Those who’ve been reading me for a while know that I decided to use self-hypnosis during the birthing of our daughter in lieu of drugs. I chose a program called HypnoBabies which I shortly discussed a while back. With everything now behind us, I have to say it all turned out really well. I felt relaxed throughout the pregnancy, not experiencing any stress or anxiety about things. I don’t know if that was just me or if the affirmations you are supposed to listen to daily were working their magic too. But I am generally a fairly calm person since Stefan often does enough worrying for both of us.

The HypnoBabies Self-Study program is really a full pregnancy and birthing guide. They discuss not only teaching yourself hypnosis and getting prepared for the actual birth of your child, but also focus a lot on your overall health, mental wellness and eating habits. While some of it is still  bit too “earthy” for my taste, if you treat it like every other pregnancy book you pick up and take the pieces that are actually relevant to you, you should really enjoy the program and will likely learn a lot.

The 170-page workbook includes lots of articles about birthing myths and information about common practices used in hospitals today that really don’t need to be done (most interventions one experiences when they go to the labor & delivery rooms it would seem). Thankfully, here in Germany the hospitals are much less invasive than in the U.S. from the getgo (or so I hear). For example, I’ve read that in the U.S. they usually want to take the baby away right after she’s born for clean up, tests and so on. They did a bit of that here with a short clean up, but gave Mackenzie to me fairly quickly so we could have time to bond with her, have a first skin-to-skin feeding and just relax. Naturally, this is only possible if mommy is up to it.

What I find essential about the Hypnobabies self-study program is that you listen to all the CD’s as often as possible. Even if you mostly listen in your sleep, you will gain a lot from them. But do try to be mostly lucid at least once through each script to really focus in on all the trigger words and key phrases. Then make sure you listen to the scripts at the indicated times during the birthing process. For me, it was just that simple. I wasn’t always the best about listening to the scripts every day or affirmations at night leading up to the birth. But I did read everything in the workbook (eventually) and I guess that is part of the reason why they encourage you to start listening to the scripts early…it gives you more time to catch up at the end.

Obviously the birthing process is not pain free…there were very intense moments when I wasn’t sure I could go on with just the hypnotherapy. But thankfully Stefan was an excellent birth partner and he never let me waver. He kept reminding me of the trigger words and suggesting I listen to the scripts to get myself focused again. Since I went in at almost midnight and she wasn’t born until after 8 am, I got to go through a shift change. Both of the midwives who were there told me that there were times they thought I wouldn’t be able to get through it…but after I would focus in on the Hypnobabies scripts again, I found strength and had a much easier time progressing.

Read my full Hynobabies experience here

I’ve recommended the program to a colleague of Stefan’s who is expecting in about 6 weeks. She has had a lot of anxiety and some discomfort during her pregnancy so far…so I’m really interested to see how things develop for her and if she tries the program.