Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off, my intent isn't to offend anyone, and if hypnobirthing or hypnobabies has worked for you, great. Tell me your story. Convince me
But I'm having a few reservations.

I really want to try Hypno something this time around. My last birth I did some self relaxation techniques of my own but I just couldn't stay on top of it during transition. From what I've heard, I think I'll end up going with Hypnobabies. My mom is a doula and happened to have the Hypnobirthing book and cd so I've just started reading it. I figured I'd read both and merge the two techniques or chose the one I like better.

So here is the problem. I'm only a few chapters in, but so far I'm just not all that impressed with this book. I have a few problems with it that I'm afraid may interfere with me taking it totally seriously. They talk a lot about the medical industry and how open they have become to natural birthing and hypnobirthing. Every example they have used so far has taken place in the hospital with some wonderful doctors and nurses. In one part they seem to be pushing the reader to birth in a hospital with open ended statements about medical staff being wonderful and on board with this type of birth. I just can't agree with that. The general theme of the book so far is to educate women about having a pain free birth and I just think that in a totally medicalized atmosphere that can be extremely hard if not impossible.

The main thing I am having issues with though, is the assumption that birth is naturally pain free and that fear is what brings the pain. I completely agree with the cycle of fear and pain, but I just DO NOT believe that birth is pain free by nature. They seem to put a lot of stock into the fact that God has created us to be able to birth, and why would he make such a wonderful thing so painful. I am personally agnostic, so this is not something I would believe anyway. If your one who believes in evolution, than this theory is simply wrong. Compared to other mammals, we have quite a small pelvis and our babies have big heads. Naturally, our births will be harder work, producing more discomfort. In another part of the book they claim ALL things natural about our bodies are in fact painless, and therefore birth should be as well. Again, I just can't get my head around that. For me, menstrual cramps are most certainly NOT painless, but very natural. In fact, even ovulation can be painful for me some times. But I'm still left to truly believe that birth can be more comfortable when certain techniques are use, and fear is eliminated.

I desperately want to find some techniques of hypnosis, meditation, and relaxation to use during my birth. I was convinced that I would be able to ignore the things I didn't agree with and just use the techniques, but now I am beginning to think that if I don't subscribe to this belief of birth being innately pain free that this method wont work for me.

So here are my questions. First, if you have used or are using either of these methods, does it get better? Is it worth it for me to keep reading? Also, do you know if the Hypnobabies method is any different? I'm now having reservations about even buying it. I don't want to spend my money on it if I'm going to end up disappointed. TIA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
God has created us to be able to birth, and why would he make such a wonderful thing so painful. I am personally agnostic, so this is not something I would believe anyway.

I just wanted to comment that this isn't something you would believe if you were Christian either.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.

We believe that when sin entered into the world, pain and sorrow entered the world. Our hope is that God will take away pain and sorrow.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
reneeisorym Good point. I hadn't thought of that, but your right. So I guess most people would probably have a hard time with the notion that birth is innately painless? I'm wondering then, why this seems to be the major message associated with these methods?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,365 Posts
I used the Hypnobabies home study CD's and I don't recall anything about birth being naturally painless and fear being what makes it painful. It was quite a while ago though that I listened to the CD's, so maybe I'm just not remembering correctly.

I didn't end up using the techniques at all during my birth, but that was due to a number of completely unforseen complications (ended up sick at 32 weeks and had my daughter at 33 weeks and hadn't even finished the whole course.) I did however use the techniques in the weeks leading up to my birth to help me relax and fall asleep and to deal with the pain of my sciatica, among other things.

I'm not sure, to be honest, how well I would have handled birth using Hypnobabies since I never had the opportunity to find out. But I was pretty hesitant to completely believe in the self-hypnosis at first and I was happy to discover that many of the techniques worked very well for me to learn to relax my body and to let go of tension and pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,311 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
The main thing I am having issues with though, is the assumption that birth is naturally pain free and that fear is what brings the pain. I completely agree with the cycle of fear and pain, but I just DO NOT believe that birth is pain free by nature.
I don't believe it either. That's one reason I'm not interested in hypnobabies. The other is I'm not down with hypnosis because I'm very resistant to it. The best advice I ever received was to accept the pain and go with it instead of fighting it or trancing yourself out of it. It worked great for me and didn't require a whole lot of preparation. Relaxation techniques, squatting and breathing deeply...basically just doing everything I could to encourage the contractions and understand that birth is a normal, healthy (usually) process...that really helped me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
I also feel these methods aren't the best for me. I am going on number four now and I've found that I need to just exist through labour, take it as it comes, and be present. I'm not at all suggestible and I too think it's a crock of you-know-what that fear is what makes labour and birth painful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
I'm doing Hypnobirthing due to two women I know telling me they had pain-free births with it. I doubt that is attainable for everyone, and I too have similar misgivings about the book as the OP. What I am trying to do is view it more as relaxation techniques, that when practiced consistently, will allow you to relax and not fight the process of birth. I didn't fight the process the first time (home water birth), and I didn't find it painful until the pushing stage, when I did have fear,and that might have made it more painful than it could have been. My hope is that HB will allow me to not push and just let my uterus do the work.
The woman that is giving the classes has made her own CDs, only one of which I have so far, but she feels they are less... hokey, I guess, than the Mongan ones.
The other reason I am taking these classes is in hopes that it will teach DH some relaxation techniques - he is very tightly wound.
So, if you approach it from a relaxation technique viewpoint, it might be for you, but if you really can't ignore the things you don't like, what about just a regular meditation class?
I have heard that Hypnobabies is better than Hypnobirthing, fwiw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,823 Posts
Ah, your post reminds me of how I felt when I read Dick's book. My face was like --> 0_o most of the time.

I was actually surprised to find that my body/brain did not interpret labor as painful. There were painful incidents, such as terrible leg and RL pain from a sports injury. And when she crowned my little girl bits stung like the dickens. But none of it said, "Ow pain!" at all. I was surprised.

That being said, it seemed hard for me to surrender to the contractions and I've heard time and again that fighting them can extend labor and make it harder. It seems to me that DH simply designed his own hypno process on the spot, guiding me through them.

I did a paper on hypnosis for my neuroscience class and was very impressed. The studies out there show an alteration in brain activity and pain transmission. I just don't like the available courses for hypnobirthing. Maybe I'll just study the gist of hypnosis and try my own way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
211 Posts
Just wanted to add a few things to this conversation.

The first is that having surgery or having a tooth pulled is not innately pain free, but people who have allergies to anesthetics have successfully used medical hypnosis to have procedures performed on them without experiencing the pain. The idea is not that the situation is pain-free, but that you have the ability to control your perception of pain with your mind. This goes beyond just the fear-tension-pain cycle.

The second thing is that, in some cultures, the idea of pain just isn't associated with labor. Women view labor as hard work, but not as painful beyond capacity. In those cultures, women do not experience the same type of pain as women do in cultures where women are ingrained to expect pain. I'm not saying that birth isn't painful for those women, but that the more pain your mind expects, the more pain you will perceive.

The third thing is that I don't think you have to be anticipating a pain free experience in order to be able to use the programs successfully. I took a hypnobirthing class with my first birth. There were 20 couples in the class, many of them who were not first time parents, and a couple of repeat hypnobirthers. We were told point blank by several of the couples, including former hypnobirthers, and by our doula-instructor, that not everyone experiences a completely pain-free birth with the program, and that for most women there would be some level of discomfort. I used hypnobirthing quite successfully with my first birth and experienced what I would consider a moderate level of pain. I chose the hypnobabies course for my second birth, not expecting the program to change my perception of pain at all during the birth. I still perceived what I would call *pain,* BUT I was able to relax enough to take a nap during active labor. How many people get to do that? I was at home and had been laboring for probably ten hours or so at that point. It was very intense and I needed a break, so I settled in bed and fell asleep listening to a CD. I woke up and threw up. I realized I was in transition, so we left for the hospital at that time. I walked into L&D ready to push. It was a fabulous experience.

One more thing to think about is that, if you read a lot of birth stories where women are given the opportunity to birth in peace, you begin to realize that what they are doing is using (natural unguided) hypnosis. Women turn inward, hang out in labor land, take it as it comes, and don't resist it. It's a natural thing to do. It's hypnosis. if you were going to UC, maybe that would come pretty easily to you. But if you are hanging out in a hospital trying to have a baby, there are going to be a lot of distractions from that natural process. I think what hypnosis really does is teach you what you need to ask for in order to make the situation as conducive to natural coping mechanisms as possible (dark rooms, quiet voices, no distraction during contractions - basically respect for your needs as a mammal struggling to birth).

So I would say that if you don't agree with everything you read (I absolutely didn't, especially with the hypnobabies), take the valuable parts and leave the rest.

Just my $.02. YMMV. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,424 Posts
Hypnobabies didn't work for me and I attempted it twice.

I also don't believe that birth will be painfree even if you believe it will be. I went in with an open mind that it could be pain free, it could be the worst pain of my life or any degree in between. Either way, I was learning how to deal with whatever happened.

The hypnosis stuff was great during pregnancy but it doesn't do anything for me during my posterior labors. It just doesn't have the same mellowing effect. I'm not stressed during labor, more excited, happy and active.

Even for the last pregnancy where I had mild prodromal labor for a week before, it didn't do anything for the pain. Sure it got me in a super mellow, hypnosis state but there was no lessening of the pain.

I've been told (by the people on the yahoo group) that because I was open to the idea of a painful labor, that that is why my labor was painful. That I caused it.


I'm just hoping that this third labor is not another posterior babe, I'm really curious to experience the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
limette - I have had 2 posterior labors/births where baby didn't turn: the first and the fourth. I have to say that the middle two births, although they were longer, were so much less painful it was ridiculous.

I am another one reluctant to buy into the hypno-hype.
I did find that some of the techniques from the Birthing from Within book were helpful, so I'm sure that some of the techniques from hypnobabies may be the same. But I *know* I can easily handle a normal birth. Abnormal positioning is insanely painful for me - and my babies are big so I'm sure that intensifies the situation - but I don't believe at all that it is fear or lack thereof that determines pain or no pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,673 Posts
My husband is a trained hypnotherapist so I've done some playing around with hypnosis stuff before. I wouldn't say that my labor was completely pain free, but it was mostly intense. I labored at home unmedicated for 40 hours. Eventually I transferred to the hospital because I was hallucinating from sleep deprivation and walking into walls. I really didn't find the process all that painful, I just couldn't sleep because it took a lot of concentration and focus to get through contractions every six minutes for 26 hours.

Hypnobirthing was... enh. I'm interested in Hypnobabies but I don't think there are classes near me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,567 Posts
I am doing hypnobabies with this pregnancy. I have had 2 routine home births before this. I am staying optimistic about it, but I also know that I can and will do great if it doesn't work. I am enjoying it through pregnancy; it has been invaluable for helping me sleep.

With my last pregnancy, I read the Mongan book, and I *hated* HATED them saying that it is supposed to be pain free. Same with Grantley Dick-Read. What do *you* know about childbirth pain, MAN?!

Anyhow, I am not Christian, but I also sometimes don't notice subtleties. So, I don't *think* there is anything like that in hypnobabies. I belong to the Yahoo group, and mostly, they seem pretty hospital-y, but also just inexperienced. All the info is good for me, even though I am having a home birth. I am excited to post in my birth story that I am eating my placenta! I think it will shock them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,259 Posts
I think the biggest complaints I hear about these methods is that they never acknowledge that pain is even possible in your labor (it gets transformed into "pressure" or "fullness," etc.). This works REALLY well for some, and not so well for others. There are women who experience labor as painful no matter how much they practice the hypnosis techniques and believe they will have a pain-free experience. The problem, as I see it, is that this can often throw women off guard and they panic - thus making it even more challenging to get back into some kind of labor groove. And many end up blaming themselves for "failing" the method, when really, the method just didn't work for them.

I think it can be one useful tool among many, but shouldn't be relied on as the only tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,216 Posts
I just finished the Hypnobirthing class. What I've taken away from it is the importance of visualizing what you want (i.e., the importance of the mind-body connection), the importance of relaxing and letting your body do its thing and trusting the process. I *did not* take away the idea that every birth is or can be pain-free; rather that birth is not inherently uncomfortable or painful. The teacher was very careful to not imply that just because you "do everything right", you can't necessarily expect a pain-free birth. She did emphasize that it is more likely to be comfortable, need fewer (or no) interventions, and be a gentler, more peaceful birth. Like a PP said, there are many cultures around the world where pain isn't associated with birth, so I think partly it is a cultural/societal thing.
I am expecting #5, and I do not expect painless birth; I *do* expect to be able to relax and stay relaxed more easily with more tools available to me. I do expect that I will be more comfortable.

As far as the biblical view on childbirth, I disagree that women are condemned to painful birth. There are many translations that have inaccurately translated the word for pain in the above-mentioned verse. It is the same word used for the man's toil/sorrow, but not translated the same way for the woman's curse. Helen Wessel has a very nice commentary on the topic in The Joy of Natural Childbirth. (Again, this is not to say that all birth should be pain-free; it does happen for some women, so it shouldn't be totally discounted, either.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,782 Posts
From experience, 5 births so far, the first 3 in a hospital with an epi. Those still hurt, between the labor leading up to it, then the needle, and then them turning it off so I could push and feel it. I had this idea labor had to be horrible.

Then with my son, my water broke at 5pm and I was having contractions but they did not hurt. So I put a pad on and cleaned house and went to choir practice. Sang through contractions and then they slowed and it all seemed so easy. So we went to labor and delivery and they did not think I was in labor from looking at me so we waiting in the waiting room for over an hour. Kept singing with DH and a choir friend. Then they finally checked me. I was at 7cm. How the heck had I not felt that? And then I freaked the heck out, as I planned on another epi and that was not happening. 20 horrible minutes after I had my baby boy. I also had some information. 1. Labor does not have to be painful. 2. When I panic I hurt a lot! 3. The hospital just complicates things for me. and 4. The recovery of a natural birth is so so much faster than an Epi.

So my last baby was a homebirth, with hypnobabies. It was simply amazing. Those that came called it near silent. It was intense at transition and what no one noticed was me whispering to my Duala that I was not sure I could do it. She reminded me I could, that I was, and that baby was almost here. Thats all I needed to be reminded of. I floated in my pool and floated over the contractions. As long as stayed on top of them in my quiet place I was great!

So while I don't know anything about God, I have to think his curse on women to have child birth be painful was rather pathetic this last time and he will have to do better next time.


Planning another hypnobabies homebirth because I know a near painless birthing labor and birthing is possible and I wish someone would have told me that before I had my first 4 babies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
960 Posts
I just started reading the hypnobirthing book.. "pain free" was not my motivation- I would never expect giving birth to be totally pain free, but was looking for a book to teach methods to make the pain more tolerable (even the front cover says: a natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birth) I'm more concerned with techniques to help me have a more natural birth- avoiding interventions- being induced, leading to crazy unnatural pain, leading to epidural, leading to helpless laboring on bed, leading to pushing for hours, leading to tearing and episiotomy..
I'm looking at this book in a more practical sense- it has great tips for exercise, massage, relaxation etc to prep yourself both mentally AND physically to make laboring easier and more productive- nothing wrong with that, whether you're under hypnosis or not.

btw- I initially chose it over hypnobabies because of price- it was awfully expensive and didn't feel that it would undoubtedly be a wise investment. hypnobirthing was only like $15 or something...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
I think you will like Hypnobabies more. It doesn't go into those things you mentioned that are bothering you about that hypnobirthing book. It's a different point of view for sure.

Whether or not it will help with pain, I'm not sure. I do know that it relaxes me and will give me something for my mind to focus on and be calmed by....and I'm pretty sure that helps with pain. I don't actually expect it to eliminate pain, but just make the whole process more tolerable...but I hope to be surprised, because quite of few mamas on here have talked about their nearly painfree hypnobabies births. Hypnobabies CD's have already been a big help during pregnancy, by helping my anxious and pessimistic mind stay more positive and it also helps me to fall asleep for naps and at night...which is a great thing for my health.

For those that flat out say is didn't work for them, I'm curious about how much they practiced the CD's and read the book. (not saying they didn't, I'm just curious, because I definitely don't do it everyday, like it suggests)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,571 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for all the responses so far. There is a lot of good info and opinions here.

Quote:

Originally Posted by freistms View Post
The first is that having surgery or having a tooth pulled is not innately pain free, but people who have allergies to anesthetics have successfully used medical hypnosis to have procedures performed on them without experiencing the pain. The idea is not that the situation is pain-free, but that you have the ability to control your perception of pain with your mind. This goes beyond just the fear-tension-pain cycle.

The second thing is that, in some cultures, the idea of pain just isn't associated with labor. Women view labor as hard work, but not as painful beyond capacity. In those cultures, women do not experience the same type of pain as women do in cultures where women are ingrained to expect pain. I'm not saying that birth isn't painful for those women, but that the more pain your mind expects, the more pain you will perceive.
I've heard about hypnosis used for surgeries which is one of the reasons I wanted to look into hypnobirthing/hypnobabies. I'm definitely a believer of hypnosis and meditation used as relaxation techniques. But so far this is not the approach the book takes. I thought it would talk about this and it hasn't yet. Does hypnobabies go into this more?

Also, I should mention that I do believe that our culture has a huge role in the fear and pain present in our labors. I think that when you tell someone that something is going to be horrible and painful and scary and dangerous, well.....it will be. Not to mention the fact that a hospital is a scary place to be and a horrible place to have a peaceful birth IMHO. But on the flip side, I think when we see women crying out during labor, it is so much more than just her pain. And seeing a woman calm and or quiet in labor doesn't necessarily mean she is without pain. I certainly don't scream when I have menstrual cramps. But that isn't because they don't hurt, it is because they won't kill me. They won't render me immobile. I know I won't have a team of doctors barging into my home ready to perform any emergency operations. So I deal with the pain. I exercise, take an advil, breath through it. If our society suddenly made menstrual cramps a medical emergency worthy of a team of medical professionals eager to perform multiple interventions, I think we'd see a lot more women crying out in pain during that time of month.

I'm leaning towards maybe skipping out on buying the hypnobabies. I am having a home birth this time, and I'm planning on having a water birth with dim lights, aroma theropy, soft music, just a good calming atmosphere. I was really interested in the cd's that come with hypnobabies for the actual labor and birth. But now I'm wondering if I could just use my general meditation cd's that I already own.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top