Archive for January, 2010

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

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One of our Hypnobabies Instructors, who is also a L&D nurse compiled a list of the questions the ask when a mom comes into have her baby.  If it seems like a lot, it is because they ask a lot!

If you want, cut and past these into a word document and answer them, print it out and hand it to your nurse when you get there!  That will help you be able to focus on birthing your baby, instead of answering questions.  🙂

Typical Medical Questions for Admission to Hospital

  • Height & Weight (before pregnancy and currently)
  • Medication history: type of medication, dosage and frequency
  • Social history: use of tobacco, recreational drugs, or alcohol
  • Family medical history (Mother, Father, or siblings) for cancer, blood disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, pulmonary, stroke, TB, Other
  • Infertility/Gynecological problems: preterm labor, premature rupture of membranes, infertility, IVF, vaginal bleeding, poly/oligohydramnios, fetal anomalies, precipitous delivery, DES exposure, VBAC, Genito-urinary infection, febrile episode in pregnancy, previous child with SIDS, IUGR, previous child with birthweight less than 2500g, greater than 4000g, postpartum hemorrhage, fetal arrhythmias, iso-immunization, shoulder dystocia
  • Surgeries: breast, cryo-surgery, LEEP, cesarean section, cerclage, any other major surgery
  • Heart or blood pressure problems: hypertension, pre-eclampsia, MVP, HELP syndrome, rheumatic fever, murmur
  • Circulation problems: phlebitis, varicose veins, DVT
  • Respiratory problems: asthma, recent cold/flu, pneumonia, lung disease
  • History of stroke, neurological, joint, bone or muscle problems: Stroke, headache/migraine, seizure/epilepsy, developmental delay
  • Endocrine problems: Diabetes of any kind (type 1 or 2), gestational diabetes (diet controlled or medication and diet controlled), thyroid dysfunction
  • ENT problems: Meniere’s, sinus infection, nosebleeds
  • Communicable diseases/Immune Issues: GBS, previous GBS infected baby, hepatitis B, genital herpes, GC, TB, chlamydia, syphilis, any partner with std, autoimmune, HPV
  • History of Stomach, Digestive, or Urinary Problems: Liver Disease, constipation, hemorrhoids, abdominal pain, recent change in bowel pattern, hyper-emesis, nausea, recent UTI, kidney disease/stones, pyelonephritis
  • History of skin issues/body piercings: rash, chicken pox/shingles, eczema/psoriasis, piercing
  • Personal or family history for patient or husband of the following congenital/genetic issues: Congenital hearing defect. Italian, Greek, Mediterranean or Asian background, neural tube defects, down syndrome, Jewish (Tay-Sachs), cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, muscular dystrophy,Huntington chorea, mental retardation (if yes, was pt. tested for fragile x), other inherited genetic or chromosomal disorders, patient had previous child with birth defect not listed above, 3 first trimester miscarriages, or still birth, patient’s husband had child with birth defect not listed above
  • Maiden name, occupation, highest level of education, date & time of last meal
  • Do you accept blood products?
  • Have you ever had a blood transfusion?
  • Complications with pregnancy
  • Pre-pregnancy weight, weight gain in pregnancy, baby feeding plan, childbirth education (yes/no and type), Pediatrician
  • Plans for Sterilization?
  • Advance Directives?  and information
  • Sensory Deficits (glasses/contacts yes or no)
  • Bedrest in past month?
  • Sleep aids?
  • History of abuse, safety in home currently, history of depression, postpartum depression, anxiety, family history of depression, postpartum depression, anxiety
  • Recent changes or losses to family
  • Religions, spiritual practices while in hospital

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Some midwives doubt that Hypnosis will work for moms.  This may be for many reasons.  Maybe they have never seen a mom use hypnosis for birth.  Maybe they have and it didn’t “work”.   Maybe they have seen moms use other hypnosis for childbirth programs and not had good experiences, Hypnobabies is different!

Here are 2 great resources to share with them.

Here is an article a midwife wrote about how she WAS skeptical of hypnosis for birth, until she had a few moms who used Hypnobabies have awesome births.  Now she refers moms to Hypnobabies Classes.

Here is an article written by Carole Thorpe, (scroll down to More Detailed Information).  Carole has been a doula at over 500 births.  The last 200 have been her Hypnobabies Students.  She has seen it work hundreds of times.  She gives a great explanation of why it DOES work!

Feel free to e-mail them these links or print them off to share them!  Your midwife is also welcome to call Carole and speak with her if she would like to.

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Noelia Waldo CD(DONA), HCHI
(480) 295-0895
Mesa, AZ

Serving the Phoenix Metro area

Certified Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
Certified Doula

I have always been interested in pregnancy and birth, but during my first pregnancy I became a true “birth junkie”. As a mother of three, I know how important it is to be nurtured during pregnancy and birth and how empowering it can be to have the birth you desire. That is why I became a doula and a Hypnobabies Instructor. Hypnobabies is an amazing and completely thorough childbirth preparation course and I am very excited to offer it to the families in my area.

Group and private Hypnobabies Classes are available. Please call for more information.

Hypno-Doula Trainings are available, for doulas and midwives who are interested in learning how to birth-assist Hypnobabies clients.  Please contact me for details.

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Hypnobabies is FANTASTIC!!! Warning — this story is long, because my labor was loooong!  (also use your BOP because mom did experience some discomfort after 40 hours of comfortable birthing time)

Contractions began on a Friday night, when I was 36w3d, at 2am and were strong enough to wake me up. They were 5 minutes apart. At 3am, I woke my husband up. Neither of us slept much after that. At 7am, I called the doula, and she suggested that I eat, drink, and rest because it was probably false labor. By 9am, the contractions slowed down, and didn’t pick up again until 5pm.I managed the contractions and took a bath at around 9:30pm, and started listening to the Birthing Day Affirmations. At 10:30pm, my contractions were very strong and painful, and had moved to my back. I got out of the bath and a couple of minutes later, they were about 2 minutes apart, very painful, and I thought I was going to vomit. I wasn’t getting a break between them. I called the doula to come over, and the babysitter. I also called the hospital to say I’d probably be going in soon. The doula arrived at around 11pm and we decided I’d stay home a while longer and see what happened. I continued to listen to the Birthing Day Affirmations while the doula and my husband helped me manage the contractions with the “Relax” cues and rubbing my back. I said “Peace” through every single one. the doula checked me and said I was less than halfway dilated. I took some Benadryl so that I could sleep, but I was still having very strong contractions 2 to 5 minutes apart. I continued to listen to Birthing Day Affirmations, while trying to picture my cervix opening.

The on-call OB called me back at 6am Saturday morning and mentioned that since the baby was a bit early, I might want to consider going in and getting checked. I thought about it and decided it was a good idea. I was contracting enough to know that this was real labor. The doula mentioned that the hospital could at least give me some temporary pain medication so that I could sleep a little. I started getting concerned about the baby and loved the thought of sleeping, so I decided it was time to go to the hospital. I was dehydrated and hadn’t eaten anything since dinnertime, except for a few spoonfuls of yogurt, so I knew I’d want an IV.

I arrived at the hospital at 7am and was hooked up to an IV and the monitors. I was checked by a resident and was only 1cm dilated. The IV didn’t slow or stop the contractions at all. My contractions were still strong and steady, but my husband and the doula did an incredible job helping me manage, still using Hypnobabies cues while I listened to Easy First Stage. I was able to shift the sensation from pain to pressure, and retained that shift for nearly all of my labor. My husband held his hand on my shoulder firmly and said “Relax,” occasionally also saying “ten times deeper” if it seemed like a particularly strong contraction. Someone rubbed my lower back through all contractions, too. That helped immensely.

Since I was early, the hospital had a policy of not doing anything to augment labor. This was a blessing in disguise, because I didn’t have to fight off any interventions! That had been my biggest fear. They still weren’t “committed to labor” until I showed signs of actually being in labor – meaning that my cervix was changing. An hour later, I had dilated to 2cm, so that that point I was officially in labor and got moved to an L&D room. I asked for Nubain so that I could sleep for a while. It was wonderful to sleep! And, my contractions held steady! I was worried that the Nubain would slow them down. After an hour or two of sleeping, I started feeling the contractions again. I didn’t need to wake my husband for a while because I was able to handle them by saying “Peace”… but eventually I needed his help again.

It was a very long and slow labor. My contractions were always 2 to 5 minutes apart, getting stronger, and radiating from my back. I changed positions a few times, walked the hallway, etc. I loved having my IV pole to lean against during contractions in the hallway. I found it soothing for some reason. I made an “Ohhhhhhhh ahhhhhhh” sound for the second half of labor contractions, along with “Peace” when I was able to say it. Sometimes I couldn’t, and relied on my husband to say it for me. His “Relax” cue was magical. I was also able to turn my switch to “off” a few times and have it work instantly in the middle of a tough contraction – and the pain disappeared on cue. That didn’t always work, but I was amazed when it did!

By 10pm, I was exhausted, and decided that if I was 6cm or less, I wanted an epidural just so I could sleep. I was checked and was only 5cm. By 11pm, I knew that the epidural wasn’t working and that I was in the worst pain of my life! It wasn’t contractions, it was ongoing, unrelenting pain. No middle hump, no wave… I wasn’t able to get back into the Hypnobabies groove. They talked about replacing my epidural, but I was begging to be knocked out and given a c-section. My husband knew I didn’t really want that, so we asked about other options. At 12:07am, they checked me and broke my water with my permission. I was still 5cm dilated. A few minutes later, I felt like I was having a bowel movement and pushed with all my strength… knowing that I shouldn’t push. They talked about involuntary pushing and checked me again. I was 10cm and ready to push!! They quickly got everything set up while I continued pushing. It happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to switch to the Hypnobabies pushing track. I pushed three times initially once I was “allowed” to push, screaming at the top of my lungs. They asked me to wait so that they could catch up, because they could see the baby – he was right there! They told me to only push during contractions, and to channel the energy down instead of screaming. My husband was great at trying to keep me focused and I tried very hard not to scream. I pushed three more times during the next contraction and felt the ring of fire. I think there was only one more push and I felt relief – Caleb was born at 12:34am! They put him on my belly and I got to hold him while they checked him out. He was so small and purple. I loved it.

I felt the placenta squishily plop out a few minutes later. Then I felt them stitching me up (2nd degree tear on both sides)– the epidural still hadn’t taken. They asked me if I wanted to wait for a new epidural or let them go ahead. I wanted it over with so I told them to go ahead. It was quite painful and I had to make sure I didn’t squeeze Caleb too hard, and that I didn’t scream too loud. I tried singing and humming to him to take my mind off the surgery, and of course, Hypnobabies. They eventually used a local anesthetic and it was better after that. It didn’t seem to take too long. I still can’t believe I got stitched up without pain relief! And I couldn’t believe that I’d pushed him out, had a VBAC, and labored without pain relief. 46 hours of labor, including a very intense 27 minutes. Thanks to my husband, the doula, Hypnobabies, all the nurses, the doctors, everyone. We did it!

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Annette Rodgers HCHI, CMD, CIMI, LMBT
Cornelius NC

HCHI Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
LMBT Licensed Massage Therapist
CMD Certified Doula
CIMI Certified Infant Massage Instructor

I am a proud mother of 2 boys. I love focusing on women’s health. I learned about hypnobabies through my Doula services. After assisting several of my couples at their birthing time I knew Hypnobabies was a wonderful way to help couples enjoy their birthing experience. I watched the moms have peaceful, comfortable births medication free. I knew that this was something I wished I had known about for my babies and want to share it with as many people that will listen. To be a mom is a gift from God and I want to help couples always remember their special day in a positive way.

Please call me for dates and times of my Hypnobabies Classes.

I also teach infant massage classes. I also am a massage therapist and do pre-natal massage.

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Using a Birth Ball during your Birth

Hi Everyone,

In Hypnobabies, we cover using a birth ball to help birthing become shorter and easier for moms and babies. It helps babies get in better alignment in the pelvis, and allows our Hypno-Moms to relax deeply in an upright position.

Here is an article on why to use a Birth Ball and how to pick one out:


For our Hypno-Moms, we have a bit of advice for practicing their hypnosis and relaxation on their Birth Ball in their third trimester to help them get used to relaxing deeply on it. The more practice there is before labor, the easier it is to use the Birth Ball during birthing.

Get a birth ball! This is simply an exercise ball that can be gotten anywhere from Target or Wal-Mart, to any sports equipment store or online. Practice forward leaning positions on your birth ball, and also doing relaxation and scripts or Hypnobabies CDs. This will allow you to become familiar with using it and becoming comfortable on it, long before your Birthing Time. Birth balls have made such a positive difference for many birthing women.

Listening to Your Hypnobabies CDs on a Birth Ball. At least once each week listen to one of your hypnosis CDs while sitting on your birth ball so that the first time you use your birth ball while in you are in deep hypnosis isn’t during your Birthing Time. Make sure your birth ball is the right size for you. (When you are sitting on your birth ball, your shins and thighs should be at right angles to one another, thighs parallel to the floor.)

A bonus to practicing with your hypnosis while sitting on your birth ball is that babies are happy and wiggle around a LOT while their moms are in hypnosis. In the semi-squatting, forward-leaning position you’ll be in while sitting on your ball, you’ll be encouraging your happy, wiggling hypno-baby to settle into the perfect position for birthing: head down, facing your back, with chin to chest.

Tips for getting comfortable and fully supported on your birth ball:

  • Have your CD or MP3 player with headphones ready to play your Hypnobabies CD.
  • Place your birth ball in front of a corner of your bed (if it’s not too tall), or the corner of the arm of a sofa or chair.
  • Wedge a sturdy shoe under each side of the birth ball to brace it, and to keep it from moving when you sit on it.
  • Then sit on your ball with your belly facing the corner of the bed, or the corner of the arm of a chair or sofa, with your belly close to the corner and your knees wrapped around each side.
  • Use 3 or 4 pillows to make yourself comfy. The best way to stack your pillows is to “stair-step” them lengthwise to your body rather than placing them widthwise as we usually do. Pull the end of the first pillow under your belly to keep it from scooting away from you when you lean forward. Then stack the second one on top of the first and wedge it under your belly as best as you can. Place the next one on top and wedge it under your chest, and place the last one on top of that.

Then lean forward onto your stack of pillows and put one cheek on the pillow. You should be upright enough so that it is still comfortable to breathe, and your back doesn’t feel strained; if not, use an additional pillow. You can let your arms dangle at your sides, or drape them over your thighs if you like, or you can slip your hands and forearms far enough in between the middle pillows in your stack if you think they’ll stay there when you are deeply in hypnosis.

Then just relax and enjoy your Hypnobabies CD.

Here is a very nice PDF that has Birth Ball Use information and pictures for labor, including different positions you can choose to help your birthing progress and comfort level:




Kerry  Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CIO

Founder/Director of Hypnobabies

1-877-55-HYPNO (49766)


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