I completed my Hypnobabies training in Richmond a couple of weekends ago and I thought I might discuss my decision to teach this childbirth method.
I first heard about Hypnobabies on mom message boards. Intrigued, I heard stories of women giving birth without any discomfort. These were moms I chatted with on a regular basis. I didn’t think they were making it up. I remembered one of my co-workers (from my pre-parent days) telling my about working with a hypnotherapist and experiencing a pain-free birth. She was a completely normal, everyday person who had a hospital birth in the early 90’s. Then I had a doula client who worked with the same hypnotherapist and had a comfortable (and rather short) first birth.
Well, Mr. Hypnotherapist is close to retirement and only takes select clients. And there are no Hypnobabies instructors located in SC. Any couple who does find a hypnotherapist or a hypnosis class would lack the childbirth education piece of the puzzle. And they certainly wouldn’t want to take a childbirth class that focused on “pain management” if they were not planning on experiencing pain. Hypnobabies combines both the hypno-anesthesia and the childbirth education together. Seemed like a winner to me. I began the training (which included 50 hours of hypnosis training).
Now, don’t get me wrong. I had a great, over-the-moon, birth with Norah and I experienced pain. Pain is a physiological part of birth. However, for women who want a more comfortable birth and perhaps want to feel more “in control” of the experience, hypnosis offers a wonderful alternative to drugs.
Ok, so what I’ve learned. I am still aware and in control when I’m hypnotized. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. With hypno-anesthesia, I can walk, talk, and function. I will still feel my birth and my intuition to move will remain in place. Active birth is important to me so I was relieved to learn hypno-anesthesia didn’t mean I’d be conked out with a trace of drool running down my chin.
The challenges: for most of us, the only experience we’ve had with hypnosis was a stage hypnotist in college or on a cruise. It took some pre-education to help me suspend my disbelief. I’m sure there will be plenty of scoffers. Hypnosis has also been associated with opening up your mind too much. I’ve found that when I’m using hypnosis, I’m a hyper-attentive and aware. My creativity and imagination are sharper. It is the closest thing to child’s play that I can experience. Remember playing imaginary games when you were a kid? And how hard it is to go back to that?
Stay tuned to more info on Hypnobabies as I condition for my own birth (yes, of course I’m trying it out!) and prepare for teaching classes in the fall. I wouldn’t teach others if I didn’t experience it myself.