Every woman will be different when it comes to using scripts in birthing. I’m going to talk about how I personally use scripts to prepare for birth and during birth, but what works for me may not work for you.
When preparing for my first birth, I practiced hypnosis using a script nearly every day from the time I took my class (about 32 weeks). Whether listening to the pre-recorded CDs or my husband’s reading, I became very good at getting deeply relaxed using scripts. After a couple of weeks, I was able to achieve deep relaxation with just music and my own memory of the scripts combined with images I created in my mind. I felt that during my birth, I would both listen to scripts and relax on my own as I did when I practiced.
Scripts are wonderful for teaching hypnosis, but I found them not as useful during birthing. During early labor of my first birth, I did listen to 1 or 2 scripts to focus my relaxation. However, when late first stage surges became stronger and stronger, I found that listening to a script did not help me get through each surge very effectively. I don’t think I listened to one script after being admitted to the hospital! Instead, I used some of the different relaxation techniques we learned in class, combined with my husband’s counter pressure and the jetted tub. These techniques were more effective in the “short run” to get through each surge. I found that I went deep within myself, losing awareness of the outside world and any sense of time. Those hours at the hospital seem like minutes when I look back.
For my second birth, it was a very similar experience. I listened to one script during early labor while in my own tub at home. This helped me regain focus and relaxation. However, when at the hospital the surges were too strong for me to focus on long readings and I relied solely on those same techniques I had used before. Short verbal cues from my husband and the midwife and nurse also really helped me to fully relax my body through each surge. Again, the tub was a great help to me. I highly recommend finding a hospital that has jetted tubs in their birthing rooms.
One difference between my first birth and second was that I felt a lot more aware of my surroundings during the second birth. I knew exactly what I wanted from my husband during each surge, and I was able to let him know. I was much more conversational with everyone between surges. I think this is because I had trained myself to go into instant relaxation whenever I needed to and didn’t have to stay in a trance state through the whole process. It was actually quite liberating; I felt that I had my own personal drug that I could administer during each surge when it was needed.
I do know of cases where women went through their entire birth listening to script after script, but I don’t think that is the norm. Make sure to practice ALL of your hypnosis techniques, as well as physical comfort techniques taught HypnoBirthing® class, and be ready to use any of the tools that have been given you.