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What Not To Say To Someone Who Wants A Natural Birth
by Gabrielle Volkmer
ICEA Birth Educator, Blogger and Community Organizer. See more of her writing on TheBirthingSite.com and her blog, BirthBeyondBias.com

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Join our Hypnobabies Community and receive 10% off of all Hypnobabies products!

We here at Hypnobabies always wonder why it is that people feel the need to say negative things or share horrible birth stories with pregnant women.
iStock MomandDoulaSofa1-300x225"You won't be able to do it, so just save yourself the disappointment and stop trying to be a superhero."

"Yeah, tell me how that goes."

"All first time moms say that."

"What? Why? Are you stupid or something?"

"If you think having a natural birth makes you a better parent you need to get over yourself."

"Why would anyone want to do that when you could just have a C-section and be in and out?"

"So why do people think it's ok to criticize and viciously attack women who choose to pursue a natural birth? Why are women who choose natural birth seen as crazy, reckless, or "hippies"? This has to stop. Judgment needs to disappear from the birth world. Attacking others for their choices, natural or medical, will never change their minds. Rather, it will breed anger and resentment. It's high time people everywhere began to realize that. It's time women started supporting each other. It's time to open a dialogue about issues that people don't see eye to eye on." Read the rest of this article HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Join our Hypnobabies Community and receive 10% off of all Hypnobabies products!

"I have no doubt that I have experienced the most miraculous and perfect thing that I ever will in my entire life! My twin's birth was amazing on so many levels and I want to share my story.  I chose to use the Hypnobabies method to be able to birth my twins naturally."
TwinsThrough my dear friend Rachel and some spiritual promptings, I stumbled upon a Hypnobabies class taught by Talya Matheson. Hypnobabies teaches self hypnosis to re-wire the way we view birthing to a very positive thing and it teaches deep relaxation and how to use hyono-anesthesia. It also teaches very detailed and accurate information on the birth process and what our bodies can do! I soaked up every ounce of information like a sponge...it was exactly what I wanted to hear and it felt good! By the end of the course, I was craving a natural birth and had so much confidence in myself and my body! Thank you Talya!
I finished the classes and had about a month to practice my techniques and get my birth team together. I hired Talya as my Doula and Jordan stayed by my side with all of my decisions. I was so excited to see what my birth story would be like! So without further ado..
Thursday started off as a normal day... Sleepy, uncomfortable, and excited that I was one day further. I was 35 weeks and a few days. I had a doctors appointment to go to that I went to with my mom. The doctor said that the babies looked really good! Both head down and cooperating completely. He even made the comment, "they could be born tomorrow and probably be just fine!" Heh heh... We went to lunch right after and while we were eating I noticed I felt a little crampy. I had had these feelings before and they didn't hurt at all and they didn't seem to be coming and going... Just kind of a general feeling. I usually felt that way when the babies were growing and my uterus was stretching so I just figured they were getting bigger.
That night I had a huge dinner packed with protein and carbs and I had the thought, "this would be a good meal to eat right before I went into my birthing time" heh heh... Please see the rest of this fantastic birth story HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best! 
We love this incredible video portrayal of our Hypno-Families!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth

Honora Vivian’s Birth Story

My back story was that I had a really difficult birth with my first baby, and when I was pregnant again about a year later, I was determined to find a different way…enter Hypnobabies!  This is my 4th birth, and my 3rd Hypnobaby, and I am thankful for that first bad experience, because otherwise I would probably never have known the subsequent births. J  My first baby was born at 41 weeks, my second at 41 weeks 2 days, and my third, on his due date!  This time around I have a close friend, Melissa, who is a doula and birth photographer, and I was so excited to have her onboard my birthing team, along with my husband, who is always so great during birthing, my midwife, and the nurses.  I was going in for my 39 week appointment, 5 days before my due date, and my friend said that she was teaching Lamaze during the days on the weekend that would be easier not to have to schedule around, and then I looked at my family’s calendar, and this week was so open, but the next was not, and I started to think it would be a good time to have a baby!  So, when my midwife asked if I’d like her to sweep my membranes, I thought, why not?  I’d had it done after 40 weeks with my others and it had really never started much up, but I thought I’d go for it anyway.

My appointment ended around 11 am, and I went to lunch with Melissa and had a few “means business” pressure waves, but I kind of thought it would fizzle out.  Instead, they started establishing a pattern.  About 8-10 minutes apart by the time I was home around 3pm.  We went to a business dinner at 6pm and I think they were about 6-8 minutes apart then, but I wasn’t timing.  We walked around a bit so that we could come home after the babysitter had our other little ones in bed for the night. J  We decided to watch a movie while I chilled on my birth ball.  I texted my midwife around 10 pm when my waves were 4-6 minutes apart, but relatively intense, and we agreed that I could probably try to finish my movie for the next hour and make a decision.  So in an hour, I decided I wanted to get on the road, because our drive was about an hour long and I wanted to have freedom to move as things progressed.  My doula said she’d meet us at the hospital, and we got there sometime around 1 am.  I got all checked in and hooked up to an IV, b/c I was Group B Strep Positive, I was at 4cm and 90% effaced at check in.  When they were finished with all that jazz, I started walking with my IV pole.  I was pretty sleepy and wanted to have my tracks onboard, and they were in my room, so I headed back after about 30 minutes and hopped on the birth ball for the next while.  I settled in with Early First Stage playing in the background, and I think I got some sleep in between waves.  I started to vocalize a bit, and my doula reminded me that lowering my pitch would help keep things loose, and it was such a good bit of advice for me to focus on.  I recognized that my midwife, Anne, arrived, and Melissa said that she was pretty confident that I was further than I appeared.  She had asked earlier if I might want to labor in the tub for a bit, an I started to think that the warm water would feel nice.  Before I went to the bathroom, my midwife checked me and said I was at an 8.5 to a 9 with a bulging bag of waters.  I started for the tub, and I heard Melissa and Anne talking, and they asked me to sit on the toilet for my next wave.  They told me they thought I was pretty close and maybe getting in the tub might not be a great idea if I didn’t want to birth there, which I didn’t—it is a nice jetted tub, but no birthing pool for sure!  So I made my way back to the bed. *BOP Warning* I think by this time I had vomited about 5 times.  I had some more vomiting, which I learned was my body trying to rupture my bag of waters.  I was pretty tired of puking, so I asked if it might be a good idea to rupture my waters.  My birth team was very supportive of what I wanted to do without telling me to go for it, but I was really over throwing up and wanted to get the show on the road. ;)  My midwife ruptured the bag for me and said it was a “bag of steel.”  I got settled in on my side with a few pillows between my knees and had 2 or 3 more productive waves, and then I told them I was starting to feel pushy.  I guess I was so calm that they didn’t think much of it.  But, bless my husband, he started up my *Pushing Baby Out* track.  I focused on what Kerry was saying and on keeping my pitch low and my mouth round, because of what Melissa said, and because I think I recall Ina May saying something about that helping things open as well.  I was feeling pushy more and more often, and I looked to my side and saw my midwife sitting on the floor cross-legged watching me progress, and my friend nearby.  My husband was providing the best counter pressure on my back with each strong wave.  My sweet L&D nurse Shana came up and asked if she could listen to the baby’s heart with the stethoscope on my belly, and I declined.  Everyone thought I was just having a particularly strong wave, and they started to think about getting up and ready for Pushing Stage, but in reality I was confused at why she asked, because I was actively birthing my baby.  I had two more pushing waves and Shana came back to see if she could check baby’s heartrate again just as I felt her body birth, and I told her, “Sure, she’s in the bed.” And my husband simultaneously said, “The baby popped out!”

My doula, midwife, and nurse all hopped up and said, “What did you say?!”  Anne, came over, lifted up the sheet and saw that Baby Honora had a nuchal cord once around, and undid that and passed her up to me.  They were completely shocked and awed.  Anne didn’t even have her gloves on!  She said that in over a thousand births this was the first one that she completely missed from about 2 feet away.  Melissa, said, “Well, I’ve never seen it before, and I may never again, but you really just breathed that baby out!”  They were so sweet and supportive.  My nurse said she groaned when she saw that I had a doula, and my birthplan, but she was a believer and felt so privileged to be there to witness everything.  I got to cut the cord (my first time ever), and Honora had vernix all over—another first for me!  She had apgars of 9 and 9 and she was my tiniest little peanut at 7lbs 14.8 ounces.  Blessed again to be a Mama!  She nursed immediately and has been an effective little nurser ever since.  Each new person who came in asked how all of this worked, the lactation consultants listened to some of the tracks, and one of the pediatricians on call told me I should teach “my method,” because people would drive for something like that! 

It was a crack up, but I am seriously so thankful for the Hypnobabies curriculum.  I always feel so empowered in my decision making leading up to and during labor.  I know that I make educated and informed decisions for me and my baby, not necessarily what everyone else would do for themselves or their births, but it has so helped me to heal from my first birthing to take ownership of the process of bringing life into the world.  We are confident that our family is now complete, and I will miss Hypnobabies and childbirthing.  I am in awe of the Lord’s design for the process and so thrilled to have been able to be an active participant. 


Melissa is putting together a birth slide show that I’ll probably post for you all when it’s finished too, but I wanted to get this written up while Honora is still in her sleepy newborn stage! J

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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Research and article by Hypnobabies mom, Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, who is a medical researcher and the author of Evidence Based Birth!

“Failure to progress” is the number one reason for unplanned C-sections in the U.S.
istock 000005418037small-11Most women in labor are held to a standard called the “Friedman’s Curve.” Friedman’s curve is a graph that obstetric care providers have traditionally used to define a “normal” length and pace of labor. If a woman’s cervix does not dilate according to this schedule, she may be assigned a diagnosis of “failure to progress” and taken to the operating room for a Cesarean.

So what is this Friedman’s curve? When was it invented? Does it apply to women today?

In 1955, Dr. Friedman of Columbia University published a study describing the average amount of time it took women to dilate during labor (Friedman 1955). Until then, doctors had simply published research studies that described the total length of labor. Dr. Friedman went one step further by plotting women’s labors on a graph, and then figuring out the average length of time it took to a woman to dilate each centimeter. This graph became known as the famous “Friedman’s Curve.”Although it was published nearly 60 years ago, Friedman’s curve still serves as the basis of how most physicians define normal labor (Gabbe, Niebyl et al. 2012). In fact, as recently as 2010, researchers claimed that Friedman’s curve continues to “govern labor management.” In other words, most care providers use this graph to dictate how they manage a woman’s labor (Zhang, Troendle et al. 2010).You can see the rest of Rebeccca's informative article HERE.

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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

"For me it was just mind-over-matter and I knew that I could accomplish anything once I had set my mind to it. So for the past 5 months I have been doing my Hypnobabies home play (homework) and scripts everyday so that I could prepare my body to become completely relaxed with just the drop of a finger. All of this preparation wasn’t really work because it was a way I could relax and take a nap every day!"

baby kennedyTo start off, the birth of my first child, Kylia, was great, but I just felt like there was something missing for me. I didn’t enjoy the feeling of being strapped to a hospital bed with an epidural in my back just sitting and waiting for the doctors and nurses to do whatever they wanted to do with my limp body. I remember sitting there with my husband watching The Price is Right on the hospital television thinking to myself “this is so weird… I’m going to have a baby in a couple of hours and I feel so awkward just sitting here waiting.” After she was born I felt overwhelming joy and still feel like I fell in love with her at first sight. She wasn’t placed directly on my chest after she was born and it was heartbreaking for me to see her across the room with the nurse cleaning her and doing her procedures while this precious baby that had been inside of me for 9 long months screamed. I just wanted to hold and comfort her, but I was obviously not going anywhere anytime soon since I had absolutely no feeling from the waist down. I ended up needing 17 stitches and the recovery from my first birth was a long, painful journey. I remember thinking to myself that I was never going to feel “normal” again!

After having this experience I knew that I wanted something different when my husband and I got pregnant again. I started looking into natural childbirth and reading research and journal articles about the outcomes and satisfaction of mothers having babies in hospitals vs. birth centers vs. home births. After studying and reading lots of information about childbirth in the United States I decided that having a baby with a midwife would be the best option for me since I was low-risk and was wanting to have my baby naturally. At first I was going to have the baby in a hospital with a nurse midwife, but after taking the Hypnobabies childbirth class and moving to Louisana when I was 7 months pregnant (that is a whole other story!) I decided that I wanted to have my baby in a birth center. The Hypnobabies class changed my whole perspective on childbirth! I began to see childbirth as something that could be seen as a beautiful and fulfilling experience. After taking the class I made up my mind that I was going to have a pain free birth time (delivery) and that it really could be an enjoyable experience although our culture and media would have us believe otherwise. For me it was just mind-over-matter and I knew that I could accomplish anything once I had set my mind to it. So for the past 5 months I have been doing my Hypnobabies home play (homework) and scripts everyday so that I could prepare my body to become completely relaxed with just the drop of a finger. All of this preparation wasn’t really work because it was a way I could relax and take a nap every day!  The rest of this wonderful story may be read HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

"I think the biggest thing, was that even though my “pressure waves” were close together, I didn’t feel that they were intense enough for me to be in active labor. Thank you Hypnobabies."
Natalie and AaronI arrived to pick up my kids from my friend’s house at about 1:45 pm. I chatted with some friends for a bit and then told them that I had some good, rhythmic tightening, so I thought that things might be starting. I decided that I would go home with my kids and let things happen and get more serious and then I hoped that we’d go to the hospital some time that night. So since I was getting more convinced that this was the big day, I wanted to leave my van “in town” (I live about 10 minutes outside town) so that whoever babysat my kids that night, would have a car and car seats to drive around in. So I called my husband at 2:30 pm, to see what we should do about the car situation. We decided that he would take a break from work to run us home in his car really quick, so that the van could stay in town.

Then things started to get a little stronger. I would lean over my friend’s table and go quiet for a minute during my small pressure waves. I started to get excited that things were getting so strong already. Maybe it would be a 15 hour birth instead of a 24 hour birth. My husband then sent a text at 2:47pm, and asked if he had a few minutes before coming over to take us home. I started to change my mind about going home first. I saw on my timer that pressure waves were coming at about 2 1/2 to 4 minutes apart. So I told him that maybe he should just go home and get ready, and that we should then head closer in to where the hospital is. Not to necessarily to check in, but to be near to it, since we live about 50 minutes away. I called my doula and midwife at 2:50 pm to let them know that I was going to head that direction. I texted my sister in laws at 3:08 that I thought today was “Baby Day.” The original plan was for me to head to the hospital, get things checked out, and then invite my sister in laws who could, to come and hang out with me. The rest would be filled in on all the details and updates as they came. Funny plan.

That’s when things got intense. I decided that if ths was the day, I needed to start listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I pulled out my phone so that I could listen with my headphones. I also realized that it felt better to hum through my pressure waves. For some reason (I’ll have to ask how it all happened, my husband stopped by. I told him he didn’t have time to shower, but to hurry and go home and get all his stuff. All the while, I'm just hanging out at my friends house.
Read Natalie's entire birth story HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Thank you to Hypno-Mom and Hypnobabies Instructor April Woollard for this beautiful birth video.

"I was listening to my Easy First Stage track on my ipod. And leaning over the pool while Jeff was giving me the "Relax cue" on my forehead."
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth

The beautiful birth of Quinten

First, a little history… My first-born was 10 days early and 8 lb 5 oz.   I received pitocin, no epidural, and labor was only 2 hours with two pushes.  I hadn’t taken any “pain” management classes, so I was completely unprepared for an unmedicated birth.  Thankfully it was a very quick delivery!  My second baby was also 10 days early and was 9 lb 6 oz.  Again, I received pitocin and did get an epidural, labor was 4 hours and 2 pushes. I felt awful after that epidural. I had the shakes, was lightheaded, had a backache, experienced vomiting, and I hated feeling paralyzed for hours.  When I discovered that I was pregnant again, I quickly started researching my options for a pain-free, unmedicated birth.  A friend of mine who had done Hypnobabies shared her amazing testimony with me.  I was sold! I started the at-home program at about 30 weeks gestation. Everyday I looked forward to my Hypnobabies time; it was so relaxing and often sleep-inducing.

My due date of July 9th came and went. To my amazement, baby 3 didn’t want to come 10 days early like its siblings. I had been walking around at 4cm dilated and 70% effaced for about a month, but with no regular contractions. I was still very pregnant and quite comfortable, despite being a week past my due date. My doctor knew I wanted a completely unassisted and unmedicated birth, but he didn’t want me to go much past 41 weeks.  So, we agreed that I would be admitted at 41.2 weeks, and my water would be broken. I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to go in to labor on my own and experience a completely natural and intervention free birth, as I had visualized.

I was scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 6 am on Friday, July 18th.  God answered my prayers and beat the doctor to it!  I woke up at 3 am that morning with very strong pressure waves, which were each 60-90 seconds each and 4-8 minutes apart, and I was excited to see that I also had bloody show.  I woke my husband and told him that I was in labor, put my ear buds in, started listing to my Birthing Day Affirmations track, and then went ahead and got ready for my big day.  Once ready, I sat down in my comfy recliner and started listening to the Easy First Stage track until it was time to leave for the hospital. Luckily we only have a 2-minute commute to the hospital, because by this time my waves were only 3-4 minutes apart and very strong.  We got checked in quickly and I was in my birthing room by about 6:10 am.  I continued playing the Easy First Stage track continuously. My birthing plan stated that I did not want an IV, only a saline lock in my hand.  The nurses tried several times, but were unable to find a useable vein in my hands, so they called in the IV team to see if they could help.  My doctor wanted to wait to break my water until my saline lock was in place, so he said he’d be back in a few minutes to check on me. Meanwhile, my pressure waves were becoming incredibly strong and close together.  My husband and friend said that the nurses thought I was asleep because I appeared so relaxed! I got up to use the restroom twice and I could tell it was getting close by the extreme pressure I felt when sitting upright and walking.  I had to really work to maintain my calmness and relaxation during these times. Once back in bed, I turned my switch off and was again completely relaxed.  A few moments later, I had another pressure wave. Suddenly I began spontaneously pushing and these super loud, guttural noises came out of my mouth (was that me?!). It was such an out of body experience to have my muscles and mouth doing things that I had absolutely zero control over.  After that pressure wave, I opened my eyes to see my husband and friend looking at me in shock.  I was just as shocked as they were, so I just shrugged, smiled, and turned my switch back off.  Let me mention that I had never been checked for dilation since entering the hospital, so the nurses and doctor had no idea how far along I was. Apparently they thought that since I was so relaxed and had only just been admitted to the hospital there was no rush. Not to mention that my water hadn’t yet broken. Two pressure waves later there was another bout of spontaneous pushing and grunting, and I delivered his head! Relaxed.  Reclined in bed.  Legs out in front of me.  What?!  After the pressure wave, I opened my eyes and said, “I just had the head!”. Everyone in the room just looked at me like I was crazy, smiled and nodded.  I reached down and felt the head through the bag of water! Once I’d shown them the evidence, the nurse ran out in the hallway calling for a doctor, any doctor, as my doctor was preoccupied in surgery at the time.  I was still relaxed, and so invigorated and excited – I was about to meet my baby! A doctor came in, chatted us up for a minute, told us how special and rare it is for a baby to be born En-Caul (still in the bag of water). Two small mother-directed pushes at the next pressure wave, and at 8:01 am, baby was born!  The doctor broke the bag of water and removed it from the baby. I looked down and proudly told my husband that we had another BOY! He was immediately placed on my chest and allowed to breastfeed. We did delayed cord cutting, and my husband cut the cord after a few minutes, once it was no longer pulsing.  He weighed in at 8 lb 14 oz and 21” long.

I am so thankful to God for giving me the beautiful, intervention-free birth that I’d prayed for.  No IV, no medicine and less than two hours in the hospital before the birth – exactly what I wanted. And to think, just the night before I was sad because I didn’t think things were going to go according to MY plan! I’m also so thankful to Hypnobabies for giving me the skills to have a completely comfortable, relaxed, and calm birth. It was truly a mind-blowing and miraculous experience, even better than I dreamed it could be.


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This story comes to us from Chattanooga Hypnobabies.
Hypno-BABYfullBlanketThroughout pregnancy Justin and I practiced Hypnobabies. He would read scripts to me while I was training my body to go completely limp, loose and relaxed at the drop of a finger. I was actually supposed to practice on my own as well, about 5 times a day and for some reason that was so hard for me to remember. As I got close to my due date I did start to worry I wouldn’t know how to relax, that I would just forget everything I learned.

My due date came and went. I now know why in Hypnobabies they say guess month rather than due date. We just got so anxious, not to mention the family as well. Every night I went to bed hoping that it would not be a normal night, but every morning I would wake up and know today is not the day. I knew he would come when he was supposed to so I was never once worried, just excited. What is he going to look like? Is he going to have hair? Wouldn’t that be a shocker if he wasn’t a little boy? He did know what he was doing though so we just needed to be patient. Justin and I got so much done in the week that passed after his due date. Garden fully planted, new (old) car picked up and ready, co-sleeper built and many last walks in the woods with our dog for a while.

Six days after our due date I went to bed on Sunday night trying not to wish for a different night and only wishing Justin didn’t have to go to work the next day. Around 3:30AM I woke up to go to the bathroom- again, and when I got back in bed I knew this was it. I was having pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions- a much better way to think about it). I lied there for about an hour before waking up Justin. The pressure waves seemed to be coming about every 10 minutes or so but I wasn’t sure, I just knew I should wake him up. He tried to get me to go back to sleep, according to our midwives directions but that was not happening. I sat on the couch and put in my Hypnobabies deepening track which always made me fall asleep so I knew it would help me relax. At first I wanted to punch the lady talking in the face, but once I calmed down and took a couple breaths, it did help, tremendously! I was so calm and relaxed just breathing through each pressure wave as they got closer together and stronger. Justin called the midwife around six to tell her I was in labor. She said call back when pressure waves are closer and stronger and they’ll be on their way. It didn’t take much longer for that to happen. I knew this wasn’t going to be a long labor, I could just tell he was ready and I had been prepared for that. Justin ran around the house and got things ready and I continued to listen to Hypnobabies tracks and tried to relax. I couldn’t believe how much the hypnosis really helped. It did take a lot of concentration though. If I didn’t concentrate the pressure wave would feel so much different and painful; if I did concentrate, really concentrate on relaxing my body and “turning off my light switch” then it felt only like pressure. Read the rest of this wonderful birth story HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Hypnobabies Instructor Julie Byers shares this Doula's experience with us!

"Kristin Abboud took my Hypno-Doula training in January 2011. I asked her to blog her first Hypnobabies birth experience. Her clients were first time parents who took my class and gave birth at Oconee Memorial."
doula handonshoulderHere is what Kristin had to say: "I have to say that I was antsy to get things moving. She didn’t seem to be making progress visibly. She listened to scripts through ear phones and barely made a peep. Once in a while she would say “peace” or make a little moan. It was during scripts that the most work seemed to be getting done. Vaginal exams were refused. I wanted to DO something. Shouldn’t we be walking, swaying, massaging, praising, encouraging, timing? Shouldn’t she be breathing harder, moaning, groaning, snapping, needing?"

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

Read the rest of Kristin's experience HERE.

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By Kerry Tuschhoff, Founder/Director of Hypnobabies

In our Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis course, our students are in love with the Big Secrets! This is important information that remains mostly undisclosed when many expectant parents communicate with their medical caregivers. Since we advocate becoming as educated as possible about pregnancy and birthing choices, it is important for our Hypnobabies students to understand their rights. All expectant parents should learn this important information early in their pregnancy, to make certain that all decisions remain fully in their control.

Hypnobabies Secret #1: Did you know that in any situation that arises regarding your pregnancy, birthing, and with your baby’s care, you are always in charge? You (two) as the parent(s) are responsible for making the all-important decisions that will affect your health and that of your baby, your labor, and after-birth procedures.

lifeguard shutterstock 3366076

It is important for you to know that no one can ever force you to do anything you feel uncomfortable with, no matter what the circumstances are. You as the consumer make all of the decisions, not the doctors and nurses. You actually tell them how you will give birth, since they are working for you. They are the “lifeguards” who stand by in case anything should happen outside of the realm of normal, and they will let you know if that is the case. They need not interfere in a normal birthing (no complications) to enforce standard procedures or routine interventions.

Lifeguards at a pool or beach are there to make certain that normal swimming and pool play remains safe. As long as it does, there is no reason to force a particular style of swimming or watersports on the participants they are watching. If anything needs their attention, the lifeguard can step in and address the situation with appropriate expertise. This is the role that physicians, nurse and midwives hold as well, when women are giving birth. Changing what is already working well in childbirth would be like a beach lifeguard making everyone get out of the water because there were jellyfish in the water once several years ago – just in case.

Question: Would you allow any other service professional to tell you how they were going to perform a service for you? Consider this scenario:

You want your carpets cleaned and you call Joe Carpet Cleaner to do the job because (a) he is the only carpet cleaner in town, (b) he has 20 years’ experience, or (c) he was first in the phonebook. As you are talking, you tell him exactly which rooms and area rugs you want cleaned and that you want the furniture moved to do it.

He says, “Well, I know it is your house, but … I’ll clean your carpets my way, and only 3 of the 5 rooms you wanted cleaned, no area rugs will be done, I have to charge you for doing the stairs too, even if you don’t have any, no furniture will be moved, and I want $2,000 as payment.”   Would you say, “Well … okay, Joe, whatever you say—you’re the expert in carpets”? Or would you maybe say something not quite so nice? Would you ever allow someone to charge you money for a service you didn’t want, and direct it entirely to boot?   Childbirth is so much more important than our carpets, yet when we fail to realize that we are consumers who can call all the shots, the parents of the baby being born and also people whose desires need to be respected, we can feel helpless … and you are very powerful.

Birthing couples have many options and as much power as they want; they just need to exercise it. It is your responsibility to become educated so that you can make informed decisions that will help you achieve your birthing goals.

Hypnobabies Secret #2: Doctors, nurses and midwives are just people like you and me; people who are taking care of their own agendas, and trying to do what they feel is best to have a good outcome for you and your baby with as little risk as possible for everyone, including themselves. They have special training, but not special powers. So if we as consumers will look at them as people, we will have a much easier time of interacting with them if they begin to manage childbirth differently than what we have expressed we want.

In reality, it is the expectant/birthing couple who have the ultimate responsibility for all pregnancy and birthing decisions as well as their newborn’s care. Each couple will make these decisions based on what is right for their own family—just taking care of their own birth preferences/agenda, the same way doctors and nurses do.   Obstetrical care providers are actually people who very much want to keep their jobs. In order to do so, they have a lot to be concerned about:

• Concern over something going wrong, since they’ve seen everything that actually might go wrong (even very rare things that go wrong)  which leads them to a …

• Fear of liability, since we live in a culture that is highly litigious, as well as …

• Fear of repercussion from hospitals where they have privileges, if they don’t adhere to routine protocols which were constructed to protect the hospitals from liability, etc.

Realizing that prenatal care providers are simply people like you, who have their own personal and professional agendas that may not coincide with yours at all times, will help you to be more confident about your own birthing plans. This helps you become stronger in your convictions and to adhere to them in the absence of complications. This also ensures your Hypnobabies birth will be much smoother and more satisfying to you.

That said, if you have chosen to give birth in a hospital, even though you have the same legal rights and personal choices as a birth center or homebirthing family, you need to understand:

There are medical (legal) protocols that dictate how obstetricians may practice within that hospital setting which dictate how your obstetrician manages your care.

Common birthing procedures (which are optional) may be presented as “mandatory policies” by hospital staff. This means that ALL choices are still yours to make, and you can choose to enforce all of your preferences in the absence of complications.

You might also choose to be more flexible with your original birthing plans to avoid conflict if that makes sense to you at the time. Ask for all the information you need to make an informed decision. Remember, it is always your choice whether to consent or to refuse any procedure or intervention suggested. Trust your instincts, and know that whatever decisions and choices you make are the right ones for you and your baby.

Midiwfe Mom Birth Center DopplerYou may want to consider doing some research into midwifery care, birth centers, and home birthing which have all been proven to be safe and healthy options for an easier and more satisfying childbirth experience. The midwifery model of care is mother-centered, which means more time is spent during prenatal visits discussing natural birth options and offering emotional support. It is also important to note that all of the countries with maternal and infant mortality rates lower than those in the US have midwives attending the majority of low risk births.

Hypnobabies moms speak out about their rights:

Mary K.: Before our Hypnobabies course, it never occurred to me that I could decline services!  It saved so much stress for me at my prenatal appointments; they never checked to see how far I was dilated because I declined every time.  I saw other friends who were pregnant return from their appointments with numbers to dwell on, but I was calm and peaceful knowing my daughter would arrive when it was her time! Sarah V.: Hypnobabies gently led us to a low intervention birth. One of the ways this was possible was through creating birth preferences which provided the opportunity for my birth partner and I to discuss and consider each step of the birth. I've shared our birth preferences with many interested women and couples. Crystal D.: Hypnobabies provides an amazing depth of knowledge and information so you can make truly informed decisions about your care during pregnancy and when you are birthing. Having this information enabled us to have the completely hands-off, intervention-free birth that we had dreamed of.

Jenny B.: Putting my birth preferences down on paper helped me to see more clearly how confident I was about the choices I was making. Everything was so very clearly stated and reasonable that I knew my care providers would not have a problem supporting me! They didn’t!

Megan M.: I know that having the amazing births I had was in part because I knew how to talk with my care providers.  I was able to make good choices and communicate what I wanted, and I felt confident doing so because I had the information and knowledge to back up my choices.

Amber D.: The education I learned in Hypnobabies was incredible. If I hadn't learned that the saline lock was unnecessary in most cases, then I would have left the hospital weighing more than when I went in just like my non-Hypnobabies friend did. She was so swollen because of the saline... and for no reason! Hypnobabies taught me to take ownership of my baby's birth. And that has empowered me to be more confident in trusting my instincts when it comes to raising my child.

Amanda S.: Hypnobabies helped me to realize that vaginal exams at the end of pregnancy tell us nothing, and can actually cause discouragement and frustration.  It is not worth it!  With my second daughter, I was thrilled to learn at 36 weeks, that I was 3cm and 80% effaced.  I left my appointment thinking I would be having a baby that weekend.  The following week I was 4cm.  The weeks kept passing. Finally...my daughter was born two days shy of 40 weeks.  Had I not had that vaginal exam, I would have saved myself a great deal of discouragement, and asking, "Why is she not here?"  For my third daughter, I skipped all vaginal exams until I was over 41 weeks.  It was then I learned that I was not dilated at all.  I didn't let myself feel discouraged.  I simply told the doctor, "That's ok, we both know it tells us nothing.  Women do not give birth by numbers".  I had my daughter less than 48 hours later.

Tracy G.: I loved how Hypnobabies worked on empowering the mother to not be a passive bystander in their birth but an active participant. I of course would and wanted input from the medical professionals who cared for me but I also felt empowered to give educated opinions on the different options and make my own choices.

Learn more about our Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Classes or our Home Study Course

Copyright © 2014 Hypnobabies LLC, All Rights Reserved - No Copying, Reprinting, Re-posting or Distribution Allowed. If you like our post, please link to it!

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By Kerry Tuschhoff, Founder/Director of Hypnobabies

Today’s expectant couples are very proactive in their approach to childbirth preparation. They are well-educated, techno-savvy, and do a lot of research to help themselves make informed decisions for their baby’s birth. This is one of the reasons that our Hypnobabies program has become so popular with pregnant couples. In Hypnobabies we teach how their pregnancy and birthing choices will affect their baby’s health, their own birthing experience, and the association of the mother with the baby for the rest of their lives

mom dad laptop floor

Pregnant families understand fully that they need to take responsibility for their baby’s birth, and that failure to do so may result in care providers making those decisions for them without their educated input. Pregnant couples are no longer willing to give up their own control over decisions made in pregnancy, childbirth, and their new baby’s care, and Hypnobabies helps them to learn, practice, and use not only the best hypno-childbirth skills available, but also to create the birth of their dreams, without unnecessary medical intervention.


Do YOU have a beautiful vision of what you want your baby’s birth to be?

Most women do, and in order to have the best chance of fulfilling that vision, there is much to know … and much to do. The first thing we need to admit to ourselves is that no matter what others have told us, no matter how many TV shows, books, and websites have tried to portray it differently, in actuality women’s bodies were perfectly designed: to carry and grow a child through pregnancy, to give birth without intervention or complications, and to easily nourish a baby. The truth is, every woman knows this innately in her heart and in her soul. Challenges to this innate knowledge only arise when we allow ourselves to be convinced otherwise. If we allow any other person or set of events to dictate what our pregnancies and birth experiences are going to be … our own vision of what is right for us and our babies vanishes. Fear takes its place, others' agendas replace our own. This erosion of our innate understanding of what childbirth can be is disappointing to some and devastating to others.

Do you want to feel safe and secure when you give birth?

All women have this need, and for some that feeling of security will be in a hospital with all that technology can provide. Others will only feel safe and secure when they choose to birth in the calmness of their home or at a birth center. No matter where you feel the safest, your birth experience belongs to you. You deserve an opportunity to make the decisions that will create your beautiful birthing; easy, joyful, and empowering.

We must all recognize the value of medical intervention in childbirth, when necessary. Proper and timely intervention during a complicated birth can save lives, and there’s no question about that.
However, since around 90% or more of all births are absolutely normal in all respects, intervention should be much less common than it is. Please understand that many routine obstetrical procedures have been put into place to serve the legal needs of the medical facilities where a birth is taking place and may not be in the best interest of the birthing family.

Education about pregnancy and childbirth choices and rights is truly the key here. Learning about the choices you will be making, understanding that all choices belong to you, and knowing how to make your choices confidently can happen easily and quickly. The information in our Hypnobabies program has been compiled to help our students empower themselves and to enjoy their beautiful births through informed, educated decisions.  

Quoting the World Health Organization: “In normal birth there should be a valid reason to interfere with the natural process.”

This includes things such as artificial rupture of membranes, artificially induced births, routine continuous fetal heart monitoring, and the routine use of pain relief drugs, including epidurals. Note that while there most certainly are legitimate uses for every one of these medical interventions and procedures, studies have shown that their routine use with all birthing women can lead to further interventions and a higher Cesarean section rate.

Physiological birthing

Birth, being a natural and normal process in the overwhelming majority of cases, should be allowed toMom BT Leaning Forward progress with as little direct intervention as possible, and interventions should be used only when medically indicated. In addition, the choices you make for your baby’s birth can impact your ability to use your hypnosis skills and comfort techniques. When a mother desires all the dynamics in her Birthing Time to be positive, her choices must follow suit.

Please understand that the information presented here is pro-normal, physiological birth, not anti-medical. It is important to know the alternatives to routine procedures so that when faced with the choice of accepting or declining any particular intervention during your baby’s birthing, you’ll know something about it beforehand and you’ll be able to make an informed decision at the time. It is also your responsibility to evaluate for yourself what this information means to you. It’s up to you to decide how you want to plan your birth, which procedures you might choose to accept as offered, and which you will refuse or accept only under limited situations. You and your baby deserve to have the most current, evidence-based facts about what treatment you receive.

Hypnobabies advocates evidence-based birth practices and the consumer’s right to fully informed choice:

Evidence-based maternity care means practices that have been shown by the highest quality, most current medical evidence to be most beneficial to mothers and babies (reducing incidences of injuries, complications, and death), with care tailored to the individual.”

~ ImprovingBirth.Org http://www.improvingbirth.org/the-evidence-shows
kimberly mcQ baby


As a childbirth education organization, we only provide our students with information; what our students do with it is entirely their choice. At Hypnobabies we do not provide any medical advice, practice medicine, or advise our students to make any particular pregnancy or birthing choices. We encourage all expectant parents to learn what their choices are, to do more research on anything that is of concern to them, and to make their own decisions. Care providers will also respond more favorably to your interests and concerns when they understand that you are educated and speaking on behalf of your own beliefs.

Pregnancy and childbirth can be so joyful and powerful, and will continue to have an effect on the new mother and her partner, their baby, and even the birth professionals that attend the birth and support the family. Knowledge and its loving use can create strong, positive decisions and birthing bliss!

Learn more about our Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Classes and our  Home Study Course.
Copyright © 2014 Hypnobabies LLC, All Rights Reserved - No Copying, Reprinting, Re-posting or Distribution Allowed. If you like our post, please link to it!

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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best! 

Here we see Beth in "Transformation", very comfortable, her hubby reading hypnosis scripts. She shares what she was feeling and the reactions of the birth professionals around her as she gave birth easily in the hospital with Hypnobabies.

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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Beth arrives at her hospital at 5 cm dilated, very comfortable, feeling "ridiculous" because it is so easy that she can't believe she's really in her birthing time: "This is too easy!" She shares that she had to fake not being able to talk when she arrived so the nurses would believe that she needed to be checked
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Fetal MonitorHypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Evidence-Based Fetal Monitoring
by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
© Copyright Evidence Based Birth

Here is some great information from www.evidencebasedbirth.com on fetal monitoring. Know your options!

"I believe that it is beneficial to monitor a baby’s heart rate during labor. But the majority of American women receive the wrong type of fetal monitoring for their situation. They receive something called continuous electronic monitoring instead of intermittent auscultation."

"But what’s the big deal? Well, first of all, everybody else in the world tends to follow our example. U.S. hospitals have invested over $700 million dollars in electronic fetal monitoring equipment that is NOT evidence-based and contributes to unnecessary Cesarean deliveries. Do you think developing countries around the world should be following our example, spending precious resources on this equipment? Second, most women in our country do not give informed consent for electronic fetal monitoring. The vast majority of women in the U.S. have no idea about the benefits and risks of the #1 most common obstetric procedure used in labor and delivery– electronic fetal monitoring." You can see all the evidence HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Here is a great take on Hypnobabies from Hypno-Mom and Hypnobabies Instructor Susan May!

"It is realistic to expect that birth can be safe and enjoyable. Most of the time birth will happen the way it is meant to for mom and baby if they are left alone. What isn't realistic is the current culture of fear that surrounds birth."
susan MayAs a Hypnobabies instructor I have had to learn how to walk a very fine line. A basic premise of the class and of hypnosis is that our minds are very powerful and will work to create that which we dwell upon. So OF COURSE we want to feed the mind ONLY positive messages about childbirth. Hypnobabies does this really well - through affirmations, hypnosis tracks and scripts, and videos of beautiful, empowered births. Every mom also creates a special safe place for herself and her baby and a Bubble of Peace for times when there is negativity in their environment. This tool helps them to keep positive messages around them while keeping the negative away.

The tricky part is also embracing the fact that birth is inherently unpredictable and that every mother and baby's experience will be unique. Some birthing times (labors) are long and some are short. Some mother's stay very quiet while birthing and others ROAR their babies out. Some mama's can switch "off" (a Hypnobabies self-hypnosis tool) laying down and relaxing very deeply while experiencing pressure waves (contractions), while others prefer to be in "center" so they can stand or sit up and rock during waves. Ok, so you get the idea - each birth is DIFFERENT.

A criticism that often comes up of Hypnobabies is that by encouraging this positive mindset for women's births - that birth can in fact be peaceful, comfortable, and joyful - that we are setting women up for disappointment.

I believe that this statement underestimates women and I know that this mentality undermines both women using and NOT using Hypnobabies for childbirth.

First of all, I know that birth CAN BE all of the things listed above - because I experienced at least 2 of the 3 and I know many women who have experienced it all - some even having what they consider PAIN FREE births. So the question is, how is it helpful for us to prepare a woman by being "realistic" - which usually implies that birth has to be painful or difficult?  Read the rest of Susan's story HERE.
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What is the Evidence for Pushing Positions?
By Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Here is some food for thought about the evidence for pushing positions and what positions are easiest, fastest and safest for mothers and their babies, from Hypnobabies mom, Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN, who is a medical researcher and the author of Evidence Based Birth.

pushing-lying-downResearchers hypothesize that pushing in an upright position is beneficial for multiple reasons. In an upright position, gravity can assist in bringing the baby down and out. Also, when a woman is upright, there is less risk of compressing the mother’s aorta and thus a better oxygen supply to the baby. Upright positioning also helps the uterus contract more strongly and efficiently and helps the baby get in a better position to pass through the pelvis. Finally, X-ray evidence has shown that the actual dimensions of the pelvic outlet become wider in the squatting and kneeling/hands-knees positions (Gupta et al. 2012).

However, despite these proposed benefits of pushing in an upright position, most women in the U.S. give birth either lying on their backs (57%) or in a semi-sitting/lying position with the head of the bed raised up (35%). A small minority of women give birth in alternative positions such as side lying (4%), squatting or sitting (3%), or hands-knees position (1%) (Declercq, Sakala et al. 2007).

It is thought that most women are encouraged to push in a lying or semi-sitting positions because it is more convenient for the care provider. When women are lying or semi-lying in bed, it is easier to access the woman’s abdomen to monitor the fetal heart rate. Care providers are also more comfortable with the lying or semi-sitting position because this is how many of them are trained to attend births (Gupta et al. 2012). This caregiver preference for non-upright positions has persisted, despite the fact that current major obstetric textbooks state that it is beneficial for women to push in upright positions, especially for first-time moms (Kilpatrick and Garrison 2012).  Read the rest of this informative artice HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

First time mom's Hypnobabies hospital birth.

"Checked in thinking they were going to send me home and the Dr. said I was 8 cm!"
Baby Ryleigh Claire Barron 1Ryleigh Claire Barron came into the world November 9th, 2012 at 2 am.

I do not know where to even begin because everything about the birth was such a great experience. I don't think I would have gotten through the whole pregnancy without Hypnobabies.

I went to see Joanne (ob/gyn) at 38 weeks and when she checked I was 4 cms. I wasn't feeling any different so I went with my regular schedule and when I got home I got lunch, went to the gym, visited a friend and when I got in my car to drive home I knew something was different. I got home, cooked supper, took your advice in baking and just tried to " chill out". Nick came home from work and all I could do was laugh because they were 5 mins apart and I was so excited. All this time having no pain just pressure:) I listened to pretty well all the tracks, got a warm bath, and read up on the birthing info from Hypnobabies. At 11 pm the pressure waves were 3 mins apart and 60 secs long. We decided to head on in to the hospital. I didn't go earlier because I was almost waiting for the intensity to increase. We got to the hospital but not before Nick played "disk 4 track 1". Checked in thinking they were going to send me home and the Dr. said I was 8 cm! By the time I got to the birthing room I was 9! Time was flying by. I kept playing any track and I was able to listen to our nurse and handle the pressure with Nick’s help. I tried the laughing gas but that sucked! I didn't need anything else because she was born at 2 am! It was the most amazing experience we have ever been through. Did I mention I did not need one stitch! Other nurses were coming in not believing it and Nick just explained it was our hypnosis.

We cannot get over the effect that Hypnobabies has had not only on our pregnancy but the way we view life. It has truly changed our lives and we are forever grateful. I would recommend Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis to anyone who is pregnant.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

25 Things to Do With Baby 
By Jennifer L.W. Fink

Baby is here...Now what do I do? Here are some great ideas on playing with your itsy-bitsy!

mom baby reading2You know it’s important to play with your baby -- the right kind of play isn’t just fun, it’s also interesting, educational and a bonding experience. But figuring out how to interact with a scrunched-up newborn and how to happily occupy an unruly 14-month-old are their own unique challenges. That’s why we came up with this handy guide, covering activities for babies (and toddlers) from birth to age two.

Just one thing before you read: Babies develop at different rates. If your baby doesn’t seem ready for a certain activity, try it again in a month or two. Know that all babies are different. Your baby also could downright hate an activity we suggest. That’s normal! Feel free to improvise (and leave your suggestions in the comments!).

0 months: Swing time
Don't break out the baby swing just yet. (And definitely stay away from playground swings for now!) Until baby gets better head control, try folding a bedsheet in half (twin or queen-size sheets work best) and then lay it on the ground and place your baby in the middle. With an adult positioned at either end, pick up the ends of the bedsheet until baby is off the ground. Make sure baby is safely and securely resting inside and no parts of the sheet are covering her nose or mouth. “Swing the baby slowly to watch for her reaction,” says Kimberly Lyons, MEd, CMT, founder and owner of Tum e Time, a baby play center in San Francisco. “If your baby enjoys it, try singing a lullaby as she relaxes in the hammock.”

This activity can help your baby build strong bones and muscles -- and just may soothe a fussy baby to sleep! Just be careful to swing gently and safely!

1 month: Wear your baby
Babies love skin-to-skin contact, but you can’t just sit and cuddle all day. A baby carrier, such as a ring sling or a strap-on front carrier, lets your baby snuggle in close while freeing up your hands. Wearing your baby also provides him with a wealth of stimulation. “Wearing babies allows them to see what you see and begin to make sense of the world as you wear them while you work, clean and run errands,” says Bethany Gonzalez Moreno, founder of B. EcoChic, a company that helps parents find eco-friendly baby products.

Young babies should be worn facing inward, not outward, to avoid overstimulation and so their heads have proper support. Make sure baby has plenty of room to breathe while you're carrying him.  You can find the rest of these great ideas HERE.
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