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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

Unique Benefits of Hypnobabies Classes

How is our Hypnobabies Childbirth Class different from other ”hypno-birthing” programs?
We are asked many times what is the difference between Hypnobabies and other natural childbirth or birth hypnosis programs, and here we answer that question by telling you what we do well without disparaging any other particular group. Other natural childbirth courses have excellent programs and benefits that have helped many women have better, more relaxed births. We recognize that and celebrate them and what they do every day for birthing women!

In Hypnobabies, our objectives are to help our pregnant couples bond with their baby in utero, teach you how to stay healthy and low-risk and be an excellent consumer, trust in your body, mind and baby, as well as become self-reliant and confident about birthing your own way; unmedicated, safely and in comfort. We overcome negative belief systems and programming, get you in touch with your own beautiful pregnant body, support you through your own excellent birth experience and give you skills that you will use for the rest of your life. Birth Partners are brought into the preparation process and have their own hypnotic relaxation cues, as well as a special role to play as they await the birth of the precious newborn with our Hypno-mom

Find out more information about our unique program HERE

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Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at it's Best!

You will love reading this fantastic hospital birth story! Our Hypno-Mom has a great nurse, uses the tub and her hubby is great at helping her with Hypnobabies cues and techniques. There are many excellent photos that show her using Hypnobabies, and she just loved it.
Maizy birth
Maizy's Beautiful Hypnobabies Birth with great pictures.

“We were talking and joking and enjoying our selves the whole time. When a pressure wave would come, I'd just turn off my light switch, focus and then go back to the conversation. There were a couple times when someone was talking to me when a pressure wave would come and I tried to talk to them rather then turning off my light switch. Those couple times I felt my body start to tense up and as soon as I turned my light switch off, I'd relax and be much more comfortable. It was amazing to me! I also used my peace cue and that was very effective and helpful in staying calm and relaxed.”

Read the rest of this inspiring birth story HERE
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Women get a similar pleasure from the smell of newborn babies as they do from chocolate.

Babies smell like chocolate?! ... Oh, wait ... smell AS GOOD AS chocolate! We think so!
In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, 30 "healthy, right-handed, nonsmoking women" were subjected to an ear-nose-throat examination and a 12-item sniff test to be sure their sense of smell was working. Half of the women had given birth within the past three to six weeks; half were not moms.

Meanwhile, the researchers collected body odors contained in cotton undershirts from 18 newborn infants. The babies slept in the undershirt their first two nights, then the shirts were collected and sealed in zip-lock bags and placed in deep freeze to preserve the odors. They were thawed an hour before testing.

The research showed that the reward center that lights up for chocolate and other pleasures also lights up for the smell of a newborn baby.

You can read more on this fascinating study HERE
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Posted by on in Hypnobabies Blog
Christianity and Hypnobabies? Yes!

Considering taking Hypnobabies and wondering if hypnosis might be a conflict with your beliefs

Q) I am seriously considering using Hypnobabies for my baby’s birth. I am determined to have a natural water birth & have been fascinated with your program and how wonderful it seems. I am a little uneasy with the thought of being in an altered state. As a Christian, I am not sure if there would be any aspect of being altered that would be a conflict with my beliefs. I just have a slight uneasy feeling about my mind being hypnotized. It’s possible that I don’t understand hypnosis completely. Thank you.

A) This is actually quite an intelligent question, and it does come up from time to time here at Hypnobabies! It is important to remember that hypnosis is a state of mind that we are all already in many times a day, so it’s a very natural thing in our lives and is not an “altered state”.

We are all automatically in hypnosis when driving, swimming, doing other sports, sitting in church or a lecture, reading, watching television or movies or on the computer (a screen of any kind) and when waking up or going to sleep. In Hypnobabies we are simply guiding that process in a very positive way to create an easy, fear-free comfortable childbirth experience. Since our program is designed for women of every faith and belief system to use, it contains no “new-age” or other content that would offend anyone. Many of our Hypnobabies moms are Christian and have had wonderful success with Hypnobabies while incorporating their beliefs into our hypnosis scripts and practice as well as adding prayer into the actual hypnosis when giving birth. We have come to realize that that women know what they need and will find it in Hypnobabies, adapting it perfectly and serenely to their own religious or non-religious belief systems. They always do.

HERE are two articles written by Christian hypnotherapists, for you to consider on your hypno-journey, and below them are comments and birth stories from Christian Moms who have used Hypnobabies and had wonderful births.  
cassie tub
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Posted by on in Hypnobabies Blog
Hypnobabies:  Natural Childbirth at its Best!

Maggie’s Hospital Water Birth!

We love when our Hypno-Mom's share their birth stories with us so that we can share them with all of you!BOH

Hello Hypnobabies!
Thought I’d share a quick birth story of our fabulous Hypnobabies water birth. Early Thursday morning at 6:40 am on November 3rd, 2011 our little girl, Maysie, glided out into a pool of warm water and up into our arms all while sleeping peacefully.
It all began when noticeable regular pressure waves started (after much walking and spicy food) on Wednesday, November 2 around 4:30 pm. I had been out all day Christmas shopping, but upon returning home I started to notice what seemed to be regular waves about 1hr apart. I continued with my normal evening activities like dinner and putting my 3 year old to bed, but I did notice I didn’t feel much like eating dinner. I had hopes that these waves were the real thing, and after bouncing on my birth ball awhile and watching TV with the in-laws, around 10pm I decided I had best try to get some sleep. Ha! I might have dozed on and off for an hour or so.
The waves were starting to grow progressively closer and …
while I did continue to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks, I found it a challenge to stay in the “off” position (a Hypnobabies technique). No worries though.Everything was manageable in “center” especially the frequent bathroom trips that accompanied each pressure wave. By 2:00 am the waves were roughly 15min apart and I was cuddled on the bed with my husband using the “relax/release” command and debating going to the hospital so we could set up the pool. I didn’t want to go too early but we did need time to set up the birthing pool and this was our second baby.

Find out more about baby Maysie's Hypnobabies birth HERE
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Posted by on in Hypnobabies Blog
The Who Code
by Peggy O'Mara

The World Health Organization has very specific code with regards to the marketing of breast milk substitutes.  We found this very informative article discussing the code and it's specific guidelines.
Breastfeeding infantThe WHO Code prohibits advertising or promotion of the following products:
  • breast-milk substitutes, including infant formula
  • milk products, foods or beverages, including bottle-fed complementary foods, used as a   partial or total replacement for breast milk.
  • feeding bottles and nipples

The Code is very specific in regards to the responsibility of health care facilities and health workers.

  • 6.2 No facility of a health care system should be used for the purpose of promoting infant formula or other products within the scope of this Code.
  • 7.4 Samples of infant formula or other products within the scope of this Code, or of equipment or utensils for their preparation or use, should not be provided to health workers except when necessary for the purpose of professional evaluation or research at the institutional level. Health workers should not give samples of infant formula to pregnant women, mothers of infants and young children, or members of their families.

Since 1981, 84 countries have enacted legislation implementing all or many of the provisions of the Code and 14 others have laws in progress. Just six countries have taken no action at all to implement this important health directive:
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Iceland
  • Kazakstan
  • Somalia
  • Untied States

Read the rest of this wonderfully educational article HERE
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We are accepting applications for the Hypnobabies Instructor Training, April 16 - 20, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana!
Hypno family

I have a very passionate dream…

A dream that all women will feel confident to choose normal, inuitive childbirth; that all babies will be born in a safer way, without medication in their systems, easily able to breathe, nurse and search their parent’s eyes with wonder and love; and that babies will never endure hours of fright and stress hearing their mothers suffer in childbirth before they slide out into our world.

My dream becomes more of a reality every day as more Hypnobabies mothers use the amazing power of their minds and hearts to help them achieve their easier and more comfortable, powerful birthing. They journey within, where all the answers lie, bond with their precious babies long before birth, and grow in strength, confidence and trust in nature’s most perfect plan:

Women have always known how to give birth. We simply remind them of this innate power and ability, and it is the best job in the world!

Our Hypnobabies program has become so successful that we are training Childbirth Educators, and Doulas to become Hypnobabies Instructors so that they can bring Hypnobabies to their own communities. If you share my passion and love for working with expectant couples, and want to provide them with an excellent and very effective childbirth hypnosis program, please read the information below and on the other Instructor training pages on this site.

Click here for more information about the details and to watch our Hypnobabies Instructor Training FAQs Webinar

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Posted by on in Hypnobabies Blog
Hypnobabies Moms: Embracing ONE Belief System for a More Joyful Birth

by Kerry Tuschhoff and Carole Thorpe
mom listening to hypnosisHere is some really great information on what makes Hypnobabies a complete childbirth education program from Hypnobabies own Kerry Tuschhoff and Carole Thorpe!

When moms choose Hypnobabies as their childbirth program, we encourage them to “embrace Hypnobabies only”, allowing their entire focus to remain on the unique philosophy, techniques and training of Hypnobabies. To do so assists our Hypno-Moms in experiencing the easiest and most comfortable births possible, and their babies to have a gentle, calm entrance into our world. Expectant women come to us with various goals; desiring births they describe as “a better birth than my last one”, or “I just want to be completely in control”, or even “I want a pain-free birth!” As with all objectives in life, including goals that women have for childbirth, belief is one of the main keys to “success”; success being whatever that word means to each person. No one can actually complete a project, move into a new career or achieve their mission in life without fully believing that they not only can but will achieve that goal. The same is true for moms who desire an easy, comfortable childbirth by choosing Hypnobabies.

“If you believe you can…or you can’t…you’re right” ~ Henry Ford

First and foremost, this information will undoubtedly be new to many people and we never want to offend anyone who teaches another childbirth program, works with expectant mothers in the medical field and/or attends births as a birth assistant. We simply ask that you be willing to learn something new about how our minds work and why two opposing belief systems about childbirth cannot coexist and direct the mind to create a single outcome. This understanding will help expectant mothers enjoy the easiest and most comfortable birthing experience that is possible for them, and we know that all birth professionals share that desire as well.

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

Read more of what makes this program so unique here
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First time mom has an easy, fast water birth in the hospital

This incredible story from a first time mom comes to us from our Hypnobabies Twin Cities instructors.
First Time Mom Twin Cities
My son’s birth story starts weeks before he joined us earth side. When I was 33.5 weeks pregnant I went into preterm labor and was put on modified bed rest. Then at 35.5 weeks pregnant I once again went into preterm labor and was put on strict bed rest until I was 37 weeks. There were multiple occasions during this 3 ½ weeks that the OBGYNs (I was transferred to their care at one point because I was so early), midwives, and nurses were convinced our son was coming. One nurse said to me, “you better tell your uterus to calm down” -- I did, so it did.

I was determined to keep our little guy in. While I was on bed rest I listened to a Hypnobabies track called, “Baby Stay In.” I believe this helped me tremendously to visualize him staying in and connect my mind and body. There is a line in the track that says, “I will tell you when it is safe to come.” I repeated this affirmation to my baby multiple times a day. Not once during the preterm labor scares, hospitalizations, and bed rest did I imagine our son in my arms. I always visualized myself still pregnant with him safely inside until it was really time.

Knowing that I had some pretty close calls, I knew our baby would not be making it to his guess date-which was March 19th. With Hypnobabies you practice how to visualize your birth; and since I knew he would be early, I started visualizing him coming on February 27 (at this point I would be 37.1 weeks pregnant and be able to have the water birth I was dreaming of, but also it is my husband’s birthday.) I also visualized him coming on night shift (I work night shift as a nurse on the birthing unit.)

February 26th was a big day for me. I made it to 37.0 weeks and was off bed rest. It was an amazing feeling knowing I had made it to (early) term for our baby. I decided to go to the store since I was finally able to get out of the house. While there, I had pressure waves, but I had been having them for weeks and they were the same tightening feeling. However, when I got back home that afternoon I just knew that this was going to be “it.” I decided to bake some cookies for my nurse friends at the hospital and write up my whole pregnancy story for my soon to be born son. When I was done writing it I said to him, “it is safe to come now and I am ready.”

That evening my husband and I started a movie and at exactly 8pm I started getting pressure waves that felt different from the ones I had been experiencing for the past 3 ½ weeks-they were tightening and cramping. I kept an eye on them and they were consistently coming every 7 minutes. After about a half hour I told my husband what was going on and that I really thought this was the start of our birthing time. Around 9:30pm we decided to get some sleep in preparation for our son’s arrival.

The pressure waves continued to come while we were in bed. By 11pm they were coming every 5-7 minutes. At this point I thought I should call the midwife on call because I was told once things started they would “most likely go quickly” and I was not mentally prepared to birth him at home unattended. When I spoke with her I told her what was going on and she suggested that I do the “tub test” for an hour to make sure that what I was experiencing was indeed the real thing. I was to give her a call after an hour and touch base again to come up with a plan.

I lit some candles and played my “Birthing Day Affirmations” track. It was close to 11:30pm when I got into the water. This is exactly what I had visualized I was going to be doing the night of my son’s birth and I found amazing comfort in this. I was so relaxed and at peace with what was going to be happening. I continued to tell my son that I was ready for him and that we were going to be a great team and work together for his birth. While I was in the water the pressure waves started coming every 1-5 minutes and they were becoming slightly more intense, but I was still able to easily breathe through them.

After an hour of being in the water, I called the midwife to update her. She said it was up to me, but we could come in and see where things were. Again, I didn’t want an unplanned home birth so we decided to go to the hospital. My husband pulled the car up to the front of our condo building and came back upstairs to walk down with me.

At this point, it was just before 1am on February 27th. My husband and I took the elevator down and we were smiling at each other with anticipation, excitement, and a little uncertainty. The whole way to the hospital I listened to my “Easy First Stage” track. I was incredibly relaxed and comfortable; and I was able to easily breathe through my pressure waves with ease.

We arrived at the hospital and my midwife checked me. I was at 5cm, 80%, and our son’s head was at +1 station. This was exactly where I was at the last time I was checked 2 days before (while I was on bed rest, I had to be checked once a week to make sure the pressure waves I was having were not continuing to cause change.) She suggested we walk around the unit for an hour to see if there are any changes.

I turned on my “Birthing Day Affirmations” and at 1:20am we started walking the halls. It was night shift so all my friends were working, it was so nice to talk with them and have their support. When we first started walking I was easily able to talk through my pressure waves. However, as it got closer to the hour mark, I had to stop walking and really focus through the pressure waves. The pressure waves seemed to be coming pretty consistently every 5 minutes. I was still completely comfortable at this point and was not experiencing any discomfort.

At 2:40am my midwife checked me again and said that there were not any changes. She suggested we go home and get some rest; and come back to the hospital when the pressure waves were coming every 5 minutes and I had to breathe through them. It was at this point that my husband and I looked at one another because what she described was exactly what was happening (looking back I just don’t think she realized it because I was so incredibly calm and relaxed through the pressure waves.) She continued saying, “once things really get going, you’ll have at least 3 hours.” To us, that was the decision maker. We told ourselves, “we live really close to the hospital, if there are any changes we can just come back.” After all, we had never done this before so we were not exactly sure what to look for. Additionally, we had had so many false alarms, that I don’t think we were entirely sure what to expect anymore.

It was roughly 3:30am once we were back to our home. I remember looking in the mirror thinking, “okay, these pressure waves feel really different.” I was still able to breathe through them, but it took quite a bit more concentration. My husband got me to the bed and I tried to get some rest. To be honest, I am not sure how often the pressure waves were coming at this point or what time it even was, but when the waves came I instinctively started rocking my body through them while lying in bed. After about 3-5 pressure waves I had to lean over the bed and sway my hips through them. I did this position for about 2-3 pressure waves. I then said to my husband, “I have to go to the bathroom.”

I am not sure exactly what happened next, but either I called my husband into the bathroom or he came in on his own. Nevertheless, I was on the floor on my hands and knees and said, “I have to push.” He said, “We need to call an ambulance and get back to the hospital NOW.” I told him I did not want to take an ambulance or go back to the hospital “in case this wasn’t it.” Hindsight is 20/20, because at this point I was going through transformation and was not being logical-this was obviously “it.” My husband, bless his heart, was able to convince me that we needed to go back.

In between pressure waves we were able to walk down to the car. Once we were in the car my body completely took over. It took everything I had to not give in to the urge to push. During this time I was listening to the “Relaxation Music” tracks. My husband got us (safely) to the Emergency entrance and he dropped me off while he parked the car. I waddled into the entrance and sat in a wheelchair waiting for him to come in. Once he got the car parked he went to the front desk and told the woman that we needed help and had to get to the birthing unit. The woman asked if I was going to have the baby right now and my husband replied with a quick, “I don’t know, but we need to get up there.”

We arrived to the birthing unit at 4:46am and they were about to wheel me into the same triage room that we were in roughly 2 hours before. My husband said, “she is pushing.” With that, the nurse said, “get her to room two!” They wheeled me into the room and started the water for the tub immediately, but they wanted me to get on the bed first so I could get checked. Everything was happening so quickly, one of the nurses pushed the “staff assist” button because of my urge to push and suddenly tons of nurses were in the room. It was at this point my husband texted our doula to come. Another nurse was pulling down my pants while I was crawling up on the bed. Suddenly the midwife was there too. She checked me and I was 8-9cm with a bulging bag. (In my birth preferences I said I didn’t want to know my progress, but at this moment I didn’t care that she said it out loud. We didn’t even get a chance to give her our preferences.) After a few minutes of being on the bed my water broke and the midwife rechecked me. I was complete and able to get into the water.

As I was moving in the direction of the tub, the urge to bear down was incredible. I got to the edge of the tub and started squatting. Unexpectedly, one of the nurses said, “she wants a water birth!” With that, I was swiftly lifted into the tub at 5:00am. The moment I was in the water everything seemed to change. The extra staff members had left the room, the lights were dimmed, and I seemed to be more aware of what was happening around me and it felt very peaceful. I definitely experienced the “pause for the cause” during this time.

While I was in the water, I was listening to the “Relaxation Music”. In between the pushing urges my husband and I were talking and smiling and when a pressure wave came I would shut my eyes, go internal, and push. My husband would put his hand on my shoulder and use the “relax cue.”

I was leaning over the back of the tub, with my husband supporting my arms, and suddenly felt our baby’s head emerging. I remember I said, “oh, this part,” but I honestly did not feel discomfort, just stretching sensations. It was then that the midwife said, “your baby’s head is out!” I could not believe it happened that quickly. She told me to sit back so I could see him come out. With a little convincing, I sat back and with another push I saw my son be born. I was able to help pull him out of the water and bring him to my chest. I remember saying, “that was easy” and meaning every word of it. Our doula arrived shortly after our baby was born. I was sad she missed his birth, but the nurses kept commenting on how great of a team my husband and I were.

Alaric “Lars” Dean was born in the water at 5:30am-during night shift-on his dad’s birthday. He weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces. I pushed for 30 minutes and not once did I feel any discomfort. We worked perfectly in sync with one another. I was later told by one of the midwives that the “only” reason Alaric was not born in the car was because my water was still intact when arriving to the hospital. I know this was a big reason for him not being born in the car. However, I strongly believe that my Hypnobabies practice of visualization and connecting my mind and body together also helped him stay in until we were at the hospital.

Hypnobabies taught us so much and when we decide it is time to have another baby, we will without a doubt be taking Hypnobabies again! Alaric’s birth was the most amazing thing I had ever been through. I felt empowered, strong, and womanly, but even more so I felt blessed that I was now a mom-something I have wanted to be my entire life!
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40 Reasons To Give Baby 40 Weeks Of Pregnancy
by Fiona Peacock

Hypnobabies believes it is best to let babies decide their birthdates.  Here is some great information on why it is important to give babies all the time they need to gestate!
123 Mom 14 Reading Making NotesIn recent years, some women have been electing to have their babies born early for non-medical reasons such as convenience or the fear of a big baby. This worrying trend leads to a plethora of increased risks of health problems for the baby.

Please note that some women may be advised to have their baby before term due to health complications, for example preeclampsia, this article is not aimed at those women. This article is for women and their partners considering scheduling the birth for theirs or their doctors convenience.

If your midwife or doctor recommends having your baby before 39 weeks, question whether there is a problem with yours or baby’s health that would make this necessary, and find out if you could wait until you are as close to 39 weeks as possible.

So, before you decide to induce (without genuine medical necessity), here’s 40 reasons to give your baby 40 weeks!

learn more about the 40 reasons here
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Posted by on in Know Your Options
Ultrasound: Risks/Benefits
by Lauren Feder, M.D.

Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!

Are ultrasounds safe? Here is an informative article explaining the benefits and risks of ultrasound.
Ultrasound photoWHAT IS ULTRASOUND?

Ultrasound is an ultra high frequency sound wave—above the range of human hearing— that generates an image of the fetus in utero. From a transducer or a probe placed deep within the vagina (in early pregnancy) or on the surface of the abdomen (second and third trimesters), sound waves are emitted at millions of cycles per second. A pattern of echo waves creates a picture from a variety of surfaces—from fluid and soft tissues to a boney skeleton. Modern ultrasound energy intensities are higher than ultrasound of earlier decades. In obstetrics the following ultrasounds and energy exposures are used:
  • Standard scan. The standard scan is used on the abdomen after early pregnancy. Provides a brief pulse ultrasound of lower exposure
  • Trans Vaginal ultrasound. Used in early pregnancy. High exposure levels due to close proximity of probe to early developing fetus. Uncomfortable procedure has been called “diagnostic rape” by some women.
  • Doppler ultrasound. Used by many obstetricians and midwives in stethoscopes, they provide relatively low exposure level.
  • Fetal monitors: used in late pregnancy and during labor to monitor baby and heart level.
  • 3-D Ultrasound. To generate 3-D images of the developing fetus. High level of exposure.
  • 4-D or Dynamic 3-D Ultrasound: Uses specially designed scanners to look at the face and movements of the baby. High level of exposure.
  • Fetal Echocardiography: Uses ultrasound waves to assess the baby’s heart in suspected congenital heart defects.
Find more information on the benefits and risks of ultrasound HERE
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Stand and deliver – upright births best for mom and baby

by Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery at University of Western Sydney

Why do so many moms give birth on their backs when studies show that upright positions help so much? We found a great article that explains the benefits of upright birthing positions!

jonalin-cligny-mccollum standing cropped 2
Think of childbirth and you’re likely to picture a woman lying on her back on a hospital bed. That’s the position most (78%) Australian women adopt to give birth birth, despite growing evidence that being upright to give birth can have better outcomes for the mother and baby.

Historical and anthropological literature shows that lying down for birth is a relatively modern phenomenon, as we have moved from a more social to a surgical model of care. As far back as written records, carvings and paintings go, women have given birth upright – whether it was using stacked bricks to create a primitive birthing stool or holding onto leaves and ropes hung from trees. A famous drawing from Egypt depicts Cleopatra (69-30 BC) kneeling to give birth.

Read the rest of this wonderfully educational article HERE.
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IMG 3478

Birth Professionals and Hypno-Moms - Here it is …

 Our 2015 Hypnobabies Instructor Training FAQs Webinar! 

We are now accepting applications for our next Hypnobabies Instructor Training, April 17-20, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. We are accepting only 50 trainees for this training, and our Skype interviews begin July 1, 2014.
  Please watch our Instructor Training FAQS Webinar and then you can complete your online application.


Need more Hypnobabies Instructor training info first? Visit our Instructor Training page.

Please share this with your friends and colleagues.

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mom in labor painJust RELAX?

Although the philosophy of some hypno-childbirth programs teach women that they will not have pain during labor “if they just relax enough”, most women find that idea to be inaccurate and misleading. If this was a valid theory, millions of women would have had pain-free births just from practicing and using the wonderful deep relaxation techniques that are taught in most natural childbirth classes, and that is simply not the case. Although there are women who do have pain-free births without much preparation or through deep breathing and relaxation, for most birthing mothers much more is needed, physically, mentally and emotionally to have a comfortable childbirth experience.

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

Other programs and books teach that since childbirth is a normal physiological process for women, there is “no physiological reason for childbirth pain” and that pain is caused mostly by fear and therefore eradicating fear in childbirth will eliminate their pain. In reality, women are moving a large object through and out of their bodies when they give birth, and there are many sensitive nerves, muscles, ligaments, organs and other body parts being pressed on, pushed, and stretched to amazing lengths during this process. The big bag of muscles we call a uterus has stretched to the size of a large melon and the contractions that tighten these muscles up are extremely powerful. Pain for most women is indeed part of that process, and eradicating fear is helpful in lessening pain, but does not ensure pain elimination.

We do know of course, that pain can be made much worse by tension in the birthing body and by fear being present in the woman's mind. The Fear/Tension/Pain Syndrome is very real, however it needs to be recognized for what it is: a response to be lessened or eliminated so that childbirth can progress much more easily and comfortably. Simply eliminating fear during childbirth rarely results in completely eliminating pain, and we do a disservice to women when we tell them that it will.

The perceived intensity of birthing sensations depends partly upon:

• a woman’s emotions, before and during childbirth, since emotional and environmental stressors can cause constriction, Fear/Tension/Pain

• the size of a woman’s pelvis

• the size and positioning of her baby

• the strength of her uterine waves

• the birthing preparation (tools) each mother has chosen, how well she practiced them and how she uses them as she gives birth

• the choices women make during childbirth which can assist in a more comfortable birth

• and many more … There are actually many other factors which impact pain levels and the perception of pain during childbirth. Relaxation (or the lack thereof) is only one of the keys to a more comfortable birth experience.

Doing it "RIGHT"?

As we teach our Hypnobabies students, since each birthing journey is unique, there are so many variables in childbirth and we cannot ever know why each baby's birth unfolds as it does, they are always doing it right - there is never a possibility of "doing it wrong". Childbirth cannot ever be wrong; it is always right and each birthing mother does exactly what she needs to do for herself and her baby. It is painful and unfair for any new mother to have to feel as though she has somehow "failed" at childbirth because she had a difficult birth experience in any way, yet that is how some mothers feel if they are led to believe that if they had "relaxed enough" or "stopped fearing childbirth" it would not have been painful. In Hypnobabies, every birth is a Hypnobabies birth, no matter how it transpired, and we hope that each new mother will see the glory and joy in her birthing experience as she deserves to. This is one of the reasons we have hypnosis affirmations and script suggestions that help our mothers to "acccept any path my birthing journey takes, knowing it is the right one for me and my baby."


So what makes Hypnobabies so successful at producing easier and more comfortable births? In Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis, during birth preparation and childbirth, we focus greatly on several elements that assist with making childbirth easier and more comfortable. They are:

1) Hypnosis is the most important element for an easier, more comfortable birthing and takes moms far beyond deep relaxation and breathing techniques. The deep, somnambulistic hypnosis used in Hypnobabies actually re-trains and conditions the inner mind to convert birthing sensations from painful sensations to comfortable or even pleasurable ones. Hypnobabies mothers still experience normal birthing sensations - sensations such as pressure, stretching, pushing and tightening, as well as baby's movements, and they can be experienced with little or no discomfort in many cases. The following are side-effects of deep, somnambulistic hypnosis:

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

3) Fear Clearing Sessions: Through hypnotic suggestion, our moms are gently guided to release and re-program a lifetime of not-so-encouraging expectations about childbirth. Every birth story an expectant woman reads, sees on TV or in the movies, or listens to during people's stories about their own birth experiences helps create her belief system about the process of birth.

Hypnobabies Fear Clearing sessions help our moms to let go of prior cultural conditioning, and to re-program any fears or concerns they may have about childbirth, into a sense of confidence and happy anticipation for their baby's birth. Releasing fears about birth and the resulting stress reduction, helps the body to relax and function well, to enjoy a restful sleep, and to actually enjoy pregnancy.   Hypnobabies mom, Kim T., practicing her Hypnobabies hypnosis on a birth ball

cassandra hubby tub


How Can Hypnosis Help so Much?

The main way that hypnosis is used successfully in Hypnobabies is through Post-Hypnotic Suggestions. These are the programmed messages written with specific language for easier, more comfortable birthing that must be repeated (compounded) many times for the best effect. In order to create the deepest relaxation, real physical comfort and a calm, confident attitude, our Hypnobabies students need to reach a hypnotic state called somnambulism and listen to these post-hypnotic suggestions repeatedly for the best benefit.

Somnambulism is a very deep state of hypnosis where the person looks as if they are sleeping, and they may even breathe heavily as if they were asleep, but they are not asleep. They are as relaxed physiologically as they are when sleeping, but still very aware of what is happening around them (IF they want to be!). It is in this deep state of hypnosis that the subconscious mind can be re-trained to lessen or eliminate pain sensations, a process that hypnotherapist/pain management specialists call "hypno-anesthesia".

Hypno-moms must practice their hypnotic cues and techniques on a daily basis until the baby comes to create an easier more comfortable experience for everyone involved. They simply have to do their “hypno-homework” every day, no exceptions. This hypnosis practice is actually the easiest thing our moms do during their pregnancies; getting into a relaxed position with soft music in the background and allowing themselves to float away into a wonderfully deeper mental and physical state … all while listening to suggestions for an easy, gentle and comfortable birth. Hypnobabies practice is a gift they give themselves while pregnant that pays many dividends during birthing.

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FAQ s about our Hypno-Doula Online Training Course for doulas and midwives:

Q) Is it really important to learn different techniques when a woman is using hypnosis for childbirth?

A) Yes. Your Hypno-birth clients have learned a new belief system about childbirth; that it does not have to be a painful experience, that it can be much easier by using the power of their inner mind. Labor and birth then, have ceased to be "hard work" to a Hypno-Mom and she is now using specific words and cues that act as instant comfort measures, emotionally and physically. She needs to be fully supported in these new concepts, words and Hypno-tools to be able to fully benefit from her childbirth hypnosis training. You can help

Q) Can childbirth hypnosis clients still use positional changes during labor and walk around to help their babies descend, being mobile and communicative?

A) They can if they are using Hypnobabies. We have what is called, "Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis", which has built-in hypnotic suggestions which allow our Hypno-Moms to walk, talk, move around freely and easily communicate with their birth team and caregivers, yet remain fully in hypnosis, relaxed and comfortable in any position. Other birth hypnosis programs require that the birthing mothers remain less active to retain relaxation skills and hypnosis techniques.

For most natural childbirth situations, traditional labor-assistance techniques provide the birthing woman with much more physical activity to stay comfortable, yet it is important for all doulas and midwives to learn that using hypnosis entails much more "inner work" and specific cues that have been programmed subconsciously. Hypnobabies moms can indeed use upright positions, birth balls and walk if they want to, but this will be for progress if needed or descent and positioning of the baby, and not to maintain comfort. Labor assistants who are familiar with all of this can easily help the birthing woman in the ways she truly needs to give birth using hypnosis.

Q) Can I learn to do this easily?

A) Yes. Our Hypno-Doula Online Training Program provides you with important information on hypnosis, how it is used in childbirth, who it works best for and how to help those using both Hypnobabies and regular hypno-birth techniques. It allows you to learn what the main Hypno-tools are in these programs, and directs you how to do a Birthing Rehearsal with your clients, providing you all a chance to work together by using them, long before the birthing day comes. We also encourage you to learn as much as you can about your Hypno-client s childbirth hypnosis program, by listening to some of their hypnosis audio tracks and reading the handouts and other materials provided to them in their Hypno-course, so that you can become completely familiar with the philosophy, techniques and cue words that are the main "tools" they will be using during labor.

Q) Will MY job as a doula or midwife really be that much easier if I become a Hypno-Doula?

A) WOW, Yes. You cannot imagine how much easier, more fun and gratifying it is to help your doula/midwifery client when you know the words, cues, techniques and the philosophy/training behind what they are and how they are used. You can easily help these wonderful birthing mothers quickly deepen their hypnosis and comfort level. Hypno-labors are shorter and less complicated when the Hypno-mom is fully supported in the way she needs to be and you may find yourself wanting to *only* work with Hypno-clients in the future

Please see our article below, written by a traditionally trained doula that has been in the birthing field for over 26 years, and who is now a Hypno-Doula

For more information, please read our “I am a HYPNO-Doula” article.
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Our inner minds have software that can be updated in a positive way!

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When our Hypno-moms listen to Hypnobabies hypnosis suggestions every day by way of hypnosis scripts, (which are read to them by their Birth Partner) and/or listening to audio tracks on their own, their inner minds become “re-trained” to perceive childbirth as easy and comfortable, their birthing waves as pressure, stretching or squeezing sensations, and the pushing phase as efficient and easier. This re-training works the same way as upgrading a software program on your computer: Upgrading is the process of replacing a product with a newer version of the same product.

With Hypnobabies hypnosis re-training, the old programs (conscious and subconscious belief systems about childbirth) get upgraded to newer ones that allow each expectant and birthing mother to experience pregnancy and childbirth in a much easier way. Post-hypnotic suggestions are the main processors of the new program upgrades that are responsible for the mental, physical and emotional changes that Hypnobabies produces.

Hypnobabies moms use these hypnosis suggestions, techniques and mental cues during their Birthing Time, and since they have been integrated into the subconscious through practice and repetition, they are instantly available. Since mothers practice (hundreds of times) using the new software in their mental computer, Hypnobabies hypnosis techniques are automatically functional when accessed during childbirth.

The foundational Hypnobabies hypnosis cue is a mental “lightswitch” LapTop Computerthat the Hypnobabies mother can use to enter hypnosis instantly and deeply. Since the effect of hypnosis is cumulative, each time a Hypnobabies mother practices her “Lightswitch” she automatically becomes more deeply primed with Hypnobabies hypnosis cues. We can liken it to using a new software program on your computer every day until it becomes second nature and you become an expert at utilizing that program!

During childbirth, our moms simply use their cues, enter hypnosis and become immediately relaxed, calm, confident and comfortable in mind and body. With the very first sensations that a birthing wave is beginning, Hypnobabies moms are already deeply in hypnosis and able to become much more relaxed as the wave builds in intensity, and able to use other mental techniques to create comfort exactly where it is needed. Hypnotic suggestions for instantly deepening hypnosis and remaining deeply in hypnosis in between pressure waves allows movement, positional changes, eating, drinking and talking. Hypnobabies birthing mothers have also learned complete childbirth education and physical comfort techniques so additional childbirth training is unnecessary.  

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During childbirth, some women listen to their Hypnobabies audio tracks, and some prefer to hear short verbal cues to reinforce their Hypnobabies techniques. Some moms simply tune everything else out and use their hypnosis cues and techniques by themselves, inside their minds, or by vocalizing the spoken cues.

Hypnobabies is easy to learn, practice and use with a little bit of education and guidance, and as with any new program, is most effective when all the instructions in our written materials are followed. We can’t program or upgrade our own computers without guidance from the experts, and the same is true for childbirth hypnosis!

Questions? Call us at (714) 894-BABY (2229) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Another wonderful, empowering birth story from HypnobabiesTwinCities!

How joyful for a mom to be able to say: "I'm so grateful Harriet could enter the world the way she did. I'm grateful I can tell her this story and share a positive view of birth with her, that every year on her birthday I can revisit all the wonderful memories with her and with Mike and my sister. For me, it wasn't an experience to be gotten done with as quickly as possible, but something to treasure and an opportunity to feel close to people I love. It was also an experience which made me feel very empowered, something I didn't necessarily expect going into it."

Baby Harriet's Birth

twincities harriets birth storyI've put off writing about the birth of my daughter Harriet for some time now, even though it's been on my mind a great deal, but not for the reason you might expect.  Birth is hard to capture in words because when you're going through it, you're in such a different state of awareness.  Especially because I used Hypnobabies, I was able to experience the birth process moment by moment, to really be present in it.  But, if for no other reason than that I benefited from stories like these in the months leading up to Harriet's birth, I will do my best to sum it up.

I had a feeling my baby (we chose not to find out gender beforehand) might be born when, on a Tuesday morning at work, I started to feel a dull sort of ache in my low back, similar to menstrual backaches I've had in the past. I continued on with my day, taking little breathers if I needed to and using my Hypnobabies cues. By recess (I work at a school) I told one of my colleagues, "I think today might be the day!" and the sensations in my back were getting stronger and more frequent. During lunch, I decided I'd better drive home before things progressed any further. I calmly gathered my things and headed out. On the drive home, I listened to my pregnancy affirmations track and tried to relax while concentrating on the road ahead of me.

Once home, I felt much better as I could stretch out and lie down in a warm bath. By now I was fairly certain the baby would come today, that what I was feeling was the real deal! I called my husband, who had just sat down to a mediation--he's an attorney--and told him what was going on. Conveniently, I already had my 39 week checkup that day anyway, so when Mike got home he helped me to the car and we timed some waves on the way over. I could still joke and laugh a bit, but definitely needed to concentrate on staying relaxed most of the time. The midwife at our birth center said things were "definitely starting" but to go home and relax for a while longer.


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HypnobabiesTwinCities in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN shares another wonderful HBAC waterbirth story with us:

My journey to Carter’s homebirth after cesarean (HBAC) began when my daughter Kaylee was born on September 1, 2011.  I was induced at 38 weeks for pre-eclampsia with cytotec, pitocin, and an epidural which led to a cesarean section under general anesthesia.  After her birth, I was determined to do things different the next time.  I was needed to be the first person to see and hold my baby.  I joined the Twin Cities chapter of ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and learned that I was not alone.  That other women had traumatic births as well, but they went on to have beautiful vaginal births after their cesarean.  This is when we decided that when we had another child, they would be born at home.

We spent a lot of time doing our research on natural birth, homebirth, birthing classes, midwives, and more!  On October 31st, 2012, we found out we were expecting our second child.  We went on the hunt for the perfect homebirth midwife, doula, and childbirth class.  We quickly found our midwives and decided to use Hypnobabies for this birth.  We couldn’t attend in person classes due to scheduling conflicts, but we were able to do the home study course.  We went back and forth on hiring a doula.  One thing I really regretted in my daughter’s birth was not hiring a doula.  Even though I had 2 wonderful midwives attending my birth, I didn’t want to have any regrets this time, so we went ahead with finding a doula (we hired Lindsay McCoy) and are beyond thankful we did.

I spent my pregnancy preparing myself for this birth.  I needed to make sure I did not get pre-eclampsia and I needed to stay healthy.  I completely changed my outlook on pregnancy and birth.  I ate healthy, stayed active, went to prenatal yoga, received chiropractic care, bodywork, and massage, did my daily spinning babies, listened to my Hypnobabies tracks and practiced my Hypnobabies techniques, read more birth books, attended ICAN meetings (and joined the board), met more homebirth families, and really took an active roll in preparing for this birth.  I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way of having a successful HBAC!

lindsay m doula katie-carter2Fast forward to July 2013.  My guess date was July 13th, 2013.  This day came and went with no baby.  So did 41 weeks and 42 weeks!  I was growing impatient, but my husband kept reassuring me that I would not be pregnant forever and that babies come when they are ready.  Thankfully, my doula had gone to 43 weeks herself and assured me that I would go into my birthing time. 

At 42 weeks we started trying all the old wives tales to get birthing started.  This little guy must not have been ready, because none of them worked!  At 42 weeks 4 days, we went in for a biophysical profile (BPP).  This showed low fluid, but nothing my back up OB said was urgent.  He encouraged us to keep trying to get birthing started and come back in 2 days for a follow up BPP and we would go from there.  He was pretty confident that it would happen soon and was not concerned that I was nearing 43 weeks.  We were very lucky to have fabulous, supportive midwives, and a wonderful back up OB!

Read the rest of Katie's healing HBAC birth story here
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Hypnobabies Instructor, Ricky Issler shares one of her stduent's joyous Hypnobabies testimonials:

“Baby Boston was born at Lucina Birth Centre, medication free and we did utilize our Hypnobabies techniques for the birth.

I found the Birth Day Affirmations the most useful for my early/mid birthing time… I listened to this with headphones, focusing on the positive affirmations which helped me feel calm and comforted. 

During transformation (Hypnobabies for transition) I really focused on the anaesthesia component of the training… My anesthesia was orange although I didn’t focus so much on the color to block the intense pressure of the birth but as a visual reminder that my body was completely relaxed and open – and that was incredibly effective for me.  I found that keeping my light switch (Hypnobabies technique) off during pressure waves really helped to keep me completely relaxed and not tensed up which helped my labor progress very quickly and made his actual passage very quick. 

ricky issler student standingHe was born after only 2 hours and 18 minutes of labor and was birthed after one spontaneous push… I gave birth standing up! The information i received in your Hypnobabies class greatly impacted my frame of mind going into my birthing time and gave me a sense of happy anticipation, instead of the uncertainty and trepidation I felt with my first pregnancy. I look back on my birthing experience with Boston with an immense fondness. I don’t know many women who would say they’d love to give birth all over again – but I truly would because my midwife combined with the skills I learned in your Hypnobabies class helped me connect with how naturally beautiful a medication free child birth can be.”

~Misti M.


Click here to see what other Hypnobabies students have to say about Ricky Issler's Hypnobabies Class!

Ricky Issler HCHI, CD(DONA) Edmonton, Alberta Canada

Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
Certified Birth Doula
Phone: 780-929-4669
Cell: 780-977-4669
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Nugget's Birth Baby #3, Hypnobaby #2
by Rachel M.

rachel mcnamara eliza2What a strange journey this baby was!  I found out I was “surprise” pregnant at about six weeks along.    We always planned on having three, but wanted to wait another year.  Keeping with the surprise theme,  we decided to allow “Nugget” to remain a complete surprise.

Our eldest, Duncan (4) was absolutely adorable with this pregnancy and really became quite knowledgeable about the subject.  So knowledgeable I felt the need to tell his pregnant preschool teacher that he might talk to her about “pushing a baby out of her vagina.”  Luckily, Duncan was taught that childbirth was like exercise so he would not add to the negative stereotype!  ;)

Because I had trained to be a Hypnobabies instructor, I also had the privilege to teach both of my friends Hypnobabies which was awesome.  I followed along with their practice schedule this time since my husband was able to participate in the group class format and read half of the scripts.  What a wonderful gift that turned out to be!  His voice was instrumental in helping me during my pressure waves even more than my first Hypnobabies birth, Violet.

This was the birth of many surprises.  At seven months pregnant, I interviewed for a new job and was shocked to be hired.  This new position occurred six weeks before Nugget’s arrival and allowed me to transfer my maternity care to the birth center.

The week of Nuggets estimated arrival occurred and it was filled with a lot of practice birthing sessions which lasted about two hours.  The week before she arrived I spent six hours overnight with regular birthing waves that got to seven minutes apart, but during the third rotation of the Deepening (Hypnobabies) track I fell asleep and woke up feeling great.

When the day finally arrived (40 weeks plus 3 days), I was feeling really cautious.  We took the two older children to childcare and immediately set out walking in our neighborhood.  After lunch,  we headed to the birth center I allowed them to check me and I was 3 cm dilated.  This was the day.  I never dilate until the day I will give birth.  Despite this knowledge we debated for several hours whether to stay in the birth center.  When we had made our decision, the midwife checked me again and there was no change.  Based on this fact and because my birthing waves were ranging from every five to 8 minutes, she told me that I was probably not active yet and that she didn’t know if I should stay.  My excitement decreased and I found myself in a constant state of doubt through most of my birth. [Hypnobabies note: messages provided by birth care providers can have instant effects, especially on Hypnobabies moms since they are deeply in hypnosis and highly suggestible - read more on how midwives can help Hypno-families in an encouraging way here.]

Kevin and I discussed this, he told me that I was in my birthing time, that I was reading her message more negatively than she stated, and suggested that we do some pressure points for speeding up the process.  An hour later, we had the same conversation with the midwife and decided to leave for dinner.  It was very clear while I was trying to eat that this was it.  I was nauseous, shaking and really struggling at the restaurant.

We arrived at the birth center before the midwife came back from dinner and proceeded to walk around the parking lot.  I was certain, but I wanted to speed things along for the midwife.  When we went into the birthing center, I continued walking and Kevin and my mother continued applying the pressure points.  Kevin had been using counter pressure on my back for the majority of the day as well.  Between the hypnosis and the counter pressure there was no discomfort.  I began to feel tired and we spent several pressure waves sitting on the birthing ball and listening to my playlist of Hypnobabies tracks.  Kevin either waited for a signal from me or guessed when I need counter pressure.  The midwife came in again.  I really should have allowed Kevin and my mother to do all the talking because conversations with her were negatively affecting my emotional state.  I cannot believe that I could fully know that I was having Nugget and somehow decide I wasn't in my active birthing time. [Again...words easily affect birthing mothers right in the moment.] I agreed to be checked again and she told me that I was at 5 and then said she was going to stretch me to six.

This was very uncomfortable. She said that it would increase my hormones.  It took an hour for me to recover from this.  I include this here because this was my most uncomfortable time during my birth.  In fact, I became comfortable again about an hour later.  I spent the next hour, reminding myself to choose hypnosis while working through more discomfort than before and nausea. 

An hour later,  we were in the tub at exactly an hour, but I really wish I had gone in sooner.   For the hour I waited to get into the tub, I had to use my peace cue (strengthening anesthesia cue) constantly and my birth team constantly helped me by using the relax and release cue.  As soon as I hit the water it became much easier.  They still helped me a lot, but instead of catching up to the discomfort in the middle we were able to get it immediately.  Almost immediately upon entering the tub, I was in transformation (transition).  It felt wonderful.  I was comfortable, the water felt great on my tired muscles, and the pressure waves were coming between 1 minute and 2 minutes apart.  At one point I lifted my head and I said “I think I’m in transformation which is the best part because my baby will be here soon.”  I then laughed because this is what the Hypnobabies scripts said I would feel. 

My body started pushing within an hour of getting in the tub.  I think it was the first push that the midwife and my mother said that the baby was crowning and they could see the head!  They tried to show me with the mirror, but I couldn’t curve around my body enough.  At this point the mood in the room was really light.  I noticed the nurse had arrived, Kevin was giving instructions for the camera, and the midwife was saying “I wouldn’t be surprised if she arrived before midnight, although, 7/7/2011 is a cooler birthday.”  Kevin and I talked over each other to say “7/6/2011 would be fine with us.”  Nugget and my body apparently agreed with the midwife.  I pushed for another hour and then the midwife had my flip onto my back in the tub to check to see if there was a lip.

This was difficult for me. At this point, I had the strangest sensation that my hips were flying away.  My husband was amazing and was able to continue applying sacral pressure while squeezing the top of my hips which made a huge difference. 

Rachael McNamara Meeting Eliza KatherineThe midwife said I had a lip and that with the next pressure wave she was going to hold it back.  She told me to curve forward and hold my legs up.  The next pressure wave came, she held the lip, I held my legs and then she had to remind me to curve which resulted in my letting my legs go.  I just couldn’t seem to keep everything in my mind, but luckily that was all Nugget needed.  Her head came halfway out with the same pressure wave.  I was completely shocked that I could just stop with her head halfway out of my perineum with no pain just feeling really odd.  I used the Hypnobabies method (of pushing in between waves to get the head out) and took a thirty second break and gradually pushed her head out and used the next pressure wave to do the shoulders.  The midwife unwrapped the cord which was probably around her neck and handed her to us.  We all forgot to check immediately, but she told us it was a girl.  Eliza Katherine McNamara had arrived!

During this birth, I knew that a first time mom was in the next room and I  told the nurse that I was sorry I was so loud.  She told me that I wasn’t loud at all.  She also said that this was the first birth that she saw hypnosis work.  She told me that she didn’t really need to do anything so she was just sitting down listening to the Pushing Baby Out track.  She struggled with not falling asleep!  Can you imagine?  My birth was so relaxing that my attendants were falling asleep!

Rachel McNamara is now a Certified Hypnobabies Instructor, teaching Hypnobabies Classes in Charleston, SC. Her first Hypnobaby's birth story (Violet) is here.
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