So I was having a hard time whether I wanted to share a video of Allie's birth or not. But I figured this one is pretty modest, and I finally figured out how to use my editing software to make it even more modest. I like Hypnobabies so much that I want to share and show how well it works. In the birth stories I wrote it is easy to focus on the intensity and hard parts but really the majority of the time I was very relaxed and happy. I used the Hypnobabies Home Study Course for Expectant Mothers for the birth of both of my children (see their birth stories here). In the video below I am about 9cm dilated and having a contraction/pressure wave. It really is pretty boring. I'm pretty much just sitting in a tub. I am listening to one of the hypnosis scripts and probably just saying the word "peace" in my head. I remember in the car on my way to the birth center the script was saying that all I was feeling was pressure and tightening and thinking, "Really you call that just pressure and tightening, it feels like a bit more than that to me?", and then when I got in the tub and was able to completely relax I thought, "Hey it really is just pressure and tightening. How cool is that." Between contractions I was able to chat with my mom and midwife.
I first avoided hypnosis as a childbirth tool because I thought it was too hokey and new age, but I came across some reviews on Amazon for some HypnoBirthing programs and they seemed really positive, so I bought Marie Mongan's book HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing and read it, and listened to the sample track that were provided with the CD that came with the book. After reading the book I realized that self hypnosis wasn't really that kooky. It was simply visualization and conditioning your body to react, in this case relax, on special cues, both things I had done in college for x-country and track. It also seemed that something I used for athletic competition would work for childbirth since it is an endurance event as well. After further research I found out that there are a few different hypnosis for childbirth programs and the consensus online seemed to be that Hypnobabies was the most complete program and worked the best. (Here is a great link on the comparison of HypnoBirthing and Hypnobabies.) So I ordered the home study and started listening to the scripts. I admit that the first script I listened to was pretty corny and I started having doubts. But I continued doing the practices and listening to the scripts and the rest of them were very relaxing, and worked very well at helping me not be scared about birth, and preparing myself to give birth. I did not take any other childbirth class. The Hypnobabies course is very complete and really has everything you need to know. My one complaint with it is that it recommends the Brewer diet (massive amounts of protein) and from what I've read, most childbirth professionals agree that the Brewer diet is too extreme, but if you ignore that the program is great.
My experience was that it made both of my children's births almost painless. They were not easy, but I can't relate with comments about birth being the most painful thing ever experienced, or when someone talks about early labor being painful. I can relate to talk about being completely exhausted. I think Hypnobabies is an excellent way to prepare for childbirth. Even if you want an epidural, things don't always go as planned, so having extra tools available is great, and it may even surprise you how well it works. It is also still useful. I use the techniques when I am tired and want to relax, or when I am not feeling well.