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What is Hypnosis, Anyway?
by Alexis Hourselt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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

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

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

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

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

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

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

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

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

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

 I have known since I was little that I would have my children naturally.  My husband and I live in Colorado, but I grew up in Texas, where my mother had 3 of her 4 children, with a midwife, in the birth center that she has now worked at for 25 years.  We had a midwife here in Colorado, but my primary was a midwife in Texas, that I have known since my early childhood.  Growing up around midwives gave me a unique perspective on childbirth.  It was never a question of “Will I have my baby naturally?” merely a question of “What program will I use?”  My husband and I initially looked into hypnobirthing, but my midwife suggested Hypnobabies.  She said she had seen more success with the Hypnobabies program.  After doing some research, and seeing a water birth video that blew my mind (“Easy, Peaceful Homebirth (Elovie Extended)” a woman using the Hypnobabies program), we decided that Hypnobabies was the right program for us.  I started the home course at 26 weeks, and tried my best to follow it 100%.  I didn’t practice my finger drop technique as much as I wanted, but I trusted the program from the start, and didn’t stray.  I kept away from negative birthing stories, and filled my mind with stories and videos of amazing Hypnobabies births. 

At 37 weeks, we drove down to Texas to get ready for our little girl to arrive.  A wonderful friend offered his home to us, which was about 30 minutes from our birth center.  We graciously accepted.  We were there about 2 weeks, when my due date of November 24 came and went.  I was not anxious or worried, I knew our baby would come when she was ready, and I had faith in the Lord’s perfect plan.  My husband and I were getting great practice; I used my Epi-no to stretch, while my husband used his ques to help me relax.  This was very helpful, as I was able to practice, while feeling some of the sensations I would face in the near future.  Thanksgiving morning, I felt a practice pressure wave (Braxton Hicks contractions), and I remember telling our baby “You’re not allowed to come today, you can come tomorrow.”  I had no further pressure waves that day, and she didn’t come, as I had asked.

The next day, November 28th, my husband and I spent most of the day shopping, and I was starting to feel as though I’d be pregnant forever.  That night, we had the house to ourselves, and we were watching “Pirates of the Caribbean.”  At about 8:50 pm, I was lounging on the sofa in my PJ’s, with the movie almost over, when I felt something warm on my legs.  I remember sitting there thinking “Hmmm… that feels nice… wait, I’m not peeing!”  I sat up quickly, and gave my husband a knowing and excited look, and then I quickly waddled to the bathroom, shooting another goofy glance at my husband, while in my mind I was asking him “do you know what just happened?”  Of course, he did, I wouldn’t have done well in a game of poker with that face.  I wiped to see if there was any bloody show, which, there wasn’t.  My husband came into the bathroom, and I suddenly found myself very nervous.  This was no longer practice, it was time for the real deal, and it was time for me to meet my daughter.  My husband reassured me that I would do great, and used his ques to help calm me.

We called my mom, who came over right away.  We called my midwife, who asked if I was having any pressure waves (contractions), which, I was not at the time.  She said it may be some before things kicked in, and we agreed to keep her updated.  We finished the movie, and waited for my mother to arrive.  I felt a few light cramps, but wasn’t convinced that I was in active labor.  I was still nervous, so, when my mother arrived, we all decided to do a fear clearing session.  It was very helpful in calming my nerves, and letting me be more excited about what was to come.  I was starting to have what felt like mild period cramps, at irregular intervals, we talked about what to do next.  I wasn’t feeling them in my abdomen, so, I decided I wanted to take a nap.  At about 11:00 pm we asked my mom to take our dog to her house, and let her know we’d keep her up to date.

I tried many different positions to try to get comfortable enough to sleep, but I had pain in my lower back, and nothing was working.  I found myself very frustrated.  I was trying to use my switch, but I was having a hard time, and wasn’t able to get into hypnosis.  At about 11:45 PM, I started to have regular pressure waves, 1 minute every 15 minutes, these didn’t feel strong at all.  At about 1:20 AM, My husband ran a warm bath for me, and helped me into the water.  He got the “Easy First Stage” track playing on my headphones.  This was just what I needed, and I was finally able to get into hypnosis.  This also seemed to get my pressure waves coming more quickly, about 1 minute every 4-5 minutes apart, and they were starting to get intense.  My husband let our midwife know that the pressure waves had really elevated, and at about 1:50 AM, we decided it was time to head to the birth center.  I got out of the tub, and got ready to leave.  While we were getting ready, I really needed my husband to lean on every few minutes, during each pressure wave.  That made getting ready very difficult.  (Make sure you are as ready as you can possibly be, in the moment, time flies). 

Just after 2:00 AM, we were headed to the birth center.  The drive seemed to go by very quickly; I was saying my peace ques out-loud through each pressure wave, which really helped.  When we arrived, I consciously moved my switch to the center.  One of the assisting midwives asked me “Are you ready to have your baby?”  I nodded yes, but my husband did the talking for me, as I was pretty deep in my hypnosis.  My pressure waves were coming every few minutes, and I was still experiencing quite a bit of discomfort in my lower back.  The assistant midwife walked us into one of the birthing rooms while they were filling the tub.  She had me lean on a birthing ball, and applied counter pressure to my lower back.  She showed my husband what to do, and he continued applying counter pressure, which relieved a lot of the discomfort.  I was very anxious to get in the birthing tub.  I could feel my body becoming pushy.  My husband helped me to the bathroom, were I had to lean on him through a pressure wave while I was trying to urinate. Around 3:00 AM my midwife arrived and I remember opening my eyes to look at her and ask, probably for the tenth time, if the birthing tub was ready. She assured me that it would be ready soon; I just knew how wonderful that warm water would feel.  After spending some more time leaning over the birthing ball, I stood up and just leaned on my husband. I said out loud, “I can do this,” to which my midwife reassured me that I was indeed doing it. The pressure waves were becoming more intense, but it never felt like anything I couldn’t handle, they were just becoming stronger. After another trip to the bathroom, the tub was finally ready. My husband asked if I wanted to put on the sports bra that I intended to wear in the water, but with my body feeling pushy I just wanted to get in.  

Around 3:30 AM I was in the tub, and my body relaxed even more. It was amazing to feel so weightless; I did not even feel my back discomfort anymore; I was deeply in hypnosis by this point. Soon after getting into the water, I had my first pushing pressure wave, which was intense but amazing.  I started to envision my baby “sliding down my birth canal like a slide.” They had candles lit in the room, and everyone was talking in a whisper like I had requested.  I had my “Pushing Baby Out” track playing in one ear. The whole atmosphere was just what I had envisioned. I was on my knees leaning over the side of the tub; my husband was on his knees on the ground in front of me.  I opened my eyes to see my mother enter the room, I said hi to her twice before closing my eyes again, grabbing my husband’s hands and ahhing through a pressure wave.  All the pressure waves from this point on were pushing pressure waves. At about 3:45 AM, my midwife whispered in my ear that she was going to check me. She said out loud a few seconds later that she felt the baby’s head, and whispered to me that I was very close. I became excited at the reality that I would meet my little girl soon, and amazed that all I felt was tightening and pressure, but no pain at all. I started to feel sick, and burped a few times. Looking back this was probably when I went through transition, but it all felt the same to me, just intense pressure with each pressure wave.  The waves were right on top of each other, and my body started to push down with such force that I was in awe of it.  All I had to do was relax, and my body handled the rest. I was visualizing my baby crowning now, and saying out loud in between waves that, “my perineum is stretchy.”  I had to ahh through each one, and my midwife suggested that I do a deeper ahh sound. I remember thinking each time I ahhh’d deeply that I sounded like a man, and that made me laugh in my head. My husband was wonderful, letting me have his hands, whispering my cue words, giving me sips of water and replaying my “Pushing Baby Out” track when it would stop.

After vocalizing out loud once more “I can do this,” my midwife whispers that now I needed to concentrate. This let me know that I would soon be holding my baby.  I let my daughter know out loud that it was okay to come out, I was so ready to hold her.  My mom started to cry after I said this, and I thought that was funny.  My midwife asked if I wanted to feel my baby’s head.  I wanted to, but I couldn’t imagine moving from my position.  I didn’t have long to think about it because the most intense pressure wave came and I had to hold it back from pushing her out right then!  My midwife started to support my perineum, and I felt the ring of fire.  Thinking to myself, “Hmm that must be the ring of fire, well, that means I’m really close,” I concentrated on just relaxing. I felt someone else giving me counter pressure on my back, and they were applying it a little too hard.  To my surprise I politely said, “That’s too hard.” She apologized and I replied, “That’s ok.”  Looking at my birth chart, this happened a minute before I birthed my daughter. Only with Hypnobabies can you be so calm and polite, lol.  I felt my daughter fully crown a minute later and decided for the first and only time in my labor to actively push.  In the same minute her head and body was born.

At 5:00 AM, November, 29, 2014, my daughter, Ember Ruth Rogers was born.  I had been on my knees the whole time, so I tried to sit down.  My midwife told me not to sit yet or I would sit on my baby.  I turned around to sit, and there she was.  My midwife laid my wide eyed and beautiful daughter on my chest, which was a little difficult because her cord was so short.  I vaguely remember my husband behind me crying, my mom as well, I could not believe I had done it.  Ember had a little trouble breathing, she had some fluid in her lungs, but at 5:07 she cried for the first time.  She sneezed a few times and did not have a continual cry.  She was too busy looking around at everything, and at me.  We stayed in the tub for 30 minutes, it felt more like 10 to me, before my mom clamped and cut Ember’s cord.  The cord had not stopped pulsating but my back was starting to hurt again due to my placenta not wanting to come out.  I handed Ember off to my husband.  Nauseous and shaky I got out of the tub, and into a bed.  My midwife had to help guide out my placenta as I pushed it out.  I needed two stiches, not due to her size, but to how fast she was born.  I was finally able to have my own herbal bath with my baby, after helping draw many of them since I was a child.

 

Giving Birth to my daughter was the most amazing and empowering experience of my life.  Besides some discomfort in my back, her labor was not painful.  I honestly only felt pressure, while it was the most intense pressure I have ever felt, it was not painful.  My midwife was absolutely perfect, and helped give me the birth I wanted.  My husband was the best birth partner; I can honestly say I could not have done it without him.  I cannot thank Hypnobabies enough for how well it prepared me, and the confidence it gave me in my God given ability to give birth to my daughter naturally.  I have told every pregnant woman I know about it, and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants a peaceful, calm and awesome birthing experience.  I am now six months pregnant with our second and have started my home course again.  I’m looking forward to going into my second birth with an unshakable belief in the Hypnobabies program, and I can’t wait to bring another child into this world as peacefully and lovingly as my first.

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

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

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Join our Hypnobabies Community and receive 10% off of all Hypnobabies products!
class mp3 set sm1CTEDIT
And now, the top ten reasons we love the new course...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Third Birth, Best Birth

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 Elizabeth and Family 2

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

And it’s crap.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Purple Line or Bottom Line

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

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

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

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

As physician and natural childbirth advocate Michel Odent reminds us:

When you consider birth as an involuntary process involving old, mammalian structures of the brain, you set aside the assumption that a woman must learn to give birth. It is implicit in the mammalian interpretation that one cannot actively help a woman to give birth. The goal is to avoid disturbing her unnecessarily. Find the rest of this article HERE.
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This is my first time being pregnant, and I'm seriously looking into hypnobirthing.  My work schedule seriously conflicts with the only course offered by an instructor.  I have a book on hypnobirthingk but need to know if that will be enough?  Can someone tell me how important it is, going to the courses with an actual instructor?

 

Heeeeeeelp!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Fiona!
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Pitocin Is Not Oxytocin
By Kelly Brogan MD

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

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

What is Oxytocin?

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

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

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