So I'm a bit late to the game in trying to figure out if I want to do birthing classes again this go around, and it turns out all the hypnobirthing classes in my area are completely full during the times that would work for me, or scheduled during times that are not doable.
I've done 3 natural births so far, although the first one was unplanned (I completely expected to have an epidural, but arrived at the hospital much too late!). The first labor was pretty painful, as I was scared and DH had to rush to make it to the delivery. I planned ahead better with 2 & 3, and labored quite calmly. Until the end, at which point I think my very reasonable fear of tearing and actually tearing with 1 & 2 get me really worked up. I was hoping to add some new techniques, like hypnobirthing, to my labor-coping repertoire, and possibly avoid cursing out/yelling at everyone during the pushing phase this time. I seriously make quite a racket, which takes the staff by surprise because I go from slight moaning through transition to actively yelling profanities at people pretty much as soon as I get the urge to push.
I've seen packages that you can buy for hypnobirthing that include book(s) and CDs, but... is it honestly worth it if you can't attend any classes? If you already are confident with lamaze or bradley, would hypnobirthing add a lot of value? I basically have to be able to justify spending more money on something during the holidays, AND convince my hubby that he absolutely wants to read the book with me and watch videos. MUCH harder than informing him we are attending a class together!
I didn't do the Hypnobirthing program (by Marie Mongan), but I did do a similar one we have here in the UK. Honestly, I didn't find the class all that helpful. It was confidence-building and reassuring because the instructor did answer a lot of our questions (like, if you feel like you fall asleep, is it still working? The answer is yes, because you aren't really asleep, just in a deep state of relaxation). But I didn't learn any actual skills in the class that I didn't get from just reading the book and practicing daily at home. It was basically just a review of everything in the book (which I'd already read) plus a few practice sessions (I was already used to practicing on my own). Of course, Natal Hypnotherapy isn't Hypnobirthing, so I don't know if it would be as easy to do on your own, but I think it's worth a shot. It's more about practice and just getting yourself in the right frame of mind about birth. The fact you've had 3 natural births already means it will probably be a lot easier for you as you know what to expect and what you need. I used it for my first birth, so had no idea what it would be like. But I felt like the hypnotherapy made a huge difference. I felt so relaxed and calm. There was no screaming (just a bit of moaning at the end when I was pushing) and actually the midwives almost left because they didn't believe I was really in labour, then they checked and I was fully dilated! I never felt out of control or like things weren't manageable and honestly I didn't really find it all that painful (only painful bit was the stupid cervical exam). I had a completely natural home birth using just a TENS machine (didn't even really use my birth pool). I did have a 2nd degree tear, but didn't feel it and crowning wasn't really painful.
I think it's worth a shot. The CDs aren't expensive and really the key is to practice, so if you can put the time in every day or at least 5 times a week, my guess is you'll benefit just as much as someone who took the class. In our class, they showed a video of someone who used it for a natural twin birth who didn't take the class and only practiced with the CD for a week beforehand and it was amazing!
Thank you! That really helps put my mind more at ease. Like you described, the labor itself was so manageable (for #2 and #3) that I had to get slightly nasty to force them to check that I was dilated! With #3, I actually had to say in the sternest way possible that unless they wanted me to deliver in triage, they needed to move me to the delivery room right then, as it was about time for me to push. The good news is that they did take me a bit more seriously since I had been through it more than one.
I just really freak out during pushing, and knowing what is coming seems to make it worse now in comparison. I do feel very grateful that I haven't had any significant difficulties there (just the 2 tears, and only the first with a problem), and pushing doesn't last very long, but I really do embarrass myself by acting all crazy.
I'm going to look into the CDs asap Any suggestions for ones that seem to be most straightforward?
I did hypnobirthing and we had a tutor come to our house. It was helpful in that it was nice to have someone there 1 to 1 to ask all the questions I had, as it was my first baby. But in all honesty she didn't tell me anything that I didn't read in the book. I got the Marie Mongan hypnobirthing book and downloaded the hypno tracks to my iPod and listened to it every day. The bonus I found was that I did sleep much better as they sent me off to the land of nod It definitely helped me to stay calm and relaxed about labour, but that could also be because I didn't really know what to expect I made noise, which at the time I was disappointed with!! The youtube videos showed women giving birth practically silently, but that wasn't me. I mooed like a cow haha. But then my contractions were every minute for ten hours so I didn't really get enough time during my labour to really get into the zone.
I think it's worth a shot as the book and CD don't cost much. The breathing techniques did help me to keep calm, even afterwards because I had a 3rd degree tear and had to go to hospital. Good luck!
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