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Hypnobabies didn't work for me

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

I feel kind of alone in that Hypnobabies didn't work for me. Even though I paid $300 for a live class, and practiced religiously, it was pretty much useless during labor. I was so confident in the program, and felt that everything would go smoothly and easily as long as I studied, thought positively, and believed in myself and "mind over matter" like Hypnobabies teaches. It worked during early labor but once things really started rolling, it was excruciatingly painful and none of the Hypnobabies tools or techniques helped me. I felt so sure that I would be able to relax and allow my body to work naturally, and during labor I tried everything the program teaches to help me do that, but it was ineffective.

 

I can't help but feel a bit confused, resentful, and even guilty, like it's my fault I didn't have the easy, comfortable birth Hypnobabies promises. What did I do wrong? Am I the only one who was unsuccessful with Hypnobabies?

post #2 of 44

You're not alone. It didn't work for me, either. I did the home course and started at about 20 weeks! I was perfect at practicing and listening and even falling asleep to it every night. And I could barely even use it in early labor. It just didn't work for me. It helped me relax at the end of pregnancy, so that was nice, but as soon as the actual PAIN (not waves) started, nothing worked. There is no way that anything about my 27 hour labor could be described as pressure, easy, comfortable, etc and not painful. :( So, yeah...you're not alone. Luckily I only paid $115, though. I'm sorry it didn't work for you, either.

 

I also wanted to add that I broke the "rules" and also took a Birthing From Within class too. I still believed in the Hypnobabies premise, but my midwives sort of required first time moms to take a class and the BFW was the one that spoke the most to me. I also didn't want to put all my eggs in one basket. I'm so glad I took it, because while it didn't help with the pain, it was great to learn about position changes and practice moaning and vocalizing, which I did a LOT of in labor.

post #3 of 44

I have never hypnobirthed but I imagine every birth is different. I had one easy birth and 2 very painful births. I imagine if I had hypnobirthed with my second I would have given credit to the program even though it was more likely due to baby position etc. Letting go of birth disappointment is so hard. I think almost everyone has something they would change about their births.

post #4 of 44


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by annablue View Post
I can't help but feel a bit confused, resentful, and even guilty, like it's my fault I didn't have the easy, comfortable birth Hypnobabies promises. What did I do wrong? Am I the only one who was unsuccessful with Hypnobabies?


Honey, I think for the vast majority of women, in any culture, birth is anything but comfortable or easy.  It is hard, grueling, arduous work.  It's a great big test where you must walk through the fire before you get to be a mom!  There isn't any fault on your end that you experienced pain...  I know that people tout their pain free births, and while I believe that they absolutely do happen, I think they happen to a rare woman, and I think they happen due to no other reason than luck.  Being prepared is a great thing, trying to have tools to help stay relaxed and work with your labor is a great thing, but programs that make promises that are (in my mind) totally unrealistic, only set women up for failure.  The only thing that can be expected in birth is the unexpected.  It's what makes it such a miracle winky.gif

 

FWIW, I have 3 friends who've done hypnobabies.  All of them experienced way more pain than they were prepared for, and the two who were hospital birthers both ended up with an epidural.  I think they were sold the idea that pain is just a construct, that you allow it to happen, and I think that is some serious BS.  You did NOTHING wrong.  You had a baby, and it felt the same way that it's felt for billions of women since the dawn of time.

 

Try to see it through the lens that you made it.  YOU MADE IT!  To the other side!!  There is NO FAILURE in that!

post #5 of 44

Didn't work for me, either.  shrug.gif  But I didn't have much confidence in it, either.

post #6 of 44

Didn't work for me either (I think I used the other one though, the Hypnobirthing, which I later heard was not as good).  Anyway I found the same as you - was fine for relaxing through mild discomfort but once the real pain showed up it was about as much help as an umbrella in a tidal wave.

post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belia View Post

Didn't work for me, either.  shrug.gif  But I didn't have much confidence in it, either.


 

Yeah, I too the class (well, hypnobirthing) and I wasn't ever really sold on it. Perhaps that's because I'd already had one natural birth and while it was painful toward the end, it was totally manageable.  I've found that hypnobirthing/babies resonates with some people better than others. At this point, I'm really not interested in a pain free birth. I also think that hypno is pretty limiting in the kinds of tools it provides. So, you've got all these visualizations and affirmations, but what if they don't work?? Are you prepared with the numerous other measures to deal with pain (position change, counter pressure, water, is a doula present?, etc.)?  I found that "Birthing From Within" approach makes a lot more sense to me and the way my mind and body work.  I see birth as a marathon and a tremendous mental and physical challenge. I want to stay on top of the pain without feeling the pressure to eliminate it. Accepting that it's hard and been hard for women through the ages seems more "natural" to me.  At the same time, I have no doubts that for some receptive women, they are able to achieve a "hypnobirth." I just don't think it's the case for everyone.

post #8 of 44

Just wanted to add that it didn't "work" for me either.  Although I took another generic hippy childbirth class (which is against the HB rules). 

 

BUT I am really thankful for the positive outlook and relaxation during pregnancy that it gave me.  I really enjoyed listening to the tracks, even my husband did, and it helped me stay relaxed and positive.  Now with my second pregnancy (and a toddler) I don't really have time or motivation to use it again.

 

My midwives told me that they felt it was not very helpful for first time moms, but better for second, etc. moms.

post #9 of 44

I'm sorry your birth didn't go as you had hoped.  You most definitely did not do anything "wrong", nor do you have anything to feel guilty about.  Your birth is your birth and you have no reason to apologize for anyone about it. 

 

I can't tell you for certain what, if anything, could have been done differently to make your birth more comfortable.  If you want to contact me personally, I will be happy to go through it with you and see if we can figure it out.  You can also call Hypnobabies and talk to them about it.  They are always happy to talk to women about their birthing, no matter how you feel it went. 

 

It is important to remember that while many people take Hypnobabies in the hopes of having a pain-free birth, that is not the goal of the program.  It doesn't even discuss pain-free births as a goal (although many people learning it do).  It talks about being calm and relaxed so that you can have the safest, most comfortable birth possible by avoiding unnecessary pain.  For many women, that does result in completely comfortable births, but that is definitely not the case for everyone.  There are a huge number of variables in birth that can drastically change how a woman experiences it.  Some things, like badly malpositioned babies or anatomical anomalies in the mother can lead to abnormally difficult births and associated sensations.  Self-hypnosis does not and should not "mask" pain that is serving the purpose of identifying a problem, such as a rupturing uterus or a baby in a position that will not allow him or her to descend safely.  In some births, there can be issues that arise that go beyond the typical sensations of birth.  At those times, being able to remain as calm and focused as possible in order to make good, informed decisions is the main benefit from having self-hypnosis skills.   If the complications are identified and addressed, many women are able to regain their comfort despite the complications.  But if the problem is not identified, it is less likely that a woman will be able to regain her comfort unless the complication is rectified.  Any number of things could have been going on that made your birth experience what it was.  None of them include, "You did it wrong." 

 

It is also important to understand how the scripts are written and why they are worded the way they are.  They are not judgements, they are suggestions.  They are not saying that the birth as described in the scripts is the "right" kind of birth, and other births mean moms have "failed" or done something wrong.  There is a great deal of discussion in the scripts about "more easy and comfortable birthing".  That doesn't mean a completely comfortable birth is a guarantee, or that discomfort means someone is doing it "wrong".  The scripts are written to give the subconscious mind the suggestions of what the mom hopes to experience.  Will everyone experience that as a result of hearing the scripts?  No.  There are too many variables.  But many of them will, and the chance of experiencing comfort after doing a program like Hypnobabies is far greater than it is for those who haven't done the training.  In the absence of complicating factors, a manageable, comfortable birth is what most women will experience after completing the program.  And I know from my own experience, that even with complications some women will be able to give birth in comfort.  Just like a hypnosis for smoking CD would focus on the desired outcome of a person no longer craving or reaching for a cigarette, childbirth hypnosis programs are written to focus on the desired outcome of the birth.  The scripts are not "right" or "wrong", they are simply supplying the subconscious mind with the suggestions that moms want them to have in order to work toward the birth she hopes to have.  In some cases, staying calm and being able to think clearly is what she gains most from the program.  In others it is the sleep and confidence going into the birth that is most helpful for her.  

 

I have no doubt that there are reasons that you had the experience you did.  I don't know if you'll find out what those reasons are or not, but as I said, I would be happy to discuss it with you and help you see if you can determine any factors that contributed to how it went.

post #10 of 44

I'm an OB nurse and in my experience there are women that gravitate towards a "hypnotic" state when birthing, regardless of preparation or not.  I think that people who do are more inclined to be attracted to those programs as well and so I think that it's slightly self selecting.  And so for those people, it's really just smoothing over and practicing their instinctual way of birthing (going into yourself, relatively silent etc).  I really kind of wish I was one of those people, but I'm not and I'm ok with that.  I used some vocalization, some counting, some screaming (at the very end) and it worked for me.  I really think you shouldn't beat yourself up about it---so you're not a hypnobirther, oh well.  It's always a little painful when our realities don't 100% match our dreams.  But you are a woman who BIRTHED.   And I read your birth story and it sounds like it was a TOUGH birth.  Posterior babe, transfers---that is so hard both physically and emotionally.  Give yourself time to grieve the loss of your "perfect" birth and if you're still having a tough time, it's ok to need to talk to a professional to work some of it out.  Labor and birth and new mama hood are rough on the mind and the body and it's ok to ask for help processing.

post #11 of 44

I'm sorry; that sucks. I'm planning on doing Hypnobabies with this birth, but I'm definitely having other tools in my arsenal as well (water birth, hot wheatie bags, positioning/vocalisation tricks, and I'm even open to nitrous oxide if it comes down to it). I've never heard that this is "anti-" Hypnobabies, nor that taking any other childbirth class is; isn't that more of a Hypnobirthing philosophy? To me it just makes sense to get as many helpful tools as possible, given that Hypnobabies is very clear that not all women experience a pain-free birth, and the pain will need to be dealt with in some fashion (which could include just enduring it, but I'm not big on that!). :p

 

You don't think that its effect during early labour made it "worth it" at all? I found my early labour pretty unpleasant, and if I'd been able to get a few hours of rest instead of pacing up and down feeling icky, it would have really helped. I think I'd probably do the course even if I knew it'd only work for the mild pain; I figure anything is better than nothing, you know? But yeah, I probably would be rather disappointed if it didn't work at all during heavier labour.

post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Italiamom View Post

Honey, I think for the vast majority of women, in any culture, birth is anything but comfortable or easy.  It is hard, grueling, arduous work.  It's a great big test where you must walk through the fire before you get to be a mom!  There isn't any fault on your end that you experienced pain..

Great post.

 

Just a thought OP, how do you know it "did not work"? By that I mean, is it possible birth would have been much MORE grueling & painful if you hadn't done it at all? Maybe it did convey some degree of benefit. Just a thought...


Plus, I haven't taken hypnobabies, but I thought it also taught a lot about "the facts" (i.e. what physiological birth is all about & why the medicalized, American view  of birth leads to worse outcomes for mothers & babies.) So hopefully the education you got in the class helped you make wise decisions (i.e. chose good HCPs who practice evidence-based medicine, maybe some education on BFing? I don't know.)

 

IOW, perhaps it was not an utter waste.

 

I also think it's a shame that you feel you "failed" because your birth wasn't pain-free. I HATE that hypno-birthing teaches that every single woman can have a pain-free birth if she just "Does it right" (well, and so long as there are no physiological problems such as malpositioning.) That is utterly ridiculous! Sure, possible, but possible for EVERYONE if you just "do it right"? Nonsense! I thought Hypnobabies did a better job of helping you work towards pain-free birth, without making you feel as if it is a guarantee if only you do it right (and, therefore, if you feel pain, it is your fault.)

post #13 of 44

Every birth is so very very different.  I used HypnoBabies with my last two babies.  (my first was a natural hospital birth, sunny side up, 4 hours of pushing)

 

2nd Baby   My Son's birth--it was amazing!  I wasn't even sure that I was really in labor until I stood up  from the tub and announced that I was ready to push.  DS was out in three tiny pushes.  HypnoBabies totally 'worked' in the sense that I felt pressure, not pain, I was totally relaxed and mellow. 

 

3rd baby  My Daughter's birth---I was so into HypnoBabies, I was sure it would work for me again.  Not so much.  I knew I was in labor, it hurt, I moaned and yelled.  Pushing was tough, I broke blood vessels in my face, it was really really hard work. 

 

I think I practiced the same amount both pregnancies, so I don't know what went awry the second time.  Birth is unpredictable.  I think HypnoBabies has many many positive aspects--even if you aren't able to reach the nirvana of a pain free birth. 

post #14 of 44

I did the home study hypnobabies course as well.  Did it every single day.  Worked wonderfully during pregnancy. I was convinced I would have a short, relaxed labor.  

 

Yeah, it worked okay for the first 12 hours of early labor.  It was a 54 hour labor.  I found that it made the contractions even more painful.  It was useless. It failed me.  It had me convinced that I would have a short pain-free labor.  I really believed it.  I felt fooled.  I felt tricked.  

 

I was sad to throw the whole thing out the window and do things that actually worked- walking, moaning, tub, breathing, kissing, visualizing, etc.  All that hynobabies taught- minus the creation of the special place, was useless during labor.  Unfortunately, because I was so convinced it would work, I failed to prepare much in any other way.  I failed to think about the what ifs- what if I have a very long, slow, painful labor?  When that happened, I was shocked.  I was unprepared for it.  

 

Umbrella with a tsunami.  Yes, totally in my case.  It totally didn't work for me, and I would never do it again.  

post #15 of 44

There is a quote from the actress Isabella Rossellini, where she is talking about being a mother.  I wish, wish, I could find the exact, long quote.  But she does go on to say that, "Mine is a body that has lived...," and that she is very okay with that.   Don't apologize for your birth, don't feel bad for it (at least, don't feel at fault for it).  It's okay to seek help to deal with the emotions of a hard, traumatic birth.  But I hope I can reaffirm here what I said before, and what other posters have said...  That you didn't do anything wrong, and that you didn't fail.

 

YOURS is a body that has truly lived, and there is NO shame in that.

post #16 of 44

I just want to clarify: Hypnobirthing and Hypnobabies are two different things. I don't know much about the hypnobirthing, b/c I took the hypnobabies class. I have heard that hypnobabies is much more informative, but like I said, I only took the hypnobabies.

 

First I want to say, I did not have a pain free birth. It hurt SO BAD...lol. However, I feel that the class was very beneficial for many reasons. First, it really taught me a lot I didn't know about labor, the way hospitals work, my body, and my baby. It also taught my husband. :) I knew he wouldn't read anything to prepare for the birth, and I knew I would need his support, and needed him to know how to support me. At first I wanted to take the bradley classes, but I did not have the time to commit to 12 weeks for a class(and I knew DH wouldn't go to 12 classes, either, it was hard enough to get him to come to 6!). DH learned so much through this class, and I could not have had my homebirth without him(seriously, he knew exactly what to do and what I needed).

 

Second, if I had not taken this class, I would have never decided to have a homebirth. I really saw, through this class, just how hard it would be to have a natural birth without too many interventions at my hospital with my doctors. Not that it can't be done, but I really don't think I would have stood a chance with my drs. (I had a 43 hour labor, and am sure I would have ended up with a c-section in the hospital, or at the very least pitocin and an episiotomy) My instructor pointed out that it is never too late to change care providers, until you have the baby. I switched to my homebirth midwife at 33 weeks.

 

Third- I really learned how to relax. And even though I didn't even attempt to do the scripts after the first day of labor, I played the relaxing music the entire time the second day I was in labor. Knowing how to relax (especially in between contractions) really helped me to get through it. And practicing the scripts before the birth really helped me to relax on a daily basis, which is something I needed. I was wayyyy too busy the last few months of my pregnancy.

 

If you are taking the hypnobabies class, just know it might not be pain free, and that is ok. OP, don't feel guilty. It was a success! I will admit, I wish it had been pain free, but I really feel like I grew through the experience, and I will do it all again, Lord willing :)

post #17 of 44

I don't like the idea of hypno-birthing (hypnobabies, hypnobirthing, hypno-whatever). Birth is painful, that's just a fact. I find it much easier to deal with the pain when it is named as such and recognized as a non-dangerous form of pain. The whole idea of a pain-free childbirth is closely related to how the OB profession has been using the promise of reduced pain to attract women to birth in hospitals. In my opinion, the only way to have a chance at a pleasurable birthing experience is to embrace the pain.

post #18 of 44

Quote:

Originally Posted by mama_y_sol View Post

I was sad to throw the whole thing out the window and do things that actually worked- walking, moaning, tub, breathing, kissing, visualizing, etc.  All that hynobabies taught- minus the creation of the special place, was useless during labor. 


Whoa! Am I understanding this statement correctly... Hypnobabies does NOT advocate things like walking, moaning, & a bath tub as effective measures for coping with normal labor pain (and effective means of helping labor progress)? REALLY?! Does it really teach that you should only lay still, in a silent, quiet, non-moving hypnotic state??? I didn't think that was the case. Wow, if that is the case, I rescind everything positive I've ever said about it & I feel bad having recommended it. That's crazy!

post #19 of 44

 

Quote:
Does it really teach that you should only lay still, in a silent, quiet, non-moving hypnotic state???

AFAIK, Hypnobirthing only has one "position", in which the woman goes limp and has to be in a fully supported position (ie, lying on a bed, unless her partner is willing to hold her up in a supported squat for several hours!). Hypnobabies also has a "limp" position, but it's not the only one; it also teaches a type of hypnosis in which the woman is free to move, moan, talk and so on. So it's fully compatible with other kinds of pain-relieving techniques, including water birth.

 

I haven't actually studied either technique (yet - planning to start Hypnobabies in a week or two!), but this is what I've gathered from many internet discussions. If I'm wrong, someone correct me! It was one of the reasons I chose Hypnobabies over Hypnobirthing; no way I want to lie on a bed all through labour!

post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post

Whoa! Am I understanding this statement correctly... Hypnobabies does NOT advocate things like walking, moaning, & a bath tub as effective measures for coping with normal labor pain (and effective means of helping labor progress)? REALLY?! Does it really teach that you should only lay still, in a silent, quiet, non-moving hypnotic state??? I didn't think that was the case. Wow, if that is the case, I rescind everything positive I've ever said about it & I feel bad having recommended it. That's crazy!



Hypnobabies absolutely does NOT teach you you must lay still and quiet and all that...it gives you the tools to use hypnosis and STILL do all the good stuff.  With my Hypnobabies birth I didn't sit down or lay down the entire time.  It just didn't feel right to me.  I had to be up and moving and talking, from beginning to end.

 

I'm a hypnodoula now and I like to tell my clients that hypnobabies hypnosis works on two levels.  One, you're working to condition your brain to accept birth as normal and enjoyable (NOT pain free). And two, you're learning a new deep relaxation that you practicing everyday.  Even if the conditioning part doesn't work exactly as you had hoped, the mere fact that you took the time to learn a new kind of relaxation and practiced every day during your pregnancy has the potential to make your birth more enjoyable.  The program also covers the same sort of information presented in other in depth birthing classes like nutrition, exercise, birth options, possible complications or change of plans, ideas for being active during your birth, etc.  

 

OP, I'm so sorry that the program didn't work as you had intended.  Have you told your hypnobabies instructor how you feel?

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