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Hypnobirthing - both sides of the story

(41 Posts)
Libra1975 Fri 25-Apr-08 09:23:54

Morning all, I am considering taking a hypnobirthing course, I have heard many good things about hypnobirthing but I would be interested in hearing stories from people who tried to use it but it didn't work for them and why they think it didn't work for them.

Thanks.

MrsMattie Fri 25-Apr-08 09:28:18

I think your expectations play a huge part in whether or not hypnobirthing 'works' for you or not. A lot of first timers (in my experience) go to hypnobirthing classes with unrealistic expectations about 'painfree childbirth'. Personally, I think it's more realistic to view hypnobirthing as something that can help you to cope better than you normally would with the pain, rather than seeing it as some magic cure. It can be enormously beneficial to many women, but it isn't magic!

TheBlonde Fri 25-Apr-08 09:30:18

It didn't "work" for me because DH & I didn't spend enough time practicing the techniques

MamaChris Fri 25-Apr-08 09:37:08

I did the course, and wasn't convinced birth would be painfree - thought that was why it didn't work for me. But I still found the course useful. As a first-timer, it calmed my (many) fears about birth and I wasn't scared leading up to it. I also found it useful just before labour. My waters had broken, no signs of labour and I had a deadline of 3.30am to go to hospital. Used hypnobirthing techniques to relax and labour started 1am However, it was a quick labour started with such force (no slow build up) that hypnobirthing went out the window. I had about 30 secs between contractions and never had the chance to get any focus to practise any of the techniques. Maybe if it had started with contractions further apart I would have got into the swing of things.

So, hypnobirthing useful, for me, before birth, but not during, iyswim.

Libra1975 Fri 25-Apr-08 09:38:41

Mrs Mattie I have no illusions about the fact there will be pain I just want a way to manage to panic I feel everytime I think about labour. As I am not able to have a mobile epidural I would now like a water birth of course you can't have additional forms of pain relief like TENS or a normal epi in the water pool so I am exploring other options.
TheBlonde, do you think if you had practiced the techniques it would have worked for you?

Libra1975 Fri 25-Apr-08 09:40:24

"to panic" should of course be "the panic" !

MC - even if it just calmed my fears I think my DH would think it was money well spent!

MrsMattie Fri 25-Apr-08 09:41:07

I think the 'belief' element in hypnobirthing is interesting. Obviously, you shouldn't do the classes if you think it's a load of old bollocks, but I think it's a bit silly for anyone to suggest that 'it didn't work because you didn't believe in it enough'. It's not voo-doo. Hypnobirthing involves learning relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques. They're techniques anyone can learn with a bit of practice, which will probably be helpful to you at some stage in the birth process.

MrsMattie Fri 25-Apr-08 09:43:32

Libra - I think you might find hypnobirthing quite helpful, then.

Libra1975 Fri 25-Apr-08 09:49:18

Actually one of the reasons I hadn't seriously thought about it earlier (I am already 28 weeks) is that my DH is a doc and I thought he would poo poo the whole idea and lump it under the same category he puts chiropracters, aromatherapy and other alternative practices however last night he told me how that he had seen a dislocated shoulder put back in with no pain relief and no apparent pain using similar techniques and therefore seems quite open to the idea.

TheBlonde Fri 25-Apr-08 10:00:08

I think if you don't believe it will work then that can act as a stumbling block

I lay and listened to the CD while labouring at home until it got too much and I stuck the tens mc on

All hypno stuff went out of the window when we went to hospital

I can see it could work much better if you are at home the whole time

mom2latinoboys Fri 25-Apr-08 13:43:19

I have two hypnobirthing babies. The first one was a true hypnobirth (the only part I remember is the pain of transition) everything was told to me, because I was "under" the entire pushing phase, and the hours before transition. It was an induction, and was beautiful. My midwife was totally supportive and was very hands off.

My second labor was very fast and ds2 was getting distressed so I was a little more unnerved. It helped me in the sense of "pick a spot on the whole and hold it", but I never went under the way I did with ds1. I also think my doctor messed it up because she was "helping" my perenium by stretching it with her hands which was more painful than the birth itself. I think it would have been more of a hypnobirth if she had a more "hands off" approach.

fitnfortyone Sat 26-Apr-08 21:13:46

It worked for both me and my friend to calm us pre birth. In my friend's case, she'd had a bad experience with DD1's birth and was terrified when she found out she was pregnant again so soon. After one session, she felt much more positive and she reckons the relaxation techniques got her through the rest of the pregnancy after her husband left her for someone else and she had to move in with her parents As for the birth, she felt hypno techniques were ok for the early stage of contractions, but when she got to hospital they stopped, so she was sent home again. When they got home, contractions started straight away again and were so intense she couldn't relax enough to cope with them (ended up being bluelit back to hospital with the head crowning!).

For me,the techniques helped me keep positive during the pregnancy and to help me shrug off all the horror stories people loved to tell me. I wanted a home water birth but ended up with an emcs following induction. Where I think we went wrong was that we didn't practice the "numbing" techniques enough as they are pretty important on top of the relaxation stuff. However, having expected the water birth, i didn't think additional numbing would be vital...doh! There is a fear release session as part of the course, but by the end of the pregnancy my fears had changed and my main fear was now being induced. Unfortunately, i couldn't get hold of my practicioner to do another fear release session which i think would have helped me, so when i ended up being induced for blood pressure reasons i panicked too much as all I could think about was how much more painful it would be, and that i'd end up with a cs. Plus we'd been warned that the hypnobirthing doesn't have as much success with intervention like induction.Guess what, it happened exactly that way! As it turned out, DH was of great help particularly when i had to get the epidural, as he was able to remind me of the relaxation techniques while i was trying not to panic at the thought of that huge needle going near my spine.
Have been told due to deflexed head, DS was never going to come out naturally, but what i'll never know is if being induced forced his head down into the birth canal at the wrong angle because he wasn't ready for it.

MrsTittleMouse Sun 27-Apr-08 03:26:43

I found hypnobirthing useful, in that the techniques helped me concentrate more than I think I would have, and also to stave off panic.
However, I still had a very painful long labour that ended up in intervention. I think that this was mostly genetics (big, badly positioned babies run in the family) and bad luck.
I agree with MrsMattie that a lot of people (me included) have high (unrealistic) expectations. But I think that it is the fault of the hypnobirthing books/CDs/courses that tell you that birth is painfree and that you shouldn't feel contractions etc. etc. etc. I think that there is too much hype involved. Women with straightforward births may get a very good experience with hynobirthing, and sing it's praises to the rafters, but those of us with naturally difficult births do feel very let down by what are empty promises. Which is a shame, because in retrospect the techniques were useful, but it made the emotional recovery from the birth so much worse to have believed the hype and thought that it would allow me to have a natural childbirth (along with all the other natural childbirth books, by the way).

MrsTittleMouse Sun 27-Apr-08 03:29:21

PS I also think that it's a bit rich that if someone has a good experience then hypobirthing gets the credit, whereas if someone has a bad experience then it's their fault for "not practising enough" or "not believing enough". hmm

spottedandstriped Sun 27-Apr-08 09:20:56

It helped in the car getting to the hospital and also helped me to be in a right frame of mind to have the baby - ie calm. However, my contractions came on so agressively and so close together when I was at the hospital I panicked and was in considerable pain - it may have helped if I had done the course earlier in my pregnancy, but I think I probably had unrealistic expectations and they said at the hospital it would have been difficult with no run up at all in the contractions to do hypnobirthing successfully. Hope this helps.

redadmiral Sun 27-Apr-08 09:36:29

I think hypnotherapy works better for some things than others. I found it great for relaxation during the pregnancy and it made me really want eat incredibly healthily and exercise. (I would be going round the shops and filling my basket with greens in a way that I knew just wasn't 'me' IYSWIM). Other people reported this effect too. That was part of my hypnotherapy 'message'.

The other part of the message was that I would have an easy safe and painfree birth...

Funnily enough I did - an EMCS as a result of failure to progress and foetal distress! It didn't help much with the contractions beforehand, but I was still glad I did it.

Libra1975 Sun 27-Apr-08 11:59:13

I would just like to say thanks for all the messages, I am still in 2 minds about it but I think even if it keeps me relaxed in the car on the way to the hospital it would be worth the money! It also seems the message here is don't panic if you can help it as at that point it will stop working.
I am not sure I believe it will work but I certainly want it to!

Again thanks for the responses.

hypnobirthingdoula Mon 28-Apr-08 10:21:06

that's exactly it. It's about learning ways to stay calm, so that your body can get on with the job of birthing a baby. I think the important thing is to be fully prepared and well informed. Of course no one can tell you how your baby's birth will be - whether painful or painfree, the reality is no one knows. You just need to develop the confidence and trust to be able to stay as focussed and relaxed as possible, for as much of the time as possible. It really does make a huge difference, even in those situations where things aren't going your way. I've had two HypnoBirthing babies, one high dose syntocinon induction (not nice and felt like i'd run a marathon but did it purely with HypnoBirthing) and one glorious home birth, didn't even have a internal exam, midwife just walked in, received the baby, cleaned up and had a bacon sandwich!
Also with HypnoBirthing, the birth companion is also trained to help you to stay focussed, which helps enormously, so much easier when you have the right support.

PictureThis Mon 28-Apr-08 10:40:55

I have seen hypnobirthing working and it was marvellous. If I hadn't been there I would never have believed how effective it can be. It worked for her and it was amazing to see.

Libra1975 Mon 28-Apr-08 13:39:49

Unfortunately the practitioner we have been recommended only has classes running on nights we can not make, however I have ordered the book and DH has promised to take it seriously and help me as much as possible!

If anything maybe I can use it to overcome my fear of dentists wink

hypnobirthingdoula Mon 28-Apr-08 20:10:14

The book is a starting point, but it doesn't come anywhere close to working with an experienced HypnoBirthing practitioner. Personally I'd recommend finding another practitioner or maybe the practitioner who has been recommended to you can see you privately?

mumofk Mon 28-Apr-08 20:52:25

Hi, I had DD2 on Friday and used some hypnobirthing. Major handicap- drunk DH who didn't quite believe it was happening, and he was my support (who is usually exceptional, rarely drinks, etc but I'd gone out for a meal with friends and told him to do what he felt like!). Labout was quite quick, and when, with DH help, I could relax properly for a contraction it was MUCH nicer than the other contractions, but I couldn't stick with it so those contractions weren't so often. At the end I couldn't remember how to do J breathing, but DH (on autopilot) just kept telling me do what your body wants to do, you know you can do it- so I did slow breathing and baby just crowned by herself- I really did breath her out. the gas and air was essential, that bit was intense, but despite the 'pushing' (don't know what else to call it!) stage lasting 8-10 minutes- slight tear (allegedly, I wouldn't know without them saying), no bruising, everything down there seems back to normal. And now, 4 days on I feel fabulous (except for a bad cold). I've been told feeling energised afterwards is another benefit to hypnobirthing. I tihnk I've had 9 hours sleep in total since Wednesday night, and feel amazing considering that.
I would recommend it, I would have a reliable supportive birthing partner hmm, and I'd hope for pain free but be prepared for anything!
Oh, and my birth story is in birth announcements.

Libra1975 Tue 29-Apr-08 11:48:22

Congratulations mumofk and thanks for your experience.

Hypnobirthingdoula, it appears now the practitioner is able to do another night as a group, whilst I am sure it is worth every penny we couldn't quite stretch to private sessions.

Piglett Tue 29-Apr-08 21:57:08

I had a lovely hypnobirth experience at home - maybe I was lucky with the birth experience anyhow but do think it helped. My husband is very amused by it all and wasn't perhaps the best partner as I did it all on my own (he wouldn't get involved and I didn't fancy the pixx-take I would get in making him). As such I think I wasn't as relaxed as perhaps I could have been but was pretty relaxed and the midwives thought I coped brilliantly. I would recomend it, if you can't afford the course how about getting the books and self study?
I hope you have as joyus birthing experience as I did!

suzi2 Tue 29-Apr-08 22:08:46

If I ever had another I'd be keen to try hypnobirthing. I bought one of those natal hypnotherapy CDs for DDs birth and fell asleep everytime I listened to it as it was really relaxing. But some things stuck with me. And when it came to the tough stuff I found that controlled breathing and visualisation really helped. I freaked out at transition, but recognised the freak out AS transition so knew I was close.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I have been phobic of the dentist for years. I've reluctantly gone the last 5 years as it's a friend of a friend and he takes extra time etc with me. But I'm still a shakey panicky sweaty mess! I always joked with my dentist that I would sooner give birth than lie back in his chair! But the last appointment for a filling, first since having DD, was so different. I put a few of those breathing and visualisation things into practice and I stayed a lot more relaxed and was less frightened. So i would imagine proper hypnobirthing techniques would be the business!

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