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Hypnobirthing..does it work?

(16 Posts)
blankfornames Fri 31-Oct-14 06:20:01

First timer & hearing about hypnobirthing. Anyone any opinions on it & how far in advance of giving birth should you get stuck into it?

Turquoiseblue Fri 31-Oct-14 07:51:11

I followed hypnobirthing - did classes and used the cd s religiously- my second labour was much better than my first (non hypno) labour.
I was a lot more relaxed and coped wih it much better I think it worked as a form of relaxation and As I was more relaxed things progressed easier grin
However it was my second labour so I was more relaxed anyway, and it was shorted compared to the first too - but then second labours are mostly. Both labours I had gas and air to help too.
So in short - yes it helped, but it wasn't miraculous and other factors contributed. When I analysed it a bit more i wonder if practice at regular relaxation techniques would have been as beneficial smile
I used some of the techniques post baby too.

bagofsnakes Fri 31-Oct-14 08:47:11

Hey blank! For me, it absolutely did. I was so confident and relaxed when I went into labour that I really think it contributed to having a much shorter labour than most first-timers. I also managed without pain meds as it was so much easier to keep control and stay focused. I will certainly be using it all again this time around.

I'd recommend a class starting pretty soon as the more time you have to prepare and practice, the better. I know that there are lots of classes out there, we did the Mongan method and I really rate it. It might seem very odd and totally hippyish to start with, but really, it works!

VeryPunny Fri 31-Oct-14 08:54:27

Hmmmm, I did a Mongan method class with DD and had an emergency section as DD was breech and got distressed. The class left me feeling pretty shit after delivery - I had done everything right according to the classes and labour was excruciatingly painful. The classes gave no time at all to dealing with the unexpected - it was very much do this and everything will be fine. Consequently after a hairy delivery (which was ultimately quite positive) I had no way of processinf the turn of events other than to feel a failure.

My teacher was very much anti doctors - my experience was that the doctor were far more supportive of my choice to attempt a breech vaginal delivery and were totally hands off until it was clear DD was becoming distressed. The MWs thought I was bonkers for not just going for an elective section.

This time round I am doing the Wise Hippo course which is more focused on feeling in control and calm no matter what happens, rather than ignoring the possibility of anything going wrong. We shall see...

blankfornames Fri 31-Oct-14 08:56:32

Thanks for the advice!
Is it possible to use a cd rather than actually go to classes?

bubalou Fri 31-Oct-14 08:58:54

Hey smile

100% worked for me. I did classes, listened to the CDs and read the book.

I really enjoyed it and it helped me feel in control. My labour was 4 hours long and I had absolutely no pain relief - not even had and air.

All my friends have said they will be doing it after seeing how positive and relaxed I felt about it.

I'm 9 weeks with my 2nd now and will be making sure I do it again this time round.

Orangeisthenewbanana Fri 31-Oct-14 09:06:08

Our sessions with a hypnotherapist were great and really helped get rid of any anxiety before the birth. It helped me to labour at home for 10 hours. I was a little disappointed that I had a blip in the middle with lots of anxiety when the pain started ramping up and because it was my first baby I didn't know what was going on. But my labour progressed (quickly 4-10cm in 2 hours) and just used gas and air and TENS throughout.

The thing our therapist was great about was helping me to realise that you have to be flexible during the birth. Things don't always go how you'd ideally like them to but you won't be so hard on yourself later if you're not too fixated on things going a certain way. She was more in favour of education so that informed decisions could be made re: medical intervention offered and the pros as well as cons. The Marie Mongan book is a good read even if you don't do the classes.

bagofsnakes Fri 31-Oct-14 09:12:19

blank reading the book and listening to CDs may well work but the classes are like workshops, teaching you how to make the different techniques work. I think that this was great for my DH who could then do so much to support me. I definitely recommend the classes if you can find one that will work for you.

VeryPunny It's rubbish that your course left you feeling that way, that's not right. Maybe a lot has to do with the teacher. Our course, while certainly focusing strongly on natural intervention free births, did emphasize that there are somethings that can't be controlled by hypnobirthing, some situations that require medical intervention. It left me feeling that while the vast majority of births can be calm, gentle and natural, some just need that C-section and that's why it's wonderful that we live here and now. Whatever gets a healthy baby and a healthy mother! All the best for your next birth x

Orangeisthenewbanana Fri 31-Oct-14 09:19:44

Our therapist had some stats (from WHO I think) that say a certain percentage of women will just not be able to give birth without a c-section or assisted delivery. Whether that's due to build, or anatomy, or baby position. She was very positive in the fact that medical intervention is available for these cases as without that, the risk to mum and baby is much greater and why childbirth was so risky before these interventions were available.

QuicheConverter Fri 31-Oct-14 09:20:22

I listened to the CDs and read the leaflet that came with them. I attended active birth classes rather than hypno ones. I found it all rest helpful. The CDs were great for getting rest in pg too and I still use some if the ideas now.

I definitely didn't hypnobirth but I used the phrases etc and techniques from active birth to cope and stay calm and they really helped.

penguinthermometer Fri 31-Oct-14 09:24:24

I didn't find it worked. I ended up with a scary instrumental delivery, poor care by midwives during labour, and it wasn't possible to use any of the techniques from the classes I'd been to (ended up with an emergency forceps delivery for cord compression). To add to the trauma my hypnobirthjng teacher never responded to my message telling her DD had been born and about the birth (I didn't go into the gory details!) - I wasn't invited to the group meet-up for everyone after the births, and was left with a sense that I had been completely rejected because I hadn't had an ideal hypnobirthing birth in the end! sad

bubalou Sat 01-Nov-14 08:19:05

I would agree that although it worked wonders for me I really don't think I would have come close to getting the full effects and benefits without the classes.

I think once you've done them like I have I will refresh this time with the cd and books but I will have my knowledge from the classes before that I think we're the most helpful


FlossieTreadlight Sat 01-Nov-14 08:23:29

I used the Maggie Howells cd only and thought it was great. If nothing else it was a really lovely way to relax while pregnant smile I went into labour feeling relaxed and didn't feel scared of the pain. It didn't take the pain away but I wasn't expecting it too. I would recommend the cd

bakingtins Sat 01-Nov-14 08:28:37

I used the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs in third trimester, but there is a pregnancy relaxation one you can use earlier on, and they were v helpful in all 3 births. Gave me a nice afternoon nap every day as well as I tended to fall asleep (apparently it's still working if this happens)

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 01-Nov-14 09:01:53

Didn't do anything for me. The opposite in fact- it made me assume everything would be fine and easy rather than preparing me to deal with pain. A lot of it is luck. No amount of hypnobirthing would have given me a 4 hour labour.
No harm in trying it though regardless!

nomoreminibreaks Sat 01-Nov-14 09:36:49

I think I've said this before on here but I used the CDs (probably not enough) to prepare for DS2's arrival after a traumatic delivery with DS1. I guess I was hoping (as we probably all are!) to reduce the pain and to therefore cope with less pain relief for a more natural birth.

When the time came, labour progressed very quickly and we had a scary drive to the hospital wondering if we'd make it in time. This didn't lend itself well to me getting relaxed and visualising floating around on clouds. I definitely did feel a lot of pain and did a lot of screaming during contractions - and a little bit of swearing to 'fill up the fucking pool!!!' so I could have the waterbirth I'd wanted so badly (I got in just as he crowned smile). He was born 29 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

So I didn't have the calm birth I'd thought I might have but it did prepare me really well in other ways, namely to trust that my body knows what to do and how to give birth even if my head doesn't. Even through all the screaming I didn't panic once I was in the hospital. In fact trusting my body led to us setting off to the hospital after I'd been told to wait at home until contractions lasted more than a minute (they never did).

So in short I'd recommend it as the principles are that we already know how to give birth and that it's the fear that makes it hurt. I'd also second what a PP said about familiarising yourself well on what might happen if you need an assisted birth (eg the room filling with people can be alarming but is normal) and have a think about how you might feel about that. Don't be completely unprepared for it and the classes/CDs can still help you to stay calm in that situation.

Good luck smile

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