I teach Hypnobabies ® Childbirth Hypnosis. I used Hypnobabies with my second birth. It works fantastically. However, when people hear the term Hypnobabies, I get varying responses.
Some people have no clue what I’m talking about. For the men that I work with, they hear childbirth and their minds start to shut off. You mention hypnosis and they laugh and ask if the class is about hypnotizing babies. Unfortunately, the name HypnoBirthing was already in use by another program, which makes a little more sense when it comes to initial understanding. When mentioning childbirth to any engineer around here, they get squeamish and want to change the topic. If these guys are married and have children, most of their wives opted for highly medicalized births that included scheduled pitocin inductions, epidurals a c-section.
Another response to hypnosis for childbirth was met with much resistance by a family member. They were very opposed hypnosis because they thought that it was allowing someone else to control your mind, Satanic, and un-Christian. There is an article on the Hypnobabies website that illustrates that self-hypnosis, which Hypnobabies uses, does not go down that route at all.
Hypnobabies is about using self-hypnosis during your birthing time to allow your muscles to relax, your mind to focus and have an overall easier and more comfortable birth. But there is much more to Hypnobabies that just the hypnosis aspect. I’ve had some people feel like this course isn’t right for them because they didn’t have a supportive partner of the program. The birth partner scoffed at the concept, made fun of hypnosis and didn’t believe that their partner would even be able to have a natural childbirth, much less one under some hokey hypnosis. Hypnosis is very important to this program, heck, it’s in the name, but you get so much more from this course.
What I gained from this course in both taking and teaching it is amazing self-confidence in my body. I teach my students different birthing positions, showing the birth partners how they can support the mom. The couple gets comfortable with the different positions and find out what works for them. They gain confidence in their abilities to work together. The birth partners feel less helpless during the birthing time. They have relaxation cues they can give to the mom’s and if they want can more actively participate in the birth. The moms learn how to properly fuel their bodies during pregnancy and birth.
They learn what normal, natural, un-eventful birth (by uneventful, I mean, not like TLC’s A Baby Story) looks like. Most are shocked that birth can be so peaceful. They also learn to avoid media portrayals of childbirth, most are very negative and put undue stress on the minds of the pregnant mother. In my class, because of my home birthing background, they know that there another option to hospital birth.
They learn about the “normal” procedures that they will encounter in the hospital before it happens and they have research and information to make an informed decision before an “emergency” situation arises.
They learn that you don’t have to immediately start pushing once you meet some magical dilation number. They know that there are different ways and positions to push a baby out.
They learn that they have choices in birth and that they don’t have to blindly trust their care provider. They learn that they can ask questions of their care provider and that they should have an open relationship, filled with dialogue to make sure that both parties are expecting the same thing. They learn that although birth may be unpredictable, they know that they have tools to deal with whatever may come at them.
They know that they are not sick. They are healthy pregnant women. They know that their baby is healthy and will choose its own birthday. Ultimately, they learn to trust themselves and their babies. Hypnobabies creates empowered women.
For me, birth is an empowering, endorphin rush that can’t be matched by any other experience in my life. I want to keep having children, (although, I’m sure my husband might say otherwise), just to keep getting that rush. Running and cycling attempt to provide a similar rush, but childbirth is so much better. I feel sad for women that never take or get the opportunity to experience natural childbirth with a positive outlook. Some women do not have fond memories of their birthing experiences; I would do it over and over again. Hypnobabies is extremely beneficial to all pregnant women. Even if you are choosing a non-natural birthing route, the information and confidence building via the hypnosis scripts are unmatched. Who knows… maybe during your birthing time, you will find that all of the tools the hospital provides to get you through birth are no match to the power of your own mind and confidence in yourself.
Remember- Trust yourself and follow your own inner guide.