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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am considering trying hypnosis during labor. As a matter of fact, I wrote about it on my blog. I am also going to read a few books. I just want to know if anyone else has any experience with hypnosis and how much it helped with pain control during labor.
 

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I have experience w/ hypnosis, and last birth I thought I knew enough to do it on my own, but guess I was wrong, ended up w/ a c/s. This time I am doing HypnoBirthing (book and CD, no classes available here) and I like it a lot. IMO the physiology and psychology are sound. Not due for a few more weeks yet, so I don't have the live experience.<br><br>
I have noticed a few things already though. First, when people tell me crazy stupid stuff about vag. birth dangers or something weird like that, I just don't even give it a second thought, I know it has nothing to do with me. Because I'm often asleep when I listen to the CD I didn't realize at first that that is one of the suggestions in the CD, it was working for me and I wasn't even consciously aware of it.<br><br>
Second, there is a suggestion to use certain words to trigger a state of deep relaxation, and this has worked for me in 2 ways. It helps me get to sleep when I have insomnia, and it helps me with pain from bfeeding my 2 yo. I told dh about that because I wanted him to know when I'm in labor, then he practiced it on me and I got really relaxed right there. So now I'm the manchurian candidate, who knows, say the right words and I just might go kill the president.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hahaha! You better watch what you say on the internet!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'll have to check out Hypnobirthing. That sounds like something I would like to try. I will give ANYTHING a try.
 

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Not VBAC, but I used Hypnobabies for DS's birth. It was quite good for pain control-- I still felt some pain, so for me I'd say it was not as effective as an epidural but more effective than narcotics. (I had narcotics for a previous labor, not with DS.) I actually did get an epidural but for various reasons I am quite confident I would not have wanted one if I had not been in the hospital, or if I had arrived later in labor.
 

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I did hypnobabies with recent birth. It was helpful in my mental preparation, having a positive outlook, and being able to plan the birth that I wanted. I did remain calm and stable even during stressful situations during my labor, and it was never horribly excruciating, but the hypnosis was not magical relief for me. In fact I found it somewhat difficult to use it in the moment, because for whatever reason I could not remain limp and relaxed during contractions - my body insisted on moving through them.<br>
I think it's a great thing to have in the toolbox, without being attached to feeling absolutely no discomfort. JMO.
 

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I used hypnosis for my first birth (which ended in CS,) and I was very pleased with it. It certainly did not remove the pain - not at all - it just allowed me to deal with it. I was able to remain limp and relaxed through out my pitocin-induced contractions. It was useless for me, however, while being examined. I really had to be silent, still, and not touched to use it. My midwives (who were no longer in charge, since I was being induced,) said my relaxed state was probably one of the reasons I was allowed to go so long before being cut. Neither I or the baby showed any signs of distress throughout some heavy-duty contractions over several hours. (It probably also didn't hurt that the hospital staff probably found me "low maintenance" since I wasn't screaming, or hollering for pain relief.) I wonder though, if in some ways it handicapped me. I had to lie back and relax to be able to use the technique, I was not able to move around without losing my "trance." Maybe DS would have come on his own if I had been able to take a better position. (I did spend the early part of my induction on the birth ball, in a squat, on all fours, etc.. It was only later that I had to recline.) I am planning to refresh myself and use it again for my upcoming birth (with hopes for a better outcome!) HTH!
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that different hypnosis for childbirth programs teach different techniques for entering and remaining in a hypnotic state during birth. So it's important to look at the different programs available and figure out which one (or ones) would suit your personality best.<br><br>
I know from my last birth that I really like and need to move around during the birth. So I ruled out hypnobirthing (the Mongan Method) since that one focuses on remaining loose/limp/sunk into relaxation during much of the birth. It sounds lovely, and I'm sure it works for many mamas, but for me it just wouldn't work!<br><br>
I went back and forth between HypBirth and Hypnobabies and finally went with the hypnobabies home study course since I felt (after talking to mamas who used both programs for different births) that it best suited my personality and it seemed to be a bit more effective for mamas planning a hospital birth (hypbirth is very popular with homebirth and uc mamas) and it also seemed to be more popular with VBAC mamas. I also liked that the Hypnobabies program had a daily routine and set of classes...I tend to procrastinate and the flexibility of Hypbirth sounded great but I knew I'd probably put it off!<br><br>
I really like that the hypnobabies program encourages you to move around and use different positions (it comes with two workbooks filled with birth information, positions, and things like that) and that it teaches different techniques for entering and remaining in a hypnotic state (while walking, laying down, on your own, cued by a partner either verbally or by a touch, or through post-hypnotic suggestion cued by mama at need). And although I listen to the cds while "awake" at least a few times so I know what they say, I've found them to be worth their weight in gold in terms of helping me fall asleep! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Nothing like a soothing voice and some "zEnya" background music to zonk me out! I think I'll probably keep listening to them after the birth too just for the deep sleep and relaxation.
 

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Hypnobabies rocks (so far!). I'll let you know how well it works in terms of actual pain relief in a few weeks <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Like the pp said though, I've never slept so well in my life! I either listen to one of the hypnosis tracks or I'll practise using my hypnosis cues and I sleep like a BABY. Seriously. At 38 weeks pregnant! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I get up a few times to go pee, but crash as soon as my head hits the pillow again. It's awesome.<br><br>
I do find it's a lot of work and you have to be very consistent and determined with it. I probably practise for at least an hour or more a day. It's easier for me because I'm a SAHM and only have one kid right now, and he still naps for a few hours in the afternoon... working full time would be more of a challenge but definitely doable.<br><br>
The course is VERY thorough though, and definitely gives you more options than other hypnosis courses because it allows as much movement as you feel comfortable with.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am so happy I asked this question. I had no idea there were so many women who have tried it. I will have to research all of the programs mentioned. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Well I didn't birth yet, so I can't tell how it will affect me or the outcome, but I did do a couple of hypnotherapy sessions to prepare for this birth, and they were well worth it!!! At my last check up in hospital, I actually found myself relaxing and dozing off a little in the waiting room. ME!!! I used to stiffen up whenever I saw a white coat a mile off!!! Even a veterinarian or dentist or lab assistant would have that effect on me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br>
So that I'm sure will help, having to birth in the same hospital where I had my CS.
 

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Meatloafkend,<br>
My first delivery was sunny side up so it was fairly difficult, in part because the epdidural was uneven (much stronger on one side on the other). I knew the second delivery should be easier since everything would have "opened up" but I really wanted to minimize the chances of an epidural because of the effect the drugs seemed to have had on how well DD1 took to nursing initially. To put it simply she was sluggish.<br><br>
I used Hypnobabies (Tuschhoff's program) the second time and since I work full time I was only able to listen to the tapes on the 20 minute train ride to and from work and as I was falling asleep at night. Yet I went on to have a delivery that was 1/3 shorter (6 hours instead of 9), with only an hour or so of the hard labor (oops, I mean "pressure waves"), instead of 3 or 4 and less than 20 minutes of pushing. Whooo Hooo!!<br><br>
I don't think I could have done as well with any other program. Aside from containing a lot of useful medical info (including a sample birthing plan) the hypnosis info itself is really thorough and uses the principle of "compounding". You start with Deep Breathing, Relaxation, Visualization, and gradually build to "Eyes Wide Open" hypnosis / directed anaesthesia. Although I only once felt like I really entered a true hypnotic state during the months of practice, I maintained enough control during labor over what I was experiencing to pre-empt or displace the kind of pain (and duration of pain) that might have had me gambling on an epidural.<br><br>
The only way it could have gone better is if I could have put in a lot more practice and if I had really been able to get DH on board. He was much more supportive in principle than practice and didn't put anywhere near the amount of time he should have. However, I pretty much realized that's what was going to happen towards the end and I wound up telling him a month or so before I delivered that I might wind up having to turn inward. Which is what I ultimately had to do. I suspect his experience the second time around was not that much different than the first but mine was radically different.<br><br>
I remember when I got to the Maternity Ward front desk the nurse told me I didn't look like I'd just had a baby. I won't say that I felt like running a marathon but I probably could have gone for a nice long walk with DD2 and enjoyed it. In comparison, following the first delivery I felt completely wiped out.<br><br>
But just to give you an idea of what else is out there below is an overview of what I learned when I looked into other programs.<br><br>
Many moms-to-be use "Hypnobirthing (R) / Mongan Method" with great results but it is not as comprehensive as other methods, most notably "Hypnobabies (R) - Kerry Tuschhoff". I suspect the Moms that do really well are more susceptible to Relaxation and Hypnosis.<br><br>
Unfortunately Hypnobabies is not as widely available for classroom study (at least not in Massachusetts where I am). So Hypnobirthing may be your best choice if you do better with classroom study than with self-study. On the other hand, if there is no Hypnobirthing class near you and you have to do homestudy you should know that Hypnobirthing is not really suitable for homestudy. You can pick the book and other materials (one or two CDs), and they are pretty cheap but you really need the class room experience to fill in the gaps.<br><br>
A Hypnobirthing class costs anywhere between $250.00 and $350.00. The Hypnobabies Homestudy program is about $130.00 with Shipping and Handling. I don't know how much a Hypnobabies class would cost if you could find one near you. The last time I checked, the Homestudy included a 6 session notebook, a quick reference booklet / Birth Partner's guide, 5 or 6 CDs, and free email and telephone support. The notebook basically gives you your "Class" assignments, and CD schedule at the beginning of each Class/Session. The rest of each Class/Session gives you a summary of some of the "scripts" you'll be listening to on the CDs and also includes practical information on Labor and Delivery. Class 3, for instance, gives an overview of typical Labor and Delivery interventions and gives a sample Birth Plan / Birth "Preferences".<br><br>
Here is a link to the Hypnobabies page for current members:<br><a href="http://www.hypnobabies.com/students.php?osCsid=d5b44aad63c1339288ea0c321c3ea636" target="_blank">http://www.hypnobabies.com/students....ea0c321c3ea636</a>. It includes information on a free resource for anyone interested in learning more about Hypnosis and Childbirth in general.<br><br>
Here is a link to :gentlebirth.org", a site that links a wide range of different "Childbirth and Hypnosis" methods. <a href="http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/hypnosis.html" target="_blank">http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/hypnosis.html</a><br><br>
One of the many programs listed there is a more affordable, but less comprehensive, alternative to Hypnobabies: "The Leclaire Hypnobirthing Bundle for Happy Hypnomoms and Blissful Hypnobabies". The complete program is about $60.00 or $70.00 with Shipping and Handling.<br><a href="http://www.leclairemethod.com/books/bundle.html" target="_blank">http://www.leclairemethod.com/books/bundle.html</a><br><br>
"Gentlebirth.org" also includes an essay by the creator of Hypnobabies, Kerry Tuschhoff.<br><a href="http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/hypnoKerryCBE.html" target="_blank">http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/hypnoKerryCBE.html</a><br>
One of the most impressive things about Kerry is that she speaks favorably of "competing" programs. This is the second to last paragraph from that essay.<br>
"There are many good Hypnosis for Childbirth Programs now; Michelle LeClaire O’Neal’s Hypnosis for Childbirth, Gayle Peterson’s Body Centered Hypnosis, Dr. Richard Widmeier’s New Concepts in Painless Childbirth, New Way Childbirth’s beautiful video and audio presentations for home study, and the many programs modeled directly from Jerry Kein’s work. Each has its own merits and each appeals in a different way. Ultimately, women need to spend time discovering what their own goals for childbirth are, and make their decisions based on what a program will offer them to achieve this. For some, it will be empowerment and being in control, for others a more relaxed and comfortable experience than "last time", and for still others, it will be a completely pain-free birthing. They will need to understand the kind of dedication and belief it takes to learn the skills that will bring them to fulfill their goals, therefore education and research is key in this area."<br><br>
You'll notice that the "Leclaire Hypnobirthing Bundle" is mentioned in this paragraph.<br><br>
I seriously considered "Hypnobirthing" because I generally do better with a classroom experience, but the class was about half an hour away and cost $250.00. I almost went with the "Leclaire Hypnobirthing Bundle" since it was about half as expensive as "Hypnobabies", Kerry Tuschhoff mentions the program favorably, and the material seemed more manageable. The Leclaire program comes with one book, and 2 or 3 CDs but I think one of them is just a music CD.<br><br>
Ultimately I decided that I would rather spend a little more on Hypnobabies and have the more comprehensive program. If I couldn't find time for everything I could trim back here and there but if I got a less comprehensive program there would be no easy way to build on it. As I mentioned above, I wasn't able to put all of the time that I should have into the program, at least not with the amount of singleminded focus I would have liked but I did manage to get through all of the material one way or the other and I went on to have a pretty comfortable delivery, with less than 20 minutes of pushing.<br><br>
It's worth noting that if you are familiar with Ebay there is a good chance you could easily recoup most of the cost since Hypnobabies programs typically sell on Ebay for close to the original price and rarely for much less than half the original cost.<br><br>
I would strongly suggest checking out the Hypnobabies site, in particular the page for "current students" which, as I mentioned above, refers potential students to a free resource for anyone considering any "Childbirth and Hypnosis" program, not just Hypnobabies.<br><br>
The one criticism of the Hypnobabies program that I have read once or twice is that the written materials aren't a nice glossy book, but rather a 3 ring notebook with what appears to be photocopied pages. I think that keeps the cost down not just because it's probably cheaper to produce initially but because it's cheaper for them to update if they make a revision. It is worth noting that one of the strengths of this program is Kerry's reputation for updating the program. The other nice thing about the 3 ring binder is that you can easily remove the section you are working on and not have to carry the whole book around. Also, you can add your own notes if you have 3 hole punched paper or if you own a 3 hole punch.<br><br>
I don't listen to a lot of audio CDs but I believe the quality is above average.<br><br>
If you do decide to go with Hypnobabies and you would like an outline of the CDs/Tracks as well as a course outline, PM me. That is my only criticism of the program, the assignments are built into the Lessons/Chapters but I needed a ready reference for when I was on the train so I wouldn't be wondering what CD or track I should listen to. I should note that you are sometimes jumping from track 2 on CD 6 to track 1 on CD 3 so it's not like you can just go in sequence.<br><br>
Again, this is covered in the reading materials but I found it easier to have it on a cheat sheet.<br><br>
One more thing, I also did a customized schedule for the CDs and Assignments so I could keep pace. Again, this may have a lot to do with working full time and not always having the notebook with me but I think it also has to do with having a poor sense of time. The weeks all seemed to run together during pregnancy.<br><br>
Good luck with your decision.<br>
~Cath
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow Cath, I cannot express to you how greatful I am that you took the time to explain all of that to me. You have me convinced. I think i'll try hypnobabies. THANK YOU!!!!
 

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The most recent edition of Hypnobabies fixes one criticism you mentioned, Cath - the book is now nicely spiral-bound instead of the binder.
 

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Meatloafkend,<br>
You're welcome. Again, feel free to PM me if you would like the outlines of the CD Tracks and the companion outline of the assignments. The assignment outline may not be as thorough as it could be and might need to be updated if the book content has changed.<br><br>
Also, if you would like a copy of my personalized schedule to customize to your due date you are welcome to that as well.<br><br>
It's a simple matter of copying / pasting the outlines into an email.<br><br>
Good Luck, ~Cath<br><br>
Cassidy,<br>
Thanks for the clarification on the current type of binding. Again, I happened to like the 3 ring binder, for the reasons I described earlier. I'm wondering if the change has more to do with making it harder for people to photocopy and re-distribute the info. I made one photocopy for my own use. I kept the binder at home and I would take the section I was working on with me to and from work.<br>
~Cath
 

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I used HypnoBirthing for my last birth, and I think it was one of the reasons I was able to have a drug-free vbac. I did have a lot of pain during labor, but I think that the hypnosis helped. I think it also helped me have a faster labor, and it helped me process some fears and emotional baggage from my first 2 births. Good luck to you!
 

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I did hypnobirthing (Mongon Method) and it worked really well at first, since i was induced i was basicly tied down to the bed so i worried i wouldn't dialate, but I did relatively fast and pain free. Then, around 7 cm all H-E-double hockey sticks broke loose, and the hynobirthing melted right out of my ears. I did deliver vaginaly but not drug free. Too many interventions and stupid nurses.<br><br>
The nurses don't understand hynosis. They poked me out of my hypnotic state every ten minutes to ask about my pain level. I tried to calmly explain that rating pain is destructive to the point of the program. she then told me that if i did not rate my pain, they would turn the pitocin up and my uterus would rupture.<br><br>
So be careful, if your not screaming in pain, then something is wrong and they'll make sure you are screaming by the end. So give them a courtesy yelp every now and then to get 'em off your back and you'll be fine.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>PookieMom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8103062"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">... Too many interventions and stupid nurses.<br><br>
The nurses don't understand hynosis. ... she then told me that if i did not rate my pain, they would turn the pitocin up and my uterus would rupture.<br><br>
So be careful, if your not screaming in pain, then something is wrong and they'll make sure you are screaming by the end. So give them a courtesy yelp every now and then to get 'em off your back and you'll be fine.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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PookieMom,<br>
I'm so sorry you had a bad experience. I haven't actually looked at at the Hypnobirthing (R) / Mongan materials myself to compare but in the course of visiting two Hypnosis and Childbirth boards I have heard a few stories from women who did Hypnobirthing (R) / Mongan the first time and maybe did ok but who did Hypnobabies / Tuschhoff the second time and did much better.<br><br>
I suspect Hypnobirthing (R) / Mongan is better for women who are more susceptible to hypnosis; and it's probably adequate for women that are lucky and have few if any interventions, which can quickly escalate into more and more interventions.<br><br>
One of the things that Hynpbabies has a reputation for is a good overview of common interventions and how to avoid them. Part of that is a sample birth plan. I almost didn't do a birth plan but I just realized that is probably a really important component of setting yourself up for success. It's the ultimate "Affirmation"; basically you are setting a goal, putting it in writing and then incorporating it (consciously or subconsciously) into practicing your Hypnosis and Childbirth. Also there is an optional "Visualization" CD you could probably work your Birth Plan into. It becomes a sort of positive self-fulfillilng prophecy. Also, it empowers you to speak up for yourself, and your baby, where normally you might not be inclined to.<br><br>
For those with supportive partners that are willing to put the time in, the Hypnobabies program can foster a level of involvement and awareness that empowers them to speak up for you and your baby when you might be too tired or overwhelmed. In the interest of full disclosure I'll note that this didn't happen for me. I may have mentioned earlier that DH was more supportive in principle than practice. I don't mean to suggest that he was giving it lip service but he has used Relaxation, Hypnosis, etc. himself to cope with migraines and I think it gave him false confidence. When push came to shove (no pun intended) he had no idea how to translate his hypnosis background to my childbirth experience. Worse yet he didn't fully understand his role as "gatekeeper".<br><br>
Hypnobabies recommends that you go over your Birth Plan with your OB, including discussing your intended use of Hypnosis. Tuschhoff also recommends putting a poster on the door: something to the effect of "Hypnosis in use ... do not talk to the mother ... talk with Dad first ... etc."<br>
Hypnobabies gives you recommended vocabulary and phrases to use and you want the L&D team to be aware of them; I outlined them in my poster. (I should note that Mongan may have some of this as well.) You don't want to use words like pain, pushing, labor ... which are reminders that childbirth is hard, painful work since that can be counterproductive.<br><br>
I have to say my nurse was great but at the end when I was pushing I could see, and hear, the Pediatrician and Pediatric Nurse chatting like they were having coffee and donuts in the lounge. I cannot begin to describe how distracting that was. I glanced at DH and the OB, who were standing beside each other and with as much energy as I could muster I said "what are they DOING?". So, DH gave me a literal answer about how the baby has meconium and they are getting set up for her. Since I was in pain and operating at a primal level I wasn't able to re-phrase. I asked the same question again and got the same logical answer.<br><br>
If he had been better prepared, or if I hadn't been so understated what he or the doctor would have read between the line was "could someone tell them to shut up?"<br><br>
Along the same lines, towards the end as I was starting with the heavy pushing two nurses started shoving chuck pads under me which made a very painful experience that much more painful (keep in mind that I hadn't had any painkillers). I forget exactly what I said or what non-verbbal communication I was using but DH had to have realized I was in even more pain than I had been, and why, and yet he didn't say anything on my behalf.<br><br>
To say that I was (and still am) angry and a little bitter would be an undertatement. Keep in mind that I was in L&D for about six hours and for the most part we only saw that one nurse up until the last 20 minutes or so. I think this is because they took the Hypnosis instructions seriously and for the most part left me alone. However, I thought it was extremely selfish that these nurses that I hadn't inconvenienced at all, in any way, up until that point were more concerned about easy clean up than my obvious pain. I would be angry at DH to but I have to live with him so I try not to dwell on it. If I thought we were going to have another baby I would have to find a constructive way to explain this to him.<br><br>
So, this isn't too discourage anyone from trying Hypnosis but is just meant to warn them that they may need to be ready to "turn inward" to remain focused (for me this meant tuning DH out during most of the heavy labor leading up to the pushing) and/or that they may need to dig deep and break out of that focus to advocate for themselves.<br><br>
One more point ... with PookieMom's experience in mind. Hypnobabies (R) explains how hospitals basically have you sign a blanket authorization form, but you should know that you can revoke it at any time. Once you realize that it is harder for them to imply that you have to do this that or the other. Remember, at the end of the day they need your consent to do whatever it is they are going to do.<br><br>
Anywhooo, didn't mean for this to be so long. I just wanted to emphasize that Hypnobabies (R) prepares you for this stuff in a way that few other programs do.<br><br>
~Cath
 

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souds like hypnobabies is the way to go! I hope this offshoot answered some of the OP's questions. If we have another babe i'll deffiniately look into to that, and a birth center too instead of a hospital!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 
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