Last week, we finished our hypnobirthing classes. I wrote about our 1st hypnobirthing class, but this covers my overall experience with the course. It was a 5-class series (one night a week for 2.5 hours) followed by an optional 6th class on bringing baby home.
What is the focus of hypnobirthing?
The focus of hypnobirthing is empowering women to have positive birthing experiences: The course focuses on teaching hypnosis, visualization, breathing and deep relaxation techniques to use during birth. Women are encouraged to trust the natural movement of labour and the power of their female bodies. The birthing partner is taught ways to offer support during labour on both emotional and physical levels.
What were the classes like?
Each class started off with a check-in. The instructor asked each couple to speak about their experience completing last week’s homework.
Following that, we watched 2 hypnobirthing videos.
Then, the instructor walked us through the concept we were covering that week. We wrapped each class up with a visualization or deep relaxation exercise – done individually or as a couple.
What materials came with the class?
- A book: Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan, including a visualization CD
- The Rainbow Relaxation CD
- A folder of handouts including relaxation exercises and labour tips.
Did I enjoy my experience?
Overall, I would say hypnobirthing was a very positive experience for both my husband and I.
Going into the class, I had a ton of fears around my pregnancy and brining my son into this world. Being a rainbow pregnancy, I was scared of what could go wrong. One class actually focused on releasing any fears associated with pregnancy and labour which was a much needed experience for me.
My husband definitely got more out of the visualisation and deep relaxation techniques than I did. I enjoyed being able to share this side of my world with him though. I have a lot of previous experience with subconscious release techniques, energy healing and intuition. I found this part of the class was super easy for me. For most of the participants, it was all new.
Each week, we went home with a set of relaxation techniques to practise as a couple. Although I found the concept of homework to be overwhelming as it was a busy time of the year for us, it was nice to connect on an intimate (yet non-sexual) level.
The last class was the most interesting for me. During this class, we focused on labour end-to-end and discussed how each technique we had learned fit into the overall birthing process. It was also helpful to discuss options for less intervention during birth... which is something I will be discussing with my doula tonight when we meet to discuss our birth preferences.
How was this experience like as woman who has experienced infertility and pregnancy loss?
I found I stood out in the class, but that may have been more of my personality. I tend to be open and vocal, but I started sharing less when I realized not many people “got” what I was saying.
I definitely had the most fears out of the entire class. As far as I know, no one else dealt with infertility, IVF or pregnancy loss. I had initially thought 2 other women did IVF, but I ended up being wrong.
At times, I did feel like some issues/concepts were trigger points for me. Realizing this helped me to understand that I will always be triggered in my life. Just because we are expecting does not mean that everything we have experienced to get here has gone away.
Overall, I feel like the concepts I learned in hypnobirthing meld nicely with the concepts I learned in my Yoga Goddess program. There is so much that can be said for relaxation and mind-body healing.
What was my biggest takeaway?
My biggest takeaway was realizing how empowering birth can be. I found it fascinating how fear impacts the natural labour movements of the body and how with mind-body focus, a woman can actually have an enjoyable birthing experience. Using hypnobirthing does not mean that there is no pain. Hypnobirthing gives a woman techniques to better focus, relax and let her body go through the natural rhythms of labour that it was designed to do.
Do I plan to use hypnobirthing during my labour?
I definitely plan to use hypnobirthing during my labour. Even if we require medical intervention, I know that hypnobirthing has given me a tool set that I can use leading up to labour, during labour and even after. It also makes me feel reassured that my husband will be a strong support for me.
I can’t wait to let you know how it all works out for us in the end. 🙂