In early labor, I hung on my DH a lot and swayed. We tried counter pressure for a bit but I didn't like it at all. I tried the birth ball but I hated it. Once I hit transition, I jumped in the tub and from there on in I was definitely one of those "don't F-ing touch me" women. I went very internal. My DH felt a little useless but he had things to do, like fan me to keep from getting too hot in the tub.
When I was pregnant with Tiven, I looked at a lot of different natural birth books and was really drawn to the Bradley Method. We couldn't afford the classes, and they were only offered on a day that DH had class, anyway. I bought the book, "Natural Birth the Bradley Way," and we used that as a kind of textbook for our own education & practice. I didn't really have a chance to use it in labor since I never went into labor, but I totally credit it with helping me stay calm & relaxed when things quickly went downhill very fast right before Tiven's birth, and I truly believe that my staying calm & relaxed helped make sure that Tiven was born alive.
After that very traumatic first birth, I needed something different for my second birth. It's not that I didn't think Bradley would work, but that I had a lot of fear to deal with, and emotionally I needed to prepare in a different way. I knew I could handle whatever birth gave me to deal with physically; it was the emotional side that I knew I needed help with. I'd heard great things about Hypnobabies, so I got the self-study package. I loved the Fear Release tracks, I listened to them a lot. I loved that it put my mind into a different way of thinking. Bradley teaches that birth can & probably will hurt, but that it's normal & you can get through it with relaxation & good support from a loving partner. Hypnobabies rewires your brain to perceive those sensations differently, you really do feel waves & surges rather than "pains." My labor with Weston was long -- three days -- and I was never in pain until I had transfered to the hospital to try some Pitocin, and my epidural didn't work. I spent about four hours trying to push him out, having everyone's hands up in me trying to nudge my stubborn cervix aside, and it was tiring, uncomfortable, hard work, but not painful at all. I highly recommend Hypnobabies!
70% of the U.S. population now lives in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. At 36 and counting!
I also used Hypnobabies for both DS and DD. I find the Fear Release CD to be fantastic. I also am one of those people who turn inward and didn't want anyone touching or talking to me. I actually took a Hpynobabies class with an instructor and felt that was wonderful!
good luck deciding!
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012
My Ovulation Chart
I used the Hypnobabies homestudy course. I think it is wonderful for birth preparation, and for instilling confidence and deep relaxation techniques. I didn't get to consciously use it during my birth because it only lasted 2 hours, but I do think the techniques I learned helped me to stay calm and really work with my body. The thing I noticed the most during labor is that I think it helps change the perception of pain - my labor was intense - yes, but painful - no.
I used Hypnobabies with both of my births. It helped especially during the first couple hours to keep me calm and practice relaxing during the earlier, easier contractions. But both of my births went very quickly once they got going and things were just too intense both times at the end to keep using the techniques, but I still love it and would absolutely recommend it to someone with longer labors.
Another HUGE factor is your DH and support people. Your DH needs to understand that he WILL be part of the process. No sneaking off for a nap or playing around on his ipad He will need to be there with you for you to hang on, to push on your back, to hold your leg up, etc. Natural childbirth is totally do-able, but you need more help from other people during the more intense parts at the end. I have no idea how involved he usually is, but if he isn't acting all that interested in physically supporting you, you should look for a doula.
Also agree with PP that reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth is a must for every NCB mom. With my last birth, the baby was bigger and I could feel it in my hips and in my back even early on, so right away I had DH start doing the "hip press" from the Ina May book and I'm so glad I did! Later on, I don't think I could have articulated what I needed him to do, but by then he already knew to do it immediately as soon as I would start having a contraction. It made the contractions easier to manage and it also helped keep my pelvis open to let the baby through easier. Would never have known to do that without Ina May