As a Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor, supporting families using Hypnobabies is my passion. Whether a family is attending the live class or using the home study, my goal is to help each family have the birth they desire. We recommend attending a live class if possible. But, not all families have this option, and thankfully we have the home study course to offer those families!
The live class and the home study are very similar. The live class covers a few extra topics (like breastfeeding and postpartum) but the bulk of the information and the hypnosis techniques are the same. I've attended some amazing births with couples using the home study. One even involved pitocin augmentation and the mom still said she felt only pressure, not pain! However, just like the live class, success with the home study involves a significant amount of time and effort.
First of all, a mom is not doing the home study unless she has a full set of materials and tracks and is following them exactly as directed. Borrowing a couple tracks from a friend and listening a few times is not doing Hypnobabies! The home study takes 5 weeks to complete, and the tracks need to be listened to in a specific order, with a certain amount of repetition of each track before moving on to the next one. The workbook, the quick reference guide, and numerous handouts are also key components. If a mom is not doing the reading associated with her tracks, she is not doing Hypnobabies.
So, how can you maximize your success with the home study? I'd like to offer you three ideas to help you achieve your birthing goals.
#1: Practice, practice, practice! Moms report this was a huge part of their success. Like training for a race, or learning how to play an instrument, the more you practice, the stronger you become. In hypnosis, the more you practice, the easier it is for you to get deep into hypnosis and the better your tools will work. We recommend starting the home study course by 32 weeks so you have five weeks to work through the materials and a few more weeks to refine your tools. Starting earlier is great too. Some moms start later and may even double up on tracks every day to move through the course faster, and this can work as well.
#2: Schedule a Home Study Advantage (HSA) session with a local instructor. An HSA can be a private class in your own home, or a group class with a few home study families. We recommend doing the HSA after you've completed the five weeks of the course, around 36 or 37 weeks of pregnancy. This is a three-hour class that will review your tools, educate your birth partner, and also includes a full birth rehearsal, just like the live class. Because birth partners are much less involved in the home study, the HSA is key to getting him or her up to speed on the Hypnobabies language and techniques. It also builds his or her confidence that they can support the hypno-mom perfectly during her birth. Your instructor also becomes a resource to you for the rest of your pregnancy and even your birthing time, should you or your partner need support. If you've hired a doula who isn't very familiar with Hypnobabies, they are also invited to participate in the HSA. We recommend you book your HSA as soon as you start the course. Your instructor can also guide you if questions pop up during the course before you even meet for the HSA. Costs for the HSA and information about any group classes that are currently scheduled can be found here.
In addition to the big three listed above, I want to make two other recommendations. The first is to buy a new set of home study materials whenever possible instead of borrowing from a friend or buying from someone you know, and definitely avoid buying copies that may have been duplicated illegally. We know of many women who realized too late that they were sold old materials that were missing key components. The small team that makes up Hypnobabies LLC is a hard-working group of women who are passionate about birth and helping families and they deserve to be fairly paid for all their hard work. In addition, they are often making updates to the course, and by buying a new home study from Hypnobabies.com Store you can be assured you are getting the latest and the greatest, and also are getting everything you need. Some things in the home study are meant to be used at the birth (like a door sign, handout for the provider, etc.) so if you buy or borrow a used set, these items might be missing. The home study course currently costs around $160. If you save $10 each week from week 10 of your pregnancy to week 25, you'll have enough! Save another $10/week from week 26 to 35 and you'll have enough for a private HSA class!
Second, if you are a home study family, please join our local Hypnobabies Twin Cities Families group to get support from instructors and other moms and partners who've used Hypnobabies!
Lastly, I'd like to offer some words of advice and success stories from home study moms in that Facebook group:
"I used my phone's calendar app to schedule my sessions daily (with two reminders!). That way I didn't have to keep referring back to that week in the book to know which track to do. This is really important this time around because with a two year old at home it is really easy to skip them!"
"Hypnobabies really helped with my blood pressure! It would go up and I would lay on my left side while listening to my tracks and it dropped back to normal almost every time. The positive affirmations really helped me feel empowered. I did not listen to my tracks while laboring/ delivering either of my babies as I wanted dark, quiet and no one around me. But I really feel like the program prepared me psychologically for natural childbirth. I had to have an induction with my first due to complications. It was 50 hours of labour before he arrive and I did not need any pain management."
"The best thing for me were the daily affirmations. I think they did most of the work, in terms of building my confidence and helping me believe in my body and the process. The "Bubble of Peace" kept me emotionally safe every time I'd think about it. For the birth, I didn't need the CDs and was able to sustain hypnosis with silence, and that's what I preferred. I used my husband's verbal cues (words from Hypnobabies) and squeezed his hand during waves once they got serious, and it was blissful. No experience of pain until crowning."
"I think the home study helped me reconnect with my baby at the end of a busy day. Especially with other children, it can be so easy to let time fly by and forget to honor this new baby and pregnancy. I think listening to the tracks each night before bed not only helped me prepare for my birth better but also helped me relax and sleep better!"
"Lots of practice and CONFIDENCE that I would have an amazing birthing experience! (& I did!) Pregnancy affirmations were fantastic!"
"I listened religiously, every night as I fell asleep. Then when it was time for my birthing time, everything was so familiar to me."
"For me the daily affirmations and fear clearing were the best thing, We tried to almost 3 yrs to conceive and therefore before Hypnobabies I focused on " everything that could go wrong"and was very scared, nervous and had lots of anxiety. Once we started Hypnobabies it helped me to relax, enjoy my pregnancy and trust in my body and was very prepared for my birth day. During my birthing time I had complete control and trust that I would know exactly what to do, I had no pain nor was I nervous."