Five Reasons Hypnobirthing® is Worth the Investment

99% of women in United States give birth in hospitals many providers recommend that their pregnant clients attend a childbirth class. Although informative, few hospital-based classes truly prepare a woman for childbirth. This leads to moms searching the internet, reading books, listening to podcasts; all of which takes time, energy, and there is just so much information out there. It can be overwhelming, stressful, and steal from the joy of the wonderous time of pregnancy.

Not to mention, it is quite possible that you’re not feeling all that great (hello, morning sickness and fatigue). If this is the case, then most of your efforts are used for lessening the current day symptom leaving little time to focus on the birthing day… after all it is still months away. One perks of a particular childbirth education model is that it can help even in pregnancy with ill effects such as nausea and stress. 

 The most common out-of-hospital classes found are the Bradley method and the Hypnobirthing® model. The Hypnobirthing® method has had a surge of interest since Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, has been so vocal about using it not only for the births of all three children but also as a resource for coping with her severe hyperemesis during pregnancy.

 

 In 2013, when pregnant with my oldest daughter, I searched for childbirth preparation offerings, this was the first time I came across the Hypnobirthing® curriculum. It has a heavy focus on relaxation, visualization, and hypnosis… all of which I had heard of some I had even tried (hypnosis helped with conception after miscarriage), although I will say I was skeptical that Hypnobirthing® would actually work for me.

 

I knew it would not harm me nor baby and it could indeed help me gain some practice, if nothing else, relaxing. Relaxing was just not something that came easy or natural for me. Yoga, meditation, and guided imagery just seemed like I was often wrestling myself into a very unnatural place.

What I have since found, no different from trying a new exercise at the gym or cooking a new recipe, with practice it gets more natural and before you know it you can do it automatically and you start to crave it.

 

The other obstacle to overcome was my own belief that pregnancy and birth are intrinsically dangerous or risky and that if labor proceeded naturally it could lead to bad outcomes. My professional experience in hospital births was that of anesthesia provider. Anesthesia providers place epidurals for laboring moms, are involved with cesarean deliveries, and called to help during complications during birth for mom or baby. And the truth is, as an anesthesia provider, I rarely had the opportunity to interact with Hypnobirthing® couples because most moms did not require an epidural. But when mom chose, I will say not only was mom much calmer, but her partner also seemed to be as well. It made placing the epidural easy for everyone involved.

I rarely had the opportunity to interact with Hypnobirthing® couples in my professional role because most moms did not require an epidural.

But if mom chose to have an epidural, I will say not only was mom much calmer,

but her partner also seemed to be as well.

  So, why is Hypnobirthing® Class worth the investment?

1. Live class model offer time for questions and answers which is super helpful.

Nothing on earth could prepare us (speaking collectively for my husband here) better than hearing a detailed account of what we should expect in labor and being about to freely ask questions to the educator. ‘Cause here is the thing, I did not know what I did not know.

 The benefit of being right there live is if I jot down a question, I can just ask. Sure later I still may dig deeper into the topic (google away) but having the educator to simply give me the quick and dirty… YES! Thank you!

 And added bonus, the classes are often taught group style (there are private classes if you prefer). So, even I did not “think” of the question, I learned SO much from hearing what other moms and partners were curious about. Truth: this was the first time I EVER heard of placental encapsulation… what?!?!? And delayed cord clamping?!?! Just sayin’.

2. Watching “real” birth experiences helped to really consider all the turns the journey can take.

I have confirmed, the birth videos shared during these classes are NOT found anywhere. They are not on YouTube, they are not on the Hypnobirthing® International Official Website.

 Truly, this alone squelches so much fear. Remember, I had seen many a birth during my nursing/anesthesia career, but I never viewed it through the same lens as which I did when I was pregnant myself. Nor did I consider all the various beautiful ways to birth.

 It is true, we can only imagine from a point of reference of what we know. My husband and I had seen dramatized births on TV mostly as reference. The awesome part of a Hypnobirthing® Class is the sharing of 2-3 short videos shared each week. Some are home births, waterbirth, and many vaginal hospital births as well cesarean birth.

 This was invaluable for my husband who had never seen a birth. Watching the videos normalized and demystified the process. The educator would also point out ways that partners were helping in labor and that offered them a visual of various ways to support moms.

 

3. Time in class to practice relaxation alongside my partner forced us to at least try it.

Relaxing was not my forte, as I have admitted. I would attend yoga classes and be such an imposter, with each breathe I did not relax deeper I simply hoped it was the last one I had to take before that pose was o-v-e-r!

Enter a Hypnobithing® class and now you need to sit there are just listen to the voice of the educator. Honestly the first, second, and maybe even the third time… it was tough. Monkey mind fully engaged, creating lists, wandering around and not settling. I can’t focus on my breathing…my back hurts. Basically all - the - things.

 Well, I am here to tell you, no one in class escapes the five weeks without experiencing a relaxed state. Practice makes perfect they say. Everyone with have a difference experience with relaxation and that is normal. Speaking just for me, I would have LONG given up on this whole relaxation thing after the second or third no-go, but when your there in class, you just do it.

 4. Releasing fear that was playing in the subconscious mind space allowed for both myself and my partner to have open and honest conversations about so many topics.

I definitely did not think about all the stories in my own mind that were running amuck over my desire to enjoy this journey into motherhood. The fear releasing exercise is spread over two weeks, given the couple and individual time to really think through it.

 Nothing is shared openly in class, unless the person wishes to just mention it. The class is not designed as therapy, after all, the hypnosis trance leads you into your own subconscious to “sort things” and “recognize and resolve” your own woes. The subconscious works so quickly in this relaxed state that many concerns melt away after those short 30 minutes or so.

Here are a few themes that came up in our group: ambivalence about returning to work, worries about pre-mature and overdue birth, insecurities about being a good parent, overwhelmed with financial impact of maternity leave and lose of work, curious how marriage will change, uncertainty about medical care & support during delivery, unhelpful thoughts about previous relationships, and more.

 My biggest aha was the Hypnobirthing® course and the application of hypnosis for releasing fears was the equivalent to 3-4 self-books, a couple hours of therapy, and a heap of soul searching wrapped in one. Again, I had NO IDEA! I had no idea I even harbored some of these fears. And it was amazing to recognize that I did indeed have unrecognized fear and it was now gone. It freed up so much space in my mind for other fun activities. I guess I just felt lighter. I started to feel more confident and so did my husband. It led to some great conversations that were so positive and focused.  

Pain is often a HUGE fear is childbirth as well, it likely tops the charts! Here is a very informative article about fear and pain in labor. You can access it immediately here.

5. The handouts from the course create a wonderful, lightweight, user friendly guide to shove right in your “go-bag” for birthing time!

Well, we do live in the days of Amazon. Hypnobirthing®-The Mongan Method is a book you can have delivered in 1-2 days. It’s over 300 pages and I would say it is a lovely read, as many of the reviews would agree. And like many text type books, it goes deeper on some topics than some readers desire and glazing over topics that you might want more on.

It is also, I mentioned, 300+ pages; not exactly a handy in the moment reference. That is why all the highlights are condensed into an easy-to-take-with-you handbook. It contains so many valuable resources such as hypnosis scripts you can use at home, references for birth plans, making informed decisions, positions for birth, nutrition during pregnancy and more.

These handbooks are sent directly to you from you Educator along with the text book and downloadable MP3 for relaxing throughout the pregnancy, even a special one for partners/dads.

 

There are so many hypnobirthing options out there. You could opt to take a 100% self-paced online course or read a book. There are video libraries on YouTube and Communities on FaceBook. Not all hypnobirthing is the same. It is important to note hypnobirthing with the registered trademark, Hypnobirthing® is owned by Marie F. Mongan. Hypnobirthing® is a series of 5 weeks of classes for expectant mom and their partners.

 Thank you for reading this blog. My goal is to share my personal experience using Hypnobirthing®. Given my background in nursing and anesthesia, I desired techniques that were rooted in evidence when it was time for me to birth. As a consulting hypnotist, I am drawn to offer this course for expectant couples. There are many medical journals pointing to appreciation for the science and art of hypnosis, although there is much we simply still do not understand.

 Want a taste for Hypnobirthing techniques? I offer some of the techniques here in “Five Secrets to a Happy Birth,” access is free and includes 4 downloads including e-books.

If you’re a beginner and want more information about the upcoming Hypnobirthingâ and hypnosis for birth in general consider joining our community Facebook group.

 Want to connect directly? Contact me I love to chat, do discovery calls, or just answer a simple question.

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