Does Hypnobabies work for the cynical? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 52 Old 10-08-2010, 09:40 PM
 
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I used a hypnosis knock-off called hypbirth which was a similar approach, "you'll only feel presure-no pian, used finger drops and rainbow relaxation". it made for many lovely naps during pregnancy but was worse than useless in labor. My contractions went from nothing to POW!!!! height of pain and I never was able to figure out how to relax into it.

I'm now taking a class by a former hypnobirthing instructor who got kicked out because she had 3 births that did include some pain and she mentioned it and was "excommunicated". I like her program because she just helps train me to relax regardless of what is happening. I've been having monster leg cramps which has been great practice for using the techniques. They come out of nowwhere and I do tense up but then remember that it's better to just breathe through it, even though it takes me a few seconds to ease into it.

She also mentioned that if you have a 12 hour labor with typical 60-90 second contractions it's really only 2 hours of contractions... I like that thought!
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#32 of 52 Old 10-08-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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A friend used hypnobabies with great success and lent me the CD's and talked to me about it. I have to admit i hated the very idea. I listened to the affirmations and i found many of them just too irritating to "hear the message behind" - 'i breathe correctly' sorry what? You have to BREATHE correctly? What if you don't? Do you fail the "test"? The whole thing seemed like a big ruse to pretend birth was all lovely and fluffy and look the other way while it actually happens.

I didn't want to minimise, avoid or otherwise "get out of" the birth. I wanted to experience it, in all it's raw glory. I wanted to FEEL it. I didn't buy that it was so terrible that avoiding it was the only thing to try to do, and i've done it nearly-drug-free and drug-free and i would stand by that. Obviously everyone is different, but i tend to tell people who ask me now that actually WANTING to feel it all is what made feeling it so bearable/great. Not saying it didn't hurt! It certainly did at times, but that is what my baby coming felt like. And i really enjoyed it. And i really cherish the memories of it. And i would do it ten more times (not pregnancy though, i really don't love that! ). I really don't believe i suffered less than the average woman (with DD1 i got through 4 hours of intense OP back labour, and fought the pushing urge for the whole 2nd stage, and both of my babies came direct OA (didn't turn for their shoulders)), it's just a different mindset to go in with.

Obviously we are all different, so ignore where appropriate
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#33 of 52 Old 10-08-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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Smokering, I'm really not sure why did didn't work.

I used it extremely successfully during pregnancy- I was able to use the cue and really go to my special place. When I was having SPD pain, I would lay down and cue myself into a very relaxed state.

Before trying hypnobabies, I did attend a hypnosis show in Washington, DC. I volunteered to be on stage with a group of 5 others....and I think it worked. But that wasn't for pain, that was entertainment.

I tend to think I have a very high pain tolerance. Early labor lasted for about 40 hours. Long early labor. And for the start, for the first 24 hours of early labor, I felt like it was "working" okay. But after that time, when I was cueing myself, I would start out fine, then suddenly realize mid contraction that no, I was not fine, at which point, I wasn't able to "get on top of the contraction". I would just be thrown intensely into it. It was unbearable. It was painful. It was a lot LESS painful to breathe a certain way, and to be really connected with my body- and moan and move and do whatever felt right in that contraction.

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#34 of 52 Old 10-08-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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I used it for my DD's birth. I'm pretty cynical as well, and in the back of my mind the whole time I was doing it I knew I didn't believe in it. And ocne labor started I couldn't find the rhythm to even TRY getting into it.

BUT what it DID do for me was help me relax through the contractions-every contractions I pictured my cervix relaxing and opening and it REALLY helped-when i got to the birth center the midwife didn't even think I was in labor as I was "too smiley" according to her. I did not have any benefit during the pushing stage-that hurt like an SOB (although she did come down and out so fast she dislocated my tailbone, which was probably some of that pain!!)

I'm also with whoever mentioned that having other people with them during labor was annoying. I was the same way for both my hospital-pitocin-epidural labor, and my natural-birth center labor. I was completely inside myself. the only time I really neede my DH was when I was laboring in the tub and got cold and there was no more hot water so I made him move the newborn heat lamp over above the tub. And for taking pictures.

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#35 of 52 Old 10-08-2010, 11:08 PM
 
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I never did Hypnobabies, but I tried Hynobirthing and it didn't work (I know that most people on MDC think it's inferior anyway and that's entirely possible). What rang true for me was Birthing From Within. She says birth hurts and it's work, BUT you can relax and focus on other things so you're not consumed with the pain. I focused on my breathing pattern, had visualizations that made sense to me (kind of like the Hypnobirthing wave, but I would watch a light increase and then decrease with each contraction), and used mantras. And then, I would scream during pushing.

This is my 5th child and I feel like I know what works for me, after piecing together all of my experiences: stay active and distracted during early labor, and during active labor, having quiet, isolation, getting into my own groove, not being/feeling watched.

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#36 of 52 Old 10-08-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I didn't want to minimise, avoid or otherwise "get out of" the birth. I wanted to experience it, in all it's raw glory. I wanted to FEEL it.
Which is cool, but there's no way I can get into that headspace after my birth. The glory was, shall we say, inconspicuous. I think, from my reading on Hypnobabies, that it still allows you to be aware of the birth, not zoned out and fuzzy - but frankly, even if it was the latter, I'd happily take it over experiencing the raw glory.

mama y sol: That's really interesting! I expected you to say it didn't work at all during pregnancy. So you found it only helpful up to a certain level of pain, and when the contrax got over that threshhold it snapped you out of it abruptly? That does sound very unpleasant! I did have pelvic girdle pain with my last pregnancy, and would very much like to be able to ignore it/turn it off this time around...

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#37 of 52 Old 10-09-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Which is cool, but there's no way I can get into that headspace after my birth. The glory was, shall we say, inconspicuous. I think, from my reading on Hypnobabies, that it still allows you to be aware of the birth, not zoned out and fuzzy - but frankly, even if it was the latter, I'd happily take it over experiencing the raw glory.
I've used hypnosis for four of my five births and I was much more aware during the comfortable hypnosis births. I'm fuzzy on some of the timing, lol, but I was aware of what was happening around me (if I wanted to be). I could also tune it out if I wanted.

I think Hypnobabies "works" on multiple levels. One level is to replace fear with confidence, a great step for anyone approaching giving birth! Another level is to teach hypno-anesthesia techniques which can reduce or (in some cases) eliminate childbirth pain.

One of my hypnosis births was extremely painful due to complications. Even though my hypnosis didn't keep me comfortable (so "it didn't work" for comfort), my hypnosis did keep me calm and focused. That was enormously valuable! I'm convinced that things could have been far, far worse if I had not had my hypnosis training. With hypnosis I was able mentally take a step back and think about what was happening without freaking out. My first thought was that the situation wasn't good and I wasn't pleased that it was happening. My second thought was that I would stay calm and have a discussion with my caregivers about what the appropriate action would be. I had a very strong urge to freak out and start screaming, but I had enough mental control to choose to stay calm instead.

I would never choose to give birth without hypnosis again, even if it did nothing to help with the pain.

As it happens, my other three hypnosis births were very comfortable. One of them was even pain-free. The others had moments where I thought, "I don't think I like this sensation very much." That caused me to actively use my hypnosis more and I'd become more comfortable. Using hypnosis early and often during my birthing time allowed me to build endorphins as the birth got more intense. Hypnobabies worked better for me than an epidural (even though I felt no sensation of any kind after 4 cm with that birth).

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#38 of 52 Old 10-09-2010, 03:04 AM
 
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= So you found it only helpful up to a certain level of pain, and when the contrax got over that threshhold it snapped you out of it abruptly? That does sound very unpleasant! =
Yes, exactly. You understood what I meant...I was worried I wasn't explaining it well.

I was pretty disappointed that it didn't work well- I did the affirmations most nights and one of them was that I would have a short, pain free labor. I didn't even entertain the THOUGHT that it would be long again. My first labor was a totally natural birth after 60+ hour labor. I was so convinced that the second time around it would be a short birth, that when it was NOT short, I was unprepared and devastated. I wish I had not convinced myself the affirmations would come true, because when they didn't and my labor was 54 hours, well, I was crushed, exhausted and just plain mad at hypnobabies. I felt duped.

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#39 of 52 Old 10-09-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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I didn't want to minimise, avoid or otherwise "get out of" the birth. I wanted to experience it, in all it's raw glory. I wanted to FEEL it. I didn't buy that it was so terrible that avoiding it was the only thing to try to do, and i've done it nearly-drug-free and drug-free and i would stand by that. Obviously everyone is different, but i tend to tell people who ask me now that actually WANTING to feel it all is what made feeling it so bearable/great. Not saying it didn't hurt! It certainly did at times, but that is what my baby coming felt like. And i really enjoyed it. And i really cherish the memories of it.
This is exactly what I needed to hear. I'm a total skeptic but so far I've been doing the cd's and finger drops and they do seem to work for me. Now what I'm afraid of is that the program will work too well. I had a 23 hr labor with my first and it was very painful, but I was so happy to be able to experience birth. I did feel like I had reached a state of hypnosis just before transition (my mw said I was "in the zone"), so I guess what I'm hoping for is to get to that state sooner during labor because it really was amazing.

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#40 of 52 Old 10-11-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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I just used HB for my second birth. My first birth was very painful, baby was posterior, and after about 8 hours, after which my cervix swelled from what was an 8 with waters bulging to under 6 after AROM. I couldn't go on, transferred to hospital for epi and then pit, and had vaginal birth with vacuum about 8 hours later (16 total).

I wanted things to go differently for my second birth. I felt totally unprepared for the pain of the first one, so gravitated to HB. I tried very hard not to be a skeptic, and to let it work for me. I have to say I did not practice a ton, definitely not 2-5 times per day as they suggest. However, I thought of it as an important tool to achieve relaxation, which everyone points to as the best way to let labor happen.

HB worked very well for me for several things. First, I was able to get rid of all of my fear about birth, which after the trauma of the first, was quite a bit. I really think the "hypnosis," which was really just a lot of subliminal or not so subliminal messaging, did this for me. Because I had no fear, I was in a much better mindset for the birth than I would have been otherwise. I felt like I knew I could do it. Visualizing the birth really helped -- mine was pretty similar to what I thought was my ideal birth -- short (3h15min), happening during a weekday with time to prepare (and on a Thursday so DH would cancel only one day of classes and have the weekend with us), etc. Also, I was able to use HB through the early contractions. I went to my special place and totally relaxed. This technique really helped me.

Once the labor got intense, though, it was another story. My contractions started at 2 minutes apart. All they did over time was get longer, to where eventually I had no break between contractions at all (maybe 2 seconds). After about an hour, HB stopped working for me. I suddenly remembered that the pain of my first birth exactly matched the second, even though he was in the right position (anterior) and I was doing HB. HB relaxation went out the window for me. Instead, I used vocalization to get through. There was no way I could "relax" and "smile" and think about each contraction bringing me closer to my baby -- I was being hit by a freight train. Again, no resting between contractions. I used "ooh" and "ahh" and eventually was roaring like a lion through transition.

I know some women have labors that are more discomfort than pain, or more like my early later than the later labor. I have to wonder whether HB can only make it painless if you have that kind of labor. Mine was so fast, 3h15 total, with no break between contractions that came every 2 minutes, that I don't think it would be humanly possible to relax or to "spread hypnoamnesthesia throughout my body"! So, I would be curious to read what kind of labor these women have had! Maybe they had contractions further spaced apart? Less intense??

In the end, I think HB helped me, because I probably did have a fast and smooth birth in large part thanks to the HB preparation. It also got me through the first part of labor. However, the last 2 hours went way beyond anything HB could do for me.

I would say it's worth giving a try! Read up on Ina May, etc. as well just in case you get a steamroller labor! But, it can still be really helpful!

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#41 of 52 Old 10-11-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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This is why I stuck with Bradley. I can't drink the koolaid on anything. I'm a born skeptic and too much new agey lingo makes me roll my eyes.


I did have remarkable, natural births using the Bradley. I did not have much pain.
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#42 of 52 Old 10-12-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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I used it extremely successfully during pregnancy- I was able to use the cue and really go to my special place. When I was having SPD pain, I would lay down and cue myself into a very relaxed state...

I tend to think I have a very high pain tolerance... I wasn't able to "get on top of the contraction". I would just be thrown intensely into it. It was unbearable. It was painful. It was a lot LESS painful to breathe a certain way, and to be really connected with my body- and moan and move and do whatever felt right in that contraction.
I had a really similar experience. I used the Mongan method (which I later heard from mamas on here is not as good) but anyway yeah, I found it helpful for low-level, everyday kind of pain but kind of like an umbrella in a tidal wave for labor pain.

I also have a very high pain tolerance (at least that's what my dentist says!) and wasn't fearful of labor at all beforehand, though I expected some degree of pain (not as much as I got unfortunately!).

And I would not say I started out a skeptic. I use hypnosis in my work and I am moderately hypnotizable myself. I expected there would be some utility to it, though I wasn't expecting pain-free. I found the method to be pretty much no use at all though, unfortunately.

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#43 of 52 Old 10-14-2010, 09:30 PM
 
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So I just ordered Hypnobabies. I'm 35 weeks so I won't have quite as much time with it as they recommend, but hopefully it will do some good.

I have been listening to the "Visualize Your Birth" mp3 and the free mp3 they have on the website, and both of them put me right to sleep after about 15 minutes. Granted, I've been listening to them in bed right before bedtime. Is this normal? I tried the Mongan method (hypnobirthing) last time and only listened to it a few times because I couldn't stay awake during it.

It's tough because I WOH and the only time I have to devote to this is after DD goes to bed (except on weekends). I guess I'll try it sitting up, not in bed, once I get the full package of materials. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Although my first birth wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of things and I did make it though unmedicated, it was pretty excruciating at times. Less pain would be great!
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#44 of 52 Old 10-14-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Sorry I'm in a bit of a rush so I'm not reading it through. I started some HB this afternoon.
  • Don't tell me how to breathe. I tried to follow her and nearly needed to turn it off because I was sending myself into a panic instead of calming down.
  • I hate their termonology. It just doesn't rub me the way its meant to. I can replace the words if that helps any but those aren't the words I'd choose.
  • STOP SAYING EYELIDS! It makes me cringe.

Although I can say I did end up getting into a relaxation/hypnosis about halfway through. I don't know if Hypnobabies helped any though.

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#45 of 52 Old 10-14-2010, 11:25 PM
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I ALWAYS fall asleep while doing the CDs. I swear to god, I can't make it through, no matter what. I mean, at this point I can't rest for more than a few minutes without falling asleep anyway, but it's always been like that with HBs no matter when I do it. The books does say to try to do them when you wouldn't fall asleep, but then the scripts say it's okay to blank out, that you are still hearing it all. I am going to try my darndest to listen through them awake, even if I'm not DOING them... that's what I did last time. Anyway, it's not like I was DOING HBs during my birth, but it was in no way excrutiating!

And yeah, I totally ignore her counts for breathing and just do it in a deep relaxing way on my own-- otherwise I'm out of breath and tense and all that!
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#46 of 52 Old 10-15-2010, 12:17 PM
 
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I have been listening to the "Visualize Your Birth" mp3 and the free mp3 they have on the website, and both of them put me right to sleep after about 15 minutes. Granted, I've been listening to them in bed right before bedtime. Is this normal? I tried the Mongan method (hypnobirthing) last time and only listened to it a few times because I couldn't stay awake during it.

It's tough because I WOH and the only time I have to devote to this is after DD goes to bed (except on weekends). I guess I'll try it sitting up, not in bed, once I get the full package of materials. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Although my first birth wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of things and I did make it though unmedicated, it was pretty excruciating at times. Less pain would be great!
It's really common to fall asleep while listening to them. I tried to make it through every track at least once while awake so I'd "know" what was on it, but honestly, I don't think I ever did make it through the last track. I liked using using the hypnosis to help me go to sleep when I was so uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy, so the falling asleep was a godsend for me! And, HB totally worked for me even though I didn't consciously hear what was on all the tracks. j

Also, sometimes you can think you're asleep, but you're actually in hypnosis. I can't remember what they call it. I know it happened to me once because one night while listening to the track, my husband started talking to me, and I told him to "be quiet b/c xyz" and I had absolutely no recollection of it after the track was over. i thought I had been asleep the whole time and then "woke up" a while after the track ended, but my husband said I looked like I was awake during the track, and he couldn't believe that I had no memory of telling him to stop talking.
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#47 of 52 Old 03-15-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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any update, Smokering? I keep thinking about this post of yours, wondering if hypnobabies might work for me, too.

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#48 of 52 Old 03-15-2011, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, hey. :)

 

I'm in Week 5 of the program now - that's the last week, except for maintenance. I'll presumably have at least 10 weeks of maintenance, so it's not exactly the home stretch! But I've listened to most of the CDs now.

 

Whether or not it's "working"... well, it's hard to say. It's definitely doing something. I find I can relax quite easily and deeply now at the start of each CD, and it's not the same as "ordinary" relaxing. I do tend to fall asleep during the CDs (as a PP said, it could be hypnotic amnesia, but I'm very tired these days so I suspect it's actual sleep). I tried to use hypnosis the other day when I got a blood test, but DD was watching and the tech was talking to me, so I couldn't really get into it. It was less painful than usual, though (not a fan of needles). I don't feel anaesthetised during the sessions, although the lady on the CD assures me that it's fine and I don't have to.

 

In terms of cynicism... there a few things about the scripts that bug me. There's one bit where the lady tells me to go to my "special place" with my baby and make friends with him. I don't personally believe I have a mystical connection to my baby (no offense if you do, it's just not part of my belief system), so the thought of "getting to know" him just seems... fake, like I'm imposing a personality on him. So I can't quite dig that. She also says a few odd phrases, like "deeper relax" and "breathe out slowly to your mind", which kinda drive me nuts. I'm trying to get over it, but I always have a mental hiccup every time she intones "deeper relax" and I think "It's RELAX DEEPLY, for goodness' sake!".

 

She's also big on getting you to affirm "I deserve a fast, easy birthing", which again kinda grates on my worldview. I want a fast, easy birthing, but I can't think of a good reason why I deserve one. And sadly I've been majorly depressed of late, so the whole empowering affirmation thing kinda backfires on me, depending on the day. There's a possibility I may have to birth in hospital, and even possibly have a C-section - the cord's wrapped 3 times around the baby's neck, or was at the last scan; I have another in a few weeks. It might all turn out fine, but I feel a bit grim about listening to serene statements about how my body and baby are doing everything perfectly, when chances are they're not. Basically, my mental health has seen better days.

 

So yeah, I think my cynicism might be hampering me to some extent, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it makes the CDs worthless. I'm not going to give up, anyway (although I have kinda stopped listening to my Pregnancy Affirmations). Guess I should update again after the birth!


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#49 of 52 Old 03-16-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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So I had an awful labour with DD and want to try Hypnobabies this time.

The thing is, I'm not very comfortable with the terminology or even some of the philosophy behind it. I believe that the mind is powerful and that hypnotism works (for some people at least, never tried it yet myself). I don't believe that birth is inherently painless - I can't, after the pain last time! - and I tend to snort and giggle at euphemisms for contractions ("surges", "birthing waves" etc), referring to pain as "p***", talking about my "bubble of peace" and so on. No offense if you do those things - if they work for you, super. I just don't think I can use those words with a straight face. They're not me.
 

 

This is me, exactly.  I used hypnobabies home study for my second birth (and am planning on using it again).  I did not have a painless birth, but I was actually really comfortable - i.e. in the tub reading a novel between contractions- until the final two hours.  And even when things were really intense, I was able to stay very physically *relaxed* .  I recommend it, even if there were parts of many of the tracks that made me want to grit my teeth at some aspects.

 

Hey, maybe practice relaxing through that mental irritation actually helped, who knows? lol.gif

 

Edited to add: Hah, and I just realized I already responded to this thread months ago. whistling.gif

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#50 of 52 Old 03-19-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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Oh, hey. :)

 

I'm in Week 5 of the program now - that's the last week, except for maintenance. I'll presumably have at least 10 weeks of maintenance, so it's not exactly the home stretch! But I've listened to most of the CDs now.

 

Whether or not it's "working"... well, it's hard to say. It's definitely doing something. I find I can relax quite easily and deeply now at the start of each CD, and it's not the same as "ordinary" relaxing. I do tend to fall asleep during the CDs (as a PP said, it could be hypnotic amnesia, but I'm very tired these days so I suspect it's actual sleep). I tried to use hypnosis the other day when I got a blood test, but DD was watching and the tech was talking to me, so I couldn't really get into it. It was less painful than usual, though (not a fan of needles). I don't feel anaesthetised during the sessions, although the lady on the CD assures me that it's fine and I don't have to.

 

In terms of cynicism... there a few things about the scripts that bug me. There's one bit where the lady tells me to go to my "special place" with my baby and make friends with him. I don't personally believe I have a mystical connection to my baby (no offense if you do, it's just not part of my belief system), so the thought of "getting to know" him just seems... fake, like I'm imposing a personality on him. So I can't quite dig that. She also says a few odd phrases, like "deeper relax" and "breathe out slowly to your mind", which kinda drive me nuts. I'm trying to get over it, but I always have a mental hiccup every time she intones "deeper relax" and I think "It's RELAX DEEPLY, for goodness' sake!".

 

She's also big on getting you to affirm "I deserve a fast, easy birthing", which again kinda grates on my worldview. I want a fast, easy birthing, but I can't think of a good reason why I deserve one. And sadly I've been majorly depressed of late, so the whole empowering affirmation thing kinda backfires on me, depending on the day. There's a possibility I may have to birth in hospital, and even possibly have a C-section - the cord's wrapped 3 times around the baby's neck, or was at the last scan; I have another in a few weeks. It might all turn out fine, but I feel a bit grim about listening to serene statements about how my body and baby are doing everything perfectly, when chances are they're not. Basically, my mental health has seen better days.

 

So yeah, I think my cynicism might be hampering me to some extent, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it makes the CDs worthless. I'm not going to give up, anyway (although I have kinda stopped listening to my Pregnancy Affirmations). Guess I should update again after the birth!


I understand where you're coming from, especially with the "get to know your baby" bit, because that would totally get to me too.. is it possible instead of "getting to know" your baby in the sense they may mean you just focus on the physical stage of development your baby is in and visualize your baby slowly growing, safe and sound, within your womb? That's a little less "woo woo", you're not imposing any personality and you can still focus in on the baby being physically connected to you?

Reading this thread and some other reviews/critiques is making me think there needs to be a hypnotism birthing program for all us skeptics/cynics out there lol.gif

 

Also, please do update after your birth! Hopefully the cord unwraps itself and you can go forth with the birth you had wanted!

 


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#51 of 52 Old 03-19-2011, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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is it possible instead of "getting to know" your baby in the sense they may mean you just focus on the physical stage of development your baby is in and visualize your baby slowly growing, safe and sound, within your womb? That's a little less "woo woo", you're not imposing any personality and you can still focus in on the baby being physically connected to you?

I don't think it's how she means it in the scripts. She says thinks like "Make friends with your baby", and you're meant to take your baby to your special place, hold him in your arms, say his name (or a nickname) and kinda... hang out. Your interpretation is indeed less woo-woo, but it's not exactly "canon", KWIM? Maybe I'll do what you suggested and ignore the lady while she talks about that bit, though... it's a fairly short segment of the CDs, so I can probably tune it out pretty easily.

 

 


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#52 of 52 Old 03-20-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

I don't think it's how she means it in the scripts. She says thinks like "Make friends with your baby", and you're meant to take your baby to your special place, hold him in your arms, say his name (or a nickname) and kinda... hang out. Your interpretation is indeed less woo-woo, but it's not exactly "canon", KWIM? Maybe I'll do what you suggested and ignore the lady while she talks about that bit, though... it's a fairly short segment of the CDs, so I can probably tune it out pretty easily.

 

 

 

Yeah....

Once I got to the "maintenance" phase of the program last time, I just cut out that one entirely.  I found it the least useful.   And I actually do believe in the possibility of a mystical connection, blah blah blah, and I wasn't getting it from that. shrug.gif
 

 

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