- What is Hypnobabies®?
- How is Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis different from other hypnosis for childbirth programs?
- Will it be painless?
- What if it doesn't work and I feel pain?
- When is the best time to take Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis during my pregnancy?
- How does it work? Will I be using mind tricks or distraction?
- What factors impact a woman's success using Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis?
- Should I take Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis classes if I'm planning on using medication?
- I have a low pain tolerance. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
- Why should I take an independent Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis course instead of a hospital prepared childbirth or other independent class?
- Should I take a live class or order the Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis Home Study course?
- Do I need a partner?
- I have fast labors. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
- I have long labors. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
- I'm a first-time mom. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
- I've had a baby before and it really hurt. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
- I'm very analytical. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
- Will I be in a trance or disconnected from the experience?
- Will my mind be under someone else's control?
- I'm a Christian. Is Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis against my religion?
- Should I take Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis if there's a good chance I'll be having a cesarean birth?
- I'm less than 6 weeks away from my due date, what can I do?
1. What is Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis?
Hypnobabies® is a method of childbirth preparation that uses hypnotic techniques, imagery and visualization to re-program the inner mind in a very positive way, and eliminate pain and fear from the birthing experience. This is different from any other kind of hypnotherapy or childbirth education that you will ever do!
With adequate preparation, and in the absence of complications, hypno-mothers have little or no pain and shorter, easier births. Childbirth hypnosis classes are not all the same. Investigate before you sign up and choose the course that best suits your needs.
Hypnobabies® is a highly successful program of hypnosis for childbirth, based on the work of Gerald Kein and his Painless Childbirth program. We have also had some wonderful input from Richard Widmeier's New Concepts on Painless Childbirth, and some excellent visualizations from Dr. Gayle Petersen and Shelley Stockwell, PhD. We are grateful to them for their generous contributions. We also have resources in our program from many other talented and gracious authors, which gives Hypnobabies® a well-rounded approach to childbirth education.
2. How is Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis different from other hypnosis for childbirth programs?
This page explains the differences between Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis and other hypnotic childbirth programs. Each hypnotic childbirth program has its strengths and weaknesses. I generally feel that some hypnosis training is better than none. You will want to make sure that you choose the right course for your needs and goals regarding this baby's birth.
3. Will it be painless?
Although the success rate for Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis is the best that exists in the childbirth hypnosis field, I cannot promise you a completely pain-free birth experience. Most of moms who use Hypnobabies® report very comfortable labors and births. Some of these moms report painless births. Even the moms with painful births still report that the sensations were quite manageable. There are many things that will affect your success, especially your choices in childbirth and your commitment level. If you take your Hypnobabies® training seriously, practice your hypnosis cues, and continue to do your maintenance work until the baby comes, you will be amazed and thrilled with your birthing and create fascination and happy surprise all around you as you use your Hypnobabies® techniques! If you do the Hypnobabies® program as outlined, you have a very good chance of giving birth without any pain. Hypnobabies® works, so work the program! ☺
4. What if it doesn't work and I feel pain?
One of the great aspects of the Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis program is that it is a complete childbirth education course. Hypnobabies® teaches you all about things that help make birth easier and more comfortable: optimal fetal positioning, positions for labor and birth, stages of labor, the belly lift (which helps when a mom feels back labor), massage, vocalizing, and birth balls, among other things. Hypnobabies® includes many traditional "pain-coping" techniques, but presents them in a hypno-friendly way as "comfort measures".
During labor if a mom feels like hypnosis isn't doing as much as she'd hoped for her comfort, she can always draw from her knowledge of other ways to increase comfort (massage, water, positions, etc.). (Of course, the majority of Hypnobabies® moms who find that the hypnosis does work well for them still enjoy employing these other techniques, too.) Even if a mom isn't totally comfortable using her hypnosis techniques, she still has an enormous amount of practice in relaxation and deep, abdominal breathing--both of which do much to alleviate pain!
The worst-case scenario is that a mom will have spent six+ weeks filled with daily relaxation, positive affirmations about natural childbirth, bonding time with her baby and her partner, and education about birth options and normalcy. The time spent focusing on this unique pregnancy and baby is valuable no matter what ultimately happens at the birth.
What I hope for each of my students is that they leave my classes filled with the confidence and education they need in order to do whatever it is they need to do to give birth to their babies. There are no failures, just mothers giving birth. ☺
5. When is the best time to take Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis during my pregnancy?
You may take Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis classes at any time prior to giving birth provided you start the program 6 weeks or more before your estimated due date. Keep in mind that once you finish the course you will need to continue to maintain your hypnosis techniques through daily practice. If you choose to take the course early in your pregnancy, realize that you still must commit to practicing every day until the baby comes. Many women find that starting their Hypnobabies® classes toward the beginning of their third trimester (around 30 weeks) to be an ideal time, but you will know what works best for you. Here is a chart you can use to help figure out when would be the best time to start.
6. How does it work? Will I be using mind tricks or distraction?
Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis is a highly successful program of hypnosis for childbirth, based on the work of Gerald Kein and his Painless Childbirth program. Rather than using mind tricks or distraction techniques, you will learn hypno-anesthesia techniques that will allow you to create and control your own anesthesia while birthing. Hypnobabies® teaches a variety of techniques to relax and enter hypnosis instantly and create anesthesia while still allowing you to open your eyes and move or talk while remaining comfortable in hypnosis! Other childbirth methods teach wonderful relaxation techniques for use during birthing. While relaxation does help reduce discomfort, many women find hypno-anesthesia techniques to be much more effective (as is evidenced by the very high percentage of Hypnobabies® moms reporting painless childbirth).
One of the best aspects of this class is that you will be able to eliminate the fear that causes tension and pain in birthing, a necessary step for any woman soon to give birth. Fear causes tension, which is a source of pain while birthing.
7. What factors impact a woman's success using Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis?
There are four main aspects to success using hypnosis:
- Releasing fears about birth. Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis students get a recording so that they can listen to a fear release as often as they want to or need to. It's really great to listen to in early labor as well.
- Reprogramming your beliefs about birth. We are taught from a very young age that birth is dangerous, scary, excruciatingly painful, etc. Hypnobabies® childbirth scripts and recordings give suggestions for fast, easy, comfortable birth. While a positive attitude regarding birth certainly is something you need, you also need to take care of your innermost beliefs, which are housed in the subconscious. If those inner beliefs still hold on to "yeah, but birth hurts really bad" then that's how it will be experienced. In order to experience a comfortable birth you have to believe, at your core, that it's a real possibility. Daily practice is essential so that your mind is constantly getting reinforcement for the new beliefs regarding fast, easy, comfortable birth. The mind is lazy and will revert back to its old way of thinking if we don't constantly feed it positive food for thought. Once you start your hypnotic childbirth studies you will find the most success if you commit to practicing every day until the baby is born.
- Deep physical relaxation. The first two items take care of the mental aspects, for the most part. For the physical, you need to know how to deeply relax instantly, especially all around your uterus. Hypnobabies® goes further than basic relaxation and teaches you how to create and direct your body's natural anesthesia (endorphins) with very powerful hypno-anesthesia techniques. Hypnobabies® also teaches Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis, which allows Hypnobabies® moms to be much more active while staying comfortable and relaxed. Movement helps the baby rotate and descend into the pelvis and helps you to dilate more evenly and quickly. Again, daily practice is essential for maximal benefit so that you really know what your body feels like when it is totally relaxed and comfortable and you can reach that deep relaxation instantly.
- Your choice in birth location (hospital, birth center, home) and birth provider (doctor, midwife, etc.). Women who give birth in an environment that is supportive of their childbirth goals tend to have easier, more comfortable, and more joyful births. Read Burgers and Birth: Can You Have It Your Way? for further discussion on the impact of your choice in birth location and provider.
8. Should I take Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis classes if I'm planning on using medication?
Hypnosis is a tool. Medications are other tools available for you to use. You make the choice that is right for you. However, you will be most satisfied with the results of your Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis training if you fully commit to doing the program as outlined. It's just like wise Master Yoda said, "Do or do not, there is no try." ☺
9. I have a low pain tolerance. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
Using the deep relaxation and hypno-anesthesia techniques taught in Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis classes you will know how to create and control your body's own natural anesthesia so that you will reduce or even eliminate pain while birthing. Where there's little or no pain, even us pain wimps (yes, I'm one myself) can joyfully experience natural childbirth.
10. Why should I take an independent Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis class instead of a hospital prepared childbirth or other independent class?
Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis classes differ from hospital or other traditional natural childbirth classes in several key ways:
Most childbirth classes teach that pain--excruciating pain, even--during childbirth is inevitable. They give you ways to cope with the pain. Hypnobabies® classes teach you that pain during childbirth is not inevitable. While most childbirth classes teach that the more relaxed you are, the less pain you will have, Hypnobabies® classes teach you how to actually create and control your own hypno-anesthesia, which will reduce or even eliminate pain while birthing. Although the Hypnobabies® success rate is the best that exists in the childbirth hypnosis field, I cannot promise you a completely pain-free birth experience. Most moms who use Hypnobabies® report painless/very comfortable births. These moms worked the program, so the program worked for them. Occasionally, a few moms who have practiced diligently will experience some discomfort. This does not mean that they failed and most will report that they are still very satisfied with their birth experiences and how Hypnobabies® worked for them, especially given the wonderful effect relaxation has on pregnancy. Sometimes nature gives us the unexpected and a painless birth is no longer a physical possibility. Hypnosis still works wonderfully for keeping a mom focused and calm, no matter what turn her birth may take. I know this from personal experience.
Independent Hypnobabies® classes teach you how to plan the birth you want, not the birth that someone else might expect you to have. We teach you to remember that this is your experience and your baby's one and only birth. Hypnobabies® covers a lot of consumer information, including the benefits and risks of the more common medical interventions in American birth today. Women who have full information about their prospective choices will make informed decisions and have fewer regrets. If you don't know your options, you don't have any!
Hypnobabies® works wonderfully with a "coach" (we call them Birth Partners) or alone. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and your own personal commitment and practice as the one giving birth will have the greatest impact on your experience. With Hypnobabies® your Birth Partner(s) will be very knowledgeable and experienced in aiding your comfort and hypno-anesthesia. If you do not have a partner (or friend or sister or mom) to attend classes with you, consider hiring a doula (professional labor support person) to be with you during your birthing time. I will be more than happy to help your doula to understand how best to help you as a hypno-mom and your doula is welcome (and encouraged) to attend classes with you.
I, as an independent childbirth educator, am not employed by a hospital and can therefore teach facts that may or may not be in line with hospital policy. The hospital can't fire me as a childbirth educator because I'm hired by you, not them.
11. Should I take a live class or order the Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis Home Study course?
If you live in an area where you have the option to take a live class, that is recommended. The live Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis class has advantages over the home study course. A live class gives you the opportunity to interact with other students and an instructor who can answer your questions as they come up. Attending a class will motivate some students who may not exercise the discipline necessary to complete a home study option (Birth Partners generally benefit from live classes in particular). There are elements of a live Hypnobabies® class that are not included in the home study option due to the restrictive nature of packaging a course for self-instruction. Live Hypnobabies® classes are simply a lot of fun, too! The Hypnobabies® Network strongly encourages taking a live class if there is one available near you because more is included in the course. Click the link to see the differences between the home study and live course.
If you live too far away from an instructor to feasibly take a six week series of classes, you might consider contacting the nearest instructor to see if you can come to Class 6 after completing the home study course so that you can participate in the Birth Rehearsal and watch the Hypnobabies® birth videos.
12. Do I need a partner?
No. Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis works wonderfully with a "coach" (we call them Birth Partners) or alone. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and your own personal commitment and practice as the one giving birth will have the greatest impact on your experience. However, if you are going to have a support person be with you as you birth, it's best if he or she knows how to help so that he or she doesn't unintentionally hinder your efforts. This is why partners (or another support person) are encouraged to attend the classes as well. With Hypnobabies® your Birth Partner(s) will be very knowledgeable and experienced in aiding your comfort and hypno-anesthesia. If you do not have a partner (or friend or sister or mom) to attend classes with you, consider hiring a doula (professional labor support person) to be with you during your birthing time. I will be more than happy to help your doula to understand how best to help you as a hypno-mom and your doula is welcome (and encouraged) to attend classes with you.
13. I have fast labors. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
Obviously your body is already very comfortable with opening to birth your baby. Short labors can be more intense, which is why Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis is so great. Using your Hypnobabies® skills, you'll be able to create instant relaxation and hypno-anesthesia so that the experience of your labor--even if it proceeds quickly--will be more comfortable and less intense.
14. I have long labors. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
Labor lengths vary greatly from woman to woman and many factors come into play, only some of which can be controlled. Genetics and your own body's ideal birth progression rate are what they are. You can't change them. Other factors that come into play are your choice of provider (a supportive provider will allow you to relax and feel safe), your choice of birthplace (an environment in which you feel safe and relaxed will allow you to open more easily), fetal position (babies can be encouraged to adopt optimal position, but sometimes babies persist to present awkwardly), your beliefs about birth (fearing birth or believing birth to be safe and normal), and your level of relaxation during labor and birth.
Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis teaches about all of these other factors and focuses heavily on the last two: releasing fears about birth so that you can relax and teaching you how to relax and create hypno-anesthesia instantly so that your labor will be comfortable. You will learn in class how your body works more easily and quickly when you are relaxed. Hypnobabies® moms typically see a reduction of labor length because they are so relaxed. Even if your labor is longer than average, Hypnobabies® will allow you to perceive the time as passing quickly and will help you from becoming fatigued.
15. I'm a first-time mom. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
Yes. Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis works wonderfully for first-time mothers. The great thing about giving birth for the first time is that you don't have past experiences to create certain expectations. You can adopt positive beliefs about birth more easily and can make good decisions to create a positive birth experience without having to go through a negative experience first.
16. I've had a baby before and it really hurt. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
Yes. Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis works fantastically well for women who have given birth before. The great thing about having given birth before is that you have a good sense of what you liked and what you didn't, which helps you make more focused decisions the next time around. Hypnobabies® helps you release your fears, anxieties, and limiting thoughts about birth which in turn gives you the ability to relax deeply--a skill you maybe didn't have when giving birth before. Hypnobabies® also gives you powerful hypno-anesthesia techniques which enable you to give birth very comfortably. With your new Hypnobabies® skills your future birth experiences will be profoundly different from past birth experiences.
17. I'm very analytical. Will Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis work for me?
Yes. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. If you want to reach a state of hypnosis, you will. If you believe Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis will work, you choose to allow it to work, and you practice the techniques, it will work. Hypnobabies® works for all types of thinkers, learners, and personality types. The smarter you are, the more effective hypnosis is.
18. Will I be in a trance or disconnected from the experience?
No. Think about a time when you were lying in bed, not quite awake and not quite asleep, either. It's a very peaceful, relaxed state. You're aware of things going on around you (such as music playing, the wind blowing, traffic outside, etc.), but you just don't care. You could wake up if you wanted to or if you needed to, or you could go to sleep. This is the place Hypnobabies® teaches you to reach during your birthing. You will always be aware of what's going on around you. Using the hypnosis techniques taught in Hypnobabies® you will always be relaxed with hypno-anesthesia flowing exactly where you need it, even when you choose to open your eyes and move around.
While using Hypnobabies, you will be in a heightened state of awareness. You will feel more in tune with yourself and more connected with your baby. You will not be passive. You will feel the power of your uterine muscles as they surge with each birthing wave, these sensations will simply be free of discomfort. You will be in tune with your instincts and will do what your body tells you you need to do.
19. Will my mind be under someone else's control?
No. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. No one can guide you into a state of hypnosis unless you want them to. Once in a state of hypnosis, no one can tell you act in a way contrary to your core values or cause you to believe something that goes against your core beliefs. It's up to you to choose which suggestions you will accept and which suggestions you will reject. If someone tried to manipulate you into doing something that you didn't want to do, you would come out of hypnosis instantly. You are always in control. You are welcome (and encouraged) to listen to each of your Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis CDs in a normal waking state prior to listening to them for guided hypnosis. This will allow you to know exactly what suggestions will be given.
20. I'm a Christian. Is Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis against my religion?
No. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. No one will be exerting mind control over you to get you to do evil things. As a Christian myself, I believe that hypnosis is a wonderful tool given to us by God. That said, if you do not feel comfortable with the idea of hypnosis even after learning more about it, another childbirth education course would be a better fit for you. If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this brief statement may help you.
21. Should I take Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis if there's a good chance I'll be having a cesarean birth?
Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis has recently developed a Cesarean Birth preparation program using hypnosis so that moms giving birth surgically can also do so calmly and joyfully. Please contact the Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis Network for more information or to order the program. As an instructor I teach Hypnobabies® live classes only. To order additional materials or the home study program, you must contact the Hypnobabies® Network. (714) 952-BABY (2229)
22. I'm less than 6 weeks away from my due date, what can I do?
Call Kerry (the creator of Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis) at 714 952-BABY (2229). She has a set of CDs called Joyful Birthing that can be ordered for $35.