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Frequently Asked Questions about
Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis


Here is a different link to FAQ for Current Hypnobabies Students!

  1. What is Hypnosis?
  2. What is Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis?
  3. Will it be painless?
  4. When is the best time to take Hypnobabies during my pregnancy?
  5. How does it work? Will I be using mind tricks or distraction?
  6. Should I take Hypnobabies classes if I'm planning on using medication? AKA What about Epidurals?
  7. I have a low pain tolerance. Will Hypnobabies work for me?
  8. Should I take Hypnobabies if there's a good chance I'll be having a cesarean birth?
  9. Why should I take an independent Hypnobabies course instead of a hospital prepared childbirth or other independent class?
  10. Should I take a live class or order the Hypnobabies Home Study course?
  11. Do I need a partner?
  12. I have fast labors. Will Hypnobabies work for me?
  13. I have long labors. Will Hypnobabies work for me?
  14. I'm a first-time mom. Will Hypnobabies work for me?
  15. I've had a baby before and it really hurt. Will Hypnobabies work for me?
  16. I'm very analytical. Will Hypnobabies work for me?
  17. Will I be in a trance or disconnected from the experience?
  18. Will my mind be under someone else's control?
  19. I'm a Christian. Is Hypnobabies against my religion?

 

Answers

 

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is a natural state. It's that deeply relaxed place between sleep and awake. We all experience hypnosis every time we go to sleep and every time we wake up. We experience hypnosis when we watch TV or a movie, drive a car, do repetitive tasks, or daydream. We are awake and aware of what's happening around us--we just tune it out because we're focused on something else.

When we're in a hypnotic state we are still in control of our mind and will. We cannot be forced to do anything we don't want to do. If someone suggested that we reveal confidential information or act in a way that goes against our personal moral standards we would come out of hypnosis.

We cannot get "stuck" in hypnosis because all hypnosis is self-hypnosis--we are always in complete control of our thoughts and actions. We cannot be hypnotized if we don't want to be.  We aren't in a strange trance or "another realm". We are simply in that natural, deeply relaxed state that we all go through every day. 

Because hypnosis is a natural state--one that we've all experienced every day of our lives--it's easy!  Anyone who wants to be hypnotized can be.

Also read Hypnobabies founder Kerry Tuschhoff's article "What is hypnosis for childbirth and DOES IT WORK?"

And The Healing Power of Hypnosis, a Prevention article... reviewing what hypnosis is and how it works. 

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What is Hypnobabies?

Hypnobabies is a method of childbirth preparation that uses hypnotic techniques, imagery and visualization to re-program the inner mind in a very positive way, and eliminate pain and fear from the birthing experience. This is different from any other kind of hypnotherapy or childbirth education that you will ever do!

With adequate preparation, and in the absence of complications, hypno-mothers have little or no pain and shorter, easier birthings.

Childbirth hypnosis classes are not created equal.

Investigate before you sign up and choose the course that best suits your needs. Around 70% of moms who use Hypnobabies report painless/very comfortable birthings. Only 30% (or less) of moms using more commonly known hypnosis for childbirth techniques report painless or very comfortable births.

Hypnobabies is a highly successful program of hypnosis for childbirth, based on the work of Gerald Kein and his Painless Childbirth program. We have also had some wonderful input from Richard Widmeier's New Concepts on Painless Childbirth, and some excellent visualizations from Dr. Gayle Petersen and Shelley Stockwell, PhD. We are grateful to them for their generous contributions. We also have resources in our program from many other talented and gracious authors, which gives Hypnobabies a well-rounded approach to childbirth eductaion.

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Will it be painless?

Although the Hypnobabies success rate is the best that exists in the childbirth hypnosis field, I cannot promise you a completely pain-free birth experience. Around 70% of moms who use Hypnobabies report painless/very comfortable birthings with another 15 - 20% saying their births were not painless, but still quite manageable.

There are many things that will affect your success, especially your choices in childbirth and your commitment level. If you take your Hypnobabies training seriously, practice your hypnosis cues, and continue to do your maintenence work until the baby comes, you will be amazed and thrilled with your birthing and create fascination and happy surprise all around you as you use your Hypnobabies techniques! If you do the Hypnobabies program as outlined, you have a very good chance of giving birth without any pain. Hypnobabies works, so work the program! ?

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When is the best time to take Hypnobabies during my pregnancy?

You may take Hypnobabies classes at any time prior to giving birth provided you start the program 5 weeks or more before your estimated due date. Keep in mind that once you finish the course you will need to continue to maintain your hypnosis techniques through daily practice. If you choose to take the course early in your pregnancy, realize that you still must commit to practicing every day until the baby comes. Many women find that starting their Hypnobabies classes toward the beginning of their third trimester to be an ideal time, but you will know what works best for you.

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How does it work? Will I be using mind tricks or distraction?

Hypnobabies is a highly successful program of hypnosis for childbirth, based on the work of Gerald Kein and his Painless Childbirth program. Rather than using mind tricks or distraction techniques, you will learn hypno-anesthesia techniques that will allow you to create and control your own anesthesia while birthing. Hypnobabies teaches a variety of techniques to relax and enter hypnosis instantly and create anesthesia while still allowing you to open your eyes and move or talk while remaining comfortable in hypnosis! Other childbirth methods teach wonderful relaxation techniques for use during birthing. While relaxation does help reduce discomfort, many women find that hypno-anesthesia techniques to be much, much more effective (as is evidenced by the very high percentage of Hypnobabies moms reporting painless childbirth).



One of the best aspects of this class is that you will be able to eliminate the fear that causes tension and pain in birthing, a necessary step for any woman soon to give birth. Fear causes tension, which is a source of pain while birthing.

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Should I take Hypnobabies classes if I'm planning on using medication?

Hypnosis is a tool. Medications are other tools available for you to use. You make the choice that is right for you. However, you will be most satisfied with the results of your Hypnobabies training if you fully commit to doing the program as outlined.

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I have a low pain tolerance.  Will Hypnobabies work for me?

Using the deep relaxation and hypno-anesthesia techniques taught in Hypnobabies classes you will know how to create and control your body's own natural anesthesia so that you will reduce or even eliminate pain while birthing.  Where there's little or no pain, even us pain wimps (yes, I'm one myself) can joyfully experience natural childbirth.

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Should I take Hypnobabies if there's a good chance I'll be having a cesarean birth?

Hypnobabies has recently developed a Cesearean Birth preparation program using hypnosis so that moms giving birth surgically can also do so calmly and joyfully. Please contact Hypnobabies for more information or to order the program.

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Why should I take an independent Hypnobabies class instead of a hospital prepared childbirth or other independent class?

Hypnobabies classes differ from hospital or other traditional natural childbirth classes in several key ways:

  1. Most childbirth classes teach that pain--excruciating pain, even--during childbirth is inevitable.  They give you ways to cope with the pain.  Hypnobabies classes teach you that pain during childbirth is not inevitable.  While most childbirth classes teach that the more relaxed you are, the less pain you will have, Hypnobabies classes teach you how to actually create and control your own hypno-anesthesia, which will reduce or even eliminate pain while birthing. Although the Hypnobabies success rate is the best that exists in the childbirth hypnosis field, I cannot promise you a completely pain-free birth experience. Around 70% of moms who use Hypnobabies report painless/very comfortable birthings. These moms worked the program, so the program worked for them.


  2. Independent Hypnobabies classes teach you how to plan the birth you want, not the birth that someone else might expect you to have. We teach you to remember that this is your experience and your baby's one and only birth. Hypnobabies covers a lot of consumer information, including the benefits and risks of the more common medical interventions in American birth today. Women who have full information about their prospective choices will make informed decisions. If you don't know your options, you don't have any!


  3. Hypnobabies works wonderfully with a "coach" (we call them Birth Partners) or alone. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and your own personal commitment and practice as the one giving birth will have the greatest impact on your experience. With Hypnobaibes your Birth Partner(s) will be very knowledgeable and experienced in aiding your comfort and hypno-anesthesia. If you do not have a partner (or friend or sister or mom) to attend classes with you, consider hiring a doula (professional labor support person) to be with you during your birthing time. I will be more than happy to help your doula to understand how best to help you as a hypno-mom and your doula is welcome (and encouraged) to attend classes with you.


  4. I, as an independent childbirth educator, am not employed by a hospital and can therefore teach facts that may or may not be in line with hospital policy. The hospital can't fire me as a childbirth educator because I'm hired by you, not them. 

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Should I take a live class or order the Hypnobabies Home Study course?

The Hypnobabies Home Study course works wonderfully. There are many benefits to using it. There are also many benefits to taking a live class. A live class gives you the opportunity to interact with other students and an instructor who can answer your questions as they come up. Attending a class will motivate some students who may not exercise the discipline necessary to complete a home study option (Birth Partners generally benefit from live classes in particular). There are elements of a live Hypnobabies class that are not included in the home study option due to the restrictive nature of packaging a course for self-instruction. Live Hypnobabies classes are just a lot of fun, too. The Hypnobabies Network strongly encourages taking a live class if there is one available near you because more is included in the course.

 

If you live too far away from an instructor to feasibly take a five week series of classes, you might consider contacting the nearest instructor to see if you can come to Class 5 so that you can participate in the Birth Rehearsal and watch the Hypnobabies birth videos.

 

Do I need a partner?

No. Hypnobabies works wonderfully with a "coach" (we call them Birth Partners) or alone. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis and your own personal commitment and practice as the one giving birth will have the greatest impact on your experience. However, if you are going to have a support person be with you as you birth, it's best if he or she knows how to help so that he or she doesn't unintentionally hinder your efforts. This is why partners (or another support person) are encouraged to attend the classes as well. With Hypnobaibes your Birth Partner(s) will be very knowledgeable and experienced in aiding your comfort and hypno-anesthesia. If you do not have a partner (or friend or sister or mom) to attend classes with you, consider hiring a doula (professional labor support person) to be with you during your birthing time. I will be more than happy to help your doula to understand how best to help you as a hypno-mom and your doula is welcome (and encouraged) to attend classes with you.

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I have fast labors. Will Hypnobabies work for me?

Obviously your body is already very comfortable with opening to birth your baby.  Short labors can be more intense, which is why Hypnobabies is so great.  Using your Hypnobabies skills, you'll be able to create instant relaxation and hypno-anesthesia so that the experience of your labor--even if it proceeds quickly--will be more comfortable and less intense.

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I have long labors. Will Hypnobabies work for me?

Labor lengths vary greatly from woman to woman and many factors come into play, only some of which can be controlled. Genetics and your own body's ideal birth progression rate are what they are. You can't change them. Other factors that come into play are your choice of provider (a supportive provider will allow you to relax and feel safe), your choice of birthplace (an environment in which you feel safe and relaxed will allow you to open more easily), fetal position (babies can be encouraged to adopt optimal position, but sometimes babies persist to present awkwardly), your beliefs about birth (fearing birth or believing birth to be safe and normal), and your level of relaxation during labor and birth.

Hypnobabies teaches about all of these other factors and focuses heavily on the last two: releasing fears about birth so that you can relax and teaching you how to relax and create hypno-anesthesia instantly so that your labor will be comfortable. You will learn in class how your body works more easily and quickly when you are relaxed. Hypnobabies moms typically see a reduction of labor length because they are so relaxed. Even if your labor is longer than average, Hypnobabies will allow you to perceive the time as passing quickly and will help you from becoming fatigued.

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I'm a first-time mom. Will Hypnobabies work for me?

Yes. Hypnobabies works wonderfully for first-time mothers. The great thing about giving birth for the first time is that you don't have past experiences to create certain expectations.  You can adopt positive beliefs about birth more easily and can make good decisions to create a positive birth experience without having to go through a negative experience first.

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I've had a baby before and it really hurt. Will Hypnobabies work for me?

Yes. Hypnobabies works fantastically well for women who have given birth before. The great thing about having given birth before is that you have a good sense of what you liked and what you didn't, which helps you make more focused decisions the next time around.  Hypnobabies helps you release your fears, anxieties, and limiting thoughts about birth which in turn gives you the ability to relax deeply--a skill you maybe didn't have when giving birth before. Hypnobabies also gives you powerful hypno-anesthesia techniques which enable you to give birth very comfortably. With your new Hypnobabies skills your future birth experiences will be profoundly different from past birth experiences.

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I'm very analytical. Will Hypnobabies work for me?

Yes. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. If you want to reach a state of hypnosis, you will. If you believe Hypnobabies will work and you practice the techniques, it will work. Hypnobabies works for all types of thinkers, learners, and personality types. The smarter you are, the more effective hypnosis is.

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Will I be in a trance or disconnected from the experience?

No. Think about a time when you were lying in bed, not quite awake and not quite asleep, either.  It's a very peaceful, relaxed state. You're aware of things going on around you (such as music playing, the wind blowing, traffic outside, etc.), but you just don't care. You could wake up if you wanted to or if you needed to, or you could go to sleep. This is the place Hypnobabies teaches you to reach during your birthing. You will always be aware of what's going on around you. Using the hypnosis techniques taught in Hypnobabies you will always be relaxed with hypno-anesthesia flowing exactly where you need it, even when you choose to open your eyes and move around.

While using Hypnobabies, you will be in a heightened state of awareness. You will feel more in tune with yourself and more connected with your baby. You will not be passive. You will feel the power of your uterine muscles as they surge with each birthing wave, these sensations will simply be free of discomfort. You will be in tune with your instincts and will do what your body tells you you need to do.

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Will my mind be under someone else's control?

No. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. No one can guide you into a state of hypnosis unless you want them to. Once in a state of hypnosis, no one can tell you act in a way contrary to your core values or cause you to believe something that goes against your core beliefs. It's up to you to choose which suggestions you will accept and which suggestions you will reject. If someone tried to manipulate you into doing something that you didn't want to do, you would come out of hypnosis instantly. You are always in control. You are welcome (and encouraged) to listen to each of your Hypnobabies cds in a normal waking state prior to listening to them for guided hypnosis. This will allow you to know exactly what suggestions will be given.

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I'm a Christian. Is Hypnobabies against my religion?

No. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. No one will be exerting mind control over you to get you to do evil things. As a Christian myself, I believe that hypnosis is a wonderful tool given to us by God. That said, if you do not feel comfortable with the idea of hypnosis even after learning more about it, another childbirth education course would be a better fit for you. This brief statement may help you.

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