I posted my Birth Story a while back and mentioned that I used hypnobirthing, Hypnobabies specifically, to have a successful unmedicated birth! Naturally, I got A TON of questions about what exactly Hypnobabies was, and for good reason! I remember being confused myself and thinking what is this witchcraft people were using to have peaceful births?! SO I created this video to help answer some questions!
Are you hypnotized?
Is it really pain-free?
What is on the tapes?
What if my partner isn't super keen?
Is there an online program?
There isn't a ton of information explaining what it actually is so I wanted to create some!
This blog post is all about what is hypnobirthing?!
I actually just watched another YouTuber who talked about her biggest mom regrets and one of them was that she tried to go into natural labor without any sort of training or information. It is important for anyone who is pregnant to understand what is happening during labor!
I LOVED learning all the details about labor and delivery and I think it paid off too because I felt very prepared and confident going into it. I'm going to share a few things that I did, and summarize others incase you don't have the same interest.
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There were three books I read
(plus the hypnobirthing course, hypnobabies):
1. Mindful Pregnancy, I did the audible version and loved it. It is written by the creator of the HeadSpace App and helps you keep a calm mind during pregnancy (especially with covid). And, after my miscarriages this was key.
2. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a A MUST READ. Great book that provides positive birthing stories and an understanding of what exactly happens during childbirth. The knowledge is so empowering! She explains that negative stories cause fear and that such fear creates a fight or flight response in our bodies which causes our cervix not to open. When our cervix doesn't open and our body is still trying to push a baby out, it causes a lot of extra pain. She also shares that women have had babies IN COMAS BEFORE! Meaning, our bodies know what to do, we just need to teach our head to get out of the way.
3. My midwife wanted me to read about hypnobirthing before I bought the course. This is the book I read to get a general understanding. I did that and then purchased the hypnobabies course. The book I read was on hypnobirthing and the course I took was hypnobabies. To me, they were very similar. I honestly wasn't paying attention close enough to notice a difference.
4. Physically, the Expecting and Empowered pregnancy workout guides helped to prepare my pelvic floor to push. I only pushed for 25 min!
(heyshayla gives you $10 off the programs)
Okay, but what is Hypnobirthing?
The course has two parts: classes and audio tracks.
The Classes: There are six classes in the course and I completed one per week. They are formatted as slides that you read. The classes teach you how to stay healthy during pregnancy, what vitamins to take during pregnancy, what your options are during labor (and why you may or may not want them), what happens to baby when they are born, and options you can request for you and babe.
The Audio Tracks: The audios are guided meditation or a form of hypnosis that you listen to during your pregnancy. They help you start practicing the techniques that you'll use to relax during labor.
When should I start hypnobabies?
I started at week 32 and would recommend starting between week 30 and week 32. However, if you're finding this a little later, I think the information is still valuable, even if you only complete some of it.
What is on the Hypnobabies Audio Tracks?
The course comes with 20 tracks!
Here are a few:
- Positive affirmation track, you listen to every day saying things like: my body knows exactly how to give birth, my baby knows the best time to be born, because fun fact, YOUR BABY releases a hormone and causes your body to start labor! I am healthy, my birth is going to go exactly as it should. I typically listened to the affirmations on my walks. You don't have to listen to the full 45 min, even just 10 min a day is beneficial.
- The Bubble of Peace is a bubble you imagine yourself in where you feel safe. You can also have other people in your bubble who support you.
One day I was over at my mom's and she was doubting hypnobabies a bit and I abruptly told her, she was not in my bubble. Once I explained it to her, she may have been slightly offended. It was pretty aggressive haha!
- Finger Drop Technique: You train yourself to instantly relax all your muscles when you tap your finger. I remember doing this on the way to the hospital to relax through a contraction and not fight it. I just let it wave over me and then leave.
- Light switch: They discuss a light switch being either halfway or all the way down. When you switch it all the way off you are completely relaxed and not responding to your surroundings. They call this Hypnoanesthesia. Or, your light switch can be halfway. With this, you can still move but you maintain your relaxed meditative state.
- Fear Clearing: This is exactly what it sounds like, it works through any fear you may have around your birth.
- Visualize your birth: Again, exactly as it sounds. You visualize how your birth could go down. It was helpful to think about these things even if it is not how it ended up happening.
Is this way out there? I feel like now that I'm writing it, it totally is, but I am into it!
What if my partner doesn't want to do hypnobirthing?
Seth was very supportive of me doing. But when I asked him to listen to the partner's track he was like “nah, I don't want to listen to that. This is your thing and I think it's great you're doing it and I support you”. He did AMAZING during labor.
There is a questionnaire that you can do with your partner. I asked him some of the questions, but I really learned all the things and then told him.
Now, he knows a lot about labor and delivery, probably more than he needs to. However, it worked out. When we got to the hospital he knew all the answers to the nurse's questions! So, I think as long as they support you, it's fine.
What if I fall asleep during the hypnobabies track?
The tracks are like 45 minutes long, which felt like an eternity. I fell asleep almost every.single.time. I was very concerned it would ruin it, but it didn't.
The course actually tells you people fall asleep all the time. Your subconscious is still getting all the information and it's fine. There were even testimonials of people saying they'd fallen asleep and it was still helpful!
Do I have to follow hypnobabies exactly or it won't work?
No, if you don't follow to a T, it's will still be effective. I remember feeling like what they wanted was a lot and I decided I'd do what was sustainable and it would be fine, and it was.
You're supposed to start the tracks when you start having contractions. I started when my contractions were about five minutes apart and we were on our way to the hospital. I listened to it on and off on the way to my room and then when I got in the tub I listened to it until I started pushing.
Is hypnobirthing for me if I'm having a c-section?
Are you at all afraid to have a c-section? If yes, I would recommend Hypnobabies to keep you calm and relax and to learn about the other parts of your labor that you have choices in. If you end up having a c-section hypnobabies doesn't just help you have a natural childbirth it allows you to go with the flow and be open to whatever happens and remain calm.
What did your Doctor/hospital say about hypnobirthing?
My midwife told me to read the hypnobirthing book before I commit to the course. Then once I decided I was going to do it for sure she asked that I come to the hospital with “my lightswitch at half” so I could talk to them and answer questions about what is going on.
The hospital was fine with it, it was mostly Seth and me in the room most of the time. The nurse came in when I asked her if my water broke and again when I felt like pushing.
Do you listen to hypnobabies for all of the labor or just hard parts?
Yes! I started when I was 5-6cm and we were on our way to the hospital, but you can start as soon as the contractions come on! I listened to it off and on until we got to our room. Once I got in the tub I listened to it continuously until I began pushing.
Headphones: You want to decide if you want to do Bluetooth or have a cord. I had a cord because I didn't want my Bluetooth to die. The chord didn't really bother me.
Do you feel hypnotized? Did you feel present?
I did not feel hypnotized, I felt like I was “in the zone” and in deep meditation. I was still able to answer questions when people asked me questions, I just felt super relaxed.
What would have been different without Hypnobirthing?
Hypnobabies class gave me confidence, knowledge, and a guide for how to get through labor. This is honestly a hard one to answer. I'm also curious what it would be like without hypnobiabes! I do feel like I went somewhere else because of the tapes because I planned on making videos for vlogging, doing the baby mama dance and I figured I'd be texting my sister at least… nothing.
I couldn't think past the contractions.
Did you feel pain?
Yep. But I wasn't afraid when the nurses and doctor said to push I was like, okay, it's time to push. However, I was screaming, if you've watched my labor and delivery video, you know, that I was screaming and that I yelled the F word!
What do the tracks say?
They are guided hypnosis and guide you through visualize different things. Some of the track titles are: visualize your birthing time, easy first stage, your birthing time begins, birthday affirmations like, we can do this, fear clearing, easy comfortable childbirth, open eye childbirth, comfortable pushing, and pushing baby out.
How much time do you need to dedicate?
My goal was to do one 45 min meditation a day, even if that was while I fell asleep at night. It was a little bit confusing for me when to do what recording and I just emailed customer service and then somewhere in the course I had missed, they give you a calendar to tell you what to do each week.
Do I need to meditate to do hypnobirthing?
Obviously, if you have experience meditating it will be helpful. But if you don't and wanted to start with hypnobabies, I think this is a great place to do so. All of the tracks are guided and easy to follow!
Do I need to buy the course?
Of course not! There are tons of free resources out there. But I do think it helped me a lot. I bought it because I wanted the convenience of having it all in one place instead of searching for information.
You've got this.
I hope this blog was helpful for you and you have a safe, happy and healthy and labor!