Using Other Programs

Hypnobabies asked the experts (Hypno-Moms)

Q: Have you used another method of childbirth preparation before doing Hypnobabies for a subsequent baby’s birth? Please share your experience with those who are new to Hypnobabies and would like some encouragement.

Blair:

I wanted to let you know that I used a regular hypnobirthing program for my first birth and have chosen to use Hypnobabies for my current pregnancy. With the hypnobirthing I did not feel as prepared and as confident as I do with this one. Hypnobabies is so much more in depth and comprehensive that it makes all the difference to me. I feel so much more confident in my choices, more prepared to deal with the unexpected and a stronger resolve that things will happen the way that I want them to and not what the Docs want. My birth is not to be convenient for them but all about me and my baby’s health. This pregnancy I have made a lot of major choices like switching to a midwife at 4 months, going to a natural birthing center unit, hiring a doula, and laying out specifically what I want to happen. It is nice to feel empowered by the program simply because I know what me options are. I didn’t get that with the hypnobirthing one and that is something I feel pretty strong about. Hypnobabies (the staff and program) have been so supportive of me that I could not have asked for anything more. Bright Blessings to you!!!(Blair had a challenging Pitocin induced birth, but did it comfortably with Hypnobabies!)
 


Susan:

I did research on Hyp-birth when I was doing my own comparison shopping before my second birth. What I discovered was that Hypbirth includes ONLY the CDs, and if I remember correctly a video explaining how to use them. There is no childbirth information at all, so you need to go elsewhere to get all the information you need to be fully informed on how to have as safe and healthy a pregnancy and birth as possible. As for the hypnosis, like Hypnobabies, Hypbirth does include a way for women to enter hypnosis very quickly, which is good. But unlike Hypnobabies, Hyp-birth does NOT teach a way to remain deeply in hypnosis and very comfortable while remaining upright and mobile. Which means that many women probably need to remain in bed to be deeply relaxed if things get intense for them at any point.
 
That is what happened to me while using regular hypnobirthing, (for my first birth) and the result was a much longer birth than I likely would have had if I had been able to remain upright and mobile, as I did with my Hypnobabies birth. That was one of the main reasons I knew Hypnobabies was the best choice for me, and it really came in handy during my second birthing. In fact, I walked very calmly into the birthing center at full dilation. That’s something I never could have done in my first birthing.
 
Basically, even though Hyp-birth includes much more in depth hypnosis techniques than regular hypnobirthing, it still didn’t have the two things I found to be missing during my first birth. Namely, a complete childbirth education (so I could understand all my options in the rare case that complications arose, and discuss them intelligently with my caregiver – plus use natural alternatives avoid to medical intervention, when possible) and a way to remain calm and comfortable while upright during the more intense parts of the birth. Even though I looked into Hyp-birth while preparing for my second birth, I had discovered during my first birth that I needed more birthing information than I had learned through my hypnobirthing classes, so choosing a program that didn’t include ANY childbirth information wasn’t a good fit for me. And once I found out that it didn’t specifically teach “mobile” hypnosis skills, my decision was clear. I chose Hypnobabies for my second birth and had a fabulous, fully informed, pain-free and mobile birth, just as I hoped I would!

 


Sarah:

I took a hypnobirth course when I was pregnant with my first daughter, and ended up not really using any of the techniques for a variety of reasons. For one thing (the big one), I was never really sold on the idea that it would actually work. There weren’t that many recorded scripts to listen to; my “birth partner” was supposed to supplement those by reading a few short scripts to me, but DH lost interest in the whole project pretty quickly and was always “too tired” to go over anything with me (which made me frustrated and angry); I found the instructions for the breathing exercises to be confusing and never got the hang of the exercises themselves; and the hypnobirthing book itself, while it has good information, isn’t laid out in a very helpful format.
 
By the time I got induced, I had pretty much lost interest in going natural. I got an epi when things got ouchy, and gave birth to a lovely little girl. Not a bad experience by any means, but I decided this time around that I’d like to have more control and more options than the first time around.
 
I haven’t actually birthed using the Hypnobabies course yet, but I have SO much more faith in it than in hypnobirthing. The week-by-week (and in the maintenance phase, day-by-day) schedule is VERY easy to follow. There are more hypnosis tracks (19) to listen to covering more topics. DH is still not very interested (not negative, just not willing to prepare in any way), but I feel like it doesn’t matter nearly as much as I have so much more information available to me–plus I’ve hired a doula who is really interested in hypnosis, so she’ll be there to help me out when needed.
 
I started doing the course at about 5 months and have followed it pretty faithfully. It’s basically really relaxing and enjoyable, so it hasn’t been a chore to do it. And I’ve been sleeping better than I did with my first pregnancy, so that alone is worth it! Another big plus has been reading all the wonderful birth stories here, which have given me much more confidence than I had with my first pregnancy and birth.
 


Susan:  

I didn’t understand the differences in my first pregnancy and took a HypnoBirthing class. There weren’t any local Hypnobabies classes at the time, so my thinking was that a live class would be better for a FTM than a home study class. Unfortunately, I quickly learned that assumption was wrong. The HypnoBirthing class taught us almost nothing about birth and provided very little information on what to do during the birth. My husband and I left the last class with a belief that birth could be comfortable, but no idea how to achieve that. It didn’t go well. So when we were expecting our second baby, we used the Hypnobabies Home Study and were SO much happier with it. I literally learned more in the first half-hour after opening the Hypnobabies package than I had in all 5 weeks of our HypnoBirthing class. The depth of knowledge and power of the hypnosis skills blew the little we learned in the earlier class out of the water. Hypnobabies helped us have a much more enjoyable, comfortable an safer birth.

Rose:

I took a basic hypnobirthing class with my first child. I found the class empowering, and it enabled me to relax. However, they did not teach us anything but how to relax. I never really felt like I was deeply in hypnosis. During the birth I was relaxed but I did end up asking for narcotics. At the time I knew very little about pain medication.
 
With my second pregnancy I used the Hypnobabies program and it was amazing. I was deeply in hypnosis, and there are so many wonderful scripts. There is also SO much information on staying healthy and low risk, as well as choices in childbirth. It was so great I flew across country to become an instructor!! 😮 )
 
I definitely recommend the Hypnobabies program.
 


Sandy:

I took a private hypnobirthing class with my hypno-doula. I was not happy with the material or the CDs (only 2 come with hypnobirthing the class). My hypno-doula was great and she supplemented the material some, but not enough for me to become comfortable and confident in hypnosis. I then found the Hypnobabies course and ordered it and switched to it. My doula worked with me to learn the new cues and changes and she thought it was great too. If you take a hypnobirthing course, make sure the person truly has a background in hypnosis and is not just a childbirth person who learned hypnosis via hypnobirthing training. Mine was a truly certified hypnotherapist and childbirth educator with strong backgrounds in both.
 
I personally preferred the Hypnobabies and would choose it again. I love my hypno-doula, but I did not care for the hypnobirthing material. The book doesn’t explain everything – leaves a lot of holes to be filled in by class instructor and they only give you two CDs which don’t really help that much in my opinion. The rainbow relaxation helps you relax but doesn’t really give a lot of post hypnotic suggestions and doesn’t really prepare you near as well as the Hypnobabies CDs. The Hypnobabies course is so much more complete than hypnobirthing, although a few people might find their simpler approach preferable, most people don’t. The extra scripts in the Hypnobabies keeps you from becoming bored listening to same thing all the time and gives you much more tools and scripts to work with.
 
I had my DS with Hypnobabies in December and it went very well and I did not have pain, although I was uncomfortable at times from the pressure and tightening which was sometimes much more than I expected.

 


Kirsten D:

I had 3 babies before Hypnobabies. Hospital babies. Medically orchestrated babies. Nightmare deliveries. Prep was the hospital course, where they tell you Pitocin does not make birth waves stronger…lies…. They told me how to behave to make life easy for hospital staff. Hypnobabies was a ray of light. I had 3 more babies. Hypnobabies. A home birth, a vaginal breech birth. With Hypnobabies. I wish I had had Hypnobabies from the start, but thanks to having a variety of experiences, I can wholeheartedly endorse Hypnobabies. God bless you, Kerry (creator of Hypnobabies)!
 


Carly A:

I did Hypnobirthing on my first, and Hypnobabies on my second. I felt FAR more prepared and much more calm and comfortable on my second.
 


Veronica D:

I did Hypnobirthing and found that in comparison to Hypnobabies, it was more of a visualization and focusing technique but not a true hypnosis method for managing discomfort. Ultimately I learned more about how to take care of myself and my baby during pregnancy and how to use hypnosis to truly focus and stay as comfortable as possible when the birthing process can get intense. I felt robbed by the Hypnobirthing course after taking Hypnobabies. I hope this helps!
 


Hailey M:

First baby I used Lamaze, had a typical hospital delivery, made it 9 hours with Pitocin, got an epidural, flat on back for 3 hours, pushed for one hour and 9 lb 5 oz baby boy was born. Wasn’t able to nurse him.
 
Second baby, used Hypnobabies, was in birthing time all day but was so comfortable we didn’t make it to the birthing center before his head was born in the car, got to parking lot and midwives helped deliver the rest of my 9 lb 15 oz baby boy 🙂 Hypnobabies is so amazing! Oh, and number 2 is nursing like a champ!

 


Kim P:

We did regular Lamaze for our first birth (natural). It was a very quick labor and from 6cm through 10cm I was very close to asking for an epidural. I’m quite sure if it had taken any longer to progress that I would have asked for one. Our 2nd birth was a c/s (twin breech). Our 3rd birth was a twin VBAC with Hypnobabies. I had a wonderful birth experience and never had that “out of control” feeling during transition like I had with our first birth. I never felt desperate for it to be over. Just a nice calm feeling that I was in control and everything was progressing like it was supposed to. People find it hard to believe that we had a twin VBAC, but then when they hear it was drug free (and as close to painless as possible) they are really shocked. It also came in handy for IV placement, shots (I had to have terbuteline shots a few times due to PTL), and cervical checks, etc… The nurses actually didn’t believe I was in labor because I was so calm. Definitely worth it!
 


July P:

For my first baby I used a class called natural childbirth offered at the hospital. I was extremely tense during that labor and my baby did not descend. I had a C-section with her. My hypnobaby on the other hand came in three hours. love Hypnobabies and I would recommend it to anyone. I loved using the hypnosis tools before labor and during it. Labor was so much more manageable using the program.
 


Vanessa M:

I used Lamaze and HypnoBirthing … nope, didn’t work. So excited to use Hypnobabies this time since I’ve read it works so much better!
 


Bridget E:

With my first I just took the hospital class. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go natural at the time, because I was so scared of pain and the unknown, so I decided to play it by ear. I’d heard great things of Lamaze from my mom and other ladies but every time I looked into the “breathing techniques” I just couldn’t buy it. I would probably end up working myself into tizzy trying to figure how to do the breathing right and end up with more stressed. I didn’t really have a plan other than to see how far I could make it without meds and I didn’t last long. Cervadil–Pitocin induction at 41 weeks, begged for epidural at 2cm! Second baby, I found Hypnobabies and dived in head first. Felt so confident and excited for the birth, despite how much I disliked my first one. Water broke naturally on my due date at 6pm and by midnight I had delivered a 10lb 15oz completely natural! Labor was an absolute breeze due to the hypnosis techniques I had taught myself, and my Hypnobabies birth tracks playing on my iPod. Nothing compares to the confidence this program gives you. Love it!
 


Marilyn M:

Hypnobabies includes the kind of information you would get in Bradley (nutrition, exercise, the process of birth, risks and benefits of procedures and medications commonly offered, etc.) as well as medical hypnosis techniques for comfort in birthing that you won’t find anywhere else.

Portia C:

For my first child I used the Bradley method and had a hard hospital birth with unwanted medical intervention 30 hours after my water broke. For my second child I had in September, I used Hypnobabies and had an AWESOME birthing experience. Labor started at 8 PM, I went to bed at midnight listening to my birthing day affirmations/ first stage labor, went to the birthing center at 7AM well rested and had my baby girl at 8AM! Such a better way to relax, be more comfortable and let your body do the work!
 


Susan M:

I took Bradley for my first and used Hypnobabies home study with my second, with much better results – I felt comfortable for most of my Hypnobabies birth! I’m now a Hypnobabies instructor. I love the whole Hypnobabies philosophy and see more and more how it applies not only to birth but life in general. Our minds, thoughts, and the words we choose to use are so powerful. I saw it in my birth experiences too. And I have to agree that you get everything and more in Hypnobabies that you would get in other classes.

Anna H: 

I was a Bradley student who skeptically gave Hypnobabies a try. I’m not sure how I would have stayed calm and relaxed throughout my natural birth without Hypnobabies. I became convinced during the middle of my birth that Hypnobabies was the real deal! You’ll notice some similarities in the physiology of birth and benefits/risks of interventions portions of the class. Other than those similarities, the class is very different! So much information in Hypnobabies about the psychology of mindfulness, positive thinking, and hypnosis itself. The philosophy of the course is extremely different (Bradley: pain is likely and you’re stronger than it vs. Hypnobabies: you can create comfort in your body). The tools that Hypnobabies offers are far superior in my opinion. Hypnosis (Hypnobabies has medical-grade hypnosis) helps mom stay incredibly much more comfortable and relaxed than just trying to relax using soothing music, comfortable positions, and a birth partner’s support with comfort measures.

Jessica U: 

It really really is a night and day difference. I did Bradley with my first, Hypnobabies with my second, and will do Hypnobabies with every future baby.

Susan R:  

I haven’t used the Bradley Method myself, but I did take the class as a birth partner for my friend, so I can give you that perspective. The childbirth information has similarities between Hypnobabies and Bradley, though in my experience, Hypnobabies was at least 15-20 years more current than Bradley. And since Hypnobabies has had 4 updates since then, it’s probably even more true now. As a birth partner, I found Bradley stressful and frustrating. I had already learned all the same physical comfort techniques in Hypnobabies as we were taught in the Bradley class, but was shocked when I realized that was all she had. For our births using Hypnobabies, those techniques were just supplemental ideas to help enhance the effects of the real tools – hypnosis. It was challenging going into my friend’s birth as a birth partner, knowing that she had nothing to fall back on if things like position changes, counter pressure, visualization, etc., weren’t enough to keep her comfortable. Luckily, my friend wanted the “white-knuckle” birth experience, and was happy with her birth though it looked unnecessarily brutal from my perspective. It was hard for me, watching her discomfort and knowing that she hadn’t “installed” any of the tools for herself that kept me comfortable when I gave birth. As a birth partner, I had fewer ways to help, and none of them were nearly as effective as what I had with Hypnobabies’ hypnosis techniques and other tools.

Two of my births were long(ish) at about 24-26 hours each. Hypnosis (from HypnoBirthing and a few Hypnobabies supplemental tools, not the full Hypnobabies course) helped me stay comfortable with my first, but interfered with my safety and that of my baby by undermining my ability to follow my body’s instincts to move during that birth.

With my second birth, on paper it would look like I had basically the same type of birth, but my experience was night-and-day different (and better!) Learning the complete Hypnobabies program allowed me to get the full benefit of being deeply in hypnosis and remarkably comfortable while moving freely and instinctively. That kept us safer and more comfortable and allowed the birth to go more smoothly. In fact, I slept for 4 solid hours in the midst of active birthing, right through transformation (aka transition), and was fully dilated when we arrived at the birth center. (Though they almost sent us home before I requested a cervical check, because they couldn’t tell that I was in my birthing time at all.)

With my third, I had a 3 hour birth that was more intense and less comfortable. Fast births are often more intense, since so much is being accomplished very quickly. But Hypnobabies includes hypnosis tools that allow people to enter and deepen hypnosis instantly. For fast births, or births that include moments of particular intensity, there are tools that allow birth partners to instantly bring the birthing woman back into hypnosis if something brings her out, and deepen her hypnosis and the “hypno-anesthesia” her body creates when she is in a hypnotic state (yes, that’s a real thing). Those tools became more useful during my third birth, though they were also essential for our earlier Hypnobabies birth. In my experience, the difference between a longer, slower, more gentle birth and my fast birth was that with the slower births I often found the sensations enjoyable and exciting. With the fast birth, I didn’t enjoy some of the sensations as things got intense, but at worst I would call them uncomfortable. Mostly, I just found myself being glad when they ended, which wasn’t true with my earlier births.

 

Even the fast, intense birth was manageable. It took more focus, but for so much less time. As with my first Hypnobabies birth, one of my first thoughts after greeting our baby was, “That’s it? That seemed too easy.”

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