There is no perfect birthing method. Each woman needs a different method. That is why I asked some blogging friends to write on their favorite methods for the Ways to Have a Natural Childbirth series. Today, there is no guest post because I will be the one talking about this birthing method! Check out my post on why I prefer using Hypnosis or Hypnobabies below.
Childbirth Hypnosis is probably the newer method on the childbirth block. Or perhaps new is the correct term but it’s definitely the method that not many have heard of and it’s not very common yet. However, it can be a very effective method and hopefully will gain popularity in the next few years.
What is Childbirth Hypnosis?
Many hear hypnosis and they think of swinging watches or clucking like a chicken. Never fear, that is NOT what Childbirth Hypnosis is!You know how when you are just zoning out watching television, you are rather clueless to the world around you? That is the type of hypnosis we are talking about. Childbirth Hypnosis is a method to get you into a deep relaxation so that you work with your body as it goes through labor and so that the pain is minimized.
How does Childbirth Hypnosis work?
This will depend on the method of Childbirth Hypnosis chosen. There’s Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method which consists of classes and a few cds. However Hypnobirthing: The Mongan method is lacking in the “at home” options if you can’t attend the classes. The at home version is really just a book with a couple cds to listen to. I tried that and it was a nice “here’s what this is like” sample (which is why I’m glad the library had it for me to rent) but it wasn’t enough in my opinion. Hypnobabies is really the best of the best when it comes to Childbirth Hypnosis. There are actual classes that you can take but if you can’t find one or afford one then their home study course is very thorough and is what I use. Hypnobabies comes with a big book full of listening schedules, diet recommendations, and is also a thorough childbirth instruction book. So while Hypnobabies would assume you want a natural childbirth, it will walk you through all the possibilities. There’s no need to take multiple childbirth classes; it does it all! Along with the book, you get 6 cd to listen to. This is not the method for a slacker. You will be doing homework daily; granted that homework is listening to a relaxing cd. Homework time varies but I usually did about 1 hour each day. The class is 5 classes for a total of 5 weeks minimum but most women like to stretch the classes out to 10 weeks doing each class for 2 weeks. During those classes you learn to get your body into deep relaxation and learn how to create a hypo-anesthesia to help minimize any pain.
Does Childbirth Hypnosis really work?
I didn’t hear about Hypnosis for childbirth until I was pregnant with my third child. When I first heard about it, I thought that there was no way it could really work. I mean really? Zoning out through labor? Right… However, after one emergency cesarean and one medicated VBAC, I knew that if I wanted a natural unmedicated childbirth I needed to find a good method. Now there are many methods of childbirth and they all work. It’s just that you need to know your own self to find the one that works for you. I like to tell people that if you imagine how you are when you are really sick and think about what you’d want, that is a good starting place for choosing a childbirth. When I’m sick, I cope on my own; I don’t want anyone talking to me, telling me what to do, etc. Thus I knew that most childbirth methods were not going to work for me. Hypnosis can involve others (spouse, doula, friend) but it can also be done by yourself and that’s how I work.
So starting at 30 weeks, I began listening to my cds. I won’t lie, I’m not the poster child for Hypnobabies. I personally do not like the pregnancy affirmation cds and so I ditched that homework pretty quick (I figured if it bugged me too much to listen to then it’d do my subconscious more harm than good.) However, I did listen to my daily tracks (all you moms of kids wanting to do this method, I recommend doing it during nap time or even right before your bedtime.) I had plenty of doubts along the way; it seemed to simple, it didn’t seem like it’d be enough when the time came, I feel asleep (it’s THAT relaxing… but even if you fall asleep, you’re still learning!)
At 41 weeks, I had to be induced. Not my ideal. Pitocin stinks, it makes everything worse. Now, previously I had only made it until 4 cm before I chickened out and requested the epidural. This time, I got to a 6 and due to some stuff the doctor was saying and due to the fact that I thought I had a long time before birth, I chickened out. Now if I had been smart, I would have known that I was in transition. Transition is when most moms start getting scared and thinking they can’t do it. Well, as it turned out, I didn’t get my epidural until I was a 9! So I had a whopping 30 minutes of epidural and then my daughter was born. So in hindsight, I could have totally made it. The pitocin made things hard and since I seem to not want to listen to my cd’s when I’m actually in labor it was not the best Childbirth Hypnosis experience but it was so much better than before and I know I could have made it, had I known I was that close.
Doesn’t sound that convincing does it?
Well, I was convinced that it worked well enough to use Hypnobabies for my fourth baby. This time I only needed a refresher course of Hypnobabies. At 40 weeks 4 days, I went into labor (on my own!). Once again, I didn’t listen to my cd’s while in labor – my husband always reminds me that I should but I never do… I really should listen to him. Even though I wasn’t listening to the cd’s, I was making use of the techniques I had learned. When I got to the hospital, I was only a 4. I was a little disappointed as I thought I was further along but things were still easy. By the time paperwork and whatnot was done, I was starting to head into transition. For me this means, contractions on top of contractions (notice I didn’t say pressure waves….that was something else I just couldn’t get into… but I had convinced myself that I didn’t have negative connotations connected to the usual terms). Transition is harder but even then it wasn’t bad. I never thought I wanted to give up this time, I didn’t ask for an epidural, I thought I was loud but my husband claims that I wasn’t at all. Hypnobabies made it possible for me to have a natural, unmedicated childbirth. You can read my FULL birth story here. As I said before, I’m not a poster child for Hypnobabies; I didn’t have a pain free birth. I did however have a very minimal pain birth and I’m completely happy with it!
So yes, Childbirth Hypnosis does work!