I recently began my Hypnobabies home study course, and as promised, I’m going to blog my way through it. I’m in the middle of week 1 and I’m already loving it. I’ll do a full write-up of the first week after I complete it, but I thought I’d back up and give a more general introduction to the course.
What in the world is Hypnobabies?
It’s a childbirth preparation course designed based on the philosophy that childbirth is a normal, natural event. It does NOT have to be agonizing. Rather, we associate pain with childbirth because we’re surrounded by a culture that insists childbirth is a scary, painful time that requires being rescued by epidurals and modern medicine just to survive it.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Pregnant moms shouldn’t be afraid of their baby’s birth days. This course helps de-program the mother from all those negative connotations associated with birthing. It teaches the mother how to allow herself to deeply relax, both physically and mentally.
It also gives the mother specific tools in hypnotic anesthesia for childbearing. It’s the same sorta technique that hypnotherapists use for clients who are allergic or who otherwise cannot tolerate pain medications, but require a surgical procedure. For instance, there’s this guy who used hypnosis during his wisdom tooth extraction.
Ever get a wisdom tooth taken out? I’ve had two removed, as they were the only two wisdom teeth to develop in my tiny mouth. Anyway, I had plenty of drugs — the gas, a topical numbing agent, some sort of drink to make me not give a darn about it all, and lots and lots of Novocain.
And yet, I think about the guy who didn’t have any of those drugs. He only had his hypnosis.
So if these sorts of techniques can be used for dental work, imagine what can happen if you use a similar method for childbirth!
Now, the method used in that dental procedure is not quite the same as what I will learn in Hypnobabies.
Since childbirth is a natural event (and getting a tooth yanked out isn’t), the body is already making preparations for birth to happen.
The course was developed by a woman who was a Bradley Method instructor for a decade, and then also an instructor in the HypnoBirthing method (different from Hypnobabies!). She saw that the two methods were somewhat lacking, and set out to create a course that gave moms more tools for birthing. You might recall that I did Bradley with my preparation for Jonathan, so it’ll be interesting to do a little comparison later on.
Hypnosis for childbirth
As explained in the HB course materials, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You don’t do anything against your will. You are in complete control of what happens, and whether you accept or reject suggestions given to you while under hypnosis.
Visit the hypnosis for childbirth page on the Hypnobabies site for a lot more details.
As mentioned on that page, the HB course will teach you how the body works to get the baby out, and how the muscles involved work more efficiently when the body (and mind!) is in a relaxed state.
From the site: “Comfort in childbirth depends on much more than deep relaxation, so you are also taught the most in-depth hypnotic anesthesia techniques that exist.”
This point is key.
Some other childbirth classes do emphasize relaxation, but I think some fall short in giving moms tools on how to effectively relax and stay there — and regain your relaxation if you start to lose it. Or, they are effective at the relaxation part, but they don’t give you additional tools (like hypnotic anesthesia).
Hypnobabies doesn’t just tell you to relax — it teaches you how to relax.
So while I haven’t learned all the techniques yet, I do think that the Hypnobabies home study course will be extremely effective for my birthing.
More on the technique
The course emphasizes “eyes-open childbirth” which I think is really cool. You don’t have to be laying completely still in a bed, or have your eyes closed to still benefit from your hypnosis. Instead, you can be mobile, talking, and moving about and still use your hypnosis during your birthing.
From the homestudy workbook: “In Hypnobabies, you will not be asked to chant or dance around candles. However, you will be encouraged to embrace some concepts that may at first be foreign to you, such as using your inner mind as though it were a computer, and trusting its wisdom. All I ask is that you participate in this program with an open mind. …” (page 13).
Lol! I love this statement. It sort of acknowledges that on the surface, Hypnobabies sounds sorta wacky. But ya know? I’m willing to give it a try. For one thing, I felt that the Bradley Method didn’t do enough for me during birth. I need more tools.
And for another, I’m convinced that this course is complete enough to give me what I need to have a pleasant, manageable birth. There’s also a ton of moms out there on the internet who have great birth stories to share.
About the home study
You can opt to take an in-person Hypnobabies course, which is six weeks long. Or, you can do a five-week home study (plus maintenance!). Due to scheduling and personal preference, I’m doing the home study.
I bought my course kit for about $125 shipped. I bought it during a promotion where there was a 20% off code, plus some extra MP3s thrown in.
– Hypnobabies workbook (195 pages)
– Quick Reference and Birth Partner’s Guide booklet (39 pages)
– CDs containing 12 Hypnobabies scripts
– Big stack of misc. handouts
– I also have the “Visualize Your Hypnobabies Birth” and “The Birth Partner’s CD” which are supplemental to the course materials.
Visit this link for more information on the pack, plus descriptions of what’s on the CDs. Also on that page is an outline of the course contents for each week.
If you’d like more info, of course you can visit the main Hypnobabies page, but you can also download two tracks for free. One is an intro to Hypnobabies, and the other is called “Relax Me,” which is simply a track to help you, ya know, relax!
I haven’t listened to the relax me track in awhile, and I wasn’t a huge fan of it really. Not sure why. I’ll give it another listen, though. But the actual course materials? Loving them so far. Stay tuned for more!