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Self-Hypnosis for Childbirth
~ A Message Board Archive

From venessa427 ~ I'm considering using this method for pain management but I don't know anyone else who has and my CNM hasn't attended a hypnobirth. I was wondering if anyone had any comments/feedback on this method.

From hedra ~ Hypnobirthing and New Way Childbirth mommy, signing in! What do you need to know?

IMHO, it worked incredibly well. I used Bradley the first time, and that was great, but HB was better. I like HB with an instructor best, because they can deal with your individual personal issues and concerns. But New Way Childbirth was also very good (audio and video tapes). I had a pain-free (intense, but pain-free) birth WITH pitocin, may I add. Okay, did feel the ring of fire, but not too much to deal with. And descent was entirely and completely painless, though I could feel his head sliding down and back with each contraction.

Very cool. Totally impressed the midwife, the L&D nurses (I'd been transferred to the hospital for too much amniotic fluid), and annoyed the heck out of the OB, who didn't get to DO anything.

From venessa427 ~ Thanks Hedra! I've been practicing with tapes for a little over 3 weeks now and I'm hoping that this will work for me. I ordered mine from hypnobirth.com and I've read some good things on the web. My doubts are because I am doing it on my own from tapes-I can't actually get in with an instructor so this is the best I can do.

I think I'm falling asleep while I'm listening to the tapes, but if I try to sit up, I get so uncomfortable that I can't concentrate. I hope I'm absorbing it all, and I am practicing . . . I'd love to read any additional tips you might have.

I'm glad to hear from you directly because I guess so many things I read are so very positive, that I wonder if I'm getting the whole story. Anyway, I'm thinking positive and feeling good about it . . . just worried that I found out about it too late. I only have 7 weeks until my EDD.

From hedra ~ Falling asleep isn't a problem for the most part - it is still 'getting in' and often what appears to be you falling asleep is that you've gone fully into trance, and you don't remember what went on while you were there (and you fell asleep at the end).

You can do a really decent job even without staying awake. And with only 7 weeks. Heck, one of the women in my class knew one of the HB instructor's previous clients, who had called her 2 weeks before the due date in a panic . . . they did TWO sessions, and the woman had a completely pain-free labor, so much so that she almost didn't make it to the birth center in time (she came in for some reason, can't remember why, but not because she thought she was ready - and gave birth 10 minutes after arrival!).

Some women toss the process out the window when labor starts, too, but find that it still worked. One woman I supported online did that - her HB instructor was brand new, and didn't do much individual work - just by the book, so to speak. This woman ended up transported to the hospital because she was hanging out at home 'just doing what felt right' and then OOPS she needed to push and realized that she could not walk to the car while in that state. Her DH called the ambulance to transport her because he couldn't carry her, either. She did push for over an hour, but ended up with just a tiny nick (1 stitch) and a pretty stellar birth.

One tip - make sure you have fresh batteries and a backup tape player in case the tape player doesn't work properly. One of the other HB students ended up using Nubain because her tape player wouldn't play when she got to the birth center. She told me that the nubain was exactly equal to the hb tape, both worked exactly the same (well enough to manage easily). And I found that my batteries were dying the first time I tried to use the tape. EEK!

From catkrazy99 ~ I did hypnobirthing and I had an instructor who was also my doula. I managed to have, just like Hedra, a painless (though intense) pitocin induced birth. In all, I labored 48 hours, and 18 of those were with pit. I ended up having my baby via c-section and even used the hb techniques in my recovery. I met my hb instructor/doula about 4 weeks prior to giving birth and only worked with her for 3 of those weeks doing 2 sessions a week.

During my sessions I was quite aware of everything that was happening and even felt as if I had had a nice little nap after I was brought out of the trance. During childbirth it was said that I was snoring (much to my husband's dismay). The doctor even "woke me up" to tell me I needed an epidural since my contractions were so long and hard (at least that is what it looked like on paper but I wasn't having a problem with them).

Good luck with the birth of your baby!

From kiwichick ~ Just wanted to second all the positive reports. I also had a great pitocin induced labour using self hypnosis. I went to a hypnotherapist and used tapes of those sessions before labour, during labour I used self hypnosis on myself and listened to some relaxation CD's I had recorded for myself.

From OzMum ~ I used hypnobirthing and had a fantastic labour and birth. Yes, it was intense and demanding (childbirth is), but not painful. I couldn't get to an instructor either, so I did it on my own with the affirmations and rainbow relaxation tapes. I played them before I went to sleep.

I did write down some of the 'cues' on cards for my dh to use to prompt me into relaxation; he used them for the first few contractions and then just did what he thought I needed. He was brilliant!! (I also wrote a few really lame jokes on a few cards in the pile; these gave us a laugh, released any tension, and kept us both in a good mood)

Ditto on the batteries; I used a walkman so I was actually the only one listening to the tape during labour.

DH and I impressed the midwives and my ob too. No one thought I was anywhere near ready to deliver; we were chatting and telling jokes between contractions!

7 weeks is heaps of time to prepare. Happy birthing!!

Additional Resources:
 • Hypnosis for Childbirth: What Is It and Does It Work? by Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

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