A little background before the question. I am getting my doula certification and one of the requirements is to audit an approved childbirth class. I chose Hypnobabies. During the course of this class one of the couples I met chose to use me as their doula. Although the couple was doing their "homework" and practicing hypnosis daily, when it came time for the birth, the mother did not want to use her hypnosis. At some point with some encouragement she did put one of the tracks on, and it did seem to relax her, but as a whole it was not the way it was described in the class or shown in the films that the instructor showed.

I was speaking to the instructor today about the whole experience and she was expressing her confusion at the fact that so many of the moms don't "succeed" in using the hypnosis in the sense that they are able to get in to hypnosis early, and stay there through out their labor and delivery.

My personal take on the situation was that labor essentially snuck up on her and she wasn't prepared for the intensity to come on so quickly. Once it did start, she found her comfort zone, and ways to manage the pain in a way that felt controlled, and was afraid to branch out and try to start the hypnosis out of fear of losing the control.

So, my question is, for those of you who used hypnosis in childbirth and were successful at it, what do you think lent to that success?

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Wow Kathryn! I really appreciate your input! That makes so much sense!
I apologize for posting twice:)
I am so glad it helped!
Hi KM,
As a hypnodoula I have experienced similar choices and outcomes. I was baffled too. It was not until I heard exactly what was on those cds and read what was in the scripts that I began to understand my observational differences compared to dvd of Hypnobabies births.
The cds refer to "the experience that is right for you".
As a doula I was and am always amazed with what people liked about their birth when my observations based on my frames of reference told me otherwise.
As a hypnodoula, that is also true, but my frame of reference is shifting, I am becoming better at reinforcing Hypnobabies techniques, even when a Mom has chosen not to use the skills I know she spent so much time, deep relaxation and focus on.
I have come to an occasional conclusion that some Birth Moms do not reconcile comfort with birthing at the moment it is important to do so -as a hypnodoula I remember that for them, I read from the Birth Partner Guide, and continue to refer to that specific language, I role model for Dad to support him staying on track and most importantly, I have thru experience learned that IF a Mom listened, IF a Mom learned her skills, she is really good to go, it took about 9 Hypnobabies births to figure these thing out reliably.
I realize you can not hear such positive descriptions of your body, your baby and birth over and over in such a deeply relaxed state and it NOT deeply make a lasting impression on the Mom.
Once I got the hang of it (like bowling-so many like it but do it differently) I realized the Mom was personalizing, a term I use as a doula now to describe birth approach.
I have been to births that almost look opposite of the dvd but the family was over the moon about their experience with their Hypnobabies birth- I am so glad it was lovely for you.
I adore serving Hypnobabies Families. The quality of my personal experience (especially once I learned to reinforce and role model (echoing) their studies is a special joy and deep peace. It is unnecessarily comforting to me as a hypnodoula when families choose self hypnosis,
to know where Moms mind is at, even if it is only 25% (based on my observation and best judgement) on her tools, there is such a difference and I now can easily work to raise the percentage by my own behavior and fore knowlege of the Moms intent in choosing her Hypnobabies.
Thankyou to all of you have given your input to this topic, I greatly appreciate it. I wanted to clarify again, that I did not mean to give the impression that I had anything but a positive Hypnobabies experience, both in class, and at the birth. On the contrary, this program is ONLY positive in it's teachings, and gives parents something they can take not just in to their birth, but in to everyday life as well.

I also made an error in some the language I used in my initial post. I implied, though by accident, that the instructor I worked with's Hypnomoms, frequently do not "succeed" in using their Hypnobabies techniques. I did not properly proof that statement and so I am correcting it now.

Again, thankyou to all who have shared their thoughts. I am working very hard to absorb as much information on my path to becoming a doula as I possibly can, and that is the tone I was hoping to convey. :)
Thanks, KM, you rock!

Happy Holidays,
Hi KM,
A little background on where I'm coming from. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist and have been teaching hypnosis for childbirth since 1995 and am also a doula. I was initially certified in hypnobirthing, tho I've tweeked and changed it over the years. I've also studied LeClaire's methods and Gail Peterson's.

What you are describing is actually one of the things that motivated some of the tweeking I've done with what I teach. In the format I teach I create triggers to unconsciously help the mom to relax and go with the flow as well as physical triggers for her partner and doula to be able to use to assist her getting deeper into relaxation and focus. What I also tell all my clients is that the hypnosis most often will not look or feel exactly the same in labor as it does in practicing because there is so much more going on in the body. It doesn't mean they aren't using it or isn't working for them - it is just experienced differently.

I also support women in knowing they will use the hypnosis and birth in ways that work for them naturally and instinctively. Those ways may not look at all like the videos that are most often shown of women using hypnosis. Birth is a dance and everyone has their own way of dancing.

From what you described - she found a comfort zone and way to work with her contractions - would sound to me like she did use it successfully. It just didn't match the expectation of what is looks like to use hypnosis. What I do with my clients is inbetween contractions touch base and get a sense of how they are doing internally with their contractions and if needs be some deeping inbetween contractions to help them get to an even deeper relaxation.

Hope this helps. I'd be happy to chat more if desired.

All the best on your path!



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