I listened to Maggie Howell’s Natal Hypnotherapy. As others have said, it’s a form of self-hypnosis but actually it’s more like a set of techniques (breathing, visualisations and affirmations) that help you remain calm and feel more in control.
The Maggie Howell one enabled me to deliver my DS with no pain relief and kept me calm. It still hurt like a bitch but I felt able to handle it
Hypnobirthing is brilliant, the name is misleading. We did Hollie de Cruz's course at London Hypnobirthing and it was fantastic.
It's about educating yourself on the science of labour and equipping yourself with the best tools, knowledge and mindset to deal with labour and delivery.
Personally thought it was worth every penny, and this is coming from someone who had really bad anxiety about the thought of childbirth. Hypnobirthing let me have the most positive experience I could have wanted, despite needing intervention.
Maggie Howell worked brilliantly for me through 3 labours. The first ended in an induction and I had to get an epidural because my bp was skyrocketing, but I think the hypnobirthing and breathing helped keep me calm and focussed. The second labour was a total dream, got by on gas and air, was only 'bearing down' (pushing) for about 5 minutes. Third labour it worked great too but ended in an emcs. I felt that the hypnobirthing helped me stay calm in that situation too.
The breathing is the key, imo. I also read a book called Hypnoborthing that had a fair bit of earth mother mumbo jumbo in it, but also some great breathing exercises.
Thank you all! I had thought I'd be hypnotised and then my husband would hypnotise me during labor. Now I see it is more that I hypnotise myself with the recordings. Thank you everyone for the recommendations!