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Natal Hypnotherapy - how does it work in practice?

(13 Posts)
starfish12 Thu 22-Aug-13 10:55:40


I'm 35 weeks. I bought the Natal Hypnotherapy CD and have been listening to it most days. I have to say that each time I've listened I've fallen asleep so never actually heard the whole thing through yet!

I wondered how it works in practice since it says you don't need to listen to the actual CD during labour? Does your subconcsious just take over?

Just I can't imagine being that relaxed (ie asleep!) during labour, and having interactions with DP, midwives, moving about etc.

Could someone explain how they translated what they had 'learnt'/soaked up from the CD into a real life labour situation...?


fuckwittery Thu 22-Aug-13 12:10:32

I did hypnobirthing book and CD first time round, hypnobirthing classes second time round, and this time am doing the natal hypnotherapy CDs. Same as you I fall asleep all the time! However I would recommend listening to it not relaxing, but awake, so you can follow the script through.
I'm 32 weeks on Saturday, so haven't started the preparation for labour CD yet but with regards to the relaxation CD, I often practice the breathing when I am just trying to chill or get to sleep. In and out, 3,2,1 relax, and relaxing muscles, and the colours (I use green on in breath, and blue to breath out stress), and the visualisation of walking in the trees if you've got that far.

In my first two labours I found it very helpful to try and distract from the contractions by concentrating on my breathing and the visualisation of a relaxing place and the colours. You certainly don't fall asleep, but it helps you breathe through, and distract from the pain. This didn't massively work when I was in active labour, but the slow relaxed breathing helped me keep calm and not let my pain overwhelm me.

I would recommend Juju Sundin's birth skills book which explains in really practical terms how visualisation, breathing and other distraction techniques work in labour, she gives a few more suggestions as well.

fuckwittery Thu 22-Aug-13 12:11:57

Oh, and I also was able to go into myself during the contractions, due to the breathing etc, and only interacted with DH and midwives inbetween contractions when I had to. It is best if doing hypnobirthing type relaxation to ask for minimal interruptions/chat and to get DH to keep lights low, soft voices etc if possible to keep in the zone. You may find you just zone everything out anyway.

Audrey2013 Thu 22-Aug-13 22:23:01

Fuckwittery how do these two methods compare in your opinion? Did you decide to try natal hypnotherapy because there was smth you didn't like about hypnobirthing?
Thanks in advance!

LynetteScavo Thu 22-Aug-13 22:27:36

I did hypnobirthing, and yes, it did work.

I just put on the CD and did a particular breathing exercise I'd learned.

I definitely didn't fall asleep but didn't feel any pain...just very strong "surges", more like very strong wind blowing on me.

fuckwittery Thu 22-Aug-13 23:18:58

I didn't really like the premise in the hypnobirthing book and course that we only feel pain as we are afraid. I was really chilled out through a long early labour, but it went wrong and I beat myself up for thinking it was my fault as I'd not been able to beat the fear. I love juju sundin's book as it totally recognises it is not always possible to shut off the conscious fearful mind, but gives ways and means you can try to do so by distraction.

I just thought I'd try the natal hypnotherapy CDs this time round, as why not, heard they are not as annoying as the hypnobirthing ones, but keeping an open mind. I havent started the main labour natal hypnotherapy CD yet, but will let you know what I think in comparison when I do,and how the births compare!

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 22-Aug-13 23:28:02

It doesn't stop the pain, but it stops it from overwhelming you and makes you feel more in control over your response to it iyswim.

I used it in my second birth and when I called to go into the the MLU, and when I arrived, the midwives didn't think I was actually in active labour though I gave birth just over an hour later. (refused internals so they really didn't know).

My 3rd birth was at home and I didn't use natal, but simply a confidence in my body and breathing that I had got from the 2nd birth.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 22-Aug-13 23:28:31

I'm now starting to research mindfulness as a general therapy.

Audrey2013 Fri 23-Aug-13 22:01:57

Thank you for your answers!

Fuckwittery I'm 32w this Sat too so I guess it'll be too late for me to learn from your experiencesmile but still would be great to hear if natal works better for you!

Nadalsballs Fri 23-Aug-13 22:14:16

I listened to the CD every day during the last few weeks of my pregnancies and it always sent me to sleep!

Before my first labour I was absolutely terrified and the CD calmed me down when I was panicking. I did listen to it in early labour and then stopped but it kept me calm in the car on the way to hospital.

During the later stages of labour I didn't consciously notice myself using the techniques BUT considering how terrified I was beforehand I found both labour and births relatively straightforward and not half as painful as I'd thought they'd be.

I presume the hypnotherapy did something in my subconscious but can't be sure!

TheYamiOfYawn Fri 23-Aug-13 22:28:35

I listened to the Natal Hypnotherapy cds when I was pregnant with DS. I had a pretty easy birth with DD (first baby), so I can't say that it made a huge amount of difference as things might have been just as good without, but I had no more than mild discomfort up until 45 minutes before DS was born when I went into a crazy birthing frenzy which was very intense (and painful). I would say that even during the painful parts, I felt fantastic - full of endophins.

I think that it helps to prevent the sort of unneccesary pain caused by fear and muscle tension, but it doesn't prevent the pain of natural labour - if your baby is coming out in a way that presses on your nerves, or stretches you quickly, or needs you to change position, then you will still hurt. But even then, it felt ok, not scary, just intense.

I had a home birth, and my midwife said something that really stayed with me - that when her birthing women were at home and feeling safe and comfortable and relaxed and free to move, they didn't need pain relief, and if ever they asked for drugs (unless it was in the craziness of transition) she was always totally ready to transfer to hospital, because that level of pain was usually an indication of a problem that needed intervention. She said that in 15 years as a home birth midwife, she had only ever transferred a woman to hospital purely for pain relief once.

So I guess Natal Hypnotherapy aims to put you in that situation where your pain is manageable unless it needs to attract your attention to let you know that you need some extra help.

starfish12 Sun 25-Aug-13 08:14:42

Thanks all for sharing your experiences. I'll continue to listen to the Cd every day and just hope being relaxed kicks in. Im actually feeling intrigued and excited to know what labour is like and of course to finally meet my little one.

RunningBear78 Tue 27-Aug-13 04:23:37

Thanks for all this, I have been wondering the same thing! Was sent a hypnobirthing cd by a friend and fell asleep about 10inutes into it so was a little confused about how it might work. Am 37+1 ...probably should have started listening to the cd a little while ago. Hmm. Oh well will start tomorrow!

Maybe I should put it on my phone to stop me being awake at 3 in the morning!!!

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