Our Experience with Hypnobabies

In my baby bump updates {HERE} and Olivia’s birth story {HERE and HERE}, I mentioned that James and I took a childbirth prep class called Hypnobabies.  I promised more information about the why/how/what of the course… so, here are my thoughts:

Hypnobabies

What is Hypnobabies?

Hypnobabies is a birthing program that teaches women deep relaxation techniques so they can work with their bodies to deliver their babies naturally and in a calm environment.  Medical grade hypnosis techniques are utilized to cope with the discomfort of childbirth.  Language also plays a very important role.  According to this philosophy, what you think/act/believe/say creates a set of expectations that inform your conscious reality.  Instead of using the label “contractions,” for example, Hypnobabies teaches women to call these sensations “pressure waves.”  If you stop to think about it, this simple switch creates a powerful mental shift.  The word “contractions” is inherently negative and restrictive…. not exactly the vibe you want to create when you are trying free your body of all tension so the muscles of your uterus can work cooperatively.  You can read more about the basic tenets of the program on THIS PAGE.

What did I like most about Hypnobabies?

I loved:

  • The Positive Pregnancy Affirmations CD:  Part of our home exercises included listening to a track of empowering statements about birth and the positive growth of our baby.  I always felt more confident about trusting my body and the process of natural childbirth after listening to this track.  Whenever I worked on a project, I often had this CD playing on a continuous loop in the background.
  • The Opportunity to Become an Informed Advocate for Myself and My Child: After taking this class, I realized how relatively little I knew about birth, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various medical interventions.  Many of the research driven facts and statistics presented were mind boggling.  I wish every pregnant woman was equipped with this knowledge base.  On the whole, I believe the class curriculum helped us to analyze risks and benefits of different birthing scenarios and preferences.  I question EVERYTHING now.
  • The Positive Impact on Our Relationship: Hypnobabies is quite time intensive and requires the active participation of both the pregnant mama and doting dad to be.  Instead of becoming one more thing on a checklist, our childbirth prep evolved into a mental mindset and and an opportunity to bond over the pregnancy.

Hypnobabies-CD

What Skills Were Helpful During Labor?

In addition to teaching valuable hypnosis and relaxation techniques, Hypobabies also provides mamas to be with concrete practical suggestions on:

  • eating and drinking during your birthing time
  • trying different positions that utilize gravity to bring the baby down
  • using a birthing ball
  • how to make your vocalizations productive

Did You Experience Pain?

I can’t say that my birthing time was without pain and discomfort.  I freely admit that my pressure waves were incredibly intense at times.  My answer to this question has to be qualified though- we thought we had 7 more weeks to mentally prepare for Olivia’s arrival and practice the relaxation cues.  With Thanksgiving and traveling, James and I fell out of our established routine of practicing hypnosis scripts.  I remember vividly the chart I set up in the kitchen to track our progress.  We had just gotten back our rhythm and completed nearly a week and a half of solid effort on all “Hypnobaby” fronts (drinking water, exercising, stretching, eating tons of protein, and listening to scripts/affirmations) when my water broke.  I have often wondered how my experience would have been different if I had put in all the practice time I wanted to and expected to be able to devote to this endeavor.  That being said, I CAN’T IMAGINE going through this process without Hypnobabies.

Would You Recommend Hypnobabies to Other Mamas?

Yes!  Actually committing to a schedule of listening to scripts and practicing relaxation techniques is a huge investment in time.  Have you seen this PIN???  I thought this was such an interesting lens to view childbirth prep, especially considering the statistic from TheKnot on how many hours a typical bride spends planning her dream wedding.

Take-Aways from the Curriculum:

Hands down the biggest lesson I learned was to TRUST my body.  This confidence was absolutely invaluable, especially when there were so many outside forces stacked against us.  I had an incredibly empowering natural childbirth despite the medical team labeling our situation an emergency.  I also knew that no matter how it turned out, I wasn’t a failure.  I had done my due diligence, advocated for my child, and worked with my body.  Peace of mind is a beautiful thing.

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3 Responses to Our Experience with Hypnobabies

  1. Linda May 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    Thank you for sharing all this information!

  2. Crystal - Prenatal Coach May 28, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Great summary of the program! I teach Hypnobabies and got to experience my first birth almost a year ago and we had an amazing home water birth. We’ll definitely be using it again in the future. Congratulations!!

    • Candice May 29, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

      Thanks, Crystal! I am really hoping to have a water birth the next time. By the way… Your pregnancy photo series is amazing- what a beautiful way to document your journey to motherhood!

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