Hypnobirth: yes or no? Share your experience! — The Bump
December 2017 Moms

Hypnobirth: yes or no? Share your experience!

I have read a lot of great reviews about hypnobirth. I know 3 people who swear by this method and had amazing births. At the same time, I heard a couple of stories when hypnobirth was not helpful in the end. The pain was too strong to focus on meditations and visualizations.

Is it worth it or not?  

Please share your stories about the hypnobirth: 
1. If you tried it yourself
2. If your family or friends tried it
3. If you are taking hypnobabies classes right not or planning to start

I am also wondering what they cover during the hypnobabies classes, if they teach about possible invasive methods like inducing, epidurals, c-section etc.
Would you recommend taking hypnobabies classes only or together with regular hospital classes? 

Thank you for your advice!  :)

Re: Hypnobirth: yes or no? Share your experience!

  • atackatack
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 250 Love Its Name Dropper
    I am sorry,  but I have to laugh.  Not at you, honestly, or anyone who does it.  I convinced DH during pregnancy #1 with my daughter and we hosted it at my house with other couples.  I didn't even make it through classes without realizing an epi was for me!!!!  Those who do it - more power to ya- I'll stick to my epi and numb lower limbs :). When my daughter was born I thanked God I went the medicine route because she dropped so fast and the cord around her neck nearly killed her and threw us to an immediate section if it wasn't for the thousand hands up in me getting her to do some funky medical term of anterior exterior placenta flip of some sort (I don't remember what they said).  

    Best of luck though- I just never got DH on board and he laughed at me - so it wasn't going to work. My advice if you either need to not care what others may say, and you need a strong support system.  
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  • milkbarmilkbar
    10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited June 2017
    Glad the medics acted fast and everything was fine with you both! This is the type of scenario I want to be ready too. Because you never know what is ahead!  
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  • I still have the tracks on my ipod so I will probably listen to them after the 20 week mark for this pregnancy, but the workbook was a loaned copy
  • I did hypnobirthing (classes and book) with DD and loved it. I chose it after watching my sister labor using hypnobirthing techniques in complete bliss for 37 hours. Her nurses kept saying how amazing hypnobirthing was, so when it was my turn I was all in.

    My labor was shorter than that (around 20 hours), and I was less blissed out (but still in a meditative zone, to be sure) and I was able to use hypnobirthing techniques to work through some gnarly back labor. I ultimately had a completely natural birth, however when I was pushing (for something like 3 hours, wtf) I had to finally just bear down and push and scream like you see in the movies--the j-breathing (a hypnobirthing method) wasn't getting my baby out! My midwife actually instructed be to push and grunt as loud as I could--that did the trick!!!

    We also had a doula who was familiar with hypnobirthing and she helped keep the hospital staff from getting in the way of my focus.

    Like @atack my DH wasn't completely sold on the class, but he was sold on anything that I thought would help me during labor, so he was supportive. He also meditates everyday, so he was like "why do you need a class for this?" Ha.

    The woman who taught my class was more open to intervention than the book is. My birth plan was basically to try for med-free but be open to any outcome that included a healthy baby! I wanted to not feel bad if I I wanted or felt I needed drugs. Or if a doctor or midwife said that I needed drugs or a c-section to get the baby out, I didn't want to be upset about it. I wanted to roll with whatever happened in the moment, and hypnobirthing gave me a good toolbox to be able to do that. 

    I didn't take other classes for birthing techniques, and I would say go all in if you go that route since even the terminology is different (contraction=surge, for example).

    I've lent my book to a few other moms-to-be, but not many choose it--I think you kind of know if you are the kind of person who can be trained to focus using meditation and if you are open to meditation/mindfulness techniques. I had dabbled in meditation before, so I knew that even if I didn't legit hypnotize myself, I'd be in a pretty great place and that turned out to be true.
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  • @angetralala @torresfamily5 @lavashiner thank you so much for your amazing stories! It's so much more useful to read non-edited reviews, which show that you will not necessary be able to fully apply hypnotechniques and should be ready to step away or do something different which works in the moment. I am into yoga and meditations, however, meditating in a usual state and state of giving birth and pain are two different things. It's reassuring to hear that you were able to concentrate make the process less painful. So far you make me more inclined to try this route.

    Dear ladies, please continue sharing your stories, let's make this thread a useful source for all the December moms who considers trying a med-free delivery. 
  • babypibabypi
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    I briefly considered hypno-birthing, but it really didn't click for me. Thankfully there are lots of ways to achieve a med-free birth if you find hypnobirthing doesn't work well for you. I had a med free 60+ hr labor and delivery. I'm definitely not in a position to say it was easy, or even that I would go the same route, but there are various resources out there to help with having a med-free birth. 
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  • @babypi omg, 60hrs! :o You are a hero!
     Is there any particular technique/resource/book you could recommend?
  • Holy smokes @milkbar I literally was considering starting a childbirth thread so I could ask about hypnobirth. Also I got an email this week from a medical journal alert for my specialty discussing the article you posted about alcohol maybe 4 days before you posted
  • I wonder what is better- hypnobabies or hypnobirthing- Has anyone tried both?
  • babypibabypi
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    @milkbar I had a really good doula who's also a chiropractor. I learned a lot of pain management techniques before hand and relied a lot on movement and positioning. I also focused on riding the waves, and not fighting them. I have chronic spine and disc issues that make an epidural less than ideal, so once it's removed as a possibility, it was easier for me to focus on powering through. I sincerely hope that this LO is not OP like my DD. I'm not sure I could do back-labor a second time, and would probably ask for a CS. 

    For anyone interested in a med-free birth I would highly recommend Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. It's actually a really good read for anyone, she gives a great perspective for natural childbirth.  
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  • @milkbar  Thank you for posting this! I'm a FTM so no experience, but I'm signed up to take a 10 week Bradley course w/my husband, but also plan to do the hypnobabies home course (possibly overkill, but I figure Bradley is more for my partner and me, and hypnobabies and is more for me.)  At first I thought hypnobabies seemed a little out there, but man, you can't ignore all of the positive experiences people have had with it! One main negative I've read is that people only did that and then felt like they weren't prepared for the actual pain during childbirth, which is why I've decided to do both. And it looks like you can resell the home study course easily afterwards, so it's not much more money. Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories with this, keep them coming! :)
  • @jackiesmom324 it's a funny coincidence  :D
    @babypi I've just looked up what the back labor is, sounds really intense. Thanks for the tip!
    @shellac835 I heard from the people who took good hospital classes the same - nobody speaks really how much pain the labor will be. I don't know, if it's for the better or worse. Maybe they don't tell you about it because it's just hard to describe such intensity of pain.
    @missphil I was sure it's the same under different names but I might be wrong. Did you hear something about it?

  • Thanks for all the tips everyone!
  • @milkbar I just looked it up and it seems like the general consensus is that Hypnobabies goes more in depth than Hypnobirthing. 
  • Hi all, I'm a lurker from July (on accident, I was looking for a different thread that I'd read awhile ago about Hypnobabies...).  Baby is due any day now, so I can't tell you how it worked out, but I chose HypnoBabies for our prep and have been pleased thus far.  I'm going to babble a bit and you guys can feel free either to ignore me or ask questions.

    HypnoBabies was created by someone who was originally trained in HypnoBirthing and had experience with Bradley and Lamaze.  So the curricula overlap a bit.  HypnoBabies is supposed to be a comprehensive class meaning that it will give you info about birth/postpartum as well as tools for the actual birthing time.  The only other class I sought out was a breastfeeding one, and I would have been fine without.  In my research, feedback on the other natural birth options (Hypnobirthing, Bradley, Lamaze) say that they tend to focus too much on the main event and not on the whole healthy pregnancy and birth and postpartum stuff, and also that some of them were very rigid and made you feel like you had to breathe/sit/sleep/etc in very specific positions or the whole thing would be ruined!  [My bff had this exact set of shame feelings, using Bradley for DS1 and hypnosis for DS2&3].  One thing I liked about HypnoBabies was that it is definitely prepping you for a natural birth, but doesn't ignore the fact that you might end up wanting/needing some interventions, so it does give you some info about those as well, and does so in a way that doesn't make you feel like a failure if you do use them in the end. 

    Random other thoughts -- There is a strong partner component  with HypnoBabies - not quite as much as Bradley, but more than most others.  There are some times that it gets a little "hippie/new-age" for this modern mama, but it's called HypnoBabies, so what was I expecting?  Also know that there's a lot of daily homework (like ~90min most nights for mom, and 45min every-other-night for a partner... from the time your class starts until the baby comes), in addition to the 20+ hrs of class and other reading you are supposed to do.

    One last thing - I would recommend making sure that your midwife/OB and the birth place you are planning to use are down with whichever method you choose.  My doc has been generally supportive, but argued with some things that I know some of the methods feel are "musts."  I switched from a different practice just before I got pregnant and know it would have been a bigger struggle with the old clinic, even though I was with a midwife there and am with an OB now.  Our hospital is also known to have a high intervention rate and we have spent a lot of time being very deliberate in writing our birth plan so that it will be respected.  Conversely, one of the people in our class birthed at one of the stand-alone birth centers, with a midwife who is trained in HypnoBabies and had to do zero of this advocacy because it was the standard of care for her providers.

    @shellac835 I don't know if this will be true if you do the home course, but if you do the live class they will ask you to sign a contract saying that you're not doing another course as well.  This is because of how hypnosis works on your brain.  With HypnoBabies part of the work is de-programming your brain from thinking of birth as painful and laborious.  Having Bradley and HypnoBabies trying to run in your brain simultaneous will lessen the effectiveness of the hypnosis and ultimately on the big day you're going to have to choose one.  And to really use the HypnoBabies, you'll need your DH or a doula participating.  I skimmed the Bradley book before we chose, and I don't feel like I or my husband missed anything.  We did a lot of talking about ways that he could support me during birth, much of which was prompted from our homework assignments for class.  But, if you have already signed up for Bradley, you may have already made your choice, and don't let me make you feel like you made the wrong one.  Whatever you choose will be right for you and your family.

    Anyhow, sorry for the long ramble.  As I said before, feel free to either ignore me or ask questions.  We'll know in a few weeks how it worked out!
  • @optbaby2017 thanks for your input! I had been wondering the difference, so thanks for clarifying. Now you'll definitely have to come back and update us all in a few weeks!!! Lol
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  • ab920ab920
    250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited July 2017
    I didn't do hypnobirth with our first--we did Bradley method (I realize that is not your topic but maybe some other moms who would like to try natural may be interested). If you're into Bradley, don't sign up for the classes, just read the book.

    Also, I planned to meditate during labor (I'm a yogi) and failed miserably until the end. The pain between 7 and 10 cm was unlike anything I had ever felt and it was extremely difficult to focus and meditate. Maybe I'll have more luck this time. :wink:

    Edit: My husband and I thought the classes were useless because they regurgitated everything in the book. No new information, just reinforcing what you already read/tried. 

    We were successful with a natural birth and I'd recommend trying to anyone interested! 
  • @optbaby2017 @ab920 thank you so much for telling us about your experience and giving your piece of advice. Sounds like Hypnobabies & Bradley method is something I should check out too. So far hypnobabies seems most interesting for me. 

  • After doing some research, I am going to do the Hypnobabies home study. As someone mentioned earlier, it will be nice to have some time to connect with this baby and my body and not be so focused on my toddler. I'll probably also order the additional vbac tracks- I'm excited to start!
  • Hi guys -
    Sorry to drag up an old thread, but I wanted to come back and report to you that HypnoBabies was awesome for my birth!  I had two full days of prodromal labor (real strength contractions that don't follow the regular pattern of increasing length, closeness, strength), then a few hours of stronger contractions that did progress, leading to my water breaking and things really picking up!  When we got to the hospital, I was already at 8-1/2 and baby was out less than two hours later.  I surprised the nurses twice - first by being so calm when I came in that dilated as a ftm, and second when we realized the baby was crowning, again because I had been so chill compared to other moms.  I ended up pushing for only 2-3 contractions and honestly didn't feel any of the dreadful pain that everyone describes as childbirth.  I was up and moving about 90min after birth and went home when baby was ~32 hours old.  Because I did have a tear, I took some advil/tylenol for the first few days because I wanted to "stay ahead of the pain," but it never came!

    I'm not going to say that it was a cakewalk, there were certainly some uncomfortable moments, but the techniques definitely worked.  Also, the general education from the class helped me to understand what was going on with my body throughout, which helped me feel in control and more calm.  I had exactly the birth I wanted and would absolutely recommend HypnoBabies to anyone wanting a natural birth!
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