #29 of 43

Yes, I would recommend Hypbirth over HypnoBirthing as well.  I seriously considered that option when preparing for my second birth.  Lori Dorman does good work.  Hypbirth is a nice choice for someone who is well-educated in her choices and confident that her caregiver is on the same page about birth, because it does not include any childbirth education or tips on choosing or interacting with caregivers to get the best birth for you.  It is well structured and offers true self-hypnosis, post-hypnotic suggestions and an instant hypnosis cue, which HypnoBirthing does not.  


The reason I chose Hypnobabies over Hypbirth is that Hypbirth does not include skills specific to remaining deeply in hypnosis while moving around, and the women I talked to who had used it said they spent most of their birth in bed.  Since that caused problems during my first birth, and I knew I wanted to be able to move around easily, Hypnobabies was a better choice for me. 


All three programs have their benefits, and it's nice that there are choices so people can find the one that suits their needs best. 

post #30 of 43

I think it depends on the instructor. Hypnobirthing is a tool. The teacher I had also taught us all of what you would normally learn in a childbirth class (position changes, counter pressure, the stages of labor, dealing with back labor/OP baby, special circumstances, c-section, breastfeeding, infant massage), much like what the Hypnobabies instructor said earlier. So, I guess it just depends on the teacher. She never guaranteed me a painless childbirth, and I never anticipated one. However, I was able to relax and let my body do its work. I have had 2 unmedicated, intervention free births, and planning for a third!


I find it interesting that people are so "X is so much better than Y". I don't really understand that mentality. I think that as long as you learn something to manage the pain of labor no matter what it is then you are better off!

post #31 of 43

I agree with you completely, Heather.  Any class is going to be superior to taking no class.  As you pointed out, your HypnoBirthing instructor did include a natural childbirth education as part of your class, and that is what made it effective for you.  She is not actually allowed to do that and still use the HypnoBirthing name, but some instructors see the shortcomings of the program and supplement it where necessary, as she did.  The instructor I had only taught the official HypnoBirthing curriculum, which is sketchy at best, and did not include even the basic childbirth information I needed to make the birth the safest it could be for my baby.  I had even been taught that movement is unnecessary as long as mom stays relaxed, and that if I'm relaxing "correctly", I would not push!  My body really needed me to move to help my baby down the birth canal, and my baby experienced shoulder dystocia, so clearly I needed to push no matter how relaxed I was.  The lack of information, and relaxation skills that left me unable to follow my body's lead, contributed to the complications I experienced and put my baby and me at risk.  That is why I recommend other programs over HypnoBirthing in most cases.  There are some instructors who teach a complete and useful course while still using the HypnoBirthing name, but many others only teach the official curriculum.  Since all of them use the same name for the course, there is no way to know until the class is over whether you are going to learn what you wanted to learn or not.  But there are other classes and programs that are taught consistently, so everyone taking it, no matter where or when, will get the same information and leave fully prepared for any scenario they might encounter. 


Those of us who are saying that Hypnobabies was a better choice than HypnoBirthing are generally doing so because we used both and in many cases were left traumatized or at least highly disappointed in HypnoBirthing, and want to save others that heartache.  Do women have great births using HypnoBirthing?  Absolutely!  For a quick, straight-forward birth with a fully supportive birthing team, it can be all a woman needs to have a lovely birth.  In fact, I recommend it for some women I encounter who have had some natural births, have all the natural childbirth information they need, and are just looking for a bit more focus and relaxation during their birth.  But for a first-time mom, or someone who is going for their first unmedicated birth, there are just too many variables that aren't addressed in HypnoBirthing.  I learned that the hard way, and want to spare others that experience whenever possible.

post #32 of 43

Didn't do a class, just read the hypnobirth book and used the CD's.  Prepped hubby with a combo of the hypnobirth stuff and Bradley method tidbits (Bradley seemed more guy oriented on somethings and seemed to click better for him)  Also took a general prep class with my hospital midwives group that touched on many techniques.


LOVED the hypnobirth tools!  Great for helping me get back to sleep with all the night time peeing and baby wiggling around.  Great for helping me relax when I started having some minor blood pressure issues at the end.  Great for my labor up until transition.  (I think transition is just really tough for some people no matter what you do)  But even though transition was uncomfortable and a little scary for me because I progressed quickly and was still at home, it helped me stay calm and stay on top of the process.  (I woke up at 1:30, got to the hospital at 6:30, baby out at 8:30)


I informed by hubby on the way there "I was having an epi if I wanted it".  (for fear as a first time mom that I still had many hours to go)  When i found out I was completely dialated and ready to go, I felt very capable of pushing the baby out.  Settled right in with my headphones on and did my thing!!  Couldn't always listen to the hypno stuff during the last part, sometimes it was too distracting.  I switched back and forth between that and a general relaxing music play list. 


I think what helped me was that my goal was never "pain free", my goals were manageable labor, no meds, no interventions.  Tried really hard to keep a lot of the "go with the flow of your body" mentality that the midwives had been prepping with. 


Good luck to you!

post #33 of 43

I just came across a nice hypnobirthing article on the yahoo news main page.  I didn't do hypnobirthing because I hadn't heard of the "method" when my babies were born, but it's neat to see these things in the mainstream news.  Here is the link, seems to be Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703493504576007512674579874.html?mod=yhoofront   

post #34 of 43

nice article, the comments section is both amusing and seriously depressing

post #35 of 43

I don't find the comments surprising at all.  It is a reflection of what most people in our society believe about birth. People often have a knee-jerk negative reaction the first time they hear something they've never heard before that is contrary to their past experience.  But some people looking for alternatives will be attracted to hypnobirthing by the positive attention in the news, how else might they hear of this type of birth?  Not from their doctor... 

post #36 of 43

oh yeah i dont find the comments surprising at all either

post #37 of 43
I dont have much to add other than I did the hypnobabies home study course and it was amazing. My birth wasn't discomfort free but it was totally manageable. I did read the hypnobirthing book and it was helpful but I needed more which is why I found hypnobabies.

I don't think you should discount either method for fear of bring told your past birth experience was 'wrong' or your fault. Which hypnobabies doesn't teach by the way. The birth you have is the birth you needed to have or the birth that was meant to be.

That said, hypnobabies helped me immensely.
post #38 of 43
Oh and I didn't make a big deal about terminology of pressure waves, birthing time, etc. The nurses calling them contractions or me experiencing back labor didn't make me or my method fall apart.
post #39 of 43

I wish I had time to read through all the replies here.  There's some really good info in here that I'll be filing away!!


In my own experience, I tend to shy away from anything with a one size fits all mentality.  If you look through the curriculum and you think that there might be some tips and tricks that will help YOU, then by all means, give it a go.  But to assume that what works for one laboring woman will automatically work for EVERY laboring woman just seems silly.


Put a lot of tricks in your labor bag.  Then, if one doesn't work, you have something else to grab thumb.gif

post #40 of 43
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post


In my own experience, I tend to shy away from anything with a one size fits all mentality.  If you look through the curriculum and you think that there might be some tips and tricks that will help YOU, then by all means, give it a go.  But to assume that what works for one laboring woman will automatically work for EVERY laboring woman just seems silly.


Put a lot of tricks in your labor bag.  Then, if one doesn't work, you have something else to grab thumb.gif

Thanks for the advice Italiamom! I agree with you completely.

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