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Kimberly Gross

Kimberly Gross

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Posted by on in First Time Moms
First Time Mom Amber’s Hypnobabies Birth

Thank you to Hypnobabies Instructor Julie Byers for sharing her student's beautiful story!

"I went into this class not knowing what to really expect. I already love to meditate and thought it may be the same thing. It was the BEST decision I ever made! I began the class very unsure and insecure about pregnancy and birthing period. It was the most informative, educational, supportive, and uplifting class that gave me confidence and my own voice about MY birth!"

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Amber Doula
I went into this pregnancy not knowing how I wanted to give birth. At first, I said, “No way am I trying this natural! Why would I do that?” Then after doing lots of research and learning about all of the benefits I decided it was the only way to go. Moving forward I had heard about Hypnobirthing. “Whaaaaaaaaat? That’s weird, right?”

I was referred by a friend to Julie Byers and her 6 week Hypnobabies class. I also went into this class not knowing what to really expect. I already love to meditate and thought it may be the same thing. It was the BEST decision I ever made! I began the class very unsure and insecure about pregnancy and birthing period. It was the most informative, educational, supportive, and uplifting class that gave me confidence and my own voice about MY birth! I met a few couples there who I can now call friends and an amazing support group! The techniques I’ve learned through this class made me realize, I can do this! I wanted an all natural waterbirth and had been seeing a normal obgyn but it just wasn’t the route I wanted so at 33 weeks, late in the game, I hired a doula, switched hospitals, and switched to Greenville Midwifery Care.

My guess date was September 7th. On September 1st I thought maybe I would try this “midwives cocktail” out that I had heard about from a friend who said that she drank it and was in full blown labor within 3 hours. (1 cup apricot juice, 1 cup champagne, 2 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp caster oil). I was teeter tottering with the idea but actually decided I would wait because this baby knows when to be born. At 11:30pm that night, I lie down to go to sleep and *POP* I hear, and feel, what felt like a tiny water balloon in the top right side of my uterus. “Was that what I think it was???” Sure enough, a few seconds later, I felt the small gush. It was definitely my bags of water. “Now what?!” Do I call the midwives? Do I call my doula? I did both. They both told me to chill out, get some rest and just wait because I would need the energy for when my pressure waves begin.

I slept maybe 4 hours that night. I woke up in the morning and still no pressure waves. I went to work. YES, I WENT TO WORK! Just for a few hours…. Around 2:00 pm I called the midwife on call and she said to go ahead and drink the “midwife cocktail” to try and induce, otherwise, I would have to come in and start a pitocin drip which was the opposite of my birthing plan! After drinking the midwife cocktail, I sit and wait… around 4:30pm I get a call from the midwife and she says to come in so they can confirm that my water had actually broken and see how much amniotic fluid I was losing.

As soon as I get in the car, I feel my first pressure wave! “Yay!!” At this point, I know it’s GO TIME! I get to the hospital, get admitted. At this point, if I was not dilating, they were going to start the pitocin. At 5:00pm Susan, the midwife checks me. I am dilated at 2cm and changed to 4cm literally in her hand. The pressure waves were coming longer, stronger and closer together! I called my doula and had her come to meet me! It was time to use my Hypnobabies techniques. I turned the lights down, tried to relax and hum my way through each one. I used the birthing ball, many different positions, walking, and a hot shower (my favorite) to labor. It was peaceful.

Around 10:00 pm, during a pressure wave, I felt the urge to throw up! To me, I’m thinking, “okay, power and purge, this is normal right?” As soon as that happens, my doula runs and grabs Susan and we get my beautiful wife on video chat! (She is overseas for work) Apparently this means I’m going into the transition period of labor! Susan comes in and checks me again and I’m 9cm! Time to grab the water birthing tub and fill it up!
Amber Baby
Once the tub is filled, I hop in quick! Oh it felt sooooooo amazing! It relieved most of the pressure I was feeling! I began pushing and about 5 minutes later I could feel her head with my hands. It was the most beautiful experience I have ever been through. I only pushed for about 10 minutes and my baby girl, Venice Aliana Marie was born at 11:53pm on September 2nd. She was 7lbs, and 19.5 inches long. Just perfect!

I had an amazing pregnancy the entire time and my birth was even better! I am all about putting out the positive things you want in life and not listening to anyone’s negativity! I hope that my birth story can inspire at least one person!
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Posted by on in Media Library


What is Hypnosis, Anyway?
by Alexis Hourselt

Thanks to Hypnobabies Instructor Alexis Hourselt of Blue Oasis Birthing in Tucson for this wonderful and informative video!

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Hypnotherapy Client
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What Is Hypnobabies? A Hypno-Mom's Perspective
By Hypno-Mom Jocelyn

Thank you to Hypnobabies Instructor Aubrey Slabbert and Hypno-Mom Jocelyn for sharing with us.

"Speaking of ‘labor’ and ‘contractions’, in Hypnobabies they use different terms for those things as a way to make it sound more comfortable. Labor is ‘birthing time’, contractions are ‘pressure waves’, transition is ‘transformation’. Perception is reality. So once you believe that childbirth can be comfortable it’s more likely that it will be."

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peace
Hypnobabies uses hypnosis techniques which is essentially mind over matter: using your mind to calm yourself down and tell yourself how to feel. It’s a way for you to go inside your head to your ‘happy place’ and take a break from what’s going on in the real world. It’s also helpful to change your mind about the way childbirth should be and release any fears you may have about what will happen.

Honestly, the daily practice was like the best part of the whole thing. I’d put Evelyn down for her nap and climb into bed and turn on one of the tracks and get relaxed into a nap. I pretty much fell asleep right away. It was such a nice sleep too.

I would absolutely recommend Hypnobabies to anyone who is planning a natural childbirth. The class is great for learning what childbirth actually is and the hypnosis/meditation is key for keeping discomfort during childbirth under control. Please read the rest of this article HERE.
release-and-relax
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The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am
By Angela Garbes

"To produce breast milk, mothers melt their own body fat. Are you with me? We literally dissolve parts of ourselves, starting with gluteal-femoral fat, aka our butts, and turn it into liquid to feed our babies."

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Michael Nursing copyBreast-feeding leads to better overall health outcomes for children, which is why the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies be exclusively breast-fed for a minimum of six months.

Those outcomes, though, are relative: A premature infant in the neonatal intensive-care unit or a baby growing up in a rural African village with a high rate of infectious disease and no access to clean water will benefit significantly more from breast milk over artificial milk, called formula, than a healthy, full-term baby born in a modern Seattle hospital.

More compelling to me are the straightforward facts about breast milk: It contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life (breast-fed babies don't even need to drink water, milk provides all the necessary hydration), and it has many germ- and disease-fighting substances that help protect a baby from illness. Oh, also: The nutritional and immunological components of breast milk change every day, according to the specific, individual needs of a baby. Yes, that's right, and I will explain how it works in a minute. Not nearly enough information is provided by doctors, lactation counselors, or the internet about this mind-blowing characteristic of milk.

Nutritionally, breast milk is a complete and perfect food, an ideal combination of proteins, fat, carbohydrates, and nutrients. Colostrum, the thick golden liquid that first comes out of a woman's breasts after giving birth (or sometimes weeks before, as many freaked-out moms-to-be will tell you) is engineered to be low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein, making it quickly and easily digestible to newborns in urgent need of its contents. Please read the rest of this article HERE.
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The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am
By Angela Garbes

"To produce breast milk, mothers melt their own body fat. Are you with me? We literally dissolve parts of ourselves, starting with gluteal-femoral fat, aka our butts, and turn it into liquid to feed our babies."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Join our Hypnobabies Community and receive 10% off of all Hypnobabies products!
Michael Nursing copy
Breast-feeding leads to better overall health outcomes for children, which is why the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies be exclusively breast-fed for a minimum of six months.

Those outcomes, though, are relative: A premature infant in the neonatal intensive-care unit or a baby growing up in a rural African village with a high rate of infectious disease and no access to clean water will benefit significantly more from breast milk over artificial milk, called formula, than a healthy, full-term baby born in a modern Seattle hospital.

More compelling to me are the straightforward facts about breast milk: It contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life (breast-fed babies don't even need to drink water, milk provides all the necessary hydration), and it has many germ- and disease-fighting substances that help protect a baby from illness. Oh, also: The nutritional and immunological components of breast milk change every day, according to the specific, individual needs of a baby. Yes, that's right, and I will explain how it works in a minute. Not nearly enough information is provided by doctors, lactation counselors, or the internet about this mind-blowing characteristic of milk.

Nutritionally, breast milk is a complete and perfect food, an ideal combination of proteins, fat, carbohydrates, and nutrients. Colostrum, the thick golden liquid that first comes out of a woman's breasts after giving birth (or sometimes weeks before, as many freaked-out moms-to-be will tell you) is engineered to be low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein, making it quickly and easily digestible to newborns in urgent need of its contents. Please read the rest of this article HERE.
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Birthing our surprise baby boy comfortably at home in the water using Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis. He was born on May 3, 2015 at 2:09pm after being in very strong "active labor" for about 3 hours. I was at 40w2d in my pregnancy. We had a lovely birthing experience and would absolutely do it just like this again! I didn't have tearing or any pain during the birth, I only felt intense pressure at its strongest. I owe it all to my wonderful birth team, practice with Hypnobabies, being in the water, and the tools/tricks I have learned as a Doula.
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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 so you can experience all these wonderful updates yourself!"

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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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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."

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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.
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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."

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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.
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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."

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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."

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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.
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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."

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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.
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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.
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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.

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kitten
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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pitocin-bag
“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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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."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Aspen
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?!”

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Brandy
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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