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Kevin's version of Violet's Birth

Thank you to Rachel McNamara of Lowcountry Hypnobabies for sharing this with us.

It's great to hear a dad's perspective!

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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RachelThe Origin

My wife had our first son the standard way, lying in a hospital bed with an epidural, as expected. We'd attended and paid close attention during birthing class, and even memorized and rehearsed the breathing exercises. That was a fortunate decision on our part, as the epidural didn't work. Those breathing exercises provided the only slim relief during the very long process. Throw in a large regimen of pitocin, serious back labor, and many many hours of misery and you have our wonderful baby boy exiting his wrecked mother after 34 hours. Clearly, medicine was not the way forward. We decided to find a structured alternative to what was both expensive and miserably ineffective.

The Decision

My wife is a researcher tried and true, and after weighing all the options she could find, we came down to Bradley versus HypnoBabies. My mother had seven kids using Bradley, so we didn't doubt its efficacy. However, the schedule for the instruction programs available were probably the primary thing pushing us towards the latter, as my wife worked an odd schedule. How fortunate. Hypnobabies is designed based on clinically-developed therapeutic methods for people with allergies to anesthesia, and the program in general seem quite well presented and structured. So we ordered the packet.

The Preparations

The course was remarkably straightforward, with reading assignments for both mom and me. While I procrastinated both due to some skepticism and a lingering aversion to homework (what, I'm an Engineer, I've done my time), it really was a quick read. We slowly worked hypnosis rehearsals into her daily schedule and also before bed for both of us. We learned that even if you don't hypnotize yourself like me, lying in bed with the CDs playing knocked me right out. Do figure out how to play the tracks singly, otherwise you'll be waking up every thirty minutes. Over time I really began to appreciate the calming effects it was having on my wife, both in general and when I read the scripts for her. She even tried to hypnotize me and several other family members. I'm glad that it worked better on her than others, but I kept my faith in her.

The Version

Our daughter decided that she wasn't about to turn head down in the last month before birth, and we decided that she was wrong. The obstetrician recommended an "external version" in which he would basically crank on that belly until baby flipped, a procedure normally done with an epidural due to the significant pain involved. The very experienced and skilled doctor was skeptical of this hypnosis mumbo-jumbo, but recognized that an epidural was just a waste of good drugs and tubing on my wife. He brought all the student nurses he could find so that they could see both this somewhat rare procedure and whether Hypnobabies was worth its weight.

1. This procedure was ridiculous to watch and left my wife with one very beaten-up belly
2. She was perfectly calm and comfortable the whole time
3. The medical staff was dumbfounded. I'm not exaggerating. Our doctor was sold on Hypnobabies.

The Baby

Our daughter came on her own damn time, which was clearly foreshadowing, but regardless we spent the first nine hours of birthing waves at home, doing a lot of walking. Since my wife is very short-waisted, I would apply pressure to the top of her tailbone/hips if the intensity was significant. Learn how to do this. Once the timing got down to below five minutes, we headed to the hospital so that we could walk around some more for three hours waiting for a room with a tub. The ONLY time there was any pain is when the hospital insisted that she lie on her back for fetal monitoring. Learn how to say "no" to this, make them do it in a comfortable position for MOM, not the tech.
I held a briefing for the staff that was to be assigned to us, describing our comfort management plan. "Oh, she's the hypnosis lady... I heard about her!" That was nice to hear. Once in the room we spent a while on the birthing ball, about 90 minutes in the tub, and then the OB showed up for a pelvic. To our surprise, it was time to push! 20 minutes or so later, the water finally broke and out came baby with a lot of noise from mom's super-omming but again, no pain. Again, a very impressed medical staff and a healthy baby after a mere 16 hours of basically completely comfortable labor.

The Recovery

What recovery? My wife was up moving about on her own, packing up to move to an overnight room within 30 minutes. She had basically no ill effects that a few ibuprofen couldn't handle. Bring your own, as it is far cheaper.

Lessons Learned

1. There is no reason to be skeptical or daunted. This program is very straightforward but genuinely rooted in sound practice.
2. Be a man and take charge of the room. Mom has her business, everything else needs to revolve around her plan, and that's your job. Keep the negativity out of the room, keep the noise out of the room, keep the lights low.
3. Eat ahead of time. Mom can do the same. The only reason they push that fasting nonsense is in preparation for general anesthesia during surgery, and even that is a ridiculously small risk. But seriously: eat.
4. Learn about back-labor relief if your wife is short waisted. Do it.
5. Really learn and memorize your cues for her. Let everyone know that they don't need to assume that she's in pain, because she'll tell you if she is. Noise =/= pain.
6. Bring your own ibuprofen.
7. Have some way of playing the birthing day tracks on hand... speakers are good but an iPod in a ziploc baggie is as well.
8. Be prepared to be amazed.


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Everyday Attachment
Lauren Porter, PhD on Peggyomara.com

"The fear that responding to a baby’s every need will reinforce needy behavior and produce dependence is a myth; in fact, the opposite is true"

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babyandmom
The hallmarks of attachment security are availability, responsiveness, and sensitivity; hence, it is not just the presence of the parent, but the quality of the parental response—the parent’s emotional availability and sensitivity—that form the heart of a child’s security. When a baby is cared for in a wholly sensitive way, a secure relationship will likely develop and form a foundation of health to underpin the child’s entire life.

Babies who have an attuned, sensitive, and responsive caregiver more skillfully and joyfully negotiate the world. They are happier, less stressed, more engaged; they recover more quickly from fearful or upsetting experiences; and they are more confident and relaxed in social situations.

The fear that responding to a baby’s every need will reinforce needy behavior and produce dependence is a myth; in fact, the opposite is true. Research shows that children who are consistently soothed and comforted and whose emotional needs are dependably met are the ones who emerge with the stability and independence we seek to promote. The remainder of this informative artilce can be read HERE.
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When I mention my work as a birth doula and Kansas City Hypnobabies instructor, often women respond, “I wouldn’t choose a birth without medication! I want an epidural – I’m such a wimp!” I never thought of it that way! I’m not really much of a tough cookie myself. I recently asked Kansas City Hypno-mom, birth doula, and self proclaimed Wimp, Sunny Schaffer, about her own experience giving birth unmedicated. ~Lauren

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Sunny
Unmedicated Birth Is For Wimps by Sunny Schaffer

I sat sobbing on my floor, unable to tolerate the pain, tears rolling down my rounded belly.

But I wasn’t in labor. I glanced down at my throbbing foot, certain it was broken (it never even bruised), wishing I could take something stronger than a Tylenol. As my husband dropped a bag of frozen peas in my lap, he snorted. “And you think you’re going to have a natural birth.”

My name is Sunny, and I’m a wimp. I don’t handle pain, at all. This was problematic, because I was determined to give birth without any pain medication.

While expecting my first daughter, I browsed various labor techniques and picked and chose what I liked and figured I’d try to labor naturally as long as I could. Her labor overwhelmed me. I was unprepared for the sensations I was feeling and I eventually got an epidural.

My second pregnancy, I knew I wanted a different birth experience. I decided to dig deeper into hypnosis since those techniques seemed to work best. I found Hypnobabies and signed up for a 6 week course.

Each week, we dove in depth about various education topics related to pregnancy and childbirth, and practiced our self hypnosis techniques. I practiced faithfully, and became more and more confident of my ability to comfortably birth my baby. I loved that Hypnobabies did not promise my birth would be painless, but that by using the techniques, could be comfortable. My mindset changed from “I’d like to try to…” to “I can do this!”.

My birthing time began on a warm Sunday afternoon. I had taken a bath earlier that day with my Relaxation track playing in the background, then settled in for a nap. I woke with painless waves coming exactly every 3 minutes. I thought nothing of it until I realized they were coming closer, every 2 minutes now. I could walk and talk effortlessly through them, but suddenly I knew it was go time. I called my midwife, who remarked I could come in if I wanted, but I hadn’t had any contractions during our 10 minute conversation. She was surprised when I said I’d been having them regularly, I was just comfortable. We checked into the hospital, apologizing to everyone I came across that I wasn’t sure if I was “really” in my birthing time. To my surprise, I was dilated significantly! I began using my peace cues during waves- they felt like a big, tight, warm squeeze, just as suggested in my hypnobabies scripts. Everyone who came into the room remarked that I didn’t “act” like I was in labor. I’d pause occasionally to breathe and make gentle sounds thru the increasing waves, then go right back to conversations. Looking at my doula and husband I kept asking “Is this real? Am I really doing this?!”

I napped in bed with my husband until my nurse announced I was 8cm, so I decided to hop in the tub. Suddenly, something broke my concentration and I panicked, but my husband reminded me to use my cues as an intense pressure came over me. They scrambled to turn on my Pushing Baby Out track, and just like that, my 8lb 13oz baby girl was born- quickly, peacefully, and comfortably!

I felt every sensation, I was aware and present in every moment, an active participant in my birth. I, the wimp, had enjoyed a comfortable birthing time!

Since then, my Hypnobabies techniques have seen me through injuries, dental work, doctors appointments,  2 surgeries, and even stressful days at home. The techniques I learned gave me the tools to not only enjoy a comfortable birth, but a more comfortable life.
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Why are Medical Professionals who Deliver Babies in Hospitals Choosing to have their Own Babies at Home?
By Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D

“I know all about hospitals and all the things that go on there,” says Dr. Lang. “The more you look critically, the more nonsense you see.”

“I’m among the most educated on this issue; I’ve done three years of extra surgical training on top of four years of delivering babies,” Lang says. “For me I felt home was the safest place to have my children."

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iStock 000015057580Large mom doula compressed
“Yes, birth can have complications, birth can go wrong, C-sections are needed, moms do hemorrhage,” Dr. Elrod, who has attended over 2000 births and nearly a hundred out-of-hospital births, concedes. “But if doctors could step back they would see that the vast majority of these complications happen because of things that are done to the mothers in the process of giving birth in the hospital. When you take away medicinal pain relief, epidurals, restriction of food and water, staff coming in and out of the room, and routine vaginal exams while women are in active labor, you can significantly reduce the complications that are caused by the interventions themselves. Moms do better without unnecessary interventions than they do when they’re overly managed.” - See this entire article HERE.
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The First Hour After Birth: A Baby’s 9 Instinctive Stages
By Healthy Children Project

"The first hours after birth are a developmentally distinct time for a baby and there are well documented short and long term physical and psychological advantages when a baby is held skin to skin during this time."

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istock 000005418037small-11
Stage 1: The Birth Cry
The first stage is the birth cry. This distinctive cry occurs immediately after birth as the baby’s lungs expand.

Stage 2: Relaxation
The second stage is the relaxation stage. During the relaxation stage, the newborn exhibits no mouth movements and the hands are relaxed. This stage usually begins when the birth cry has stopped. The baby is skin to skin with the mother and covered with a warm, dry towel or blanket. See all 9 stages HERE.
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A Hypno-Doula's First Hypnobabies Birth

Thank you to Hypnobabies Instructor Julie Byers for sharing this with us!

"All I have ever known about hypnosis is that you get called out of a crowd to go up on stage and make a fool out of yourself doing crazy things. How in the world was that going to translate to labor? I soon found out."

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doula handonshoulder
Time, time was what was needed. There were hints and clues here and there that things were progressing. I couldn’t tell when a pressure wave began or subsided so timing was no use. When she was on the monitor we caught a glimpse of her waves. They would rise half way and hold on for 2 minutes or longer. I watched her when they would start, peak and end. Her hypnosis was so well practiced and trusted, she hardly flinched at the pressure.

Patience was of the utmost importance. Dad seemed to overflow with it. He trusted as well. I, on the other hand, was getting worried that she was too relaxed and this was never going to happen. Again, I kept thinking about all the things we could be doing and trying. I texted my wise friend and Hypnobabies instructor for advice. She said there wasn’t anything better to do than the hypnosis stuff, and to think of it as “supporting her brain rather than her body”.

Please read the entire story HERE.
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Too-early Solid Food Could Lead to Problems for Babies

"At least 40% of moms are feeding their infants solid foods far too early, according a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, and that may lead to problems for their children later in life."

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baby and mom 6-2
Giving your baby solid food too soon has been linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes, according to the study. Also, "starting infants on solids before 4 months can lead to allergies and eczema," says Dr. Jennifer Shu, an Atlanta pediatrician and AAP spokeswoman who was not involved in the research.

Moms were also given 12 reasons to choose from to explain why they introduced solid food early. Among the top answers:
- 90% of moms said they thought their baby was old enough to start eating solids.
- 71% said their baby seemed hungry a lot of the time.
- 55% believed their doctor or another health care professional said their baby should start eating solids.

Please read the entire article HERE.
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Your Guide to Breastfeeding
By U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health

We found this great breastfeeding resource online to share with you!

"To prepare for breastfeeding, the most important thing you can do is have confidence in yourself. Committing to breastfeeding starts with the belief that you can do it!"

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Lesley Levine baby on nursing copyThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) is raising awareness of the importance of breastfeeding to help mothers give their babies the best start possible in life. In addition to this guide, OWH offers online content at http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding and provides the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 800-994-9662. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding puts forth steps that family members, communities, clinicians, health care systems,and employers can take to make breastfeeding an easy choice for mothers. Learn more at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov. OWH also partners with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau to educate employers about the needs of breastfeeding mothers via The Business Case for Breastfeeding. The Affordable Care Act (health care reform) helps pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers get the medical care and support they and their children need. Learn more at http://www.healthcare.gov. Find the entire guide HERE.
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Cosleeping and Biological Imperatives: Why Human Babies Do Not and Should Not Sleep Alone
By James J. McKenna Ph.D., Edmund P. Joyce C.S.C.

"One of the most important reasons why bedsharing occurs, and the reason why simple declarations against it will not eradicate it, is because sleeping next to one’s baby is biologically appropriate, unlike placing infants prone to sleep or putting an infant in a room to sleep by itself. This is particularly so when bedsharing is associated with breast feeding."

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Mom and Baby Faces Sleeping Together
Definitions are important here. The term cosleeping refers to any situation in which a committed adult caregiver, usually the mother, sleeps within close enough proximity to her infant so that each, the mother and infant, can respond to each other’s sensory signals and cues. Room sharing is a form of cosleeping, always considered safe and always considered protective. But it is not the room itself that it is protective. It is what goes on between the mother (or father) and the infant that is. Medical authorities seem to forget this fact. This form of cosleeping is not controversial and is recommended by all.  Read the rest of this informative article HERE.
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Postpartum: 4th Trimester
by Peggy O'Mara

"The postpartum period needs to be treated as a special time, a time when women deserve extra care."

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123 Baby Skin to Skin 1
"Around the world, the postpartum period is considered a special time—a time in which a mother is born, as well as a baby. Many cultures have special practices and customs that serve to recognize this very special time in the life of a woman: the postpartum period."

"In many cultures, women are not expected to carry on their usual lives, but are revered and recognized for the new journey they are beginning."

You may be on an adrenaline high right after the birth and may feel like you can conquer the world! This is not likely to last, however, and when your energy levels plummet, you may be discouraged. For this reason, it may help you to think of the first few days after the birth as your “lying-in” period, just as women did in olden times. Consider staying in bed for most of the first week. Dress in your pajamas to remind yourself to take it easy, and if you feel more energetic and are able to get up and do more, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Remember the adage: 5 days in the bed; 5 days on the bed; 5 days around the bed. Read this entire article HERE.
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The Importance of Sharing Birth Stories
By Tamara Parnay

"Birthing is a hugely important subject for parents and parents-to-be. We have a great deal to learn from and share with others, but with this subject, due to its potential contentiousness, we may struggle in our attempts to tap into our collective wealth of knowledge and experience. While the purpose of this article is not to sway readers one way or another about where and how to give birth, it does intend to point out the availability of a wide range of firsthand birth stories, which—perhaps more effectively than any other form of childbirth education—encourage and enable expectant parents to inform and prepare themselves."

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Fotosearch 1574R-02326A 2
Even the most informed people can run into unplanned, and sometimes serious, complications during the birth process. By no means is it justifiable for anyone to be made to feel negatively about whatever birthing options they choose or for whatever birthing experience they have had. We all deserve to have our birthing choices and experiences validated. Through our positive and non-judgmental contributions to this contentious topic, we create a collective harmony that enables everyone to leave the discussion feeling good. We bring these good feelings home to our families. Thus, the empathy we have given to each other touches the greatest gift we all receive in our birthing experience: our own children. - See more HERE.
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Imagination Before Dilation
By Kristi Arias

How Cervical Dilation Checks Undermine the Imaginal Power of Birthing Women.

"We need to understand what is at root when a woman asks for a cervical check and offer nourishment for the deeper need. In my experience, and in my opinion, women do know one of two things, where they are or where they’re going."

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homebirth mom

"I remember asking for a cervical check when I was in labor, but what I really wanted was, HELP me get back in to the present moment where i am connected to the cosmos and my baby and know the answers to my own questions. I also asked, How much longer and got these answers, We don’t know and It’s up to you.

We need to understand what is at root when a woman asks for a cervical check and offer nourishment for the deeper need. In my experience, and in my opinion, women do know one of two things, where they are or where they’re going. Our best contribution to the moment is to help her connect with her own inner knowing and guide. Or if we are birthing unassisted, to have a path back to ourselves prepared and ready." You will find this entire article HERE.
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What's an Ethical Response to Home Birth?
By Paul Burcher, MD, PhD

"I believe we have an ethical obligation at a minimum to accept transports from home with the respect and professional dialogue we afford our colleagues."

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Midiwfe Mom Birth Center Doppler
An observational study from The Netherlands that evaluated more than 500,000 births in homes and in hospitals showed no increase in adverse outcomes of any kind with home birth in low-risk women. So home birth, in ideal conditions where midwives and physicians work together as a team and where transport to hospitals in an emergency is highly efficient, appears as safe as hospital birth. Put another way, the data suggest that if home birth in America is more dangerous than hospital birth, it may be because of contingent factors that can be remedied. See the entire article HERE.
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Original SIDS Researcher Says Baby Bed-sharing is Not Dangerous
By Moorea Malatt of Savvy Parenting Support

The same doctor who made SIDS known to the American public believes that bedsharing with your baby is not dangerous.

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Baby 1 Hand Covering it From Left
Dr. Abraham B. Bergman was the first president of the National SIDS Foundation. He got SIDS research into federal programs in the 70’s.

According to Bergman,"The American Academy of Pediatrics has a policy against bedsharing but researchers, medical professionals, and worldwide organizations question the AAP’s position. The truth remains that there are no studies that show bed-sharing as a risk factor with a control for major concurrent risk factors like formula feeding, excessive bedding, and nicotine use in the home." The entire article can be found HERE.
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7 Wonders of the Womb: Discover the Powers of the Amazing Uterus
By Kara Maria Ananda

"Every single human being that has ever been alive upon this planet, now and throughout all of history, has achieved this existence thanks to this very organ."

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tummy hands of mom
We hope you enjoy the celebration of this amazing organ!  You will find the whole article HERE.
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Hugs, Not Judgment
By Jillian Gilchrest, Writer for CTWorkingMoms.com

It's so important for moms to create a network of support for one another. "Let's love more and judge less."

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Fotosearch 1574R-02326A 2
Being a mom is all things exciting, overwhelming, joyful and exhausting. Amidst the many responsibilities, personalities and emotions, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of it all and lose sight of just how amazing an experience it is. It also doesn't help when the way we mother is called into question and judged...You'll find the rest of this supportive article and the beautiful photos that go along with it HERE.
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santa mom 2


That's right - the perfect holiday gift is here at Hypnobabies!
What could be better than an easier, more comfortable pregnancy and birth for Christmas or Chanukah?
Tell your friends, relatives and colleagues that Hypnobabies Gift Certificates are here!

giftcert graphic

Expectant moms love Hypnobabies products and now they can get them from friends, relatives and co-workers. Hypnobabies Gift Certificates can be purchased in any amount and redeemed for any Hypnobabies products. Recipients can even redeem several Gift Certificates at one time, so family and friends can buy separate certificates to be applied to one large purchase.
 
 Let them choose their own gift with our Hypnobabies Gift Certificates, to help enjoy an easier pregnancy with our Easy Pregnancy MP3 Set - 6 Hypnobabies audio tracks for $45.95!
 
Is her heart set on a natural birth? The perfect gift for her this year is our Hypnobabies Home Study Course, and we also have individual MP3 tracks for specific pregnancy issues such as morning sickness, successful breastfeeding, avoiding and early labor and getting labor started!
 
New moms also love our Comfort and Calm for the New Mother MP3 Set, which allows mothers to sleep better, breastfeed easier and feel more confident as they begin their new-baby journey!
 
Are you a birth professional or know one that would love to receive our Hypno-Doula Bundle? Our Hypnobabies Gift Certificatescan be purchased in any amount and redeemed for any products.
 
Tell everyone you know this holiday season about our Hypnobabies Gift Certificates, and make someone's Hypnobabies dreams come true!
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8 Secrets to a Happier and Healthier Pregnancy
By Rhoda Jordan

These are some great tips...we are sharing a few of our favorites and of course Hypnobabies would add to the list that Women who practice childbirth hypnosis are more comfortable and sleep better in the last trimester ~

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

"As our bodies do the work of creating precious life, we may become uneasy or overwhelmed at times. So it's up to us to take care of ourselves, and do what makes us feel good."

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mom sleeping
Make time to connect with your baby.


Make it a daily ritual to check in with the tiny miracle growing inside you. Sing to your baby. Talk about all the things you'll do together. Play music toward your belly. Breathe and connect to your baby through meditation. Whatever makes you feel happy and connected, do it! Creating that bond with the baby early on will not only pay off over the course of his or her lifetime, but will give your days a dose of joy and stability.

Nurture positive thoughts about your pregnancy, and your upcoming labor and delivery.

Focus, always, on delivering a happy and healthy baby! Worrying about what can go wrong is a waste of energy. So keep your eye on the ball. Cultivate visions of all going right. Keep your focus on that moment when you get to hold that beautiful baby in your arms for the first time. Keep that vision strong and alive, not only in your mind, but in your heart, as well.

To read all 8 tips please click HERE.



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Too Many C-Sections: Docs Rethink Induced Labor
By Tiffany O'Callaghan

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bigstock Newborn Rough Towels Cleaned up 2364114-2
The rise in cesarean-section deliveries in recent years has been characterized by some as a key indication of the overmedicalization of childbirth. While the procedure undoubtedly saves lives and leads to better health outcomes for mothers and infants who face problems during pregnancy and labor, many experts say the procedure is being performed too often, and in many cases for nonmedical reasons, putting healthy women and babies at undue risk of complications of major surgery.

The use of labor induction in the U.S. has risen from less than 10% of deliveries to more than 22%, between 1990 and 2006, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and research suggests that induced labor results in C-sections more often than natural labor. A study published in the July issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology found that among more than 7,800 women giving birth for the first time, those whose labor was induced were twice as likely to have a C-section delivery as those who experienced spontaneous labor. You can read the entire article HERE.


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Fantastic Video Interview With Breastfeeding Expert Jack Newman

10 Minutes with Jack Newman
From Progressive Parenting Network

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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