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Has anyone tried Natal Hypnotherapy for their labour??

(18 Posts)
kilo Thu 23-Jun-11 21:51:45

I'm 31 weeks pg with number 2. DS's labour was induced at 16 days and after 20 hours ended in emergency c-section and DS in intensive care for 3 days. Not at all the home waterbirth I had planned!!! A friend has just lent me a book and CD on hypnotherapy for labour which is packed with glowing descriptions from mothers whose first labours were traumatic and full of medical intervention, and then had wonderful relaxed second births thanks to the hypnotherapy....is this too good to be true? Anyone experienced this? I felt like I was able to stay fairly relaxed and positive in my first labour but at the end of the day, I didn't really dilate, DS got distressed, I'm just wondering if it's a waste of time to invest in this and get my hopes up if I'm just going to end up with the same result: a c-section....any thoughts/experiences appreciated smile

cochonette Thu 23-Jun-11 22:17:00

i gave birth to my PFB DS 11 weeks ago - and had an amazing birth experience! which i would attribute in no small part to the fact that i'd been practicing hypnobirth techniques in the weeks leading up to the birth. i had a book (which fits the descrip you give of yours) and cd - i listened to the cd over and over (up to every evening in couple weeks leading up) and when my labour started i got my DH to listen to it with me, while my contractions were light, and it really helped to "kick things off" in a v calm, controlled manner and i remained very calm throughout the whole labour (even when my waters broke and gushing all over our bedroom!) - the breathing i did was really strong and controlled all the way through, midwives said how impressive it was.
my DS was born into water pool after a 12 hr labour, and all i'd had was gas and air and DH rubbing my lower back.
hypnobirth was recommended to me by a friend who'd also had a great first birth using it - and i would definitely now recommend to others!
i recently read that NHS are now conducting a first study into the benefits of hypnobirth as a viable form of pain relief...

reallytired Thu 23-Jun-11 22:23:17

I used natal hypnotheraphy and it worked for us. My second birth was really easy and the labour lasted 3 hours. I had no pain relief other than TENS. My first labour lasted 33 hours and was medicalised. With my first birth my son was born in a superman style postion with his hand coming out first. I tore nastily. With the second birth dd was in a perfect position, so was really easy to birth.

I lent the CDs to my neighbour for her first and she had a traumatic birth. However she made the valid point that the CDs helped her sleep and worry less about childbirth. There is little point in worrying too much about the future. It is best to leave the worrying to the midwives and take things as they come.

I think that breathing and changing position during labour is important. It is a bad idea to give birth on your back. Its better to choose an upright position so that gravity helps you get the baby out. For example I gave birth kneeling with my son and I was leaning in a standing up position when I gave birth to my daughter. Its worth reading up on active birth.

cardamomginger Fri 24-Jun-11 09:46:33

I was so enthusiastic about it - practised loads, got DH to do it with me, etc. In the end when things got tough it was useless. Sorry if that's a bit of a downer! That said, it did help me stay focused at the beginning and get through the earlier stages at home. I would always recommend doing it - you have nothing to lose and it might really help. If I have another DC (which has to be ELCS) I will use it again - I think there is a c-section version.

msbuggywinkle Fri 24-Jun-11 09:54:16

After a traumatic birth of DD1, I tried (was v sceptical!) Natal Hypnotherapy second time round. I had a painless birth, was very relaxed and happy all the way through and did get the home birth I wanted. It was great for me, planning on using it again this time round.

Secondtimelucky Fri 24-Jun-11 12:20:06

I used it in preparation for DC2 after a traumatic first labour. I didn't actually find it that helpful during a contraction - they were very intense pain in my back and working with my doula to find good positions and vocalise was what worked for me. However, I do think that having practised helped me to return to a resting place between contractions more effectively, if that makes sense. Have to say, the whole 'turn down the dial' thing didn't even cross my mind during actual contractions and I think I might have reacted badly if someone had tried it too enthusiastically!

That said, after syntocinon and forceps last time, I got my planned and hoped for home waterbirth, and am totally amazed and proud of the labour generally.

MrsHoolie Fri 24-Jun-11 12:32:23

I used it for my first labour but after two days in labour I found it had it's limits.
I too ended up with an emcs as I couldn't get beyond 4cm even on the drip.
I think it does help with confidence though.
For my second dc I didn't bother....ended up with another section for the same reason.

kilo Fri 24-Jun-11 13:12:53

Thanks everyone, really helpful to hear a range of experiences...sounds like it's helpful for keeping you mentally focussed, if nothing else....i'm not expecting a painless birth (although that would be lovely!) but really want to be able to go with my body, even in a medical environment...even if it only helps me to be able to stay at home for longer that would be great. the book recommends trying to keep that 'safe' home feel in hospital and asking the medical staff to give you more space than they normally would, and i'm wondering how well this will go down, esp as it will be an attempted VBAC for me? how did you find the midwives/medical staff responded to you telling them about hypnotherapy etc? one thing which was really frustrating last time around for me was the fact that people kept coming in to check my progress and i found it impossible to stay relaxed and 'in the zone' with what felt like mounting pressure!!

downbutnotout Fri 24-Jun-11 13:29:18

Hi kilo! I did the course with a hypnotherapist in a bit of a rush in the last few weeks of my pregnancy in a bit of a panic. My DC2 was diagnosed with a birth abnormality at the 20 week scan and eventually my consultant told me that they would not advise to have the home birth I desperately wanted. (I tried for a home birth with DC1 but didn't progress in second stage and was taken to hospital by ambulance where I gave birth naturally.) I was sceptical but it really helped me - I'd say of my 10 hours labour only the last 45 minutes was at all painful. I went to hospital only when I felt I needed to be in the place where I was going to give birth, which was about an hour and half before ds arrived! I had completed the suggested birthplan in my hypnobirthing book, gave it to the midwife and she read it, didn't seem at all surprised and did EXACTLY what was on it, right down to letting me have a natural third stage. I wasn't a fan of giving birth in hospital till then, but that birth was incredible. Be prepared and get your partner briefed about what you want though in case you don't encounter a midwife as fantastic as mine.

acatcalledbob Fri 24-Jun-11 13:39:14

Do it!!! I did natal hypnotherapy with DD1 nearly 7 years ago and thought it was great. Couldn't get to a hypnobirthing expert as there weren't so many around then and my nearest was 3 hours away. Although I had G&A and morphine, I was induced and the mws said they hadn't seen anyone that calm before.

As a relaxation technique it's great too - I used it for DD2's birth (CS) and even during dental appointments and find it really helps.

downbutnotout Fri 24-Jun-11 13:57:51

PS - I had no other pain relief at all at that birth!!

Aloha31 Fri 24-Jun-11 14:41:28

Yes! I was induced but still got the active birth I wanted, 6 hour labour with my first, contractions were so manageable and got from 6cm to 10cm in ten minutes (a bit fast, which was a panic for me but I got my head back together for the delivery).

I read the book and listened to the CD frequently from 37 weeks (was 16 days overdue, so 5 weeks in all). Also am sure it helped me stay so comfortable towards the end of my pregnancy, I just loved the last few weeks.

NorthLondonDoulas Fri 24-Jun-11 16:52:29

I have worked with several women who have used different hypnobirthing techniques during their labours and i am pleased to report that all managed to achieve calm and relaxed birthing experiences.

I think it definitly helps to explore the different techniques and find which one you are most comfortable with and ensure that your birthing partners are also familiar with the methods so they can assist you.

I am in the early stages of pregnancy number 5 and was so facinated by it and how well they seem to work for those who embrace it fully that i might give it a go myself this time.

Good luck and i hope you have a wonderful experience this time round.x

MrsHoolie Fri 24-Jun-11 23:20:20

My midwives were very hands off despite it being a (attempted) vbac.
I did have to be monitored now and again.
I think most midwives would be supportive of hypno stuff.

kilo Sat 25-Jun-11 10:16:37

downbutnotout, that's interesting that you waited until you instinctively felt ready to go to the hospital...i'm hoping to be able to follow my instincts as much as possible this time around. i guess if you're feeling calm and relaxed you are able to assess your 'readiness' better than if you're anxious and emotional...also great the way your midwife reacted! Good to hear from another attempted vbac, MrsHoolie, and that your midwives gave you space. I feel very encouraged by all these replies to give it a try! Let's just hope the baby doesn't decide to stay in there for 16 days after the due date again like DS did....grin

Nads320 Thu 07-Jul-11 14:13:16

Hi Kilo
I'm in a similar situation as you was really freaked out about labour with DS1 and used Hypnobirthing CD's which I found really useful however on D day I failed to dilate/ progress and ended up having EMCS.
Am currently expecting baby no2 and as I would like to try for VBAC started doing some research on classes.
Signed up for Lazy Daisy birthing classes and have found them to be fab, so much so I've signed up to do the next round of instructor training myself.
Classes are a combination of gentle yoga inspired moves, breathing techniques, relaxation, birth education and self hypnosis. So something for everyone. It may be a bit late to find a classes now as you've not got long to go but I thought it was worth a mention.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 07-Jul-11 15:30:56

Can anyone recommend a book/cd...a line or two about why you liked it would be great if you can. smile

Zimbah Thu 07-Jul-11 23:22:53

I used the Natal Hypnotherapy CD for my recent VBAC, I found it helped me keep calm and relaxed during the early stages. Later on it all went out the window but it wasn't until transition that I started panicking so I'm sure it helped.

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