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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

What is Patient-Centered Maternity Care?

by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
© Copyright Evidence Based Birth.


Rebecca Dekker of Evidence Based Birth is a Hypno-Mom and we love sharing all her informative articles with you! One of the many things we discuss in Hypnobabies is how women are responsible for making the choices and decisions regarding their care.
NND pregnant-woman-reading-150x150
A few months ago, I had a conversation with some hospital adminstrators about their hospital’s policies for the labor and delivery unit. As I listened to them explain some policies to me (I believe we were talking about visitor policies while a woman is giving birth), I was struck by how many times they used the phrases, “We might let a woman do this,” or “In some cases, we might allow a patient to do this, but only if they did this beforehand.” I couldn’t listen to it anymore. I held up my hand to indicate that I wanted to speak, and I said (very politefully, I hope!):

“I hate to interrupt you. But something you keep saying is really jumping out at me. You keep saying, ‘We might let a woman do this,’ or ‘We might allow a patient to do this.’ Excuse me? I am the patient. This is MY birth. I choose what I want to do, you don’t ‘LET’ me do anything!”

They sat there, and their eyes got really wide, and they just looked at me and then at each other. They looked quite surprised. I wondered if this thought had never crossed their minds before.

Learn more about patient centered care HERE.
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Posted by on in Know Your Options
Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Pushing Positions
By: Connie Banack, CLD

Hypnobabies moms are encouraged to follow their body and push in whatever position feels right to them!
Mom BT Leaning Forward
Current obstetrical practices during second stage were developed with the attendant, rather than the
birthing mother, in mind. The lithotomy position, with a mother flat on her back and her feet in stirrups,
was once the standard position in hospitals for women to give birth and in some hospitals it is still the
norm. This was believed to be the ideal position for doctors to deliver the baby while sitting or standing
in attendance. The doctor had easy access to watch, to help with delivery if needed, and to intervene
when he or she felt it necessary.
Whom it wasn't ideal for was the mother who has to push her baby uphill against the force of gravity
when lying on her back. The common lack of progress despite the mother's strong efforts often led to a
forceps delivery of the baby. With the mother's perineum stretched by the positioning of the stirrups
making tearing was much more common. Doctors started to believe that episiotomies were needed to
"protect" the mother's perineum because of the large number of tears they observed in this position and
the difficulty women had in pushing their babies out while lying prone. Episiotomies became the norm
and were easy to do for the doctor because of the access to her perineum. Today, episiotomy rates are
plummeting as this research confirms that the side effects of unnecessarily cutting the perineum are
long lasting and avoidable in most circumstances. Women revolted against the lithotomy position, and
other routine obstetrical practices, in the late 1960's and the semi-sitting posture is now seen in almost
all hospital birthing rooms. But is this position any better for mother and baby?
You can find the rest of this article HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Blokes, Boobs & Breastfeeding – Dads, Your Support Is Crucial

By David Vernon
Editor, With Women (2007), Men at Birth (2006) and Having a Great Birth in Australia (2005)

Do you know the #1 reason for women giving up on breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding infantMen, here’s a quick quiz for you. What is the biggest cause of women giving up breastfeeding?

a) The pain of cracked nipples?
b) The constant demand for feeding from the baby?
c) Leaking breasts?
d) Difficulty in getting the baby to ‘latch on’ and obtain adequate milk?
e) None of the above?

Very few of the men who attend my parenting seminars get the correct answer. The answer is ‘e’.

While cracked nipples, feeding demands, leaking breasts and problems with ‘latching on’ can all take their toll and make feeding difficult in the early days, the vast majority of women can work through these problems and feed successfully and enjoyably within a few weeks.

Sadly, and often surprisingly for the men to whom I give the above question, the correct answer is that “Men [unsupportive of breastfeeding] are the biggest cause of women giving up breastfeeding.”

There is a significant amount of research indicating that where men are not supportive of breastfeeding, absolute breastfeeding rates are lower, and women who do breastfeed wean their babies earlier. So how could this be? Why are men the cause?
Men Want To Do Something… Anything!  You will find the rest of this great article HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Hypnobabies teaches medical hypnosis! ... the same medical hypnosis pain elimination tools that surgeons and dentists have used in the U.S. since the 1950's for patients who need surgical procedures but cannot tolerate drug anesthetics.

Surgical spell: Using Hypnosis Instead of Anesthesia
By Josh Shaffer
NeedlesAreOKPHOTO
RALEIGH,N.C. - Bob Dick recently toughed his way through a 90-minute total knee replacement without the aid of anesthesia, choosing to stay awake through the chisel and the buzz of the electric saw.

When he reached Duke University Hospital, in Durham, North Carolina, he started breathing deeply, a signal for his body to relax. Next he held his thumb and forefinger together, imagining a walk around the pond at his home. Then he told himself, “Now it’s safe to go into a comfortable learning trance.”

So began Dick’s surgery by hypnosis, which he describes as being so trouble-free that he hardly realized it happened. He had nerve-blockers reducing the pain throughout the surgery, but his deep relaxation techniques made “going under” a needless step.  See the entire article HERE
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Trauma, Traumatic Birth, and Recovery
By Amy Meister-Stetson - ImprovingBirth.org’s Trauma Care Coordinator

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Hypnobabies friends at ImprovingBirth.org wrote this informative article about birth trauma, and recovery ~
bigstock Newborn Rough Towels Cleaned up 2364114-2“I looked fine because of the epidural, but I went to a very dark place in my mind, having flashbacks about being victimized in childhood. I was freaking out inside, feeling helpless about keeping my baby safe in that moment, but nobody knew it. It was horrible. Now that I’m pregnant again, I’m terrified of it happening a second time.”

This mother’s experience is far too common, as many women are left with feelings of numbness, grief, shame, guilt, or sadness, and experience nightmares or flashbacks after giving birth. The well-intentioned cheer “at least you have a healthy baby” can feel dismissive and even cruel to the women who feel shattered by their births.

According to Cheryl Beck, author of Traumatic Childbirth, birth trauma is defined as “an event occurring during the labor and delivery process that involves actual or threatened serious injury or death to the mother or her infant. The birthing woman experiences intense fear, helplessness, loss of control and horror.” She also probably feels stripped of her dignity and autonomy.  You can read the rest of this very informative article HERE.

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Going to Visit Family or Friends Who Have a New Baby?  Follow These Tips!
By Laurelin Evanhoe

Hypnobabies®- Natural Childbirth at its best!

The absolute BEST and most thorough list of suggestions for visiting and helping the family of a newborn we’ve ever seen (and we’ve seen a LOT of these articles)!

baby and mom 6-2Your friend or family member has a new baby. You want to visit. You want to help. You want to meet that amazing new little person! Before you go, read this primer on how to be a good visitor to a family with a newborn in the house — the kind of visitor who will make the family feel loved, supported, and forever grateful!

Included are guidelines that apply to all visitors, plus tips specifically for close friends and family, long-term visitors, and friends and family who live far away but would like to help nonetheless. These tips are suggestions and ideas, not demands. Visitors should follow the suggestions with which they and the family are comfortable. And of course, no visitor would be expected to carry out every one of the suggested tasks – there are enough ideas below for a whole community of helpers!

All of these great suggestions can be found HERE.
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Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Amazing! 5' tall Hypno-Mom and RN Bridget shares her hospital birth of 11 pound baby Jonah with us.

"My husband grabbed a few camera shots during this 6 hour labor with my 2nd baby Judah. I know it looks like I'm somewhat drugged but I promise I had no pain meds and no epdiural! I had practiced "self-hypnosis" or deep relaxation techniques throughout pregnancy that enabled me to experience a very calm, comfortable, almost pain free birth naturally... and he ended up being 11 pounds. I had epidural and pain meds with my first and going natural was so much more enjoyable for me."
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Hypnobabies: Natural Childbirth at its Best!

Great video of our own Susan McClutchey, a two-time Hypnobabies mom and instructor in Durham, NC! In this interview she answers the reporters questions about why she choose Hypnobabies for her babies' births and what it means to her to teach other families how to enjoy childbirth.
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Hypnobabies: Natural Childbirth at its Best!

"Our women and babies are continually put "at risk" in the name of avoiding risk."
By Best Daily
Milli Hill discusses the birthing 'grey areas'

preg mom 2 smallerIf you believe everything you read, then you probably think that childbirth is one of the riskiest activities any human can undertake.

Actually, it isn't, and statistically you're massively more likely to meet your maker behind the wheel of your motor. However, whilst most episodes of Top Gear tend to skip the bit about your odds of death, it seems like we can't have a conversation about childbirth without focusing almost entirely on the seemingly limitless list of things that might go wrong.

This focus on risk is becoming disproportionate, says Cathy Warwick, CEO of the Royal College of Midwives:

"There is concern at the RCM and among midwives, that our focus on risk, and the way that we are describing risk, is making women feel scared. Ironically, creating fear, in itself, causes risk – if women are fearful then they are less likely to release the hormones needed for a straightforward birth."

Please find the rest of the informative article HERE.
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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

This wonderful Hypnobabies video comes to us from Hypno-mom, Tiffany Burns.

"Thanks to Hypnobabies I was able to enjoy a completely natural pain free birth with out drugs. My birthing time was filled with lots of smiles and laughter. The relaxation techniques I learned with Hypnobabies allowed me to listen to my body; from knowing I needed to be home to give birth to when to push. Amazing that no one has to tell you when or how to push!!"

"I would not describe the pressure waves as painful at all. They were strong but not painful. I used my Hypnobabies peace cue, special place technique and 'ahhh' vocalization to relax my body during each pressure wave. The stronger the pressure waves got the more excited I would get and coming out of each pressure wave I would smile knowing that soon I would be holding my baby girl. At 8:45pm I decided to have Clarice check me. I was 10 cm. At that point my husband and son had come upstairs which happened to be perfect timing. Clarice suggested that I sit on the toilet for a while. Sitting on the toilet was just what I needed. After two cxt my water broke. As soon as it did I felt increasingly pushy."



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Hypnobabies: Natural Childbirth at its Best!

Hypnobabies instructor Erica Gunderson shares her Home Birth After Cesarean (HBAC) birthing story on the Twin Cities Hypnobabies website and we're sharing with you!
HBAC
Dear sweet Aubryn,

You are just over two months old now and the absolute light of my life! We have spent the last two months cuddling, nursing, and getting to know and love each other more and more each day. I could not imagine a more perfect little girl to join our family - your Brothers, Daddy, and I are so blessed.

This is the story of how you entered the world.

I decided as soon as I found out that we were expecting a baby, that I wanted to have you at home. I longed to be able to hold my baby immediately after birth and get all of the uninterrupted skin-to-skin cuddle time that I could handle - something I never had with your brothers. I wanted you wet, slimy, perfectly new, and placed in my arms for your Dad and I to awe over for as long as we wanted. I couldn’t wait for this experience!

The weeks leading up to your birth were filled with anticipation, and I’ll admit it, a good deal of effort to get you to arrive sooner rather than later. I ate lots of fresh pineapple and spicy thai food, had lots of “alone time” with Dad, chiropractic adjustments, we walked, and listened to the Hypnobabies “Come out Baby” track. Forty weeks had come and gone, and without very many signs from my body (other than a lot of braxton hicks waves) I thought it might be a bit before you would come earthside.

During my 40 week prenatal appointment, our midwife Kate had mentioned acupuncture as a gentle way to encourage waves if I was wanting something to start. She was completely fine with letting you come whenever you were ready, and didn’t think acupuncture was necessary, but that it also wouldn’t hurt anything. I decided to give it a go! I received my first treatment on Thursday at 40 weeks and 2 days. I was told many moms go into their birthing time a day or two later if they are favorable, so I was crossing my fingers this would be the case for me! Read the rest of this beautiful story HERE.
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Hypnobabies: Natural Childbirth at its Best!

This short, sweet, almost-born-in-the-car Hypnobabies birth story comes to us from Leigh Anne Hancock, Hypnobabies instructor in Nashville, TN!
Christy baby
I had the pleasure of having Cristy and Casey in my most recent Hypnobabies class. Cristy's guess date was three days after the finish of our last class. Casey asked during our birth rehearsal, "How do we know when to go to the hospital? I really don't want to have a baby on the side of the road." I'm thankful that Casey was able to think about what he might do in that situation.

Two days ago, Casey called to let me know that they had their baby. It was great getting to hear about a Hypnobabies birth from a Dad first. He supported his wife wonderfully by staying calm and confident. Here is the birth story from Mom's prospective, with me filling in with Dad's phone conversation comments. Congrats to Cristy and Stephen.
~Leigh Anne


Our Birth Story:
Mom: Our baby was born on July 12, 2014 at 8:26 pm. Baby was 6lbs-10oz, 19 1/2 inches and was a.....BOY !!! Everett Jay! My birth was amazing. I can not imagine it going any better. I was at lunch with my mom around 2:30pm and lost my mucus plug. We went to her house and I started having light pressure waves.

I drove home and asked Casey to meet me. By the time I got home the waves were more intense. I put on a Hypnobabies cd, got in the shower and then laid down. At 5:30pm my pressure waves were only about 35 seconds in length, but two minutes apart. This confused me, and because I wasn't in pain, so I waited. At about 7pm Casey heard me starting to "ahhh" and thought we should go to the hosptial.

Dad: Cristy wanted to do some last minute cleaning of the house, but I insisted that we needed to get to the hospital because of the sounds that she was making.  To see how the story ends you can read it HERE.



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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

A Hypnobabies birth story from Twin Cities, MN ... shared with us by Hypnobabies instructor, Anne Ferguson who was also their Hypno-doula!
Birth StoryThe summer is halfway gone and my winter baby is no longer a newborn. It is probably time to write my second born’s birth story before the finer points melt away like the snow already has!

My first born, Delsy, was born in June 2012 in the hospital using Hypnobabies. It was a long birthing time. It was a good, but somewhat difficult birth. (Read the story here) And I hated staying in the hospital afterwards. So when I found out that I was pregnant again in the summer of 2013, I looked at our insurance benefits again and realized that free-standing birthing centers were covered in-network! I quickly transferred care to Minnesota Birth Center and signed up to take the Hypnobabies course again with Anne, who had been our hypno-doula with Delsy and was now a Hypnobabies instructor.


The pregnancy was thankfully uneventful. My husband, Willi, and I choose not to find out the sex of our baby. The guess date was 2/1/2014, but since our daughter had been 13 days past her guess date, I was definitely counting on a February baby. As my guess date approached, I was pretty sure that K2 (our baby’s nickname) was posterior, so I
spent a lot of time doing positioning exercises and tried to only sit on an exercise ball (which was about the only comfortable way to sit anyway).

On Tuesday, January 28th, I had a couple of friends and their little ones over for a play date. I remember feeling “off” and having a hard time concentrating on the conversations that were going on. That evening, I went to a community acupuncture clinic, and relaxed for about an hour while receiving acupuncture and listening to the Fear Clearing track and pregnancy affirmations. During that hour, I had a few pretty significant practice waves that felt a little “different”. I had been having lots of these since week 20, but they had never been this strong. I remember saying “open, open” in my head while I was having these waves.  Read the rest of this story and many other HERE
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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

Another great article on the importance of being patient with 3rd stage and the delaying of cord clamping.

by Maggie Banks (Ph D, RM, RGON) homebirth midwife and midwifery educator
Baby Newborn Screaming w-Doctor
The third stage of labour is a powerful and mysterious time; more important than we acknowledge and more complex than we know. These thirty minutes or so, which begin as the mother births her baby and finish as she births her baby’s placenta, are usually uneventful compared to the drama of labour and birth, leading many (including many care providers) to think that the birth is already completed. However, enormous changes are happening in the brain and body of mother and baby, all of which are crucial for their survival in the short, medium and long-term. The substantial contribution of the third stage to species survival predicts that evolutionary investment will be high, with substantial sophistication incorporating multiple systems and adjustments.

For the mother, the major adjustment is the shift from pregnant to non-pregnant and especially the sudden separation of her baby’s placenta, which has been intimately associated with her cardiovascular system for the duration of her pregnancy. As the baby’s placenta peels off her shrinking uterine wall, rather like a postage stamp peeling off a deflating balloon, she must seal the blood vessels on her side so that her uterine blood supply, flowing at one-half to one litres per minute, will not haemorrhage from the torn vessels.

This physiological miracle is accomplished by the mother’s uterine muscle fibres, which begin to contract and retract immediately after birth forming “living ligatures” that tighten like a purse-string, kinking and sealing off each maternal arteriole. The uterine contractions that provoke this life-saving haemostatis are triggered by surges of oxytocin, released in a crescendo from the new mother’s pituitary as she gives birth. Ongoing maternal pulses of oxytocin are released as she gazes at and touches her baby, and as her newborn massages, licks, and finally suckles her breast Matthiesen et al (2001). Maternal oxytocin levels peak around the time of placental expulsion Nissen et al (1995)and, in all mammals, oxytocin plays a major role in switching on instinctive mothering behaviour at this time Nelson & Panksepp (1998).  

Find the rest of this informative article HERE



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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

We love sharing these amazing, beautiful Hypnobabies birth videos with you!

Easy, Comfortable, Hypnobabies hospital birth at St Joe's with Generations midwives. "This is a first time mama and she was so calm during her birthing time... see if you can even tell when she is having a wave in the video!
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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

We love to hear from our Hypno-Moms on how they learned, practiced and used their Hypnobabies cues and techniques!

One of our Hypno-Moms, Laura sent us this video to encourage other expectant parents. She describes how Hypnobabies techniques helped her have easy, comfortable births.


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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

Birth Canal bacteria for Cesarean babies to improve gut flora, and reduce asthma and allergies later in life? (From the category of, "Our bodies are so amazing!")

by Carey Goldberg
123 Baby Skin to Skin 1The usual drill is to wipe the effluvia of birth off of newborn babies, cleaning them up and readying them for snuggling.

But in a fascinating departure, researchers have begun to experiment with the opposite: collecting birth-canal bacteria and wiping them onto babies after birth.

Why in the world? For good reason: to explore whether it might help babies delivered by C-section to restore some of the vaginal bacteria that they would have been exposed to if they’d gone through the birth canal.

Why do that? On the theory that altered bacterial populations could help explain why C-Section babies tend to have higher odds of asthma, allergies, obesity and other health risks.

Dr. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, an associate professor in the Human Microbiome Program at the NYU School of Medicine, presented some preliminary results on that research at a recent conference of the American Society for Microbiology here in Boston. Those initial findings suggest that indeed, using gauze to gather a mother’s birth-canal bacteria and then impart them to babies born by C-section does make those babies’ bacterial populations more closely resemble vaginally born babies — though only partially.

Read the rest of this informative article HERE
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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at it's Best!

A brand new story you are going to love!  This story comes to us from Hypnobabies Twin Cities

Home study momMy journey to Hypnobabies started when my dear friend from college sent me a book on Hypnobirthing when I was pregnant with my second child. She had a wonderful experience using the techniques with the birth of her son and thought I would take interest in it with the upcoming birth of my second baby, another girl. When I got it in the mail, I told myself that I should read it and have an open mind, as there was a reason why it was sent to me. The birth of my oldest daughter, Annika Nari, was a good experience. It was relatively short (8 hours) and it was without complications. The one thing that was noteworthy was that I had a lot of anxiety and fear with the whole birthing process and those feelings still loomed with the upcoming birth of our second child, nicknamed Baby AJ.

After reading the book, I was completely intrigued. Could birthing really be comfortable? Could it really be joyful and without fear? After doing some research, I found Hypnobabies and loved their philosophy and that they had a home study option (unfortunately, none of the classes fit my schedule). Without hesitation, I ordered the home study kit and started my journey to having a comfortable, easy, joyous child birth experience.

The home study materials were fantastic. I really enjoyed listening to the CD’s and practicing the self-hypnosis techniques (finger-drop method). It was incredibly relaxing and I really looked forward to my Hypnobabies time every day. The “Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations” were especially helpful in embracing my pregnant body and enjoying being pregnant, as my husband and I decided that this would be our last baby. In addition, the “Visualizing your Birth” track was awesome! I vividly pictured myself in the birthing process and that our Baby AJ would have the same darling face as our older daughter but with lighter colored hair. My special place that I created in my mind was nursing my Baby AJ in her room with the view out the window to be The Hotel Del Coronado in California. The hypnosis tracks cemented that place in my mind as comforting and safe, ultimately using it in conjunction with the “Peace” cue to aid me in the birthing process.

Read the rest of this beautiful story HERE
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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

We here at Hypnobabies love to learn about peaceful and wonderful ways to welcome new lives into the world!

A doula and expectant mother’s view of birth is forever changed when she sees a midwife simply place a newly born child below her mother at the moment of birth.

by Mary Esther Malloy, MA, CD(DONA), CLC, AAHCC
bigstock-Sleeping-newborn-baby-43511446 457x640
I am a mother of two children and am now expecting my third child.1 Both of my sons were born into the hands of midwives and passed directly to me. I will never forget those crazy, slippery, stunning moments in which I first held each of my sons. At the time, I couldn’t have imagined wanting to meet my children in any other way. And while I fully honor and appreciate the victory and beauty of the quick delivery of my babies onto my chest, I am now thinking rather differently about this typical midwife-passes-to-mom moment as I prepare to birth another baby in the coming months.


As a woman who supports other women in labor now—a doula—I have been witnessing something lately that has given me pause. And literally it is a pause, a birth pause, if you will. I have been deeply affected by what I have been seeing with a simple shift that allows a baby and its mother to find their own way to each other, unhurried, through the moment of birth and the minutes and hours following.  

Interested in hearing more about the "Birth Pause"?  Read the entire article HERE.

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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

I am a Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Doula

by Carole Thorpe, CHT, HCHI, HCHD, CLEC, CIHOM
Tanya Midwife Doula HubbyI assist women with Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis techniques for comfortable childbirth without drugs. I see women give birth in confidence, peacefully, awake and fully aware of the sensations of birth, in tune with their babies, and in control of their birthing bodies. I watch fathers assume their unique role of hypno-birth partner with confidence and quiet reverence. I see babies who are not drugged, who are strong and attentive at the moment of birth. This all occurs without fear, stress or struggle for the couple, for their baby, or their Hypno-Doula. Calm, peace, quiet, and tender loving kindness reign supreme in these couples' birthing rooms. So, for me, being a Hypno-Doula is rewarding beyond belief.

Before I was a Hypno-Doula, I was many other things ...

"Mom" to four children (all born without drugs or interventions; one hospital, one birth center and two home births). I'm also "Grammy" to five of the sweetest grandkids this side of heaven, and I'm "Carole/Mom" to my wonderful in-law kids. I've been a realtor, a graphic designer and illustrator, and a drawing instructor. Now, I am a certified hypnotherapist, a Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis instructor, a lactation educator and counselor, a homeopath and a Reiki practitioner...and of course, I am a Hypno-Doula. Long before any of us were called doulas, I taught my version of the "Best of Bradley & Lamaze" natural childbirth classes to hundreds of couples. I assisted at their births as a midwife/birth assistant for a doctor who specialized in home and birth center births. I had the immeasurable honor, and indescribable pleasure of catching a few of those babies myself. Those moms were in control of their birthing bodies, and stoic, even peaceful, in spite of what they were experiencing physically. Their babies were alert and amazingly strong, and breastfed immediately after birth. In short, I had the rarefied experience of assisting with hundreds of physiological births. No interventions, no medications, no hospital beds with stirrups...350 “normal” births. I assisted at the natural births of 3 sets of twins, and 2 babies who decided that breech was the way to come into the world. I am so very thankful for my unique background with childbirth, and the range of experience I bring to the profession called "doula".

Then I became a certified childbirth doula, what I call a “traditional doula”, and for the first time, I began attending hospital births. I attended the births of women who had been taught "what to expect" in their preparation for childbirth classes. I helped those women to "manage the pain" of childbirth, and to "cope with the inevitable pain". Pain that mothers learned was "pain with a purpose". Pain that mothers were told would ultimately "bring their babies" to them. I offered women comfort measures; back rubs, foot massages, cool cloths on their foreheads, counter pressure on their lower backs, hip squeezes, etc. I helped them with optimal positioning, and reminded them to eat and drink, and pee at the appropriate intervals, and I commiserated with their plight. I reassured them of the normalcy of childbirth, and did everything I knew to help them achieve natural childbirth in the face of that inevitable, daunting pain.

When I was a traditional doula, I would come home from many a birth with bruises on my hands or wrists where moms had clung to me in their fear, and in their anticipation of the next contraction. I would come home sometimes, and cry about how these births were so technological, and devoid of tender loving kindness and reverence. But the moms seemed happy enough, and dads were happy because they had their newborn prizes, and caregivers were pleased with the "outcomes", but I knew in my heart that these births were far from natural, and much less than normal or physiologic. The natural childbirth methods they had been taught were the only ones available at that time and I longed for “more” to help them with.

Not surprisingly, some of these moms "ended up with an epidural" with its resultant fluid loading and swelling. The kind of soft tissue swelling that makes pushing a baby through the birth canal nearly an impossibility, because the mother now has no urge to push, and she has been rendered immobile, with a catheter in place. Since mom was now paralyzed from the waist down, any positioning tricks I knew to help babies rotate and descend were worthless. I was distressed every time I had to witness the effects of medication on the birthing process. I was distressed that I could do nothing besides wait, watch the mother sleep through her medicated haze, and hope that the outcome would be good for the mother and her baby. Of course, I still assisted the occasional, stoic, peaceful mom who gave birth to her baby naturally, albeit in pain...

BUT, when I assisted my first Hypnobabies couple as their Hypno-Doula, I learned that birth could not only be natural and unmedicated, but that it could also be comfortable...even pain-free for some moms! I was on my way to becoming a Hypno-Doula exclusively. Once again, I was assisting at physiological births. I was observing that Hypnobabies births were easier for moms, easier for birth partners, certainly easier and more peaceful for the babies...and, you know who else these births were easier for? ... the DOULA! This is heaven, I thought to myself.

I became a Hypnobabies Instructor and I now teach women to use self-hypnosis techniques which automatically induce a kind of natural anesthetic sensation in the body; hypno-anesthesia. I have learned that while keeping my Hypno-doula clients comfortable in mind and body, Hypnobabies’ profoundly powerful hypnosis techniques also create (as a side-effect) the deepest physical relaxation in the body that I have ever seen. This helps my Hypno-mothers to remain calm, relaxed, comfortable, and joyful as they give birth and it is the most amazing gift that they give themselves and their babies.

Now I assist moms in directing their hypno-anesthesia throughout their bodies, to exactly where they need it, and I do this with my "tender-loving-kindness" voice. I describe to them, all the details of their Special Safe Place, and remind them to "be there now with their babies, safe and comfortable". In fact, I remind moms, "with every breath as you exhale, you go even deeper into hypnosis and comfort, and the more you relax the more comfort you feel, the deeper into hypnosis you can go, and the more powerful your anesthesia becomes", etc. I now use these beautiful hypnosis tools to assist moms, and their partners and their babies to have the births that every woman dreams of ... unmedicated, comfortable, awake and aware, in tune with her body, and in complete control of her baby's natural, normal birthing.

As a Hypno-Doula, I have many highly effective hypnosis "tools" to assist moms with natural birth. I have word cues that instantly help the mom to enter hypnosis and become comfortable. I can use her deep state of hypnosis to suggest that she create whatever she needs for herself or her baby in the moment. "With every breath, as you inhale, you inhale peace and comfort, and as you exhale you go deeper into hypnosis and breathe away tension". "Peace ... and powerful anesthesia, instantly, automatically flows all through you, from the top of your head all the way down to the tips of your toes ... and, you go even deeper now".

There are physical cues that work wonderfully as well. I can press gently on a Hypnobabies-prepared mother's shoulder and create an instantly deeper hypnosis and relaxation response. Instantly, all the muscles around her baby go loose and limp and lazy. NO tension ... NO fear ... NO discomfort here! I still offer cool cloths, and foot rubs, and other comfort measures, but not as a distraction measure to sidetrack, or minimize mom's perception of pain, but rather as an offering of loving attendance. I now help birthing mothers to eliminate discomfort in childbirth, not just help moms to cope with it. 70% of Hypnobabies moms experience an easy, comfortable birth. Most of the rest experience only mild to moderate degrees of discomfort, and they are able to manage that easily with their hypnosis techniques.

The best thing is, these moms can open their eyes while in Hypnobabies eyes-open childbirth hypnosis, move into positions that are favorable for birth's natural progression, and remain perfectly comfortable. No more waiting interminable hours for an epidural to wear off enough for the mother to push! On the average, a mom using hypnosis techniques for her birthing gives birth in less time than those moms who are experiencing fear and pain, and who are medicated. Without fear, tension, and pain, a woman can birth her baby more easily and quickly, which is another plus to being a Hypno-Doula!

So, I am here to tell you that being a traditional doula and helping a woman to become empowered by the suffering she endured while bringing her baby into the world, can never compare to being a Hypno-Doula and hearing a woman say, "I did it! It worked! It felt great and I can’t wait to do this again!" (this, as she lifts her baby up and onto her chest, just seconds after birthing him into her own hands).

Nothing I experienced as a traditional doula compares to the time when a doctor motioned me over to a corner of the delivery room to speak with me after he caught my doula client's baby. He had just witnessed a first-time mom give birth with a peaceful smile on her face. She appeared to be napping in between pushes, and then, she would open her eyes and gently push, in full control, without pain, knowing when to ease up and allow her baby just slip out of her body. It was so rewarding to hear that doctor say to me, "that's the most amazing thing I have ever seen".

I get to attend the most amazing, peaceful and gentle births all the time, and for that I am extremely grateful. I love my "work"!

carole
Yours in gentle birthing,

Carole Thorpe, CHT, HCHI, HCHD, CLEC, CIHOM
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