Nov 27 2010

How might I use Hypnobabies during the birth?

I’ve provided a little overview of each week of Hypnobabies coursework, but how exactly is this going to work when my baby decides to come?

We’ll see what I actually do, but here are some possibilities. And, here’s a cheat sheet that one Hypnobabies educator put together.

When I start feeling regular pressure waves (contractions) or if my water breaks, I will know that the birthing could be coming really soon.

With Johnny’s birth, my water broke ahead of any other signs of birth. It caught me way by surprise and I was a bit frazzled. If a similar scenario happens again, I’ll have a few things I can do to help me focus and shake off the jittery excitement so I can get to work.

So, I’ll eat something, drink something, and go to sleep if it’s nighttime. If it’s daytime, I might eat, drink, and do some last-minute packing or housework to keep busy and see if things continue or if they fizzle out.

While I am doing that, I can play the “Birthing Day Affirmations” track aloud on my iPod dock, laptop, or put on my headphones.

That will help me stay positive and get in the right mental mindset. I’ve listened to this track a few times now, and I really like it for this purpose.

If things are indeed progressing, then I could get comfortable with pillows on my bed and listen to the “Fear Clearing” track. This is one that we were introduced to in week 5, and it helps us address and release any fears or concerns we might have. It’s suggested that we listen to this track in the early birthing time to quell any anxiety or issues, and I think that’s a reasonable idea.

Next, I can see how I feel and whether it seems like I have some time yet before I’ll want to head into the birth center, or if I want to keep focused with birthing prep at home.

I can listen to music (I’m going to put together a few playlists), or if I want to stay with Hypnobabies, I could listen to “Your Special Place” or “Easy, Comfortable Childbirth.” These two tracks were introduced in the first week and are a part of the maintenance schedule, and I really like them both. They’re good for helping you to relax and have positive birthing thoughts.

The “Deepening” track comes recommended at this time, but it’s not one of my favorites so I probably won’t listen to it during birth.

Or, I could put on “Easy first stage” which is a track that isn’t a part of the regular program — it’s to listen to only after 38 weeks. I’ll preview it when I hit that point so I can know what’s on it.

I can cycle through any of those tracks as time progresses to keep me relaxed and focused. I’ll probably listen to something in the car ride to the birth center, too. With headphones, so I won’t distract Shane.

I plan to ignore as many early pressure waves as I can, since I expect those to be extremely mild and I will probably be able to walk and talk through them no trouble. But once I need to consciously relax during them, then I will use my finger-drop technique or “release” cue to put my mental light switch into the “off” position.

You may recall that this position is a conditioned response that I’ve created. It allows me to very quickly reach extreme relaxation, and sensations of pain are reduced or eliminated. If I want to move around, have my eyes open, or talk, I can then move my light switch to the “center” position and still have hypno-anesthesia in the center part of my body. I can move it around and concentrate it where I may need it using my “peace” cue.

I will visualize and tell my body to open, open, open and that I welcome each powerful wave, which brings me that much closer to meeting my daughter.

At this point, I will really just need to see how I’m feeling and what I’m in the mood for hearing. I might want quiet. I might want songs, or something in the Hypnobabies set. I might want Shane or my doula to speak some prompts or simple words of encouragement to me. Hard to say. We’ll roll with it.

There’s also a “pushing your baby out” track that I can listen to aloud once it comes time to push. I’m going to preview that soon as well to get an idea for what’s on it.

I love how there’s a variety of things I can choose to do during the birth. Last time, I felt like I needed to get my body through each contraction, and once things got really intense I had nowhere for my mind to focus. I hadn’t practiced that part, and I hadn’t pre-selected a few things to concentrate on. Now, I’ll have plenty of options.

Like any extreme exertion, childbirth is as much mental work as it is physical. And now I’m going to go all high-school-sport-quote on you: “What the mind can believe, the body can achieve.”


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One Response to “How might I use Hypnobabies during the birth?”

  1. I think it’s really good that you’re putting this plan in place! I think one of the mistakes I made is that I never really made a solid plan for how I would use HypnoBabies during birth.

    When my water broke, it was a sudden gush. It majorly caught me by surprise, and I was immediately really anxious. Based on other birth stories (including yours with Johnny!) I figured I still had some time before things picked up. So I grabbed my iPod and got into the bath tub hoping that it would help me to relax.

    I started listening to the “Easy First Stage” track. I didn’t even make it 15 minutes into the track before my contractions were suddenly 3 minutes apart and INTENSE. So I got out of the tub and started hustling to get everything together so we could head to the hospital. I never really had time to tell myself, “Okay, this is it. You’re in labor, you can do this, it’s going to be okay.” It started out hectic and just stayed hectic right up until he was born.

    I was in a lot of pain at first on the car ride, but listening to the track helped me focus a little better. I was able to breathe through the contractions for most of the car ride. By the time we arrived at the hospital, though, I was too focused on the contractions to really pay attention to the tracks.

    I think if I had prepared better and really considered how I would use HypnoBabies DURING labor instead of just before labor, it would have been more helpful for me.

    Way to go for thinking ahead to come up with a plan! I think it’s going to be really useful for you!

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