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HypnoBirthing or Natal Hynotherapy?

(50 Posts)
ICompletelyKnowAboutGuineaPigs Fri 19-Oct-12 10:18:00

Just reading Marie Mongan's HypnoBirthing book and am enjoying it. But not sure I'll be able to afford hynobirthing classes.

Have seen Effective Birth Preparation Natal Hypnotherapy (book.and cd set) by Maggie Howell on Amazon. Thisis more affordable and seems to be something I can do more on my own, whereas hypnobirthing seems to need A LOT of input from birth partner and not sure how comfortable OH would be with it.

Any advice or sharing experiences would be gratefully received.

ReallyTired Fri 26-Oct-12 10:27:53

Actually the use of hypnosis to manage pain relief goes back a long way. Hypnosis was used to manage the main associaed with all kinds of experiences long before either Maggie Howell or Marie Morgan was born.

Both these methods are based on the ideas of Grantly Dick-Read and Michel Odent and Ina May Gaskin. Grantly Dick-Read was a victorian doctor and has been dead long before either Maggie Howell or Marie Morgan were born.

In the past people used hypnotheraphy for having teeth extracted or leg ampulations in the days before drugs for anesthesia. Hypnosis for childbirth is nothing new and certainly Marie Morgan did not invent it.

I chose natal hypnotheraphy because it is produced by a british company that understands british culture. Culturally it is different giving birth in the UK to the US.

Birthandbaby Fri 26-Oct-12 10:49:24

I did not say that hypnosis to manage pain-relief was a new thing. HypnoBirthing is not using hypnosis as pain-relief - I'm sure you weren't trying to twist my words. Have you read the HypnoBirthing book?

Are you under the impression that Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioners are American? I am a fairly typical practitionr and as a well-educated British person who has had 2 children in British hospitals, I am pretty sure I, and other practitioners, understand British culture - so that is another red herring. The UK edition of the HypnoBirthing book talks about birth in the NHS. Have you read the HypnoBirthing book?

Your comments on Grant Dickley-Read are perhaps a little misleading. He is of course the man who inspired many thinkers and practitioners. Marie Mongan read his books and was inspired by him to have a natural birth herself - she mentions this in her book - have you read it? Grantly Dick-Read was not a Victorian doctor - he qualified in 1914 and died in 1959 by which time Marie Mongan had had own first HypnoBirth. I'm not sure if Marie Mongan would be amused or horrified that you think she gave birth before the death of a Vicotrian doctor!?!

EmpressMatilda Sat 27-Oct-12 21:40:25

Hm...I am a first time pregnant woman starting to panic a little about birth so I came to this thread to get myself some good advice on approaches as the hypno approach may be for me.

Somewhat shocked to read the posts by the Mongan practitioners. They're a bit spiteful in my opinion. This was just a thread on which people were honestly sharing their own experiences and opinions. It was really great to read. Now it's spoilt. There's no need to wade in like that, all competitive and angry! I thought you were all about calmness?!

Birthandbaby Sat 27-Oct-12 22:42:10

EmpressMatilda - I think I am the only Mongan Method practitioner who has commented so it must be me that has come across as spiteful. I am sorry that you have interpretted my comments like that.

I'm sorry I haven't articulated just how tiring it is to have to keep correcting the inaccuracies perpetuated by Natal Hypnotherapists. I don't think it helps parents to compare the various models and therefore to have a great birth - which is the real point surely?

Sadly, this was never 'just a thread on which people were honestly sharing their experiences'. Quite a few of the people above are Natal Hypnotherapists e.g. off the top of my head I can tell you that Cath505060 and Golden Banana have written previously on Mumsnet that they are Natal Hypnotherapists, not just the average mums they are now appearing to be.

Cath505060 Wed 21-Nov-12 18:13:27

I am taking a deep breath in and a long slow breath out! I have always contributed to threads on MumsNet and elsewhere as someone who is a mother (which I am) and someone who has also worked with many women over the last 20 years and therefore has personal experience of many different approaches to birth. I have never hidden being a Natal Hypnotherapy Practitioner but that has been a recent addition to my work. Yoga for Pregnancy and NCT courses I have been facilitating for significantly longer. My comments are based on what women tell me, my own experiences and what I have observed in labouring women. I am very sorry that Birthandbaby feels that practitioners experiences are less valid than 'average mums' - I always thought we were all women who cared about helping women feel calm and confident about birth.

Drranjseyebrows Wed 21-Nov-12 18:18:41

What a shame that a thread that was initially friendly and helpful has been hijacked by trolling comments from BirthandBaby. Not sure what your agenda is but seems to be business driven rather than out of a genuine desire to help / advise women. But perhaps you have somewhat inadvertently helped me. I'm drawn to the warm, friendly types - know who I'll be booking with now.

wildsofwilts Wed 21-Nov-12 18:27:25

I agree with you ExpressMatilda, I think this 'thread' has been really helpful in hearing how different methods work for different people and it is all about exploring which one might suit you best. Testimonials would suggest they both work for different people but I am really sad to see such an angry and accusatory post that sadly does not promote warmth and calmness. I do hope you find whatever works for you and that you have a wonderfully calm and peaceful birth. Just back myself from a beautiful birth last night.

sandraletitia Wed 21-Nov-12 23:39:59

I SO agree that different methods work for different people. I am a Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner and also an NCT teacher of many years. I absolutely believe that birth hypnosis, how ever it is taught and whatever approach is used, makes a huge difference to the way a woman feels about her birth experience and also contributes to the way it turns out, absolutely no doubt.
I came to Natal Hypnotherapy after seeing many women over the years use the CDs and really felt they benefited from doing so. As there was no practitioner locally I decided to train and really believe in what I do.
I also still love teaching my NCT classes - finished a course only earlier this evening - wished them all the best as they went off to the local Pub for supper.
Essentially it is horses for courses.

maggiebhowell Thu 22-Nov-12 14:56:47

Birthandbaby - I was shocked and saddened by your posting on this thread as there are some very strong accusations and many inaccuracies which cast a very bad light on Natal Hypnotherapy practitioners as well as myself. I would like to point out the following:-
1.You refer to Natal Hypnotherapy “staff”- we have 75 trained practitioners who run their own businesses – we do work very much as a team and support each other but they are all autonomous
2.We do not lie – as an organisation we have built our reputation on integrity, honesty, professionalism and passion to help women have a better birth
3.We are Natal Hypnotherapy – Not Natal Hypnobirthing – we do not brand ourselves as “hypnobirthing” – we are of course fully aware that it is used by many people as a generic term and that there are no registered trademark rights to the name in the UK– However I created the brand Natal Hypnotherapy in the UK in 2000 – before the Mongon method of HypnoBirthing came to the UK.
4.The chart on our website is there to answer the very often asked question – what are the differences between the 2 approaches. I have revised this based on feedback I have had from 2 hypnobirthing practitioners in the past and am happy to continue to do so if what is written there reflects any recent changes.
5.“HB is just the American term for Natal Hypnotherapy” the phrase was “HB is the American term for it” – this comment was made by a woman who is pregnant and only just started using my CDs – so not a practitioner
6.It is a very strong and incorrect accusation to make that I copied Hypnobirthing. I developed the programme as a result of my clinical hypnotherapy training and my work with midwives across the UK. This accusation has been made before and has been shown to be completely unfounded.
7.NH workshops may be cheaper – I prefer better value - however it is for 14 hours tuition and for a maximum of 5 couples – I believe Hypnobirthing workshops are for 12 hours – however please correct me if I am wrong. I am not sure of the maximum number of participants on the HB courses
8.I do not believe that any of the Natal Hypnotherapy practitioners state that HB “promises” a pain free birth – however it is an impression that many hundreds of women and midwives have had, that if done correctly HB can give them a pain free birth – I train hundreds of midwives and this is their biggest concern about the Hypnobirthing approach as they feel it is unrealistic for most women.
9.I can not read any where that HB is only about natural births - It is the experience of many women that they struggle to use the HB techniques when things do not go to plan – please read the many threads on this site where women (not Natal Hypnotherapy practitioners – who incidentally many of which are also mums) have written this about their experience
10.The only reference on this thread to “HB uses a really annoying American accent” is in your posting – However I do know that many British women do not connect with the American accent. Thank you for bringing it to my attention that there is a UK version – this does not seem to have filtered through to most people I come in contact with who still associate it with an American voice

I agree that different courses have different benefits. I have developed an approach which suits many women – this approach has been developed through consistency, professionalism and passion – not on lies.

KtBOnline Thu 22-Nov-12 23:10:15

To continue with birth experiences....I had a very traumatic first birth and used Natal Hypnotherapy for my 2nd birth which I can honestly say was AMAZING - totally manageable and so empowering to be able to trust my body to birth!

I only tried Natal hypnotherapy - but I found it easy to use and simple to understand. I can highly recommend it - Good luck!

khimlee Sat 24-Nov-12 10:12:53

as a health care professional (33years), birth educator (26 years) IAIM Infant massage instructor 13 years)Natal Hypnotherapy Practitioner 6 years, I am saddened to see such behaviour and feel such negative energies created by birthandbaby, very unprofessional and perhaps needs to practice self hypnosis to calm down. women make inform choices and like me, I chose after viewing both methods, the NH Maggie Howell approach, knowing and have met her(my criteria) that she has used it 5 times and created it organically from her own birth experiences. It took me 5 years( skeptic midwives ) to embrace this as it was a birthing mum who showed me the way to NH! my colleagues dismiss this as they had enough of being told to "change their words" in a short time to care for a mum using the HB approach which then does not built a rapport of working together for a calm birth environment. Yes, we have challenges too with all the guidelines and clinical safety issues. So as a NH practitioner in NHS setting, I do use NH in VBACs, traumatic past events and make no charge as I believe in what I do( would you be able to share your expertise if you care so much?) , we do want to promote Normality(RCM) be less stressed when we have calmer confident women who prepare with commitment regardless of whom they choose( affordable, valuable and sustainable) to do their workshops. I run NHS workshops and still promote normality and being realistic some do need more support. Maybe you may consider working in NHS and not just a "birtheducator" and be able to empathise with professionals working in a challenged way as we know 89% of women are fearful of birth. So focus on your own good work to reduce this and reflect on your own practice.The birth rate is going up, so there are enough women and families for you to supported if they choose HB or NH.
We have midwives, nct teachers, doulas and mums who have used NH as Practitioners because WE do care. One of my colleagues was able to use the simple NH ways from a professional Study Day to support a HB labouring woman as birth partner was not engaging(did not want to read the scripts). So regardless of who they prepare with, midwives will develop the skills to support from Study Days that Maggie had facilitated (a free full day)in NHS because she believes in her passion to share.

WigglyBraddins Sun 25-Nov-12 19:35:55

I loved the Natal Hypnotherapy CD & found the visualisations really helped me in labour. Not tried Hypnobirthing but whichever one you go for I'm sure it'll help.

noseynoonoo Mon 26-Nov-12 19:32:19

Maggie Howell says that she is happy to amend her website to reflect recent changes. Perhaps the first entry on the comparison table needs to be changed since the HypnoBirthing CDs have a British accent - would that be a fair request?

noseynoonoo Thu 29-Nov-12 23:22:55

Does anyone know when Maggie Howell will be amending the natal hypnotherapy website to reflect truthfully the changes made by HypnoBirthing? Perhaps one of the natal hypnotherapy practitioners could make her aware?

newyearsday Wed 05-Dec-12 13:51:43

I had a traumatic emcs with my 1st baby and when I found out I was pg again I bought the Natal Hypnotherapy CD about preparing for a VBAC but I wasn't very disciplined at listening to it. I looked into the HypnoBirthing method and decided it suited my DH and me because we could get private classes (no babysitter) and there are several practitioners locally (costs ranged from £250-350). I really feel I need that 1-2-1 support. I'm now 28wks and our classes start on Monday, I'm really looking forward to it, feels like the next step on my journey towards a better birth experience.

maggiebhowell Mon 10-Dec-12 12:45:47

noseynoonoo - I am happy to add the change to our website.

Gingerbreadlatte Mon 10-Dec-12 13:47:45

Just to re-iterate the posts in favour of Maggie's Natal Hypnotherapy. I used it extensively for my 2nd birth. It enabled me to have a wonderful birthing experience and I cannot recommend it enough.

I can thoroughly recommend a practitioner in Farnham Surrey if anyone is interested.

noseynoonoo Tue 11-Dec-12 11:33:53

Maggie, you seem to have changed it incorrectly so that it still gives incorrect information.

It should read: CDs use a British voice.

Gintonic Tue 11-Dec-12 12:06:07

OP, I just found a hypnotherapist that specialised in childbirth. I had one session and she made me a cd which i listened to every night.It was much cheaper than hypno birthing, no need to go on a course. No irritating philosophy attached. And it was all tailored to me and my particular anxieties. It was fantastic.

stowsettler Tue 11-Dec-12 15:56:22

Crikey, what a load of vitriol about 2 methods whose objectives are so similar.
I am currently doing a hypnobirthing course. I did no research on NH or HB, it just so happens that a practitioner lives locally and I've seen her car around the place. Had I heard of NH beforehand I may well have gone down that route.
I'm halfway through the Mongan book, and I do not feel that I'm being led to expect a pain-free labour. Perhaps that's just because I'm a pragmatic sort of person. However, I do feel that the method is showing me how to manage any pain I experience and how to deal with any eventuality during my labour. I do NOT feel that I'll be unprepared for 'special circumstances', as they're called in the book (complications to you and me). Quite the opposite: I feel that if such circumstances arise, I'll be relaxed and de-stressed enough to make rational decisions based on what's best for my baby and for me.
I totally accept the logic of birth being easier if the mother is relaxed and trusting of her body to do the job. I understand completely that, the more relaxed she is, the less tense all her muscles will be = ergo pain should be managed more easily.
It seems to me that both methods will help women to achieve this aim. So shall we stop the bickering?

Norem Tue 11-Dec-12 16:35:12

Interesting threadsmile I have used both methods and both sets of CDs.
Both work very well and in choosing which one to go with I would have a chat with local practitioners where possible to see which is the best fit for you.
If a course is not possible I would go with natal hypnotherapy CDs as there is more choice.
Have a great birth.

noseynoonoo Mon 17-Dec-12 14:35:16

maggiebhowell You still don't seem to have made the correct correction to the comparison table on your website.

emmam25 Mon 17-Dec-12 21:49:08

I can't talk about Hypnobirthing as I never tried it but I can say that I used Maggie Howells Natal Hypnotherapy Effective Birth Preparation CD from 34 weeks with my first and I found it fantastic. I never experienced any anxiety about the birth and approached it relaxed and positive. I'm now 25 weeks with baby 2 and have been using the Pregnancy Relaxation throughout. I'll be switching to Effective Birth Preparation when I get a bit closer and have Post-natal Recovery ready for after baby arrives!

noseynoonoo Sun 23-Dec-12 22:50:42

BirthandBaby above said that those associated with Natal Hypnotherapy state that 'HypnoBirthing uses a really annoying American accent - NO - it is voiced by Callie Copeman Bryant who has a gorgeous velvety voice and hails all the way from Cambridge.'

MaggieHowell from Natal Hypnotherapy said that she would change the inaccuracy on her website, and has come back to say that she has done so - and yet still it is incorrect. I don't understand why.

swimsunandski Tue 19-Mar-13 13:47:21

Did any of you see on ITV London News this week that some NHS hospitals in London are now running Natal Hypnotherapy workshops. It's on Youtube at I felt very relaxed during my labour after used the Natal Hypnotherapy Birth Preparation CD and Maggie Howell's book but if I'd known that the NHS were offering the service I would have gone to a workshop too.

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