Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Natural child birth and Hypnobabies

As I wrote about in one of my other post I have decided to try a natural birth. There are so many different birthing classes ( lamaze, the bradley method, etc. ) to choose from. After doing some research I have decided on hypnobabies. It uses tactics that I already believe work. Like relaxing the mind and body. As well as using positive thinking to navigate situations.

So what in the world is Hypnobabies?

It’s a childbirth preparation course designed based on the philosophy that childbirth is a normal, natural event. It does NOT have to be agonizing. Rather, we associate pain with childbirth because we’re surrounded by a culture that insists childbirth is a scary, painful time that requires being rescued by epidurals and modern medicine just to survive it.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Pregnant moms shouldn’t be afraid of their baby’s birth. This course helps de-program the mother from all those negative connotations associated with birthing. It teaches the mother how to allow herself to deeply relax, both physically and mentally.
It also gives the mother specific tools in hypnotic anesthesia for childbearing. It’s the same sorta technique that hypnotherapists use for clients who are allergic or who otherwise cannot tolerate pain medications, but require a surgical procedure. For instance, there’s this guy who used hypnosis during his wisdom tooth extraction.
Now, the method used in that dental procedure is not quite the same as what I will learn in Hypnobabies. Since childbirth is a natural event (and getting a tooth yanked out isn’t), the body is already making preparations for birth to happen.

The course was developed by a woman who was a Bradley Method instructor for a decade, and then also an instructor in the HypnoBirthing method (different from Hypnobabies!). She saw that the two methods were somewhat lacking, and set out to create a course that gave moms more tools for birthing. You might recall that I did Bradley with my preparation for Jonathan, so it’ll be interesting to do a little comparison later on.

Hypnosis for childbirth

As explained in the HB course materials, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You don’t do anything against your will. You are in complete control of what happens, and whether you accept or reject suggestions given to you while under hypnosis.
Visit the hypnosis for childbirth page on the Hypnobabies site for a lot more details.
As mentioned on that page, the HB course will teach you how the body works to get the baby out, and how the muscles involved work more efficiently when the body (and mind!) is in a relaxed state.
From the site: “Comfort in childbirth depends on much more than deep relaxation, so you are also taught the most in-depth hypnotic anesthesia techniques that exist.” This point is key.
Some other childbirth classes do emphasize relaxation, but I think some fall short in giving moms tools on how to effectively relax and stay there — and regain your relaxation if you start to lose it. Or, they are effective at the relaxation part, but they don’t give you additional tools (like hypnotic anesthesia). Hypnobabies doesn’t just tell you to relax — it teaches you how to relax.

The course emphasizes “eyes-open childbirth” which I think is really cool. You don’t have to be laying completely still in a bed, or have your eyes closed to still benefit from your hypnosis. Instead, you can be mobile, talking, and moving about and still use your hypnosis during your birthing.

About the home study

You can opt to take an in-person Hypnobabies course, which is six weeks long. Or, you can do a five-week home study (plus maintenance!). Due to scheduling and personal preference, I’m doing the home study.
The course kit for about $125 shipped.With a 20% discount for signing up for their newsletter.
- Hypnobabies workbook (195 pages)
- Quick Reference and Birth Partner’s Guide booklet (39 pages)
- CDs containing 12 Hypnobabies scripts
- Big stack of misc. handouts

Visit this link for more information on the pack, plus descriptions of what’s on the CDs. Also on that page is an outline of the course contents for each week.
If you’d like more info, of course you can visit the main Hypnobabies page, but you can also download two tracks for free. One is an intro to Hypnobabies, and the other is called “Relax Me,” which is simply a track to help you, ya know, relax!
I have already been listening to the "relax me" track. I suggest it for anyone who needs to distress. I absolutely feel more relaxed and energized when I am finished.

There are tons of you tube videos on hypnobabies. This one is my favorite:  hypnobabies birth of Grace. Obviously she is still having pain, but the way she peacefully manages it and how relaxed she seems is pretty amazing to me.

I guess in a couple of months we will see how well it works. I have read alot of birth stories where it has worked and a few where it didn't work well enough to not get pain meds. I will post updates on how the home study course is working when I start it.

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