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Posted by on in Birth Professionals
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midwife
We love midwives!
Their service, love and dedication to expectant and birthing families is invaluable and we love to educate our students about the Midwifery Model of Care. Many midwives don't yet have experience with Hypnobabies or hypnosis itself, therefore how the power of our minds creates change and manifests healing, pain relief and emotional confidence is still unknown to them. This article (excerpted from the Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula Training Program) is dedicated to the wonderful midwives who attend Hypnobabies births.


It is our intention to help midwives learn more about Hypnobabies language terms, philosophies, hypnosis techniques, and how they can more effectively support their Hypnobabies clients' unique birth preferences. (Hypno-Moms, please share the link to this blog post with your own midwife, and doulas, please share it with your local midwifery groups. Thank you.)

Serving your Hypnobabies clients during their prenatal visits … some things to know:

1. Hypnobabies mothers are in a state of heightened suggestibility when in the presence of a *perceived* authority figure. As a medical care provider, you are an authority figure to all of your midwifery clients. Of course you and the families you serve are collaborators in their pregnancy and birthing journey; you are "on the same team", working together in a partnership that bonds you together. While this is true, it is the *perception* (on the part of each expectant mother) that you are also an authority figure who is the ultimate expert and to whom she turns for extremely important issues as well as comfort and possibly protection that makes her much more suggestible to what *you* say and do.  This is true for anyone she considers an expert (authority figure) during her pregnancy and birth, and it explains why strong, intelligent  women can be so easily influenced when it comes to extremely important issues during pregnancy and birth.

2. Listening to an authority figure speak creates a state of heightened suggestibility in the listener's mind, because the listener holds the speaker in high regard. More importance is put on the words spoken than if a non-authority figure spoke the very same words.

3. Everything said by you, an authority figure, during a prenatal visit becomes a directive to your client's subconscious mind (her feeling mind) and this can result in her experiencing physiologically anything that is said to her in a "what to expect" manner.

4. This is especially true for your clients who are learning Hypnobabies because they have a daily hypnosis practice making them even more suggestible. It's very important that they hear everything spoken to them in encouraging, positive or neutral language.

5. This means using terms that have a neutral or positive association for your client. Most women who have seen, read or heard others' birth stories have developed a fearful, or negative association with the terms that we have historically used to describe birth.

6. The words an expectant mother associates with her impressions of childbirth often have a negative connotation (emotional meaning) to her subconscious mind.

7. She may even express consciously that she doesn't have a negative association with the words that were used to tell the frightening or drama-filled birth stories, but it's important to know that we all form connotations for the words we hear. This happens automatically in the subconscious mind and is expressed in our behavior.

8. When a woman hears birth terms that have a negative connotation to her, spoken by an authority figure during prenatal visits, or while she's vulnerable and highly suggestible during birthing, she automatically recalls the associated feeling subconsciously, and she can actually experience the same feeling in the moment that she associates with those words. If she associates the word with fear, she'll experience fear.

9. As birth workers, we all have come to understand that fear is the most prevalent impediment to the process of giving birth.

10. The Hypnobabies program purposefully uses neutral/encouraging language to eliminate the automatic fear response that a pregnant woman experiences when she hears birth described in terms/words that have a negative association and connotation for her.

11. This is why Hypnobabies uses words/terms to describe birth like:

   • BABY rather than FETUS
   • GIVING BIRTH not the DELIVERY or BEING DELIVERED
   • BIRTHING WAVE or PRESSURE WAVE instead of CONTRACTION
   • BIRTHING TIME instead of LABOR or even HARD LABOR
   • TRANSFORMATION rather than TRANSITION (when "transition hit" … )
   • DISCOMFORT never PAIN (no positive connotations for the word pain)
   • POWERFUL STRETCHING or PRESSURE SENSATIONS not RING OF FIRE

What about childbirth preparation … taking other classes and doing Hypnobabies?

ch class comp

1. For all the reasons cited above regarding the impact that birth language can have on the expectant mother's feelings and perceptions, and even her experience of pregnancy and childbirth, we ask that expectant mothers choose one childbirth preparation program and only one; that they choose a program that appeals to them and that they embrace that one program fully.

2. When a mother chooses to use Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis to prepare for birth, it is imperative that she hears and speaks, and thinks only in terms/words that form positive, encouraging associations, and connotations for words that describe birth.

3. The Hypnobabies mother will be learning and using hypnosis to reframe her perceptions of birth at the subconscious level (her feelings).

4. She is learning through her hypnosis practice that birth can be easier and more comfortable, so that she may become fearless and confident about birth. Eliminating fear from birth while learning hypnosis tools for physical comfort creates a new positive perception of what birth can be in her subconscious mind; in her feelings about birth.

5. If at the same time, she also sees videos and hears in another childbirth class that birth is the worst pain she'll ever experience … but that she is strong, and she can endure the pain, and that the pain is purposeful, or that pain is empowering and helps her bond with her baby … her hypnosis conditioning to the opposite will be undone. This is because the subconscious mind (feelings), cannot entertain or experience two such opposite philosophies in the same moment, in the same body. She simply cannot feel confident and afraid at the same time.

6. Choosing is the important message here. We are not saying that Hypnobabies is for everyone; we know that it is not. However, in order for a mother who chooses Hypnobabies to make the best use of the hypnosis tools that create her comfort, she needs to avoid attending other classes where the language and the philosophy is one of preparation for coping with unavoidable pain.

7. Some people think that Hypnobabies teaches only hypnosis, and that expectant moms need to take other classes in order to be fully prepared for a natural birth … not true! Since Hypnobabies includes very thorough, consumer-based childbirth preparation education along with birth hypnosis tools, it isn't necessary for our students to take other classes in order to be fully informed about all aspects of preparing for birth such as:

  • Maintaining a healthy, low risk pregnancy 
  • Nutrition and prenatal exercises 
  • Anatomy and physiology of late pregnancy 
  • The birth process 
  • Consumer issues, choices in pregnancy and childbirth (creating informed choice)
  • We cite and promote evidence based care throughout the course
  • Creating Birth Preferences and newborn preferences
  • Birth videos of Hypnobabies families
  • Birth Partner preparation 
  • Birth Rehearsal practices in class, or scripted practice for Home Study students

A midwife can support her Hypnobabies clients during the prenatal period by:

1. being open-minded and hypno-curious!

2. using neutral, encouraging terms when talking about birth or when describing procedures or explaining her choices during prenatal visits.

3. learning about the Hypnobabies program (it's different than other hypno-birth courses)

  • Learn how the Hypnobabies Lightswitch technique helps your client enter hypnosis, and the difference between being OFF, in the CENTER and being ON.
  • Learn about the deepening word cues, "Relax", "Release" and "Peace".
  • Ask the mother if she will demonstrate each of the techniques and cues for you! It's pretty fascinating actually, to see the mother instantly enter hypnosis at will.

4. asking mom if she practices her eyes-open childbirth hypnosis technique 5 times every day:

  • If yes, congratulate her! (Everyone's experience of her baby's birthing will be easier and more comfortable, including yours!)
  • If no, remind her to do so! It is the foundation of the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program, and the key to her hypnosis working well for her during birthing.
  • Since Hypnobabies is not a "listen only" program, IF she's not learning and practicing her hypnosis techniques and deepening cues daily, she's not DOING Hypnobabies. She's just enjoying a nice relaxing nap … not hypnosis.

Things about Hypnobabies that your client will appreciate you knowing:

1. The single most important thing to know is that everything said to a woman in hypnosis becomes a directive. If she is told that what she will feel is going to be painful or unpleasant, by way of warning her what to expect next, she can experience something uncomfortable that she otherwise wouldn't have. For example: saying, "Powerful stretching sensations as your baby's head crowns" or "lots of pressure now as baby crowns", rather than "let me know when you begin to feel the burn", or "now you're going to feel the ring of fire" will eliminate fear for the mother, and create confidence and a much more comfortable experience.

2. Mothers need to use their hypnosis techniques early in birthing, and maintain a deep level of hypnosis throughout birthing for it to be most effective. It's a myth that being in hypnosis "too early" can stall birthing. The opposite is actually true. Hypnosis tracks can be used to start birthing, and to increase the power of birthing waves.

3. She needs a constant stream of hypnotic suggestions coming into her subconscious mind in order to actually stay in a deeply hypnotized state. She can listen to her Hypnobabies audio tracks or to her Birth Partner reading Birth Prompts to her, or listen to the Relaxation Music and use her self-hypnosis tools on her own.

4. It's her HYPNOSIS conditioning and its continuous use during birthing that creates her comfort and therefore allows her to relax so profoundly, not the other way around.

5. Hypnobabies is not guided imagery or just a better relaxation technique; it's real medical hypnosis (hypno-anesthesia) that doctors and dentists use for their patients who cannot tolerate medical anesthesia for surgeries or other procedures. Hypnobabies mothers learn to create hypno-anesthesia and must maintain a deep level of hypnosis to access it instantly during birthing.
     
birth ball practice kim

The Signs of Birth Progressing Can Be Subtle in Hypnobabies Mothers:

The signs that a Hypnobabies mother is in her Birthing Time are the same as other natural birthing mothers, just typically more subtle. When she's in her early Birthing Time, she is able to listen to her hypnosis tracks and sleep, sometimes all the way to 5 centimeters dilation. She will continue to rest until her birth progresses to the point where she knows instinctively that she needs to do something different, like change her position or eat or use the restroom.

It's important that the Hypnobabies mother follows her own internal agenda for comfort. A lot of times it isn't apparent that a Hypnobabies mother is making progress during the early part of her birthing, so her birth care provider might suggest maneuvers or positioning and movement to get things going, when actually her birthing is moving right along … it's just not obvious because she's not demonstrating that she's uncomfortable. Since approximately 70% of Hypnobabies mothers report being completely comfortable through their entire birth experience, your Hypnobabies client might never exhibit any signs of being in pain during birth.

If a Hypnobabies mother's birthing has seemingly stalled, it's more important to look to her emotional state first. She could listen to her "Fear Clearing" hypnosis track and resolve any concerns or fears that might be preventing her from progressing to the next phase of birthing. For example, a mom that has experienced abuse who could become afraid of pushing her baby out as she neared second stage, is able to let go of those concerns for the moment in order to attend to the task at hand, and go on to give birth to her baby quickly. This is the purpose of the Fear Clearing session. She might need to address those concerns with a therapist later on, but in the moment she's able to regain her confidence and composure and give birth.

As the Hypnobabies mother's birthing progresses, she might become more and more inwardly focused and communicate less. This isn't because she isn't able to speak during a pressure wave. She could if she wanted to; her not speaking is more likely due to not wanting to interrupt her focus and the depth of her hypnosis. Waiting to hear some distress in her voice, or panic in her tone as an indication of being in active labor is not valid for a Hypnobabies mom. Many a doula or midwife who is used to listening to the mother's tone of voice  for signs of distress before going to join them, has missed the baby's birthing altogether. Midwives and doulas have also reported that some of our Hypnobabies mothers are so calm and focused during late first stage that they didn’t know when the mom was having a pressure wave!

There are usually signs that a Hypnobabies mother is in late first stage/transformation. During late first stage, her breathing might deepen like any birthing mom, and she may breathe a bit more rapidly. She might even moan or vocalize, and any sounds she makes will become lower in tone as her baby moves deeper into her pelvis. She might tremble, and feel hot or cold alternately just like other mothers who are in late first stage.

However, it's not common for a Hypnobabies mother to experience nausea or to vomit as an indication that second stage is near. This is because they remain so relaxed emotionally and physically throughout birth that there are less stressor hormones in her body to cause her to become nauseous. For the same reason, some of our Hypnobabies mothers, especially during their second or subsequent births, never have pressure waves that are closer than 3 - 4 minutes apart or that last longer than 60 seconds.

Since their bodies are not fighting the birthing process, they are not experiencing the Fear, Tension Pain cycle which can interfere with the efficiency of the uterine muscles and slow down birthing. This is the reason so many of our mothers give birth more rapidly than the average. Remaining profoundly relaxed throughout first stage gives Hypnobabies mothers the energy to push their babies out when the time comes.

What About Suggesting Other "Tried and True" Natural Childbirth Tools?

If a Hypnobabies mother is experiencing some challenges during her baby's birth, she needs her support team to help her get refocused on her hypnosis tools, not to suggest that she switch gears in the middle of her birthing to some other method of breathing, or movement or coping mechanisms. She may be experiencing a moment of self-doubt and she would benefit from listening to Fear Clearing or possibly some private time to listen to some deepening cues from her Birth Partner.

What she really needs is encouragement to deepen her self-hypnosis and to continue to use the tools that have been 01 Cassandra bp smworking for her up to this point. If her Hypnobabies tools ever worked for her, they will work again. A mother can decide to quit using her hypnosis skills, but hypnosis doesn't just quit working all by itself. There is no time limit on the effectiveness of hypnosis. If a Hypnobabies mother has been using it effectively up until a certain point, she can be encouraged to re-enter, re-commit and reinforce her level of hypnosis until she's back on track again. For most mothers, the Hypnobabies Birth Guide ~ track 1, "Easy First Stage" is the hypnosis track they turn to the most. It is designed to keep her deeply in hypnosis, to reinforce all her cue words and to focus her attention on her hypno-anesthesia, and being confident no matter what is happening around her, and to feeling safe.

If she's been handed a major change to her birth plan, her Birth Partner could read her the Hypnobabies "Change of Plans" script to help her accept the new path her baby's birthing is taking, and to refocus on her hypnosis tools for comfort.

If a Hypnobabies mother experiences a challenge or if she says she feels like she "just can't do this" (as we've seen mothers who use every method of childbirth preparation do), this is not the time for your Hypnobabies client to "try something different" (unless it is a different Hypnobabies cue or technique). For instance, if we ask a Hypnobabies mother to "open her eyes and to breathe with me" to help her refocus, we've just engaged the neo-cortex of her brain and popped her right out of hypnosis. Her pre-conditioned hypnosis techniques will be of no use to her if she's no longer in a state of hypnosis.

It's also not the time to suggest using her Hypnobabies in ways that aren't familiar to her, or suggest that she use her tools in ways that they weren't designed to be used. This could be disorienting to her at a time when she just needs to be reminded of what she's learned and practiced, in order to get her focus on hypnosis back.

As Ina May Gaskin said in her TEDx Sacramento presentation ...

"I noticed that labor could be well established, that the uterus could be opening, the cervix opening, and things could come to a halt. OK, now what do we do then? Well, I found out that sometimes words could help, but they had to be the right words, something strong and relevant for that woman."

Just as with any other method of preparation for childbirth, there are ways to work within the Hypnobabies program to get mom past any obstacles to her achieving her goal of a natural birth. We wouldn't suggest to a Bradley mom that she begin using Lamaze distraction breathing techniques if she's struggling a bit to remain relaxed while doing her deep abdominal breathing during late first stage. We use what she's learned in her Bradley classes to help her to refocus and regain her confidence and composure with the tools she already knows. Moms need familiarity and the security of the tools they've chosen, learned and practiced during their preparation for their baby's birth.

The most important thing to remember at a Hypnobabies birth is that the mother needs to be listening to (using hypno-tools) something familiar that will keep her deeply in hypnosis throughout her entire Birthing Time. She's not DOING Hypnobabies if she's not using her hypnosis tools (inside, to herself) and/or listening to hypnotic suggestions on audio tracks, or hearing birth prompts read to her by her Birth Partner or Hypno-Doula.

Easy, Comfortable Childbirth ... Chance? Coincidence? Accident?

 A Hypnobabies mom gives birth confidently, comfortably, much more easily than most natural childbirth moms ...

nicole king relax bordered



Is it a fluke…a one-time occurrence…or maybe “just how that one mom gives birth…”? This is unfortunately what some birth professionals think is the case after they attend a Hypnobabies birth, assuming that the "hypno-tools" which that Hypnobabies mother used "worked for her, but probably won't work for other moms". Or that "this mother was just lucky and had an easy time of it", or "I've never actually seen hypnosis work in a birth before so I'm not sure...."  


Not having a true understanding of the medical-grade hypnosis contained in Hypnobabies and having attended other types of "hypno-births" is most likely the cause of these responses. In reality, it is deep somnambulistic hypnosis, complete childbirth education and the compounding (repetition) of hypnosis techniques that creates fear-free, comfortable Hypnobabies births.

Please take sometime to read Hypnobabies Birth Stories and you'll see first-hand accounts of many Hypnobabies mothers experiencing easy, comfortable Hypnobabies births that resulted not from chance, but from their own dedication to learning, practicing and using Hypnobabies hypnosis techniques during childbirth! Homebirths, Birth Center Births, Hospital Births, First-time Moms, VBAC Births, Waterbirths , Breech Babies, Multiples.

A Midwife's Experience with Hypnobabies

One wonderful midwife, Stephanie Soderblom, who was very skeptical at first, shares her insights and revelations with us:

"Despite the fact that I have been attending births for fourteen years, my first experience with Hypnobabies happened only a year ago…and I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to it. Why not? Because I’d had previous experiences with “hypno”-classes and the subsequent births were often MORE challenging as the parents were not only underprepared for what they were about to experience, they were set up for disappointments with unrealistic expectations of a “pain free” birth if they just did their hypnosis “right”. It was not unusual for my client to feel labor becoming active (generally 3-4 cm dilated) and panic, thinking she was not doing things ‘right’ because of how it felt, losing all confidence in her ability and desire to complete the job at hand…the exact opposite of what you want in labor.

The upcoming birth was a first time mother and, as most people know, first babies tend to be the most challenging. I was skeptical and nervous about it as I knew this was a “hypno-birth” mother. I braced myself for the false alarms I often saw, emotional breakdowns, the pep talks I was used to giving to “hypno-birth” mothers about how she was NOT failing or doing it wrong, that her body COULD do this, that nothing was wrong. During our prenatal visits with this Hypnobabies mom I would ask her if she had any questions this week about nutrition, signs of labor, questions about the birth – and I was always pleasantly surprised at the depth of her knowledge and she would always assure me that they’d just gone over that information in her Hypnobabies class! My curiosity was peaked, but I did remain skeptical.

I got the first call early in the morning that the mother thought her water had broken, but they assured me that she was doing just fine and would keep in touch with me and let me know if anything changed or she needed me. She planned to do what she’d learned in her Hypnobabies class…to eat well and rest until labor commanded her attention. Plan for the day was to take naps and watch a DVD! Alright…now I was impressed! I didn’t have to tell a first time mom to take it easy in early labor, or calm a panicking family because her water had broken! How refreshing!

We kept in contact throughout the day until I headed to their house late that evening. Contractions were coming very regularly, but she was still calm and handling things very well. I figured I’d be there for quite a long time as it still sounded like it wasn’t far into her labor. I got to their home and she was listening to her CDs, calm and happy – uh oh, more confirmation that I’d probably be there a long time. Imagine my delight when their son slipped out into the world while his mom sat on a birth stool in her peaceful bedroom! Tucked into bed, mom smiled and looked at me and said, “That wasn’t nearly as bad as so many people told me it would be! That was AWESOME!”

I was thrilled beyond words – but figured that the chances were great that it was the parents that succeeded IN SPITE of the method, not because of the method. Glad that they had such a positive experience, Hypnobabies hadn’t quite won me over yet – I would need more experience with it before making a final judgment.

Thankfully I wouldn’t have to wait long. Another first time mother (who had attended the same class as the previous peace cuemother!) called me early in the morning with early labor. Similar story as her classmate; she labored all day, finally calling me out late in the evening. A smiling and happy first time mom greeted me from her rented Jacuzzi hot tub in her family room. I commented to my assistant that we were probably in for a LONG night and after our initial assessment we laid down to rest. One hour later, when I went to check on the baby, she was out of the water and going to the bathroom. Still smiling and happy, we all agreed that an internal exam might be a good idea. I prayed that she would be at least 3cm but braced myself for much less. To say that I was shocked is an understatement: I found her to be 8cm dilated and her water broken around my hand. Her response to finding out she was 8cm was a smile and a calm, “yay”! She got back into her water and soon after she delivered her 10 pound baby girl in her bedroom. Her response to the birth was that it was “beautiful”.

I could feel myself converting to being a Hypnobabies fan. Not for myself, mind you, but for my clients who time and time again have had similar experiences. Calm labors, centered mamas, working intensely and never complaining because they EXPECTED and PREPARED to work intensely for an easier birth experience!! Babies born beautifully by empowered mothers who soon-after say how wonderful their births were.

I found myself referring people eagerly to the Hypnobabies classes, and my reaction to finding out someone was a Hypnobabies family was, “AWESOME!” It has totally shattered all of my previous misgivings that I had developed, as it became obvious how different the Hypnobabies series was from all other hypno-classes. The main difference that I saw was the amount (and quality) of childbirth information given. Families were given information on how to keep themselves healthy through the pregnancy, stages of labor, physiological changes and ways to help facilitate the birth through positional changes and movement – and also given information on ways to use hypnosis to assist them through the birth. The parents were given realistic expectations so that they could prepare for what they were likely to experience, not false hope of escaping the experience.

As a midwife, my Hypnobabies births are easy on me as I am dealing with healthy and informed families ready for the challenges ahead – and they are a blessing to the families as the tools and information given to them through their classes help them have the best outcomes possible!! Yes, Hypnobabies…you turned this skeptic into a fan!"

stephanie soderblom headshot




Stephanie Soderblom, LM CPM
http://www.nurturingheartsbirthservices.com







For more detailed and comprehensive information for all birth professionals that attend Hypnobabies births, please visit our Hypnobabies Hypno-Doula Training Program page.

(Hypno-Doulas, please share the above information with your Hypnobabies clients’ midwives so that they can help our wonderful Hypno-moms enjoy an easier, more comfortable birth.)





http://www.hypnobabies-store.com/Hypno-Doula_Training-Hypno-Doula_Training_Bundle_with_5_CDs.html
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I am a very proud Hypnobabies Mom (4 yrs ago) & a doula, currently working on my HypnoDoula certification. I can't say enough good things about Hypnobabies. I tell every client I interview about how calm & peaceful my Hypnobabies birth was. You get plenty strange looks, oh well. It *CAN be easy, women just don't always believe it. I am a Hypnobabies cheerleader! 

My Hypnobabies birth was perfect & I immediately wanted other women know their births can be too. The Hypnobabies program is simply AMAZING. Now I am starting to get Hypnobabies doula clients.....YEAH! 

I just had a Hypnobabies Mom as a client, she *practiced and believed* in the program and did it show!  We arrived at the hospital at 9+ cm. 1 hour later her baby arrived), barely made a noise. (1st baby), no tear. Mom was so calm & focused she didn't even think she needed to go to the hospital.

Hypnobabies is now starting catch on in some Indianapolis hospitals. YEAH!! I sat in on one of the hospital Hypnobabies classes (as a refresher for an upcoming Hypnobabies client).  I asked the nurse why the hospitals have come on board. She said they were seeing lots of Hypnobabies traffic on the message boards. Her classes have been full for many months.  I have another Hypnobabies Mom due in 2wks.  Baby is breech. Can't wait to share that with Hypnobabies.....baby turned.

homebirth couple from debbie bostock pinterest
Beautiful Hypnobabies homebirth couple

~Blessed by Births~  Debbie Bostock  Indianapolis, IN
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VERY IMPORTANT:

A message from Kerry, Founder/Director of Hypnobabies:

As a childbirth educator and doula since 1989, I created Hypnobabies as a way of assisting women to prepare for childbirth and experience it in a much more positive way than I had myself. Childbirth is a very important, even life-changing experience which can leave the most joyous and beautiful imprints on those who have experienced it…when it has been a positive birth. When it has not, it can leave scars which remain for a very long time, and sometimes never heal.  I believe that the numbers of women for whom the latter is true can be reduced greatly with excellent childbirth education, compassionate support, and the comfort tools to empower themselves in creating the birth experience they desire. I eat, drink, breathe and live to help moms all over the world to enjoy having a safer and much more comfortable birthing, and I feel compelled to open the door to a better understanding about how Hypnobabies fits into this process.

Over the last few years we have been hearing about experienced Hypno-Moms and others who, with the best of intentions want to send other moms our Hypnobabies course's audio tracks electronically, or just send them our Hypnobabies Course CDs. Those tracks then become the only Hypnobabies materials that the receiving mom would get to prepare for her birth with Hypnobabies. We also hear from moms who have used Hypnobabies in the past but cannot find their Hypnobabies Home Study workbook so they simply want to use the audio tracks to "do" Hypnobabies again. This indicates that they think they will remember all of the vitally important information in our written materials, or that they think Hypnobabies' written materials are simply not important enough to read again with this new pregnancy. The truth is that there is quite a lot of information on what each Hypnobabies hypnosis technique is and how it is used, allowing each Hypno-Mom to fully understand how to learn (or re-learn), practice and use Hypnobabies to their best benefit. Additionally other extremely important information about pregnancy, birth and post-partum are being missed when there are no Hypnobabies workbooks or handouts. Even experienced moms who have had several babies benefit greatly from reading these materials since our course is so comprehensive.

It is extremely important that any mother desiring to use Hypnobabies (and all birth professionals) understand fully that simply listening to Hypnobabies audio tracks without the rest of our program materials is not adequate, and anyone who does so is actually not using Hypnobabies. We firmly discourage this practice, not because we are being protective of *ourselves* but rather out of concern for our Hypno-Moms.

Although all of our Hypnobabies course is copyright and trademark protected and it is therefore illegal to duplicate in any way, *that* is not our greatest concern here at Hypnobabies regarding moms "sharing" Hypnobabies tracks - our Hypno-Moms are. Each mother *deserves* to have the best birth experience they can, and Hypnobabies was designed to be an extremely comprehensive childbirth hypnosis COURSE so that moms would all have information and birthing materials to help them create that for themselves. We have made it quite clear that if a mom actually wants to use Hypnobabies for her baby's birth, she needs to...

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(Continued from our post: Misconceptions about Hypnobabies... directly below this post)

Carole Thorpe,VP of Hypnobabies writes:

Sadly, misconceptions abound about hypnosis and its use in childbirth. The most common misconceptions are:

That hypnosis is merely another method of coping with pain, or that it's pain management, or that hypnosis is just flowery guided imagery delivered in a monotone voice that induces deeper relaxation than other methods, or that hypnosis distances a woman from her body during her baby's birthing, or that it denies her basic physiological responses that others create through enduring pain, or that women won't remember their baby's births, or that moms must lie still and listen intently to hypnosis recordings...their birthings entirely scripted, for hypnosis to be of any use. None of these assumptions are true of real self-hypnosis, deepened to the level of somnambulism, which is the depth of hypnosis that one must achieve to create an anesthesia effect in the body.

When a birthing woman is profoundly relaxed and deeply in a state of self-hypnosis, she responds to pre-learned, post-hypnotic suggestions so profoundly that her body creates endorphins, serotonins, melatonins and other relaxing hormones and stress reducing brain chemicals. This happens automatically and all the smooth muscles in her body, all the muscles controlled by the autonomic nervous system relax so powerfully, that there is a...

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Posted by on in Birth Professionals
Hypno-Curious?

Myths & Misconceptions about Hypnosis for Childbirth
We are very proud! It is now common knowledge that Hypnobabies® Childbirth Hypnosis is a very successful childbirth hypnosis program. Women consistently show us how intelligent they are as they seek out our program and it is obvious that they know exactly what they want and need, or they wouldn’t even investigate the possibility that childbirth can be much more joyful and empowering by using hypnosis. In terms of helping women have much easier, more comfortable and even pain-free birth experiences, we have taught many thousands of expectant women how to trust in their bodies, their minds and their babies. The results have effectively and very positively changed the way women experience childbirth, the way babies are being born and the way the world perceives natural childbirth. It seems only realistic and logical that those involved in working with expectant women would be hugely supportive and willing to learn whatever they can to help women have this kind of birth experience, with the ensuing positive feelings of empowerment and memories of a joyful birth.

Curiously though, we occasionally have resistence in the professional birthing world regarding support for hypnotic childbirth from some childbirth educators, midwives and doulas (labor assistants). The good news is thatmost of them are so amazed and in awe of the kinds of births our Hypnobabies moms have that they react very positively indeed, with comments like...
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Posted by on in Birth Professionals

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

Hypnobabies is actually..."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.
 
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...
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Posted by on in Birth Professionals
123 Mom and Friend 6Birth Workers Rock!

At Hypnobabies, we appreciate all wonderful birth professionals; those who, like us, have dedicated their lives to assisting expectant and birthing families. Helping pregnant moms, their birth partners and familes to have safer, easier and more comfortable pregnancies and births is a mission we all take on lovingly and respectfully. With education, support and encouragement, more births can be joyful and more babies can be born gently and kindly.

We have included some excellent articles and information in this blog section just for birth professionals that we know you will find fascinating.
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I loved reading this nurse share her experience with Hypnobabies.
My journey to a calm and comfortable childbirth was not an easy one. I was the girl who said she would never try a natural childbirth. Why, you may ask? Let me start by saying that I am a Registered Nurse. I remember back to my nursing school days very vividly. I remember watching and assisting women with the birth of their babies, watching them scream and writhe in pain. To me, that was no way to welcome the birth of your baby. I knew from that point on that I would be getting an epidural when the time came for me to have babies. I wanted to enjoy the birth of my baby and that did not appear to be possible without an epidural.

Fast forward to June of 2010, we were expecting our first baby, a little girl. We were so excited about adding to our family and could not wait to meet our daughter. I ended up going into labor on my own at 41 weeks. I received my epidural when I was dilated to an 8. I thought that epidural was the best invention in the world. Well, once my water broke, we found meconium present in the amniotic fluid. The NICU team had to be present at the birth. My epidural had me so numb that I pushed for three and a half hours. My fabulous midwife was saying that we might need a vacuum extraction to get my daughter out. Luckily, we did not need that and she was born after a lot of effort on my part. She wasn’t breathing adequately so she had to go to the NICU. I had to stay in my hospital bed because I was too numb to go anywhere. Once my epidural finally wore off, I got to see my daughter…four hours after she was born. I didn’t get the bonding experience I so desperately craved.

When I got pregnant with our second child, I knew that I wanted a better experience. I knew there had to be something more fulfilling available to mothers. I knew that getting an epidural was not an option for me this time around so I started looking into natural childbirths. I researched birth doulas and while doing that, came across the Hypnobabies program. I was skeptical, to say the least, but thought that it would be worth a try. I figured that using my wonderful Hypno-doula, Anne, and using Hypnobabies was my best chance at having a natural childbirth.

Click here to read the rest of her story!
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There is a great article in ODE magazine about Replacing Pain Killers with Hypnosis.  They look specifically at a person having a tooth removed with only hypnosis.  They then go on to explain how hypnosis works for people to stay comfortable without medication.


Increasingly, dentists, physicians and surgeons are using hypnosis to replace, or at least reduce, the use of painkillers as well as general and local anesthetics. Hypnosis may not be the method of choice for major operations, but for a growing number of procedures ranging from kidney stone fragmentation to minor surgery to childbirth it has proved an effective alternative to conventional sedatives and analgesics. Hypnosis is real, says psychiatrist David Spiegel, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. It’s no less palpable an analgesic than medication.


Tagged in: hypnosis
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In all sorts of medical procedures.  This one focuses on dental work, but mentions other things as well.

For example, Childbirth!  What a great idea!
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Great post from a mom about what Painless Childbirth is really about!

She points out that it is hard for many to wrap their mind around the word painless.  That really thinking of it in a different way, having a comfortable birth, helped her to achieve just that!

What do you think?
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I have posted many, many Hypnobabies Birth Stories here.  I think this is the first one I have posted from the Midwife's point of view.

Visit Nurtured Hearts Birthing Services Blog to read this amazing birth story!
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Posted by on in Birth Professionals
Hi everyone,



This was posted to the International Hypnosis Research Institute's email newsletter. I thought it was helful information for our student's care-givers as well! If only they would consider the POWER of their WORDS!  : )



Author, Ron Eslinger, the author is a nurse-anesthetist, and hypnotherapist who uses hypnosis for anesthesia and teaches others how to do it also. The link below is to the story that I also cut and pasted in case the link doesn't work for some of you.



Carole



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Some people wonder if it really matters what words people use during birth?

Well science has proved that it DOES!

Words Easily Trigger Painful Memories
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First a bit of background.  This is my 2nd birth, my first was 2.5yrs ago at a very conventional hospital that had a 98% epidural rate!  This was ok with me though since I knew no other way to manage the pain.  I was induced with pitocin due to pregnancy induced hypertension, had an epidural, and pushed for 1.5 hrs.  Ended up with at 3rd to 4th degree tear and a beautiful 8lb 7oz boy.

Fast forward to present, we are now living in a new state and we have a very natural birth friendly hospital that I also work at has a L&D nurse.  And of course, I found and studied HypnoBabies ☺

It all started on the evening of November 27, 2009 when I was 38w6d pregnant.  Hubbie was at the airport dropping off my brother for his flight home and had taken our 2.5yr old along for the ride.  My blood pressure was pretty high that day and I was getting bad headaches and felt pretty lousy.  I had been diagnosed with gestational hypertension the two weeks prior and was going to be induced in four days.  I was lying down in bed and got up to go to the bathroom.  While sitting on the toilet I suddenly felt this strong downward pressure.  It didn’t hurt and I chalked it up to the baby moving around.  When I stood up from the toilet there was a big splash as my water broke all over the floor.  At first I thought it was pee although that really didn’t make sense.  The water was clear though so I realized what had happened.  I immediately started crying.  This was the absolute worst time for this to happen since we were without anyone to take care of our toddler for the next 24hrs (my brother was already on the plane heading home at this point).  I cleaned up the floor and continued to gush fluid but wasn’t having any contractions.  I called DH and left a message on his phone and called my sister and sobbed since I was so stressed-out.  DH called me back and confirmed that my brother was on the plane and we couldn’t get him back so he was coming home and that he would figure out what to do with our son.  DH’s calm demeanor made me feel so much better!

Meanwhile I called my OB to tell her my water had broken.  She said to come to the hospital in the morning if nothing happened overnight or if the contractions started and were 5 minutes apart lasting 1 minute for 1 hour to come in then.  At this point I wasn’t having any contractions so I just assumed we would be going in, in the morning.  I decided to do a fear release which really got me calmed down.  I realized I had nothing packed and started getting a bag together for the hospital.  I started feeling menstrual-like cramps but they weren’t painful at all.  DH came home and had figured out a plan for our son and took him over to a neighbors house for the night.  I was so relived that my son was happy and being well taken care of.
The menstrual like cramps continued until about 9pm when they started feeling more like a squeezing sensation.  They still were not painful at all but I decided to get comfortable and start listening to the scripts so that I would be ready.  I got on my birthing ball upstairs in my bedroom and leaned on the bed listening to my scripts.  I became really focused and completely lost track of time.  The contractions were close together, every 2-3min, but only lasted around 30 seconds.  At some point I started moaning through them but I wasn’t in pain, the moaning just gave me something else to focus on.  When DH came back from dropping my son off he sat beside me, timing the waves and offering support.


Around 11:15 pm I decided to try some new positions since I had been on the birthing ball for so long.  This is where I lost my focus.  I had been so comfortable on the ball and I should have just stayed there but I remembered reading that you should move around so I did.  Listen to your instincts!  Anyways, I tried getting on all fours but I couldn’t tolerate it for a minute.  DH ran me a bath and as soon as I got in I couldn’t handle it and I got out.  I was having trouble re-gaining my focus and the contractions had become very strong and were now 2-3min apart lasting for 1min each.  In retrospect I’m not sure if things suddenly ramped up or I just came out of hypnosis.  At any rate, I decided that I had, had enough and that I just couldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t find a comfortable position or get back in the groove and just felt desperate and wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural!  DH calmly said he believed I could do it without and was I sure I wanted to go?  I figured I was around 4cm and had a long ways to go and was done.  How wrong I was!  So off we went to the hospital.

We had a 30min ride to the hospital and at first I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to sit in the car but somehow I was able to and off we went.  Once I was in the car I was able to regain my focus and listened to the scripts again.  Even though the contractions were incredibly intense and powerful I felt less desperate and more able to cope.  The contractions were incredibly close together.  I would have one very strong one then it would fade into a mild one then accelerate into a moderate one.  After that I would get 30 sec were all sensation was completely gone and then it would start up all over again.

DH drove fast and told me later that he was timing all of the waves and realized that I was a lot closer to having Liam then I thought!  When we got to the hospital DH jumped out to get me a wheelchair and a nurse from the ER came out to help.  As I got out of the car I felt the most unbelievable urge to push.  Really it wasn’t even an urge – my body was pushing whether I liked it or not!  The nurse made a joke about me wearing earphones and I remember thinking it was pretty funny but I couldn’t respond – I was busy!

DH raced me up to labor and delivery (where I work) and I was so happy to see some friendly familiar faces.  One look at me and they knew things were moving fast!  I remember saying “I feel like I need to push but it seems too soon!”  One of the nurses checked me and I was fully dilated and Liam was +2 station.  It was 12:30am, just 3.5hrs since the contractions started.

At first my nurses thought they could get the med-lock in (IV) but quickly realized it was going to be too hard so they decided to forget it.  They were having a hard time getting Liam’s heart rate and my OB had not arrived yet.  All the while my body was pushing but I wasn’t putting any extra effort into it.  The pushing actually felt great and was much more comfortable than the squeezing of the contractions.

15min later my OB arrived.  By this time my nurses had found Liam’s heart rate and it was lower than it should be.  He didn’t seem to be tolerating the contractions well.  My nurse looked at me and said “The baby’s heart rate is dropping.  You need to really push.”  At this point I started pushing hard with the contractions and it felt great!  I was really worried about this part but it wasn’t painful like I thought it would be.  I could feel Liam’s head moving down and out.  It was great to feel that feedback instead of the numbness from the epidural where it was so hard to tell what I was doing.

I pushed for about 15min all together and then Liam was out!  Turns out he had the cord around his neck twice and that is why his heart rate was dropping.  As soon as my OB looped it off his started crying and pinked up.  He was put on my chest skin-to-skin and dried off.  I felt so wonderful.  I did it!

In retrospect, I realized that when I had felt like I couldn’t handle the contractions anymore I was actually in transition.  I had read so many stories where this was the case but for some reason I didn’t think that this pertained to me!  I must have been around 9cm when we got in the car to head to the hospital.  I am very glad that I listened to my intuition that is was time to go!  When I was preparing for the birth I had done a lot of visualization on how I wanted my birthing time to go.  I saw myself spending most of my labor on my birthing ball and then labor would be very quick and that I would get to the hospital towards the very end of my labor.  Visualization is a powerful tool!  In the end I got exactly what I wanted, a natural, medication-free hypnobirth without even an IV.  And now our little Liam is here!
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Dr. Siegel wrote a wonderful article on the power Doctors words have on their patients.
As doctors we are not trained to communicate and understand the power of our words as they relate to a patient's ability and desire to survive.

It is also not only doctors but all the authority figures in our patient's lives that affect their ability to survive and the outcome of their disease. Parents, teachers, clergy and physicians change lives with their words.

All Care Givers should be taught this and trained how to use their words.  The effects could be far-reaching!

In Hypnobabies we talk about the importance of our words and the words of those around us.  We create a Bubble of Peace to let in "only the good, none of the bad."  This can help immensely when working with care givers who don't yet understand the power of their words.
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Here is a lovely letter a midwife wrote about Hypnobabies...

Despite the fact that I have been attending births for fourteen years, my first experience with Hypnobabies happened only a year ago…and I have to admit that I wasn’t looking forward to it.  Why not?  Because I’d had previous experiences with “hypno”-classes and the subsequent births were often MORE challenging as the parents were not only underprepared for what they were about to experience, they were set up for disappointments with unrealistic expectations of a “pain free” birth if they just did their hypnosis “right”.   It was not unusual for my client to feel labor becoming active (generally 3-4 cm dilated) and panic, thinking she was not doing things ‘right’ because of how it felt, losing all confidence in her ability and desire to complete the job at hand…the exact opposite of what you want in labor.

The upcoming birth was a first time mother and, as most people know, first babies tend to be the most challenging.  I was skeptical and nervous about it as I knew this was a “Hypnobabies” mother.  I braced myself for the false alarms I often saw, emotional breakdowns, the pep talks I was used to giving about how she was NOT failing or doing it wrong, that her body COULD do this, that nothing was wrong.  During our prenatal visits I would ask her if she had any questions this week about nutrition, signs of labor, questions about the birth – and I was always pleasantly surprised at the depth of her knowledge and she would always assure me that they’d just gone over that information in her Hypnobabies class!  My curiosity was peaked, but I did remain skeptical.

I got the first call early in the morning that the mother thought her water had broken, but they assured me that she was doing just fine and would keep in touch with me and let me know if anything changed or she needed me.  She planned to do what she’d learned in her Hypnobabies class…to eat well and rest until labor commanded her attention.  Plan for the day was to take naps and watch a DVD!  Alright…now I was impressed!  I didn’t have to tell a first time mom to take it easy in early labor, or calm a panicking family because her water had broken!  How refreshing!

We kept in contact throughout the day until I headed to their house late that evening.  Contractions were coming very regularly, but she was still calm and handling things very well.  I figured I’d be there for quite a long time as it still sounded like it wasn’t far into her labor.  I got to their home and she was listening to her CD’s, calm and happy – uh oh, more confirmation that I’d probably be there a long time.  Imagine my delight when their son slipped out into the world while his mom sat on a birth stool in her peaceful bedroom!  Tucked into bed, mom smiled and looked at me and said, “That wasn’t nearly as bad as so many people told me it would be!  That was AWESOME!”

I was thrilled beyond words – but figured that the chances were great that it was the parents that succeeded IN SPITE of the method, not because of the method.  Glad that they had such a positive experience, Hypnobabies hadn’t quite won me over yet – I would need more experience with it before making a final judgment.

Thankfully I wouldn’t have to wait long.  Another first time mother (who had attended the same class as the previous mother!) called me early in the morning with early labor.  Similar story as her classmate; she labored all day, finally calling me out late in the evening.  A smiling and happy first time mom greeted me from her rented Jacuzzi hot tub in her family room.  I commented to my assistant that we were probably in for a LONG night and after our initial assessment we laid down to rest.  One hour later, when I went to check on the baby, she was out of the water and going to the bathroom.  Still smiling and happy, we all agreed that an internal exam might be a good idea.  I prayed that she would be at least 3cm but braced myself for much less.  To say that I was shocked is an understatement: I found her to be 8cm dilated and her water broken around my hand.  Her response to finding out she was 8cm was a smile and a calm, “yay”!  She got back into her water and soon after she delivered her 10 pound baby girl in her bedroom.  Her response to the birth was that it was “beautiful”.

I could feel myself converting to being a Hypnobabies fan.  Not for myself, mind you, but for my clients who time and time again had similar experiences.  Calm labors, centered mamas, working hard and never complaining because they EXPECTED and PREPARED to work hard!!  Babies born beautifully by empowered mothers who soon-after say how wonderful their births were.  I found myself referring people eagerly to the Hypnobabies classes, and my reaction to finding out someone was a Hypnobabies family was, “AWESOME!”  It has totally shattered all of my previous misgivings that I had developed, as it became obvious how different the Hypnobabies series was from all other hypno- classes.  The main difference that I saw was the amount (and quality) of childbirth information given.  Family were given information on how to keep themselves healthy through the pregnancy, stages of labor, physiological changes and ways to help facilitate the birth through positional changes and movement – and also given information on ways to use hypnosis to assist them through the birth.  The parents were given realistic expectations so that they could prepare for what they were likely to experience, not false hope of escaping the experience.

As a midwife, my Hypnobabies births are easy on me as I am dealing with healthy and informed families ready for the challenges ahead – and they are a blessing to the families as the tools and information given to them through their classes help them have the best outcomes possible!!  Yes, Hypnobabies….you turned this skeptic into a fan!

Stephanie Soderblom LM CPM

Nurturing Hearts Birth Services
www.azhomebirth.com
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A study done in Australia shows that moms are more hypnotizable while pregnant.  This is great news for moms wanting to use Hypnobabies!
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I have been a Hypnobabies instructor for a year now and would like to share some of my experiences. I have taught three classes (actually in the middle of one). I am a home birth midwife and all of my Hypnobabies students have been my clients, except for one couple planning a hospital birth.

First class:

One hospital couple, the other two couples were my clients, planning a home birth. All of them were first time mothers,and all of them had good experiences using Hypnobabies. The hospital couple used their hypnosis and avoided all medications.

One of the home birth mothers used hypnosis during 24 hours of pre-birthing waves. By the time she was 3 centimeters, she was well rested and nourished. That was at 10 pm. When a mother is 3 centimeters, I ask them to get some sleep if they can. I remind them to put their Hypnobabies CD on, and this is what this mother did. During the night, I got up a few times to check the baby's heart tones. The mother was resting well. She got up at 9 am the next morning, and when I checked her she was 8 centimeters. She had her baby two hours later.

The second home birth mother was also able to rest through the night using Hypnobabies. In fact, I missed the birth. She had called me at 1:00 am with pressure wasves every 10 minutes lasting 30 seconds. I reminded her to listen to her CD, use her hypnosis and get some rest. She was asked to call me as soon as things changed. Her husband called me at 6:30 am and told me the pressure waves just started to be 5 minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds. I was on my way when he called back 25 minutes later and said he saw the bag of waters bulging. I then heard the mother pushing. Five minutes later, she pushed her baby out. She pushed for a total of five minutes.  When I arrived, I asked her if she used Hypnobabies during the night. She said, "Oh yes. It helpd me rest and relax really well. I even slept."  … 

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There was a cool article in the BBC News about a man who hypnotized himself for an operation on his hand.  This man had been practicing hypnosis for many years, so was able to do this himself for this operation.  I have heard of others who have used hypnosis for different medical procedures using hypnosis, but typically with hypnotherapists there to guide them.

The great thing about birth is it is a natural thing that your body does, so it is an ideal situation to use hypnosis.  With Hypnobabies, moms learn to get themselves into deep self hypnosis in 3 seconds using the finger drop technique. 

If hypnosis can work for operations, then of course it can work for birth! 
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