We rely on advertising to keep the lights on.

Please consider adding us to your whitelist.



Advanced search

For those of you who used hypnobirthing...

(46 Posts)
berri Thu 28-Feb-13 17:46:09

Could you please describe what you actually 'did' during the birth, and at what stage? I was wondering in terms of which breathing techniques or visualisations helped at each stage of your labour.

Trying to get as prepared as possible but there are so many different techniques I don't know which to use at which point etc!

Any tips and positive stories gratefully received! smile

Flisspaps Thu 28-Feb-13 17:49:33

I held on to the TV unit and decided there was no way Maggie Howell had ever actually given birth. grin

I didn't visualise anything but I did just breathe through the ctx (until I was 6-7 cm and got in the pool and on the gas) and tried to stay focused and calm.

I felt much more in control than I did during my other labour.

berri Thu 28-Feb-13 19:54:10

Haha - that's kind of my point fliss, my hypno instructor hasn't given birth either! So I think she's struggling to tell me exactly what I need to do, and I feel in need of instruction!

crocoldile Thu 28-Feb-13 20:07:21

I ended up having an emergency c section with my twins,but used my breathing techniques right up until that point.I was in labour for 8 hours,didn't need any pain relief until about an hour before my c section and then gas and air.I managed to get to 7cms and truly beleive I would have been able to go the whole way.
I felt like the breathing gave me so much control,I was able to focus on what I needed to do to work through the contractions without being distracted around me.
My hynobirthing teacher had 4 children,3 using the techniques and all over 10lbs!!!
Another positive was the relaxation every night with the cd I had amazing restful sleep and my dp who sleeps terribly usually also said he's never slept so well!

berri Thu 28-Feb-13 20:09:27

Thanks croc did you just do the slow breathing during the contractions, and that was it? Or anything else?

tyaca Thu 28-Feb-13 20:18:54

i also did maggie howell. i could not have had a better experience. go buy her cd, i can't recommend it highly enough. buy it then listen to it A LOT. she reckons 20 times or something.

like you, i wasn't sure exactly what i'd do during the birth itself. but in early stages i found myself repeating a couple of her key phrases during the contractions and they did not hurt one bit. honest gov. it took me a little while to work out which bits to say when, but it did come. i tried to do the breathing exercises duting contractions and that didn't work at all. but when I found the most useful phrases, i went into a proper calm hypnotic trance. chatting away happily between contractions. aware they were hurting but not actually feeling any pain. maybe the best night of my life, a stark contrast to the hospital epidural birth i'd had with dd which was just awful.

i was also at home, which helped. i'd read a lot about birth, which also helped. i'd done nothing like that with my first child. there's a fab book by ina may gaskin called ina may's guide to childbirth, which really normalised birth for me. reading positive birth stories had a big impact on the way i viewed the whole process. oh, i also bought an aromatherapy premix from boots and used that whenever i listened to the cd. i then had it on a flannel that i sniffed during the birth - smell association is meant to be quite powerful.

good luck! get the maggie howell cds.

crocoldile Thu 28-Feb-13 20:22:36

Yes, I just did the slow breathing,I made sure I was counting in my head as I was doing it.I realise I didn't actually get to actually deliver using it but I know it gave me a lot of calm throughout the labour.

Moominsarehippos Thu 28-Feb-13 20:28:38

Berri - PM me if you want more info. I taught HypnoBirthing for a few years, and actually DID the 'practical'!

I listened to Radio 4 throughout.

berri Thu 28-Feb-13 20:31:41

Hi tyaca I'm living in the USA temporarily so am doing the Marie Mongan course & CD. I've been listening to the CD every night and the affirmations etc, I just can't picture what will actually happen when I go into labour, and wondered whether I could plan ahead to use different methods for different parts of the labour, if that makes sense?

I also had a terrible labour with DS so trying to do everything very differently smile

Probably trying to plan too much, which is impossible!

Novia Thu 28-Feb-13 20:38:16

Hi - haven't given birth yet but have been listening to Maggie Howell's CD and very interested in what people have to say on this! smile

throwinshapes Thu 28-Feb-13 20:42:33

Did the Mongan method too, with dd2!
Fine and relaxed all t'way through with the breathing and visualisations.
When 3rd stage came- breathed her out as per method and dp said midwifes were amazed/ impressed.
Soooo much easier/ calmer than dd1.
Good luck!

throwinshapes Thu 28-Feb-13 20:43:10

Meant 2nd stage obvs confused

MB34 Thu 28-Feb-13 21:20:00

I did the Mongan method - I didn't manage to get completely relaxed during the contractions as I couldn't get comfortable but did do the breathing and listened to the affirmations while trying to remember that each contraction would only last 2 mins maximum. Also, between contractions I tried to use the relaxation techniques as much as I could do when being uncomfortable.

I was 5cm dilated when I got to hospital so got by until then on just doing the above, I think I started on the g&a not long after that, then without any warning (or realising what I was doing) I started pushing. Once I was told I was fully dilated, I was then doing the (downward 'J') birth breathing and DS was born about half hour later.

Days later the midwives how impressed they were and were still talking about how I breathed him out!

Are you doing a course or just reading the book OP? Either way I suggest your birth partner gets knowledgeable about the affirmations/relaxations/breathing as they will be reminding you of it all throughout the labour. That is really helpful too.

Good luck

Msbluesky32 Fri 01-Mar-13 08:59:24

We've just finished our course and our teacher was lovely. She has three children and has been a midwife for 20 years.

She has given us a laminated help sheet with everything on it, in summary it says:

When contractions start you should try and do slow breathing (long breath in and out) for the contractions and sleep breathing (breathing in for three and out for six) in between those. Essentially the idea here ( from what i can gather) is to not completely exhaust yourself. Listen to the affirmations (you should have these on a cd) and visualise your cervix opening at the same time and listen to the rainbow relaxation ( also on a cd) to get you into a relaxed state. During labour your partner can help you get more relaxed by running through some techniques too - has your partner been going with you? He can also apply light touch massage to your back and arms. This releases endorphins - your body's own pain killers. When things really start to progress (ie you get the desire to push or you feel like you need to empty your bowels and the midwife confirms your baby is in the right position for expulsion) she has said to use birth breathing instead of pushing. Lying on your side or squatting, or propped up on pillows, or standing fill your lungs and breath downward through your body to a count of ten. Imagining your breath travelling down through your body in a j shape that pushes your baby down and out. Here you can try and visualise a the petals of a rose flower opening.

I could try and scan it for you but because its laminated I think it might not work !

Msbluesky32 Fri 01-Mar-13 09:07:25

Actually I can take a photo! I will try and figure out how to send it to you..

Trishstar Fri 01-Mar-13 11:48:29

Reading this with great interest x ordered the Marie mongan book and CD and going to see if this can help me!!

Zorra Fri 01-Mar-13 16:15:35

I did the Mongan method, and I don't remember actually 'doing' anything! During my first contractions with DS I thought "fuuuuuck it's not going to work and its gong to really hurt" then I just sort of went with the flow and it was fine. Very little pain, very easy calm birth. No actual effort to remember the hypnobirthing stuff, I think that's why you're supposed to listen to it a lot so it kind of embeds itself in your mind smile

berri Fri 01-Mar-13 20:22:45

Thanks for the replies all!

MB I'm doing a course and have read the book. I have 1 session left of the course. Dh hasn't been to anything as they are all during the day & he's at work. He's relatively open to me telling him about it, but not sure how useful he'd actually be so I wanted to do it all myself really and then if he helps it will just be an added bonus, rather than me relying on him!

I'm finding it all helpful in terms of relaxation, but just wondered about which things would be the most helpful to turn to when I'm actually in pain - i.e. just the breathing, or should I be practicing the visualisations more? I find it hard to do the 'glove' and 'pressure gauge' ones, but can get myself quite relaxed otherwise.

Msbluesky that would be great if you have time, I think it'd be useful to have everything written down in one place to refer to. This might also help DH when the time comes. I can PM you my email address if you think that would work?

berri Fri 01-Mar-13 20:23:35

Zorra that sounds good - I started the course really early as DS was prem, so hopefully it should be embedded well by the time I need it!!

berri Fri 01-Mar-13 20:32:37

Sorry for post bombardment - just wanted to say thanks for recommending the book tyaca, just sitting down with it now about to start!

FadBook Fri 01-Mar-13 20:39:47

Berri - I would highly recommend your DH reading the Maggie Howell book too. I practically forced it in my DP's hand each night after I'd read a few pages. We too did the course (which was expensive but well worth it).

I had a visualisation that I practised over and and over whilst listening to the CD's from about 32 weeks.

I think the "riding the contraction" out was the basis for my visualisation. Some people use waves, I used a loud train driving past me!

During our course the teacher (also a MW) got us all to relax and think of a beach, or really special place. My 'special place' is somewhere in Devon (I know not, some white sandy beach in Mexico!) and it is near the train line. So, my 'riding the wave' was walking out of our holiday apartment, over the bridge and waiting for the train/contraction to come, once the train passed under the bridge I could walk back down and to the sea front and watch the waves in the sun set.

It sounds strange written down but it is very visual to me as we holiday there every year so I know the place well.

During actual labour, I struggled for about 2 hours to calm and 'find' my place. This was because I was disheartened that I'd only got to 3cm and thought I wouldn't cope to the end without pain relief. But I did get there (with my DP's help - he was amazing, as he'd read the book and done the course and knew my special place) and talked me through the walk over the bridge through each contraction. I got to 7cm without anything and then had g&a.

My whole (intense) labour was 11 hours, but it felt a lot less than this, time slipped by and DP does say that whilst I was loud for about an hour (when we realised I was only 3cm), I was very quiet for long periods of time once I calmed down.

berri Fri 01-Mar-13 20:44:29

Interesting fad - my instructor hasn't really talked about a place to go to. It sounds useful though rather than just focusing on breathing and nothing else.
Maybe this is one of the differences between the two methods of Mongan & Howell?

Is anyone familiar with both methods and could tell me the differences?

My DH works pretty late and I can't see him reading the book sad

It seems that the Howell method perhaps has more 'things' for you to do? Maybe I should read her book too and supplement what I've learned with the Mongan method. Or maybe that'd just confuse matters!

KirstyJC Fri 01-Mar-13 20:47:46

I had the earphones in the whole time, with the labour CD Maggie Howell spoke to me the whole time!grin

I did the deep breaths, very definitely the visualisation when the contractions came, and also the going to a good place (for me a beach with a hammock and gin and tonic!). I also did use the 'comfort dial' when the discomfort (ie pain!) got too much.

I didn't really expect it to work, but it did - I didn't need much G&A at all and just breathed the baby out when I was pushing! Wouldn't have believed it but it did work really well.smile

goodtoesnaughtytoes Fri 01-Mar-13 20:49:30

I found that using gas and air helped me to have calm deep breathing and imagine the 'light' travelling down to my baby. This was because you can hear each breath when breathing in and out on the gas. (Also being able to bite down hard on the pipe healed!)

My first labour was fine and went quickly. The midwife said I was a natural. My second baby was born after 30 minutes of labour on the bathroom floor at home. So pretty quick! shock

LaGuerta Fri 01-Mar-13 20:57:24

I had a special place too - in the Peak District on top of a hill breathing in the light from the setting sun and breathing out down into the valley where it was already dark.

I think the right visualisations will come to you at the time. My mind wandered quite a bit and different bits and bobs from the maggie howell CDs popped into my head at various points.

It all went really well though, and whilst it did hurt, I didn't use pain relief as I was in a mental place where I was very relaxed and accepting of these "interesting sensations" grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now