Thanks very much for all your responses. Its very helpful to hear how it worked in real life situations. Gingerdoodle - can't believe that journey you had to do! V impressive! I have also come to this very late (34 weeks) so am hoping I can get to grips with it enough in a few weeks. Still not sure I have a very controllable mind but plan to just try and block everything out with the ipod on too. Don't think it would work for me to just have it on in the room. Thanks again for your responses.
I went on a hypnobirthing course and listened to the cd every day from about 30 weeks (came to it very late). Main things that helped me were to listen to the HB on my iPod when in labour with my eyes closed and block out everything else going on around me, I wrote a birth plan which explained to the midwife that I wasn't being rude just in my own little world, and I never lay on the bed just constantly paced, rocked or sat on a birthing ball.
I just liked the logical explanations about using gravity rather than lying down and blocking out anything that would make me feel stressed and therefore slow down labour. Kept these thoughts in my head and had 2 natural labours each one with the active part about 3-4 hours long with no need for pain relief other than some gas & air for last few minutes.
Very, very positive experience where I felt in control and the pain was only intense for such a short time as the baby came out so it was bearable, the rest of the time it just felt like tightenings. I was generally so calm that my husband had to spend a lot of time persuading the admissions nurse that I definitely was in labour! Would highly recommend as a way to manage the experience and make it a positive one. Good luck with whatever you choose!
I had a 1:1 course, I was very active (walking 5 miles a day until the night I went into labour) and was generally chilled. Hynobirthing taught me, more than anything, on how to breathe through the contractions and control the fear. Each contraction will not last forever and is one you don't have to do again.
I had full blown labour on a packed commuter train. I am very proud that very few people noticed.
I arrived at hospital 7cm and ready to go (hospital thought it was hilarious when I rang them on the train telling them I was in labour - we were in central London, had to get home to near Gatwick and then drive to Chichester!).
Delivered on 2 paracetomol and gas n air 1h 24 after getting to the hospital and midwife chirping 'lets see if you are in labour' .
I used hypnobirthing CDs with DC2. Like you I was trying to have a calmer labour.
It worked really well, listened to the CD til I decided to go to hospital. then was admitted to the assessment room where the midwife was sure I was only a couple of cm as I didn't seem in much pain (that caused a momentary panic as I was sure I must be pretty far on). After deciding that I should be moved to labour room, the midwife asked if I could walk through and I knew at that point that there was no way that I was getting up and walking as baby was really near arriving. I was wheeled through on the bed and DC2 was born very quickly with no pain relief other than a tens machine. In all I was in the hospital 45 minutes before DC2 arrived and was calm and reasonably relaxed.
As others said, it wasn't pain free but I could cope with it. Hope it works for you.
I hypnobirthed for 16 hours no pain relief. I wouldn't say it didn't hurt but I felt very in control and able to just sort of go "with it". Unfortunately I was at 10 cm for a long time but baby was very stuck so I also ended up with an emcs but I was very calm (and I'm not a calm person) going in to theatre and during the birth. My husband is a real sceptic but even he had to admit that it really did work. The mw refused to believe I was in labour to start with because I was too calm.
I don't know if this counts as a positive story as I had a crash section, but I laboured to full dilation (9cm on admission to hospital, bit of gas & air at that point which was just to see what it was like really, I was fine - nothing else until I went to theatre) in 4.5 hours using hypnobirthing and found contractions very manageable. Section was due to foetal distress. I'm currently 38+3 with DC2 and planning to use the same breathing & relaxation techniques this time around.
I never felt panicked or that I was in terrible pain at all - although I can't vouch for how well it works during the bit where the baby actually comes out as I haven't done that bit yet (hope to this time!!!)
I think the key is to listen to the CD as much as you can and then listen when your labour starts - I used to play it when I went to bed, it's fine to fall asleep whilst it's playing (I did every time). I played it on repeat and really went into a zone, although I didn't lie there, I was mobile - I wanted to be upright and walking, and that worked for me, but I had the CD on at the same time.
Bear in mind that induction might make it harder, but there are positive stories from people who've used the techniques through induction.
Hi I have just started a short hypnobirthing course. I had a horrible first birth and as well as having had a lot of meetings with the hospital to discuss how we can try and avoid issues encountered last time, I thought I would give hypnobirthing a go. I'm under no illusion that it will enable me to have a pain free birth, but am hoping it will allow me to keep panic to a minimum and regain some kind of control over the process (whether I am induced as before or not). I feel quite positive after my first session, but am slightly concerned about my ability to get myself into such a relaxed state whilst in pain as am pretty useless at yoga/meditation and stopping my mind from wandering. I'd love to hear any positive stories about how it worked for you. Thanks!