Archive for January, 2010

It is hard to know exactly where to begin  . . .  I signed up for a Hypnobabies Class when I was 33 weeks pregnant for a personal home class with just my husband and I. I was a bit worried at first with me deciding so late in pregnancy that I needed to take the class but my wonderful instructor Katherine Stanglin convinced me it would still work and she was 100% right!!

This was my 2nd birth. My first birth was an induction 9 days past the guess date for high blood pressure.  I was hooked up to Pitocin and instantly had waves for 13 hours and somehow managed to birth naturally and vaginally but with tons of medical interventions: pitocin, breaking my water, internal fetal monitoring, episiotomy – 3rd degree and vacuum. So needless to say I walked away from my first birth disappointed mainly in myself because there were times I begged for pain medication and an epidural but my mom and husband knew how important a drug free birth was that they didn’t listen to my begging.

When I became pregnant with my second baby I was thrilled but nervous and I had lots of fear surrounding the birth but I also was convinced to do whatever it took to make this a good experience and one I was proud of. I hired a doula, changed OB’s, changed hospitals and took my hypnobabies course. So here the birth story begins. My guess date was 11/25 and by this point I was exhausted and worn out and so ready to meet the baby and wondering if I would get to experience going into my birthing time on my own – praying it wouldn’t be like the first birth.

My mom convinced my husband and I on 11/28 that we needed to get out of the house and go to dinner and see a movie and she would babysit our 24 month old little boy that evening. We live ½ a mile from a great shopping center with a movie theater so we decided we would walk up and grab dinner and a movie. We hadn’t walked more that 250 feet when I fell and skinned both my knees on the concrete sidewalk. I started to cry and told my husband I was so big I couldn’t even walk anymore 🙂

We went back in and got the car keys so we could drive and some Neosporin for my knees. Needless to say we saw a fantastic movie and during the movie I thought to myself – hmm this feels different than the Braxton hicks – I could feel them starting at the top of the uterus and working there way down. They were totally comfortable and I didn’t mention anything to my husband until we were getting the car. I told him I wasn’t sure but maybe these were the real thing but I only had a few.

We went home – I mentioned them to my mom but told her I wasn’t sure and just wanted to try and sleep. We went to bed about 10:30 and I put Easy First Stage on my Ipod – Fell asleep and realized I had been out for about an hour and half – I slept through the majority of all my scripts throughout the 7 weeks I studies hypnobabies so I was used to this. I woke up close to midnight and felt like taking a bath. Then I felt a little hungry and I went down and had 2 cookies that my hubby and I made that day testing a recipe for Christmas 🙂 Then I decided to lay in bed and time my waves with the contraction master application on my iphone.

I started at 12:48 because this was truly the first time I believed that this was really the day my precious baby would be born. I laid in bed totally relaxed listening to my Birthing Day Affirmations and timing the waves for 1 hour – At 1:45 I woke up my husband and told him they were 2.5 minutes apart last about 1 minute and it had been 1 hour. We relaxed a bit more on the bed making our plan. We called my mom to return  to our house and our doula to make her way to our house. My husband took my 2 year old to my dads house once my mom arrived and then by 2:45am

My fantastic support team was all here at my home – My mom, my doula and my husband. By now the intensity of the waves had increased and I was having to move around a lot upright and when a wave began I would bend over my bed or chest of drawers for support and truly relax. I believe that I first moved into center when I was sleeping and stayed in center until my baby was born.

I told my team at 3:00 am that I thought I was ready to go to the hospital but I was wavering and couldn’t make up my mind and my doula said “I just want to make sure that if we go to hospital and you aren’t as far progressed as you are hoping for that you will not be defeated.” I asked her – “Do you think I am not that far? “She said she wasn’t sure but she just wanted me to make sure I thought timing was right and for me to know if I wasn’t far progressed we could turn around and come back to the house after being checked. I told her that maybe she was right  and to let me try to get through some more waves – My husband suggested I take a shower and I thought this was a good idea. The minute I entered the shower the intensity elevated tremendously and I became more vocal with the waves. My husband rushed down the stairs to start the brownies because we had made the plan to take them to the nurses – needless to say these didn’t make the trip to the hospital.

20 minutes later I got out of the shower and told my mom and doula that now I was positive and I was ready to go. I changed and we loaded the car and we listened to affirmations on the car ride. As we pulled up to the entrance I began to feel nauseated and this feeling I remembered – which I took to be a good sign.

We checked in at the hospital at 4:00am. We were given our room and put our hypobabies tracks on the cd palyer in the room. The nurse checked me and told me I was at 5cm but that she thought the baby might be breech – Which was Outrageous – Since my OB and I knew baby was not breech. Needless to say things moved along pretty rapidly – Between trips to the potty and waves it was non-stop.

Near 5:15 my water broke at the beginning of a wave and the nurse checked me again and said I was at 8cm. Once at the hospital I did experience some deep pressure in my lower back which my doula and mom applied counter pressure with each pressure wave, which helped tremendously. Also I stood from 1:45 – until birth time – laying or sitting was so awful I could barely stand it for the 2 minute vaginal check.

Once I stood back up from the check with the next wave I felt the urge to push. I tried very hard to breathe the baby out and I focused on keeping my mouth loose and my breathing AHHH AHHH’s but I found this very difficult. I must say that after watching Sheridan’s birth to Bryson and breathing him out I am so impressed. The nurse said if I was going to push since my doctor wasn’t there I had to get on the bed – I had envisioned birthing my baby on my side or squatting but since squatting wasn’t an option because the Dr. had not arrived – I tried side lying and that felt wrong.

So I moved to an all fours position with my head and upper body inclined and this felt right – Although thinking back on it my rear was just out there in everyone’s face because I elected not to wear the hospital gown  and keep my clothes on which was a T-Shirt and boy cut panties but somehow with all the trips to the potty the panties didn’t make it longer than 30 minutes J – Oh well.

It was about 20 minutes of pushing and the Dr. had still not arrived. I was facing a bed and a wall and could hear the # of people in the room increase but I wasn’t sure what was going on because being in center – I was totally unaware of chaos, commotion or really anything that would normally be a distraction. My baby’s head was already out when the doctor arrived and with a few more pushes a beautiful baby girl was born. Unfortunately her shoulder was stuck on my pubic bone so they told me to flip over on my side with the next push and literally with that move she slid right out but needed to get some oxygen.

Kampbell was born at 6:10am. I was a little sad because I wanted her directly on my chest and I wanted her cord to stop pulsating before clamp or cutting but the oxygen was medically necessary. I did have a 2nd degree tear but this was nothing compared to the episitotmy. It was about 10 more minutes before the placenta was born and these waves were very easy. They brought her to me just after that and she nursed perfectly. She weighed 9.1lbs and was 21” long.

I can honestly say this birth experience was amazing. I believe that hypnobabies trained me to believe that with birth there would be pressure but not pain and this is exactly how it happened. My instructor stressed that you have to choose to use your hypnosis and there wasn’t a minute of the 5 hours that I wasn’t listening to Kerry’s voice including Easy First Stage, Deepening, Birthing Day Affirmations and Pushing Baby Out. After my first class I truly believed this program would work for me and that I would have a pain free, fast, quick and wonderful birthing time and sure enough all my wishes and beliefs came true.  On a side note I continued to use my hypnosis after birth with the uterine contractions while nursing and anytime I felt like I needed some relief because it truly works wonders. Thanks to everyone in this group for all of the stories, questions, feedback, etc. – I truly believe they were very instrumental in my positive experience.

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Susan McClutchey HCHI
Susan McClutchey

(919) 806-8560
Durham, NC

I am a Certified Hypnobabies Instructor and experienced Hypno-Mom. My husband and I loved our painless Hypnobabies birth so much we knew I had to help other women to have the birth of their dreams…so I became trained as a Hypnobabies Instructor!

I am teaching Hypnobabies Classes in Durham, North Carolina. If you are interested, please call me to discuss class times and dates. I keep my class schedule very flexible, to suit the needs of as many families as possible. I don’t want anyone to miss out on having the birth they want because of scheduling conflicts!

Several enthusiastic references readily available on request!

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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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i posted last week about my breech baby who refused to cooperate with my
conservative methods to flip him. i tried webster technique, acupuncture,
pelvic tilts, and knee chest positions. i even tried a little bit of pulsatilla
20c. this afternoon was my ecv. i had my husband and doula there with me. it
was a long afternoon.

i started off the day a little stressed out with some time-sensitive errands.
my ob canceled our appointment at the last minute (38w appointment), because she
had a conference (that’s another frustrating story). then my husband picked me
up from our house to carpool to the hospital. i didn’t feel like eating much,
because i read from one of the ecv stories on hypnobabies that i shouldn’t eat
so much to give the baby more room to move. and my appetite wasn’t quite there.
i just listened to the breech baby track and then deepening.

we were on-time to the perinatologist. the ultrasound tech mapped out the baby
and measured his weight. he was 1/2 frank and 1/2 complete. what a funny baby!
that would explain why his kicks were in such weird places, always making me
guess where he is. the measurement was surprising since i measured small. he’s
estimated to be 39th percentile and 7 lbs. that really dumbfounded all of us in
the room since i didn’t gain too much weight, and i really thought he’d be 4-5
lbs. i was ecstatic that he wasn’t so small since that’s why i’ve been worried
for the last few weeks.

then i had the non-stress test done. the baby tried his best to get the
electrodes off of his head. he was so cute! then he gave up after 15 mins of
struggle. his activities looked great, so we met up with the perinatologist who
looked at the baby on ultrasound again. she explained to me gently that i had
about 2/3 chance to having this little guy flip. she encouraged visualization,
and i told her that i had that covered with my ipod. she seemed pleased, and i
was happy that she was already telling me to relax with visualization.

now this was the tough part. i was listening to the breech track when they set
up the iv line for the terbutaline in my left hand. i realized that i had to
quickly change over to deepening, because i needed anesthesia now! i started to
relax, but my hands were so cold and the veins weren’t cooperating. they spasmed
as soon as the needle when into the tiny vein. the nurse who was quite
experienced stuck me 3x including my radial vein (if you know where this is, you
know it’s not the most comfortable place). the sticks felt like they were
jabbing into my bones. i had a difficult time focusing and started to jump
whenever she took the needle out to change course. she got the perinatologist
to try in different spots. (the perinatologist typically does the tough iv
cases.) even she missed 3x further up the radial vein towards my elbow. i
thought it’d be less painful, but the pain was quite intense. it kind of felt
like somebody was breaking my arm. but i have to admit… i would’ve cried at
about the 2nd stick. i’ve had phlebotomists miss my vein before in my median
cubital veins, which are much easier to puncture than these tiny ones. and the
staff were trying really hard. so this was the hang-up.

the perinatologist told me that i can try the intramuscular injection, which is
less effective at smooth muscle relaxation. or i can return to labor & delivery
to have the anesthesiologist try and then proceed with ecv. she told me that i
can return if today’s efforts didn’t work with the first option. since she was
gracious enough to let a first-time mom try 2x, i wanted to go for it. and we
did spend a lot of time here already… with my listening to deepening and
breech tracks multiple times.

so i got the intramuscular terb injection, which did make my heart race. but as
i listened to the deepening track, my heart rate came down again. however, the
staff didn’t want to start until they saw that my heart rate was over 100, which
indicated that my body was seeing its effect. so i had to switch my ipod to a
fast song so that my heart rate can catch up. hypnobabies was so effective in
lowering my heart rate! i was fighting 2 forces here – relaxation vs. fast
heart rate.

i was finally ready at 100-102 bpm. after my very last restroom break and a
quick prayer on the toilet, i was finally ready. i laid down, and i think they
allowed me to relax listening to the deepening and breech tracks. i was going
back and forth between the two. the ultrasound tech and perinatologist got into
their positions and lowered the head piece of the bed. my knees were propped up
to relax the belly. i got another glob of warm ultrasound gel. then i was
ready to go. i took some deep breaths in and out while listening to the tracks.
i felt the doctor cup the baby’s butt with her left hand as she pushed down his
head in counterclockwise fashion. i felt him starting to move a little. i was
getting a little excited, but i made sure that i remained calm and relaxed. the
doctor was very gentle in her touch and used broad contact rather than digging
with her fingers.

it was just as other moms have described here. the move was very intense. i
felt the baby get stuck at one point when my uterus tightened. then i took a
big breath and felt the uterus muscle relax and melt as i expired. it was
amazing, because he completely flipped afterward. i heard the excitement in the
staff’s voice even through the scripts. when i heard the perinatologist say,
“good boy!” i knew we were done. after some cheers, congrats, and many thanks
from us, we were off to another session of monitoring. he was fine and still
kicking. he was getting used to his new position.

i pray that he will stay head down since he’s one active baby. the
perinatologist believes that he probably won’t since it was definitely a tight
turn. and i even had hard time turning him with other methods. but definitely
no more inversions and poor posture. i think the baby’s finally at peace with
his new position. in fact, i feel more his back now. so he’s occiput anterior
so far. i will try my best to keep him this way until he’s ready to come out.
i’m currently at 38w2d.

thank you all for your support and advice. the stories were absolutely
encouraging as people around me kept telling me how c-section wasn’t that bad.
my aunt said that i was lucky that had a breech baby so that i have to get
c-section. i had a difficult time keeping me bop during the last few weeks. i
was glad that i was able to get encouraging advice from the moms here. i
honestly believe that the breech baby script helped my baby prepare for today’s
procedure. thank you.


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Nancy Tortorice HCHI, CD (D.O.N.A)
HOME 619-435-2626
CELL 619-672-2858

Gentle Birthing Services can be a part of the miracle of life for you and your baby. As both a Childbirth Instructor and a Doula, I am dedicated to assisting expectant single mothers and mothers with birth partners achieve the birth they desire, in the most natural way possible.

My vision is that every new life will journey into this world through the gentle birthing that occurs when mothers are reminded of and guided into the inner wisdom they already possess. A gentler, calmer beginning means a gentler, calmer baby. Gentle Birthing is making a difference one birth at a time.    I teach on-going Hypnobabies Classes throughout San Diego offering both Group and Private Classes. Please call for a schedule of upcoming classes. Please call for a schedule of up-coming classes. County

I also offer Newborn Classes for mothers-to-be and mothers with newborns teaching both the Happiest Baby on the Block and the Dunstan Baby Language Program.

The Happiest Baby on the Block:

The Happiest Baby Program teaches parents how to turn on their baby’s calming reflex to soothe their babies’ cries, and also to help their babies sleep a little longer. You will be given step-by-step techniques to easily, effectively and quickly calm even the fussiest baby.

The Dunstan Baby Language Program

Through the Dunstan Baby Language Program you will learn to interpret your baby’s sounds and cries so that you will be able to respond to their needs. Your baby can and does tell you what they need from the very beginning. The sooner you recognize the sounds and their meaning, the quicker your baby’s needs will be met. Your baby will become more relaxed, confident and happy — and so will you!

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Preterm Labor? Hypnosis can help!

I found an interesting study looking at how Hypnosis can help moms with Preterm Labor.

To be honest, I am not the best Stats person, so I asked my friend Kathy if she would read and interpret it for me.  She was wonderful and did.  Here is how she translated all the stats into completely understandable language!

The study showed that from initiation of hypnosis until birth the average time was 3/4 of the way to 40 weeks — if she started hypnosis at 30 weeks and gave birth at 40 weeks, it was 100%, but if she gave birth at 35 weeks, it would have been 50% (halfway between 30 and 40); if she started hypnosis at 34 weeks and made it to 35 weeks, it was 1/6 of the way to 40 weeks, so it would have been 16.7%, but if she made it to 37 weeks, that would be 50%. The average time of the control group (who got only “standard premature birth” treatment) was 50% of the time from initiation of treatment to 40 weeks. Both groups had the same average starting gestational age, which is good, because if the “hypnosis” group started at 30 weeks and made it to 34 weeks, while the “control” group started at 33 weeks and made it to 34 weeks, then that wouldn’t seem to be an improvement, although the hypnosis group lasted 4 weeks, compared to 1 week in the control group — because the pregnancies would have still ended at the same time. However, I don’t know that “40 weeks” necessarily ought to have been the goal (although if that *weren’t* it, I don’t know what *should* have been), because many babies are actually read to be born at 37, 38, or 39 weeks, and preventing their timely birth should not be a goal. 🙂

The birthweights also showed a better result from the hypnosis group (which is not surprising, since their pregnancies lasted longer, giving them more time for the babies to gain weight). So, that seems to me to be saying the same thing — birthweights tend to increase the longer a woman is pregnant; but it would have been odd had the hypnosis group had lower birthweights than the control group, while having longer average pregnancies.

One thing that might possibly be troubling is the higher incidence of birthweights under 1500 grams, but I’m not sure if it was statistically significant; and it certainly seems to be more than offset by the over-50% incidence of birthweights of 3000 grams or more.

The researchers tried to control for the known variables influencing preterm birth (table 2); and most of the variables were similar, or favored the control group — the one that did not, was in previous induced abortion.

As the researchers pointed out, it may be that hypnosis/relaxation alone helped to keep the women pregnant; but they also point out that social interaction alone (which was necessarily involved with the hypnosis itself, and the tapes the women listened to afterwards) may have been the key. This is interesting to me, in that midwives tend to have better results than doctors do, in regards to preterm birth [see this story and this CDC news release], and their hour-long prenatal visits may be a big portion of it, especially compared to the 5-15 minute OB visits.

What would need to be done, is a study undertaken of women who have hypnosis and continuing relaxation exercises, as described in this study, vs. women who had social interaction at the same levels described in the study, to see if there could be a difference attributable solely to hypnosis. At this point, (unless the study was later refuted, or a larger study was undertaken that found no difference) you can say that hypnosis and relaxation appear to have benefits in reducing preterm birth with a concurrent increase in birthweight. From what I know of Hypnobabies, the women practice the hypnosis/relaxation techniques daily (or at least, frequently), and/or fall asleep listening to the relaxation CDs. This seems to be very similar to what the study described, if not more “social interaction” than the study used, which would indicate to me that if the results of the study are accurate, then they would certainly apply to Hypnobabies.

Thanks Kathy!

You can download the Baby Stay In MP3 from the Hypnobabies Website!

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Turning Breech Baby Tips

I just wanted to post some helpful information on using hypnosis to turn breech babies:

While only about 5% of all babies are breech at term, for those planning a vaginal birthing, having their baby in a breech position in the last month of pregnancy can be challenging. There are many suggestions for turning a breech baby physically, such as swimming, using a slant board, massage, moxibustion, pelvic tilt, etc. http://pregnancychildbirth.suite101.com/article.cfm/turning_a_breech_baby

Another excellent resource is the Spinning Babies website at www.spinningbabies.com, which has information on turning babies in several challenging positions.

In addition to these techniques, we have another amazing tool that helps breech babies turn to the head-down position – our own powerful minds! Since the baby in utero is part of the mother, it is registered as so by the subconscious mind, which can be directed to make changes in the mother’s body. Release of fears that can constrict muscles is also used in hypnosis sessions, to help the mother relax and allow her baby to turn. The body is controlled completely by the mind, which is how our Hypnobabies moms can use hypnosis to stop-preterm labor, eliminate nausea and insomnia and of course, create a much easier and more comfortable childbirth experience. Using hypnosis to turn breech babies has been more successful than using other techniques alone. In a study done at a prominent university, 81% of the babies turned to vertex position with the use of hypnosis:

Design: Prospective case series compared with historical, matched comparison group.

Subjects: One hundred pregnant women whose fetuses were in breech position at 37 to 40 weeks’ gestation and a matched comparison group of women with similar obstetrical and sociodemographic parameters derived from databases for other studies from the same time period and geographical areas.

Intervention: The intervention group received hypnosis with suggestions for general relaxation with release of fear and anxiety. While in the hypnotic state women were asked for the reasons why their baby was in the breech presentation. As much hypnosis was provided as was convenient and possible for the women until they were delivered of the baby or the baby converted to the vertex position.

Main Outcome Variables: A successful conversion for the intervention group was scored when the baby spontaneously converted to the vertex position before delivery or successful cephalic version. The conversion rate of the intervention group was compared with the comparison group who received standard obstetrical care without the opportunity for hypnosis.

Results: Eighty-one percent of the fetuses in the intervention group converted to vertex presentation compared with 48% of those in the comparison group. This difference was statistically significant.

Conclusions: Motivated subjects can be influenced by a skilled Hypnotherapist in such a manner that their fetuses have a higher incidence of conversion from breech to vertex presentation. Psychophysiological factors may influence the breech presentation and may explain this increased frequency of conversion to vertex presentation.

From Archives of Family Medicine, Vol. 3, Oct. 1994 Hypnosis and Conversion of the Breech to the Vertex Presentation Lewis E. Mehl, MD, PhD Dept. of Psychiatry Univ. of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington

At Hypnobabies, we suggest all women consider how powerful their inner mind is and use it during pregnancy, birthing and postpartum, to enhance their own safety, comfort and health, as well as that of their precious babies. Your mind can direct your body in such a positive way – use it! If the baby is breech, it is wise to find a well-trained hypnotherapist in the area for sessions to help turn the baby, or visit our Hypnobabies website for information on our Turn Your Breech Baby Cd and Mp3 tracks.

Turn, Baby, Turn!

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

Founder/Director of Hypnobabies

714-952-BABY (2229)


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