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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. 

Thoughts?  Questions?

6 responses »

  1. Sounds cool! I would love to do that for the next birth and it sounds so interesting. That would be nice to feel more clam and relaxed. You know I am a little high strung 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how it goes 🙂

  2. I’m looking forward to hearing about your experience with Cedar!

  3. I think you are great!

  4. I think it sounds fascinating. When does a mom or mom/doula or mom/midwife start the process: as contractions begin, before labor, once the pain is getting unmanageable? Is it like doing a focused awareness like to help you sleep? BTW, I am totally open and willing to be a test subject!

  5. I read about and wanted to try that when I was pregnant, but couldn’t find anything locally, and gave up. You rock, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes! I would imagine there would be a great market for these classes here (if I find myself pregnant again, I’ll be there, for sure!). You rock! 😀

  6. Kathleen,

    There are several ways to do it. Usually the mom listens to an early labor CD or has someone read her the script when labor first begins. And then she can choose to either continue listening to CDs or scripts in labor or simply use her own hypnosis techniques (that she has learned during her weeks of training).

    I don’t see myself listening to scripts or CDs for my birth. I’ll probably do the self-hypnosis techniques. No one would probably even notice that I’m doing anything. I should just seem super relaxed.

    I might test out some of it on a few willing clients… 🙂


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