Well, I’ve finished my first week of the Hypnobabies self-study course at home, and I thought I’d share some of my thoughts thusfar. I’m finding the program really interesting, and I think it will be helpful for my childbirth experience, regardless of whether it’s the only comfort measure I use. Specifically, I’m finding that I really appreciate the daily relaxation and meditation break that the practice involves because a fair amount of my pregnancy has involved worry about both the pregnancy and the birth at the end. Week one is really more of an extended introduction to the Hypnobabies program, and to the idea of self-hypnosis in general. It’s interesting because the week one slides hint at things to come, but don’t really delve into the specific self-hypnosis techniques that you’ll learn later on.
The main takeaways from week one, for me, were the importance of focusing on positive birth experiences, retraining your mind to think of childbirth as a positive, empowering thing, and using the special Hypnobabies language around pregnancy and birth. It definitely seems hokey at first to call “labor” “birthing time” and “contractions” “birthing/pressure waves,” but as someone who has used meditation in the past, I understand the necessity to challenge and rewire your brain on a deeper level. And it’s nice for me, as someone who has anxiety, to take concrete steps towards reducing my anxiety around the idea of having to actually birth the baby at the end of this. I will say that I think the two hypnosis tracks from week one, plus the pregnancy affirmations track, would all be appropriate to use earlier on in your pregnancy. I think if I ever have another baby, I’d probably start listening to the three tracks from week one earlier on, and start the official course with week two later on in my pregnancy.
Joyful Pregnancy Affirmation:
Now, affirmations are seriously not my thing. But I was able to find a meditative space where they were helpful. Oddly enough, I’ve used mantra meditation in the past, but it was always in Sanskrit, so there was less involvement from my conscious/analytical mind when I repeated a mantra. It was merely a way to focus my mind and keep it from wandering. So by treating the pregnancy affirmations the same way, I found a kind of meditative benefit from them, except that rather than listening to them only while sitting in meditation, I would listen to them whenever I had 40 minutes to do so. I listened to them at work while eating lunch, while commuting, while falling asleep at night, and any other time I could snag a chunk of time. I definitely feel more calm and positive about the idea of giving birth after listening to them, even if I don’t always pay attention to every word. Similar to my comments about the positive affirmations in some of the Circle + Bloom meditations, there is a sense with these that you have to accept the positivity and not try to argue with it, which is easier if you’re not fully paying attention and analyzing them the whole time.
Your Special Safe Place:
This was the first self-hypnosis track that I listened to during the program, and it’s really more of a guided meditation and visualization, although I imagine the visualization is going to come into play later on in the program when you get into the deeper hypnosis tracks. I enjoyed this track more than I thought I would, probably because I realized that my “special safe place” is actually a real place that I go semi-regularly and just makes me feel happy and relaxed. The photo above is from it: the deck of my in-laws’ lakehouse early in the morning when most everyone is still asleep and it’s very cool and quiet. So having a guided visualization to take me there was a profoundly relaxing experience during my pregnancy, especially since later pregnancy has made the 5-hour-plus drive to get there sound less appealing.
Easy, Comfortable Childbirth:
This hypnosis track is more of a guided deep relaxation, followed by an explanation of the benefits of the Hypnobabies course, in my opinion. I enjoyed the deep relaxation, and I could see how hearing the course material while in deep relaxation could help, but I’m pretty sure the main point of this track is to get you used to entering and being in deep relaxation to prepare you for the physical sensation of hypnosis later on. But it’s a nice way to relax, at least.
So that’s my recap of the first week of Hypnobabies home-study. I’ve already moved on to week two, as I realized that reading all the slides and course handouts on Sunday helps prepare me to more fully focus on the hypnosis recordings the rest of the week. I’ll check back in next week to let you know how it’s going.
Previous Hypnobabies Posts: