Hypnobirthing Mothers...(24 Posts)
Any hypnobirthing Mum's want to share their experiences?
We've just finished the course and have 14 weeks until due date to practice lots! I'm not under any illusion I'll have a pain free birth but would like to remain as calm as possible and avoid epidural / morphene if I can.
I did it for my second birth, it was wonderful! I'll practice again this time around, currently 29 weeks.
I didn't use any pain relief apart from 2 paracetamol, she arrived in 3 hours from first contraction. But more than that I enjoyed the birth, felt very connected to my partner and was relaxed afterwards, rather than exhausted and in shock which I was after my first.
I would say practice, practice, practice, every night, see if your partner can get you to really relax and into sleep in bed. Practicing somewhere you feel safe and can drift off into a zone really helped me.
And positive affirmations - believe in yourself rather than the hypno-birthing
Good luck, let us know how it goes!
Used it for dd2. Needed g&a but had a very quick labour and birth and same as pp was very relaxed afterwards and not exhausted.
There was pain but knowing l was 'riding the wave' of it helped.
Dd1 was bloody awful and l wished l had tried it then.
In terms of how long you've still got, keep listening to the cd and seriously get as much sleep as you can
I did hypnobirthing recently and birthed a back-to-back baby over a 35 hour labour with gas and air at the final two hours. A textbook birth, no instruments etc.
Here is where it helped - the entire last trimester, to sleep and be all peaceful. The first 12 hours while the baby twisted inside me. A span of five hours in the middle in the pool where I actually slept through the pain and the final pushing stage where I grunted like a powerful animal and felt more in control of my upright birth than ever in my life.
The rest of the time the pain was unbearable and excruciating. No two ways about it. It wasn't a pressure, it was pain. A back to back baby was twisting inside me over 35 hours and no pain relief. Imagine.
What helped most was that I did not buy into the whole it will be pain free and au naturalle and all bliss. I expected pain. I prepared for pain. I expected a back to back baby. I read up about all possible interventions and went in expecting hypnobirthing to be modified to use in potentially unexpected situations including forceps etc.
So when it actually happened I was able to use it off and on as I needed, recognising there were chunks where it didn't get used because the pain was too much. But overall, it was an important and key part of my preparation that fed into a birth that was intense and strong but in the end just like I had imagined - giving birth upright, powerful etc.
Hi all! Hopeful hypnobirther here...
bluewisteria when you say practice - what do you actually practice?? I've got the K Graves cd with the 4 tracks on it - and I try breathing....but not sure what to do other than that??
I used the techniques from the cd and book for both my births.
First birth was identical to focus focus with a back to back baby and a very long and painful labour. I'm certain without the hypnobirthing techniques and breathing keeping me calm that I would have ended up with an instrumental delivery but I also managed in gas and air for the last 3 hours and managed to push her out without help.
I actually felt so empowered by the whole thing that I chose to have a home birth with dd2. It went much quicker and mw didn't arrive with gas and air til I was pushing so did the whole thing with breathing and tens machine.
The most helpful part I found was to allow every muscle in my body to relax and go limp during s contraction and it was far less painful and also gave me something to concentrate on.
Good luck. X
Thank you so much for your replies. Such wonderful stories and well done doing this with back to back babies!! Same as Posey though - how did you all practice??
I understand what you mean, I'll explain in another post, just in the middle of bath and bed routine!
I used the Maggie Howell's hypnobirthing CDs. I used the "preparing for" CDs (hospital/birth centre versions) before the birth and used the relaxing birth music for the birth itself.
I listened to the preparing CDs every night-I just played them on my phone while I was asleep. Once or twice a week I'd do the actual meditation before bed too. This was from about 26 weeks, I think, I can't remember when I got around to buying them.
Birth itself was fantastic. I was at a birth centre and had a water birth- it was just so relaxing and calm. I asked for aromatherapy oils to be put on a cloth I could use to breathe in, it also made the room smell lovely. Low lighting, just the midwife and an assistant (who kept banging the door as she came in and out but fortunately I was too relaxed to care).
I had gas and air which I was happy with as after a few puffs the slight sickness went and it just helped me go "into myself". DP says I did struggle for about an hour in total as I transitioned but I honestly only remember it as about five minutes of feeling overwhelmed, and my midwife giving me a quick pep-talk and then I was fine again.
I think as well what you actually do, you need the right attitude iyswim. You can do all the meditation and preparation possible but you have to know that you can do it, and you have to really believe that you won't panic and will feel relaxed through it. Honestly the birth in terms of pain wasn't a million miles away to what I expected but it was the sheer mental, emotional and even spiritual- if you are that way inclined- mountain that you climb between your first contractions and the baby being placed in your arms.
Honestly, I absolutely loved it and I can't wait to do it again. My only worry is due to the PPH I had which I'm concerned might mean I won't get another water birth!
I also used the Maggie Howell book and CD. I didn't practice as such, I just listened to the cd evey night and read about the breathing techniques in the bool and how to move your focus away from the pain.
I was on the midwife led unit, contractions were immediately intense and 2-3 mins apart. I breathed through them, I had gas and air for two contractions but didn't like it as it changed the breathing rhythm that I had already established, so continued without pain relief. I focussed on the fact that every contraction was bringing me closer to meeting my little girl and asked my husband to support me. Twice I said I couldn't do it anymore, my husband got me back on focussing on my breathing and kept me calm. It hurt, I am not going to say it didn't, but hypnobirthing coupled with wanting to stay on the birthing centre got me through and my DD arrived five hours after my first contraction.
I did natal hypno (Maggie Howell). Gave me huge confidence in myself to give birth. Had straightforward home waterbirths with both DC with no pain relief. While they were far from painless, I found the techniques helped loads to get through the pain.
I'll add one additional point. What made parts of hypnobirthing work well for me was precisely that I never look at it as this magical, cure all, nirvana like solution that would make labour pain free.
It is very very crucial I think to go in prepared, with an open mind, and particularly aware that the best way you can use hypnobirthing is to strip it of the ample rhetoric of "your birth will be like a gliding ballet performance, beautiful and musical" - take that out, bring it down to its core - breathing techniques, being present, and then walk in with adequate information about all possibilities and walk on with confidence.
If I had for a moment believed that labour would be pain free, that as a "true" hypnobirth ear I shouldn't even mention the word pain, or worse - chastise those women who had had difficult births - then I would have been shocked.
The hypnobirthing community can be full of some very judgmental people, and I had, before giving birth spoken out against this on a Facebook group where a group of smug hypnobirthing were chastising a lady who had ahad a difficult birth. I said my mind to the group admin and left the group.
And then still went on to use hypnobirthing successfully in my own birth. But like I said - it's best used, absolutely stripped of all it's rhetoric, stripped down to what you choose to use out of it. And an open and aware mind is your best friend as you walk into childbirth.
Very true focus.
I tried to use it as a way of helping out my inner control freak. I looked at is as there was no way I could control what happened in labour but I could control how I dealt with and coped with any difficult parts or events that were not what I 'wanted' in an ideal scenario.
I think that really helped me get through a very difficult early labour with dd1 where I wasn't able to get any pain relief because I was stuck at 3.5 cm for 24 hours and unable to sit or lie because baby was pressing on a nerve in my back. Not saying this to scare you, it was fine and the hypnobirthing techniques helped me through the points where I thought I couldn't do it any more. Had I needed an epidural or forceps or a section, I know that it would still have helped focus me and keep me calm.
V useful in preparing for birth in terms of helping you understand all your options and make informed choices. I did a lot of Hypnobirthing in advance of my first baby but ended up with an EMCS (back-to-back baby who got distressed after a very long and exhausting early stage and then failed induction). I'd still recommend it though, and will be using the techniques to help keep me calm during my upcoming ELCS! It really helps to have a supportive, open-minded partner and also not believe the crap you read in the Daily Mail etc along the lines of "Hypno mums claim birth can be orgasmic and pain-free". I've never met a Hypno practitioner who promised that, and nor should they. Be realistic and stay positive.
Ps the hypno techniques also help me at the dentist lol.
I've got a stack of unopened hypno birthing cos I've been lent but not used. On the basis of this thread I think I should give them a go, it sounds amazing.
I have the Maggie Howell birthing prep CD's and the labour one too. I've listened to and 'practiced' the CD maybe 4 times... I'm not entirely sure how i know if it's working/if I'm doing it correctly... ?
A couple times I'd start drifting off while listening which is supposed to be a good sign apparently.. other times, I just get a headache. I don't really feel there are any 'techniques' she's teaching on the CD's which I feel would be useful in birth..?
jennyc250 it's worth getting the book to read as well. The techniques I took from the CD were thinking about my breathing and focusing on the baby or taking my head to a place of calm. I listened to the cd every night from 34 weeks and it helped keep me calm in the lead up. Focussing on breathing was a massive help for me during labour and prevented me from panicking
The book really links it all together. For me it was a combination of having techniques to calm me and an understanding of what my body was doing which the book explains.
IT doesn't take the pain away but it makes you feel powerful and in control. Dd2's birth was a wonderful, positive, affirming, fantastic experience. I loved it. It really helped me to lay some demons from dd1's birth.
Dh was listening to the cd at night too and he totally took the piss out of it which was great because I was laughing through the early stages. Later when it mattered he knew how to keep me focussed. We had a hypnobirthing lady come to the house at 39 weeks and take us through all the stuff and I was listening to the cd every night until she came 10 late. If there's a next time I'll start earlier.
I recommend reading Ina May too. Her book was inspiring and made me feel that I could do it.
I had one to one hypnobirthing instruction. The 'practice' probably involves reading the scripts, listening to the CD, practicing the breathing. There seem to be a few different schools of thought on hypnobirthing though they are all very similar and our teacher was taught by Katherine Graves.
If you've not done hypnotherapy before, it doesn't matter too much if you either drift off whist listening OR remember everything said - and it can be taken in unconsciously. Repetition is they key really.
As everyone is different, and as such the experience of labour will be different, I'm not going to pretend like it might not be painless BUT it has made me feel a lot more positively about the whole thing and accept whatever comes.
I just listened to my CD again I totally drifted off during the whole thing. Must've been very tired today!
Anyway, I was wondering, does anyone practice the breathing techniques throughout the whole session? i know I start off breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth as suggested, but as the CD goes on, I just start breathing normally again (in and out through my nose). Am I supposed to put in more effort into actively controlling my breathing: in through nose, out through mouth.
I used the Maggie Howell CD and book, plus day 1 of the two days of Natal Hypnotherapy courses. Started with the relaxation CD in the second trimester, which helped me to get used to the techniques, then used the birth preparation CD in the third trimester. I also did plenty of pregnancy yoga and Active Birth workshops towards the end, which complemented it really well.
It really helped me - had a fairly long labour with a back to back baby including 3 hours of pushing, with only a TENS machine for pain relief. The midwives (had two of them there in the end coaching my to push) were amazed I got DS out without instruments, and I don't think that would have been the case if I hadn't been so relaxed from the hypnotherapy.
Like others, I think it helps to be realistic. There is no way that it made labour "pain free" (I was on my hands and knees with the pain from contractions from the second my waters broke 14 hours before DS was born, which were relentless and 5 minutes apart or less for the duration). However, the techniques enabled me to stay calm and just let my body do its own thing without thinking about it. This was key for me, since I'm a control freak in day to day life.
I'm now 17 weeks with DC2 and fully intend on using the same techniques this time.
Never bothered that much about actively controlling breathing or concentrating on particular techniques from the CD, and think I fell asleep every time I listened to it!
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