Did you go into laborland during your delivery? (Hypnosis question) - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Did you go into a state of hypnosis during your delivery?
No, I was fully present the whole time. 4 22.22%
Sort of. I was in a fuzzy laborland place but I was still myself. 6 33.33%
Yes, I did hypnobirthing/hypnobabies classes and I was on another planet. 0 0%
Yes, I went into a hypnotic state without taking any classes. 8 44.44%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 10 Old 03-16-2011, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
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You hear the phrase "laborland" a lot on MDC, but it still doesn't seem to be that well known outside of the natural birthing community.

I'm talking about that hypnotic, almost psychedelic state that some women slip into during childbirth. Some people do talk about the "runner's high" release of endorphins, but that doesn't seem to encompass that break from reality that I know a lot of us experienced and talk about here on this forum.

I'm interested in how labor location (home, hospital or birth center) plays into it. It seems like it would be so much harder to get to that point in a hospital setting, though I know it can happen. I'm also interested in figuring out if women who did hypnobirthing or bypnobabies or similar classes were more able to get into that laborland state. If you did hypnobabies/birthing, did you use it when you went into labor? Did it help you get into that hypnotic state? Or is it just something that your body did on its own? How intense was the experience? Were you still mostly present and aware that you were giving birth, or did you totally disassociate from reality? How painful was your labor? Would you call it really bad suffering, or just some pain that your body was able to handle?


For me personally, I didn't do any hypnobirthing classes and I guess I thought the whole concept was kind of cheesy, what with the affirmations and all. Beforehand, I was envisioning my homebirth labor as some kind of marathon or epic battle, where I'd be fierce and fight my way through it. I imagined myself roaring and swearing like a merchant marine. I was really surprised by how it turned out. All I wanted was darkness and quiet, and once I got into the birth tub, I slipped into that laborland hypnotic state without really trying. I'd sink into this warm, fuzzy, safe kind of place, and once I got down to that point, I didn't really feel the pain. Sure, there were points where it hurt, but it hurt a lot less through that haze of hypnosis. Whenever somebody talked to me, it would yank me back into the real world, where I felt the pain with clarity, until I slipped back down again. Throughout the vast majority of my labor, I wasn't really even aware of the baby or cognizant of the fact that I was giving birth. I wasn't even cognizant of myself. I was just sort of present in my body in the experience. Truth be told, it was more like a psychedelic drug trip than anything else. (Hey, I went to college in the 90s wink1.gif) Overall, my labor was an incredibly positive and empowering experience. Without being in that state of hypnosis, I think it would have been a lot less easy to handle.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#2 of 10 Old 03-16-2011, 11:40 PM
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my first was a hospital birth, and was in a sort-of laborland. mostly just a place of intense concentration. pain-wise I remember thinking that I was going to split in two, but I don't remember the actual pain. I didn't take any hypno-classes. 

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#3 of 10 Old 03-17-2011, 06:19 AM
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I did a Bradley class for my first, born in December, and had written off hypnobabies as not for me- I am very analytical, and was sure I wouldn't be able to 'turn off my brain' like the method describes. Having my husband be there and be supportive seemed like a higher priority.


Well, turns out, during labor, I got very, very quiet and concentrated and ended up 'zoning out' and really have no memory of the pain. Dh just sat alongside, held my hand, and timed contractions. I definitely wasn't sleeping through contractions like some purport- I was up and active on all fours, and very uncomfortable when I tried to lay down. My brain wasn't 'turned off'- I was aware of what was happening to my body, understood what I needed to do to keep things moving (like getting out of the tub for a while, even though that wasn't as comfortable) without any direction from the midwife, and kept track of where I was in labor in my head- but the pain wasn't intense, and I had no concept of time passing. Like you said: "I was just sort of present in my body in the experience."

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#4 of 10 Old 03-18-2011, 01:46 PM
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I was fully present and in my head the whole time, despite using Hypnobabies. I tried, but I couldn't escape the intense back labor pain. There was no high for me (I don't get it when exercising either) just pain and then just relief that it was over, once it was.

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#5 of 10 Old 03-18-2011, 02:12 PM
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I've had only one birth, a home birth. I did not take any birth classes or read about any techniques. It wasn't that I didn't read and research, but for some reason I did not feel interested in this subject.


A few days before birthing, I read whatever book that was that coined the term Laborland - my midwife left it for me. But if the book had any technique to get there, I don't remember it at all.


But I went there. It was natural for me. I didn't try to do anything or focus on anything. It was lack of focus. It was just coping, really. I was capable of coming back to myself, and did not feel scared like I was gone or out of control. In fact I recall one time I purposely came back, asked my midwife a question, was satisfied, and then went off to laborland again. (The question was about whether I needed to push my baby out in one contraction, or if I could birth her head and then birth her shoulders/body with the next - I was in a pool).


In laborland, I felt very far away. People could talk and I could choose not to hear them at all. Again, I did feel in control of this, and felt that I could come back if I wanted. Time had no meaning. I was aware of every contraction - oh yes, I was aware. But it was just further away. I kept my eyes closed, and it was just dark.


For me, I don't think I could have achieved the same state at the hospital. And maybe not at all. Even if I could get to laborland, I would have been coming back often because I would have to keep checking to make sure nobody was doing something I didn't want. I don't trust hospitals and nurses and doctors, that's just me. I knew my midwife would not do anything without my explicit consent, and besides, we were on the same page anyway (she wasn't exactly going to pit me or cut me or something).


Also, for me, the birthing pool was a godsend. The weightlessness allowed me to float away mentally as well as physically. I am very bouyant and even being a full-term birthing woman, I just floated for the most part. If I wanted to bring my knees up or whatever, the weightlessness meant it took very little effort. On a bed, I think it would have been hard to get comfortable, for me.


I don't know if some women dream/think they are doing something else, but I didn't. I may have forgotten for a minute at a time that I was giving birth, but I didn't think I was somewhere or someone else, I was just gone. Far away. Faded. Maybe more like asleep or even just unconscious in a way. Not dreaming. Just far away.


I'm not going to lie to you, labor was painful for me. Not the worst pain a woman ever experienced, no way (I didn't have back labor, for instance), but damn, yes, it hurt. Laborland was not so much anesthesia but just a way to cope. However, I can say that I went through 6 hours of pushing, which is kind of a lot. And the contractions continued to hurt during pushing. A lot. And when I pushed DD out, I tore. A lot. And chose to (I decided I was not going to wait anymore, and I purposefully pushed her out knowing I would tear). Without so much as an aspirin. And I was not tempted to transfer for drugs or anything either. It was the most physically intense and painful experience of my life, but I did it.


I thought I was going to want music, but I really did not. Candles? Hell. I found out birthing isn't a spa experience, lol. I would have enjoyed a candle as much as a fish would enjoy a bicycle. Irrelevant.


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#6 of 10 Old 03-18-2011, 05:17 PM
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I had a very medicalized hospital labor due to complications (ended in c/s)  but no pain meds for the first 42 hrs, tho practically every other intervention out there . I had practiced Hypnobabies pretty religiously and did listen to the tracks a bit during the labor and definitely did the relaxation breathing and finger drop, though I didn't think about it continuously. I did not have "pain" during my labor, including the two points at which my uterus hyperstimmed. I would say I was pretty out of it (don't know if it would qualify as "laborland" or not) from hours 30 on, which I also when I finally hit "active" labor (5+ cm). I don't know if it was mental exhaustion or the point in the labor, but I definitely don't remember most of that time, except for big moments when we had decel crises and what-not; I also didn't pay any attention to the people who were in my labor room unless they were actually touching me. Time actually seemed to pass much faster for me than everyone else. At one point, I got in the shower for what seemed maybe 20 or 30 minutes but when the mw wanted me to get out, I was shocked to find out it had been 3 hours.


I would think most folks in the hospital wouldn't go into laborland just b/c most women birthing in the hospital (at least those around here) are numb--so what need is there for the body to go into such a state? The "birthing equipment"  that most of my friends have used is a DVD player to watch while dilating. :-)

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#7 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Just looking at the poll...surely there are some women who did Hypnobabies and had hypnotic experiences?

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#8 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 01:20 PM
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I had a homebirth two weeks ago and definitely went to laborland during stage 2. I don't really remember the end of my pushing stage. I zoned out for the last 20/30 minutes. I think this was my body's way of coping with the pain. I was brought back to reality when all of a sudden everyone was celebrating and there was a baby crying. Even then it took me a few minutes to turn over from hands and knees to meet my baby.

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#9 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 05:38 PM
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I was definitely not myself. I said some strange things, wasn't aware of time passing normally, and went very "internal" and withdrawn. I was in a LOT of pain and basically freaking out, but my midwife thought I was "coping so well" because I looked very calm and didn't make much noise. During pushing I felt like I was being really loud and flamboyant, but apparently I wasn't.


So it wasn't "labourland" in a particularly helpful way, but it was... not my normal state of being. This time I plan to do Hypnobabies, so we'll see!

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#10 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 09:16 PM
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I did not take any particular birth method class for my homebirth.  I had done a ton of reading, and my midwife did birth physiology education as well as going over some typical coping techniques.  I was a little concerned before going into labor that maybe I had been totally naive in thinking that I could possibly just "wing it" without any sort of practice, but that's what I did. 


Things were very fuzzy, in the earlier part of my labor I was alone, it was the middle of the night, and I didn't think things were serious enough to wake anybody yet.  As the intensity grew I would look at the clock and decide that I could let everyone sleep maybe 20 more minutes.  Then the next time I looked at the clock I would be surprised to find an hour had gone by.  After everyone arrived and I started laboring in the tub, I didn't have any clocks in view, but other than noticing that the sun was up, I didn't really have any concept of time passing.  I remember some things that happened while I was in labor.  Things people said, things I did, but I don't have a very good concept of what order they occurred in.  I remember my midwife asking me questions like, "can you describe the sensations you're having right now?" (I was sounding kind of grunty, I think she wanted to know if I was feeling pushy) anyway, I felt like it was utterly impossible for me to string together enough words to talk about something that seemed so complicated!  Most of the communication I made were single word commands, and that was all I wanted to deal with.   I am really really glad I was at home with a trusted birth team and not trying to advocate for myself at a hospital, I don't think I wouldn't have been able to. 


I also became sort of stupid about some things when I was in labor.  Like, my midwife offered to check my dilation at one point, after she had just massaged some essential oil on my back.  I was agreeable to being checked, but I some how felt I had to make sure she was going to wash that oil off her hands first, she promised she would and was going to put on gloves too. (duh, gloves!) 


My labor was painful, but I was surprised to find it manageable.  I had thought that I would get to a point of intensity that would completely overwhelm me and I would feel like I couldn't handle it anymore, but I never did.  I was always aware that I was in labor and would be giving birth, but there were a few times when I had sort of an out of body observation of my animal-like laboring and think, "whoa, I can't believe I'm really doing this"  (the same sort of thing happened when I lost my virginity blush.gif)  I was also surprised that I didn't have one ounce of anxiety about the whole thing.  It was my first (and only so far) birth, and I was also surprised at how zen I was through the pregnancy, but I thought that might change once it was time to give birth.  It didn't.  I didn't even have a rush of adrenaline or excitement when I figured out I was in labor.  The rush of endorphins that came with every contraction was just sooooo relaxing, especially in the beginning when the pain was so minimal. 

Mommy to DS1 July '09 and DS2 Oct '12 and someone new in May '15

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