“You’re hypno, what?” asked my husband.
I had just revealed that I planned on hypnobirthing our first child in just a few short months. And like most people, he was confused--and skeptical--about this thing called hypnobirthing.
Going the Hypnobirthing Route
Despite its name, hypnobirthing is not giving birth under some sort of spell. Rather, it’s a mind-body technique in which you use breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques to overcome fear and pain during childbirth. (Check out this recent guest post on our blog to learn about hypnobirthing!) I very much wanted a natural birth, and hypnobirthing seemed like a great tool to do that.
I live in a smallish city with scant resources for hypnobirthing near me, so my only option was to check out hypnobirthing online. My initial search left me pleasantly surprised at the number of resources the Web offered up. There’s no need to despair if you can’t find a local hypnobirthing practitioner!
Going the audio route appealed to me, so I went ahead and purchased The Hypnobirthing Home Study Course off Amazon. (What can’t you buy on there, right?) This excellent course includes 12 hours of content that I reviewed while chilling at home, driving, and working out. I especially enjoyed practicing the breathing exercises and guided imagery while wearing SleepPhones. My listening often took place in bed, and I loved not having earbuds digging into my ears or having bulky headphones ruin the experience.
My SleepPhones were in constant use because, being the nervous Nellie that I am, I ended up doing another hypnobirthing online course: The Hypnobubs™ Hypnobirth Online Course + Change of Circumstances Course. (It’s also great, in case you’re wondering!)
The Big Day
As my pregnancy passed the 41-week mark, I had no choice but to be induced. I wasn’t nervous--after months of hypnobirthing tutorials, a childbirth class, and my husband at my side, I knew I could do it. And I did, though not exactly how I thought I would. Most births don’t go according to plan, and mine was no exception. The first half of my 12-hour labor was a breeze--I read the newspaper, answered emails, and slipped on my SleepPhones for some hypnobirthing meditations.
Things, however, took a dramatic turn during the last six hours. By then, my midwife had broke my water and the contractions were coming on HARD. Tried as I might, hypnobirthing went a bit out the window as I struggled to breathe at times.
Still, I refused an epidural as I huffed and puffed my 7 pound and 11 ounce daughter into the world. I truly do believe hypnobirthing helped me approach my birth in a calm manner and gave me the confidence to have the natural birth I wanted. I’d definitely suggest giving it a try if you’re expecting--and also to investing in a pair of SleepPhones so you can complete your chosen course (or courses!) in total comfort.