HypnoBabies Recap

I’ve mentioned before that for our birthing time, we are planning on using the hypnobabies method. To learn more about it, click here. I’ve had a few of you email me and ask for my thoughts and opinions on the class and method in general, so here it goes! I’ll write another post with my thoughts post-delivery as well of course. 🙂 Sorry in advance if this gets a little long…

Note – hypnoBABIES is not to be confused with hypnoBIRTHING 
(they are entirely different programs)

HypnoBabies is an incredibly comprehensive program that educates you on all aspects of pregnancy, from nutrition through delivery. In fact, one of the benefits of its comprehensiveness is that you don’t need (and really shouldn’t) take any other birthing classes. This is because standard hospital birth classes, Bradley, and hypnobirth method classes actually go against what you’re learning with hypnobabies. Hypnobabies works to retrain the way you think about the entire birthing process – instead of approaching it with fear and learning pain-mitigation techniques to help you cope, it teaches you to embrace the process and believe that birthing can be a pain-FREE process, not just one wherein pain is managed. Not only that, but it goes through every step of pregnancy, including but not limited to – which nutrients are needed in which amounts during pregnancy, safe exercises you can do to get your body in the best shape for delivery, what to pack in your hospital bag, questions to ask at the birthing facility, how to help ensure the baby is positioned correctly for the easiest and safest birthing experience for Mom & baby, preliminary signs of birthing, how the muscles of your uterus and cervix work together during your birthing time, interventions and monitoring that are routinely recommended by OBs and nurses (and their pros and cons), and most importantly, how to feel confident in YOUR decisions and YOUR choices during your birthing time.

The majority of the women who take the class seem to be women who simply want an empowering, natural birthing experience, but on my yahoo discussion board, you also routinely see posts by women who are choosing to use HB because of nerves after a previous bad experience, to assist with a vBAC, give confidence during a twin birth, and even some who are going in for a scheduled c-section who want to be able to still approach the process with a greater feeling of awareness and calm and confidence.

You can take the class from an instructor (18 hrs total class time + all of the at home preparation), you can do the Home Study Advantage class (you complete the 6 week class on your own at home and then follow the maintenance program) , or you can do a combo (what we did – 6 weeks of home study + a one day, 6 hour intensive class with an instructor that covers everything from weeks 5 & 6 of the home study course). During the 6 week course, on the first day you read the new chapter and then you’re listening to a different CD track every night (they’re between 24-30min each).

To give you an idea of cost, the HSA course itself costs between $100-145, depending if you find it on eBay used or online new. The one day instructor course cost us $130. If we had done the full 6wk instructor class, it would have been $350 for the HSA packet and the class. A small price to pay to give you the tools, education, and confidence to hopefully have the birth experience you want!

FYI, hypnosis is a scary word for a lot of people, but in reality, it’s just a form of very deep relaxation where you are allowing both your conscious and subconscious mind to be open to new ways of thinking. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “mind over matter” – in hypnobabies, you learn that your mind controls your body completely. That is what allows you to create hypnoanesthesia while you’re in your birthing time to help keep you comfortable and calm during pressure waves (their word for contractions).

Another point that I really like is that in addition to the 6wk course book that I studied (and the numerous CD tracks I have listened to every day), there is also a Quick Reference Booklet and a Birth Partner’s Guide that Charlie was able to go through. Honestly, there is no way he would have committed to reading 200 pages and listening to hours and hours of tracks, but reading the short Birth Partner’s Guide and listening to just a couple of the tracks was totally doable for him. Doing the one-day instructor class was also infinitely valuable, because there is no way he’d have listened to me talk about birth for six hours. 🙂 Sometimes I think we forgot that we can research SO much and know SO much, yet our husbands can end up knowing very little about important topics that we’re pretty well versed on (whether we’re talking about IF, pregnancy, or whatever). I like knowing that my husband will be educated and prepared when we go into this process together, because I’m sure what while I’m in the midst of a pressure wave, the last thing I’ll want to do is answer nurses questions or ensure that they are following our wishes for me and the baby (pre or post birth).

Anyway, I could go on and on about the emotional sides of this program as well, and I’m sure post-birth even more so. At this point I’d say that if nothing else, I love that I feel calm, confident, educated, empowered, and ready for this next step. I can’t wait to let you know how it goes!!


I just want to add that a few of you have emailed/commented that hypnobabies seems/sounds a lot like your hypnobirthing experience. I haven’t done both, so I have no idea, but I will say that everyone I have talked with that have tried/experienced both (either as the birthing mother or are the midwife or doula) have expressed that they are very different programs. The women say that hypnobabies concentrates more on teaching actual medical grade self-hypnosis techniques to completely eliminate pain and fear, as well as giving you a more thorough education to empower you and educate you about all of the different situations that can arise during both pregnancy and L&D. That’s all I know!

Misc. Links:

A personal comparison between hypnobirthing and hypnobabies experiences…

Difference between hypnobabies and other hypno-classes.

Hypnobabies gives parents all the knowledge and tools they need to really understand and trust themselves, their bodies, their babies and birth.  It’s not so much about painless birth, but rather having everything you need to know that you will be informed, relaxed and calm enough to make good decisions every step of the way and create the safest, most comfortable and enjoyable birth for you and your baby.  HypnoBirthing focused much more on a pain-free birth being the “right” way to birth, rather than acknowledging that different women will have different experiences, and should have the skills to address and handle any eventuality, rather than only being able to handle a very “textbook” birth.  In my experience it even went so far as to at least imply that women who experience pain or complicated births, especially after taking the class, were somehow doing it “wrong”.  I never got that feeling of judgement from Hypnobabies, but rather felt supported in making the choices that were best in my individual circumstance.  — 


  1. Thanks for posting on this Josey. I know I mentioned before being interested. I've used hypnosis for other things in the past and my hypnotist's wife does something similar….but not hypnobabies (its a different name). I'm really looking forward to hearing your experience using it in birth. I'll be keeping this in my arsenal of things to revisit once I do get pregnant.

  2. I wish I had studied this more as I have just recently read the book (no cd's or classes) and really agree with much of the program and way of thinking. I can't wait to hear about your experience and hope you have the birth that you envision. I want to get this baby here safely and a pain-free process would be icing on the cake:] Wish you the best!

  3. Sounds good to me 🙂 I have to say though, that I really don't think that what I learned in the Bradley classes I took was so different from this – I certainly wouldn't say that it "goes against" what you describe here. My birth experience using the Bradley method WAS painless (intense and hard work, but I would not describe it as painful at all), I felt like I was equipped to handle a variet of different labors, not just a textbook one, that I had the tools to manage both early labor, active labor, transition and pushing…

  4. So exciting! I hope your experience is everything you hope it will be. I'm rooting for you, your husband and that little rockstar! 🙂 This sounds awesome and empowering!

  5. I'm glad you posted this too although I have to disagree with you about HypnoBirthing. They too teach you that child birth can be a pain free experience. Many women who do HypnoBirthing say that they felt no pain, only pressure as the baby descends through the birthing canal.

  6. Thanks for the pre-experience recap 🙂 I'll be looking forward to the post as well.

  7. Thanks for posting! I'm really interested in this when the time comes.

  8. I have to agree with your addition although I only see Nico and BU's comments but I'm guessing the "completely different" statements regarding babies vs birthing hynpo techniques has more to do with marketing them as two different programs than it does with the actual practice. I did the hypno-birthing classes and spent much time practicing and I honestly don't see any difference between the two philosophies or intended experiences for the mothers. I do agree that hypnobabies is more traditional hypnosis though while the birthing method is more of a focus on deep relaxation.

  9. Very interesting! I hope this method works great and you get exactly the birth you want!!

  10. As a birthing knowledge hoarder, I have to say your word grouping sounds a little harsh. I read bradley, all the Ina May books, several natural childbirth books, and studied hypnobirthing. My conclusion is they all focus on the same principal, self induced relaxation and fear release. I am glad you found a method you respond too, but I do think it is important for everyone to know that there are lots of methods. I don't think reading about so many techniques had any effect on how my birth turned out. It was extremely calm and I would definitely say I felt no pain. All that being said, I am glad you are practicing and getting ready. Your birth is going to be an amazing experience. Won't be long now.

  11. I wasn't saying there weren't lots of methods or that one is better than the other – I was simply talking about what I've learned about the hypnobabies method thus far. I've read the hypnobirthing book (borrowed from Katie) and am currently reading Ina May's new book, and while I thought they were good books, I honestly felt like they both talked a LOT about pain and how to relax and do fear clearing…where in with hypnobabies, the word pain is not even USED. It literally has changed the way i even think about birthing. I just was making a point that they're different programs. Of course the websites will market them as different programs, but when the actual women who have USED different methods for different births consistently talk about how the programs are, I'm inclined to believe them.

  12. My SIL used hypo-birthing and LOVED it. It also gave her an excuse to keep the MIL out of the birthing room, because she is anything but calm and SIL insisted on calmness. Her birth was pretty easy and I hope to try it. One day. 😉

  13. This is interesting..I have never thought about this but maybe when the time is near!!

  14. Interesting comparison of the two! A birth without pain (according to hypnobirthing)? Yea right! But being able to manage it mentally is important. I had a natural labor – though I did nothing to prepare, but next time I want to try hypnobabies! Looking forward to hearing about your "after" experience!

  15. I first came over to read about your experiences when you mentioned Hypnobabies in a comment on my blog a couple months ago, and you have totally encouraged me to try it myself! If I can have a birth experience half as amazing as yours, I’ll be happy. Thank you so much for this detailed discussion of the program itself as well as your own story – it was super helpful and inspiring.

    1. Awesome! I totally love the program, and I had SO many IRL friends now who have used it and loved it as well. My friend Sarah also just wrote her birth story about HB if you want to check it out – http://littlechickennugget.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/there-is-a-placenta-in-my-freezer/

      1. Another amazing story! Thanks for sharing the link.

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