Hypno-birthers...can you take a middle ground with it? — The Bump
Natural Birth

Hypno-birthers...can you take a middle ground with it?

So this is my second pregnancy and I came across the hypno-birthing book in our library and have been reading through it.

A lot of it, so far makes good sense to me, but some of it seems a bit extreme or "silly"

The only classes near us are quite expensive so i don't intend on taking classes, but I wondered if it's the kind of method where I can pick and choose the things that I think will work for me, or if it's the kind of thing that you either do it all or not at all.

I realise that with anything the more committed you are the more effective it will be, but I'm not sure if it's something I can completely buy into, especially just using the book for guidance.

My first birth was a straight forward 7 hour labour, at a hospital with a midwife.

I had a really good birth experience but there were a couple of things that I either felt myself panic over in the moment, or I felt really apprehensive over going into it which I think held up the process.

Specifically I felt myself panic when I felt a strong urge to push. I put that down to all the movies that always have a woman being told, "no you can't push yet." so in the moment I assumed it was "wrong".

Going into it I was really fearful of tearing badly. I didn't realise how fearful until I found myself holding back from really pushing and my midwife thought maybe baby was stuck, and I had to be encouraged to push through the pain.

This seems to conflict directly with the idea of breathing a baby down. Although surely there has to be some pushing? Or is it really just a case of just breathing through it and letting your body do its thing?

Sorry to make this so long, But I suppose ultimately, as I was relaxed and comfortable through most of my labour, letting my body do its thing and simply moving into the most comfortable position, would it work to look at the aspects of hypnotbirthing that seem most relevant to the actual "pushing" part as that is where I found myself most fearful and in need of help?

Any thoughts or advice?


Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

Re: Hypno-birthers...can you take a middle ground with it?

  • as an instructor of this method, i'm curious which parts you found to be extreme and/or silly? 

    in your situation, i would definitely say that you can use the parts of the program that are most useful to you. having been through labor and vaginal birth already, you know what to expect, you know how your body feels and how your mind plays tricks on you. you are an ideal candidate to study the techniques in the book and use them in labor. for a FTM, i would suggest that she take the class, because there is much more to the program than what's in the book. i would suggest for you that you find an HB instructor who is also trained in hypnosis (possibly a hypnotherapist) and do a fear release so that you can release all negative emotions attached to your first birth (the fear that you spoke of concerning tearing, pushing, etc.). it is really important to come into your second birth without any hang ups from the first. 

    i suspect what will be most helpful to you is to study the 4 techniques: breathing, visualization, relaxation and deepening. these techniques are described in the book and you should practice them daily. there is also a CD that you get in class, but can buy online: Rainbow Relaxation. you should listen to this CD at least once each day. note: this is NOT the CD that comes with the book. that CD is not for daily listening.

    with my HypnoBirth, i was happily breathing baby down, until i overheard my MWs saying they needed to get the baby out NOW. i was a hbac hopeful and hearing this put a bit of urgency in my birth, so i started pushing with everything i had. as a result, unfortunately, i have no experience with actually breathing the baby out (though DD was moving down just fine until this urgency). i did tear, which i felt but strangely it didn't hurt at all. i later learned bleeding caused concern about rupture. turns out there wasn't a lot of blood loss, but i was in a birthing tub so it was difficult to ascertain how much blood was coming out.

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  • I used the Hypnobirthing method while delivering my son naturally in a hospital.

    In my case, in the moment, I didn't/couldn't adhere to every guideline, but the overall course still helped me manage the discomfort, etc.  My labor was about 6 hours and technically premature, as I was 36 weeks.

    I used the alternate laboring positions we learned about and visualization techniques to think about other things when I had contractions or "surges".  That helped me stay calm.

    I had planned to do a water birth at a birthing center, but because we were late term premature, I ended up in the hospital.

    When I was fully dilated, I was still exhausted and only wanted to lay on my back.  No unusual delivery positions for me.  Also, I had no urge to push, so I planned to just "breathe the baby down" anyway.  When my midwife realized my son's heart rate was getting too low, she told me to stop breathing the baby down and just push.  Of course, I had no idea how to push, and wasn't very effective.  So she told me how to do it properly and he was out within about 30 minutes after that.  I had a 2nd degree tear.  It wasn't the end of the world.  I still enjoy sex and I don't need a diaper.

    So, what am I saying?  Your pelvis is proven.  You know how to do labor naturally.  You know how to push and get a baby out.  Hypnobirthing might help you with pain management before the pushing stage....  if that's what you're looking for.

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  • I think that the hyno birthing class was the best money I have ever spent. I was a first time mom and had a lot of worries and misconceptions about hospital birth. I think the best part of the class for me was the way they help you navigate through the birth and what types of breath to use. Use it how you need to. I dont think you have to it any one way.
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  • Hey!  Congratulations!  I didn't know you were pregnant! 

    I agree that taking the class was a huge help for me.  I don't know if I would have had such a positive experience if I had only read the book.

    I think that Hypnobirthing does not have to be all or nothing.  I went into it studying and practicing everything.  When the day came I figured out what was helpful and what wasn't.  For example Rainbow Relaxation, I loved it for practicing and used it a lot, but when the day came I found the talking distracting and opted to listen to Comfort Zone instead (it's the same music as RR only without the talking).  I found the breathing and relaxation techniques were wonderful and made me comfortable the entire time.  I also found that Birth Breathing was not for me.  I tried using it, but found it highly uncomfortable and discovered that I either had to all out push or relax through the surges.  On my DD's birth day I found out I was fully dilated and opted to wait another 1.5 hours to let her come down more on her own.  Finally, when she was at +2 station I decided I was ready to push.  I would suggest practicing with all of the techniques and keeping an open mind.  When the day comes you will know what to do, just trust your body.

  • I think like with everything else in life you have to adopt what works for you and file away the rest

     I am on baby number three. My first was born when I was barely 20. I took lamaze, completely freaked out, ended up having 2 epidurals and a vaccum extraction because I developed a 103 temp during labor. I would have loved hypno-birthing then to lessen the complete and utter terror of the situation.

    My Second was born when I was 30. I re took lamaze with my husband and daughter. Shorter class but same information. Did not use a single thing because I delivered my daughter completly naturally 41 minutes after I parked the car.

    My son. due in a few weeks will hopefully come into  worlld peacefully with hypno-birthing. I am doing the homestudy and I am finding that more than anything, I am able to cope with the stress and anxiety better this time. I don't think that I will ask not to be told my progress and things like that but I do believe that I will be better prepared to roll with the changes as they come with out fear and anxiety.

    Best of luck to you!!!

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  • imageLindseyJW:

    as an instructor of this method, i'm curious which parts you found to be extreme and/or silly? 

    In hindsight extreme and silly weren't great choices of words, perhaps more they just didn't gel with me.

    But specifically it was some of the language changes. Although I understand the idea of how powerful language can be, and how important it is to have the mindset, I really don't see the difference between a mucus plug and a uterine seal. There were a couple of other examples on the list that also seemed unnecessary word changes, but can't think of them just now.

    Also a lot was spoken about the environment: dim lighting and relaxing music whch again I understand as a concept, but for me these are not essential aspects to my birthing choices.

    So I guess my queries came from a stance of, "I'm only part way through this book, will it contain some useful pieces that I can apply, or if I don't "get" the importance of the music, dim lighting and all the language change then am I wasting my time?"

    I've read further a long the book now, and I can see more and more things that I can pick out and could well find useful to explore over the next couple of months (I'm 27 weeks along) 

    Elizabeth 5yrs old Jane 3yrs old

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