Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Hypnobabies - Part I

I know. It sounds weird & totally 'out there.'

No, it doesn't involve clucking like a chicken or barking like a dog. Trust me, I was apprehensive about it at first, too. I'm quite strong willed & have always thought that there is no way I could be hypnotized. And then I learned that it's the strong willed who are the most easily hypnotized. 

So, what is it, then? It's really not that easy to explain, but I'll do my best without getting too lengthy:

Hypnobabies is a method of childbirth preparation. It uses self-hypnosis {did you know that ALL hypnosis is self-hypnosis? No one can "put" you into hypnosis but you!}, imagery and deep relaxation techniques to reprogram the inner mind {in a positive way} to eliminate the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle that surrounds so many Western birthing experiences.

The Hypno-mom learns to put herself into a deeply relaxed state, using techniques learned over the 6 week course, and practiced daily until her birthing time {birthing time=labor & delivery, in Hypnobabies language...there are a lot of 'typical' words that are not used in Hypnobabies due to their negative connotations}. Hypno-mom creates a 'hypno-anesthesia' within her own body, but she is still able to walk, talk, eat, speak & interact with others, all while in a state of hypnosis. This enables her to an easier, more comfortable birthing time, one where pain medications are completely unnecessary. 

Hypno-moms typically average 6 hour birthing times {from the very onset of pressure waves to the time baby is born--this includes first time moms, second time moms, VBAC moms, multiples moms, etc}, and Hypno-babies typically are born calm and quiet, latch on to Mama right away and without issue, and have the appearance of a c-section baby {you know--pretty, round head, unsquished face, no bruising, etc}.

I know. You still think I've taken the Granola Mama label too far. 

I don't blame you. 

When our midwife asked us what birthing classes we had looked into, it was quite obvious, at least to us, that we were going to take a Bradley class. It was really the only style that fit ours, so it was a no-brainer. 

And then our midwife brought up Hypnobabies. 

We told her we'd never heard of it and asked her to explain it a bit. The word 'hypnosis' came up a few times and I have to be honest and say that it made me feel weird and uncomfortable. There is no way in heck I am going to birth my baby under hypnosis! One of the main reasons I am opting for a drug free birth is so that I can be fully present and fully active in the birth of my baby. How would hypnosis allow for that?

We did some research and read nothing but amazing things about Hypnobabies. Mr. Lukie talked to one of the guys he works with whose wife just had a baby a few months ago. Turns out, they used Hypnobabies {but clearly, hadn't broadcast this information...and understandably so} and were so impressed and blown away by the difference between this birth and the birth of their first child. He said she had a very easy, very comfortable labor with no discomfort {just pressure}, and that she would, without a doubt, do it all over again the same way {her words...not his}.

All of this to say, we signed up for Hypnobabies and have now attended 2 of the 6 classes. After the first class, I was a little more on board than when I walked in. But after the second class? I am 100% convinced that this method will work for me and I am {dare I say...} looking forward to my birthing time so that I can use what I'm being taught in order to have an easier, more comfortable birth!

During one of the hypnosis sessions in class #2, I was encouraged to create hypno-anesthesia from the top of my breasts to the middle of my thighs, including my arms. 

I did so. 

I was then told that my birth partner (the hubs) would be doing some 'arm work' on me. I felt him messing with the top of my right forearm--I felt pressure and then light rubbing at three different times. I was asked after each session of 'arm work' whether I felt discomfort or pressure, and each time I responded with "pressure." 

I then brought myself out of my hypnotic state. Our instructor then asked me if I felt ANY discomfort at any time during any of the arm work sessions and I explained to her that I was aware that he was doing something to my arm, but that no, there was no discomfort at any time, I merely felt pressure a few times, and then light rubbing. 

She asked Mr. Lukie to please demonstrate exactly what he had done the three times before while I was in hypnosis to my arm. He pinched the top of my forearm so incredibly hard that not only did I jump and pull my arm away from him, but I screamed out, "Owwww!" and a large red welt was left behind for several minutes afterward.

True story. 

No, he didn't "go easy" on me during the hypnosis session, or "go hard" on me during the demonstration when I was out of hypnosis. It was the same exact pinch...but I was not in a hypnotic state with my hypno-anesthesia going.

Pressure waves will definitely be stronger than a pinch to the forearm, of that I am fully aware. But the extent to which what I felt was diminished so significantly? I'm a believer.

I'm excited to follow this post up with one after Baby L arrives, giving a no-holds barred account of how the Hypnobabies method of child birthing works for us. 

I'm pretty sure, though, that it will be a glowing review!


  1. I have also heard rave reviews from friends about Hynobabies! (Honestly, not one negative thing!) I am a big believer in mind over matter, (for the most part, obviously I wasn't going to try it with my c-sections! haha) so I think it sounds pretty incredible! I'm glad you're enjoying the classes so far, and that you think it will work well for you! I look forward to hearing more about it! :)

  2. I have to admit that Hypnobabies used to seem a little crazy-pants to me. I'm still a little hesitant, but everything you've said seems super logical!

  3. I'm very curious to see how this goes for you. Good luck! Giving birth is such an amazing experience!

  4. Wow, interesting and I'm curious. I'll look forward to reading more. Too bad I didn't know about this when I had my babe, I think I would have been intrigued to try it.

  5. So cool! I am very excited to hear about how this works for you during your birth!!! :) I will definitely be exploring this option when Jared and I have a baby...

    I've heard sometimes women experience so much pain that they aren't capable of focusing on their breathing and relaxation techniques which I think a technique like this would be so much more effective.


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