Help I’m falling asleep to my hypnobirthing mp3s! Is it still working?
Of course it is!
by Sophie Fletcher, author of Mindful Hypnobirthing
I hear the words “I’m falling asleep to the hypnobirthing mp3s” all the time, and when I do a part of me inside is jumping up and down shouting “yes, it’s working!”. Are you so deeply relaxed while listening to your hypnobirthing mp3s that you don’t hear anything at all? Are you waking up on the count or do you slip into sleep and wake up the following morning (which is mostly what I did)?.
If you are, it’s perfectly normal. You are most likely not just responding to the hypnobirthing mp3s but also the environment you are in. Because, I’m guessing, that when this happens you are usually listening to them somewhere where you feel safe, uninterrupted, comfortable? Like your bed just before you go to sleep at night.
As a hypnotherapist I see all sorts of responses – from people who heard every word I said, and everything around them, but see great results, to others who talk to me under hypnosis and don’t remember who also get great results. We all respond in different ways.
If you’ve done a class or read a book, you will know all about oxytocin and adrenaline.
You should be aware by now that it is far easier to listen to your hypnobirthing mp3s when you are in an environment where you feel private, safe and unobserved. When you put the two together, then woosh – it’s a magic combination. Your conscious mind waves a little white flag and can really let go, allowing your unconscious to go to town on embedding all those wonderful suggestions that it’s receiving.
This is why when we talk about your birth environment, we mean what we say. It is important. Our brains respond to feeling secure, cosy and uninterrupted. Get your birth environment right and your relaxation is boosted.
Remember that pesky little hormone called adrenaline? If you were to listen to your mp3s, rocking over a ball, in the sitting room with the curtains open on a sunny day, with people walking up and down your street outside, perhaps at the back of your mind thinking someone may knock on the door, you may not go as deeply – simply because you need to be more alert to what’s going on around you.
Add a loving partner into that mix to mind your space, then you may go deeper because you know that someone else can answer the door, close the curtains, answer the phone or see to other children or pets. When listening to your hypnobirthing mp3s while on a birth ball your mind keeps you a little more alert so you stay safely on it.
Are you starting to see how depth of hypnosis goes up and down according to feelings of safety and privacy?
Some people respond quicker, some slower but the good news is everybody can train themselves to relax and let go in all sorts of environments.
It can be really helpful to practise listening to your hypnobirthing mp3s in different positions, at different times of the day. I even ask mums who are nervous of a car drive to the hospital to practice sitting in the passenger seat with headphones on (make sure that you or your partner don’t drive with it on speakers). This way your unconscious will associate those feelings of relaxation with those different environments – with your bed, or place of comfort that association is already there but you may have to practice a bit to make sure that you can confidently switch off in ANY situation.
What if you are not going as deeply and you hear every word?
That’s normal too. There are two schools of hypnosis thought – state and non-state. State means, being in a “state of hypnosis that is induced usually by an external means” non-state is the belief that actually we are in hypnosis all of the time, we are constantly open to suggestion, and the more you hear a suggestion the more deeply it goes. Marie Mongan’s comment that hypnobirthing is about de-hypnotising women is very true – suggestions you have absorbed over the years have created a belief system about birth that you had before you came on a class, read a book or had an experience that caused you to doubt those beliefs.
Think about your affirmations! They are suggestions that change the way you feel at a deep level, they work, but you say them out loud every day and you hear every word. If the Doctor gives you a set of placebo pills and says “this is going to make you feel so deeply relaxed during labour that your body is going to have an endorphin party”, then evidence shows you will – but you weren’t in hypnosis when they tell you this? Or are you!
The most important thing to know is that hypnosis works, believing that it works has true power. The more you listen to your hypnobirthing mp3s, to positive messages and suggestions all around you the more rooted those suggestions are, whether you hear them or you don’t.
Just sit back, relax and let go of any doubt, confidently knowing that every time you listen you are teaching your body and your mind to relax into a positive experience of birth.