Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hypnobabies Review

While helping me to create a birth plan, my doula suggested I consider hypnosis as part of my pain management plan. She said the Hypnobabies course was ... I don't recall the word: I think she said the course was the only birth hypnosis class that DONA accepts for continuing education credit, or something along those lines, but that I should look at a bunch of different classes and pick what works for me.

I did a bunch of reading and decided the HB was right for me. I can't remember why, but I think it was at least partly because the course helps to teach you to do hypnosis while being up and moving around. The others focused on hypnosis and delivery in the on your back position as far as I could tell.

So, I went to the HB website, put out about USD$200 for the self study course and overnight shipping, and started studying away. This review is just based on my experience with my purchase: I didn't get any free stuff from the good folks at HB.

As the stalwart readers who made it through our birth story know, I did rely on the HB CDs during labor, especially some of the middle part that was long and sometimes painful. By the time I had the epidural, I had kind of given up and had figured I was going off for a surgical birth anyway, so I wasn't really trying anymore.

During labor, it was great to have had that training in managing how my brain processed the feelings of labor, and for that I'm very thankful.

However, what was especially great for me, and the main reason I'd recommend the HB course to any pregnant lady I meet is the Pregnancy Affirmations recording. I am normally a person who worries. Sometimes I literally lose sleep while worrying about stuff: ironically, I will lie awake worrying at night about oversleeping and missing a flight. Somehow missing a flight is an earth-shattering catastrophe in my mind. I worry about money, my family, my health, my family's health.. etc.

That affirmation CD helped me be the most relaxed, happy pregnant lady you'd ever want to see. I figured pretty much everything was normal and healthy. During my slightly hilarious prenatal class at the birth center, everyone else always seemed so nervous. I'm guessing it's because I had repeating over and over in my iPod that everything's fine and wonderful.

I loved how useful the CDs were for me. What I didn't love:
  • the name Hypnobabies. Who came up with that? I was embarrassed to talk about it. I kept picturing zombie babies. Weird.
  • the book that came along with the CDs which purported to be the only prenatal class one would need. Most of it focused on preparing for birth, which was great, but I felt like when the author veered out into other topics, their far out man started showing. The author has some pretty wacky ideas about prenatal health: grain of salt here readers! And it was desperately badly edited: spelling and grammatical errors as far as the eye could see.
It just occurred to me that I've not posted about my prenatal class, the one I had to endure every other Wednesday afternoon in order to give birth there. And then get kicked out anyway. I must share that with you all at some point.

Has anyone else tried self hypnosis for birth or anything else? Any thoughts on the difference between hypnosis and mediation? I've never been clear on what distinguishes them.


1 comment:

Hobo Mama said...

Oh, I so agree with both your "didn't loves." Whenever I said Hypnobabies, one friend in particular started giggling, and it was months later that I realized she thought the program was for hypnotizing the baby. And I almost offered (b/c I have been a freelance editor in my time) to edit the book for them and have my husband (a former freelance graphic designer) spruce up the layout for them, because it's kind of painfully homemade. But then we didn't, because we're lazy like that.

But...I really did like the way HB made me feel calm and unpanicked in labor (sorry...my birthing time). I didn't follow all the techniques to the letter, but overall it kept me pretty centered.

And totally agree about the birthing affirmations. I could use some of those for regular life!