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Hypnobirthing - is it any good?

27 replies

EmeraldIsle81 · 18/07/2019 21:18

Hi Mumsnet, Hypnobirthing been suggested by my midwife. What does it involve & is it any good? Thanks!!

OP posts:
VenusClapTrap · 18/07/2019 21:50

My friend swore by it. Till she actually gave birth. Then she said it was a load of bollocks and she wished she hadn’t wasted her money on the classes.

Sengah · 18/07/2019 21:53

I found it really helpful - but only when I had done the classes - first time I just listened to the cds a friend lent and no I didn't find it helpful. Part of it being helpful is education about what is happening anatomically during labour and what you can do physically and mentally to help. But practicing relaxing in the lead up to Dday was also v helpful. I'm grateful my midwife suggested it

RiddleyW · 18/07/2019 21:54

It worked brilliantly for me. I didn’t do classes just listened to an audio everyday for the last few weeks. It was natal hypnotherapy I think.

RiddleyW · 18/07/2019 21:56

I also read birth skills - fantastic book. Helps you realise exactly what is happening and teaches ways to deal with all the adrenaline.

HighlighterPens · 18/07/2019 21:57

Well it doesn't really tackle the core problem, which is that baby's head is substantially bigger than the orifice it is coming out of.

It can help you relax, it can't do anything about haemorrhages.

Tolleshunt · 18/07/2019 21:58

It can be brilliant. It doesn’t work for everyone (but then nothing does, not even the drugs), but it can make the difference between a calm, positive birth experience, and a much less positive experience. You are more likely to get good results from attending a class with a professional, rather than just using a download or book. And you will also get better results the more you practice.

LaMarschallin · 18/07/2019 22:02

It's probably not as good as mainlining heroin throughout.

Shushandpat · 18/07/2019 22:02

it doesn't really tackle the core problem, which is that baby's head is substantially bigger than the orifice it is coming out of


Tolleshunt · 18/07/2019 22:04

it can't do anything about haemorrhages.

It is true that there are certain physical impediments to birth that it can’t do anything about, though it can keep you calm while these are being dealt with medically. Theoretically it may actually help slow down rate of blood loss in a haemorrhage, as heart rate affects this, and a calmer heart beats more slowly. I’m not saying it would be a clincher, though and it obviously wouldn’t avert a haemorrhage occurring in the first place.

Sengah · 18/07/2019 22:17

@HighlighterPens er... you know that the orifice expands to allow the head through... right? I love an unhelpful bit of scaremongering.

Sengah · 18/07/2019 22:18

I say helpful too much

VenusClapTrap · 18/07/2019 22:34



BookBookBook · 18/07/2019 22:44

Not in the least in my experience, and we took it seriously, took one-on-one lessons with a midwife, practised it daily etc.

Treaclesweet · 18/07/2019 22:49

I think it helped keep me calm in the run up to birth but when it actually came down to it no, no really! To be fair I did about 24 hours drug free with it so maybe it did help? Just don't set your heart on being Hypno only/drug free and then be disappointed with your birth if it doesn't work out that way.

HerSymphonyAndSong · 18/07/2019 22:50

It helped me - I had a very long but complication-free labour, so it helped me to relax between contractions and maintain the stamina and energy required for 27 hours. The complication-free part was just luck, but the theory is that the hypnobirthing can help you to feel calm and in control through different situations. I did not have to test that theory, however. I would do it again, but it is best viewed as a tool amongst others that you can draw upon rather than the answer to everything

Sengah · 18/07/2019 22:51

Wot @HerSymphonyAndSong said

Celebelly · 18/07/2019 22:58

It was useless for my labour but it did make me calmer about labour in the months leading up to it so it was good in that sense I suppose! The Positive Birth Company pack is really good value.

Thistles24 · 18/07/2019 23:58

I was as sceptical as they come! Had one very traumatic natural delivery, one section under GA and came across a YouTube video on hypnobirthing for c-section delivery. I ended up needing an emergency section the week before the planned one, and as I was getting the spinal done, I started the breathing exercises. The anaesthetist and theatre nurses said they’d never seen a section patient have completely steady blood pressure throughout the whole procedure, and I can only assume it was the breathing techniques that caused it.
I’d check YouTube first and see what you think. I know of a few people local to me who offer courses at £400 plus, I don’t think I’d pay that much for it, but I do believe it made a difference to me.

IndieRar · 19/07/2019 00:14

We did it and it was brilliant. Made it totally manageable, is very scientific, prepares you to deal with any eventuality. I was only in labour for 12 hours and kept falling asleep as was so relaxed. In the end it was just two pushes and out he came! Would have been completely different without the Hypnobirthing preparation. We did classes, book, exercises, the lot as I was very worried about birth to start with.
I have a friend who did it but needed a C-section in the end but she found it helped her throughout too and she could handle anything.

ShowOfHands · 19/07/2019 00:19

I tried it. It didn't help with the eventuality of a v traumatic labour and delivery in my case. In fact, it made me feel like more of a failure as I couldn't control the pain.

SudowoodoVoodoo · 19/07/2019 07:35

I used the natal hypnotherapy CDs.
Being able to focus on breathing helped for a very large chunk of DS1's long labour. It's not going to avoid complications, but it can help you avoid panicking about them.

I was pretty traumitised by elements of DS1's birth and went back to the CDs to prepare for DS2. Used the birth companion CD on loop during labour and it really helped. It didn't prevent some unpleasant interventions for the finale, but it kept the labour calm. The MW asked what it was and said it kept her calm when things were getting worrying.

I'd recommend it. It won't do much to improve the physical birth process, but it can help how you deal with it. DS2 was back to back (like his brother) but I could deal with the pain on G&A and breathing through it until we got to the spinal block in threatre for the interventions.

NeverGotMyPuppy · 19/07/2019 07:44

It depends on what you expect it to do. I had friends who seemed to think that if you did it you would get a complication free labour. Clearly it didnt. Whale music and calm thinking aren't going to reduce the size of your baby's head or get it the right way up
However i did the Maggie Howell CD and I do think it helped me stay calm. I swear like a sailor but DH said I didnt once during labour, despite being in active labour for 15 hours, being blue lighted to hospital, being put on the drip because my contractions had stopped and having an instrumental delivery without an epidural.
I was calm - I'm not sure whether it was the CD but I would definitely do it again.

Pinktinker · 19/07/2019 08:56

No, it’s bollocks. Everything goes out of the window when you’re actually in the throes of Labour...

RiddleyW · 19/07/2019 08:57

No, it’s bollocks. Everything goes out of the window when you’re actually in the throes of Labour...

Not for everyone, that wasn’t my experience.

HerSymphonyAndSong · 19/07/2019 09:10

“No, it’s bollocks. Everything goes out of the window when you’re actually in the throes of Labour...“

Was I not actually in labour then?

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