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Hypnobabies Footling Breech Hospital Birth with Stunning Photos!
Photography by Monet Nicole, http://monetnicole.com, http://facebook.com/monetnicolebirths

"The nurse asked me to lie on my side for the anesthesia and I said “Dr. Johnson said I could try this naturally!” Her response, a defiant proclamation, “Well Dr. Johnson is not here!” My response …  I beared down and pushed with all I had ... "

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Join our Hypnobabies Community and receive 10% off of all Hypnobabies products
!
Treanna hands on belly
Treanna is a wonderful doula in Fort Collins and was planning for another home birth for her second baby. We talked about her birth with excitement and anticipation.  I think we all knew that her birth story would be a beautiful one. But little did we know how special her birth would end up being.

Instead of telling my version of the story, I'll share the photographs I took of her birth and Treanna's own words. I hope you find inspiration in her strength, beauty and determination. I know I did. 

34 weeks into my second pregnancy, we had an appointment with our midwife. We were planning a home water birth using Hypnobabies, just like we had with our son. Our midwife, Carol, told us she thought baby was presenting with head near my fundus and butt closer to my cervix, with nothing presenting at my cervix. This was frustrating news, as she does not deliver breech babies. She requested I get an ultrasound to confirm what she knew. This was disappointing, because I had not wanted any ultrasounds during this pregnancy. So after requesting we put it off a week, and spending the week trying little tricks to flip baby, I went in for that ultrasound. Sure enough, baby was breech. For the next three weeks I spent every moment I could either upside down, going to acupuncture or chiropractic appointments or lying semi-prone. We tried every rebozo trick multiple times and our little angel would treat us to a transverse moment here and there, only to settle back in happily breech. 

38 weeks rolled around and Carol helped us find a doctor in Denver who would deliver breech vaginally. We met with Dr. Johnson and just loved his warm, encouraging demeanor! A vaginal breech delivery was looking like Plan A. We were advised that breech labors can be unpredictable and fast, and with my history (3.5 hour labor with my son), we decided to stay in Denver come 39 weeks.

Thankfully, an old family friend, Bonnie, caught wind of our story and offered her spare bedroom, only ten blocks from the hospital, such a blessing!

Driving to Denver at 39 weeks, we met with Dr. Johnson again who said we should start doing what we could to get labor going. He emphasized to us the power of prayer as well. So, with every intention set of our baby’s arrival, we went out for spicy Thai food, walked around a lot and prayed. Sure enough, that evening labor began. Pressure waves were 10-15 minutes apart and a couple minutes long. This felt like it could be the day, so we went back to Bonnie’s and I hopped in the bath to try and relax so I could get some sleep. Soon, everything stopped. Needless to say, this happened five more times over the course of two weeks. We had another appointment at 40.5 weeks and we were told we only had until 41 and 2 days before baby would be coming into the world via cesarean.
Treanna and husbandThat week we had two acupuncture inductions, and my personal mantra became, “keep faith.” We were surrounded by prayer warriors throughout our church, family, and friends; and come 41 weeks and a day we decided to pull out all the stops. I put clary sage in the diffuser, ate a big breakfast, and drank 4 ounces of castor oil mixed with orange juice/baking soda over a 2-hour time span. We called Monet, birth photographer, and she drove up from Colorado Springs. All attempts at getting my doula/back up doula to Denver failed and so Monet happily took on that role as well.

Lunchtime rolled around and we ate another big meal while doing hip circles on the birth ball and Monet was rubbing my acupressure induction points. Pressure waves were now starting to become noticeable again! Just a few later and I was ready to start playing my Hypnobabies hypnosis CDs. It wasn’t long before they were 2-3 minutes apart and 45 seconds long and intense enough I was using hypnosis constantly. We waited for them to lengthen to a minute, but by 3:30pm they had not changed at all. So, before Dr. Johnson was going to go home for the day, we decided to head into the office to check my progress.
treanna family
We were informed that baby was not presenting well and back was mostly posterior, causing a band to form across my uterus during each pressure wave, resulting in “unproductive labor.” We were told to call in for a cesarean whenever we were ready.

Meanwhile, I had the idea that if we could get baby out of posterior, even if just for a few pressure waves, maybe things would become productive.  We got back to Bonnie’s by 4:30, and immediately Monet tried rebozo sifting with me on all fours. Monet’s first rebozo experience was well received, because after only three times, my pressure waves intensified and I immediately puked. This felt like transition! But that was not possible, because just 20 minutes ago when I had been checked I measured at 2-3 centimeters with a very high cervix.  So, did I just create a very irritated uterus? My husband, Jeffry, drew me a bath, we decided to see if the bath would help calm things down. Well, the bath felt great, especially with my little Levi (21 month old son) rubbing my back, but things stayed intense.  6:30 came and I decided that if this was not a means to an end, it had to be.
treanna tub
Tears of defeat and failure came harshly as I asked Jeff to call in for that cesarean. I was countered by a fountain of encouragement from both him and Monet, and then I remembered my mantra, “keep faith.” I picked myself up, got dressed, and headed for the hospital, knowing I was in God’s hands and accepting this child has a plan and it is out of my control. Thankful for a short drive (as those 3 contractions were by far the toughest) we arrived at the ER, I had another pressure wave in the entryway as I hung over Jeffry swaying and moaning.  I left Jeff to fill out the intake paperwork and I went to the bathroom. Monet parked the car fast and waited for me outside the restroom. One more pressure wave on the toilet and then the next one came with the urge to push!

Sitting on the toilet, God revealed this child’s plan to me. Monet heard that tell-tale grunt, and I announced, “I’m pushy!” I thought I was announcing everything going on in my head, “I did not need that cesarean anymore, baby was on their way!” Well the entourage of 20 people and the gurney escort racing down the hallway as I am being yelled at to not push, reminded me that I had come in for a cesarean and that was still everyone else’s plan for this baby.
treanna pushing on way to orNeedless to say, I did not listen to the orders being screamed in my ear and I kept pushing. By the time they had me on the OR table, I could tell baby was presenting. The nurse asked me to lie on my side for the anesthesia and I said “Dr. Johnson said I could try this naturally!” Her response, a defiant proclamation, “Well Dr. Johnson is not here!” My response… I beared down and pushed with all I had. Apparently this convinced someone to check baby’s station. Lifting my dress, a different nurse yells, “Baby’s here! Feet first!” I said “Oh crap!,” as I knew a footling breech was dangerous, turns out that’s only true if one foot presents without the other. (My little ballet dancer knew to send both feet out together.) Then they spent a couple contractions trying to convince me to get on my back. (Everything I had read about breach birth had said it is best on all fours) I fought them on this until baby’s feet were out and this is when Monet and Jeffry finally made it into the OR, still expecting a cesarean themselves. They had been stuck outside the door waiting for scrubs and getting help putting them on.
treanna being set up for section
Treanna birthWith my husband by my side and a baby on their way out I rolled (mostly) onto my back, grabbed my legs and pushed baby’s body out. “It’s a girl, She’s a girl!” shouts one of the 30 observers and it brings me to tears. “Did someone just say SHE?!” I shout! So happy to get the news! And then I am being yelled at to push the head out, so I take a deep breath, and without a contraction to help, bear down and push her head out with an arm above her head.

The obstetrician on call, Dr. Kelley Jensen, caught her and set her below me as Dr. Johnson walked into the room all scrubbed in and ready to operate. Everyone was in shock and still acting in “emergency mode,” except the one nurse who thought of me, and grabbed my daughter and put her to my chest. Dr. Johnson showed his astonishment and I starred at my daughter. During that perfect moment of realizing what had just happened and seeing my daughter for the first time they had my placenta delivered without my assistance and as I looked up they cut her cord almost immediately without offering the privilege to Jeffry. She still had not let out a good cry and was a little blue, so they whisked her away to the warmer with Jeffry following. Six people with towels rubbed her down and Jeffry tried to save some vernix by blocking the action when he could. Jeffry kindly declined newborn procedures, and they returned a bundled up package to me on the OR table. I had Jeffry undress us both and we finally got our skin-to-skin. Phew! With the “emergency” over, she breastfed within ten minutes and has shown her determined, poised spirit ever since.
treanna birth 2
My darling girl went unnamed for 24 hours, until her name stuck when I realized how similar to her namesake she really is. My sweet Opal Anastasia Wade is just as determined and poised as her great, great grandmother Opal Roderick was.

Born at 7:23pm, 41 weeks and a day, 7 pounds 10 ounces, 19 inches, 14 inch head circumference.  Total labor: 8 hours +/- 2 weeks ;)

P.S. Momma did not tear at all and Opal’s hips, lungs and shoulders are all in perfect condition.

Please see all of Monet beautiful photos HERE.





























treanna birth 3
Dr. Johnson pager


















Dr. Johnson


















treanna and baby

treanna proud


































family after
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Posted by on in Pregnancy Hypnosis
"With hypnosis, as much effort you put in directly relates to how much compensation you will reap."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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mom dad laptop floor
Let's say you have a friend who has hired a personal trainer/fitness or health coach because they want to make certain changes; whether it's fitting into a certain outfit, getting to a particular dress size, weight, fitness level determined by their personal goal. The coach tells them they can get the results they seek by a certain date IF they follow a specific regimen that includes exercising 4 days a week, cutting out sugar completely and not eating past 8pm. IF they do this, they will get where they want to be.

Now, let's say you talk to your friend later and ask how it's going and they respond with "well, I'm certainly not where I was told I would be" so you ask them how their practice is going and they tell you that because they've been so busy they've only been able to work out once or twice a week max and hectic schedules mean that they just can't eat before 8:30pm 3-4 nights a week and since life has been so busy they've really needed the sugar to keep going "but I've definitely cut down and hey, at least I'm eating before 8pm a few days a week and working out more than I used to right?" ... or something to that effect.

And then I ask my students "would you be surprised they weren't getting the results?" They always say "no" and I say "Exactly." And then I repeat "with hypnosis, as much effort you put in directly relates to how much compensation you will reap. I WILL be asking you every week to share how your practice is going and I welcome you to contact me anytime if there are any challenges so that we can get you where you NEED to be. We are all busy these days, but I KNOW you'll find once you get into a routine you'll enjoy practicing so much that many of my students contact me AFTER their babies come looking to continue using hypnosis in their everyday life."
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Posted by on in Home Birth
Hypnobabies Birth of Waylon Nash

"As for Hypnobabies, I am so glad I went through that course. Not only did the time pass quickly, but all I felt was intense pressure in my pelvis region and lower back. Also, since you have to visualize your birth over and over again, mine went EXACTLY like I had envisioned. It was a beautiful and wonderful experience that I would not trade for anything, and that I would do again in a heartbeat."

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Baby 1 Hand Covering it From Left
"I had been feeling Braxton Hicks for the past three months, so I thought that was what I was experiencing around 5 PM, and I got up to go to the bathroom. My husband was still in the office down the hall, and I almost called him to the bathroom, because something felt different. At this point, we were only four days past our guess date, and I was expecting to wait a little longer. But I thought, why not, we'll time these pressure waves and see what happens."

You can read the entire encouraging birth story HERE.
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Hypnobabies Gave Me Confidence Throughout My Pregnancy - A Testimonial

By Michelle Kobzik, a pregnant woman excited for birth!

"Creating my bubble of peace was the most important thing I could have done for my pregnancy."

Thanks Michelle for sharing your Hypnobabies experience with us.

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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123 Mom 14 Reading Making Notes
Dear Hypnobabies,
I just want to say thank you. I am 36 weeks pregnant and have been doing your course ever since I was 20 weeks. Even though my birthing time is still weeks away, I couldn’t have gotten this far without you.
When I first found out we were pregnant I cried with tears of joy… Not long after I began crying tears of fear. I had started researching pregnancy and childbirth and came across blog after blog, link after link of horrible experiences and stories. I was terrified. It didn’t help that I work with a staff full of women who have all had children and (bless their hearts) thought it would be a good idea to share their birthing stories with me. Words like epidural and c-section seemed to be the most common. At least that’s what stuck in my head. So I started searching for positive birth experiences and even those were tough to find. Until, I found a link to hypnobabies. After reading one women’s birthing story about it being comfortable, I was sold. I purchased the course and started studying right away. I did each section for 2 weeks instead of 1 since I started so early. I am so thankful I started when I did.
Creating my bubble of peace was the most important thing I could have done for my pregnancy. I find the worst part of pregnancy is not the “morning sickness” or being “uncomfortable” (I hate always being asked if I’m uncomfortable… I’m not. If anything it’s just awkward at times), but people’s comments. The stories and the comments are the hardest for me and my bubble of peace has helped me so much. I have continued to stay active while pregnant and I have actually had people express their concern about me losing my baby (when I was 28 weeks). I have also had people go into detail about their birthing day without being asked. And it isn’t the type of birthing story I want to hear. But I have a hard time saying how I feel, so instead I just let it bounce off my bubble and it actually helps strengthen it. These people have made my bubble so strong that I am determined to have the birth I want. And if I don’t, then at least I know I did everything possible to try.
Hypnobabies also helped me choose the right type of care I needed during my pregnancy. I was seeing an OB until I started my course, which is when I realized I needed to switch my care. When I spoke to my doctor about my birth plan, she wasn’t on board for most of my wishes. Saying that it wasn’t part of their protocol, or that she wasn’t comfortable with me birthing in that position, she also told me that she would definitely ask me if I needed anything for the pain, it’s just part of her routine. I feel like if I am in that much pain, I will ask for it… no? I don’t need to be reminded; I know that those options are there. I also told her about my prenatal course, Hypnobabies, and she said it seemed “weird”.
I went online again (I’ve never used google so much in my life) and found the phone number to my local midwife group. I was put on a list since I had called late in my pregnancy but was able to get seen and now I have a wonderful midwife who fully understands and supports my plan. I am not naive, I know that my birth plan may not go the way I want, but I want someone to support my wishes and to try.
I will write about my birth experience but I just wanted to let you know that Hypnobabies works. Regardless of what my birthing experience ends up like, it helped me get to the day with confidence. I was terrified of this day and now I couldn’t be more excited. I am so interested to go through this amazing process of bringing a tiny little human being into the world. I look forward to my pressure waves and birthing day. Our bodies were made to do this.

Thank you Hypnobabies.

Sincerely,
Michelle Kobzik, a pregnant woman excited for birth
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Why are Medical Professionals who Deliver Babies in Hospitals Choosing to have their Own Babies at Home?
By Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D

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

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

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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iStock 000015057580Large mom doula compressed
“Yes, birth can have complications, birth can go wrong, C-sections are needed, moms do hemorrhage,” Dr. Elrod, who has attended over 2000 births and nearly a hundred out-of-hospital births, concedes. “But if doctors could step back they would see that the vast majority of these complications happen because of things that are done to the mothers in the process of giving birth in the hospital. When you take away medicinal pain relief, epidurals, restriction of food and water, staff coming in and out of the room, and routine vaginal exams while women are in active labor, you can significantly reduce the complications that are caused by the interventions themselves. Moms do better without unnecessary interventions than they do when they’re overly managed.” - See this entire article HERE.
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Posted by on in Know Your Options
Look at the Baby, Not the Scale
By Jay Gordon, MD FAAP

"In the first 24 to 72 hours after birth babies tend to lose about 3-10% of their birth weight and then regain that weight over the next 2 to 3 weeks."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Michael Nursing copy
If a mother receives lots of IV fluids during labor, the baby could be born “heavier” because of the increased water. The somewhat higher weight could be measured if a baby were weighed right before it peed for the first time. The difference of this extra fluid retention might only be a few ounces, but some parents are told to be concerned when, at their baby’s two week checkup, the baby is a few ounces under birth weight.

Another common problem at early checkups is a baby that is not gaining what the practitioner considers to be “normal weight gain.” There is not general agreement on normal weight gain and the range in texts are from 4 to 8 ounces a week. Some babies are genetically destined to be a lot smaller or larger than others. Please read the rest of this informative article HERE.
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The First Hour After Birth: A Baby’s 9 Instinctive Stages
By Healthy Children Project

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

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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

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

"I was so grateful for Hypnobabies. We had been visualizing an easy, uncomplicated and fast birth and that's exactly what we got!"

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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123 Baby Skin to Skin 1
"Sage Corinne was born on March 30 at 12:30pm! It was such an incredible experience for both me and Craig. I was so grateful for Hypnobabies. We had been visualizing an easy, uncomplicated and fast birth and that's exactly what we got! My water had broken Saturday afternoon, although I wasn't really sure that's what had happened because it was such a
slow trickle. But by 8 pm, the practice waves I had been having all week started to take on a more consistent pattern that felt different. I listened to the deepening track and the fear clearing track that night before going to bed early at 9:30. I slept great! The pressure waves woke me up once or twice, but I was never too uncomfortable.

By 5 am I started to think the waves were slightly more intense and close to 5 minutes apart, but I still waited until 6:30 to call the doctor. When I called, she thought it would be a good idea to come in. So we woke the kids up, made a big breakfast of eggs and waffles, and got everyone showered and ready to go. By the time everyone was brushing their teeth, I knew I needed to get into a state of hypnosis pretty quickly! We left the house at 8:30 and I dropped my finger in the car as we listened to the birthing day affirmations all the way to the kids' mother's house and then to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 9:30 and I Craig held me as I rocked back and forth in the hall waiting for our room. When we got to our room, I spent most of the time kneeling on a couch rocking side to side while Craig gently stroked my lower back and reminded me about the hypnoanesthesia running through me. My doctor came to check on me at 11:30, told me I had dilated to 7 cm, and that she would be back in 2 hours, but I knew it wouldn't be that long.

At noon I told Craig, "it's soon!" And he ran to get the doctors. I felt the urge to push almost as soon as she came in, and I pushed for a little while on my hands and knees. Craig kept giving me sips of water and stroking my lower back. Then, my doctor asked if I would like to try pushing on my side because my arms were shaking. So I tried it, and pushed one more set of pushes and Sage was born! It was so awesome! I had no tearing and no desire for an epidural at any point. It was picture perfect. Thank you so much!"
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Will I be Awake & Aware During my baby's Birth?

Q)I am wondering what being in hypnosis will be like when I'm giving birth. My midwife also says she is concerned that I won't be fully present and able to feel or know what's going on; that I'll be like a zombie or something. I understand that relaxation is deep but how much do you know of what's going on around you? I would like to really experience childbirth, just without the pain!

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Tanya Midwife Doula HubbyA) Then you've come to the right place! No zombies allowed. You are as aware as you want to be while in hypnosis. The hypnosis experience is different for each person using it, but it is simply focused concentration, like when you're deeply engrossed in a book or driving your car and thinking about something else at the same time. Both are states of hypnosis and you can see, hear and feel everything that you *want to* while doing them.

Here are some other perspectives about childbirth hypnosis awareness from Hypnobabies moms who have been there:

1) You notice as much as you want to notice :-) For me kind of like when I'm really into a good movie - I hear things going on, but don't really care to give them notice most of the time.
~ Angelia

2)You are as present as you want to be. It's not like you're asleep or a zombie or drugged up, you're making the choices; I did completely with my last hypno-birth. You can always bring yourself back out instantly if you ever need to. I'm enjoying preparing for this birth with Hypnobabies even more than I enjoyed hypnobirthing -- I'm really looking forward to using it!!
~ Julia

Regarding the midwife's concerns, from a 2 time Hypno-mom:

That is a common concern among caregivers who are not familiar with self-hypnosis. The fact is that being in hypnosis heightens your senses and makes you more aware of what is going on in your body and around you. But it also gives you additional control over your decisions about what you want to pay attention to. Women using hypnosis tend to know more about what their body is doing and how the baby is moving down. I consider that to be one of the biggest gifts I received from using hypnosis for my births. Not only did I get through the births comfortably, but I will always remember the remarkable and completely unexpected sensation of my children moving down and out of my body. I never expected the warmth or the smoothness of their little bodies as they slid through the birth canal. It was wonderfully beautiful, and I remember more details about every moment of those birthdays than my husband does. I can still picture who was in the room, where everyone stood, the expression on their faces, much of what they said, etc. I have never been more present than I was during my births.

Hypnosis doesn't "manage pain" at all. It allows you to make a decision about how you will experience the sensations of birth. Very little, if any of the things that happen during birth have to "hurt". By programming your mind to accept that, most women can choose to experience only pressure, and there are hypnotic suggestions to help you remain comfortable even if the baby does pinch a nerve or cause some other potentially painful thing to happen while descending.

Hypnosis is also not about "completely leaving yourself". On the contrary, hypnosis helps you bridge the gap between your mind and your body so you can play a more active role in the physical aspect of your birthing. Have you ever been in a stressful situation, such as a person almost stepping in front of your car as you drive along, or tripping and nearly falling down some stairs, or something like that? Where you weren't injured or really effected in any way, but it scared you? Even though you weren't physically hurt, you probably felt your heart speed up, and adrenaline rush through you and may have begun to sweat and shake. That is your mind realizing how catastrophic an event that could have been, which causes anoverwhelming response from your body. Hypnosis allows you to harness that control you mind has over your body and influence how you experience your birth to a large extent.
-Susan

Regarding choosing what to be aware of:

If you are using Hypnobabies, you will most experience some level of hypnotic anesthesia during some or most of your hypnosis practice. But during your birthing time, your hypnosis will actually make you hyper-aware of what is going on within your body and around you. You'll be extremely in-tune with your birthing. And I found myself very aware of what was going on in the room and easily interactive with others (to the point that they weren't really sure if I was in hypnosis or not, unless I purposely relaxed to the point of appearing to nap). But the hypnosis gave me extraordinary control over what I wanted to "let in". For instance, I found nothing useful to be gained by hearing a woman down the hall screaming her head off (despite an epidural, I'm told), so I didn't even acknowledge the sound and completely forgot about it. I am still amazed by the level of detail I recall from throughout my birthing time. My recall for the goings-on of the day are far more vivid than a "normal" day. I can picture where people were standing, see expressions and remember what they were saying to me, how I was feeling, my thought processes, etc.

I really didn't know what to expect, but am very glad that I didn't have to give up any of the day's memories to achieve a gentle, enjoyable birth. I hope that helps!

-Susan


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Cord Blood Collection: Confessions of a Vampire-Midwife
By Rachel Reed

"Cord blood contains magical stem cells, and the idea is that if your baby becomes ill in the future you may be able to use these cells as treatment. My concern with cord blood banking is the inadequate and misleading information given to parents."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Placenta
"Even the term ‘cord blood’ is misleading – blood is merely collected via the cord. In addition the promotional materials talk about collecting ‘blood from the placenta’ without acknowledging that the baby/placenta are one blood circulation unit. After birth the blood from the placenta transfers to the baby, assisting transition to breathing. Knowledge about the short term and long term health benefits of allowing placental circulation to complete the job is becoming widespread."

Read the entire article HERE.
















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Advice to Expectant Mothers from a Labor and Delivery Nurse
By Carrie Halsey

"Taking a prenatal class is an excellent way to prepare for childbirth. I personally recommend the Hypnobabies course, but there are many other programs available."

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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123 Mom and Friend 6
"Your perinatal team has varied knowledge, training, experience, bias, fear, and motivation. They are experts, but they are not perfect! They have seen a lot, but they haven’t seen everything. Some have not read a new research article in years, some haven’t slept in 2 days, and some had a maternal death patient with similar risk factors as yours. Sometimes they just want to go home on time and your labor is taking too long. Some of them are biased towards low intervention; others have never met a patient they didn’t want to take to the operating room."  Read the entire article HERE.
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Posted by on in Birth Hypnosis
Self-Hypnosis for Labour and Birth
by Amy Semple, and Mary Newburn, head of research/NCT Journal

"Self-hypnosis refers to a person being able to alter their own state of consciousness so that normally perceived experiences, such as pain, do not reach awareness or do so with less force [or are transformed by suggestions of hypno-anesthesia]. Hypnosis uses focused attention and relaxation, to develop increased receptivity to verbal and non-verbal communications which are commonly referred to as ‘suggestions’. These are positive [encouraging] statements used in order to achieve specific therapeutic goals.”

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birth ball practice kim
In labour and childbirth the goal is to alleviate or reduce fear, tension and pain so the physiological act of birth can progress in away that is comfortable for the mother. Dr Grantly Dick Read introduced the idea of a pain-tension-fear cycle of childbirth. He argued that ‘a tense mind means a tense cervix’ and that when we are afraid during childbirth the body draws blood away from non-vital
organs, such as the uterus, to the extremities, which results in pain. By removing fear and its physiological consequence the uterus can function as intended, eliminating extreme pain. Breaking this pain cycle is a central concept in hypnosis with Dick Read’s work often cited as the theoretical link between hypnotherapy and childbirth. The hypothesis that pain is aggravated through fear and emotional tension is well supported by the literature. Please see the entire review HERE.
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Posted by on in Know Your Options
Evidence-based Birth
By Maureen Whitman

Have you ever felt that some of the restrictions that were in place during the birth of your child did not work in your favor? Did you ever wonder if they had truly been essential? Was that cesarean section medically necessary or planned to fit someone else’s schedule? Are you currently pregnant and uneasy about being told you have limited options because of policies already in place that don’t have clear evidence to support them? If so, read on.

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LOOKING FOR EVIDENCE

Many birthing women are now taking a greater role in researching, making decisions, and managing their care options. Rather than simply taking their care provider’s word for it, pregnant women are insisting on scientific proof to back up claims that an intervention or procedure is truly necessary.

Organizations that advocate for pregnant women and individuals who are taking more responsibility for their maternity care are actively seeking to identify hospitals and care givers who utilize an evidence-based model.

As more comes to light about how standard maternity care in many places in the US (and internationally) is not always supported by the evidence from best outcomes, consumers are pushing for answers and demanding change. You can read the entire article HERE at peggyomara.com.

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A Hypno-Doula's First Hypnobabies Birth

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

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

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

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

Please read the entire story HERE.
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Posted by on in Birth Professionals

Pain-Free Childbirth?
By Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

Hypnobabies: "Easier, More Comfortable Childbirth"

First and foremost, it is important to understand that although many of our Hypnobabies moms do experience pain-free births, not all of them do, and we do not promise or guarantee that will be the case. Hypnobabies is dedicated to helping each birthing mother have the *easiest, most comfortable birthing experience* that she can have. This is one of the first concepts our students learn, since our student workbook directly states the following:

You are about to embark upon a journey to learn how you, your Birth Partner and your baby can have a much easier, more comfortable and joyful childbirth experience. It will take dedication, planning and a willingness to be open to new concepts, and all will be well worth your effort and time.

At Hypnobabies, our motto is, “ENJOY your baby’s birth … in comfort, joy and love.” This is exactly what we work towards and what Hypnobabies was designed for, as you will see by the wording of each Hypnobabies script. It is important to remember that we cannot promise you a completely pain-free or drug-free birthing.

Although the majority of our Hypnobabies moms do have very comfortable births, some even pain-free, it is important for anyone using this course to understand that every birth experience is different, just as every pregnancy is different, you need to know and accept that your own will be the perfect one for you, no matter what path your birthing journey takes.

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There is no “right way” to do Hypnobabies, no one outcome or effect that every woman experiences. Therefore, there is no “failure” should things go differently than you originally planned. You will always be a successful Hypno-mom as long as you practice and use your Hypnobabies techniques, cues and scripts. Every woman has the kind of birthing that she needs to have, and every woman deserves to have the best and easiest one she can, so keep practicing your Hypnobabies skills until baby is born, and use what you have learned during your birthing … and afterwards.

Childbirth is so much easier when you use the incredible power of your own body, mind and spirit together, and that’s exactly what you are doing with Hypnobabies. Enjoy your course, your practice and your wonderful birthing!

As you can see, Hypnobabies does not guarantee a “pain-free” birth experience to anyone, and makes clear that birth outcomes for each mother are completely unique. This is exactly why we have affirmations and hypnosis scripts which include suggestions and directives such as:

“I easily accept any path that my birthing takes me when I give birth to my baby,
knowing that it is the right one for me and my baby.”

It is, however, extremely important that all mothers who embrace Hypnobabies *believe that it is possible to have a comfortable birth* using Hypnobabies techniques. There is no way for any of our moms to actually experience an easy, comfortable birth unless they believe it is a possibility for them and of course, that is what our course is all about: changing belief systems. I have actually heard birth professionals state that it is misleading to indicate to women that they can achieve comfortable, easy labor with Hypnobabies. Their reasoning seems to be that not all women do achieve this, so we shouldn’t teach anyone that it is possible!

Consider this: If we at Hypnobabies taught all of our mothers that “easier, more comfortable...even pain-free births can be experienced, but don’t expect that it will be that way for you”…what kind of outcomes would we see? We would be invalidating our tried and true, very successful techniques and tools, (and the birth stories of women who have had easy comfortable Hypnobabies births) in favor of…fear! This is similar to telling a child they shouldn't work towards getting an "A" in school so they won't be disappointed when they get a "C". To bring it closer to home, it is akin to physicians telling moms that “VBAC may be possible for some women, but don’t really plan on it for yourself because most moms can't achieve it”. Giving a bit of encouragement and then negating it with a *warning* is counter-productive and counter-intuitive to all that many of us stand for in the birthing world. It will benefit everyone if we all become a bit more open-minded about concepts that we don’t yet understand fully, and be willing to grow as we learn.

“If you have a hammer in your hand, you will suddenly see nails everywhere.”
~ Abraham Maslow

Planning Birth Realistically:

It is extremely important that all expectant mothers understand their own goals and needs for childbirth, so we encourage our Hypnobabies moms to plan their baby’s birth realistically by:

1. choosing a supportive birth team and birth place which will help them attain their natural (Hypnobabies) birth
2. maintaining prenatal exercise and excellent nutrition
3. using optimum fetal positioning
4. tuning in to themselves and their babies
5. and of course, learning, practicing and *using* Hypnobabies as outlined in our written materials, for their best benefit.

The good news is that most of our Hypno-moms are able to utilize the knowledge they have learned in Hypnobabies and enjoy excellent results. Sometimes, that is not the case. Although the written Hypnobabies material, audio tracks and other “hypno-tools” are the same ones used by Hypnobabies moms who have had excellent birth experiences, some moms have disappointing births…just like with all other childbirth preparation programs. For any mother to have experienced childbirth as anything but safe, satisfying and empowering is heart-wrenching to me, and it is even more disheartening to know that our wonderfully successful Hypnobabies techniques and “hypno-tools” are there, in each Hypno-Mom’s grasp, available to produce a much easier birth experience, and yet…

Same Hypnobabies techniques, cues, scripts, recordings, childbirth education, workbook and handouts. What happened? In reading birth stories and talking personally to some of the moms and other birth professionals, I have found:

The same thing happened that affects all other unsatisfactory births, with all childbirth programs out there: Life happened!

1. No time or willingness to learn & practice as necessary for the desired results
2. Incomplete birth preparation materials (in our case, moms only having the Hypnobabies audio tracks, which means they were not actually learning, practicing or using Hypnobabies)
3. Complications during birth, for mom, baby or both
4. Allowing large numbers of people at the birth
5. Emotional issues before and during birth
6. Birth attendants or “support” people that interfered with the natural process of birth
7. Birth attendants or “support” people that were unsupportive of the birthing method (in this case, of Hypnobabies) during birth
8. Other…

Misunderstandings: “No Different From….”

The first time I heard a fellow childbirth educator say that they considered Hypnobabies techniques to be “no more than deep relaxation” and “no different than _____ childbirth course" (in this case, the Bradley Method), I was astounded. I had no idea that people were so misinformed about what hypnosis really is; re-training the inner mind’s belief systems for a beneficial change. This is so much more powerful than just relaxation, breathing, or any other comfort techniques that I myself had previously taught as a non-Hypnobabies childbirth educator! As you will read below, our program’s success at helping moms achieve much easier and more comfortable births involves much more than “deep relaxation”, and you will learn why that is so important.

A brief explanation of Hypnosis:

Hypnosis begins with a deep state of relaxation, which can be induced either by a hypnotherapist or birth partner, with audio tracks or by self-hypnosis. Hypnosis is best described as an altered state of consciousness, a changed or focused state of awareness, concentration and perception. It is a heightened sense of suggestibility that redirects the focus of both the conscious and sub-conscious minds. While in a state of hypnosis, the conscious mind relaxes and the attention of the sub-conscious mind (where change takes place) is greatly stimulated, which allows access to all of our brain's potential.

The following is what Hypnobabies takes full advantage of, and makes our program much different than simply “deep relaxation”…

During hypnosis the subconscious mind is in a state of focused concentration and receptivity -- alert, accepting and digesting the specific suggestions that it hears, allowing changes in perception to occur from within. In essence, hypnosis is the process whereby resistance to change is reduced and selective thought becomes more efficient. When our moms are in this deeply subconscious state, Hypnobabies provides suggestions which re-train the inner mind with new, positive belief systems about childbirth. Powerful, specific directives for an easier birthing are compounded (repeated) many times so that the subconscious can accept the new beliefs, which takes several weeks to become ingrained.

How does this happen? Literally re-training the inner mind (by using deep, somnambulistic hypnotic states and powerfully re-framed language) with the following concepts:

1. Hypnobabies moms will feel all of the normal birthing sensations during labor; pushing, pulling, tightening, stretching, baby movements, etc., however, these sensations will be experienced comfortably (yes, comfortably! Read Hypnobabies Birth Stories Here, Here and Here!)
2. Suggestions for confidence, relaxing in-between birthing waves, feeling even more comfortable after the waters have broken and focused, mother-directed pushing are also built into Hypnobabies and work so beautifully when Hypnobabies is learned, practiced and used *as outlined in our course*.

I can’t stress enough that moms who borrow a used Hypnobabies course without all of its materials, or just listen to someone else’s Hypnobabies MP3s are setting themselves up for disappointment since they will *not* have all of the “tools” they need.

Excellent, joyful births also cannot be consistently expected for moms who actually learn and practice Hypnobabies faithfully but inexplicably choose not to use their techniques and cues during labor, or whose birth care providers continually interfere with the use of their Hypnobabies "hypno-tools". Doulas, midwives, nurses and doctors can assist birthing mothers in having much easier births by fully supporting the way each mother chooses to give birth, regardless of their own personal beliefs or emotions.

Pain-Free Birth?

For most people, the concept of a “pain-free” birth experience is steeped in mystery at the least and is akin to science-fiction at the farthest end of speculation. Few mothers have experienced one, and those who have and attempt to tell others about it are rarely believed, even if they have video of their birth which shows that they did indeed do so. Why?

Other mothers may feel envious, annoyed or even bitter to hear that someone else had a much easier experience of childbirth than they had, especially if theirs was an exceptionally difficult birthing. Many experienced birth professionals have only seen and experienced themselves that childbirth is “hard work” and therefore painful in varying degrees. This allows a belief system to be firmly implanted that childbirth cannot be any other way. This seems logical, until we realize that there are exceptions to just about everything in life, and what seems "impossible" at first can many times begin to change to "unlikely", then "possible", and finally it becomes an established fact.

Flat?

At one time the earth was considered to be flat. Anyone who thought it otherwise was:

1. …ridiculed
2. …ostracized, or
3. …locked up for being “crazy”

Of course, eventually enough people began to question the earth being flat that they were allowed to pursue it to the point of proving that it was round, and then…anyone who thought it otherwise was:

1. …ridiculed
2. …ostracized, or
3. …locked up for being “crazy”

So it is with any new concepts; “new” meaning anything that we, ourselves are not familiar with. This is human nature - we tend to reject something that does not mesh with our own personal experiences and belief systems, until enough other people “validate” it that it seems worth looking into or changing our own beliefs about the subject. However, if our minds are automatically open to new concepts, especially ones that enrich people’s lives, we don’t need validation. To quote one of our most beloved, wise and kindhearted souls:

"When I encounter a story that reveals something about a labor or birth that is new to me, I don't automatically dismiss it as untrue or irrelevant simply because I am unfamiliar with the phenomenon it reveals."
~ Ina May Gaskin, Birth Matters

"Just RELAX and you’ll have a pain-free birth"?

Although the philosophy of some hypno-childbirth programs teach women that they will not have pain “if they just relax enough”, most women find that idea to be inaccurate and misleading. If this was a valid theory, literally millions of women would have had pain-free births just from practicing and using the wonderful, deep relaxation techniques that are taught in many childbirth classes, and that is not the case. Although there are women who do have pain-free births without much preparation or through deep breathing and relaxation, a great deal more is need for most birthing mothers, physically, mentally and emotionally in order to have a comfortable childbirth experience. That’s where the real, medical hypnosis in Hypnobabies comes in.

Childbirth experiences are different for every woman. There is no predicting how any one mother will feel as she gives birth, and telling a woman that she will feel no pain if she "just relaxes deeply enough" is inadequate at best and inaccurate for most. This can confuse the mother and create self-doubt before, during and after birth.

It is with intense frustration that I continue to hear the insistence (from other camps) that “childbirth is a natural bodily function and therefore it should not hurt if you relax adequately”, when I have heard thousands of reports to the opposite, directly from moms themselves.

The fact that childbirth is a “natural” function of the female body does not preclude the following:

1. There is (most of the time; in the absence of medications and real hypnosis techniques) some (small/manageable/serious/hurts like holy warts/ferocious) amount of pain “naturally” involved in moving an object the size of a small watermelon down through some pretty delicate tissues, and out.

2. A woman’s abdominal organs, ligaments, many nerves, uterine muscles, cervix, back, vagina, perineum and anus are pushed, pulled, squashed, torqued, stretched beyond belief at times and bruised as the uterus contracts, moves baby into position, opens and pushes the baby out.

3. If anyone tried to manipulate our insides and bottom like this for any other reason than childbirth, it would be considered inhuman and unconscionable *not* to use some form of medication (or real hypnosis techniques) to lessen the pain.

4. Are we to believe that if a mom “relaxes enough” and “lets go of her fears”, the experience will be painless just because childbirth is a “natural” female process? For most moms, that is untrue.

Simply relaxing through childbirth generally only "helps it hurt a little less", and “avoid unnecessary pain” as some childbirth methods teach (there is no “necessary” pain if you use Hypnobabies). And yes, as we do teach in Hypnobabies, some of that pain is caused by the ingrained and very powerful belief system that childbirth is *supposed to hurt badly* (which comes from other people’s birth stories, TV “birth” shows, movies, books and sadly, some childbirth classes). However, for most women when the above processes of childbirth kick in as they are supposed to do, to simply believe that “childbirth is not inherently painful if I relax enough because it is a natural female process" is insufficient to make that true, and some mothers can become quite traumatized by this.

Detractors of Hypnobabies have stated that we are teaching our Hypno-Moms to have similar beliefs: that they can have an easy, comfortable birth by using hypnosis. They feel this is a disservice to women who do not “achieve” this goal. In reality, as you have already read, since Hypnobabies teaches real medical-grade, very successful hypnosis techniques, what we are telling women is that they have the opportunity to enjoy childbirth much more…IF they are willing to:

1. Embrace Hypnobabies completely, since we do indeed teach all the childbirth, hypnosis, emotional and physical comfort techniques they will ever need to have an excellent birth experience.
2. Take the time, energy and love necessary to learn and practice Hypnobabies *as directed*; nothing left out.
3. Use, and continue using your Hypnobabies “labor tools” during childbirth: techniques, cues, audio tracks, scripts and birth team suggestions.
4. Educate their birth team and care providers on the use of Hypnobabies techniques and language, since all of our Hypnobabies mothers are deeply in hypnosis during labor, and can be instantly affected, positively or negatively by those around them (as all birthing women can).

The power of the mind/body connection is extraordinary and can be corroborated very simply and quickly by Ina May:

"I was able to learn midwifery in a way that permitted me to closely observe the birth process in hundreds of women without any imposed rules that would have interfered with the flow of labor. This was quite unusual for that the time, and it allowed me to observe phenomena and cause-and-effect relationships that medical, nursing, and hospital-based midwifery students would rarely (if ever) observe. I could see, for instance, how quickly a terrified woman could become calm and unafraid if the right action was taken or the right words spoken. I could see how previously unbearable levels of pain could diminish in the same fashion."
~ Ina May Gaskin, Birth Matters

“Pain in childbirth is caused by Fear”

There are also programs and books which teach that since childbirth is a normal physiological process for women, there is “no physiological reason for childbirth pain”, that pain is caused mostly by fear, and therefore eradicating fear in childbirth will eliminate their pain.

In reality, eliminating fear in childbirth is only one of the ways to help *reduce* childbirth pain. Women are moving a very large object through and out of their bodies when they give birth, and there are many sensitive nerves and body parts being pressed on, pushed, pulled and stretched to amazing lengths during this process. The big bag of muscles we call a uterus has stretched to the size of a small watermelon and the contractions that tighten these muscles are immense as well. Pain for most women is indeed part of that process, and eradicating fear is helpful in lessening pain, but does not ensure pain elimination.

We do know of course, that pain can be made much worse by tension in the birthing body and by fear being present in the woman's mind. The Fear/Tension/Pain Syndrome is very real, however, it needs to be recognized for what it is: a response to be eliminated so that childbirth can progress much more easily and comfortably. Women need to understand that simply eliminating fear during childbirth rarely results in completely eliminating pain, although it does indeed help.

The intensity of birth sensations depends partly upon:

1. A woman’s belief system regarding childbirth in general
2. The birthing preparation (tools) each mother has chosen, how well she practiced them and how she uses them as she gives birth
3. The choices a woman makes during childbirth which can help, hinder or even halt the process, including induction, immobility, Pitocin, etc.
4. A woman’s emotions, before and during childbirth, since emotional issues can cause constriction, Fear/Tension/Pain
5. The birth team each woman chooses to support her
6. Mom and baby positioning
7. There are actually many other factors which impact pain levels and the perception/experience of pain during childbirth.
Hypnobabies elements of a comfortable birth:

Elements of a truly comfortable birth:

In Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis, during birth preparation and childbirth, we focus greatly on many elements that assist with making childbirth easier and more comfortable. The three main ones are:

1) Deep, medical-grade somnambulistic Hypnosis is the *main and most important* element for an easier, more comfortable birthing and takes moms far beyond deep relaxation and breathing techniques. Hypnosis actually conditions the mind, through prior training, to convert birthing sensations from painful sensations to comfortable, even pleasurable ones. Normal birthing sensations are still experienced by our mothers, sensations such as pressure, stretching, pulling, pushing and tightening, as well as the movements and position of the baby, and they're experienced with less, little or no discomfort. This physical comfort is created by deeply embedded *hypnosis* techniques, not by relaxation, or focusing on guided imagery or simple meditation techniques.

2) Deep Relaxation, which is an automatic *side-effect* of Hypnobabies' deep, somnambulistic hypnosis. The muscles of a birthing woman's body, especially the ones around her baby must be completely and totally relaxed so that they can work efficiently and without any added discomfort from the Fear/Tension/Pain response. Practice is therefore mandatory and must be taken seriously. Hypnobabies moms learn to instantly accomplish becoming completely limp and loose like a dishrag when prompted to relax their body. This is one of the reasons we do progressive relaxation inductions, and in every Hypnobabies hypnosis script, CD track, cue and technique, deep relaxation is practiced so that it becomes a completely automatic response. Hypnobabies hypnosis training “implants” suggestions into our Hypno-Moms’ subconscious minds for instant and very deep total body relaxation.

3) Fear Clearing Sessions: Women who stay in a state of stress during pregnancy can become ill or develop complications, because the mind controls the body completely. By the time their pregnancy is coming to an end, the adrenal glands have produced many constrictors and catecholamines which are stress hormones, and the uterus may not get the proper blood flow, resulting in inadequate oxygen getting to the uterus and the baby. Muscles need oxygen to work properly; the muscle layers cannot draw up and back as needed and when that happens, dystocia (dysfunctional birthing – without progress) can occur, and what has been labeled “The Fear-Tension-Pain- Syndrome”. Our Hypnobabies moms realize fully that they can easily avoid this during pregnancy and birthing by doing regular Fear Clearing sessions.
 
Hypno-moms must practice their hypnotic cues and techniques on a daily basis until the baby comes for the best benefit, and to create an easier more comfortable experience for everyone involved, Hypnobabies moms simply have to do their “hypno-homework” every day. This practice is actually the easiest thing our moms do during their pregnancies! Getting into a relaxed position with soft music in the background and allowing themselves to float away into a wonderfully deeper mental and physical state … all while listening to suggestions for an easy, gentle and comfortable birth … is a gift they give themselves while pregnant that pays many dividends during birthing.

Takeaway:

1. “Relaxation” is only one of the factors in producing a much easier and more comfortable birth; deep, powerful, medical-grade hypnosis has a very important part in this process, as does eliminating fear and the excellent childbirth education we teach in Hypnobabies.
2. Childbirth certainly *can be* (not is) inherently painful for many women (not all) and…..real, medical-grade hypnosis is needed to help it be comfortable (for most). This is where Hypnobabies comes in and makes a huge difference. Along with learning about variables and birthing choices in childbirth, our powerful hypnosis techniques and the deep relaxation that accompanies them account for our moms having much more comfortable births.
3. Our main message to families and birth professionals regarding Hypnobabies is:

“Those who find childbirth uncomfortable seek out Hypnobabies since our medical-grade hypnosis techniques and deep relaxation allow them to experience a much easier and more comfortable birthing, and our complete childbirth education helps them learn how to prepare for and make excellent decisions for pregnancy, birth and their baby’s care. Having the birth of your dreams involves learning how to relax deeply, which is automatically produced in Hypnobabies’ hypnosis sessions, as well as learning, practicing and using medical hypno-anesthesia, which re-trains the inner mind for a comfortable birthing. It also involves becoming an excellent consumer by learning how to remain healthy and low-risk, becoming educated on all childbirth processes and choices, and taking responsibility for your own birth experience. This is why Hypnobabies is a complete childbirth education course!”

Thanks for learning,

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI
Founder/Director of Hypnobabies
877-55-HYPNO
www.Hypnobabies.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Too-early Solid Food Could Lead to Problems for Babies

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

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

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

Please read the entire article HERE.
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Calah's Hypnobabies Homebirth

"Isaac made me laugh so hard at one point by trying to remind me of one of my Hypnobabies birth affirmations that says "every time a pressure wave ends, I smile and feel very happy" but he instead said: "remember, honey, that your uterus is smiling!" I kept picturing that during labor and cracked up every time!"

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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sigrids third hypnobaby pool 1
Calah's birth was not at all what we were expecting, but it was amazing, miraculous, and wonderful. I was now 42+5 and totally stressing about it. It was the longest week of my life. I had originally planned another home birth, but now that I was post term, we were planning a hospital birth and I was going to be induced in two days. I went to the hospital's L&D unit for my fourth BPP/NST. The nurse there was like "Is your due date a joke?" LOL. We got another 10/10, meaning the baby and the placenta still looked healthy, considering how prolonged this pregnancy was. While there, the attending checked my cervix and stripped my membranes. I had been having wimpy contractions through the day and I was hoping this would help them pick up. We left, got some dinner, and then got home around 7:20.

The contractions increased a bit in strength, but not in length or frequency, and I really didn't think they were doing much of anything. I thought maybe it was early labor and I could have a baby by morning. I was so happy that my body was finally doing something! I put my Hypnobabies birthing day affirmations track on to listen to and went into self-hypnosis, while Isaac filled up the birth pool that was still set up in our bedroom so I could have a relaxing bath. I got in the pool around 8:20ish. I was comfortable and relaxed and totally quiet. I was in denial about being in active labor and Isaac didn't even know I was still regularly contracting, let alone close to birth. At around 9:15, told Isaac to call everyone (our midwives, doula, and photographer) to tell them we would try to get to the hospital in 30-40 minutes. I wanted to make the 25 minute drive before things got intense and would be harder to manage in the car. I got out of the pool to use the bathroom quick before getting dressed to leave. When I went to pee, my water broke and I immediately began involuntarily pushing. I told Isaac to grab a towel and then he helped me stand up as I could feel her crowning. As soon as I stood, her head was born. I told Isaac "ok, be ready to catch her, and then just hand her to me." Her shoulders hurt a bit but then she just slipped right out into Isaac's hands with the towel. I sat back down as he handed her to me and I turned into "newborn nurse mode" (I am a neonatal RN) as I rubbed her with the towel and asked for a bulb syringe to suction her mouth. Isaac called our wonderful midwives right after and they arrived half hour later (as soon as possible) to take care of us. It was definitely not the most glamorous birth (haha), but it was quick, "easy," and even kind of fun! An accidental unassisted home birth. I am so grateful we didn't leave any sooner or she would have been born in the car on the thruway!!
Sigrid breastfeeding

The moral of the story: God is GOOD, faithful, and loving! He provided us with so much supernatural peace during the labor and the birth. As my sister in law encouraged me to do, I just kept "breathing in His grace and breathing out His praise" during the contractions. I never once felt out of control or in pain... just uncomfortable (and my previous births were not this easy, so I thought we had way more time). I guess third time is the charm ... my hypnosis was SO extremely effective this time and I was just so happy that my pregnancy was almost over! Isaac made me laugh so hard at one point by trying to remind me of one of my Hypnobabies birth affirmations that says "every time a pressure wave ends, I smile and feel very happy" but he instead said: "remember, honey, that your uterus is smiling!" I kept picturing that during labor and cracked up every time! Praise God for his protection and grace!!!! And for a beautiful, alert, healthy baby girl! 12/27/14, 8 lb. 10 oz., 20.5"
Sigrids baby
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Your Guide to Breastfeeding
By U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health

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

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

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Lesley Levine baby on nursing copyThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH) is raising awareness of the importance of breastfeeding to help mothers give their babies the best start possible in life. In addition to this guide, OWH offers online content at http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding and provides the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 800-994-9662. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding puts forth steps that family members, communities, clinicians, health care systems,and employers can take to make breastfeeding an easy choice for mothers. Learn more at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov. OWH also partners with the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau to educate employers about the needs of breastfeeding mothers via The Business Case for Breastfeeding. The Affordable Care Act (health care reform) helps pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers get the medical care and support they and their children need. Learn more at http://www.healthcare.gov. Find the entire guide HERE.
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Why Are We Asking Doctors if Women Should Have Midwives?
By Cristen Pascucci

"Shouldn’t women decide if women have midwives?"

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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midwife
"Things are better than they were, but nowhere near where they should be.  Today, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) refuses to recognize the midwives who attend around 80% of birth outside of hospitals(8) (“ACOG does not support programs that advocate for, or individuals who provide, home births.”)(9).  They have only recently acknowledged “accredited birth centers” as acceptable locations, as their long-time policy has been that all birth should be hospital-based (a 2008 policy statement actually blustered, “Choosing to deliver a baby at home… is to put the process of birth over the goal of having a healthy baby”)(10). Thus, they do not embrace the position of their maternal health colleagues who believe all birth should be where women decide to give birth.  There is truth to ACOG’s assertion that the training and education for a very small number of these midwives is not standardized, but, really, those midwives and their clients aren’t looking to obstetricians for approval. And pushing those midwives underground certainly does not result in better training or safer births." Please read the rest of this fantastic article HERE.
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Hypnobabies Hospital Birth of Aubreye

This lovely birth story comes to us from Jessica Drew, Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor in Columbia, SC and Charlotte, NC

"My ‘pushy' pressure waves felt like my body had no other choice but to push, and pushing actually felt good. During this pushing phase I didn't feel pain, just intensity and strength. But thanks to Hypnobabies, I had come to view this intensity and power as a good thing and something to look forward to and be thankful for … "

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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Baby Aubreye
My guess date was September 30th, and quickly came and went without so much as a single pre-birth wave. Over the next few days I tried not to become discouraged as the thought of a medical induction seemed more and more likely with each day she was “overdue”, but worked to remain content and patient, trusting that she would come on her own at just the right time. I listened to my Birthing Day Affirmations, practiced my Hypnosis scripts, and surrendered my worry and desire for control over this birth to God, who I trusted knew our baby’s timing and would be with me no matter what path my birth took. I also questioned whether Hypnobabies would actually “work” for me, so I also read lots of Hypnobabies birth stories to grow my confidence.

My bag of waters finally broke on October 7th, one week after my guess date (still no pressure waves!). I felt so excited that my baby was coming, and also in disbelief that this was actually happening! I noticed that the waters were slightly colored, and my doula suspected that meconium was present. I called my doctor’s office and they suggested that I come in for an ultrasound to make sure the baby was still healthy. While waiting for the doctor, I went into center switch because I realized that this was probably the start of my birthing time! The ultrasound showed that baby was fine, but the doctor said that because my waters had broken and I hadn’t had any pressure waves yet, she would give me a 12 hour window to start laboring on my own (but noted, much to my annoyance, that she “highly doubted” that that would happen-thank goodness for the bubble of peace!). So, the plan was that I would call the doctor’s office and come in to schedule a medical induction if my labor hadn’t started by 11:30pm that night (it was currently about 2:00pm).

Now that I was “on the clock” I decided to some natural induction techniques. My husband and I walked around the block, fixed a castor oil smoothie, and spent some time together just enjoying the anticipation of what was coming. I began to notice slight sensations in my abdomen, but nothing that felt like “contractions.” I didn’t like the feeling of being “on the clock” and started to worry that my birthing time wouldn’t start on its own by 11:30pm. But with Stephen’s help I tried to keep trusting that the baby was safe and that the natural induction techniques would work. Around 5:30pm Stephen and I ate a light supper and watched a TV show while I used my breast pump to help stimulate pressure waves. By the end of the episode, I didn’t want to eat anymore and didn’t want to watch another episode (which is unusual!). My sensations were getting slightly stronger; they weren’t painful, but I just noticed them more.

Starting around 6:30pm, the Hypnobabies suggestion that “every 20 minutes will seem like only 5 minutes” really took effect. The time between 6:30pm and 10:30pm passed by quickly for me, and I really just remember squatting against the wall to help strengthen my pressure waves. I could feel them nicely at this point and they were gradually getting stronger, which made me happy. As my pressure waves became stronger I realized that I hadn’t been using my lightswitch or listening to the tracks on my Ipod like I had visualized myself doing in my birthing time. But I think that the Hypnobabies principles and techniques had become so ingrained in my mind and heart that I didn’t actually need to use my lightswitch or have the scripts read to me in the moment; it was like they were already there, and I was using them without even consciously trying to do so. As each pressure wave began, Stephen would read from the Hypnobabies scripts or recite some of my favorite Affirmations. During each pressure wave I would also recite in my own mind the Affirmations that I loved most, visualize my relaxation and anesthesia, and tell myself to remain loose and limp. All of this helped me relax and remain very calm. At no point would I say I felt any pain; I just focused on relaxing, breathing and affirming what was happening. It was actually exciting for me to finally feel these pressure waves which I had been looking forward to for so many months!

Around 11:30pm our doula arrived at our house. At this point I had to stop talking, focus and breathe through pressure wave. We stayed at our home for 4 more hours (from 11:30pm-3:30am), but it only felt like half that time to me! My doula applied counter-pressure (which felt amazing),I laid sideways on my bed (and even dozed off to sleep for a few minutes!) and sat backwards on the toilet for most of this time. During each pressure wave I would say “relaaaaax” for the length of each exhale, and this also felt so good! I was surprised how good it felt to vocalize through the length of each birthing wave. As I did, each pressure wave seemed to melt away, I think because my mind was so focused on relaxing. At one point I remember thinking “we should head to the hospital soon” but my doula felt like we could afford to stay a little longer. Finally, around 3:30am I said I wanted to go to the hospital because my instincts were telling me I would want to push soon.

We arrived at the hospital at 4:00am on Wednesday October 8th, and when Stephen pulled up to the hospital doors, I felt a “pushy” pressure wave and said, “Stephen, I think I’m pushing!”. Nevertheless, we made it safe and sound to the Labor and Delivery room. When the nurse checked me, she said I was 9.5 centimeters dilated! This was incredibly encouraging for me to hear! I had always visualized myself arriving at the hospital around 6 or 8 centimeters, so 9.5 was better than I anticipated! Also, the doctor who was on call that night was the doctor I had been praying would be on call for my birthing time, and that was another huge encouragement. She was content to let me do things the way I wanted to, so I spent about 30 minutes having pressure waves (some of them “pushy” waves) on all fours, and then changed positions and pushed about another 40 minutes sitting on the edge of the bed using a birthing bar. My “pushy” pressure waves felt like my body had no other choice but to push, and pushing actually felt good. During this pushing phase I didn't feel pain, just intensity and strength. But thanks to Hypnobabies, I had come to view this intensity and power as a good thing and something to look forward to and be thankful for, so I was able to work along with my body to help it do what needed to be done. I told myself numerous times “I am doing this” (one of the Affirmations) to boost my confidence and resolve. The transformation stage was something I was actually really looking forward to, and as the baby began to crown, I remember thinking “this is the part where people feel the ‘ring of fire,’ but it doesn’t hurt at all!”. I just felt fullness and stretching, but trusted that my body would be soft and flexible enough to let my baby out. My doctor said to feel her head, and I’ll never forget what that was like (surreal!). A few more pushes and out came little Aubreye! The doctor put her on my chest and let the cord pulse for a couple minutes like we had asked, but then stated that they needed to help Aubreye clear some meconium and fluid from her lungs. Once she was breathing well, they gave her right back to me. I felt tired, relieved, happy and so excited that I had actually done it! The nurse and my doula both commented that they were surprised how calm and in control I was the whole time (that’s why my doula thought I had so much more time left, because I was so calm!).

Looking back, what was most helpful to me from Hypnobabies was daily practicing visualization and relaxation, and listening to the Affirmations because they really replaced a negative, fear based belief system about birth with an incredibly positive, truth based belief system. Instead of going into birth uninformed, worried or fearful, I went into birth confident, prepared, grateful and educated, looking forward to the things that I would have otherwise dreaded (pressure waves, the “transition” stage, etc). During the birth, what was so helpful to me from Hypnobabies was visualizing relaxation and anesthesia, reminding myself to remain loose and limp, vocalizing “relax” through each pressure wave, and reciting in my mind my favorite Affirmations and phrases from the hypnosis scripts. Throughout the whole birthing process, I never once considered the need for an epidural. For me, birth was definitely an intense challenge, but I felt safe, supported and strong enough physically and mentally to give birth naturally. As I prepared with Hypnobabies I often questioned whether it would actually “work” for me. But now I have experienced just how effective Hypnobabies really is! It trained me to believe that what I expected to feel and experience would, in fact, come to pass. And that is exactly what happened.
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