I went to my first hypnobirthing session with my OH yesterday. It was very much an introductory session explaining the theory behind it rather than any of the techniques. I did agree with the basic premise of it - simplifying it vastly I was basically told that the techniques will help me to relax, by relaxing I am less likely to breath quickly, produce adrenaline and divert oxygen away from my uterus which will ensure that my uterus performs more effectively as a muscle and the contractions are less painful. Based on this session I was keen to give it a go as I felt that it could certainly help.
However when I got home I had a chat to my OH about it. As a result of the session his view is now that childbirth is effectively a completely pain free process and that all pain is down to the mind of the woman giving birth as according to him ’no animals experience any pain during childbirth so it all must be down to humans over thinking it too much’ .
Am I being particularly hormonal to feel very annoyed at his point of view? I am now very concerned about him as my birth partner as I feel I am being set up for failure. I am also annoyed that Hypnobirthing was presented a bit as a complete panacea, whereas I would rather see it as something worth trying to help reduce any pain. I am not entirely convinced that it can deal with all pain for a number of reasons including:
a) If you work any muscle such as the uterus for an extended period (even if it is well oxygenated) it will start to hurt after a while.
b) Although birth is a natural process I think the vast majority of people in the Western world are poorly prepared for birth as certain muscles are not regularly used and a few weeks/months practicing active birth techniques prior to labour will not entirely reverse a lifetime of bad habits (although it will certainly help).
c) Linked to point b) the above the number of back to back babies is higher in Westernised countries linked to poor posture and so on and I do not consider that Hypnobirthing will complete erase any pain from this.
d) I am not sure to what extent hypnobirthing will help with the second stage – after all people that do Hypnobirthing do still tear although the rate is reduced.
My OHs view was that if I feel like this it isn’t worth me bothering with it as I need to be totally convinced about the effectiveness of it for it to work.
I would really appreciate any views on this. Has anyone had any experience giving birth with hypnobirthing that would disagree with my view? Given this view is it worth me continuing with Hypnobirthing? If my view is indeed a rational one how can I convince my OH of this?
I can't offer any advice on the hypnobirthing end, I'm very curious to see what others say as I really had wanted to use it but couldn't afford $70 a seesion...
But I will say I think your OH (or any man who thinks he has the right to make a bold statement like that) is in the wrong to say anything about labor or birth or pregnancy in general. I do feel as a man he should sit back and realise he has NO IDEA nor will he ever! Men can only sympathise with us. And I'm pretty sure animals feel pain in labor they just don't have the minds to over think it like we do so it may hurt less because they don't really understand the pain.
That being said I think you should talk to him and discuss his view so you are comfortable with him during labor. Express how you're feeling because going into labor with a partner you're unsure of is bound to cause unneeded stress and tension and there fore possibly more pain.
Wow, I'd be pissed off with my oh if he had that view.
Your oh is wrong when he says childbirth is painful because humans "overthink" it, it's because we evolved to stand upright, and because we are bipedal our pelvises and birth canals have narrowed and make birthing harder, as the baby has to turn itself around in the birth canal to exit properly. Human babies also have huge heads compared to other animals, which doesn't help. Animals do feel pain when giving birth, but they don't advertise the fact, because, by nature, they try and be as quiet as possible to avoid any predators attacking them while in labour or going for their vunerable newborn.
With your first birth, it is really hard to know exactly how you will cope during labour. I would go into it with an open mind that hypnobirthing is going to be one of your pain relief options, as well as ....... (whatever else you want.) Put 100% effort into learning the techniques and keep revising so that it is as effective as it possibly can be, and if you do need more pain relief, you can turn to one of your other options.
Unsure exactly how to deal with your oh... I'd probably just sit him down, say, this is my birth, I am going to be the one pushing our child into the world, you need to step up and support me 100% and that is all.
Sounds like OH has never seen an animal give birth, I have had two babies and both were painful. I was able to tolerate the pain by using relaxation techniques and had a very positive attitude and kept moving. I don't know about hypnobirthing, not sure how that works but it probably would be worth a try and would probably help with relaxation. I wouldn't think a completely pain-free birth would be acheived unless you had chemical pain relief. But everyone births differently so I can't say that no one has ever had a completely pain free birth, just that it is highly unlikely.
I had a cat though that followed me around and yowled at the top of her lungs while having kittens....she acted in pain. I had to sit with her the whole time. I was like a kitty doula Even cows will bellow and crane there necks during birth.
A hypnobirthing practicioner that posts on another board I'm a member rof put it like this the other day and I thought it was a good eay of explaining what hypnobirthing did for me.
the focus of Hypnobirthing isn't pain-free labour (although lots of people will experience this), but about MORE COMFORTABLE birth. People who experience pain in labour shouldn't interpret that as hypnobirthing "not working" - it's more important to look at the whole experience. The focus should on birth being more comfortable and positive.
Hypnobirthing DID work for me, my birth wasn't painless but it was a very positive experience thanks to the hypnobirthing and I'd recommend it to anyone.
My OH is well aware that animals giving birth feel pain! I did hypnobirthing with Mog, and it made my labour much more manageable and I was very calm about having to go to theatre which I'm sure helped me avoid the c section they were threatening. I totally agree with all your points, mogling turned sideways and wouldn't deliver and after four hours of pushing, it bloody well hurt, in a way it didn't at the beginning. Hypnobirthing is still worth doing, even if you are sure you'll have a hospital delivery (like me) or that it's not going to prevent pain completely. Mog is a super calm baby, I think because of all the relaxation exercises and affirmations. And kick your OH from me.
Hmmm no advice really. But I have watched two dogs give birth. One yelped and howled in pain a lot of the time and the other didn't make a sound but was clearly in pain with shaking etc. so I do think animals feel pain during birth!
I'm my Mum's dog's "birthing partner" in 2 weeks so I shall see how it goes lol xxx
Thanks all I had another chat with my OH and feel a lot better now.
He explained that he didn't really believe that there was no pain and 'it was all in the mind' but that he was just trying to be positive for me as the hypnobirthing teacher had told him that you need to totally believe in the fact that there will be no pain for the techniques to work.
I am not entirely convinced of this view but plan to discuss it with the teacher at the next session.
I will say that my hypnobirth was not pain-free, but it was not nearly as bad as I had imagined prior to starting my hypnobirth classes. I was able to easily cope without any real medical intervention, and did not have any tearing/stitches.
I think the real benefit of hypnobirthing is the attitude going into labour - if you aren't scared of it, it won't be so bad, and the ability to relax pretty much completely during contractions. This recharges your batteries (so to speak) and makes the next one not so bad. Check out the story in my siggy if you want more details.
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