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Hypobirthing books?(7 Posts)
I'm expecting my first baby later this year. I've signed up to NCT classes but noticed that lots of people on my local parenting group have recommended a local hypnobirthing class. I can't really afford to do this as well as NCT, but am interested in it and wondered whether it was worth reading some books on it instead? Can anyone tell me a bit more - is reading books enough or do you need to do a course? Any pros/cons you can share that I might not have considered?
Not hypnobirthing as such but I highly recommend a book called Birth Skills by Juju Sundin. It gave me a variety of practical techniques to get through both my labours. I was induced with my first so felt less in control but still managed to remember a few of the techniques. Second labour I really used the breathing and visualizations and gave birth with no pain relief. I don't say that looking for a prize but felt that I had a variety of things to try to cope with the pain before turning to pain relief.
Maggie Howell hypnobirthing book and CD, it really helped me in labour. The cd is reduced to £4 on Amazon at the moment and the book is approx £10
I'd go with something a bit more practical than hypnobirthing, particularly if you are not experienced in meditation already. What this book's don't tell you is that true meditation (the one where you can actually sort of control pain and remain calm in the process) takes years to achieve. You can't possibly master it fully in a few months, much less if it's your first baby and you don't know what to expect from birth.
By no means I'm trying to discourage you, but please consider this: if you were to have a tooth extracted tomorrow, would you consider hypnosis or good old drugs? Pain is pain and labour is painful. Can it be done without drugs? Yes, I did it, and I don't recommend it. You won't get a medal at th end of it, and the whole mystical thing that natural birth carries with it it's (excuse me) a load of tush.
This is just my opinion, of course. Feel free to ignore! I wish you a safe and happy delivery, OP. It will all be over before you realise!
I've just read 'Hypnobirthing: practical ways to make your birth better' by Siobhan Miller and really enjoyed the read. Hypnobirthing is a bit of a misnomer as there is no hypnosis involved - as I understand it is based in the science of how your body works in labour and how to work along with that rather than against it. Hopefully the techniques in the book will help but either way it's made me feel more relaxed and prepared for the whole thing, including being okay with things like asking for pain relief or needing a caesarean. Of course if you are looking to learn some kind if hypnosis maybe not the one!
I used Katharine Graves book which I got second hand and it came with CDs I did not use. I would definitely recommend it. Both my babies were induced - the first was awful and I felt so disappointed not to have a natural birth (ended up with an epidural).
So for the second I was dreadfully nervous and I thought hypnobirthing might help. My husband was extremely sceptical so I did it all alone which isnt ideal. Anyway it worked brilliantly. I felt so prepared, so positive, despite knowing an induction isn't ideal (I ignore the chapter where Katharine Graves rants about it; I still found her techniques useful).
I sent my husband home to rest whilst I was waiting to be induced, and I did my hypno exercises, at 3am I felt like things were progressing so I phone my husband, he came in about 20 mins and I begged him to tell the midwife I needed to give birth - he didnt believe me (having seen me in labour with my first baby). Midwife also didnt believe me as I "wasnt making the right noises" and was "too chatty". Turns out I had got myself to 8cm dilated on a single paracetomol, and had to be rushed to a labour room! Baby arrived two hours later on just gas and air. It was pretty cool.
So - go for it. Best of luck!
We'd not really considered doing hypnobirthing before NCT as being scientists and frugal we thought it was pointless. Most of the couples in our group had done it, some paying hundreds for 121 classes by Siobhan Miller, as given above, as she has a base near us. However, I ended up doing some research and found that she also owns the Positive Birth Company and they've got an online video pack which is about £20. We bought this (with low expectations) and did it over a period of a week (skipping through the affirmations/meditation stuff) and actually found it really helpful. I would have hated to have done an in person class though as some bits were quite comical and I'd hated to have had to be seen to take them seriously. But if that's your thing, go for it, no one will judge.
Like others have said, the name "hypnobirthing" doesn't really sell it as it's basically just learning about how your body works and how you can make your body work for you, so you're not really being hypnotised at all! In many ways, NCT was to buy friends but hypnobirthing was more useful for the actual labour. There were sections about induction, pain relief, c section etc which gave us things to think about and we didn't feel like it was pushing "no pain relief" on us (although that's what happened...) it was more about getting informed of the options. I'd highly recommend the online pack we did, although I get the feeling that others are more wishy washy/mediation focused.
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