When to Start Hypnobabies?
(Disclaimer: This is not an official Hypnobabies answer.
This is just from my personal experience as a Hypnobabies Instructor
and working with moms from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.)
This is a common question. The Hypnobabies Home Study is a 5 week program, so the latest you can start is 35 weeks. Babies do come as early as 37 weeks, so 32 weeks is really the latest I would want to start. That would allow you time to finish the whole program by 37 weeks and still have time to practice the tools sufficiently to have a great birth.
If you are starting closer to 35 weeks, here is a link to a Shortened Schedule.
If you are past 35 weeks and just finding out about Hypnobabies, call the main office, they have a special program for moms in your situation. It is not available online, you MUST call!
Some moms are anxious to start earlier than 32 weeks, this is fine. The only thing to realize is in order to have the most comfortable birth possible you must practice DAILY until your birthing day to maintain your tools. This practice consists of listening to a CD/script a day ( about 30 min. and can be done at bedtime on crazy days) and practicing your finger drop technique daily (about 5 minutes).
Some moms who start early loose steam towards the end and then don’t do their daily practice. So you need to look at yourself and your commitment level.
For me personally, I LOVED my hypnosis practicing. It was a lovely excuse to lie down and rest for 30 minutes a day. I always made time for it. Even when I had a toddler, he would take a nap or watch a video while I listened to my CD. So I knew when I got pregnant with Bryson I would be able to start earlier. I think I was 24 weeks when I started. I loved every minute of it and towards the end of my pregnancy I would listen to a CD during the day and also at night to help me fall asleep.
If you start around 28 weeks, taking 2 weeks to do 1 week of material is a nice way to spread the program out and then have a shorter maintenance period.
Here is my advice to moms that want to start early (meaning before 24 weeks)
Read the following things....
Introduction and Class #1. This will help you understand how hypnosis works and to get your bubble of peace.
Also I say read Class 2 Reading Section only. (Nutrition and Exercise info), pages 52-70 in my 4th edition of the home study.
Listen to the following CDs...
Pregnancy affirmations as often as you like (you can do this while driving, doing dishes, whatever) You could also start listening to the Special Place and Comfortable Childbirth. Not on a strict schedule, just whenever you get a chance to. If you lie down to take a nap, or need help falling asleep at night.
Of course you can listen every day if you want and have a chance to, but you wouldn't have to. You could even skip a few days in a row and it would be ok.
Then you could officially START the course at 26 weeks or so, taking 2 weeks to do each lesson. You have pretty much been doing lesson 1 work for quite a few weeks now, so start with week 2, learn about your lightswitch and do any of the reading you haven't done. Since you have 2 weeks to do 1 weeks worth of work, it would be ok if you missed practice a few days here and there. I would really try to practice at least 5 days a week, to keep your tools fresh!
This would put you starting the maintenance phase at 34 weeks. (During maintenance you NEED to be practicing daily, especially your fingerdrops and you can always listen to your cd at night to fall asleep if you don't have a chance during the day)
This would be a nice way to get some of the benefits of relaxing and bonding with your baby early, but not get burned out by the end of your pregnancy.