Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method” as Want to Read:
HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  5,202 ratings  ·  746 reviews
Childbirth is not something to be feared; it is a natural expression of life. With HypnoBirthing, your pregnancy and childbirth will become the gentle, life-affirming process it was meant to be.
In this easy-to-understand guide, HypnoBirthing founder Marie F. Mongan explodes the myth of pain as a natural accompaniment to birth. She proves through sound medical information t
Paperback, 302 pages
Published May 24th 2005 by Hci (first published April 16th 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,202 ratings  ·  746 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Anyone who has given birth without drugs and tells you "It didn't hurt at ALL..." is FULL OF POOP (and you can tell them I said that). Newsflash: having a baby hurts! PAIN... That's what happens when something the size of a watermelon comes out of a hole the size of a quarter.

However, I did my second birth naturally by the Mongan "Hypnobirthing" Method, and I can tell you that natural birth IS POSSIBLE (even for Piglet-level wusses such as myself). This book is great... but the hypnobirthing cla
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: parenting
Well, well. What to say about this book.

To preface, I should say that I grew up being told by my own mother exactly what this author is saying, namely, that contractions during childbirth don't hurt and that giving birth is just a lot of pressure "down there". My mom described the feeling of contractions to me as a heavy truck hanging from a rope that is attached at your cervix, pulling down into a deep abyss of nothingness, but not painfully. And so, for most of my teenage years I assumed that
Sep 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I combined this with classes from a HypnoBirthing practitioner. I am not anti-medicine or a hippy (I eat cows, wear leather, I rarely exercise let alone think of going near a yoga mat). It worked, because it does. There's nothing weird, anti-science or particularly flaky about mind over matter. Sports scientists, CBT therapists, people on diets all know this. Hypnosis is something we do all the time - the Mongan Method simply organises it into a programme for birth and adds that there's simply n ...more
Jul 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
Are you kidding me??? I feel like I am being insulted at every turn in this book. Here's the problem, Mongan makes some generalized statements about "simple" women and "African" women that really put me off. She uses these examples as a means of developing her argument about the effectiveness of relaxation as a means of supporting women during delivery.

What bothers me most, is that there is PLENTY of evidence that suggests that when a person's cortisol, GH and norepinephrine hormone loads are l
Jan 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: People who like to pretend that childbirth is a piece of cake
According to the World Health Organization, childbirth is the leading cause of death of women in developing nations. Is this just a "social construction"? Can we visualize this fact away?

I burned this book after giving birth. I didn't want anyone picking it out of the garbage and accidentally reading this.

This book is simply very unrealistic for what I'm betting is the majority of women who have waited til their 30s to get preggo. I would much more recommend a breathing course, and a course in
Lindley Walter-smith
Nov 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is a misogynist, woman-blaming text, with bonus racism, classism and heterocentrism. If I could give it zero stars, I would. Its philosophy is simple and based on that other horrendous book, "the Secret": if you feel pain, suffering or if anything goes wrong, it's because you deserve it, because your attitude was just not good enough.

There is very little actual practical help on self-hypnosis as a method of relaxation and pain control in this book. Instead, we get a lot of birth politics,
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This another book that I feel every pregnant woman should read, even if she isn't planning on using hypnosis or even having a natural birth. The author talks a lot about overcoming fears, especially the fear of birth. There is way too much fear surrounding birth, especially for new moms, and she gives strategies for being prepared physically, emotionally and spiritually for birth. Why is it that no one would ever run a marathon if they hadn't been training (both mentally and physically) but we t ...more
Jul 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: baby-stuff
First of all, there are good things in this book. The author puts forth an interesting philosophy, which is based on her own considerable experience - both personal and as a birthing 'coach', 'instructor', or whatever terminology you want to use - and the experience and observations of others. Her main point is that most of the natural world gives birth without medical intervention, and that we, as natural beings, should also be able to do this. Theoretically, I agree with this. I also agree tha ...more
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
There are some concepts in this book I wholeheartedly agree with, and others I that I think are misguided. I haven't yet given birth myself (still two months away) but I have read at least 10 books on birthing by now and, based on that knowledge, can see that some of the information in this book can be helpful, and some misleading.

I DEFINITELY agree with the author's discussion of the mind-body connection; a positive attitude can definitely affect birth performance, and expectant mothers should
Jill Miskin
Jun 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I waited to review this until after I had given birth-I figure beforehand would have just been speculation. Anyway, when I read this I thought some of the ideas were quite unrealistic. I was then surprised when some of the techniques worked really well. My delivery nurse is a hypnobirthing instructor and I was pleasantly surprised how well I could keep under control with the breathing techniques and how relaxed and calm she kept me. So even though I read the book and knew the techniques, having ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: resource
I feel like this book sets women up to fail. It claims childbirth doesn't hurt, at all, and if it hurts you, well that's just because you've been conditioned for birth to hurt. So you go into childbirth expecting all this new wave awesomeness and your body tenses up, a lot, and you start to stress because it kind of hurts and that's your fault and you must be doing something wrong. If you hurt, that's not natural but Western indoctrination. If you have the urge to push, that's not natural but We ...more
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
I must confess, I didn't read this book in its entirety. I don't subscribe to "hypnobirthing" completely; there are certain aspects of it that I really liked, but I wouldn't (and didn't) go as far as to attempt to hypnotize myself out of feeling pain. I skipped all those parts. I do believe that this book helped me prepare for childbirth though. I learned a lot about the "fear cycle", where fear = tension = pain, especially where labor and birth is concerned. It helped me learn how to relax thro ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Awesome!! A little weird at the beginning but you gotta just let that each his own. BUT....the relaxation techniques and the approach to labor and deliver is life changing. After reading this book, listening to the CD's and practicing the techniques I was able to endure a 30+ hour labor and I was successful in the end. I was able to completely relax my body so that I wouldn't fight against labor pains making it almost painless to go through labor and delivery. I lost sight of my goal dur ...more
Chloe (thelastcolour)
Jan 25, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
i liked the idea behind hypnobirthing, having done yoga for years and recently trying to incorporate meditation into my daily life i understand the power of breathing and approaching any situation in a relaxed and positive manner. i am days away from giving birth and this book has definitely calmed me down but i am aware that childbirth will be a very intense experience and not without pain, i just need to learn not to fear it and to trust my body.
i found parts of this book to be racist, howeve
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
I wish that I could give this book both two and four stars as there are some things that I very much like about the book and other things that I very much dislike.

On the positive side, the research supporting the use of hypnosis for pain management is well established and many of the exercises in this book are excellent. While I have other relaxation and visualization scripts that I prefer, those presented here are good and the suggestions appear to be consistent with having a positive experien
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've just finished reading this booking in preparation to support my friend who is using hypno-birthing for the birth of her baby in the Summer; we are also attending hypnobirth clases.

To reflect on what others have said, while the book is a great aid in itself, it really comes into it own alongside the classes. It has also been helpful to mine information out of the internet too. There are very many videos of Mum's have wonderfully peaceful, pain-free labours and deliveries using the method. Se
May 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to try an unmedicated childbirth with my 4th child, but I saw no sense in paying $150, plus the cost of babysitters, to take the class with my husband. So I read this book instead. I made the right choice; this book was enough to get me through it. However, I should clarify that I did not buy in to all of the self-hypnosis techniques, and I found some of the language and the alternative vocabulary a little laughable. Maybe I didn't believe it all, or I just didn't think I would personal ...more
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest lessons I took away from this book is the concept of breathing through difficult moments, in parenting and in life. This definitely applies to childbirth (which was the primary focus) but I have found it very helpful in my day to day parenting.

The idea that we can manage stress, anxiety and fear through educating ourselves, relaxation and conscious living seems intuitive enough, but putting it into practice really changes the way I SEE challenges. These relaxation techniques
Lara Lee
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm a little disappointed in this book even though it was recommended all over the internet for those who want to have a natural birth. I do congratulate the author on giving woman other options than medication to deal while the pain of labor. The problem is her biased narrative. Specifically, the chapter on the history of childbearing is bogus.

There is no time is recorded human history that people did not know intercourse led to pregnancy. Women were not in general worshipped as goddesses who s
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
A great step-by-step guide to Hypnobirthing and its pillars. If you are trying for a natural, unmedicated birth, this is a great book to get you started and help you prepare for that. I read this in tandem with taking a Hypnobirthing class, and it was very helpful. Great breathing and relaxation techniques to help you get in the zone. There's also a section about what to expect after birth and how to care for your baby. Highly recommend! ...more
Bridget Jack Jeffries
I picked up Hypnobirthing because, of the major methods of dealing with pain in natural childbirth (Bradley, Lamaze, etc.), hypnosis sounded most attractive to me. I do believe that relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis can reduce pain, and I know all too well that psychological factors can cause muscles to tense up and trigger pain. That said, there were so many things I did not like about Hypnobirthing:

- The history chapter is almost entirely made up. To suggest that pain in childbirth
Apr 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth or fifth time I have read this book. I first encountered it in preparation for the birth of my second child. I turned to Hypnobirthing after a very fast and painful first labor and delivery. I had used the Bradley Method and found that it left me with a profound fear of hospital birth and intervention and taught that birth is excrutiatingly painful. I was terrified by my delivery and when I was pregnant for the second time, I did some research online and found Mongan's book. I ...more
Jan 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
The concept of hypnobirthing sounded like a good one to me to aid in the accomplishment of natural birth. Perhaps if I had taken a series of the classes, I would have liked the techniques and it would have proven worthwhile. I did not find this book helpful at all, however.

Filled with redundancies and irksome phrases like "Hugs before drugs" (Yes; used several times!), this book reads more like a hoakey, overly simplistic pamphlet. It continually references you to take the classes, so it is more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it did not like it
I'm giving up. I can't take any more of this über-crunchy hippie-dippy nonsense. While I can get behind the idea that birth doesn't have to be scary and horrible, and that the scary parts can be eased with self-relaxation techniques, I just can't read any more of this book. Even the sections that could make sense, I have trouble parsing, thanks to the reinvented lingo (for instance, I won't have "contractions," I'll have "uterine surges." There will be no "pushing," only "birth breathing"--becau ...more
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book a few months before giving birth the first time. It was the first book I read about natural childbirth, and it was radically different from what mainstream America thinks about birth, but the principles seemed so right for me. I balked a bit about some of the specifics, but the general concepts were appealing. I ended up listening to the accompanying CD often, although I always fell asleep after the first 5 minutes. Those first 5 minutes were crucial later, though, when I was in ...more
Sep 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
It would be nice to have a painless birth. But I think most women's labor will amount to some kind of pain and discomfort. It's interesting how this method tries to change labor-related terms, ie it's not contractions, it's surges. Whatever it is, the foundation of this method is to relax, just like the Bradley method. This book pissed me off when it came to describing moms of breech babies. Basically they blame the mom for being tense and that's why the baby is breech. This is a load of crap. T ...more
Apr 04, 2016 rated it did not like it
I kept going with the premise of this book--a pain free birth--thru the naivety of the author proclaiming that birth is better in Africa because of lack of medical intervention (fistulas anyone? Highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world? Check and check), but the moment she suggested that you solve any money worries you have before the baby comes with the "Laws of Attraction", I decided to go no further. I grew up in a household that promoted that ethos and if you think someone is ...more
Feb 24, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I took this class and enjoyed the material. The idea is sound. You can significantly increase comfort by practicing relaxation and visualizations. Some experience pain-free labor; that was not the case with me! You get what you put into it.
Camille Hoffmann
I think what you think about this book will depend on why you picked it up. I have had 4 babies and am currently expecting #5; because my last labor was so fast I figured I should learn some tricks in case this baby arrives too fast for me to be able to get an epidural. It can't hurt to have some extra tools under my belt, right? :) This book came highly recommended from more than one person so I figured I'd give it a try.

If you're even SORT OF planning on having a birth in the hospital, and wi
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Hypnobirthing sounds quacky, but it’s simply a series of relaxation, visualization and breathing techniques to help you cope in labour. The author does suggest that labour doesn’t need to be painful - I’m obviously expecting to experience pain, but I also trust that managing my thoughts around that pain will help immensely. The fight or flight psychology concept explains that the more you fear pain, the more stressed your body becomes and the more pain you experience. The techniques in this book ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
  • Birthing from Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation
  • Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds
  • The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality
  • Birth Without Fear: The Judgment-Free Guide to Taking Charge of Your Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum
  • Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way
  • The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Mindful Hypnobirthing: Hypnosis and Mindfulness Techniques for a Calm and Confident Birth
  • Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding
  • The Birth Partner
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
  • Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
  • Active Birth : The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally
  • Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond
  • The Positive Birth Book: A new approach to pregnancy, birth and the early weeks
  • What to Expect When You're Expecting
  • Spiritual Midwifery
See similar books…
Marie Mongan, M.Ed., M.Hy., of The Villages, Florida, is an award-winning hypnotherapist, who brings to her classroom over thirty years’ experience in education and counseling on the college level and in the private sector. As the most comprehensive birthing education program available, Mongan Method HypnoBirthing® offers women and their partners opportunities to explore their choices and develop ...more

Related Articles

Across the U.S., many high-school seniors are entering the nail-biting period of waiting for college admissions decisions. While the die has been...
31 likes · 7 comments
“in 3000 spain, france, the british isles and old europe, the lives of people centered on nature and motherhood. they honored mother nature, mother earth and mother creator. women were revered as the givers of life. as creators, they were thought to be connected to diety. statues of the goddesses of these early people were of full-breasted women with bodies clearly depicting the ballooning abdomen of women about to give birth. these primal people regarded birthing as the highest manifestation of nature. when a woman gave birth, everyone gathered around her in the temple for the "celebration of life." birthing was a religious rite, and not at all the painful ordeal it came to be years later. ” 6 likes

His message was simple. It goes to the heart of what we in HypnoBirthing frequently puzzle over: Why has all the "stuff" that denies the normalcy of birth and portrays it as an inevitably risky and dangerous medical event become a routine part of most childbirth education classes? Why are couples in a low- or no-risk category being prepared for circumstances that only rarely occur? Even more puzzling, why do parents accept the negative premise that birth is a dangerous, painful ordeal at best or a medical calamity at worst? Why do they blindly accept the "one-size-fits-all" approach?"

If what couples are hearing in childbirth classes is far removed from what they want their birthing experiences to be, why do they spend so much time entertaining negative outcomes that can color and shape their birth expectations and ultimately affect their birth experience? In other words, if it's not what they're wanting, why would they "go there"? In HypnoBirthing, we doan have all dees stuff, and deliberately so."

HypnoBirthing helps you to frame a positive expectation and to prepare for birth by developing a trust and belief in your birthing body and in nature's undeniable orchestration of birthing. By teaching you the basic physiology of birth and explaining the adverse effect that fear has upon the chemical and physiological responses of your body we help you to learn simple, self-conditioning techniques that will easily bring you into the optimal state of relaxation you will use during birthing. This will allow your birthing muscles to fully relax. In other words, we will help you prepare for the birth your plan and want for yourselves and your baby, rather than the birth that someone else directs. We will help you look forward to your pregnancy and birthing with joy and love, rather than fear and anxiety.”
More quotes…