During my last pregnancy, I explored several books that could help me learn to trust my body and give birth naturally. One of the avenues that I explored was hypnosis for childbirth. I purchased this book out of curiosity and I was pleasantly surprised.
Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method by Marie F. Mongan is an instructional book on relaxation, visualization, and breathing techniques for labor and birth. It covers positioning for labor and birth, as well as some new concepts for birth that many other childbirth books do not address. For instance, instead of “contractions” the words “rushes” or “surges” are used; Instead of pushing your baby out it is recommended that you “breath your baby down”.
The thing that I enjoyed most about this book is it's support for a woman's choices and natural birth methods. It explains how fear affects labor and then takes you through a guided process to get rid of the fear and start trusting your body's ability to give birth. This book is not intended to give any kind of medical advice or information, but instead supports a woman's ability to gain her own knowledge and make the choice that is right for her and her baby.
Ideally, I would recommend taking a Hypnobirthing class if you want to do the full in-depth study of this method. I was unable to take a class for various reasons and I will admit that there were some breathing concepts that I was unable to understand based solely on the book. Although this book usually comes with a basic relaxation CD, I did also purchase and recommend the Rainbow Relaxation CD which can be found on their website. It's a great companion to the book and required for the class. This book is still a great read even if you can't attend the class or buy any extra CDs.
I'm no expert, but I would not describe this as a method of hypnosis. To me, it is more of a guided relaxation and imagery method. All of the hypnosis for childbirth methods seem to be set up that way.
There is some confusion about hypnobirthing methods that they guarantee a pain-free childbirth experience. Hypnobirthing the Mongan Method states clearly that it doesn't promise a painless birth. That being said, I wouldn't describe my birth as painful at all; I can not give this method all of the praise, but it definitely helped with my relaxation and frame of mind.
Overall, this book is not for everyone. It is for any woman who has an open mind and would like to explore hypnosis methods for childbirth. If you want to learn how to trust your body to give birth and are open to the possibility of an enjoyable childbirth, this book is for you.
*I bought this book personally during my pregnancy and was not compensated in any way for this review.