Sunday, January 23, 2011

29 Weeks and Hypnobirthing Classes

Hey everyone, I am officially 29 weeks now and just starting out my 3rd and final trimester (started last week). It's hard to believe that there's only 11 weeks left! It has gone by so fast. Things have been going great, and really I was struggling with what to blog about this week because there really isn't much going on with my pregnancy...which I think is a good thing!

29 weeks
No frantic phone calls to my midwife, crazy uncomfortable symptoms, or other medical issues. What can I say, I love my "boring pregnancy"! I've had a little bit of lower back pain that has comes and goes every once in a while, probably just from my growing belly. Usually I can prevent the backache by doing yoga daily, and going to my chiropractor every two weeks. Using lots of pillows to support my belly and back when I sleep seems to help as well.

As you can see, Avery has been growing quite a bit and my belly seems to be starting to grow OUT now, rather than UP, so that's been kind of fun to see. Needless to say, mostly all of the shirts I wear nowadays are maternity shirts...this one is a pre-pregnancy one though- still making it work! I think it's days are numbered though as you can tell from the way it sticks out and rises up where my belly is...LOL!

One thing we have started lately is our birth classes. I fell in love with the Hypnobirth book featured below by Marie Mongan before I was pregnant, and when my midwife mentioned that there was a Hypnobirthing instructor in our area, I knew I was game! Why Hypnobirthing you might ask? When I say "hypnobirthing" the image most people get in their mind is that someone will hypnotize me with a some funky crystal and then put me in a trance for the birth. This is not the hypnotizing state that hypnobirthing refers to.

The goal of hypnobirthing is to enter a calm, relaxed state where the mother's body is able to do what it does naturally and best...give birth to her baby...without the help of drugs or other outside influences. Hypnobirthing is also about releasing fear and negative images/thoughts associated with birth like: "It's going to hurt like crazy!" or "The only way I'll get through it is if I have an epidural!"

Don't get me wrong, this birthing perspective may not be for everyone, and by no means am I trying to convince you to go the hypnobirthing route. I think that every woman should do what feels right for herself and her baby. If you feel comfortable with another birth philosophy or with more medical interventions, then by all means go for that. I just love envisioning Baby Avery's birth with the hypnobirthing strategies, where it be calm, peaceful, private, and I will feel confident in my body and my ability to give birth naturally.

Our amazing instructor's website is called, and basically we meet once a week for 5 weeks. Our class takes place on a Sunday and lasts for 2.5 hours. The cost for the class is about $300 and it comes with a copy of the book, and a notebook with additional articles and relaxation scripts. There are two other couples in our class, though B and I are the only "first time" parents. During our first class session we reviewed some Hypnobirthing history, the importance of choosing a care provider who will support your "birth preferences", changing the language associated with birth (switching out words like "surges" for "contractions" and "birth companion" instead of "birth coach"), and we tried out a few relaxation techniques. During our second class session, we watched a few Hypnobirthing births, talked about different settings in which you can have your baby (hospital, home, birth center), and tried out some of the deep-relaxation techniques mentioned in the book. Boy, was it one relaxing class!

If this philosophy is something that you like and can see working for you in the future, feel free to check out the Hypnobirthing website here. Here's a section on the website that explains the philosophy. My instructor also has some great descriptions of Hypnobirthing as well as a list of the many benefits associated with this approach listed on her website here, which I highly recommend checking out.

Now if you like to learn by watching, rather than reading (which I like to do!)- check out these YouTube videos that help explain Hypnobirthing a little bit more and allow you to see it put into practice.

This first video is 2 separate news stories that explain hypnobirthing, take you inside a hypnobirthing class (somewhat similar to the one I'm currently taking), and follow a couple that used HypnoBirthing with their babies. What I love about this video is that they show real people using Hypnobirhting...and having success with it!

Next up is a video of an actual birth (beware, if this freaks you out, stick with the clip above because it's not as graphic as this one!) in which the mother utlized the Hypnobirthing practices. What I love about this video is how calm and relaxed the mother is. Also, you can see how her husband/birth partner takes on a very supportive role in the birth by encouraging her and helping her to go deeper into her relaxation. Start taking notes Brandon! ( :

This video is basically the cliff-notes of the video above in how it shows the Hypnobirthing strategies being used, but in a shortened way. Still a good one though!

So, that's just some of the highlights of the Hypnobirthing approach, and as my classes continue I will post more information about this childbirth method and how we are preparing to use it in Avery's birth. Have a great week!


  1. Hi, Ashley! I am VerĂ³nica and I'm from Spain. Let me tell you, first of all, that I love your blog/your personality and your "go Green" mentality! I'm 21 and I've never been pregnant (though I'm young but I'd like to be a mommy someday soon!) but I totally enjoy your posts. You're so dedicated.
    As I mentioned before, I love reading pregnancy stories about different women because I do find it entertaining, exciting AND educational. I discovered your blog on Google, where I was reading about the "Gender Reveal Party" (a friend of mine is pregnant and I thought it was a great idea to find out the sex of her baby) and just came here.

    This will be my first of a -probably- million on comments on your blog, so for now, I just want to congratulate you on your baby girl Avery and your bravery! You seem like a right headed woman. ¡Besos! :)

    PS: I have not the best English ever, but I hope you can understand what I'm saying.

  2. Hi Veronica! Glad you like my blog! I found it interesting to read about other people's pregnancies before I was pregnant as well. Hope your friend is able to have a fun Gender Reveal Party, it was such a memorable way for us to find out and I would highly reccomend it. I look forward to reading more comments from you in the future!( :


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