When I was researching which birth method to use, I saw several impressive videos where the woman had chosen Hypnobirthing and appeared to have no pain whatsoever. I’ll admit that I was optimistic; it looked so easy, why couldn’t I do it? One statistic I read found that of women who chose Hypnobirthing, around half had no pain, and around 70% reported no pain until transition (7 cm).
I wouldn’t call my birth pain-free. I would say that I had very manageable pain until transition, and during transition the pain did increase, but that was the shortest part of labor and before I knew it, I was pushing. Hypnosis, combined with counter-pressure and the tub, helped immensely to ease any discomfort. When things got really intense, I changed it up. Trying something new always helped.
I am often asked what a contraction feels like. Basically, imagine a charlie horse that surrounds your whole torso (including your back). It grows in intensity over about 45 to 90 seconds and gradually subsides. This repeats itself every 2 to 3 minutes for a very long time! They definitely hurt, but I think more than that, they are tiring! Giving birth without drugs is hard work, so prepare for the long haul!
So many women have told me they think I’m crazy for not using drugs. After all, “that’s what they’re there for!” To those women I would say, there is nothing more empowering than giving birth to your baby naturally. It is so amazing to feel everything that is going on in your body as it works to bring your baby out. You gain so much confidence in your body and your place in this world as a woman and mother. If you are trying to decide whether to have drugs or not, my advice would be to choose a natural birthing method that appeals to you and educate yourself…no…immerse yourself in it. Give it 100% of your attention. Practice the techniques daily. Picture your perfect birth. Be optimistic, and go for it! You’ll be glad you did.