** The HypnoBirthing experience blog posts are personal posts done by a CEPT staff member. Please keep in mind that these are personal opinions and experiences and may not apply to everyone.
Hello everyone! Hope you haven’t gotten sick of me quite yet. So this pregnancy is coming to a close faster than I could have ever imagined. Of course, during the whole process of it, it seemed to drag but when you look back… where did the time go?!
I am now 36 weeks! Almost there, final stretch!
So, in this blog post, we’re going to be talking about HypnoBirthing classes!
So Jolene Shields (my HypnoBirthing instructor, as a reminder) holds a FREE, yes you read that right, FREE informational class the last Friday of every month at Cutting Edge Physical Therapy. The class starts at 7:00 PM, is an hour long, and open to the public. So if you’re pregnant, or know someone who is, send them this way! She’ll go over what HypnoBirthing is, what to expect from the classes, and you can also enroll for the remaining classes at this seminar!
So, I bet you’re wondering what these classes are all about. So I’m going to be giving you a rundown of what each of the classes goes over, kind of like a syllabus. Though, these may change if you decide to take the class yourself or someone else you know takes it! So each class goes from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM. They’re all held in the Cutting Edge Physical Therapy gym area. Jolene will provide a packet with information for all the classes, your HypnoBirthing manual, HypnoBirthing CDs, and some other information.
HypnoBirthing Class Outlines:
Class 1: Discovering and embracing HypnoBirthing for easier, more comfortable birthing
- The HypnoBirthing Philosophy
- Testimonials: Happy parents; favorable medical staff
- Introduction to principles of self-hypnosis for birthing
- How the mind determines the body’s response
- What’s wrong with labor – Why it hurts; why is doesn’t need to
- The origin of a pain concept that is no longer valid – a look at other cultures
- How fear affects the length and discomfort of labor
- HypnoBirthing films of labor and birth
Class 2: Prenatal Bonding – Preparing Your Mind and Body for Birthing
- HypnoBirthing film
- A Mother’s Conversation with Her Unborn Child
- Rainbow Relaxation tape and script
- Breathing for labor: Sleep Breathing, Slow Breathing, Breathing down, Counted breathing for birth
- A Father’s Script and Daddy’s Message
- Rapid progressive relaxation/deepening techniques for late labor
- Visualizations for labor
- Learning to maintain comfort and eliminate pain
- Stretching inner thigh muscles
- Avoiding episiotomy – perineal massage – favorable labor positions
Class 3: Getting ready to welcome your baby
- HypnoBirthing film
- Composing your birth plan
- Making hospital, home, or birthing center plans
- Looking at your estimated due date – early signals of labor
- How your body works with you and for you
- Achieving a natural onset of labor, free of drugs or intervention
- Releasing limiting emotions and fear
Class 4: Birthing – “Breathing love, bringing life”
- HypnoBirthing film
- The three stages of labor
- The birthing companion’s integral role in labor
- Settling in at the hospital or birthing center
- How labor proceeds
- Comfort measures through labor
- Meeting a slowed or stalled labor
- Breathing your baby down through transition to birthing
- Second stage breathing and pushing techniques for smooth birthing
- Stage III – Meeting and bonding with baby – birthing of the placenta
So when you come to your first class, you will receive a folder with tons of information. I’m talking birth guides, birth plans, breathing techniques, scripts, exercises, articles, pictures to take with you to the hospital, worksheets, etc! You’ll also receive a HypnoBirthing CD with Birthing Affirmations and Rainbow Relaxation, and your HypnoBirthing manual book.
I’m not going to go into detail about every single thing that was covered in the classes. Got to leave some mystery, right? But I can tell you that Jolene goes over so much with you and so I’m just going to cover some of my favorites! And as a bonus, what differs Jolene from other HypnoBirthing specialists, is that, with permission from Marie Mongan, she not only teaches you HypnoBirthing, but she also integrates knowledge that she’s acquired from her work at a pain clinic she worked at for years! You’ll not only learn the signs of labor and what techniques you will use as your labor progresses and you start birthing, but you also get to practice these techniques in the class!
It’s recommended that you bring your birthing companion to class with you so they get the same information and can practice with you, whether that be you partner, a family member, friend, whoever!
So Taylor, my husband, was the one that went with me to the HypnoBirthing classes. I wish that I would have thought at the time to take some pictures while I was taking the class but I guess I was just too focused!
You will get to watch videos of people using HypnoBirthing, which I found fascinating, especially since I have given birth before. I know that every birthing experience is different, but the women in these videos were so — calm and relaxed. It was just so different from what my experience was and all I could think was “that’s what I want.”
So as I said before, you also get to practice different breathing techniques during the classes. My absolute favorite was one called “the 60 second PMR (progressive muscle relaxation) or the Disappearing Letters Breathing technique”. So this will be the only breathing technique that I will share because I’ve used it so much already. And not just with pregnancy-related things like surges (aka contractions) but when I would get charley-horse cramps in my feet and things like that.
60 second progressive muscle relaxation process:
- Take a deep breath in through your nose as your count to 4 and let the breath out through your mouth to the count of 8. Think “peace and comfort” as your breathe in and release “stress and discomfort” as you breathe out. (Count to 4 in your head as you breathe in, and then as you breathe out recite in your head slowly “A-A-A, B-B-B, C-C-C, D-D-D, and so forth until you’ve released your breath. You can literally feel your body and mind relax!)
- Relax all the muscles in your head, neck and shoulder area. (Zone 1)
- Take another deep 4-8 belly breath in the same manner as step 1.
- Relax all the muscles from your shoulders through your chest and down into your arms. (Zone 2)
- Now just breathe naturally and normally.
- Relax all the muscles in your abdomen and mid-back. (Zone 3)
- Relax all the muscles in your pelvis, buttocks, and thighs. (Zone 4)
- Now relax the muscles in your knees, calves, ankles, feet and toes. (Zone 5)
- Imagine all stress and discomfort going right out the ends of your toes on an air current, you don’t want it and you don’t need it.
**Take this session very slowly, the goal is to make it last for 45 to 60 seconds from beginning to end.
**For those who plan to use this technique for birth: The above Breathing Technique should be used with every surge from the beginning of your labor at home and all during your labor at the hospital. This process will keep your focused and release endorphin continually during labor.
Also, during one of the classes, Jolene invites one of Cutting Edge Physical Therapy’s physical therapists to come and teach how to fix some common pregnancy pains such as misplaced ribs, tailbones, etc.
And just for those mommas-to-be out there, if baby happens to be kicking out your ribs, try the cat-cow yoga pose to move the little one away from your ribs!
Thank goodness we learned how to put our tailbones back in place, because ever since my first pregnancy, mine is constantly going out!
Another thing that we did during the classes was called an Emotion and Fear Release. So you get this worksheet in your packet, where you and your partner create lists of concerns and issues that you have (emotions, finances, family, health, life changes, etc.) and you put them on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being least important, and 5 being most important. You take your lists and compare them and discuss how you might resolve any of the issues that can be resolved between the two of you and the rest Jolene takes care of during class with a Fear Release Hypnosis session. You can also buy a CD with the Fear Release session on it if you want to continue working on them.
I’m going to discuss some of the fears that Taylor and I had on our list, as some examples for you:
- Health – Any unknown complications that could happen to me or the baby. Plus, our family has history of heart issues. (Taylor’s side of the family has heart disease history and Ian was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia while in-utero.)
- Sharing the Love – Will Ian not feel as loved with the new baby? What if I like one of my kids more than the other?
- Doubt – Will I actually succeed using HypnoBirthing?
- Finances – Any unknown medical expenses that could add up. Our insurance changed plans and so more is required up front, will we be able to make it work?
- Pain – Memories of my first birth.
- Responsibilities – I’m a stay-at-home mom for a majority of the week, will I be able to handle a two-year-old toddler and a newborn baby?
Then at the end of every class, Jolene does a hypnosis relaxation session with everyone. She has different scripts that she goes off of and you just get comfy, relax, and listen to her voice as she guides you into a deep relaxation. I will be completely honest, there was one time I got so relaxed I could have swore that I fell asleep and was snoring. I’m hoping I wasn’t the only one that’s done that!
For the hospital, I organized my HypnoBirthing packet into a binder. I went through and separated everything and categorized it so that Taylor or I could easily find what we needed to while I labor. I like to be prepared and I felt this was best for me, but any other HypnoBirthing family can do what they find works best for them!
I also wanted to include some personal things that Jolene offers for HypnoBirthing families. So not only does Jolene teach you the ways of HypnoBirthing, but she also offers birthing assistance! Depending on when your estimated due date is and if she’s already scheduled out, she can assist you at your birth! Here are some of the things she offers when she comes:
- She will plan to come to the hospital when you are established in active labor at 6+ centimeters dilation
- She will assist you in keeping your focus in relaxation and hypnosis
- She’ll help create a calm and peaceful birth atmosphere
- She’ll assist you in position changes for greater comfort during surges
- She will bring comfort items to enhance your relaxation during labor
- She gives your companion a break to restore their energy
- She offers reassurance and comfort
If this is something you may be interested in, you can call her at 801-942-6175 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you also know that Jolene does ceramics? I bet you’re wondering why that matters. Well, she also offers a Baby Plate Keepsake that she creates herself for you and your new addition!
So, if HypnoBirthing classes are something you or someone you know may be interested in, call today! (Oh, did I mention most insurances will reimburse you for the price of the classes!? Jolene will provide a form for you to submit!)
So there are some highlights from the HypnoBirthing classes.
The next time you hear from me, I will (hopefully) be carrying a new little baby boy in my arms, instead of my tummy!
Until next time,