The Exit Strategy: Hypnobirthing

At 28 weeks (and 3 days) pregnant, I’m into the big 3. The third trimester. And recently my mind has been turning away from the fluffy nursery décor and cute baby clothes (very temporarily) and towards the reality of what’s to come. The Birth.

That ‘I Love Daddy’ romper is definitely cute, and the nursery is painted in the softest of greys to create a light but cosy atmosphere, but there would be no point in any of this if it weren’t for the fact that a baby needs to fill that romper and sleep in that nursery. And that baby has got to get out of me, one way or another, in a matter of weeks.

It ain’t going to stay in there forever!

To say I’m nervous is an understatement, but that makes me no different to rest of the pregnant population. I’m not high risk and I’ve never had a bad hospital experience that I can remember, so I don’t have the fear I’m sure some women have. But I am a wimp, and when I was stung by a wasp last week and my husband commented on how calm I’d been it was the proudest moment of my week, because it really bloody hurt. And if I think that hurt, how will I deal with pushing a watermelon-sized human out of my body?

To prepare myself for birth, I’ve naturally surrounded myself by people who love to share their horror stories of how their friends birth experiences resulted in blood, tears (of the eye kind and the ripping kind), operations and painful recoveries. All really helpful ladies, it’s giving me something to focus on while I try and perfect the humming breath in pregnancy yoga.

I’m generally quite a laid back person, and have been so busy lately I’ve not really had time to dwell on any of the details which is probably for the best, but I have bought a hypnobirthing book – The Hypnobirthing Book by Katharine Graves – which comes with a CD to listen to at night (not when you’re driving, which my friend attempted and was surprised when she felt a little sleepy at the wheel!)

I’m really enjoying yoga and think I have it in me to tap into that ability to zone out and control the pain. And while my main reason for getting into hypnobirthing is to help manage the pain of labour, it’s just as much to give my baby a calm and peaceful welcome to the world. I’ve heard that that a calm Mum creates a calm baby, so I’m making an effort to be as zen as possible through pregnancy and beyond.

So, I’ve started reading the book, which sends me straight to sleep but I’m not sure if that’s the effect it’s supposed to have, but am yet to try the CD as I need to find a night where I can get to bed early enough to lie in the dark and let it sink in.

I can’t imagine my husband will be able to take it all that seriously but I’m determined to get him on board because there’s no point in me being all zen if he’s like a shit-scared hyperactive puppy.

You can take hypnobirthing classes, which I imagine are much more effective and will force the other half to get to grips with it, no matter how uncomfortable he might feel to begin with. But they’re not cheap, a few hundred pounds for a course from what I’ve heard, and it’s just not a spend I can justify, especially when it could all go tits up and baby has to come out the sun roof anyway!

So I’ll stick to the book and will get round to the CD soon, and I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going but if anyone’s done hypnobirthing before and would like to share any tips or experiences, please do as I’d love to know more!

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0 thoughts on “The Exit Strategy: Hypnobirthing

  1. What an exciting and nerve racking time. I 100% recommend hypnobirthing techniques. I truly believe if you are not afraid then labour can be a lovely experience. I know that sounds ridiculous, but honestly I speak from experience. In my first labour I was absolutely terrified and had a few complications so unfortunately it was very traumatic. My second I had read the books, listened to the music and most importantly learnt to just breathe and it was so wonderful. Really positive and so calm. Stay calm and breathe, they are the only things I would recommend. My husband was also really sceptical but seeing the difference for himself he is now a firm believer in the techniques. Good luck and I look forward to hearing how you get on.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, it really helps hearing other people’s experiences! I’ve been doing pregnancy yoga and am finding the breathing helpful just when I’m stressed at work, and everyone I know who has done it raves about the breathing being the thing that got them through. Thanks for the advice, I’ll definitely take it on board! X

  2. Such exciting times ahead lovely! I haven’t actually followed hypno birthing, but I have had two very different labours, and I can tell you that in my opinion a calm and in control mummy makes for a much more pleasant experience. I think anything that helps you to relax and stay calm is a great thing to do and I’ve heard really good reports. I’ll look forward to reading your follow up posts and seeing how you’re getting on. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

  3. Ah good luck with everything, I enjoyed that book. Learning to breathe and relax seem so important. I marked a few pages for my husband like the beginning bit and the up and down breathing and the role of the birth partner I think. The arm stroking practice where they read the script is lovely too… I didn’t get on with the cd so found a different one that suits me, don’t be afraid to mix and match in your pursuit for positivity and relaxation. One of the most helpful things I found last time was pain practice using ice cubes and controlled time and different breathing and focusing techniques. This was from a mindful birthing book but I’m sure there are ideas online #ablogginggoodtime

    1. That’s great advice thank you! If never even considered practising for pain so I’ll definitely look that up. I haven’t got too far with the book yet, but as you suggest I’ll probably pick out a few key pieces for the husband to read to get him on board. Thank you for the comment and advice! X

  4. I bought the Katherine Graves hypnobirthing book and as soon as I got to the affirmation part I knew there was NO way my husband would go along with it. I tried to persevere with the cds and we both ended up just laughing. However, I had a really positive birth experience, in a pool very quick and very natural. Our midwife even asked if we had been to a hypo birthing course, because (apparently!!!) we both just seemed so calm and in control. I think been vaguely aware of the basics we just found our ‘own’ way of doing the affirmations, breathing and staying relaxed. So, basically what I’m trying to say is don’t be scared to freestyle and find your own groove! So much luck, it’s such a magical time xxx #bestandworst

    1. I love the advice on freestyling! Good to know and it’s really helping to hear other people’s experiences. I think my husband will be the same, no way he’ll be able to take it seriously but hopefully some will sink in anyway! Thank you for reading! Xx

  5. Oh so exciting!! Yes, the third trimester really does make it all so real! It sounds like you know what you want from your labour, and are preparing the best you can. I have 2 friends who have had home, water, hypno births, and loved the experience. One attended a course, and the other like you, read around it, and had a CD. Another friend swears that hypno birthing allowed her to deliver her nearly 11lb baby (!!) with no pain relief, and no tearing!! I didn’t try it personally, because I’m really bad at anything that involves clearing your mind, visualising, or relaxing in any way, I just can’t do it! But I can vouch for gas and air as being absolutely amazing! I’d love to have it piped through the walls of my house, so I can relax while inhaling it every night-amazing stuff!! Good luck, I’m really looking forward to hearing the updates!!

    1. Haha forget the air freshener, let’s just have gas and air plug-ins in our homes! Wow 11lb with no pain relief is some going, hopefully baby won’t be that big but if she can do it hopefully it means I’ll have no problem with a little one! Great to hear your friends experiences, and I’ll make sure the gas and air is on tap 🙂 Thanks for reading! X

    1. No problem! I’ve been surprised at how many people actually have done it so I’m getting loads of great advice! Thanks for reading 😊 xx

  6. I went into the whole labour preparation thing TOTALLY unprepared. I didn’t want to go to antenatal classes – because like you I was dreading it. I hadn’t even heard of hypnobirthing, but if I ever decide to go through it all again, it’s definitely something I would look into. It looks fascinating, I will be interested to see how it works for you.
    But if I can’t tell you anything about hypnobirth I CAN tell you about ‘normal’ birth. I was lucky enough to have a ‘textbook’ labour. No horror stories here. My midwife told me afterwards that she wished she’d had a student in with me, because labours as straight forward as mine are few and far between. Active labour was just 2 hours and 6 minutes. With no pain relief! (Still can’t believe I did that!) I know I was very lucky and thank my lucky stars everyday that there were no complications. I was that naive I even wondered how I would know when I was in labour – which is laughable now! Because you know alright!!
    I would love to go through the whole experience again. While painful – it is incredible and the most precious moment ever. I wrote My Birth Story if you fancy having a read that won’t scare you!
    PS – Love your header tagline – I’m still winging it four years later! 🙂 x

    1. Oh sounds like you had a bit of a dream birth! Amazing! I’ll definitely have a read of your story thanks for sharing, it’s good to hear a non-horror story! Thanks for reading 🙂 x

  7. My first labour was fine and it was a water birth. I didn’t do hypnobirthing as such but stayed at home with my Mum and hubby for as long as I could and did lots of deep breathing. This just helped to keep me relaxed. If your body is up for a natural birth – you can do it!! I got to the midwife unit at 8cm and was pushing really soon. Just believe you can and stay as relaxed as you can! Good luck and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

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