Hypnobirthing: My Pain-free Delivery Story
Here is my story of a beautiful and painless birth, achieved with the help of hypnaissance. I grew up with my mother telling myself how excruciating it was for her to give birth to me. She went through something like 32 hours of labor. Although I'm not too sure anymore. Every time she tells the […]

Here is my story of a beautiful and painless birth, achieved with the help of hypnaissance.

Photo of the author and his wife holding a newborn baby in the hospital

I grew up with my mother telling myself how excruciating it was for her to give birth to me. She went through something like 32 hours of labor. Although I'm not too sure anymore. Every time she tells the story, it feels like the number of hours has increased again. And every time I cried because I hurt myself, she would say to me: "You will see when you give birth to a child, it hurts". Thanks Mom.

Friends didn't help much either. I don't know how many times I've heard the joke: "Schedule me an epidural as soon as I find out I'm pregnant!"

So, when I got pregnant with my second daughter, feelings of excitement mingled with the incredible fear of going through the most unbearable pain of my life. My wife gave birth to our first daughter with an elective Caesarean, so I couldn't even say that I had witnessed a true vaginal birth before.

But I was determined to have a vaginal birth without medication. Or at least I was going to try. If my mom gave birth to me drug-free, I could too. Never mind the pain. Because my mother also said: "Our body is made to give birth, without needing an epidural". Thanks again mom, no pressure.

I was scared but I also accepted that the pain was going to be part of my birth experience. Until I came across hypnotism and stories of mothers giving birth without pain. It changed everything.

When people hear about hypnotism, they cringe, me included.

I imagined giving birth with a shaman swinging a pendulum in front of my eyes, surrounded by fake talismans and burning incense. Luckily I'm also the type of person who bought a Himalayan salt lamp from eBay, hoping it would help my first daughter sleep through the night. Plus, can you imagine the pleasure of proving my mother wrong if I gave birth painlessly? I signed up for a hypnosis class in no time.

Turns out hypnobirthing is definitely not what I thought it was going to be.

I won't go into details here as I'm sure the google doctor can give you better information than I can. However, be aware that he uses different techniques, including breathing, visualization and relaxation exercises to go through childbirth without fear and little discomfort. Overall, achieve a positive and uplifting birth experience.

My experience of hypnosis.

It all started at 3:30 a.m. the day after my due date. I woke up with an intense urge to go to the bathroom and realized that I had just suffered the first contraction of labor.

At that time, I was no longer afraid. I knew I was going to give birth to our daughter with little to no pain, and honestly, I couldn't wait to meet her. I woke my wife up and almost started to jump in excitement. Until another contraction hits and brings me back to earth. I quickly put my shit together and started using all the exercises I learned with hypnobirthing.

I spent the whole day at home with contractions coming and going every half hour or so. All of this is very manageable with the breathing techniques I had learned. My mom still didn't believe I was in labor because of how little I showed I was uncomfortable.

Around 6:30 p.m., they got closer and closer. When my midwife arrived, I was already 7cm tall and it was time to go. As I was going to get in the car, my mother said to me: “When I was 7 cm, I remember that I was already screaming, how are you doing?”. Ha ha! I was doing better than her, I knew it!

The road trip is blurry.

I used the breathing exercises as much as I could, but remember feeling a little uncomfortable there, mainly due to being forced into the car for 40 minutes.

Of course, when we got to the delivery unit around 9 p.m., we found out that the hospital had not received the memo of our arrival and that there was no room for me - without talk about the birthing pool I've always dreamed of. They walked me to a waiting room and told me to wait until the room was ready. However, my baby did not like these instructions because by the time I got there I started to feel the need to push. I didn't have to show that I was still that far away because the more my wife would tell me to 'don't push' (like I could stop it!) And try to get someone's attention, no one didn't care.

Eventually my midwife picked us up and took us to a room.

I can't believe they made me walk again while I started pushing my baby. My water broke all over my pants when I entered the room. I remember I kept asking my midwife, "Isn't it time to take my clothes off?" When she finally did, there was so little time to do anything that she was only able to put a pillow between my legs and grab my baby as she stepped out at 9:35 p.m. She tried to give me instructions on when to push, but I didn't need directions. My body knew exactly what to do.

Why it was beautiful.

So, it wasn't the most amazing birth experience in the sense that I didn't deliver my baby in a birthing pool, with dim lights and relaxing music like I had imagined. But it was beautiful in its own way because I was not afraid and I don't remember feeling any pain. Just pressure when my baby was coming out.

It was beautiful because my wife and I knew exactly what was happening to my body and never panicked. My plans didn't go as planned, but that didn't matter. Nothing mattered except the happiness of being about to meet our new daughter. I remember when the midwife pushed the pillow between my legs and said to me: “you are going to meet your little baby!”. I felt pure joy and excitement.

It was beautiful because never in a million years did I think I was going to have such a positive birth experience. I know a lot of moms say this, but by the time I gave birth I couldn't wait to do it again. I felt so empowered and invincible. And I couldn't wait to tell my mom to see her reaction, of course!

How I did it.

Well, let me tell you, that didn't happen. It took a lot of practice and preparation. I practiced all the techniques of hypnosis every day. I visualized my vagina opening like the petals of a rose a million times. Even though, believe me, it doesn't look like a rose at all.

Hypnosis is like a marathon.

You have to train for this if you want to cross the finish line. But if you put in the discipline and the effort, it's worth it. You should also try.

PS I love my mom. We happen to be a very competitive family.

Have you tried hypnobirthing? Let us know what worked for you in the comments below!

Our next recos: When did women start to lie down to give birth?

Having a baby is an exciting time that often inspires women to make healthier lifestyle choices and, if needed, work toward a healthy body weight. Here you’ll find tips on how to improve your eating and physical activity habits while you’re pregnant and after your baby is born.

These tips can also be useful if you’re not pregnant but are thinking about having a baby ! By making changes now, you can get used to new lifestyle vêtements. You’ll give your baby the best possible start on life and be a saine example to your family for a lifetime.

Gaining an appropriate amount of weight during pregnancy helps your baby grow to a healthy size. But gaining too much or too little weight may lead to serious health problems for you and your baby.

Talk to your health care professional about how much weight gain is appropriate for you. Work with him or her to set goals for your weight gain. Take into account your age, weight, and health. Track your weight at home or when you visit your health care professional. Don’t try to lose weight if you’re pregnant. Your baby needs to be exposed to healthy foods and low-calorie beverages ( particularly water ) to grow properly. Some women may lose a small amount of weight at the start of pregnancy. Speak to your health care professional if this happens to you.

Consuming saine foods and low-calorie beverages, particularly water, and the appropriate number of kcal may help you and your baby gain the proper amount of weight. How much food and how many kcal you need depends on things such as your weight before pregnancy, your age, and how quickly you gain weight. If you’re at a saine weight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) External link says you need no extra calories in your first trimester, about 340 extra kcal a day in your deuxième trimester, and about 450 extra kcal a day in your third trimester. 1 You also may not need extra calories during the final weeks of pregnancy.

Check with your health care professional about your weight gain. If you’re not gaining the weight you need, he or she may advise you to take in more kcal. If you’re gaining too much weight, you may need to cut down on kcal. Each woman’s needs are different. Your needs also depend on whether you were underweight, overweight, or had obesity before you became pregnant, or if you’re having more than one baby.

Does your eating plan measure up ? How can you improve your vêtements ? Try consuming fruit like berries or a banana with hot or cold cereal for breakfast; a salad with beans or tofu or other non-meat protein for lunch; and a lean serving of meat, chicken, turkey, or fish and steamed vegetables for dinner. Think about new, healthful foods and beverages you can try. Write down your ideas and share them with your health care professional.

A vegetarian eating plan during pregnancy can be healthy. Consider the quality of your eating plan and talk to your health care professional to make sure you’re getting enough calcium, iron, protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and other needed nutrients. Your health care professional may also tell you to take vitamins and minerals that will help you meet your needs.

Yes. During pregnancy, you need more vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, and calcium. Getting the appropriate amount of folate is very important. Folate, a B vitamin also known as folic acid, may help prevent birth defects. Before pregnancy, you need 400 mcg per day from supplements or fortified foods, in addition to the folate you get naturally from foods and beverages. During pregnancy, you need 600 mcg. While breastfeeding, you need 500 mcg of folate per day. 2 Foods high in folate include orange juice, strawberries, spinach, broccoli, beans, fortified breads, and fortified low-sugar breakfast cereals. These foods may even provide 100% of the daily value of folic acid per serving.

Most health care professionals tell women who are pregnant to take a prenatal vitamin every day and consume saine foods, snacks, and beverages. Ask your doctor about what you should take. What other new habits may help my weight gain ? Pregnancy can create some new food, beverage, and eating concerns. Meet the needs of your body and be more comfortable with these tips. Check with your health care professional with any concerns.

Eat breakfast every day. If you feel sick to your stomach in the morning, try dry whole-wheat toast or whole-grain crackers when you first wake up. Eat them even before you get out of bed. Eat the rest of your breakfast ( fruit, oatmeal, hot or cold cereal, or other foods ) later in the morning.

Eat high-fiber foods. Eating high-fiber foods, drinking water, and getting daily physical activity may help prevent constipation. Try to eat whole-grain cereals, brown rice, vegetables, fruits, and beans.

If you have heartburn, eat small meals spread throughout the day. Try to eat slowly and avoid spicy and fatty foods ( such as hot peppers or fried chicken ). Have drinks between meals instead of with meals. Don’t lie down soon after eating.

Certain foods and drinks can harm your baby if you have them while you’re pregnant. Here’s a list of items you should avoid.

If you were physically réactive before you became pregnant, you may not need to change your exercise vêtements. Talk with your health care professional about how to change your workouts during pregnancy.

Being physically réactive can be if you don’t have childcare for your other children, haven’t exercised before, or don’t know what to do. Keep reading for tips about how you can work around these hurdles and be physically active.

How can you tell if you’re doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity ? Take the “talk test” to find out. If you’re breathing hard but can still have a conversation easily—but you can’t sing—that’s moderate intensity.

If you can only say a few words before pausing for a breath, that’s called vigorous-intensity activity. If you were in the habit of doing vigorous-intensity aerobic activity or were physically active before your pregnancy, then it’s likely okay for you to continue these activities during your pregnancy.

You can talk to your health care professional about whether to or how to adjust your physical activity while you’re pregnant. If you have health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, or anemia ( too few healthy red blood cells ), ask your health care professional about a level of activity that’s safe for you and your unborn baby.

Go for a walk where you real, in a local park, or in a shopping mall with a family member or friend. If you already have children, take them with you and make it a family outing.

Get up and move around at least once an hour if you sit most of the day. When watching TV or sitting at your computer, get up and move around. Even a simple activity like walking in place can help.

Make a plan to be réactive while pregnant. List the activities you’d like to do, such as walking or taking a prenatal yoga class. Think of the days and times you could do each activity on your list, such as first thing in the morning, during your lunch break from work, after dinner, or on Saturday afternoon. Look at your calendar or phone or other device to find the days and times that work best and commit to those plans.

For your health and safety, and for your baby’s, you should not do certain physical activities while pregnant. Some of these are listed below. Talk to your health care professional about other physical activities you should not do.

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