This past weekend we spent the morning at a lovely event here in Minneapolis called Bellyrama. The event included yoga, music, vendors, community, and so many gorgeous little ones and pregnant bellies! As we chatted with people coming by our booth we heard from a lot of families who did HypnoBirthing with their last baby and were curious to learn more about Hypnobabies. So we thought it would be helpful to share our thoughts to a larger audience who may have this same question: What is the difference between the two programs?
(Note: There are more than two hypnosis for birth options out there but these two are the most prevalent options in the Twin Cities.)
I read the HypnoBirthing took and listened to the Rainbow Relaxation CD when I was pregnant with my second son nearly nine years ago. I really enjoyed it and did call on it a bit during my birth but beyond that it didn't have a huge impact on my experience. And it was nothing like what I've since seen as a Hypnobabies doula.
Like training for a marathon, preparing for birth, especially when someone's goal is a low intervention birth, takes time and effort. That is why Hypnobabies classes meet for 6 weeks, 3.5 hours each week. That's over 20 hours! My understanding is that most HypnoBirthing classes are about 12-15 hours of class time over 5 weeks. More time means we can cover more topics and get more in-depth during Hypnobabies. Giving birth is one of the most important, powerful and potentially life-changing things you will ever do and it deserves the preparation needed to make it the amazing event it can be.
My understanding is that HypnoBirthing has four hypnosis tracks that are part of their course. Hypnobabies currently has 14 tracks that you use during the course of the program to learn all the techniques and four tracks just for the birth itself. The level of hypnosis Hypnobabies moms reach is called somnabulism and it is a very deep state of hypnosis! It is much more than just breathing or relaxation or meditation, it is very deep hypnosis which actually retrains the students' minds to believe birth can be a positive experience and then allows students to utilize a vast toolbox of tools during their birth to make their dream birth become a reality.
Another great thing about Hypnobabies is we have a tool called "center switch" which allows moms to be in a state called "Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis." In this state moms can walk, talk, open their eyes and move around during their birthing time. Many people mistakenly think they need to lie in bed and remain still while using for hypnosis for birth but with "Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis" that is just not true.
On the surface both programs are similar. They both use hypnosis for birth and are grounded in the belief that birth can be a beautiful and positive experience instead of difficult and painful. But the words used and the tools couples will learn during each class are very different.
I used HypnoBirthing with my second birth in 2009. I liked the relaxation during pregnancy and I had high hopes that the program would help me have a more comfortable birth than I did the first time. The HypnoBirthing program was helpful in my early birthing time, but once my waves (contractions) were long and strong, I didn't feel like my hypnosis was working for me any more.
When I became a doula and started attending births, I was astounded by the success of the Hypnobabies program. I watched several clients give birth easily and calmly. (See this story from 2012... one of the first Hypnobabies births Aileen attended!) I also noticed how well informed and helpful their partners were after taking Hypnobabies classes. I decided to become a certified Hypnobabies Instructor in 2103. While I was in my training, I was pregnant with my third child. I took Anne's class as a student and was amazed by the level of hypnosis and the range of tools available to me as a birthing person.
One thing that makes Hypnobabies special is that we teach Eyes-Open Childbirth Hypnosis - so the birthing person can walk, talk, eat, move around and still remain deeply hypnotized. My husband was impressed not only with the depth of my hypnosis, but also with the many tools he was given to help him be an active birth partner. I had a lovely Hypnobabies birth with my third baby. I am so grateful to Hypnobabies for giving me so many tools to have a more comfortable & joyful birthing!
Having used both programs for the births of my children, I can say with conviction that Hypnobabies is the best childbirth hypnosis program around. Please feel free to call or email us if you would like to hear more about this wonderful program.
We hope this article has helped you understand WHY we chose to become Hypnobabies instructors and why we love it!
Here are some links to other folks' thoughts on the differences between these two programs....
Information from Hypnobabies.com: https://www.hypnobabies.com/class-benefits/