Hypnobabies is a complete study course and can be worked through in your own home. It comes with multiple CD's containing many different hypnosis tracks. There's commitment on your part - you need to find the time to listen to your assigned tracks daily (one each day; what you listen to varies with what week of the course you're in). There's also a pregnancy affirmations track you can listen to as you work around the house, drive, exercise, or as you're drifting off to sleep at night. I actually loved the affirmation track. It was an easy listen since I could pop it in when ever I wanted ( mainly driving).
Let me start with the only issue I have with hypnobabies. The name! I think the thought of hypnosis or self hypnosis turns people off immediately. When people think of hypnosis they think of people clucking around like chickens and having no recollection of doing so. This is not what hypnobabies is! Hypnobabies uses the power of suggestion and positive thinking to put you in a deep meditative and relaxed state. During my use of hypnobabies I am completely aware of what is going on with me and my surroundings. I guess this is why they call it eyes open hypnosis. Also, because you are so aware of your body sometimes I find my self thinking "this is not working". Some of the scripts I have a hard time feeling relaxed and cannot wait for the 30 mins to be over with. Over time, I came to realize that the previous hypnosis I had done was "lighter" and more like guided relaxation, so it didn't have the same effect on my subconscious mind that Hypnobabies does. So I didn't react strongly by fidgeting, etc during those previous scripts because they weren't as effective at getting into my subconscious, not because it worked better!
Here are a few tips when using hypnobabies:
- Even when you feel fidgety, continue the session. Just move as you need to move, (with your lightswitch in the center or on, when you reach that part) without judging how much you are getting out of it.
- If you're having trouble focusing and find that you're missing most of what is said because of your fidgeting or wandering mind, stay calm. Look at each word individually, rather than entire thoughts. That focus helps keep your conscious mind active and gives it something to do, so it doesn't run off as often. While it's thinking about each word, your subconscious mind is actually absorbing the meaning and learning the lessons being offered. And if your conscious mind does run off again, just bring it back and return to thinking of each word as you hear it. I often find that I am asking myself questions. I simply respond by saying " i don't know" it really helps to settle the mind and bring it back to where it needs to be.
- Move on to the next week as suggested. Most people find that they respond differently to different scripts, so you may find that things go much differently now. I also sometimes go back to scripts that I had issues with if i have free time.
- Be patient. Your subconscious is learning new skills, and it will take time.
Your First WeekDuring the first week of Hypnobabies you learn more about what hypnosis is and what hypnosis for childbirth is. Hypnobabies presents hypnosis scripts that walk you into a state of deep relaxation. Your body is comfortable and relaxed and your mind is open to the Hypnobabies suggestions. However, you remain in control and can bring yourself out of this deeply relaxed and open state at any time. The course covers this in detail and each CD track reminds you of these facts.
You also learn just how powerful words are. This is a great part of the course - it's very true. Hypnobabies asks you to change some of the language surrounding pregnancy and birth. One of the biggest examples of this is the word "labor." When it's time for your baby to come you don't go into labor - you enter your birthing time. The Hypnobabies course says "[l]abor is hard work and your Birthing Time is not; it is easy and joyful." There are several other terms that you'll replace with more positive words as you work through Hypnobabies ( contractions = pressure waves). The changing of words to more positive ones makes a ton of since. The more positively you look at something the more easier and open you are to it.
The power of your mind is outlined and emphasized in the first week. You'll learn just how much your mind can influence what manifests physically in your body (and birth). And you'll learn how practicing and affirmations can really help you to program your mind - and thus your body - for a good birth.
You also learn some of the anatomy of your uterus and you begin your first hypnosis scripts and tools. The "Bubble of Peace" and "Special Place" you get in the first week.
The Second WeekYou're introduced to solid principles of good pregnancy nutrition during the second week of Hypnobabies. The advice is based on the work of the late Dr. Thomas Brewer. It's good information that'll keep you and your baby healthy (the nutrition articles on this site are based in part of Dr. Brewer's recommendations!)
A protein chart and nutrition log are provided to help you ensure you're getting all that you and baby need. There are also several helpful articles about other nutrition issues such as salt intake, calcium supplementation, and toxic substances you should avoid. I wish I would have had this guide earlier in pregnancy.
This week covers common pregnancy discomforts, sleeping positions, and some basic pregnancy exercises (including important exercises such as the pelvic rock and kegels.) The week rounds out with a good description of the stages of birth.
You also go more in-depth into hypnosis, learning some new tools and listening to two new tracks. One of the tracks begins by letting your get yourself down into hypnosis using a new technique (the "finger-drop" technique). It's good practice.
A little info on the finger-drop technique.All you need to do is do the fingerdrop. There is nothing to "get". You are training your subconscious mind to enter a deep state of hypnosis when you use the technique. There is no reason to believe that you will experience anything that indicates you are in hypnosis when you do it. As long as you are listening to your scipts in the order detailed in the workbook and practicing your finger-drops, you are doing it correctly, and your subconscious mind is learning what it needs to know. It truly is that easy. f you are dropping your finger and turning your lightswitch off, you are doing it correctly, no matter how you feel while doing it. It will most likely improve over time, until you at least feel very relaxed when you do it. But even if you don't feel that, you are still doing it correctly, and it is still working.
The Third WeekThis week is a good week because it covers interventions in birth and how one intervention can lead to another (the "cascade of interventions" or the "Domino effect") There is good coverage of the most common procedures as well as risks and benefits of each.
You'll also learn about informed consent and creating a birth plan in this week - Hypnobabies emphasizes birth plans strongly. A nice thing about the course is it gives a lot of guidance on working with your hospital and care providers (doctors and nurses) to have the kind of birth you want. If you're planning a natural hospital birth Hypnobabies will provide you a lot of advice on talking to your care team.
One new track is introduced in week three. You use it along with the "Deepening" script you began in week 2. The new track helps you learn to create anesthesia in specific parts of your body. It's a good lesson. For some reason, however that particular track was hard for me to listen though and I was glad to be done with it!
You'll learn a new technique too - Eyes Open Hypnosis - which is very helpful in preparing for your birth.
So far I have really enjoyed doing hypnobabies. It's about 30 min in my day that I get to unwind and relax. Sometimes It can be tough and I find myself questioning how this will work during childbirth or if it will at all. I just have to remind myself that whether I feel like it is working or not my subconscious is being programmed to do what it needs to do when I am in childbirth. The whole positive thinking can be hard sometimes. I think as human beings it is alot easier for us to go to the negative and question things. I will do another review once I finish the next three weeks.
I thought I would leave you with two videos of a hypnobabies births. The first one explains the process as she is going through it. The second if you actually go to you tube and look at the description you explains what is going on in the video. You can also hear the scripts playing in the background. This one is my favorite! I like how after she gives birth how with it and in the moment she is.