Hypnobabies vs HypnoBirthing
I’m often asked what the difference is between Hypnobabies vs HypnoBirthing. Since I am not a HypnoBirthing practitioner but I am a certified Hypnobabies instructor, I’m going to focus mainly on what Hypnobabies includes. First of all, it’s helpful to understand that the vast majority of hypnosis for birth practitioners hold to the same philosophy: that birth is usually a healthy, normal event and in normal birth, there does not always have to be pain. This relates to an idea commonly known as the fear-tension-pain cycle. There are a number of different ways to go about minimizing or eliminating the fear-tension-pain cycle. In my five years of experience as an instructor and doula, Hypnobabies stands out from other birth classes and hypnosis for birth programs in its ability to teach you how to do this very effectively. Here are a few of the major ways the program does this.
1) A vast toolbox. The Hypnobabies course includes 12 distinct scripts, each lasting approximately 30 relaxing minutes. In Hypnobabies we “train our brain,” so our daily sessions are very much like physical exercise in that the more you repeat, the more effective your sessions will become. This post includes a more detailed description of each track. The practice schedule provided by each instructor (and each home study program purchased through Hypnobabies) when used as directed is key to the program’s effectiveness. This is the reason that borrowing audio tracks from a friend may not work as anticipated. Listening to the tracks (all of them) in a specific order alongside all of the course readings and handouts carries great benefit, just as a unit about any subject is more effective when used as one tool within an entire curriculum.
2) In-depth training. Although 12 different recordings may seem like overkill, each script teaches you a new concept that you’ll continue building on each week during the coursework. After you finish the course, you continue with a special maintenance schedule which keeps you feeling confident and ready for your big day. Nine of the 12 scripts are listened to during weekly sessions and the other 3 are set aside just for your birth. Using them during birth will help you activate everything you’ve learned and practiced during your studies.
3) Targeted techniques. Hypnobabies uses what’s known in the field as medical-grade hypnosis, the same techniques used by people allergic to anesthesia for pain-free dental work and surgery! By using this special technique as the basis, our scripts are specifically designed for the sensations of birth, rather than general meditation. What is hypnosis?
4) Practical. Hypnobabies teaches you how to use the techniques while walking, talking and moving around. Active birth is essential and those who have prepared using Hypnobabies are not expected to lie still (though they certainly can if desired).
5) Consistency. All Hypnobabies instructors have a minimum of 50 hours of hypnosis training prior to participating in the instructor training program, ensuring we can give you the best possible guidance as you learn these new skills. Each instructor also teaches much more than just Hypnobabies techniques in their classes. Why is this important? While some birthing individuals manage their experiences beautifully through a practice of yoga, meditation, or focused private hypnotherapy sessions, it is also important to learn about the physiology of the birthing process and become fully informed about your choices as a consumer.
Being educated about your options and the process of birth means you’ll be better prepared to respond to this life-changing event in a positive way.
A few examples of what we learn besides the hypnosis techniques:
- How culture and language affect birth
- How to enhance the provider/patient relationship
- How to optimize the gifts your body gives you during labor through movement, massage, etc.
- Optimal prenatal nutrition, exercise, and fetal positioning (how to tell what position your baby favors and how to encourage baby into an optimal birthing position)
- What to expect during each stage of labor, how to time contractions (for birth partners) and other ways your birth partner or spouse can learn to support you effectively (they even get a special download for relaxation!)
- How to set yourself up to experience birth in the most positive and peaceful way possible for you, whatever choices that may mean along the way.
Midwives, nurses and doctors love Hypnobabies!
Here’s a midwife sharing how she went from being a skeptic of hypnosis for birth programs to becoming a believer in Hypnobabies.
Here’s a different midwife sharing her thoughts:
I am often asked to explain Hypnobabies vs HypnoBirthing and the easiest way to explain that is to say that HypnoBirthing is a philosophy that I agree with, however Hypnobabies is a method I can sink my teeth into!