Friday, January 14, 2011

Hypnobirthing and NFP

With this pregnancy, I feel I have made another decision that was so natural for Will and I but so contrary to popular belief/understanding of how to go about things. In a way it is similar to our use and teaching of NFP. In theory it is so simple and pretty easy to use once you understand the way it works but in reality it is so hard to believe in right away. You could say the same things about both practices: it's too simple and easy to work in real life and sure, it works for the perfect couple maybe but not for me because of "x."

I am halfway through the classes so I thought I would write down my thoughts so far. After hearing about Bradley classes being 12 weeks and pretty intense about exercises and preparation, I thought I would be in for some draining classes. I'm not a night person so learning from 6-9pm is not usually my idea of a good time. Put on top of that a long week of sightseeing and hosting a guest I was a bit tired and unmotivated to bring my best effort. My instructor picked up on that right away - oops!

Will and I both came out of that class knowing we truly had made the right decision. Right away the instructor had us final private corners to practice relaxation exercises and came over to me to see what was wrong. After talking about my low blood pressure (and occasional dizziness) and told her the real problem - the fear that I will be on a different continent from my birth companion (Will) when the time comes. Well that is something I'm going to have to work on but can't in a simple post like this so moving on...

Later in the class I was the guinea pig and the instructor demonstrated a deepening exercise on me while everyone else watched. Even though this is hypnosis, it is not taking my will or control out of the situation and here are some reason why I know that to be true.
  • I knew I was in front of people so instead of being relaxed enough to basically drool and look like an idiot I snapped out of it enough to close my mouth.
  • When she tried to give me positive messages about my husband being there, I snapped out of it again because I'm really having a hard time with that one
  • If my lips are chapped, I come out of it wanting some chapstick or if I'm thirsty some water
Through these exercises I have a deeper knowledge of what is going on in my body and my free will is still in tact. I can feel our baby girl more and in more detail while doing these exercises. They definitely help.

The first real test ended up being last night. I was upset over something which, due to some pregnancy hormones, was an awful end of the world scenario like when you run out of chocolate ;-) I knew I was over reacting but that did not stop the tears. I knew I should calm down and not upset our baby by my fit but I couldn't bring myself to do that on my own. My darling husband made up a relaxation script on the spot and I felt my body go limp with relaxation. If he can stop my raging tears right in the middle, I'm sure he can keep me relaxed when our baby comes.

The big difference to all other natural methods is at the "pushing" stage which we don't do. Instead we breathe the baby out using basically the opposite of a pelvic floor exercise. Instead of breathing up we breathe down. It is true that women get a natural urge to "push" down when the baby is ready to come, but it is not necessary to become purple faced from pushing like they do on tv. I watched women breathe and grunt the baby out without the forceful pushing that is so common today. I'm glad we chose this method so I won't have to do that or train for a marathon birth.

To wrap up, hypnobirthing just seems too simple to be true. It's all about relaxation and releasing fear. I watched tapes of women birthing and they talked about feeling pressure but no pain. Like I said, too simple to be true right? I'm sure many of you will still think that, but I am convinced. It has helped me already and I can't wait to have a calm birth.


  1. Good for you! I'm looking forward to reading more about your experience.

  2. That is great. I used hypnosis for my last 2 births and loved it. You can see my birth video and read other stories at

  3. Very, very interesting. Thanks so much for sharing your experience! You'll have to tell me more about the relaxation techniques when you're back in town. I'm sure they'd even come in handy during PMS :-)