experiences of natal hypnotherapy?

(56 Posts)
PinkParsnips Mon 21-Oct-13 18:55:03

I've bought the cd and listened to it for the first time today (the Maggie Howell one).

I didnt think it was something I'd personally go for, but as the big day gets closer I'm thinking I'll try anything!

I just wondered what people's views were after the event on whether it helped or not? I've done a thread search and can see lots of people planning to try it but not much of people's thoughts afterwards on how it had actually helped...

Ginfox Sat 09-Nov-13 16:45:05

With DC1 I did hypno CD (Maggie Howell) every day for the last month or so. When it came to the event however, my contractions were so fast right from the start that I never really had a chance to get into the right mindset IYSWIM. When I got into the MLU the lovely student midwife talked me through each contraction, and it helped to focus on her voice, it calmed me down, and I managed to remember what I'd practised.

So I think it did help (and I plan to do it again in 5 months time!) but so hard to know when you've only done it once. But even if it didn't make a difference it was a lovely way to spend an hour every afternoon in the last month of pregnancy, followed by a little nap.

aggiepie Tue 05-Nov-13 19:10:51

Hypnobirthing and reading/yoga/antenatal classes/having a doula all help with feeling calm, relaxed and informed when going into labour which reduces pain and anxiety and helps one cope with whatever labour throws at you. Ultimately some labours are more complicated than others and sometimes intervention is inevitable, but the calmer and better prepared and supported you can be the better.
I read Mongan book, listened to cd, read lots of other books, did nct course, stayed fit throughout pregnancy and had a doula for first birth. Midwives were struck by how calm I was despite needing transfer into hospital plus intervention for 4 hour 2nd stage. I only realised sometime later that I had not had any pain relief - at no time did it cross my mind that I might need some.
I think anything that helps you stay positive and not fearful of labour is useful. I am having doula again for 2nd birth - if you can afford one they are well worth it. If you can't afford one then I think doula uk can sometimes help.

Thatsnotmyfigure Tue 05-Nov-13 15:47:55

It definitely helped me. I was pretty much ignored on the over-busy ward as I was so relaxed and coping. The birth was something I wasn't scared of in the run up which was a big plus!
It did mean I was given pethidine and left on my own till fully dilated when they rushed me off to labour ward. So next time I will be more assertive!
I think it helps to involve your partner in the relaxation techniques so worth getting the book and going through the exercises as well as the cd. Good luck!

Bumpiemalumpie Sun 03-Nov-13 20:06:39

hi, does anyone have any app or audio book recommendations? tia

PinkParsnips Tue 29-Oct-13 16:32:25

Thanks Shruggy and you!

I've been trying to listen to the cd every day but have to admit I'm finding it irritating for some reason and keep falling fast asleep! (where I'm not even waking up at the end).

I like the idea of it being just one 'tool' in your box of tricks though and it cant do any harm!

Shruggy Sun 27-Oct-13 21:18:27

Very interesting to hear people's experiences on this. I am starting hypnobirthing classes this week and really hope it works for me - and for you too PinkParsnips!

On paper I had a pretty awful birth - planned a home birth, ended up in theatre with forceps, episiotomy, the works. I'd listened to the natal hypnotherapy CDs for the last few weeks of pregnancy and really think this made my experience bearable, I felt very calm right up to the end and needed no other pain relief bit pointless as I then had a spinal block at the end

I say go for it BUT be realistic about what it can do; it can help you cope with the labour you're given, but if you're baby gets stuck then no amount of relaxation techniques are going to shift them.

Also like others have said no one noticed how far along I was as I was so relaxed, so I ended up mostly labouring on the ward. Tbh this suited me fine as it meant the midwives left me to my own devices grin

TarkaTheOtter Sat 26-Oct-13 20:44:27

Was great for early part of my induction, but had an epidural later on.

Laquila Sat 26-Oct-13 20:34:59

I did the Katherine Graves method (course, book and CDs, and a lot of hard work!) and thought it was fantastic, despite ending up with an EMCS after a 60+ hour labour! As previous posters have said, as well as encouraging you to take control, relax and maintain a positive outlook, hypnobirthing also encourages you to inform ourself on your choices and what to expect (necessity/lack thereof of induction, third stage, delayed clamping etc). I'd certainly use it again - it certainly contributed to my EMCS not actually being as traumatic as I'd been led to believe.

Mummyoftheyear Sat 26-Oct-13 20:23:42

Didn't help.

squidkid Sat 26-Oct-13 20:17:10

not noter above sorry - noter on previous page.

Also second the noters saying it gave them a lovely nap every day on mat leave. Oooh they were lovely naps.

squidkid Sat 26-Oct-13 20:12:17

I found it really helped in the lead up to labour (weeks 39-40 basically). When labour kicked off I was only excited and happy, not scared at all.

I didn't find it massively helpful with the pain, tbh.

I had a straightforward home birth, for my first baby, for what it's worth. Long though. I'd say it helped until about 24 hours in? Then it was just too much. But I was never afraid harm would come to me or my baby. I totally trusted my body and my midwives and my boyfriend and my best friend who was there. So at the time I felt it had failed because it was still so hard and so painful, but in retrospect perhaps it helped a lot keeping me calm? Also the midwives said afterwards they would have transferred most women in those circumstances but I was coping very well. I didn't feel like I was coping very well.

It's very hard to know how much it helps, but I think it's good to feel positive and strong and safe, and I think it gave me that.

Sad to hear the noter above thinking they "failed" at hypnobirthing - obviously it cannot eliminate complications, it is very much the luck of the draw in so many aspects. I view it more as giving yourself the mental space the make the best out of the childbirth hand you're dealt. Sorry if that is a bit too "honest" - tbh when I was 37 weeks pregnant I ONLY listened to positive birth stories and I'm glad I did, even though I found it hard in the end.

docsarah Sat 26-Oct-13 20:01:45

I did a hypnobirth course. Planned a home birth, firmly believed that fear was the cause of all problems, and that I was doing the right things to avoid any negativity surrounding birth. Had a really positive image of birth and labour, was expecting midwives to be fully supportive.

Then DD was breech - home birth went out the window. Went for planned vagninal breech deliveryb- consultant was very supportive, saw no reason why it wouldn't be fine.

Waters broke and it was the most full on experience I have ever had in my entire life. It hurt. There was no build up, no time to do relaxation - it was like being hit by a truck. Fully dilated in 4 hours, gas and air made me sick. Midwife in hospital nervous. DD fine, despite industrial quantities of meconium. Unbearable pain, requested epidural. Most senior available doctor called, as was hospital policy for breech births. He was lovely man who was so calm, and wanted to know what the problem was, as DD was descending well. No one had told me anything, and at that point I had had an epidural and everything slowed down. DDborn by emergency section - 6 hours start to finish.

The anethetist and senior registrar were the most humane and gentle people I met on my birthing journey. The midwives were nervous and broadly unsupportive, and I suspect out of their depth.

Hypnobirthing did nothing to prepare me for what to do when things go wrong, making me feel like as I was doing hypnobirthing, everything would be fine. My mental state was not helped by not being invite to the hyponobirth class reunion. I feel incredibly naieve looking back.

I wonder how many other "failed" HBers are out there? It's not exactly the done thing to say it didn't work.

RubyrooUK Thu 24-Oct-13 22:13:49

Funnily enough, despite two rubbish births (in the sense that I wanted two vaginal births with limited intervention and I got an severe tear and a c-section) I have never felt guilty.

To me, births happen the way they happen. It is frustrating and sometimes upsetting when it's a bad experience, but not something to feel guilty about.

Childbirth is simply not one of my body's top moments. I'd love to have had some of the calm experiences on this thread. On the other hand, my body has other skills. I'm a champion breastfeeder (useful) and I can cross all my toes over each other (not so useful).*

*Sorry for lowering the tone of the thread, OP.

Geordiegirl79 Thu 24-Oct-13 16:55:58

I totally agree with this - I had a midwife tell me 'don't feel like you've failed, some women can give birth and some women's bodies just can't' when I ended up with an emergency c section after a long drawn out labour. This was quite possibly the most unhelpful thing she could have said and it really stuck with me until I talked through previous notes with a consultant this time round and made sense of everything that had happened and why. I hate the guilt / success / failure that is associated with childbirth!

I have been reading the Juju Sundin Birth Skills book recommended on this thread and I really like its focus on explaining the physiology of labour as well as the key message of healthy baby and healthy mum being the most important things.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Thu 24-Oct-13 12:03:33

I would say that it all became a bit irrelevant during my labour. However it's still worth doing. It helped me to go into labour with a really calm and positive attitude.
One thing I will say it that it is right to go into labour with the firm belief that it will be a good experience and that your body will perform this amazing act perfectly. But if it doesn't happen like that, you didn't fail. I think my expectations were rather high which meant I felt disappointed with how it actually went for me.

PinkParsnips Thu 24-Oct-13 11:35:50

Oh wow I didnt expect to see all these responses when I came back to the thread thank you!

Its lovely to see so many positive stories I'm going to sit and have a proper read through all the replies later on....

JacqueslePeacock Wed 23-Oct-13 15:18:35

Rubyroo, I suspect I may be a bit like your friend. I found the birth of DS very traumatic - not because of any complications for DS, I should add, but because the I found the pain itself beyond awful right from the start. I had been so certain I would be able to deal with it after all the hypno-birthing that this was a huge shock. It didn't help that I was in labour for several days, baby was back-to-back and that waters broke very early (as in days before labour), but it was really the actual pain that floored me.

SevenOnwardsAndUpwards Wed 23-Oct-13 00:25:43

I would say I didn't really remember any of it once I was in labour, though I did use it for both DDs whose births did seem much more relaxed than DS who I didn't use it for. Also with DS I had pethidine and remember contractions being excruciating, but just G&A for the girls so if must have done something.

RubyrooUK Tue 22-Oct-13 21:56:42

Lovely birth stories. Mine is a bit more mixed.

I think it can't hurt to try hypnotherapy but as a previous poster says, for me, the best preparation is to be as informed as possible and have a good birth partner who supports you. And also to accept that your birth may not go as planned.

I did hypnobirthing, yoga, pilates before birth and am very fit and flexible. I was confident my body could do birth. I didn't find contractions that painful, even when very strong. Didn't stop my baby getting in distress, a failed induction and an emergency birth with fourth degree tear and surgery afterwards.

I was shocked after my birth but so glad my baby was alive that I was able to cope with what had been so very far from my preparations.

My friend, however, still suffers from PTSD because she believed passionately in hypnobirthing and had a very traumatic birth. That is NOT a criticism of hypnobirthing but simply saying: aim for the hypnobirth but be aware that circumstances beyond your control may arise. My friend was so sure that she would be able to cope in any birth circumstances that it left her very shocked when the experience was so different.

Our experiences made me aware that even the best preparation and hypnobirthing ideal can sometimes run into trouble.

BarberryRicePud Tue 22-Oct-13 21:41:24

I thought it was great. I'm a bit of a control freak and I'm a HCP so was fully aware of all the things that can go wrong and how little control a labouring woman can have. That's why I thought I'd give it a try, for the control rather than pain control per se.

Used the Maggie Howell CDs with DC1 from about 32 weeks pg regularly til term, but often fell asleep. Felt very in control the whole labour. Had a long pre labour (48 hours) with no worse than strong period pains, but very tiring. Actual labour 5.5 hours, 7cm on arrival at hospital, DS born 2.5hrs later. I had to be monitored but didn't find it intrusive. Gas and air which I abandoned for pushing. Phenomenal experience.

Used again for dd but got much less time to listen and didn't feel as prepared. Actual labour probably 3 hours ish, 5cm on arrival but fully within the hour. Gas and air only again but I "felt" it as more painful and less controlled. With hindsight I thought I didn't need to bother so much as had done it before, but that was an error. Though it could be that I was delivering at the end of a horrific pg with awful SPD.

I believe you get what you get as far as labour goes, but you can make the best of it by staying as calm as possible, if that makes sense. If that's an epidural, diamorphine or hypnotherapy, whatever works for you. Doing a hypnotherapy course won't guarantee you a "good birth experience", but it won't hurt and may help how you feel about it. I do think it's essential to not have too high an expectation of the event. My birth plan was healthy baby, healthy mum, whatever it takes.

Natal hypnotherapy was perfect for me. I'd labour again in a heartbeat. But I'd never ever want to be pg again, it's hideous, so that's not going to happen!

FlyLikeABird Tue 22-Oct-13 21:32:11

I listened to the natal hypnotherapy CD for a couple of months leading up to my due date. Very relaxing!

I was induced but labour was very quick (2 1/2 hours) with no break between contractions. I really couldn't mentally get into my visualisations as the pain was too strong. However I think if I had been in the delivery suite with low lighting, a midwife etc I would have been more able to get into it. Unfortunately I was on the ante-natal ward stuck on a monitor with the midwives thinking I was over-reacting.

I did find it very successful for my first post-birth poo blush

MerryMarigold Tue 22-Oct-13 21:31:15

I have 3 very un-hippie-ish friends who all swore by it! Sadly, too late for me, but I wish I had tried it.

Teladi Tue 22-Oct-13 21:31:14

The birth of my DD was traumatic but I think the one thing that kept me going throughout and probably stopped me from slipping away mentally afterwards was the natal hypnotherapy. Seriously, I would recommend it to anyone, and have kept my CDs to lend to people. I really think it saved my sanity and helped me feel like I had some control of the situation.

And I also slept through the CD a lot!!

failingmammalian Tue 22-Oct-13 21:15:48

i think hypnotherapy is amazing. i like the UK version better than the US one (cant remember names) bcs the US woman seems a bit bonkers in that she dsnt think u have to feel pain which is obviously bollox. the UK woman is more into embracing the pain and thinking of it as being sthg useful and natural (for me this was v important as i am super squeamish and so being able to think of the pain of dilation as natural and good and non-damaging was v helfpul). during the birth i didnt really "use" the techniques but i think it just got me v well prepared. i was so "in the zone" and really ignored my dh for much of the time. if all else fails, it means you have spent a long time on the sofa resting and breathing so it cant possibly be a waste of time. oh, and the baby would go crazy and dance about with all the heavy breathing during my sessions, which was sweet.

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