Sunday, July 29, 2012
My Hypnobabies Review - Tale of a Skeptic
Very early in Declan's pregnancy, I felt strongly that I should prepare for natural childbirth. I didn't know why and I still planned to have an epidural, but I felt like it was what I needed to do. Consequently, I started to research childbirth education options. In this post I asked for advice/ideas in regard to this topic and received a lot of great insight from some of you through comments, e-mails and discussions. I read a lot about Bradley and Brio, looked into Lamaze and honestly didn't give Hypnobabies a fighting chance at first. Why? Well, I thought it was super weird! I obviously didn't know anything about the method and had some serious misconceptions about hypnosis. For me, the word "hypnosis" was synonymous with someone clucking like a chicken on a stage or something like that. I read lots of reviews about the other methods and looked into classes in my area. One major problem I found was that the classes were so expensive! Also, they required a lot of time for both my husband and I and we were both so busy! Between school and trying to find a babysitter each time we would have had a class, it just didn't seem doable. So I decided to try a cheaper route that required less time outside of the home. I ordered a couple of books, Husband Coached Childbirth and Natural Hospital Birth, along with the Labor 101 DVDs. I also borrowed one of my friend's Bradley class workbooks and read through that. After watching and reading a bunch, plus talking to more of my friends who had natural births, I realized that the most important part of being able to have a natural childbirth is the ability to relax while you are in labor. If you can relax, you can really reduce the pain you are under and move the process along more quickly. The problem I saw with this is that I sometimes have a hard time relaxing. For example, I was never very good at taking naps because I would lay there thinking about all of the other things I should be doing. At the end of a yoga class, it took me a lot of work to relax during shavasana. You get the idea. (Btw, I find it a lot easier to relax now that I have gone through Hypnobabies and still use some of the techniques when I am falling asleep or feeling particularly stressed). How was I going to be able to relax while my body was dilating, contracting, pushing...? Throughout my research process I kept thinking about Hypnobabies and finally decided to give it as fair a chance as I had the other methods before I decided what route I wanted to go. I read a bunch of reviews on it and the BEST thing I did to learn about it was downloading their free relaxation session. I thought the track was great and the whole concept really made sense to me.
HERE if you are interested. I really enjoyed the other books I read as well, but I will say that the home study course alone would have been enough. The founder of Hypnobabies was a Bradley instructor for years so she incorporates everything they include in their classes but really felt like women needed to learn how to relax better.
After Your Baby Comes track. As much as I loved Hypnobabies during my pregnancy and during labor and delivery, I loved it even more afterward! I listened to this track every day for the first 6 weeks after Declan was born and still listen to it occasionally. It really helped me feel more rested and confident, helped me maintain a level mood through the postpartum hormone changes and just really helped my recovery overall. I loved my experience with Hypnobabies, would recommend it to anyone wanting an easier birth and will definitely use it with any subsequent pregnancies.
P.S. One of the suggestions Hypnobabies provides is that you visualize exactly how you want your birth to go. I wanted to have had a good amount of sleep, but still wanted to go into labor when it was dark and quiet and while Aaron was asleep, I also wanted to get to the hospital in time to deliver but I didn't want to be there for very long when the baby came and I didn't want to push for very long. All of these things happened!