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  1. #161
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    I completely agree with Bunya. I ended up having a very long (I'm talking 4-5 days) back labour with bub in a funny position and had to transfer (ended up with epidural v*g birth), and honestly, all the calmbirth in the world wasn't gonna touch the sides of that pain. During pregnancy, I was so convinced that labour pain was all about fear, and that a positive attitude would result in a beautiful calm birth. I'm sorry, but all the positive attitude and deep breathing in the world would not have made that labour less painful. It was actual, physical pain and most certainly not due to my attitude or lack of preparation.

    I agree that calmbirth techniques have their place, but I wish I had paid more attention to the book Birth Skills by Juju Sundin (the one that basically says "yes it's going to hurt like a mutha, here are ways to deal with it" rather than pretending like it doesn't have to hurt and if it does, it's somehow your fault). At the end of the day, my biggest lesson was that labour and birth are unpredictable and you can never fully prepare - you have to go with the flow of it as it happens and accept that it may not fit your ideal "plan".

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  3. #162
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    Hi.

    I am a newbie here. I was wondering if anyone can suggest places to do a calm birth course in Melbourne? I am in Caroline Springs. Also, $400 sounds a bit steep, do any of these places offer pay as you go/ installments etc? I would love to do a Calm birth course this time around for baby no.2
    Thanks heaps!

  4. #163
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    Hi I have done a Calm Birth course in Melbourne but it was $450 for the both of us. I'm not sure if installments would be possible though. It was in the Yarra Valley...

  5. #164
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    Hi there,
    I haven't read all the replies in this post (there is a LOT) but I used hypnobirthing for my first child and thought I'd share my experiences or what I learned.

    I loved it, some things worked and some things didn't so here's the benefit of my wisdom, lol:

    You MUST practice the breathing excercises and listening to the relaxation tapes etc. They tell you that in the course, but I didn't listen hard enough. Trust me - practice, practice, practice. I'm using hypnobirthing again this time and practicing the way I'm supposed to - I'm 38 weeks and can no longer stand the sound of Marie Mongan's voice, but it's totally worth it.

    I had a back labour with my first child. An earlier poster mentioned how 'painful' these are. And they are. I couldn't even FEEL the contractions over the back pain. They had to tell me when they were happening. Before this 'pain' kicked in however I was sleeping peacefully between surges and really relaxed. The REASON it didn't work for me past that point, was I forgot my 'training' and didn't put myself into the deeper state of relaxation. Again, that was due to not enough practice/reading. I missed the cues or forgot what I was supposed to do. I think it would have done the trick even through that back labour.

    A tip from me? Take a CD with your tracks into the room, but take an ipod or similar with headphones and use that as your first resort. It will cut out a lot more distractions than hearing people talking as well as the music.

    Also (and this is just a general labour tip anyway) a lot is made during the hypnobirthing course about not pushing, about breathing the baby down. So much was made in the course I did of not 'pushing' even if you felt the need, that it didn't even occur to me that I might not ever feel the need. I wasn't expecting not to feel the urge to push and so when I was fully dilated the midwives just started telling me to push with each contraction. At that point I was a little nutty and didn't think to tell them to **** off, I didn't feel like pushing. I can tell you I may as well have been trying to push over a brick wall, and that's what it felt like. It was doing nothing except tiring me out and damaging my pelvic floor. Sometimes I didn't even tell them I was having contractions because I just wanted to be left alone to breathe them out (because that felt right). So you HAVE to remember to listen to your body. Because the people there will just think they're helping, but YOUR body knows best. I ended up pushing for about 2 1/2 hours before having a vaccum extraction due to exhaustion. All that inneffectual pushing has since led to haemorrhoids, prolapse and incontinence, purely because I shouldn't have been - I didn't need to.

    In case you were curious, there were lots of potential reasons I didn't feel the urge to push, all of them normal. It's common with posterior babies, but if you're interested you can google 'delayed urge to push' or something similar. A lot more practitioners are recognising what's being called the 'rest and be thankful' stage - between transition and active labour where a woman's surges go away for a period of time, allowing her to rest. It's not your labour 'stalling' and it's not 'failure to progress' - it's nature's gift that allows you to rest. If baby is not stressed you should be left alone to rest. Not given drugs or pressured into procedures to get things going again. I've read about this stage lasting up to 2 hours, or a bit more. But I didn't know that at the time.

    Also, I'm only just over 5' tall, a slight build, had a posterior baby that was almost born in the sac because they didn't realise my waters hadn't broken (even though I told them) and he was 8 pounds 12 ounces. No wonder he was a tight, slow squeeze

    Good luck, you can totally do it! And remember, any time someone has you doubtful, or you feel scared about the labour or worried that it won't work - listen to the birthing affirmations. Even in your sleep! After hearing them, the fear for me is gone, which is one of the big keys for making hypnobirthing work for you!

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  7. #165
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    Can anyone recommend a class near Frankston, Melbourne. I have so far found "lotus calmbirth" and "peninsula calmbirth" but would love any personal recommendations!

  8. #166
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    Good luck!!

  9. #167
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    DH and I are going to the calmbirth course in Bowral with Peter Jackson tomorrow, I am excited Hopeful that it will turn out to be beneficial. I have been recommended to this particular one by more than one mum so fingers crossed!

    I tend not to tell too many people as comments can be quite umm.. unencouraging but god bless DH he talks all about our plans to everyone! Even the guys at work (he works underground in the mines). He's being very supportive of my plans to avoid drugs as much as I can so I am very grateful for that. I'll have to update on here once I've met my little bundle

  10. #168
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    Apologies in advance for the very long reply here!

    I used Hypnobirthing for my third and forth labors. My first birth was via c-section (breech, no labor). It was problem free but I developed post partum/natal depression afterwards which I believe was partially due to disappointment about the loss of the natural birth I'd dreamed of.

    My second was a successful VBAC after being induced, 10 days overdue. I had a horrible midwife who frequently told me labor hadn't even begun while I vomited my way through contractions and generally felt very afraid of what was happening. I also had a room full of people I hadn't invited there and all in all found it a rather horrible experience. With no proper support, (my poor husband was a bit helpless) I used gas and then an epidural for pain and while I was ultimately thrilled to give birth vaginally, I had a significant tear and my baby boy was not terribly alert for some minutes after birth. I was so proud of achieving a VBAC but quite terrified of ever having to labor naturally again.

    During my third pregnancy, I was still very nervous knowing what may lay ahead so on the advice of a friend, began hypnobirthing classes. (Marie Mongan method, via private sessions with only my husband there). I found the sessions really enjoyable and practiced quite a lot in the lead up to birth - the visualisation and breathing techniques are really helpful for when you can't sleep, need to manage pregnancy discomforts or just need to relax. These sessions changed my attitude towards labor and I felt much more confident that I could have a positive birthing experience with the right support and the help of these techniques. I went into labor at 7am on my due date with my waters partially breaking and felt very relaxed. Because of a Strep B positive blood test, I had to go to hospital to receive anti-biotics so unfortunately had no option of staying home. Throughout the day, I only had very mild infrequent contractions and spent many hours walking the hospital grounds. At 10pm, I began feeling significant contractions that required concentration to manage. Throughout the night, with my husband and sister supporting me, I used all of the hypnobirthing techniques I'd learned and managed reasonably well as the contractions intensified. At around 5am, the pain became quite unbearable and I used gas for one contraction but it made me horribly disorientated and I immediately panicked. The pain was very significant from this point and I moved to the bath which helped but I don't feel I ever really did regain the focus I'd had prior to the gas. The transition phase was really difficult and being completely honest, I don't believe hypnobirthing was helping in any way at at that point. For me, it really was just a big mix of panic, pain and begging it to be over..not calm breathing through surges! Had I have not had the gas, I probably would have managed a little better but ultimately, my baby arrived healthy and alert at 7am and I had only a tiny graze. I was really happy with the labor overall and became a big fan of hypnobirthing for managing fear and keeping in control during labor.

    2 years later, I still believed in hypnobirthing but had lost confidence in myself overall so was not at all positive about delivering naturally again. I planned to use hypnobirthing but generally felt nervous, even after attending more classes throughout pregnancy. At 40 weeks, my labor didn't establish properly and I found myself being hooked up to the dreaded Pitocin drip. It only took one contraction to remember what I didn't love about labor ;p I began contractions at 3pm and with the drip in place, was very disappointed knowing I couldn't have a water birth. (The policy with being induced was that I could use the bath for pain relief but I had to be strictly monitored throughout and had to deliver out of the bath). I felt semi resigned to the idea that I might end up with an epidural after all but decided to give it my best go with breathing and visualisation. An hour into labor, I wanted to move to the bath and as my gown was removed, it accidentally pulled the Pitocin drip out. My lovely midwife suggested I wait to see if labor continued and it did! I avoided the drip from that point and was pleased to know I could deliver in water if I wanted. Over the next 2 hours, the contractions became very significant but I did find myself a lot more in control overall than any of my previous labors. I kept my head down and my eyes closed right through-out and while I'm not a quiet laboring woman (yelling feels right for me during contractions), I returned to a very peaceful state in between. At around 6.15 I began asking (rather firmly!) for an epidural as the pain was more than I wanted to endure. I now know the midwife and my husband didn't order it as they told me they had, they wanted to keep me going as long as possible without it. At 7.03 pm I delivered our baby girl into my husbands arms, in water and catching the mw completely by surprise. It was the most beautiful, happy moment in a quiet dark room with only the midwife and husband present. I had no grazing and a very alert baby. I couldn't have been happier with that labor or birth.

    I am still a big fan of hypnobirthing and can't imagine going into labor without it but I agree with some of the previous posters who commented about the pain factor. I won't assume we all have the same labor experiences and I do believe we all register and react to pain differently so I accept that hypnobirthing may in fact give some people a virtually pain free birth. For me however, labor is extremely, extremely painful. I don't actually know too many women who say otherwise. Hypnobirthing or not, I found labor extremely intense and struggled very much in the last stage before delivery. What hypnobirthing did give me was an overall confidence and calmness that was not present in my first VBAC delivery without it. By removing the fear, the labor becomes much more bearable mentally and to some degree, physically.

    I plan to use Hypnobirthing for my current pregnancy and labor but am expecting twins which adds something different again. I am lucky to have a great ob who believes in natural delivery of twins but the standard policy includes an epidural and my only goal is to get them here safely. I don't plan to rock the establishment in order to get my dream birth this time around.

    Very long story short, for anyone considering using hypnobirthing, I totally recommend it but also believe it's important to expect pain to some degree. Yes there are surges, pressure, tightenings and sensations but I found there is also very significant pain at some points (which is totally normal).

    Wishing everyone a beautiful birth, no matter which way it happens
    Last edited by brisvegasmum; 22-09-2012 at 10:56.

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  12. #169
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    That was a great post Brisvegasmum, thank you!

  13. #170
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    Just thought i'd put in my 2 cents worth...

    My first baby was born purely with hypnobirth technique for pain relief. It was very long (3 days!) but beautifully calm and enjoyable the whole way through. The labour wasn't progressing fast enough stopped a few times and so the OB got me restarted on oxytocin. That made the contractions a lot more painful, but as long as i was able to hold focus within my head, there was no pain, just sensation - i felt everything, but didn't perceive it as pain. At one point during the final pushing stage something broke my concentration and i was suddenly aware of the pain - OMG it was overwhelming! But my mum (who was with me as doula) helped me to refocus and then the pain was gone again. The most excruciating part of the whole process was afterwards when i was getting a tear stitched back together.

    I can't recommend it enough. Birth should be beautiful and enjoyable and celebrated, and hypnobirthing allowed me to have that.

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