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Top 10 Reasons Why We Love the Hypnobabies 7th Edition!
By Anne Ferguson, HCHI, CD(DONA), APPAC

"Just last month (June 2015) Hypnobabies launched a brand new course update and it is amazing. They’ve been working on this for a couple of years and the changes are extensive. New students will reap so many benefits from these new materials and hypnosis tracks. Past students are strongly encouraged to take the full class again or order the new home study when it is released (we expect that to be August) so you can experience all these wonderful updates yourself!"

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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class mp3 set sm1CTEDIT
And now, the top ten reasons we love the new course...

10- Your hypno-anesthesia now has a color component. It is orange! This allows the hypno-anesthesia to exist mentally and emotionally in a more substantial state. The color orange has effects like a boost in aspiration, increased oxygen to the brain, increased contentment, and enhanced assurance among other great things!

9- The scripts have been re-written to include even more gentle language than before. They are beautiful!

8- Past Hypno-moms will remember their daily Finger Drop practice from week one that evolves into “Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnobabies” practice as the weeks go on. There are now MP3s to guide you through this practice so you don’t have to remember the steps all on your own!

7- Brand new music underlying all the tracks. This music has binaural beats which means if you listen with headphones there are different tones with slightly different frequencies coming in each ear and your brain uses this input in a really amazing way! Neural pathways fire more rapidly and electrical and energy pathways in the brain become more widespread throughout the brain. Amazing eh? This all means you can enter hypnosis more easily and faster with the new music.

6- Each week of the course includes a Mindfulness Connection component. Mindfulness is a practice that we can all benefit from, not just for preparing for birth, but in life!

5- New “Becoming Dad” information for expectant dads in the class. (Stay tuned for something similar for same-sex couples- it’s in the works!)

4- The most current information about prenatal exercise including alignment information from HBTC’s own Lindsay McCoy!

3- Great new handouts like a seafood watch card, FDA keepsake ultrasound warning, Hypnobabies tools and tracks cheat sheet and a “PEACE” sign to tape over your clock!

2- Fabulous new article to help students know when “this it is” and their birthing time really is happening! (One of the most common questions we receive!)

1- Overall there are a ton of updates to all of the childbirth education components of this class. New articles to cover in class, including all the most current research. This is the ONLY childbirth preparation class you need because it is so extensive. Also, because it was just updated you can be confident that you are receiving the most current information about evidence-based birth practices.

Thanks to Hypnobabies Twin Cities for sharing this with us!
Twin Cities
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David's Birth Story

Third Birth, Best Birth


With each of my labors, I have learned invaluable lessons.  I have given birth to three healthy children, all naturally without medication.  Each of them were different, and this third birth was the best.  With my first birth, I practiced a different childbirth method that emphasized relaxation alone as a way to cope with labor.  While the idea was nice, I felt myself unable to relax as the course promised and wished for a more effective strategy.   
Elizabeth and David

I first learned of Hypnobabies during my second pregnancy.  I was already 36 weeks pregnant, so I knew that I would have very little time to learn the techniques.  However, I was so fascinated by the approach that I began studying anyway.   While it was indeed helpful, I knew that to receive the full benefit of the program, I would need much more time to practice.  When we were blessed by another pregnancy, I began the program at 27 weeks and followed it as closely as I could as a home study student and mom of two energetic boys.  I listened to the affirmations every day while getting showered, dressed, and ready for the day and did my hypnosis tracks during nap time.  I became determined to do the best that I could so that I would have no doubts during my wonderful birthing time that I prepared to the best of my ability.


When I was 38 weeks pregnant, I just had a feeling that my birthing time was getting close.  Of course at that point, it would certainly be close no matter what, but I just had a feeling that I would be meeting my baby boy that week.  On the day I turned 38 weeks, I started feeling pressure waves when I went to bed.  They were very comfortable, but noticeable.  I practiced using my light switch and peace cues during the waves.  After about an hour, they had not become regular or stronger so I decided to go to sleep thinking that if it was the real deal I would certainly wake up.  Morning came and while I was disappointed my birthing time didn't come, I reminded myself I should appreciate every good night of sleep I could get before baby came! 


While practicing my techniques, I found myself surprised at still being able to feel the pressure waves.  I think it was good to get that practice because it allowed me to fully understand (as the course teaches) that using Hypnobabies does not mean that all sensation would disappear, but that using the Hypnobabies tools would allow me to experience the sensations differently and calmly. 


Two nights later I had another round of practice birthing waves.  I was due to see my doctor the next day and decided that I would allow him to check me out of pure curiosity.  When he did the exam, he said that I was maybe 1 cm and 50% effaced.  I dismissed that information knowing it could change in an instant.  However, he couldn't tell for sure if baby was head down, so we did an ultrasound.  It was a special time because my husband and two older boys were with me.  They enjoyed hearing baby's heart beat and seeing him all squished up in mommy's tummy.  The ultrasound confirmed baby was in the perfect position for birthing and that he measured 6lbs 3oz, which would be my smallest baby yet.  We left the hospital at 4:00pm.

When we got home, I had to use the bathroom.  As soon as I came out, I felt my water break!  Or at least I thought that's what happened.  It was such a small trickle I just wasn't sure.  I heard my five year old ask my husband "What does that mean?"  Hubby gave a good detailed answer and then said "and mommy probably feels like she peed herself!" sending my five year old into fits of laughter.  Thanks, hon =).


At this point I had not felt any pressure waves at all.  We went ahead and called my mother in law who would be helping take care of our older two sons and she came to pick them up.  I took my time getting my hospital bag together.  I felt very calm but was also very excited that we would be meeting baby soon!  I must have been more excited than I recognized because I forgot many of the silly little things I wanted for the hospital, like makeup and a hair dryer for the days after.  However, the first thing I grabbed was my iPod with my Hypnobabies tracks and my birthing time playlist.


After about an hour, I had only noticed one or two pressure waves.  I have a history of 4-6 hour labors so we didn't want to dawdle too much.  We decided to head to the grocery store and pick up some cookies for the nurses on our way to the hospital.  They work so hard and make all the difference in a hospital experience!


We got to the hospital at 6:30pm.  Before we walked into the building, Jeremy prayed for us in the car  asking God to be with us and provide the right support for us.  We got upstairs to check in and I realized we forgot the cookies in the car!  I was very concerned about this and asked Jeremy to go back and get them while I filled out some paperwork.  I made sure to ask for nurses who were naturally minded and the guy was pretty nice about it.  Jeremy got back up to L&D with cookies in hand as we were called back to our room.


As soon as I got changed into the hospital gown, our nurses were just coming on shift.  I was thankful that they were fresh on shift- maybe they would be more willing to be open to our techniques!  They requested to do an initial internal exam which I was fine with but asked not to be checked again; it is such a mental game for me.  Dilation can change in an instant and if I feel like I should be further along than I actually am, it can really defeat me.  Thankfully they were very understanding and agreed to that.  They did the exam and my husband put his hand on my shoulder so that I would instantly relax.  I was not expecting him to do that and was so surprised that I did indeed instantly relax and my light switch moved to off on its own.  I was still less than 1 cm dilated and about 70% effaced at that time.  No surprise to me based on the appointment I had just had hours before.


They requested to get a baseline reading on the heart rate monitor to which I complied.  After that they said they'd only need to check every hour or two.  Immediately my contractions began at 2-3 minutes apart.  They were still very comfortable but frequent.  The nurses and I chatted and I was able to share a bit about Hypnobabies so they would know what we would be doing.  I felt a little odd talking about it because I didn't want to come across as a know-it-all patient, but I do know a good bit thanks to Hypnobabies and past experiences and wanted to make sure I communicated our preferences. 


The main things I requested were to not be checked, have intermittent monitoring, be able to be active during labor, try side laying or squatting position for delivery, delayed cord clamping, and skin to skin for the first hour.  These nurses were awesome and supportive of everything we talked about.  They brought me a birthing ball and this awesome peanut ball, which was like a birthing ball you put between your legs in the side laying position.


By the time the nurses left our room it was 8pm.  Pressure waves were still coming every 2-3 minutes and were getting stronger.  Since it had been about 3 hours since my water broke, I was very anxious to get things going and so we walked around the halls a couple times.  However, I was feeling pretty tired.  I reminded myself of the affirmation that this is a new birth and a new experience and there was no competition to have a shorter labor than my others.  We went back to our room to rest while we could. 


I found myself wanting to listen to my birthing time playlist over my hypnosis tracks at this point.  I had put together a list of calming praise and worship music that reminded me of God's power and provision.  The song "You Make Me Brave" had become a bit of a theme song for this pregnancy and birth as many of the lyrics reminded me of Hypnobabies terminology.  It speaks about how God's love crashes over us in wave after wave, just as our pressure waves come in wave after wave.  God is for us and not against us.  He makes a way for us all to enter into heaven and into this world, which affirms to me that he has made a way for this baby to enter into the world by his perfect design of our bodies.  The song then builds intensity as it sings "You make me brave" over and over, affirming that if any doubt enters into my mind during my birthing time that God has designed childbirth and will supply me with the bravery that I need to embrace his perfect plan.  His love is strong and there is always enough love for me and my baby during our birthing time.


I went ahead and laid on my side using the peanut ball and took the chance to rest.  I was nervous that pressure waves would slow down while I rested, but I knew I needed to save my strength.  Immediately upon getting in that position, the waves started increasing in intensity.  While the music played in the background, Jeremy would put his hand on my shoulder and read from the birthing partner script during my waves.  I can't say for sure if my light switch was in the off or center position most of the time.  I don't remember ever consciously turning it off and then up to center on my own, but as soon as my husband placed his hand on my shoulder I instantly relaxed and continued to be able to communicate.  So I suppose I was in center.  I decided not to worry about the details but allowed myself to use the Hypnobabies tools as they came on their own. 


Around 10pm, the nurse came to check on me.  She asked Jeremy if I was asleep.  I remember feeling so proud of that because I knew I was relaxing and using my tools effectively, and they indeed were working so well.  I was feeling the pressure waves just as that- pressure- and as they became more intense I did begin to notice myself moaning to stay open and loose.  The nurse told me that she needed 15 minutes to be able to get the doctor to the hospital so was wondering how I was feeling.  I was starting to feel a little pushy, with much more pressure on my cervix.  She asked if she could check me to see my progress.  I told her that no, I did not want to know my progress, and asked if there was any doctor at the hospital, to which she replied no.  Jeremy encouraged me to let her check me and just not have her tell me how far dilated I was.  I agreed but instantly began shivering uncontrollably and had a hard time using my techniques to calm back down. 


After the nurse finished her exam, I asked her to just go ahead and tell me.  She said "You just keep doing your thing, you're doing great!".  I looked at Jeremy and said "Oh no, that means I'm not very far dilated.  She doesn't want to discourage me."  Jeremy said "Hold on, I need to go make sure she is calling the doctor."  I tried to pump him for more information and get him to tell me how far dilated I was.  He said "Just let me go tell them to call."  I didn't want to let him leave my side because I was starting to really need his help with the Hypnobabies cues.  My pressure waves were almost back to back at this point.  He insisted that he go speak with the nurses and put on the hypnosis tracks while he left.  At that time, I did not want to listen to the tracks, and just wanted to hear my music. 


I prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to come and be my helper.  I had a great vision of two helpers in robes surrounding me and whispering affirmations and cues to me.  "Release.  Peace.  You are completely relaxed now.  Open."  I felt their weight on me, the counter pressure that Jeremy had been using to help me relax was still there.  The shivering stopped completely and I was able to relax and go deeper into hypnosis. 


Jeremy came back into the room and, without missing a beat, picked up the birthing partner script and continued helping me relax.  The nurse came in and said the doctor was on his way.  She was wheeling in all of the tools they may need during delivery.  Then she wheeled in the baby bassinet.  I looked at Jeremy and said "Is it happening?  Is the baby coming now?"  While I was feeling the growing intensity in pressure waves, I just could not believe that it might actually be time to deliver.  Surely it would get much harder than this first.


The pressure waves did indeed continue to increase in pressure without a break in between.  "The more pressure you feel now, the more relaxed you become and the more powerful your anesthesia becomes.  Much more powerful.  The more tightening you feel now instantly the more anesthesia you feel now. Deeper and deeper relaxed."


The doctor arrived and was very chipper.  He said "Hello hello!  I'm loving the vibe in here!  Love the tunes you have playing!"  I looked at Jeremy and told him to make him be quiet.  He said he was going to go wait in the lounge and told the nurse to call him when it was time.  As soon as he left, I had my first pushing wave.   I told the nurse "I think I need to push!"  And she said okay, go ahead.  I waited and listened to my body and ended up not needing to push.


The doctor came back in and insisted that they check to make sure I was fully dilated.  I refused.  The nurse asked why and I said I was too tense.  I had not been able to fully relax and was having a hard time using my techniques with all the excitement of preparing the room for the baby.  The doctor explained if I wasn't fully dilated, I could rupture if I pushed.  I was quite annoyed because I knew what my body was telling me to do.  Just then I had a powerful birthing wave and could not help but push.  I told the nurse I was pushing.  She looked at me and looked at the doctor and said "There's the head!"  He swooped around and said "Okay let's go!"


I remember still being tense and asking for help.  The nurse looked at me and to my surprise began using the Hypnobabies cues!  She told me "Release" and put her hand on my other shoulder.  I wanted to cry because I was so appreciative of her support.  And I was feeling such intense pressure.


Another pushing wave came and I began to push.  They encouraged me to keep pushing and deliver baby's head.  My pressure wave ended, but I continued to push out of fear that his head may go back in.  I wanted forward progress!  His head was born and I had a good minute of rest before another pressure wave came.  It was nice to be able to rest and have a moment of pure relaxation.  It seemed like an eternity and was so nice.  Then the next pressure wave came and baby boy was born at 11:12pm!  While I was more tense during transformation than I had envisioned, it was such an easy delivery!  As soon as he was on my chest I remember saying "Is that it?  Is it really over?  Is he really here?"


We enjoyed skin to skin and baby nursed immediately, not letting go for at least an hour.  Jeremy asked me during that time if I wanted to know how far dilated I was when they checked me at 10:30pm.  Of course I wanted to know and when he told me, I was shocked.  I was 4 centimeters dilated.  Less than 45 minutes later, baby was born.  Thank God they did not tell me.  And Thank God for a wonderful husband who recognized my emotional sign posts and knew that 4 cm was just a number and our baby was coming soon.  And thank God for Hypnobabies that allowed my husband and I to experience our birthing time as a team and joyously welcome our healthy child into this world with peace and thanksgiving!


Sure enough, baby boy was 6 pounds, 3 ounces, which is exactly what the ultrasound that day had measured.
Elizebeth and Family

 Elizabeth and Family 2



Hits: 1004
Why Peace and Quiet is so Important in Early Birthing
Original Article By Gloria Lemay

"Turning on the light, causes inhibition of the oxytocin release. Many couples don’t call their midwives until they have sensations coming 5 minutes apart at 7:00 a.m. but they’ve been up since midnight timing every one of the early sensations."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Cassandra Vore Walking sitting on sofa
That first night can make all the difference and yet so many couples act like it’s a party and don’t realize they are sabotaging their births right at the beginning. Staying up all night in the early part does two things–it throws off the body clock that controls sleep and waking and confuses the brain AND it inhibits the release of the very hormone you need to dilate effectively. You know that it can take days to recover after a night of partying or after working a graveyard shift. Don’t start your birth with that kind of stress on your hormone system. Find the rest of this article HERE.
Hits: 243
The Dangerous Game of the Feeding Interval Obsession
By Emma Pickett, IBCLC

"Some how, some where, new mothers got the message that the gap between when a baby stops a breastfeed and the time they start to need another one matters a very very great deal. 24 hours a day."

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Breastfeeding infant
It seems to matter beyond all logic and reason. They see this magic number – 90 minutes, 2 hours, 3 hours – as a measure of something sacred.

And it’s crap.

There are mums sitting at home, relaxing and nesting with their gorgeous new baby. There’s a disk from a box set in the DVD player, a cup of tea on the go, a recent phone call with a friend. Breastfeeding is going well. Weight gain is fine. Baby is content. But when baby shows hunger cues after only 40 minutes instead of the hoped for 1hr 30 minutes, their heart sinks and they feel a sense something is fundamentally wrong. They aren’t ‘doing it right’. Their friend’s baby ‘goes longer’. Doubts creep in.

As adults, we grab a cup of tea, a glass of water, a sweet, a snack. We respond to our personal cues and we’re flexible depending on time of day, the temperature, our mood, our energy levels. Many go to bed with a glass of water or sip from a bottle throughout the day. I don’t know any adults that look at their watch and say, ‘Only 30 minutes till my next sip of water or mint! Not long now’. But yet we expect teeny growing babies to be governed by this artificial notion of time. See the rest of this informative article HERE.

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The Way We Talk About Midwifery Care Matters
by Avital Norman Nathman and Deborah Wage

"Words like “allowing” and “lets” imply a submissive relationship within the U.S. health-care system, in which permission may or may not be granted to midwives in order to practice what they have been trained, licensed, and certified to do."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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homebirth midwife
Unfortunately, when it comes to midwives actually practicing, this type of language has set the stage, so to speak. In the United States, midwives—who are overwhelmingly female, which is a factor that cannot be overlooked in this discussion—are “allowed” to do their jobs, and only then with many constraints that often restrict them from practicing to the fullest extent of their licensure. Regulatory restrictions vary from state to state and affect the type of care midwives can provide, including where they can practice, what types of patients they are “allowed” to care for, and, oftentimes, how much they will be reimbursed for their services.

When it comes to maternity care in the United States, the model of care needs to change to one where both physicians and midwives can flourish equally, as has been the case in the United Kingdom and other European countries. At present, we also need to be aware of how we discuss and frame the work of those providing care. Our for-profit system is set up to reward those billing more hours, patients, and procedures—due to the model of care they provide, that isn’t usually midwives. That has since translated into society viewing midwives as “less than” providers, despite evidence that they should be leading the way in all aspects of maternity care. Please read the entire article HERE.
Hits: 149
Alternative Methods of Checking Dilation {The Purple Line and More}
by Birth Without Fear

"Cervical dilation tells us one thing and one thing only – where you are right that second. It tells you nothing about what came before that check (when you compare to other labors or women) and it tells you nothing about what is to come. It only tells you about the here and now."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Mom BT Leaning Forward
Studies also show that vaginal exams are not really accurate. When checking for exact dilation, studies show the accuracy to be around 48-56%. When allowing a margin of 1cm (which is a large margin of error when this information is used to time interventions or labor “cut-offs”) the accuracy is around 89-91%. [One such study abstract from real women in labor. And another study abstract which was done on models.] When you add in multiple people checking, the accuracy gets even worse. Yet, vaginal exams are considered the “gold standard” of assessing labor progress. And lets not forget that vaginal exams are just plain uncomfortable at the best of times – in labor they can be downright hellish.

So what are some ways of figuring out your dilation without actually touching the cervix?

The Purple Line or Bottom Line

This is a purple/dark line that shows up and extends well, to put it delicately, along your natal cleft. Or rather – your butt crack. The line starts at the anus and moves up the cleft. When it is all the way to the top, you are 10cm. Normally – you do have a bit of a line there. But this Purple Line or Bottom Line is not he line that is normally there (which is usually pink). This is a dark purple line. My suggestion is to check out your bum in early pregnancy so that you know the difference.Read about all the alternative methods HERE.
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Natural childbirth III: why undisturbed birth?
By Chris Kresser

"Spontaneous labor in a normal woman is an event marked by a number of processes so complicated and so perfectly attuned to each other that any interference will only detract from the optimal character."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Birth Story
Human beings are mammals
As often as we forget this, human beings are mammals. We share the same 175 million year evolutionary heritage of birth with other mammals. These similarities should be starting point when try understand the process of normal, undisturbed birth in our own species.

Like our mammalian relatives, human females are designed to give birth safely in the wild without supervision or medical intervention. It is as natural to us as eating, breathing, digestion, elimination and sleeping. It’s in our genes.

As physician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent reminds us:

When you consider birth as an involuntary process involving old, mammalian structures of the brain, you set aside the assumption that a woman must learn to give birth. It is implicit in the mammalian interpretation that one cannot actively help a woman to give birth. The goal is to avoid disturbing her unnecessarily. Find the rest of this article HERE.
Hits: 111

This is my first time being pregnant, and I'm seriously looking into hypnobirthing.  My work schedule seriously conflicts with the only course offered by an instructor.  I have a book on hypnobirthingk but need to know if that will be enough?  Can someone tell me how important it is, going to the courses with an actual instructor?



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Epidural: Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
By Kelly Brogan, MD

"Epidurals are a delivery method for narcotic pain-killers that pass through the placenta to the baby and have largely unpredictable effects on the birthing woman. Evidence supports risks to the baby including reduced tone, poor feeding, jaundice, withdrawal, and sensorimotor impairment."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Epidural 2
As a type-A taskmaster, myself, I understand the lure of a predictable and painless depositing of your newborn after the long and fear-punctuated journey of pregnancy.
I’m here to tell you; however, what your obstetrician won’t.

Labor is a physiologic process that recruits neurochemical, endocrine, and immune systems into a dance that we barely have the tools to conceptualize.

When we meddle with this, when we attempt to standardize it, we put women and their babies at grave risk – physically, psychologically, and even spiritually. We rob women of an opportunity for psychospiritual transcendence.

As a science-minded medical doctor, I don’t wield this phrase with ease!

The process of conception, gestation, and birth cannot, however, be reduced to daily activities and routine life occurrences. There is something built into our consciousness that makes room for its own expansion around these life transitions. The process of bodily separation – woman from her newborn – involves a passage through a space of trance-like awareness.

If you buy the potential significance of these considerations, you may want to know what represents your greatest obstacle and impediment in achieving this life milestone. You may be surprised to learn that it is epidural anesthesia. This discussion is meant to shine a light on elective epidurals – that, “Why not? Who wants to feel crazy intense pain?” choice that 2/3rds of women (and up to 90% in some hospitals) opt for every day. Please read the rest of this informative article HERE.
Hits: 174
10 reasons to have your baby at a birth center
By Poppy Daniels, MD

"ACOG has acknowledged that birthing in a hospital-based or freestanding accredited birth center is a reasonable option for low-risk pregnant women."

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Midiwfe Mom Birth Center Doppler
1. Due to intermittent monitoring versus continuous fetal monitoring which is standard in the hospital, the patient has increased mobility and a wider range of laboring positions/options: sitting, standing, walking, water, birthing balls. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has agreed that there is not a medical benefit to continuous fetal monitoring compared to intermittent monitoring in low-risk women.

ACOG has acknowledged that birthing in a hospital-based or freestanding accredited birth center is a reasonable option for low-risk pregnant women. They have recently released a statement with the American College of Nurse Midwives affirming evidence-based models of care and the need for collegial relations and collaboration between obstetricians and midwives. Read the rest of this article HERE.
Hits: 136
Cat parasite linked to mental illness, schizophrenia
By Amy Kraft

Because toxoplasmosis is especially hazardous to unborn babies, health officials recommend that pregnant women avoid cleaning litter boxes, if possible, or wear disposable gloves and wash hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Everyone loves cuddling with kittens. But there can be a little-known danger lurking behind that furry little face and that innocent-sounding meow: a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii).

T. gondii is the most common parasite in developed nations, according to Schizophrenia Bulletin. The cat-carried parasite can infect any warm-blooded species, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 60 million people in the U.S. may have it.

Most people never suffer any symptoms at all. But in those with weaker immune systems, infection with T. gondii can cause an illness called toxoplasmosis, which can result in miscarriages, fetal development disorders, weeks of flu-like illness, blindness and even death. It has also been associated with mental disorders including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Now two more studies explore the mental health issues in greater detail. Find the rest of this article HERE.
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Posted by on in First Time Moms
Beautiful Hospital Birth of Heath

"There were many times I cried during this phase because I was so happy with the development of my birthing experience and how beautiful it was. My body just knew what to do and my mind was focused on relaxation."

Thank you to Hypnobabies Instructor Fiona Cunningham for sharing this with us.

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Baby Heath
It was 6:50 am on Sunday May 24, 2015 when my waters broke. Myself and my partner, Ryan, were lying in bed when I felt a cramp in my stomach and then a gush of fluid. I ran to the bathroom all excited and informed my family of the news. A few minutes later I started having pressure waves so I started playing my Birthing Day Affirmations track and got ready for the day. I had just enough time for a quick bath and get dressed before I felt my pressure waves getting strong enough to stop what I was doing and focus. Poor Ryan was trying to cook eggs and bacon for breakfast but my waves were coming so frequently that he needed to call my mother and doula for extra support.

I spent the remainder of my time at home on my birth ball, listening to my favourite hypno-tracks to keep me relaxed. I felt calm, collected but also surprised that my pressure waves were coming so close together. I thought I’d have all day to bake cookies, finish a few projects and maybe go for a walk. Boy was I wrong! They were four minutes apart by 11:00 am so we decided to head to the hospital.

When we arrived at the Health Science, we gathered all my gear and made our way to the triage. I used my off switch and leaned against the wall during pressure waves while we waiting to be assigned to our room. I was 3 cm.

Once we were settled away, my birth team was very hands-on. My mother would read me scripts while my partner and doula would take turns applying pressure on my hips during a pressure wave. There were many times I cried during this phase because I was so happy with the development of my birthing experience and how beautiful it was. My body just knew what to do and my mind was focused on relaxation.

Around 3:30 pm I was 5-6 cm and found vocalizing with low “ahhhs” really helped release energy. My pressure waves were getting stronger and I was feeling very confident and peaceful.

At 7:00 pm I was 10 cm dilated. I would feel the urge to push in the middle of a contraction and it felt so good to get to this stage. Although my back was sore from all the squeezing, I felt absolutely no pain. The urge to push was so strong and satisfying. I had long breaks in between urges, which allowed me to rest. I visualized my pelvis and birth canal opening wider and wider so I could finally meet my baby. I had so much encouragement from my birth team. The room was full of love and support as I crowned my babies head and pushed him out. At 8:48 pm I looked up and saw this beautiful, wet little baby. He was so wide-eyed and alert and I instantly fell in love with him as he lay quietly on my chest. I’m here writing this all teary eyed… It was the perfect birth and I couldn’t have done it without Hypnobabies and my incredible birthing trio. I strongly recommend this course to anyone who is focused on having a peaceful and calm birthing experience.

Thank you Fiona!
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Posted by on in Know Your Options
Pitocin Is Not Oxytocin
By Kelly Brogan MD

"So, when we manufacture a synthetic version of this hormone and commandeer a woman’s labor physiology, it should come as no surprise that there are unintended and poorly understood consequences."

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“The Love Hormone”. Sounds important, no? Turns out that we know very little about the hormone oxytocin, beyond that it is incredibly relevant to multiple metabolic, behavioral, and endocrine functions. In a compelling review entitled Beyond Labor: The Role of Natural and Synthetic Oxytocin in the Transition to Motherhood, Bell et al explore the literature suggesting that, once again, we cannot outsmart, outdo, or circumvent nature with pharmaceutical products.

What is Oxytocin?

One of the known roles of oxytocin is in the complex physiology of labor and birth. Perceived by the obstetrical establishment to be a “contraction chemical”, oxytocin’s effects are bodywide, and most notably, brain-based. During pregnancy, oxytocin receptors increase in areas of the maternal brain related to mood, stress, and attachment behavior. Specifically, its activity has been studied in the hypothalamus, lateral septal nucleus, periaqueductal grey, Broca’s area, nucleus basalis of Meynert, locus coeruleus, vagus, solitary tract, trigeminal nerve, and lateral reticular formation. It is secreted continuously in the brain and in a pulsatile manner to the body through the posterior pituitary. Despite efforts, the brain-blood ratio has not been well-elucidated leaving major gaps in our understanding. When it comes to hormones, the production and release of the hormone is critical, but so is the receptor activity – the action of the baseball in the catchers mitt, and receptor sensitivity varies from person to person based on genetics and adaptation to experience. Please read the rest of this informative article HERE.
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7 Huge Benefits of An Undisturbed First Hour After Birth
By Sam McCulloch of bellybelly.com

"The way your baby is cared for and nurtured immediately after birth significantly impacts their transition from the womb to life outside."

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bigstock-Sleeping-newborn-baby-43511446 457x640
The way your baby is cared for and nurtured immediately after birth significantly impacts their transition from the womb to life outside. In a culture that commonly separates mothers and babies for routine procedures such as cleaning, weighing and measuring, most babies are missing that critical time of being skin to skin with their mothers, which has short and long term consequences for all. As these procedures are not necessary to maintain or enhance the wellbeing of either mother or baby, there is no reason why they cannot be delayed beyond the first critical hour. The first hour should be focused on baby’s first breastfeed and mother-baby and family bonding. Unless mother or baby is in need of medical assistance, hospital protocols should support this time of new beginnings for both vaginal and caesarean births. - See the entire article HERE.
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Aspen’s Birth Story - A Hypno-Dad's Perspective

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

"Without a doubt, this was the singular most positive experience of my life. It seems cliche, but my life changed instantly – seeing Aspen lie on my wife in the tub was unbelievable, incredible, amazing, humbling – I could go on and on."

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Our birth story begins on a fall afternoon at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe. My wife Alexis set up a meeting with Julie Byers to discuss a childbirth class called Hypnobabies. I was skeptical at best. Up to this point I assumed my wife would give birth the only way I knew – as medicated and numb as humanly possible. After all, (bubble of peace) childbirth was something awful that happened to women. It means agony, anger, helplessness, and danger – hell, I was taught in church as a child that women were meant to suffer during childbirth as repentance for Eve’s original sin. That’s where my head was at leading up to our meeting with Julie.

After a 30 minute conversation, my perspective had totally shifted. My wife and I knew about options for childbirth, that women were totally capable of giving birth without help, and that the birth of our child could be a joyful experience. Aside from my wife, no one person in my adult life has had such an immediate impact on my thinking, on the power of women, and on the borderline injustice most women face when trying to navigate a health care system that views their pregnancy as a near disease. The next clear step was to sign up for Julie’s January 2015 Hypnobabies class.

Even without the childbirth hypnosis techniques, the class was invaluable. The information from Hypnobabies was great, but coupled with Julie’s personal experiences as a doula I was starting to feel comfortable with Alexis’ decision to go for a natural birth with the GMC Midwives. I never was a fan of reading the hypnosis scripts to my wife, but I did slowly notice myself using the language and we both started to shift our views of what childbirth meant to us. We became excited instead of scared. We looked forward to a joyful, empowering experience instead of one dominated by uncertainty and weakness. That being said, we still felt we were missing a big piece of the puzzle. The universe smiled on us then – Julie was available to be our doula for the birth of our first child. We were ready.

As our guess date of April 22nd came and went we continued to prepare. Alexis began leave and could focus on hypnosis scripts, affirmations, and enjoying this exciting time. I bought her a prenatal massage – she got an awesome henna tattoo on her pregnant belly – purchased lots of fresh flowers. A week and half past our guess date, and the midwives were not concerned. We were amazed, and so relieved that the people assisting in the birth of our child weren’t trying to force us to do anything. “Baby M. will come when he/she is ready.”

Baby M. became ready Friday, May 1st. First thing that morning Alexis told me to stay home from work. I excitedly made our planned waffle breakfast – our last meal as just the two of us. Pressure waves came and went all day long. We walked the neighborhood. Then we hit the swings in the park, and then walked again. Alexis expressed zero pain, just tightening and pressure – just like the scripts said. I secretly thought to myself that birth wasn’t happening any time soon. I was wrong.

That evening things got pretty intense. Alexis asked for the ‘peace’ and ‘relax’ cues more and more often, and I was happy to have a role to play. Hypnobabies made me feel like more than a powerless bystander – I was an active participant. Around 11pm, I think we both got a little frightened of the intensity so we called Julie. Alexis and I probably worked a little too long by ourselves, but just knowing Julie was a phone call away gave us a tremendous amount of confidence. An hour or so after Julie arrived she contacted the midwife on call to let her know we were on our way to the hospital. A quick check at the hospital showed Alexis was ready to push. Our nurse filled the tub in the birthing suite as fast as possible. After Alexis got in the tub, it seemed like only a few minutes before we met our sweet girl! It was crazy – 20 minutes literally felt like 5. We had to let Aspen know that she’d been born, and when she let out her first cry I doubt I’d ever felt such relief. We were at the hospital 63 minutes before my wife gave birth. Our daughter was here, healthy, and we were over the moon.

Without a doubt, this was the singular most positive experience of my life. It seems cliche, but my life changed instantly – seeing Aspen lie on my wife in the tub was unbelievable, incredible, amazing, humbling – I could go on and on. More than that, the physical expression of love that Alexis demonstrated by giving birth naturally has left me in awe of my wife. I’m so thankful to her, Julie, and Kim from Greenville Midwifery Care for helping us craft a positive birth experience. These three women will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I am eternally grateful for their love and support.
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First Time Mom: Brandy’s Comfortable Hypnobabies Birth

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

"At 8AM (after two pushes) I calmly told my husband, “heads out.” He had been watching me from the sofa and was unaware that I was even pushing. He jumps up and says, “WHAT?!”

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I come from a very supportive family when it comes to natural birth. My grandmother always told me she didn’t experience “pain” during childbirth, only “pressure”. My mother was not as fortunate, but she always encouraged me to give natural birth a try before deciding to go the other route. When I was younger, I always thought I wanted to be knocked out for my birth because I have an EXTREMELY low pain threshold. But, as I got older, (and wiser) I saw that medicated birth began to scare me more than natural.

When I got pregnant, I committed to myself and my baby to try to make the best decisions for our birth. I came across hypnosis for childbirth and it peaked my interest. I chose Hypnobabies because of the amount of useful information you get that is well beyond simply learning to breath and relax. In the class, we learned different tools to use at different stages of your birthing time. I started using the finger drop technique on my back pains that I had in the third trimester.

The day before I went into labor I worked a 9 hour shift at work ( I would joke with people and tell them I wanted to work until I popped). At 4:30 AM, my water broke and I called my midwife to see when I should come in. She asked if I was having any contractions and I said, “not that I am aware of.” She decided I should come in to make sure I did indeed break my water (good thing). They tested me to make sure my water broke, it did. They hooked me up to a monitor and told me I was definitely having contractions, and they were curious that I didn’t feel anything at all.

I bought a relaxation album that reads bible scriptures and prayers of comfort and reassurance for birth in a way similar to Hypnobabies. I was waiting to use Hypnobabies tracks for the BIG waves. When they got me into the birthing room at 6:30AM, I asked my midwife how long it may take before I start feeling contractions. They told me if I was not in full blown labor by 12PM that day they would start a gentle dose of pitocin. They said the baby should be in my arms by 8AM the next morning. For the first time, I was scared. Natural birth, no problem. Pitocin terrified me!

The midwives were having shift change so the person that came and checked on me was a nurse. At 7:30 AM, the nurse came in to check on me and I was squatting by the bed because I started to feel pressure waves and I felt like squatting was productive. During a wave she asked me about changing my gown and I said I was most comfortable in my own clothes.

At about 7:45AM, I told my husband, “Get the nurse I feel like he is ready to come out but I feel like its too soon!” Nurse came in and rubbed my back and said, “Your midwife is on her way just give her a few minutes and she will look at you.” After my husband got her two more times and she just told him, “She is a first time mom so she is going to feel like he is right there. But, if the baby was coming you would both know it for sure.”

I decided, since nobody was coming, to get on the bed on my hands and knees so he would at least not fall on his head on the floor! At 8AM (after two pushes) I calmly told my husband, “heads out.” He had been watching me from the sofa and was unaware that I was even pushing. He jumps up and says, “WHAT?!” He comes over just in time for me to give a final push and he got to be the first person to hold his son! I pressed the call button and told the nurse, “We just delivered a baby in room 5!” Six people came rushing in baffled, it was awesome. I turned around and said to the nurse, “I told you he was coming!”

From the time I felt the first bit of pressure, to him in my arms was an hour and a half.

I have no clue what our birth story would have been without Hypnobabies, but when I tell it to people the looks on their faces are priceless. With all of the fear that culture feeds us about birth, it was worth every penny to just surround myself with the positive energy of like minds. It was worth every penny to have a teacher that could tell her first hand experiences with POSITIVE birth stories. It was worth every penny to learn about the real process of birth that doctors want to treat as if our bodies need help to birth. And, it is worth EVERY PENNY to realize how to completely surrender to your own body and trust that it knows EXACTLY what to do! Using hypnosis on migraines and other sorts of ailments is an added bonus too!
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Charlotte's Snow Storm Hypnobabies Birth on Super Bowl Sunday

"I really enjoyed practicing all the Hypnobabies techniques and I started to feel more and more confident about how our birth would go."

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Melanas husbandMy husband and I decided soon after we got pregnant that we wanted to have a natural birth with little interventions. After some research, we found a midwife and she suggested we use Hypnobabies! We started the courses at 34 weeks. I really enjoyed practicing all the Hypnobabies techniques and I started to feel more and more confident about how our birth would go.

I woke up at midnight on February 1, 2015 to use the bathroom. I noticed that my water seemed to be leaking slowly. I called my midwife after sitting around anxiously for hours while having very mild pressure waves. I finally called my midwife around 4:30 am and told her that I thought my water was leaking and I was having small pressure waves. We knew a snow storm was coming our way so she said she would leave soon. She lived an hour away, so she left as soon as possible and arrived finally just before 8am. My husband and I live with my parents, but we had all planned that once I would go into labor, my parents would get a hotel for the day and give us some privacy. Well the snow storm that was coming snowed them in, along with my older brother, his girl friend, and my younger brother. My sister called around 5am to ask if her and her husband could come up for the birth (they live two hours away). I told her, "why not", and they came up as soon as they could in the snow. So, our plan for an empty house didn't happen, my entire immediate family was present!
New FamilyWhile waiting for my midwife and her assistant to arrive, I labored on the birthing ball and my husband blew up the birthing tub. I listened to my Birthing Day Affirmations CD as well as my Hypno Anestesia CD. I was able to relax and breathe through each pressure wave easily. My husband held my hand as the pressure waves grew more intense. I kept picturing my special safe place and felt very calm. Soon after my midwife arrived, the power went out and the house got cold quickly- especially since we live downstairs. So, with the power out and the tub not filled, my dad started calling around for a generator. We live in the country so we had a farmer family friend that had one and a large truck to get through the snow to us. Again, I remained calmed and focused on each pressure wave instead of focusing on the chaos of trying to get the generator hooked up. My dad and husband got the hot water heater going with the generator and started filling up the birthing tub. By this time, my pressure waves were strong enough that the heat of the birthing tub sounded nice. After filling the tub up once, it was only 85 degrees and my midwife then told my dad it had to be 102 degrees. So he attempted to empty the tub with a water transfer that would suction the water out quickly so we could add more hot water. The transfer pump was broken, so he and my husband started to take the water out with a saucepan and 5 gallon bucket. I still remained calm and just watched them as I labored on the birthing ball- craving the heat of the water!! After a second fill up of the tub, the water still wasn't warm enough and they had to repeat the process again. Third time was the charm and the water was finally warm enough to get in! By this time it was around 1pm and I had been waiting for the tub for a few hours. The heat felt good and I sat back and held my husband's hand as I labored. I started to have that "bear down" feeling, so I started to push. I stared making the "OHHH-AHHH" sound to help my cervix open. My midwife then checked me and informed me that I wasn't ready to push, so I had to get on all fours in the tub to stop my body from wanting to push. I was in the tub for about an hour when the water got too cold (because the power was still out) and I got out. Since we were in the basement, with no bathroom, I had to take many trips upstairs where my whole family was- watching the Superbowl! My midwife had me labor on the toilet for a while, then back downstairs to walk around and labor standing up. My birthing waves were 5 minutes apart the whole day! I did some lunges and then was moved to the upstairs shower when the power came back on. I had a few birthing waves in the shower under the hot water. I then moved back downstairs to our bedroom and got in bed. I laid on my side and the pressure waves intensified, I still remained saying "OHHH-AHHH" through each wave. After some time on my side, I felt like I needed to push really hard, so I bared down and WHOOOOSH! My water broke, finally! It was 8pm by now. I now started to imagine my baby moving down the birth canal and out. My midwife had me move to all fours on our bed and I continued to push with each birthing wave. Each wave reminded me that I was that much closer to meeting our baby! I was getting so excited because we didn't know what we were having. With each wave I told myself to let my body do it's thing and naturally my body was baring down so hard. The last pressure wave I had, had started to end and I told myself that that was the last one and willed my body back into a contraction and there she was!! My sister had come in just minutes before Charlotte was born and had gotten a video of her crowning and being born! I was still on all fours so they slipped our baby under me so I could see. I frantically started looking to see what we had. Once I saw, I didn't say a thing but smiled and laid down. They placed our girl on my chest and I looked around to see my sister and husband both crying. I was so in shock and excitement! Charlotte latched on quickly and nursed easily. She was 7lbs 14 oz, and 20 inches long! She was born at 9:18pm, just after the Superbowl ended! My whole family was waiting outside the room once they heard Charlotte's first cry and they all got to meet her right away. It was so special to have everyone there, and it honestly didn't bother me one bit while I labored! It was an amazing experience, even with all the hiccups!

Hypnobabies was such an awesome tool during my pregnancy and birth. During my pregnancy, Hypnobabies built up my confidence about how the birth would go. During the birth, I was able to remain calm and relaxed during the chaos of the day. Not once did I feel afraid or worried. I took advantage of the CDs to stay calm and they really put me at ease.

PS. I attached a picture of my husband's face while I labored, as well a picture of my husband and I right after she was born, two skin to skin pictures of Charlotte and I and a professional picture of Charlotte.
Melana skin to skin

Melana Bucher
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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!

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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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Posted by on in Hypnobabies Blog
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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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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Estimating the Estimated Due Date
By Trina Hampton for Pathways to Family Wellness

“I’m due on May 27th!” I was told enthusiastically by a friend who just found out she was pregnant. It took more than a little effort to mask my cringe and share her joy.

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Mom w-Clock on Belly 2
Little did she know that within hours of her positive pregnancy test, she had already given in to one of the biggest misnomers of pregnancy—the “due date,” also referred to as the EDD, for estimated due date. This is the very first thing to be determined once a pregnancy has been confirmed. On the outset, this seems like a reasonable practice. Parents want to know when to expect their baby, and healthcare providers need to have a time line with which to measure the baby’s growth and well-being. Please read the entire article HERE.
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