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HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition) 3rd Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 524 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 858-0001045641
ISBN-10: 0757302661
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marie Mongan, M.Ed., M.Hy., is a life-long educator, former college dean, clinical hypnotherapist, and Director of the Hypnobirthing Institute. She is the recipient of the 1995 National Guild of Hypnotists President's Award and received the coveted Charles Tebbetts Award in 2000 for the recognition she has brought to hypnotherapy. Ms. Mongan lives in New Hampshire, but spends much of her time on the road training new instructors in the techniques of hypnobirthing. She is the mother of four adult children, all born using the techniques upon which hypnobirthing is based.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Preparing women for birthing by educating them in the true physiology of labor was the backbone of Dick-ReadÆs work. For many women who were preparing for natural birthing in the 1950s, that appeal to their intellect was enough to make them break with traditional attitudes and bring their children into the world unmedicated and alert. It was simpler then. Most babies came into the world with the assistance of the family doctor, a person who was probably known to the birthing mother since she, herself, was a child. While women did not expect that birth would be a picnic, they were not terrified of the experience, and families of three or four children were not uncommon. Free of debilitating fear, they often were able to bring their babies to crowning with little fuss, and were anesthetized only in time for the doctor to arrive and extract the baby with forceps. Those who subscribed to the philosophy of natural birth were free of fear, free of anesthesia and, for the most part, free of the discomfort of labor.

If you are like most pregnant women, you will find that as you move through these days and months of pregnancy, you will be met with a whole new set of feelings, anxieties, doubts, questions, decisions and tasks that you never had to consider before. Some of these will center on your pregnancy, labor and birthing, but there may be more that will cause you to look at the many transformational experiences that bringing a baby into your life will present. This is natural. As you prepare your mind and body for your babyÆs birth, you will want to be ready in this regard alsoùfree of any fears, reservations or limiting thoughts.

ItÆs helpful for both you and your partner to be able to identify feelings, experiences or recollections that may be painful or hurtful, thus limiting your ability to approach birthing free of harmful emotions. Take a look at those emotions that may foster a feeling of uneasiness, meet them head-on and release any conflict you may be harboring (consciously or subconsciously) because of them. Once you have been able to work through and resolve lingering emotions, limiting thoughts, experiences or memories that could stand in the way of an easy birthing, you will have a better sense of your own ability to approach the birth of your baby with trust and confidence.

Thoroughly search your inner feelings to discover the areas that you feel very confident about and those that you need to work through so that you can resolve any fears or misgivings that you are holding. Brushing aside matters that concern you may help you to get through your pregnancy, but these concerns can easily surface as fears when you are in labor, and they can affect the course of your labor. You will want to take advantage of the opportunity to talk with your partner, your birthing companion or a good friend who can help you explore and discuss any thoughts that could be troubling you.

Your HypnoBirthing practitioner will help you inventory and identify those areas of your life that could possibly serve as obstacles. The practitioner will help you work with fear-release sessions in class. If you still feel you need some assistance in releasing lingering fears after you do the sessions in class and talk with your partner and friends, ask your practitioner for a private session. If you are not able to work with a trained practitioner, you may find it helpful to seek the counsel of a hypnotherapist to do release work with you. A fear release hypnotherapy session is truly one of the most effective ways of eliminating toxic emotions.

Listed below are just a few areas of concern to pregnant women that surfaced in the early nineties as a result of Dr. Louis Mehl-MadronnaÆs study on turning breech babies with hypnosis. Your own inventory may reveal other issues that you would like to resolve.

  • Your own birthùWhat stories have you heard about your own birth? Are they positive and encouraging, or negative and frightening? Do you feel that you will duplicate your motherÆs labor? If what youÆve been told is less than encouraging, you might want to work on establishing that you are not your mother, and this is not her pregnancy. You are an entirely different person at a different time and under different circumstances.
  • OthersÆ birth storiesùHave you been surrounded with stories of joyful birthing, or have family members impressed upon you ôfamily patternsö of long labors, back labor, severe pain and medical intervention? Again, you do not need to assume the experiences of the people who are relating these stories. There is no reason to believe that you will birth as they did. Work at checking those kinds of thoughts so that you donÆt bring their past baggage into your birthing.
  • Previous laborsùHas your own experience with labor been easy and satisfying, or are you carrying recollections of an arduous ordeal? If you had a less than satisfying labor, take hope in the fact that you are better prepared for an easier birth this time, and you now can approach birthing with more knowledge and planning than you did before. Make your HypnoBirthing skills work for you, and get rid of the memories of the previous birth or births.

¬2004. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Hypnobirthing:The breakthrough natural approach to safer, easier, more comfortable birthing - The Mongan Method, 3rd Edition Marie Mongan, M.Ed., M.Hy. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Health Communications; 3rd edition (May 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757302661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757302664
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.2 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (524 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Marylynn B. Muller on March 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
It is now three days since I gave birth to my first baby, a beautiful 9lb girl. In my last few weeks of pregnancy I met a neighbor who insisted I read this book as soon as I could. She described the hypnobirthing philosophy of birth with no pain or fear and how she had used it successfully with her third child. I was skeptical that it could help me much because I had heard that first babies were more difficult to deliver than second or third babies, and I thought maybe her success was due to her previous experiences with labor. Regardless, I decided to buy the book. When it arrived a few days later I skimmed through it and attempted some of the breathing techniques. I found them very difficult because my lung capacity at 9 months pregnant was pretty low. The accompanying CD, however, was very easy to use and I got sort-of addicted to it (only the relaxation part) because it helped me get back to sleep when I woke up at 4am every morning. It taught me to relax my entire body instantly, with the idea that this could help me through contractions. It also improved my breathing technique somewhat. When labor came I was able to use my relaxation skills to work through early, active, and transition labor stages with relatively little pain and a strong sense of control over my body. I was happy and thought I would get through everything fine until the pushing stage. I had not read or practiced any hypnobirthing techniques for pushing and, unfortunately relaxation was not an option. My pushing was intensely difficult and there was most certainly pain and fear. I believe, however, that had I discovered hypnobirthing earlier and practiced all the breathing techniques, I may have had an easier time.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I was originally very skeptical of natural childbirth, but after doing a lot of research during pregnancy, and seeing the real statistics of less interventions = better outcomes for mom and baby, I became interested in Hypnobirthing. I recommend also reading "Childbirth Without Fear" by Grantley Dick-Reade, upon which all forms of hypnosis for childbirth are based.

I did not take the HB class, only a general childbirth education class provided by my hospital which covered the biology/mechanics, as well as touching on various methods of managing labor, medication options, natural options, etc. I highly recommend that any mom-to-be avail herself of such a class, no matter what approach/philosophy you choose, so that you will learn about the specific procedures and attitudes at YOUR hospital or birthing center. No single book can prepare you properly.

I did listen to the CD exercises almost daily from about 6.5 months on. I found Ms. Mongan's writing/speaking to be much more grounded, practical, and open for my own feelings and interpretations than other HB materials I tried. Other hypnosis audios were very specific about exactly what imagery I should visualize, which often gave me a negative reaction. Ms. Mongan works more by suggesting the desired feeling, such as peace, warmth, safety, "surrounded by beautiful colors" etc - so my own mind could supply the specific place/image.

My birth experience was not some ideal fantasy, but it was much, much better than it might have been, and far easier than average in my circumstances. Due to some unique circumstances, my midwife recommended induction, but thanks to HB I was able to avoid an epidural, which made my recovery much, much quicker.
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I have read this and over a dozen other books as part of my labor doula training. Now, as an expectant mother, I've discussed this curriculum with several doulas, midwives, and midwife assistants. I also audited the class last year.

Bottom line: If you want to learn about childbirth preparation, there are better books (Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth, Kitzinger). If you want to learn about overly interventionist hospital policies and practices, there are better books (Missed Conceptions, Wolfe; Ina May Gaskin, etc.). If you want an emotionally and spiritually connected approach to birthing, Birthing from Within is great. If you want to develop relaxation techniques that work specifically for you, paying a few bucks for the book won't hurt, but the class is over $400, for that money you could meet one-on-one with a licensed hypnotherapist who could tailor techniques just for you.

Mongan's basic principle, that a relaxed woman will labor more effectively, is something I believe whole-heartedly. I'm even planning a homebirth. But the idea that it *shouldn't* hurt if I'm doing the exercises right is overstated and, frankly, I think abusive to women. As if barfing during transition is a sign of a character flaw. The section on pushing the baby out is particularly misleading and wildly unrealistic.

I like that they're encouraging people to demand more compassionate care in labor and delivery. But this movement seems more invested in making a brand for itself than in thoughtful, well-reasoned, well-researched approaches to improving maternity care.
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