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Hypnobirthing- honest opinions, is it worth it?

(32 Posts)
Mrsbirchall Mon 19-Nov-12 21:49:35


I wondered if anyone had any experience of hypnobirthing- good or bad? I'm 26 weeks and in denial about my fear of giving birth and have heard a few friends mention they know of people who have benefitted from hypnobirthing..

I'm usually naturally a tad sceptical about this sort of thing and living in London too, a quick browse on the web and it doesn't look cheap to do a course here either!..

So what are your thoughts? Any advice?


Marmiteisyummy Mon 19-Nov-12 21:59:44

I did natal hypnotherapy (magpie Howell) Fantastic. Concept is by controlling your fear your adrenaline levels stay lower which helps your labour progress well and reduces your pain. Still hurt but I felt in control all the way through. Gas and air, 7cm on arrival, DS born less than 3 hours later.
Am pg again and will def be doing it again. Course was ok but you get an awful lot from just reading the book (about £10) and cd (about £12) which is a much cheaper way of doing it. You do need to really give it a good go though, it's more about you learning deep relaxation and control techniques, it's not the sort of hypnosis you see on tele!
Natal hypnotherapy is a bit different to hypno birthing. There was a thread recently comparing tem which you may want to look at.
Good luck.

DoulaKate Mon 19-Nov-12 22:10:06

Recommend reading "Hypnobirthing" by Marie Mongan. Will give you really good overview and you may even find this enough for you to put into practice yourself and may help you feel more comfortable and prepared about the birth. I was also quite sceptical about this when I first came across hypnobirthing, but can honestly say that I adopted some of the techniques which helped me during childbirth and 3 babies later, had 3 home births without any pain relief and can honestly say I enjoyed it...and I'm not a tree-hugging, moon howling type!

ThereGoesTheYear Mon 19-Nov-12 22:12:14

It's brilliant. Agree that the Marie Mongan book and CD are great.

CitizenOscar Mon 19-Nov-12 22:17:29

HB really helped my DH overcome HIS fear of childbirth and we found listening to the relaxation cd together really, well, relaxing.

I found a combination of the hypnobirthing techniques plus yoga helped keep me calm & strong during labour.

If I'd just read the mongan book I'd have been quite sceptical. We needed the classes to put the book in realistic uk context.

I'm interested in looking into natal hypnotherapy this time.

downbutnotout Mon 19-Nov-12 22:21:39

Totally worth it, personally I found the practical course very helpful. Just don't go into it expecting it to be pain-free, but definitely made my second time around a much pleasanter experience.

LynetteScavo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:29:01

For getting over fear - worth every penny. I had a difficult time with DC1, and was shock how the hell am I going to get this next one out when I was pg with DC2. (DH felt the same). I had an individual "fear release" session - DH was sent to the pub down the road grin

We went with the Mongon method, and were very lucky that no one else signed up for the course, so it was just me and DH.

With DC3 I actually had a pain free labour,- I can best describe it as being blown by a very strong wind. Not at all painful, but definitely strong.

pixwix Mon 19-Nov-12 23:27:22

Hi! I had quite a traumatic birth with ds1 first time round. when I fell pregnant again, I went to see a hypnotherapist. he didn't specialise in birth, in fact, I was the first one he'd seen! I had a few sessions with him, we discussed what I wanted out of it.

He promised me techniques that banished pain completely, but having been in labour once already, I was very sceptical, and I didn't want to set myself up for this, because when I went into labour, if it wasn't pain free, as he promised, then I would freak thinking I wasn't doing it right.

So we focussed upon rising above the sensations, switching mental buttons to turn down the level of pain, relaxation, visualising etc. he gave me a CD to take away to practice, which I did.

I found it really helpful! labour second time round was somewhat less shocking anyway, but when a contraction came, I turned inwards, visualised, and stayed a bit above the pain.

Yes it still hurt, but I felt much calmer, distanced from it and so much more in control. It wasn't overwhelming. When a contraction started, I was using gas and air, and I would visualise a roaring rising tide, with me gently lifting up above it in a hot air balloon - the sound of me toking on the gas and air actually helped, because it was the sound of the fire above hissing, to raise me up..

That labour wasn't without its problems either, as I got type 2 decelerations, and narrowly avoided a section, - they gave me an epidural fairly late on, as they thought I might need a section, and I was fine with that, but in the end, he came out!

But yeah - the hypnotherapy really helped - I was chatting to the midwife, then suddenly switched off, and went inside myself - after the contraction, she said jokingly 'are you sure you're in labour?' (I was 7cm).

I would say - do go to someone or use resources that specialise in pregnancy/ birth though. My hypnotherapist was fine, but he didn't really understand anything about birth and its mental challenges. And practise your new techniques at home- the delivery room can be a bit noisy with people popping in and out, although they are generally sensitive about it, so being able to suddenly feel the first surge, and drop into a state of relaxation and focus and tune people out for a bit really helps (though obv the second stage is a bit different, as you need to be more aware of the midwife!)

Hope this helps!

cheeseandmushroomghostie Mon 19-Nov-12 23:38:26

Marking my place, was going to start a similar thread myself! 17 weeks with dc2 and would like a less panic stricken labour than last time .....

Mrsbirchall Tue 20-Nov-12 13:35:53

Thanks everyone, it's really helpful to hear about your experiences.

My worry is that I'm naturally a bit sceptical and impatient - living and commuting in London does tend to quash any 'zen' like qualities! - and whether I could apply the techniques successfully as I do tend to get myself a bit het up when I'm stressed/fearful or in pain..

I'll take a nosy at the book first and go from there...


Cath505060 Wed 21-Nov-12 18:02:21

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Twattergy Wed 21-Nov-12 20:26:39

Yes! Do it! Marie Morgan based courses are good. I am no tree hugger I just wanted to know what to do when it all started! Course extremely informative in terms of understanding and therefore welcoming contractions. It removes fear in advance of and during labour. I have no doubt that I went from 0 to 10cm with manageable pain and in less than 6 hours and with no outside intervention (I was at home!) Because of hypno. You are not hypnotised just extremely relaxed and in control. Friends have since done it and also had great results.

Casmama Wed 21-Nov-12 20:33:55

Absolutely worth it. I had no fear leading up to the birth which was a massive benefit. Unfortunately I had to be induced as ds was small for dates but I managed to get to 10 cms dilated with only my tens machine. In fact the midwife apologised to me later as she didn't think I was in active labour and only examined me because I felt pushing!

sandraletitia Wed 21-Nov-12 23:21:00

Anyone living in London and interested in Natal Hypnotherapy - there are quite a few of us practitioners around so do look us up on the main website. I teach NCT classes as well and know exactly what is meant about living and commuting in London - its hard to find peace and quiet - to find the time - and I see this so often in women who come to my classes and workshops.
Whatever you decide to do, I wish you all the best.

KtBOnline Thu 22-Nov-12 23:12:25

I used natal hypnotherapy and had an amazing and empowering birth - more affordable and simpler techniques than hypnobirthing x

monsterchild Thu 22-Nov-12 23:14:33

Not to hijack, but I do a lot of meditation, would this be similar to hypnotherapy? I don't really think I have time to learn it now (at 35 weeks)...

Mrsbirchall Fri 23-Nov-12 10:48:24

Sorry for obvious questins ladies but what's the difference between hypnobirthing and natal hyno?.. I hadn't heard of natal before..


blackcurrants Fri 23-Nov-12 17:57:17

I used the Marie Mongan books and we paid for an instructor (we're in the USA and she's THE word in hypnobirthing over here - ) The book said "pain-free" and our instructor was muuuuch more down to earth, and talked about things feeling managable, in-control etc. We loved the instructor! smile

DH and I are skeptical, argumentative, science-driven secular humanists and pretty anti-'woo'. This shit, however, really worked. Childbirth hurt, but I felt in control and that the pain was entirely manageable.

I ended up being induced and after a crazy labour (No gas and air in the USA, so went just on Hypnobirthing techniques to 7cm dilated) they were worried about my blood pressure, so I was prescribed an epidural to lower it. The anesthetist came in and introduced himself, but I was lying on my side, ipod sound up, breathing deeply through a contraction. When it was over I looked up at him and said "Sorry, I was concentrating, I missed your name." and he said "Wow, were you having a contraction? I thought you were at 7cm?" and I said "Yeah, so.."
He said "Wow, women are usually screaming at me to hurry up at this point, you don't look like you're in labour!"
Smug git.

Anyway, like I said, it DID hurt but I was never afraid and never felt out of control (my biggest fear) - so I would recommend it above all the cash we spent getting ready for DS to be born. I'm at 36 weeks with DS2 now, and DH and I are re-reading though the books etc.

I needed DH to count for me, make eye-contact with me, fend off nurses during a contraction "Blackcurrants is concentrating, give her a moment." and etc. It's ever so helpful to have an active birth partner when using hypnobirthing, and I KNOW it calmed him down and made him feel prepared -even though the birth didn't go quite as we planned (worked out fine, vaginal delivery, healthy happy everyone, but the initial phase of the induction was crummy) we both felt much more calm and in control and able to make choices/ask questions etc, because I wasn't going nuts with pain and he wasn't going nuts with me going nuts.

okay that became an essay! Hope some of it helps! smile

blackcurrants Fri 23-Nov-12 17:57:56

I think natal hypno is something done in the UK. I've heard good things about it, but only given birth in the USA so only know hypnobirthing.

DontSayWhatSayPardon Sun 25-Nov-12 21:24:19

Natal hypnotherapy is a uk based approach whereas hypnobirthing is from the US. I think they are fairly similar although I've just read another thread where practitioners of the two seemed to be having a row! Anyway just wanted to give you my limited experience which was that I read the hypnobirthing book and listened to the cd while pregnant with ds1 and felt that it actually had a negative effect on me by lulling me into a false sense of security in saying that it was possible to have a pain free birth. When the pain kicked in it threw me into a panic. That said! I didn't do the course and I also had an induction which lasted 3 days and generally a pretty bad birth experience. From what other people have said it sounds like they rate the course so I would say that is the way to go. For myself, now pregnant with ds2, I think i've decided to try a natal hypnotherapy course. I like the idea that it helps you cope with the pain and fear rather than not experiencing it at all. I also like that it was created in the uk with knowledge of our culture and attitudes of hospitals and staff. And that the cd will be in an English accent! Good luck whatever you decide!

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sun 25-Nov-12 21:33:02

I am also pretty skeptical and impatient and since you wanted honest opinions - I found it complete crap. Woo-ish, frustrating, and patronising. It didn't suit me at all.

I would really recommend BORROWING some tapes first so you know if it's for you or not.

Please don't be like me and spend a fortune before realising it doesn't suit you!

I hope noone's offended. I usually don't comment on hypno threads but you did say you wanted positive and negative opinions and part of the reason I shelled out so much money was every single comment I read online seemed to rave about it. It really helps lots of people - but not everyone.

Whiteshoes Sun 25-Nov-12 21:52:05

Someone up thread asked about starting to learn this late. I am also a deeply cynical soul, work in a very sceptical job, with london commute etc. a colleague gave me her hypno cd. I listened only in the last month or so, didn't do it every day, and generally find it v difficult to relax. I thought it was really,really useful. I felt much calmer than I think I would have done, and that must be helpful. It's certainly worth giving a cd a go.

Good luck!

PoppyPrincess Sun 25-Nov-12 23:44:59

From my experience it defo works, I just used a download that I got online or you can buy it on CD and that worked fine for me.

I know to some it may sound like mumbo jumbo but really it's just about deep relaxation and preparing your body and mind for what is going to happen during birth.

The birth canal and vagina are mainly made up of muscles, muscles which will tense up if you get stressed so the best thing to help labour and help the pain is to relax and to allow your body to do what it is trying to do and for me the hypno birth really helped me to do this.

I would recommend it 100%.

MyFriendGoo Tue 27-Nov-12 19:48:38

I'm seriously considering hypnobirthing classes as friends have had really positive experiences....but I hadn't realised how involved the birth partner needs to be. My DH is lovely but not the most reliable in stressful situations! Would this potentially be a problem?

BadlyWrittenPoem Wed 28-Nov-12 07:49:09

I used this for my second and it was so much better than my first. With first even with pethidine and gas and air I still opted for an epidural. With the second, with nothing at all it was manageable and better than the first had been with peth/G&A and once I had the gas and air I had no pain at all. I didn't even do all the preparation in the book that thoroughly due to illness but I did have DH read portions of the book to me and that made a huge difference.

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