"Enjoyable" Childbirth...I Want to Believe

I've been interested in hypnosis as a pain management technique ever since I interviewed William Camann and read his book, "Easy Labor: Every Woman's Guide to Choosing Less Pain and More Joy During Childbirth." William Camann is an anesthesiologist and has seen quite a few births. When I asked him what techniques HE would use in labor (if he were a woman and could experience it, that is) based on what he has seen, he said he'd explore hypnosis. His words convinced me to explore the technique in-depth.

"Enjoyable" Childbirth...I Want to Believe 1I had the privilege of interviewing Kerry Tuschhoff, the Founder of Hypnobabies, last week. Please welcome her as she shares about this increasingly popular childbirth method.

ME: How long has Hypnobabies been around?

TUSCHHOFF:  Seven years. I founded Hypnobabies in 2001.

ME: Did you ever personally experience/use Hypnobabies?

TUSCHHOFF: No, both my labors were really, really painful and I was just trying to gut it out. In the throes of screaming during the 2nd labor, I thought that there had to be another way to have a natural childbirth without having to suffer like that. That's how my journey to Hypnobabies began...

"Enjoyable" Childbirth...I Want to Believe 2ME: How many Hypnobabies births have you attended?

TUSCHHOFF: Approximately 175. I also attended Bradley births for ten years prior to that.

ME: What setting is most conducive to birthing using hypnosis?

TUSCHHOFF: Most of our moms have their babies in hospitals, but Hypnobabies can be used Anywhere. Anyway. Anyhow. Birth center births. Home births. Water births. 

That said - with any kind of birthing that you’re going to do - it’s going to be easier if you choose a home birth or a birth center because you automatically have a lot of choices which will keep you relaxed. Still, most women choose to birth in the hospital.

ME: When does Hypnobabies not work?

TUSCHHOFF: When people do not prepare adequately. I’ve also seen it be quite a challenge when people choose to be induced or when people choose to bring along people who will pose a challenge. This is true for any birthing. 

I would say that most people follow through with Hypnobabies and embrace the full-on belief system…and then they have a really great birth. 

ME: Are hospitals typically willing to accommodate Hypnobabies birth?

TUSCHHOFF: Here’s what we’ve seen. Hospitals actually really love Hypnobabies. It makes their job so much easier. The mom is already fully educated. She’s not out-of-control. 

Hypnobabies is known in some parts of the country very well – CA, Utah, North Carolina. In other places, unfortunately, people roll their eyes. We have only 80 instructors right now. Because we're small, some hospitals only know other hypnobirth techniques...not Hypnobabies...and they have seen them not work.

We encourage all women who take our class to explain the method to their doctors and nurses. We even give them a sign to post on the door, "We’re using hypnobabies hypnosis. Please whisper and respect our wishes." We also have a handout that women can give to their doctor and a handout to give to the nurse. We encourage pregnant moms to bring a tray of goodies for the nurse at the beginning of labor to thank her. This sets the tone for a really great experience. 

 ME: If Hypnobabies is truly a gentle and peaceful way to give birth sans drugs, why is it not a more popular option?

TUSCHHOFF: It's about programming from several generations. We have been programmed to think of childbirth as this painful, fearful, agonizing experience. Everyone sees it and hears about it from past generations – moms and grandparents. Most women don’t even look into anything different. They don't realize that they don’t have to choose between drugs and gutting it out. They don't realize that it doesn't have to be scary. 

Interested? You can find a Hypnobabies class in your area or you can purchase the Hypnobabies Home Study Course for Expectant Mothers. If you're not quite ready to "make the leap," you might like to take a peek at a few videos of women in labor using the Hypnobabies method or you can read birth stories on the HypnoBbabies website...

YOUR TURN: What pain management techniques did you use (Bradley, Lamaze, hypnosis, accupuncture, water, epidural, narcotics, etc.) and were you satisfied with the outcome?

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9 comments on “"Enjoyable" Childbirth...I Want to Believe”

  1. I tried so hard to use Lamaze breathing techniques but I experienced back labor since my son was posterior and ended up with an epidural...and later a c section! Fortunately we were both healthy so to me that equals success!

  2. I bought the course but didn't practice that often. I was actually prepared to deal with a lot more pain than I had. I only listened to the CD through transition, then I took the headphones off. I thought it did help keep me relaxed though. It wasn't pain free for me, but it was a lot easier than the wicked sinus infection I got a week after he was born!

    I got your email last week asking about my birth and I've been working on the reply. Everytime I get a chance to write about our birth, I get disrupted!

  3. I used breathing techniques taught in the hospital childbirth class and the shower. The water was key. I don't think I could have gotten through without drugs if it had not been for the shower.

  4. I felt like I was rushed through the delivery process after my water broke and there were no contractions. I got different drugs to counter the pitocin; all to mixed results, leaving me unsatisfied. I like the idea of hypnobirthing after speaking with someone who went through it. She seemed way more prepared for birthing than I ever was. I guess when you enter the hospital with a plan, you would feel more in control of the situation and in touch with the birth.

  5. What an interesting concept. I haven't heard of Hypno babies before. Golly, I had big plans for my first experience with childbirth...I was really really prepared, but things turned out little differently than I had planned during labor. Luckily, it was still very much a success overall, especially as my baby and I were perfectly healthy and doing great after labor.

  6. good old adrenaline works like a charm. my labor was pretty quick, but just trying to relax and not focusing on the pain was pretty all I needed. I only hope the next time proves as easy.

  7. I took Lamaze classes, but ended up not really using any method for either baby. I just breathed in and out slowly through the pain while my husband held my hand and encouraged me. It hurt like crazy, but I was able to do it with no drugs and would totally do it again. You forget the pain, and it's worth it once you see the outcome.

  8. I'm a hypnobabies grad! After a very unfortunate first birth, in which I was bullied into doing things I didn't want to. I was determined to create the birth I wanted (barring emergencies) with Finnegan. I'm not going to lie and say my natural birth was painless...it wasn't. But what hypnobabies allowed me to do was remain completely calm, relatively quite, and focused. If I began to lose focus, my midwife would gently tell me, and I could immediately bring it all back in, focus, and complete the task at hand. I love hypnobabies. I kinda want to be a practitioner. Love it. Love love love.

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