there is this thread if you want to peruse it.http://forum.theppk.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=23212&hilit=natural+birth
i did a hypnobirth class at the hospital i gave birth at. it is definitely a bit woo but the instructor we had was herself not super woo and was an RN so that helped me a bit as i think i am somewhere in the middle of woo and anti woo. i think the *best* thing about hypnobirthing itself is the idea that birth itself is a natural function of your body and you really need to stay relaxed because the more you are afraid the more your body constricts and the harder it makes labor. that made a lot of sense to me.
the actual relaxation techniques *for me* didnt do much. i had a hard time in class with them. i was like "really? you want me to visualize eating a lemon? im sitting in a dark room in a hospital with a bunch of strangers"
everyone around me was like "i totally tasted the lemon!" and i was like in the corner dying laughing.
i am not a relaxed person. it really doesnt say anything about hypnobirthing itself it speaks more to my personality.
i listened to the cds that came with the book at night and i think it really helped me wind down to sleep. for some people it was like turn on the cd and zonk out like instantly. for me i might drift off by the end but i have insomnia sooooo.....
i think some of the mantras they use on the cds (i forget the word they use for them!) are good to get stuck in your head and the visualizations and stuff.
im not really going to speak to using it in actual labor because my pregnancy ended with a lot of complications and hospital time and by the time i FINALLY went into labor hypnobirthing was the farthest thing from my mind and my labor was like 2 hours long so there was no time for deep breathing.
i believe oncewewerewesties did hypnobirthing and was very successful with it.
i think the best piece of advice i was given about birth in general was here on ppk and it was something to the effect of have an open mind that shiitake doesnt always go down the way you expect it to so taking a hypnobirthing class can be great and awesome and i definitely recommend taking some sort of class that appeals to you but in the end everything might get chucked out the window and it's important to not freak out about that.
on second thought maybe that's what the hypnobirthing helped me with is when my whole birth plan/idea got tossed out the window.