in response...

Thank you to all of you who responded to my hypnobirthing post. It was interesting to hear what many of you had to say and some of it has really got me thinking. I have since signed up for a class and we attended our first one on Monday and loved it! I received my book and CDs and have been reading away. I love the class, the books, the philosophy... it is amazing and wonderful.

A lot of you said things like "that is great, but I love my epidural!" ... so true. People do love epidurals and I don't doubt that for a second.

So, why would I go through the effort of learning hypnobirthing when I could also have pain free birth with drugs?

While I have not yet performed this method (or any method of child birthing) my research and learning has shown me a lot. I am definitely not an expert and don't claim to be. But, I wanted to share with you why I want to go this route rather than just what Hypnobirthing is, which was more the purpose of the previous hypnobirthing post. I wish I could just put the entire book in here and have you all read it, but here are some select points:

  • Birth is not meant to be painful, our culture/society/history has made it out to be that way. In multiple other countries, women have pain free births daily and think nothing of it because they are not fearful of birth. Women don't grow up their entire lives being told by all the mothers before them that it is painful and horrible. The book has an entire chapter on how birth came to be what it is today in our culture. Also, if any of you took anatomy and remember, the uterus is one of your organs that has different layers of muscles. The "long" muscles push the baby down during a contraction. If your muscles are tensed it doesn't allow the circular muscles below to open and relax the cervix, the two muscle groups are working against eachother and that causes pain. The brain is an extremely powerful thing and has much more impact on your physical body than many of us realize. Endorphins produce a tranquil, amnesiac condition and can have an effect 200 times that of morphine. Not that birthing isn't WORK though, it is lots of work.
  • "success" rate- here is an excerpt from the forward of my hypnobirthing book:
I began "delivering" babies in 1983. I believed in the use of drugs to manage obstetrical pain. In spite of my best efforts to use good sound judgement, I saw lots of complications, including babies with comprimised breathing. I believed that epidurals were a medical blessing for laboring mothers. I had a 25 percent c-section rate.
Many patients demanded natural births, I then performed hundreds of deliveries using pushing and blowing while holding off analgesics until the mother could no longer take the pain. I saw babies that were no longer respiratorily comprimised, but both mother and baby were exhausted... But my c-section rate dropped to 5 percent.
Next, I used visualization and guided imagery with patients to manage pain. On a rare occasion I still had to use narcotics and a rare epidural. I continued to see exhausted babies who were not fully able to bond. I had a c-section rate of 5 percent.
A few years ago I made the transition to Hypnobirthing, and I now truly believe that normal birthing does not have to involve pain. I have attended over 200 births of women... using the techniques and philosophy of Hypnobirthing... I have had no complications. No babies have needed oxygen or any support other than warming by mothers body. My c-section count is three. I have given absolutely no analgesic drugs since I began using Hypnobirthing with mothers.
Lorne R Campbell, Sr., MD

  • recovery rate: women who use Hypnobirthing use less physical energy and have much easier recoveries. Also, the epidural takes a little while to wear off... also causing a longer recovery time. Women who use hypnobirthing are often up and walking within minutes if they choose to be. Our teacher told us that she had a mom who was in the shower within 15 minutes (because she wanted to be).
  • shorter labors - resistance of the birthing muscles as a response to pain and fear is minimized or eliminated in hypnobirthing. Fear causes three physical reactions in the body—tightening of the muscles, reduced blood flow, and the release of catacholamines (hormones that increase the pain and discomfort of childbirth). Also, when your brain is in "fight or flight" mode... as many women experience in birth, the blood is taken away from where it needs to be (the uterus) and is sent to places where it doesn't need to be. Also, epidurals can slow down labor.
  • epidurals don't always work the way you want them to... and can have nasty side effects.
  • Hypnobrithing places so much emphasis on the FAMILY and the special experience that the three (or more) of you will have. It makes birthing such a powerful event in which you don't fear or worry about.
The more I read, study, and learn... the more it makes total sense, especially scientifically. All of the above doesn't even come close to the explanation given in the book. I find myself making more and more connections to what I have already learned about the body and mind during the course of education and what the book is about. I am becoming more and more blown away by what the birthing world has sadly become.

I really encourage everyone, whether they want to birth naturally or not, to read Hypnobirthing. It is eye opening on multiple levels.

So yes, I totally understand that many of you love your epidurals. I bet I would love it too if I had one! And I know that it does work most of the time. I am not against people getting epidurals or any other way a person chooses to birth their child. However, this method seems much better than anything else and totally worth it (to me). I am just so excited about all of this and I want to share it with everyone! After all, it is my blog, right?


Mommy Kandra said...

I just learned about hypnobirthing about 2 weeks ago. A year and half ago I never saw anything about it. My sister is due in June (24th) and just learned about hypnobirthing, then I saw a Baby Story about it on TLC. Then just this last Friday, I went to the Chiropractor and he asked me if next time I had a baby if I would be interested in it! I did have an epidural, it ended up being for the best because of complications. But from what I've heard, I really want to try it out next time, at least see if I could make it farther without heavy drugs. Keep us updated!

Ella said...

This sounds really interesting, Courtney. Maybe in a few years I can borrow that book from you? ;)

Claire said...

Isn't Hypnobirthing AMAZING!!!!!! I got goosebumps just reading your post about it... now if I could just get pregnant again, I could do Hypnobirthing again! :D

*Lili Ballerini* said...

I love it! & loves u! i can attest that this is real and does work! Hypnobirthing is so great! like the girl above me says...I too got goosebumps! lol hypno-momies Rock! you go girl :)

Pretty Mary K said...

Since hypnobirthing itself basically means nothing to me as I'm not pregnant nor plan to ever be pregnant, I mostly appreciate your candor. And your unapologetic sharing of what you believe is right for you - because it IS your blog! And if that's what you want to do and what you want to write about, well then sister I totally support you! :)

Rob and Marseille said...

that's interesting that you talk about fear. Fear is one reason I haven't researched/practiced hypnobirthing. I'm afraid "I" won't be able to do it. Even though I"m planning on an epidural, maybe I should research/practice hypnobirthing even if I just plan to use it to get to the point of an epidural. (I was in quite a bit of pain before I was far enough along to get it). You're right...recovery from an epidural is alot harder and most of the people I've talked to (including myself) have had to be on oxygen (for the baby) because of the epidural.

The Thornocks said...

Alright, I'm sold. We're planning on getting preggo sometime after you have your baby, so you will have to be 100% honest with me and tell me how it went. I didn't get an epidural with Ryleigh because I had heard of complications with them, even though I had gotten one previously with Jayden and LOVED it. I was nervous about what COULD happen, and so chose to just do it naturally. It really hurt, so much to the point of where I said "I CAN'T DO THIS!" , but looking back I think I could have done it with a lot less panic and stress if I had the right tools. Cool stuff my friend! Epidurals can be awesome, but if you can do it pain free without the drugs, why wouldn't you?

Danielle and the Boys said...

Oh man I just typed out a huge comment to this and somehow it didn't post. Figures, lol. ;)

Here was the comment VERY simplified...

-each childbirth is unique and personal to that mother and child. what doesn't work one time may work another and vice versa. as long as we focus on the end goal of a healthy baby and mom, I don't think one way of labor/birthing is better than the other. They're both incredible and what a blessing that we can go through childbirth naturally and that we also have modern medicine to help out in those situations as needed. I'm glad I'm not giving birth a hundred years ago when I couldn't be so sure that both myself and the baby would be alive in the end.
-I'm too big of a wuss to go through childbirth 'naturally'. I ALWAYS take medicine when I have a migraine or stomachache so I knew I would take something once the pain got too intense during labor. Simple enough for MY labor. Although I do have to say that I disagree with this, "Birth is not meant to be painful, our culture/society/history has made it out to be that way". I wasn't scared at all of the pain of birth to be honest going into labor. But I think people are lying to themselves and everyone else when they say its not painful at all. I don't need society to tell me that getting hit by a truck is painful, IT JUST IS. lol. So is labor for that matter. But thankfully labor is a beautiful thing as well so its worth it. :)
-Every form of birth has its postivies and negatives. And theres always exceptions to the rules. Just go into labor with the idea that you'll be flexible in your options AND opinions and I think you'll get the best possible birth situation for your little man.
-And as painful as birth can be, I'm sure glad WE aren't the ones squeezing through the birth canal, lol.

Danielle and the Boys said...

I'm going to lose the 'wuss' comment about myself. I'll say 'realist'. There's nothing wussy about childbirth no matter which way you do it...

Verenice said...

So, if you ask me I think you can have this child even without the hypnobirthing. In the big scheme of things, after it is all over, it's not too bad. (I am sure a lot of women will think I am CRAZY for saying this) And, I think I can say that because I did push Eva for an hour and a half with the worst back pain of my life. You can do whatever you set your mind to! I think the question lies in whether or not you believe you are tough enough.