Monday, May 17

Hypnobirthing: My thoughts

I think I've mentioned that I'm planning on having this baby without an epidural. I didn't want to go into this completely unprepared, though, so after hearing some great reviews, I decided to read up a bit about hypnobirthing. I tried unsuccessfully to find a way to read the book without paying money, and eventually gave in and forked it out to Barnes & Noble. So I've been slowly working my way through the book over the last few weeks.

I think I agree with the general philosophy of Hypnobirthing. The idea of "tuning out" to the world and just relaxing through the contractions. At least, that's how I interpret the general philosophy of Hypnobirthing. I had to sift through a whole lot of hokey BS in first few chapters that just made me snort. Like insisting that they're not "contractions," they're "surges." Your water doesn't "break," it "releases." Just a lot of flower-power type stuff that isn't my cup of tea. But I figured that's not really the point, so I kept on reading.

Last night, I finally got to the nitty-gritty method section. At first it all sounded great. And then I reached my breaking point. Allow me to quote for you:

"Pushing can be counterproductive and actually slow down the birthing process... There has been much written about the inefficiency of forced pushing and the possible damaging effect it has on the muscles of the birthing woman's pelvic floor, but it remains a necessary part of emergence in the minds of many caregivers and women themselves... Often women themselves will speak of an overwhelming urge to push taking over. If this is felt, it is also because of conditioning that stems from a deeply embedded notion that babies cannot descend on their own."

Um, no. That's where I have to draw the line. I have NEVER met a woman who gave birth without drugs who DIDN'T feel relief by bearing down or pushing when it came to that point. I have never seen or heard of a woman in natural labor (not using this method, of course) that, when the baby starts crowning and the nurses say "Don't push! Don't push! We need to wait for the doctor!", doesn't respond with "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?"

The urge to push IS overwhelming. It is INSTINCT. It is working with your body to get the baby out. It is usually the only way to relieve the pain and feel better at that point. It has been seen and proven, over and over and over and over again. And a book that can honestly try to tell me otherwise is completely discredited in my mind. "Conditioning" my ass. Sure, they present another way to approach that stage of labor, and it works for many women. But don't tell me that pushing is "wrong." Just tell me there's another way.

So I give up on my hypnobirthing book. I desperately hope the store will still take it back so my money's not wasted. It was ridiculously expensive. Good luck to any out there who still want to use this method of natural childbirth, it's just seriously not my thing.


heather said...

That's really interesting - I have a couple friends who did hypobirthing, and now I want to ask them about it. I never knew that one of it's main points is the ineffectiveness of pushing. Bizarre sounding to me! But it does make me a little curious to talk to women who followed it - and ask if it's for real. haha. :) Hopefully you get your $$ back!

Erin said...

When I discussed the book with my husband, he said that parts of it sound like you are just dissociating from the situation (which, for a psychologist, is like the WORST thing you can do). I then realized that what I want to do is take the stuff that actually makes sense to me and use it, and just ignore/forget the stuff that is ridiculous. Like the Baby Wise book - it's a bit fanatical, but I liked some of the ideas and after 9 weeks my oldest was sleeping 12 hours through the night.

Good luck to both of us! They are stripping my membranes on Friday, and it put me into labor with both of my boys so I'm hoping it will do the same this time!

Cassie said...

I just wanted to add my two bits. With Sara I didn't push at all--I tried not to push but my body pushed and she came out on her own--I'm not saying I agree with book--I think Matt would have never come out if I didn't push. So take it for what it's worth--we are sooo excited for you. All our love.

Sheridan said...

You may want to invest in Hypnobabies. It uses hypnosis for birth, but is very different from HypnoBirthing. For instance they teach Mother Directed Pushing. Moms follow their body and push how feels right to you!

I took both HypnoBirthing and Hypnobabies. Here was my experience between the two.

I just wanted to point out that hypnosis for birth can be great! Just choose a program that fits your personality. I don't want you to throw the baby out with the bathwater. :)

The Wendler Family said...

I have to say that I took Hypnobirthing before I had Amelia then ended up getting an epidural.
With Miles, I went all the way unmediated. I agree with you completely! There is NO WAY I could not push when I was in transition! And my mid wife told me to pant and not push and I basically told her that she best get her gloves on FAST and catch the baby, cause I was gonna push whether she liked it or not!
I liked to combine what I believed made sense and would work for me from Hypnobirthing to the technique of the Brandly Method.
I am so excited that you are going to give birth un-medicated!! It is a life changing experience. I am excited to give birth this time around- SUPER EXCITED!! and I am sure it is completely because I'm gonna do it un-medicated. :)