So you have all heard me mention the word hypnobirthing several times in my pregnancy update posts and I’m finally taking a second to actually talk about it. I ran across this technique so randomly that I honestly don’t even remember how I ran across it….preggo brain fail. I just remember being hooked from the second I even saw and read about it and the rest is history…so far.
Okay, so before you think this is some strange, clock swaying, dancing around, swirly cartoon eyes act let me reassure it is nothing like that. I think the whole thought of ‘hypnosis’ puts this very hollywood, bugs bunny eyed, image in our head that is nothing but inaccurate. I am certainly NO expert on hypnosis and the clinical side of things but have learned quite a bit since starting this journey 14 weeks ago.
The whole premise of hypnobirthing is basically what the tagline is and that is “Birth without fear.” It is truly about teaching a mind body connection that uses the mind to control fear – which then controls tension -which then prevents pain. Whenever we fear pain it always makes pain worse. However, if you don’t even acknowledge the pain your brain does something magical and that is it doesn’t even recognize it. In very simple terms that is what you are training yourself to do.
In order to prepare for birth you simply practice, practice, practice. I try to practice every night before bed, if I can. I have music and guided relaxation tracks that I listen to every single night as I go to sleep. You learn how to breathe correctly, what you are doing with your breath physiologically – in relation to birth, and you learn how to fully relax. Again, this isn’t some weird brain realm you enter but it teaches you how to enter that uber relaxed state that you hit right before you fall asleep. You’re very much conscious but you’re so relaxed you don’t care much about what is going on around you. That is the money spot.
Now is this super easy to achieve….no. It does take practice and I’m not sure I’ll ever be fully confident in it until I’ve done it with birth but I definitely DO NOT fear birth at all. I never really have but I am having this kid naturally and have zero fear whatsoever. I feel very confident and am actually really excited to try this whole experience. I mean who even says that?? I’m excited for labor??? Yes, you must think I’m crazy.
I have already noticed a difference in the way I relax and how my brain responds to the music. I relax a lot quicker once the music starts and the baby is having a huge reaction as well. It is very calming to him and he drifts off to sleep once it starts. I’ve heard many parents report that after birthing this way their babies would instantly calm themselves to the music even after birth. That definitely shines hope on those cranky sleepless nights we will be sure to have.
This is clearly a drug free birth plan but can actually help no matter what you have planned or what unexpected things might occur. The whole point is to ease your mind, clear out the fear and that can help with C-Sections or anything that is unplanned – which anyone who has birthed before knows a lot can be unplanned. There have been numerous women who have done this even knowing they are going to have a c-section and have had better recovery time and a better experience all together. So don’t write it off just because you aren’t planning on going completely drug free and natural.
My whole outlook on birth is this: DO WHATEVER FEELS RIGHT TO YOU. I am not anti-epidural or drugs by any means. Please understand this. I have had 3 epidurals and they’re amazing…..for real amazing. Honestly, if I hadn’t had problems getting my epidural into my spine last time I would have another one. If you choose to go natural in a hospital, or at home or in the middle of the woods – honestly I support it. Every woman has different experiences and has to be able to make the decision that they feel is BEST for THEM and their baby. I think it’s a tragedy when women berate other women because they had an epidural or a C-Section or birthed at home or in a hospital. Look, we all made humans…..let’s stop being so uppity and judgmental and freaking give props where it’s due. We all deserve it.
Obviously, I haven’t used this in birth…yet… but I promise to report back on how it worked and what I learned from the whole experience. Honestly, even if birth is nothing like I expect this whole experience has taught me how to relax….and who on earth doesn’t need to learn how to relax more. Winning all around with that.
Here are some great resources if you’re considering trying this. Read the book. The history and philosophy behind hypnobirthing is amazing and sooooo interesting. It will truly open your eyes. Here are the iTunes course study tracks I do at night for practice. (Note there are other tracks as well that aren’t linked but are searchable)
Let me know if you have questions or have tried this yourself. I’d love to hear other people’s experiences!!!