June 13, 2012

Some of you had some additional questions and curiosities about HypnoBirthing and Glow’s birth story. Trust me, that’s normal. My BFF still thinks I am strange and new-agey because I chose to do HypnoBirthing. I had Glow at the hospital, my midwife knew ahead of time all about my birth plan and had seen HypnoBirthing be done successfully, so she was on board, and with the classes and all my practice, Ben and I felt completely ready for it too.

Below are some of the answers to your questions and I also had the clinical hypnotherapist that taught me all about HypnoBirthing, Dr. AnnaLynne, share some answers to a few questions too…

1. In your own words, what is hypnosis, particularly HypnoBirthing?

Me: So I know everyone’s first thought of hypnosis is a sort of circus act come to life where adults are acting like animals on a stage. That my friends is not HypnoBirthing.While that kind of funny thing can happen under hypnosis, it doesn’t happen while HypnoBirthing, unless you want it to of course. Then sure, why not?! 
To me, HypnoBirthing is kind of like when you are driving but preoccupied with something else that you are paying attention to your driving, but your mind is somewhere else and all of a sudden, you are at your destination and you’re like “Whoa! That was fast.” Or when you kind of space out, but you hear  and see everything going on around you, but you’re in real deep thought about something else. Make sense yet?

During HypnoBirthing, I am in complete control and I choose to make myself relax or not. Of course, I had triggers (i.e. my music and a special scent) that I would only associate with going into hypnosis, but I wasn’t under the control of someone else. Through the sessions I did with Dr. AnnaLynn, I trained myself to let my whole body completely relax like it was asleep and my mind was fully alert but just imagining I was in another place. This will sound funny, but usually I was under a big tree and there was a breeze and rolling mountains. When I had surges, which are contractions, I imagined I was swinging under the tree and the pressure I was feeling was me going against the wind as I was swinging. I honestly felt I was there and it was more peaceful than pain.

In short, it is a mind over matter thing. Just like when you get into a car accident and you aren’t supposed to grip the steering wheel tighter because if you tense up, you’re body will feel more pain. That is the same thing when in labor. You train your body to relax during surges that your body doesn’t fight your uterine muscles working and instead of feeling pain, you just feel pressure. While the pressure can get intense, it doesn’t register as pain. Really though, I have said this before, I am a chicken when it comes to pain. Heck, I hate getting shots! But with HypnoBirthing, I totally was able to do it sans epidural or any pain medication of sorts. That’s pretty big for this chicken.

Dr. AnnaLynne: HypnoBirthing takes the fear OUT of your experience.

Yes you have been in hypnosis before. You just haven’t realized it. You are in light trance when you are daydreaming, falling asleep, waking up and at other times when you are deeply relaxed. It’s nothing airy-fairy. It’s a normal, everyday experience which HypnoBirthing teaches you to manipulate and control.

2. How far along were you when you started taking classes?

Me: I started taking classes when I was about 7.5 months pregnant. It is 5 sessions and a couple hours each session. We did it via skype with Dr. AnnaLynn. It was nice because we got to do it in our home, in our bedroom, which really made it comfortable for me to relax and go into hypnosis.

Dr. AnnaLynne: The best time to begin your classes is around 28-30 weeks. When you finish class V, you will have four to five weeks to practice before labor begins. However, you can learn this method within just days of your expected birthing if you decide late in your pregnancy you’d like to use HypnoBirthing for the experience of a quick, gentle, calm and soul-filling labor and delivery of your baby. 

The average labor and delivery time for my clients really is 2.9 hours, even for first babies. Contact me at 909.297.6132 or [email protected] to ask any question. These classes work beautifully on skype and it’s soooo easy to set up.

3. How much time before my due date do you recommend practicing hypnosis?

Me: I say you would want to take it in your third trimester, so that it is fresh and you are constantly practicing it up until baby decides to come. It is a big investment of time and money to take the classes and practice, but it is well worth it. I felt like I was preparing for a marathon. It was constant practice to make sure I was able to get myself into hypnosis quickly and naturally.

Dr. AnnaLynne: It is best to have at least four to five weeks of practice, but I have had mothers come in as late as the week of their due date and be successful with HypnoBirthing.

4. Do you have to have the IV if you go the natural route?

Me: You don’t, but I opted for it, so I would stay hydrated.

5. Is it scary putting yourself under hypnosis?

Me: Once I understood it and understood I was in control, it wasn’t scary at all. It was fun and really relaxing. I think it is a good technique to have to help calm down or just zone out and chill. I still do it now, especially when Ben massages me. It feels nice. 

6. How did you choose your song?

Me: Michelle, a sweet reader, had sent me some music by her husband awhile ago and Lake Yarina was just so peaceful to me. It is angelic and just lovely. During our first session, when Dr. AnnaLynne told me I needed calming music, Lake Yarina was the first thing to come to mind. That was the only song I used. Even when I hear it now, I instantly calm down. It is a beautiful song by Josh Garrels.

If any of you still have any questions, just leave them here in the comments and I will get to them. I am no professional at all, but I am just sharing my experience. In the end, you have to choose what is best for you. I had the first three girls in the hospital with the magical epidural and their births are just as special as the last. I am proud of the way each of my girls came into this world and epidural or not, labor is hard work. It’s not called labor for nothin’! 

19 comments on “HYPNOBIRTHING 101”

  • amy D says:

    Wow, thank you for sharing this! I am definitely going to consider this for baby #2. I think I had company in town when you posted Glow's birth story, so I am just now reading it, and wow! I just absolutely loved it 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! Oh, I also bookmarked the music you used, you know, just in case! 🙂

  • Abi says:

    Hi! First time commenter here – I love your blog! I had an all-natural (induced) labor with my son. It went well, but it was painful. I am interested in hypnobirthing with this baby after reading your post. My concerns are (as a Christian), is hypnobirthing new-agey or anything like that? Or is it simply training your body to relax? It'd be awesome if I could not have pain during labor!

    • Rubyellen says:

      I will say that when you take the classes there is a section about history and how women are goddesses and the like, which isn't exactly my cup of tea, but the actually hypnobirthing process itself is simply a technique on how to relax. not new agey and you aren't under the influence of someone else, but are in control of your own mind and own ability to relax yourself. it really is mind over matter and visualizing a positive outcome and going against what everyone says you will feel during labor. we all automatically think pain because we have trained ourselves to think, “oh no! labor… ouch.” but really, it could be intense and will take work to get through, but not exactly ouch. i will say the surges do get intense and when i wasn't able to let my body relax, the pressure was experienced in an uncomfortable way. that happened sometimes because i got stuck at 8cm for 2 hours and couldn't relax sometimes. but when i was relaxed, all was good and i just felt pressure and no pain. you are still working hard though to get yourself into hypnosis and keep staying there.

  • Melissa says:

    Thank you! I'm three weeks away from my due date with baby #4. I've had two natural births and one epidural so far. Baby #4 will be born at a birthing center with a midwife. I agree about hypnosis relaxing you during surges. I have never done official “classes” but I read a LOT about relaxation methods during my third trimester with each pregnancy. Thanks for sharing and answering so many questions!

  • claire says:

    LOVE Josh Garrels!

  • angela says:

    So great of you to share your experience. I would for sure seriously consider this as an option if I was pregnant!

  • The Riders says:

    You may have mentioned this already or linked to information about it, if so I missed it, but approximately what is the cost for the hypnobirthing classes?

  • this is so informative and interesting to me… I had no idea this even existed. i'll definitely have to look into it whenever i decide to have some babies, because i am terrified of the thought of the whole experience lol.
    xo dana

  • charity says:

    Thanks for this!! I had my second at home a year ago and loved the experience. I have such long labors that I have been looking into hypnobirthing. I like the idea of doing it at home with my husband. How much does she charge? Thanks!!

    • Rubyellen says:

      i don't remember even though it was just a year ago. i think it was around $200-$300. Something like that. I would definitely give her a call to find out… so worth it! I know there are local classes you might be able to find that you would take with other people too. I vote for the one on one though.

  • glimmersnaps says:

    Wait, did the say the average labor and delivery for her clients was 2.9 hours? Is that correct? That crazy, crazy fast! How is that even possible?

  • I've loved reading about your hypnobirth. I've been considering this as an option and I've started to read the book and practice with the CD. I really hope it works as well for me as it did for you. Thanks for sharing!

  • hi, Rubyellen! i read your hypnobirthing 101 and glow’s birth story posts awhile ago, before i found out i was pregnant and was intrigued. that was the first time i had heard of hypnobirthing. my husband and i are pregnant with our first and i am 20 weeks along. we will be taking an in-person hypnobirthing class that is highly recommended by many people. i’m trying to read glow’s birth story again, but for some reason that page keeps throwing me back to the home page – do you happen to know why this is the case? also, did you hire a doula during your pregnancy with glow? did you incorporate any other methods besides hypnobirthing? thank you!

    • Rubyellen says:

      I highly recommend taking a class! Here is the post:

      Ben took the class with me, and so he was pretty informed on how to help me, so we didn’t hire a doula. Other than that, all I used was hypnobirthing. It’s pretty intense and you have to be ready for the intensity of labor, but so doable. I am really a chicken when it comes to pain, and to my surprise, I was able to do it sans epidural. I had a very positive experience with hypnobirthing, so I hope the same for you!

  • Hi again, Rubyellen! My husband and I just started a five week (once a week) hypnobirthing class. Just wondering what your thoughts are on your experience with any elements of hypnobirthing that seems to draw on non-Christian/Jesus centered religions/beliefs. How did you sift through that and glean what you learned in a healthy way? Thank you!

    • Rubyellen says:

      I know, there are some things like were totally off with what we believe, at those parts, I just internally rolled my eyes. Hypno-birthing is basically just a relaxation technique, so that’s what I saw it as. I did it trusting God was in control, and helping me be in control, and that’s that. Hope this helps! Email me if you have more concerns.

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