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…
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!!
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. —