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Anyone else currently pregnant and trying hypnobirthing? Join me!

(41 Posts)
purpleaura Fri 28-Jun-13 14:03:26

Hi all,

I'm currently 30 weeks with my 1st smile and about to embark on a hypnobirthing class. I'm quite petrified by the possibilities of a complex labour and I think and hope that the hypnobirthing will really help me to stay calm and relaxed in the face of the uncertainty of childbirth.

I've been inspired to start a thread after hearing 2 ladies comparing notes about their 'absolutely awful' labours in a cafe over lunch. Almost put me off my baked potato! I know that their stories are real and valid and therefore part of the reality of it all but its terrifying to hear nonetheless.

Here's some of my hopes/thoughts about the hypnobirthing experience:

- I'm wondering if hypnobirthing will be powerful enough to keep me calm in the face of being told by friends and relatives that labour is incredibly painful and there's nothing I can do about it? I think my female relatives who've had a painful labour are very sceptical about it. And when I explain to friends about it, I can see the doubt wash over their faces. Hypnobirthing seems like something you have to really believe in for it to be effective. Am I strong enough?

- If I end up having to have various interventions and whatnot, will the HB help me to deal with that too? Should I have some alternative strategies prepared just in case the HB doesn't work?! But if I do that, then I wouldn't be fully believing in it, and that seems like half the point. Hmm.

I'd love some company along the way, and I'm really interested to hear how other people are finding it. Please do share your thoughts and experiences and perhaps we can support each other along the way?

My first class is on Tuesday 2nd July, so I will report back smile

flowers purple x

JethroTull Fri 28-Jun-13 14:17:48

Hello Laura. I'm reading a hypnobirthing book & am having yoga sessions with a yoga teacher that specialises in birth, I couldn't find a hypnobirthing practitioner that I 'clicked' with in the local area.

I'd be really interested in hearing how you get on. Like you, I'd like to find some tools to help me have a calm birth. I've heard so many horrific birth stories that I'm dreading it & am hoping that this could help. I'm 25+5.

emdottyjackson Fri 28-Jun-13 14:24:17

I'm not yet pregnant but I plan to hypno birth when I am! After testing the waters discussing it with my mum and a friend, i think I'll just keep it to myself and my husband. I think the eye rolling might get a little distressing as time goes on! Sincerely hope you get on well, looking forward to hearing about your experience smile Good luck!

LuckySocks13 Fri 28-Jun-13 15:20:18

Hi ladies. I'm 19 weeks pregnant and am signed up to start a hypnobirthing course on 31st July. I'm reading a book at the moment leant by a friend that rates it smile xxx

purpleaura Fri 28-Jun-13 15:23:55

Welcome! Great response already- thanks for posting! Really good to know there's a few of us out there smile

Absolutely with you Jethro- the world needs more positive birth stories! Why don't people discuss those loudly in cafes?!
emdotty- keeping it quiet sounds really sensible actually. I think I might adopt that strategy from now on, unless I know that someone will be really on board.
Lucky- what's the book? Let us know if its any good.

Good luck to all of us! smile

mustardtomango Fri 28-Jun-13 15:24:07

I'm am! Just reading with cd (mongan method) rather than a formal class, bjt I have high hopes for it. Love to join this group and share experiences x

Clairea82 Fri 28-Jun-13 16:01:24

Will be really good to hear how you get on! I am considering booking onto a HB course, but won't be for a little while yet as am 18 weeks. x

MrsWildermac Fri 28-Jun-13 16:05:54

Hiya...I'm going to give it a whirl...v anxious about labour and delivery after a friend died in labour and so hoping that this will go some way to keeping me calm. My hospital runs hypnobirthing classes which we've jist finished and have read the book and trying to listen to the CD most days!

Hope you're all having happy and healthy pregnancies!

rosiedays Fri 28-Jun-13 16:41:50

Hi I've had 2 very positive births using similar techniques. Positive pain with a purpose. ( hypnobirthing wasn't around in 1988! !) The mind is a powerful tool. I've read the book and use an app every day for relaxation and visualisation ( free download) I've spent a lot of time in less developed countries where birth is viewed very differently and women give birth without pain relief all the time.
I look at negative birth story's a bit like car crash stories. We all get in cars and drive every day but nevermmention it till there is an accident then everyone is interested.
I'm 37 weeks on Monday so will hopefully be able to report back soon
Good luck everyone. X

ReikiMummy Fri 28-Jun-13 16:55:37

Hi, just thought i'd put my two pennies worth in.

smile As Rosie says... if we were to listen to every scary story out there we'd never leave our homes let alone get in a car and drive!

I'm 38w, and will be doing Hypnobirthing - in a fashion. Both me and my partner are certified (some say certifiable...) hypnotherapists and have used hypno on each other and clients for a fair few years now.

I bought the book (Marie Mongan), and have also downloaded some of the Natal hypnotherapy tracks too, and we have been doing a bit of hypnosis to keep me relaxed and after a session I sleep REALLY well for a few days.

I'm excited, not exactly nervous - its more like anticipation!

Looking forward to see if it all goes out of the window and nature takes its course, or whether it will all go swimmingly (in the home birth pool..!) when it comes to this particular birth event over here!!

Good Luck ladies smile


ReikiMummy Fri 28-Jun-13 16:57:59

Also meant to say but forgot... (baby brain is erm... frustrating wonderful!!) I'm also reading and re reading Juju's Birth Skills book, one thing i've learnt is that it never hurts to have more things in your toolbox that you can throw at it should you need to!

LuckySocks13 Fri 28-Jun-13 17:04:32

Il check the name of the book but I think it's the one given with the course my friend did. What's the free app Rosie?
I had DS 3 years ago and I found I coped Well generally in labour and from reading the book it seems I did a lot of the things naturally. I did end up with an episiotomy but arm was round his face and he got stuck so needs must! I loved giving birth. magical experience smile I have been so inspired reading in the book about women birthing in other countries. I'm excited to start the course. I've just told my parents it's an antenatal course!

Dildals Fri 28-Jun-13 17:16:38

I had a chat with a midwife (informally - she's married to one of my colleagues) and I asked her whether she thought HB worked, after all, she's seen a alot more births than I have! And she said that she definitely believed that it helped to stay calm and manage pain. She did say that it required investing some time beforehand (i.e. doing the course etc). She also suggested doing all the prep work, but to then leave it alone for a couple of weeks before birth (although that is not what the HB specialists advise I think), because she's seen in practice that women sometimes get too stressed about 'following' the HB techniques and then panic when sometimes goes wrong/differently. So, basically, try and stay open minded.

I also find all the negative birth stories very confusing. I can't help but feeling that surely birth shouldn't be that painful/traumatic as most women seem to experience, but i can't put my finger on whether I just have unlucky friends or whether it's to do with hospital intervention, or perhaps us un-learning the skill to give birth?

Anyway, my mum has a positive birthing story, for what it is worth! She always whispers that she's a bit embarrassed about it, because she didn't think it was that horrific/painful etc. They were having dinner guests that evening which they cancelled becuase my mum wasn't feeling well. She had a hot shower, her waters broke, contractions, and I was born just before midnight. Sounds alright! PLEASE let this be hereditary! ;-) Also, one of my twin friends gave birth recently (to twins), 19hrs no complications or intervention. Brill. Keep the faith ladies! ;-)

purpleaura Fri 28-Jun-13 17:24:51

Wow, there's loads of us, brilliant! I really like the driving a car analogy Rosie- that's a really good way to look at things.

Reikimum- I have also been reading Juju Sundin's book. I like it a lot, it has loads of strategies and techniques for coping with the pain. The central theme of the book is basically that labour is very painful, but you don't just have to lie down and take it. It's very proactive and has loads of suggestions for pain reducing exercises. However, she does use the word pain in every other sentence and I find that quite daunting. The HB taster session I went to seemed to suggest that the anticipation and assumption of pain isn't helpful. Anyone got thoughts on this... Is it a case a finding a balance between the two approaches?

rosiedays Fri 28-Jun-13 17:25:37

Mmm can't do clever things like link's! !!! I just did a search in my Google app store on my phone for hypnobirthing. It's called 'hypnosis for child birth' by kym Colston (sp) i think.

rosiedays Fri 28-Jun-13 17:32:09

Oh and meant to say birth is NOT always painful. But it will be if you believe it will. We are mammals. All mammals give birth we're the only ones that need hospitals and drugs! ! Oh best i go make tea before i start my rant

ReikiMummy Fri 28-Jun-13 17:36:31

Hi, Purpleaura I kinda delete the "P" word every time it crops up! Whether its in a book or when my DM is giving me advice or trying to talk a bit about this "labour" thingy (I've renamed it our Birth Event as I don't like the L word either!)

There are so many conflicting books/theories out there that you'll never get the perfect one - so as with many books I read on different methods/applications of all kinds of things... "Take what you need, and leave the rest".


With Juju's book, I've read it through once kinda word for word, but am now just refreshing the main points for each skill.

Our bodies know what to do. Sometimes interventions are needed (like if baby in an interesting position or similar things that can happen), but when push comes to shove (no pun intended) - this is what our bodies were designed to do.

I say give us the tools to remain calm yet active and let us get on with it! smile

cogitosum Fri 28-Jun-13 17:37:31

I'm 38 weeks and have done a course so now just practicing it. I've found it really useful already particularly to help me nap!

I'm not at all woo but like the logic behind hypnobirthing.

Ezza1 Fri 28-Jun-13 17:41:38

I've just bought a hypnobirthing CD to help me relax at home as I am really low, easily agitated and stressed at the moment. Listened to it for the first time today and fell asleep hmm Will need to work on actually staying awake and absorbing!

I'm 28 weeks with DC4 and although my 3 labours have been short, easy and have never had pain relief I'm obviously not being complacent over this one so I want to prepare - it also gives me something to focus on at the moment whilst I'm not feeling 100%.

ReikiMummy Fri 28-Jun-13 17:47:41

Ezza - don't worry about falling asleep to it, you'll still be hearing it and it will still "go in". smile

Sometimes we feel we must stay awake to fully absorb things like this - but we don't. When we fall asleep our conscious mind gets out of the way and lets the subconscious take over. And sometimes - yes it can feel like cheating a bit. But take it from one who does hypnotherapy on a fair few people - in a fair few of the sessions when they've fallen asleep - they have said back to me later what I've said to them whilst they've been having the session.

Do as you feel you need to - but it will still work whether you listen awake, or listen "asleep". smile

4athomeand1cooking Fri 28-Jun-13 17:51:48

Hypnobirthing IME has been fantastic.

One thing to point out that some people can get an unrealistic expectation of labour and this sometimes goes out of the window when labour starts especially with first births.

Also it is still ok to keep an open mind and hypnobirth. Hypnobirthing assists with the pain of normal labour but sometimes baby can be back to back or labour can be long and this can both be more physically demanding and painful then "normal" labour pains.

Practising is key to successful hypnobirthing but do it in an area where you are subject to many distractions as you will need to learn how to hypnobirth through this. I used my distractions as triggers to push me deeper into hypnosis.

My 4th labour was pain free with hypnobirthing, my 3rd I felt some pain but remember thinking how easy it was compared to the first two.

I will definitely be using it again for this labour.

Good luck all x

Emmabombemma Fri 28-Jun-13 17:52:56

I'm going to try it too - I'm 20 weeks. I've found a local instructor but am also reading the Marie Mongan book first to get my head around it. I really want a positive experience!

I did a hypnobirthing course with the Mongan method with my first DS. I practised it very diligently before the birth and it did help with the first 24 hours of labour a lot. However, the labour went on for another 24 hours and as I became increasingly fatigued and desperate it just wasn't enough. I think it is a very useful technique but I found it frustrating that you are not supposed to admit that contractions do hurt (although the pain for me was never unbearable, it just went on for too long with no progress), which I know some women find but the majority do not. Also, there is a huge emphasis on the idea that if you are calm and sufficiently in the 'zone' you won't feel pain. I was calm, I was not afraid and I was doing everything I was supposed to but it was still painful! I agree that the techniques really do help to lessen pain and anxiety but it will not do it completely for all women.

I would recommend it to anyone who would like to try a natural birth but just to be aware that the expectations it raises are not always realistic. Every birth is individual.

PuggyMum Fri 28-Jun-13 20:01:29

Hi everyone! I'm 26 weeks and have had 3 out of 4 classes on my hypnobirthing course.

I knew it was right up my street but the fact my dh is converted and researching birthing pools for a home birth has in itself made it worth every penny!

Congrats to all x

Pocket1 Fri 28-Jun-13 20:38:08

Hi I recently did a natal hypnobirthing course and absolutely loved it - I was terrified of labour and birth beforehand and felt that the course demystified everything for me. I also learned some great tools that have helped me prepare for my LO's arrival and keep calm and relaxed in the run up. My friends have commented on how chilled I am now compared with before.

Ironically due to medical reasons I now need a c-section - but honestly believe that the course will be of help. I am def calmer and believe that the LO is too.

Enjoy the course and best of luck with everything smile

PoppettyPing Fri 28-Jun-13 20:39:00

Ooh, great idea for a thread. Hi all, I'm gonna pop my head round as I'm 29 weeks and am very much into having a peaceful birth. I've bought the Mongan book, so much of what she says just makes sense to me.

However I'm still a little overwhelmed with all the exercises and breathing things, I'm finding those a bit confusing at the minute...think I'll re-read the book and take it in a bit at a time. I would like to do the course but honestly I don't have the ££. Interested to see how you all get on!

Ezza1 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:00:21

Thanks reiki The booklet that accompanies the CD mentions what you say but I was hoping to hear it through first time in a conscious state to hear what it was aiming for and that it was appropriate! I will endeavour to remain awake next time but after that just go with the flow! grin

I'll admit to being a touch hypno sceptic but I'm willing to give it a shot.

The booklet mentions burning aromatherapy oils whilst listening. Which ones are particularly good? I'm assuming lavender but is there anything else which anyone would recommend? I know its not essential but I do like the idea.

I'm going to be using it mainly as a tool to chill out to in my current stressed state so if I can build up a 'relaxing routine' to get into then its all good.

purpleaura Tue 09-Jul-13 11:06:39

Hi all.. great to hear so many positive experiences of HB- even if things don't go to plan, its seems like a really good way to begin your labour at least. Good advice to practice with distractions 4athomeand1cooking- i like it!

Sorry its taken me so long to report back! 1st hypnobirthing class was awesome grin It was basically about convincing us that hypnobirthing really works- that HB mums have more positive birthing experiences, shorter labours and less intervention. Also some common sense but intereseting stuff about the power of the mind- the concept that if you expect and anticipate pain then you will feel it. The more tense you are, the more pain you feel. In fact, if you're tense the 2 sets of uterine muscles actually work against each other rather than together. My favourite bit was when they told that hypnobirthed babies are usually more relaxed when they are born. They don't usually cry straight away because they are so chilled. And the best bit- some are even born asleep! How cute is that?!

We watched a video a lady birthing using HB and it was really beautiful... we were all snivelling wrecks by the end of the clip! I also really noticed how calm and involved HB partners are. I'm really finding that the HB experience is bringing DP and I closer together. We're both completely on board and it feels like DP has a better understanding of what I want and I think I trust him more to help me achieve it. It sounds like you're finding that too PuggyMum?

For people with the Mongan book... I've been reading it alongside the classes and we are covering exactly the same stuff. I think with a book and a CD you're getting a really good flavour of it all. Personally, I like the class cos it gives us chance to talk about it and I like being able to ask questions.

Last week, we also had an NHS antenatal class... what a contrast! The midwife running it was really nice but her whole approach was so different, especially the language she was using. She told everyone (42 of us!!) that when labour starts you should stay at home until you are in so much pain that you are crying and you absolutely cannot cope any more. She said if you turn up at hospital and you're not crying, you'll be sent home shock Talk about setting up an expectation of immense pain!

That's about it for my thoughts so far. 2nd class tonight and really looking forward to it grin How's everyone else getting on?

Bunnylion Tue 09-Jul-13 12:25:12

I'm in!

34 weeks and having my final session this weekend - I'm using the Katharine Graves book and CDs (and app for positve affirmations to fall asleep to every night). She's Anglo'ed the original hypnobirthing from Mongan which works better for me.

I love this hypnobirth video

I know women who have hypnobirthed, with and without complications and all with much more positive experiences than many of the horrors I've heard elsewhere.

I know a lot of no-hypnobirthing women who feel fragile, scared and weak because they are pregnant. I feel very positive and amazed at just what my body is capable of doing.

There are a few websites with positive birth stories if you google "positive birth stories", reading them helps counteract all the negativity people feel compelled to bombard pregnant women with.

retroelle Tue 09-Jul-13 14:46:16

I am excited to see this thread! I am 22 weeks with my first and from what I have heard about hypnobirthing (or natal hypnotherapy - I am not sure what the difference is) it aligns closely with my own feelings about birth, albeit from a position of inexperience. I can't afford the classes but I am planning to get book and cd when I have worked out which ones I want. If I'm going to read/listen to something a lot, I don't want to be irritated by it!

I am lucky that my mum had four children and has always been very pragmatic about birth, and I have heard lots of birth stories good and bad from friends. I think our bodies evolved to do this amazing thing, if only we can just relax and let ourselves get on with it.

And the baby has to come out one way or another, so if natural labour doesn't work out we are lucky to live in a time when there are medical interventions to help with that. At present I have a low placenta so there is a small chance I won't get the opportunity to even try for a vaginal birth, but I am just going to wait and see - and taking the time to relax and focus during the pregnancy has to be a good thing whether I use it in labour or not.

(Sorry for the TL:DR ... I sound like a massive hippy. I'd better just go and put all the recycling into the normal bin to get things back on track)

Bunnylion Tue 09-Jul-13 17:32:39

retroelle I tried a couple of CDs before I settled on one. My DH couldn't handle the speech pattern of Maggie Howells "3 2 1 relaaaaax" voice so we had to stop that natal CD.

I think natal is for building positivity and confidence during pregnancy and hypnobirthing is the same but with a major focus on staying calm and confident during the actual birth.

I'd definitely recommend Katharine Graves' Hypnobirth book and CDs if you're still shopping around. probably on Amazon but here's her website

My £250 classes are basically following the book with the added bonus of someone there to answer any specific questions. I'm also reading through the AIMS books alongside this to build my knowledge. Also thoroughly recommend these books for some unbiased facts and statistics. They've helped me put to perspective how "common" the horror stories actually are in real life.

retroelle Tue 09-Jul-13 20:26:36

Ah, thank you for that. The free "lite" hypnobirthing app I got is Katherine Graves, and I don't find her annoying, so perhaps I shall go for that.

Rosenip Wed 10-Jul-13 15:52:15

Hi ladies,

I too am glad to have found this thread. I'm nearly 20 weeks and have been reading up on the hypnobirthing for a while. I don't think I'll have the chance to attend classes as I'd orginically hoped as we are moving house righ in the middle of the right time period to be doing them so I will have to do my best with the book and CDs - am interested in the Katharine Graves stuff Bunnylion - thanks!

My dh is a bit of a skeptic - I showed him a wonderful hypnobirthing video the other day and he found it all a bit weird, can't understand it as would he really prefer screaming and chaos to relaxed mum and baby? I think sometimes men can become conditioned to think this is normal?!

I want a drug free, water birth in the birthing center in the hospital - hoping this is going to help smile

and nice to 'meet' other ladies with the same hopes.

purpleaura Wed 10-Jul-13 16:11:16

Hi Rosenip! Welcome to the HB thread! I really think you're on the right track if you want a natural water birth.

Interesting what you say about your dh- mine was a bit skeptical to begin with too. Then we attended a free HB taster session and he was completely convinced, and we came away feeling totally on the same page about the birth. Science appeals to my dp, so the evidence they presented for the benefits of HB was completely undeniable (less interventions, shorter labours, more positive birth experiences). Do you think he'd go to a free taster session with you if there are any in your area? Perhaps meeting some other blokes at a session like that might help too?

Good luck! And let us know how you go on smile

Rosenip Wed 10-Jul-13 16:38:09

Thanks for the welcome! I like the idea of a free taster sessions.. wonder if I can find any in London? I will begin the search!

lorenzo1984 Sat 13-Jul-13 11:16:06

Hi, I've not posted on mumsnet before but I found this discussion really interesting. I am 32+3 with my 1st (similar to you purpleaura?) and also doing hypnobirthing to a degree...

I like the theory behind it & have only heard positive things about it too. I figure that it definitely can't hurt to try & it's better to go into the delivery room feeling positive about the birth than negative.

I'm not doing a course but have bought the natal hypnotherapy CDs from Amazon.

LuckySocks13 Sat 13-Jul-13 14:44:32

Hi all. Thanks for the update Purpleaura smile so pleased you had a positive first session. I can't wait to start in a few weeks. smile

purpleaura Mon 15-Jul-13 14:59:49

Hi lorenzo- welcome! I'm 32+3 today- we must be due about the same time smile I think the biggest attraction in HB for me is the positive approach to birth. There's so much negativity out there that we've been hearing all our lives. It takes some counter-acting!!

Hey luckysocks! Yeah, the first session was great. When do you start yours and how far along are you?

This hot weather means that whenever I try any of the breathing or relaxation techniques, I just fall straight to sleep! Yesterday I lasted about 2 minutes into the 'rainbow relaxation' before I nodded off. It was the deepest, most peaceful lovely sleep I've had in ages though smile Just hoping that some of the words filtered into my brain. I did actually wake up for the last sentence, so I think my brain must have been aware of it at some level.

3rd class tomorrow. The biggest change I'm noticing is that when anyone mentions birth or labour, I start grinning smile I don't feel scared any more, just really excited and happy. I put some of that down to the event itself getting closer, and the rest down to HB.

How's everyone else getting along? Anyone else noticing any changes in themselves or DPs?

Hope you're all managing to stay comfortable in this weather smile

purple xx

Bunnylion Mon 15-Jul-13 18:47:41

Hello all!

I overheard my (originally very sceptical) DH explaining HB to some of his male friends in the pub the other day and I was really proud of him.

Now that he's read the AIMs books and seen the statistics on interventions and traumatic births he's realised that the concept of HB is just basic common sense. He gets it and he even said to his friends in the pub that the NHS should offer HB classes, or at least CDs, to all pregnant women as a way to help avoid costly and potentially dangerous birthing practices. Such a turn around to his early scepticism smile

purpleaura Mon 15-Jul-13 19:06:21

That's really awesome Bunnylion! It's great stuff isn't it? I totally agree that its basically common sense. Plus there's evidence to back it up. Perhaps there's something in that which appeals to our OHs?

Excited85 Mon 15-Jul-13 19:39:29

Bunnylion, my DH is exactly the same, he was explaining it to friends the other day as just being common sense, was so proud as the whole hypnobirth thing was very much my wants. We have second session tomorrow, looking forward to getting into it a bit more as first session was more background and explaining things. Have been listening to rainbow relaxation at night though and reading the book, it's nice to be looking forward to the birth rather than dreading it which is a notable difference between me and pg friends at work at the min!

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