As promised, I’m writing an entire post dedicated to our decision to pursue Hypnobirthing as a our birthing method. I’ve had a lot of questions from friends, family, and colleagues about what hypnobirthing is and why we decided it was the method for us.
So, here goes.
Hypnobirthing “is a unique method of relaxed, natural childbirth education, enhanced by self-hypnosis techniques. It provides the missing link that allows women to use their natural instincts to bring about a safer, easier, and more comfortable birthing.”
Hypnobirthing is NOT creepy or ultra granola. Hypnobirthing moms are not in a trance or asleep during labor and delivery. And it is not an aggressive form of birthing that makes women feel bad if they decide, at the end of the day, that intervention is best for them and their situation.
I was intrigued by the Hypnobirthing method because, early in my pregnancy, I recognized that I had some fears associated with labor and delivery. My mom had an emergency c-section after her attempt to deliver me vaginally almost killed us both. My best friend had an emergency c-section two weeks early when her sweet girl was still in breech position. And countless other women I know had frightening experiences or suffered through tremendous pain during birth. No wonder I was scared.
I figured going through labor is inevitable – after all, this girl has got to come out, right? – so what’s the point in spending my pregnancy scared of what’s to come. I knew I needed some assistance overcoming the anxiety I had associated with birthing and after doing some research I stumbled upon the Hypnobirthing method. Instantly, some key words like harmony, trust, and natural stuck out to me. I liked what I read. Based on self-hypnosis, which really feels more like guided meditation, the goal is to eliminate the cycle of fear, tension, and pain and replace it with a calm and relaxed state of mind resulting in a better experience for mom and ultimately, a better experience for baby.
Hypnobirthing also promotes natural childbirth – one that is free of medical intervention unless it is absolutely necessary. I believe that is the reason most women prefer this method however, as I’ve explained, it wasn’t the primary motivation for me. Until I learned more about it. We’re two weeks into our five-week series of classes. I’ve read the text book cover to cover and practiced my meditation sequence on a daily basis. I’m now convinced that I’d like to try to have a natural, vaginal birth without pain medications or an epidural.
The operative word here, people, is try.
I have no idea what will go down when this little girl decides to make her way into the world and I only have one goal in mind: to leave that hospital as a healthy mama with a healthy baby in my arms. I know that I don’t want an induction and I plan to push back on the suggestion until we’ve exhausted all other natural methods to progress. I would also like to go without an epidural although I realize that I may change my mind on this topic before I’ve even changed into my hospital gown.
Let’s just say, I drank the Hypnobirthing kool-aid and I now believe that “birthing is not a medical procedure except for the small percentage of women who encounter complications.” For the others, it can be a natural experience in which our bodies were built to perform. We don’t need to jump to pain medication or other interventions unnecessarily.
Fortunately, I’ve had numerous conversations with my doctor on the subject and she supports my decision 100%. She has agreed to respect all of my wishes unless she sees that either the baby or I are in danger at which point, she will intervene. I trust my doctor implicitly and would expect nothing less from my OB-GYN with her experience. She has also reminded me not to be competitive and should I decide that I’d like something for the pain I will not be judged by her or the medical staff.
I realize that this approach to birthing is not for everyone and I have no interest in imposing my views on others. I completely respect (and understand) women who plan to get an epidural as soon as their contractions begin. Who knows…I may be singing the same tune should I find myself in this situation again. I don’t know what’s in store for me and pain management may become an option I decide to explore sooner rather than later. In fact, I’m really excited to look back on this post and compare it to the one with our actual birth story in just a few short months.
What I do know is that I’m going into this with an open mind and a brief birth plan (no 10 page document for me). I am going to trust my body and my baby to work together and allow the medical staff to intervene if things get hairy. I plan to rely on my incredibly supportive husband and super experienced mom to stand by my side on the most important journey I’ll ever take. I am practicing my affirmations regularly and I look forward to my half hour meditation each day. I am feeling less fearful as the days go by and more confident that while this most certainly will not be a painless experience, it will be one that is rewarding, beautiful, and safe.
Most of all, I’m feeling so grateful for the freedom of choice whether it be in my birth plan, our baby name, or how I wanted to approach pregnancy. I’m making the rules up as I go, consulting with Mike on every choice I make, and feeling more and more confident and competent in my abilities as a woman and a mother.
I’m getting excited!