Natural Birth & Parenting

Bradley vs Hypnobabies?
by DragonX
November 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Does anyone have opinions on these? Particularly anyone who has experience or at least is very familiar with both?

With my daughter, I wanted a natural birth but didn't think I would need any sort of special technique. I read a lot of birth stories, watched a lot of natural birth videos, and thought I could do it. I was in labor for 2 1/2 days, most of which was very painful back labor which made each contraction run into each other so I never got a chance to just breathe and take each contraction as they came.  I ended up too exhausted physically and mentally to continue and requested an epidural. Although I know at the time it was the right thing for me to do, I still have that little nagging regret that I didn't get the natural water birth I wanted. So with the next baby I am planning on a home birth, and I want to make sure I do everything I can to make that happen.

Since I already had a painful experience with labor, I'm a little concerned that hypnosis might not work very well, like my subconscious already "knows" that it will hurt and that will get in the way. Do you think that would affect the effectiveness of hypnobabies? Or are there other methods that are less popular that I could also look into?

I am not even pregnant yet so I'm just trying to gather information early :)


  • ToriBabe1221
    November 13, 2012 at 9:21 PM
    I agree with this =)

    Quoting sarah4gandh:

    I did Bradley and I loved it so much that I became an instructor. The Bradley MEthod is sort of like a non method in my opinion because it educates you on what is normal and how to cope with labor in normal ways. (i.e. no special breathing patterns, no special techniques other than relaxing). I loved it bc its so educational on how your body works, how your baby is working thorugh labor and how it takes a supprotive person ( in my case husband) to help you! I have no experience with hypnobirthing but Ive heard great things! Good luck with your decision. If you have a supportive husband or partner, Bradley could def work for you!

  • DragonX
    by DragonX
    November 14, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Thanks for the opinions everyone! :)

  • KatytheLady
    November 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    Hands down hypnobabies is the number one choice!  My first two babies were with epidurals.  My third and my largest (8 lbs, 9 oz) was with hypnobabies.  I was even on pitocin and my labor was pain free!  The closest thing to pain was equivilant to mestrual cramps.  Although you can not be guarenteed a pain free birthing time, if you practice and are serious about it, it should be very comfortable at the least.  There are a lot of things I LOVE about hypnobabies!  Hypnobabies is a complete childbirth course.  It teaches you everything from how to be/stay low risk, routine interventions, diet, ideal birthing position, PLUS the relaxation porition.  There are some huge differences uniqute to hypnobabies such as hypno-anesthesia (a real medical term...hypnosis for surgeries for those who canot use anesthesia), "eyes open hypnosis," (you can move, talk, resposition and still stay very deeply in a relaxed state.  Other methods rely heavily and staying still, which can severely impede birthing time), plus lots of others too.  You can purchase the starter kit or find an instructor.  It's a 6 week course and comes w the workbook, a quick reference guide for your birthing time, 6 CD's or mp3's with multiple tracks per CD.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS!  I will never go back to my epidural birthing times even though I had two great epidurals.  This was by far much better!

  • _muffin_
    November 21, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    I love the Bradley method! I also think you should consider hiring a doula. 

  • VintageWife
    November 21, 2012 at 10:32 AM
  • Fruitful-mama
    November 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM
    I have used Hypnobabies for the last 2 of my 3 births and I highly recommend it! It teaches how to be focused and in-tune with your body. It is normal to naturally go into a hypnosis-like state during birth, but Hypnobabies teaches how to get there faster, how to get back there if distractions come up, and how to go deeper into that state and use it to the best benefit, both during pregnancy to prepare for a positive birth experience, as well as during the birth itself. The eyes-open childbirth hypnosis technique makes it possible to follow your instincts and adopt positions that increase comfort and encourage progress in birth, get in water, vocalize, etc. Hypnobabies also includes the childbirth information you get with other methods--health in pregnancy, the normal process of birthing, the pros and cons of routine procedures, etc. It really has everything you need, and its a great program!
  • sudonk
    by sudonk
    November 21, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Congratulations on your new baby!


    Since I already had a painful experience with labor, I'm a little concerned that hypnosis might not work very well, like my subconscious already "knows" that it will hurt and that will get in the way. Do you think that would affect the effectiveness of hypnobabies?

    That may be a reason that a guided relaxation approach like HypnoBirthing would be less likely to work, but with Hypnobabies, the additional comfort comes both from eliminating the fear-tension-pain response and the ability to instantly reach a state of self-hypnosis.  When we achieve and sustain that brainwave pattern, our body will automatically produce increasing amounts of beta-endorphins and other hormones that increase our physical and emotional comfort.  That is why we experience a sense of comfort and calm as our body passes through the same brain-wave pattern as we drift in and out of sleep.  Hypnobabies takes a natural ability that we all have and use regularly and teaches us to consciously utilize it during birth to be more aware, focused, comfortable and calm.  So it's not about "believe enough and you can be comfortable" as some people seem to think.  It works because moms learn to maximize their body's hormonal response and physically create comfort where it wouldn't otherwise be. 

    What I appreciated most about using Hypnobabies during my birth was the depth of information I gained and the way it enabled me to move instinctively through my birth.  I was so deeply in touch with my body and my baby, and could easily ask for what I needed and respond to what my body wanted.  There was never any reason to tense against the sensations, or "cope" with anything I was feeling, because I enjoyed them!  I was able to completely embrace every moment of my births, despite back labor and complications.  I was also glad that both my husband and I were completely capable of increasing my comfort at any time, so while he was incredibly helpful I wasn't helpless without him.

    You would also benefit from the Fear Clearing that is part of the Hypnobabies curriculum, since it would help you to release any lingering worries from your previous birth and allow you to experience your new birth for what it is, instead of having expectations based on your first experience.

  • ExperienceBirth
    November 23, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    I am a doula,

    and I have taken these childbirth classes: Hypnobabies, Hypnobirthing, Bradley Method, (Birthing from Withing Book), and Lamaze.

    I found all of these classes helpful in there own ways. 

    The founder of Hypnobabies was previously a Bradley Instructor as well as a HypnoBirthing Instructor. She found that both of the programs were lacking vital information. 

    The biggest difference of the two classes is that Hypnobabies belives that pain is not a requirement for birth and the Bradley Method does, essentially.

    Both of them talk about nutrition, excersize, pros/cons of interventions, relaxation, visualization and deep abdominal breathing. Both classes inform about how birthing without drugs if possible, most likely lead to the best outcomes. 

    To be honest I learned invaluable education about childbirth from the Bradley Method. The one thing that I could not understand is why birth had to be such an ordeal comparable to an olympic event.

    Hypnobabies says that birth does not have to be hard, difficult, strenuous, long, or painful. Hypnobabies says that it can be easy, enjoyable, quick and comfortable!

    When you first read about this you think, "ya right". But really, it can be enjoyable. Here is how I have come to understand why birth can be pleasureable. Hypnobabies teaches hypnosis for childbirth. And hypnosis is a deep level of relaxation or meditation combined with "numbing" tools per se. 

    Hypnobabies uses medical grade hypno-anesthesia. This hypnosis "anesthesia" is used occasionally when someone needs surgery but are deathly allergic to the drug anesthetics. there only alternative is to use hypnosis which trains them to not feel pain when operated on but only pressure sensations.

    What you learn in Hypnobabies is the hypnosis "tools" that make it so you are numb and only feel pressure from the top of the breasts to the middle of your thighs.... and you either are pain free or have very little are comfortable. It does this by helping train your mind to release endorphins (which are 200 X stronger than morphine) on command when you use a cue such as "PEACE".

    I personally have had two natural, drug-free births. I read the bradley books (workbook, Husband Coached Childbirth, The Bradley Way, Labor Assistants & Children at BIrth). They were tramendously helpful for both me and my husband. My first birth went well and was 7 hours but was hard during the pushing. My second birth I used Hypnobabies, and she was born in 4 hours and I didn't really push..she just kinda came...It felt way better!!! I mean way better!!! 

    Find out what you want to believe and make up your mind.  One method just says that you can have an easy, comfortable birth and the other one kinda doesn't. 

    good luck.

    my website is if you want to know more information about this let me know

  • JessicaBBL
    November 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Hypnobabies might be a good choice for you. I was looking for a natural childbirth method that would allow me to be involved in my daughter's birth - not something that would help me "cope" with the birth. With Hypnobabies I learned a lot of different tools that I was able to use throughout my birth, I was easily able to remain calm and relaxed (while also apparently bossing other people in the room around letting them know exactly what I needed and what made me feel good).

    Originally my midwife was skeptical (she had only experienced Hypnobirthing and had several moms who struggled at transformation - the relaxation techniques with Hypnobirthing weren't working well fo rthem). However, after my birth with Hypnobabies she mentioned several times (including last week at my annual exam 17 months after the birth) how well I had done and how amazed she was at how calm all the Hypnomoms she has worked with have been. In fact, when I got to the hospital, she was shocked because I was already 8cm (after 4 hours of pressure waves at home) but was so calm and relaxed she didn't expect me to be so far along.

    Hypnobabies helped make pushing feel great! I just went with my body and it felt really really good to push. I was amazed that after 11 hours of birthing time I seriously thought it had only been 4 hours. That's one of the things you learn through Hypnobabies, every hour of birthing time feels like 15 minutes or so to you. To be honest, I was skeptical of that when I learned it, but I opened my mind to it and it really worked.

    I also liked that with Hypnobabies I could do the home study course (I just couldn't make it up to the in person classes) and then my doula did a birth rehearsal with me to practice the techniques a few weeks before the birth.

    Good luck with whatever method you choose! You will have a wonderful birth!

  • mallymunn
    November 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Hypnobabies works very well for FTM and mom's who have had painful labors in the past. It retrains your prain to process the sensations of birth differently. Therefore most likely you will not feel them as pain. You spend everyday for 6weeks (at least) reprogramming yourself, and as long as you are diligent with your practice your results will be great. Also, since it is a complete childbirth course, you learn SO much about birth and pregnancy. You are as prepared as you possibly can be. I used Hypnobabies with the birth of my son and was blown away at how gentle my birth was! I know your subconscious can be changed, there are many 2nd, 3rd, 4th time mom's that have had very gentle birthing experiences with Hypnobabies. Good Luck...

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