HypnoBirthing: Meh.

We have our fourth HypnoBirthing class tonight, and I am dreading it. I hate that I’m dreading it, but what can I do? So far I’ve been pretty disappointed in the HypnoBirthing classes, though parts of the HypnoBirthing book have been useful (the drawings of the uterus are bomb, and I really like the way the book describes how the muscles of the uterus work during labor). In case you are wondering, my HypnoBirthing classes are focused entirely on hospital births, and are, in my opinion, targeted towards people who are pretty uneducated about birth. They therefore contain a lot of information that is completely not applicable to my situation.  I’m not planning on giving birth in a hospital, already know what I’ll want if for some reason I do get transferred to a hospital, and have already done extensive research on birth, perinatal psychology, and the psychology and physiology of pain. I’ve already seen enough birth videos to last me a lifetime and frankly the HypnoBirth videos freak me out (all the births are in hospitals and the mothers are always laying down – the thought of just laying there through my labor seems like torture to me). In short, I don’t like the class format or the class content. And the class always runs long, like 45 minutes long, which irks me because I am uncomfortable sitting there for that long and am so pissed by the time we get to the relaxation practice at the end that I just want to scream and run out of there.

The most useful thing I’ve learned from the class so far is that I already have some very effective ways to relax myself, and that I don’t need this class to help me do it. So, I guess that’s the real value of the class for me: even more confidence in myself and my ability to know what I need to do in labor to get through it. I am certain that practicing the visualizations that I already use to relax myself would be more effective than attending anymore HypnoBirthing classes, so we’re contemplating calling the instructors and telling them we’d like to opt out of classes 4 and 5. I can think of about a hundred other ways to spend my time that would be more gratifying and productive than sitting there listening to the instructors present a bunch of information I already know, watching irritating birth videos, and being forced to do some lame-ass relaxation that just doesn’t work for me.

(A funny side-note to this post: every time we leave HypnoBirthing class Brian says to me, “I feel so bad for those women that they are going to have their babies in the hospital!” Boy, have I really done a number on him!)


  • Hi Jessica
    sorry your class is focussed on hospital births so much, not all of them are like that and in the UK we emphasise home births much more, since there’s a bigger choice over birth location here afaik. Some mums just feel safer there, but in a normal situation where mum & baby are both healthy, then homebirth is as safe as place as any.
    Try to use the skills from class on how your birthing partner should read the various scripts to relax or deepen your hypnosis, & the extra bits like fear release sessions are there to help you. Please speak to your practitioner about your concerns, even though it’s your last class – she won’t know things may need to be adapted without feedback & not knowing how many others are in your class, she may be emphasising hospital birth as that’s what the majority favour?

    Best wishes for a successful birth!

  • Can I just echo Caz’s comments. I am a practitioner too, and I’ve had all my babies at home, the third using HypnoBirthing. If you can face another birth video, take a look at http://www.mybirth.tv/video-diary.cfm?id=13, it a UK homebirth HypnoBirth, and completely different to the US hospital-based births you will have been shown. I think Brian’s comment is v funny 🙂 … and spot on!
    It really does work you know, I couldn’t believe the difference btw babies 2 and 3, and I thought I was pretty laid back and calm with the 2nd.
    Wishing you a comfortable, peaceful birth
    Natalie x

  • I was one of those poor unfortunate women who had her baby in a hospital. Had I insisted on a home birth, my child and I neither one would have survived (and no, that’s not just what the doctor told us. It’s a fact). So please spare your sympathy for people who have actual misfortune during their labor and birth experiences and not just for people who have to “settle” for something less than the natural childbirth gurus have duped you into believing is “ideal.”

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