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Monday, 17 March 2014 14:21

The Homebirth of Baby Lumen, in Photos

Since photographing my first birth at the end of 2013, I’ve been pretty excited to find another family who would be willing to allow me into their inner circle on their birthing day.  When I got a message from Cassie right after the holidays that she was due in just a few weeks, on January 16th,  I was beyond excited.  Cassie and her team were planning a peaceful homebirth with baby #2.   She shared her birth story of her first child with me, who was born at the local birth center. After hearing Cassie’s experience with baby #1, I knew that baby #2 would have an amazing birthing day and it would be amazing to photograph.  Cassie used Hypnobabies for her first birth and I’ve read such amazing birth stories from Hypnobabies use that I was excited to see it in practice.  Let me tell you, I am a believer — Cassie had a fear free and very empowering birth.

Cassie and I had planned to meet for a play date  with our kiddos prior to baby’s arrival, but we had to postpone our meeting.  When we postponed, I told Cassie that I had the ‘vibe’ that she might birth that coming weekend, and I wanted to make sure she was still comfortable with me coming even if we hadn’t met yet.  She was, and that was good for me because I got the call from her Sunday night at around 8pm that baby was coming that night or next morning.  She said that someone would give me a call when I needed to come and about 3 hours later, Cassie’s doula, Leila, called and said baby was on its way!  I got dressed, made tea, and put my gear in the car as I made the midnight drive to their home.  When I arrived at midnight, I could hear the moans of labor from inside and it sounded like baby was near.   Cassie was truly a birthing goddess and I was in awe of her strength and power.  Her husband was a pillar of support and strength, although Cassie had it all under control.  The midwives watched and checked her, but they stayed pretty hands off, because Cassie’s body was doing what it was supposed to.   At 12:31 baby girl Lumen was born, surrounded by daughter Aster, her grandmother, and best friends.   She is beautiful and a lucky girl to be brought into this amazing family.  Here is the pictorial of her peaceful birth.


Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Cassie moaned through contractions, and talked or kissed during the break. It was empowering to watch.

birth photosDenver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyBirth photography, Denver, Jennifer Mason Photography

12:24, baby started crowning!  Cassie pushed her out through the waves.

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyDenver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyDenver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyShe was so calm. 

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Everyone was excited! These girls had just traveled 6 hours in the car to see their friend give birth.  They didnt make a peep, just watched in awe.  Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography2014-01-17_0016This is the face of a mama peacefully birthing.

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyDenver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyDenver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

6 minutes after she was crowning, she was born.  12:31.  Caught by her mama <3.

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyDenver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Baby sister announcing the gender!  This was SO priceless and cute.   It went something like this: Mama to Aster, “do you want to tell us if you have a brother or sister?”... Aster looks for a sec, then innocently asks “is that a penis?”  and Mama said, “nope.”  Aster says, ‘then its a vulva, a girl!!!’  And it was very exciting!   Can you see the recollection on her eyes on the photos below?

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason PhotographyDenver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography2014-01-17_0032Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography2014-01-17_0031Joy all around!

Denver birth photography, birth photographer, Jennifer Mason Photography2014-01-17_0035

Pure bliss!  Want to read more?  Here is part 2 of baby Lumens birth, on the night she was born :)

Published in Birthing Styles
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 18:19

Pregnancy Fears Can Be a Gift

When I was pregnant with my first daughter I wanted to learn everything I could about being pregnant.  I wanted to be sure that I was doing all of the right things to nurture my baby. I wanted to know about my baby’s growth and development. I wanted to prepare for bringing my baby home. However, there was one part of the books, websites, and magazines that I would always skip. The section on labour and delivery.

I was seriously afraid of giving birth. I had seen all of the TV shows and movies where the lovely pregnant woman turns into a complete lunatic once her labour begins. She is not only in the worst pain imaginable, but she is angry and she wants to kill her husband for 'doing this to her'. On the other hand I was also terrified of having an epidural and medical interventions. I knew that I wanted to have a drug-free birth but I wasn’t sure how that was going to work. I honestly just wanted to avoid the topic altogether.

As my baby grew it was clear that I was going to eventually have to come up with a plan for her birth. One day, as I was reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” I saw a tiny paragraph about 'hypnobirthing'. It said that hypnosis could be used as a pain relief technique during labor and birth. That option really appealed to me. I started to research hypnobirthing. I read stories from women who had used hypnobirthing, and found out more about what the course had to offer. I was lucky to find out that there was an instructor that taught classes about five minutes away from my office. My husband and I took the hypnobirthing course and I was surprised to see that not only did the course teach us the actual technique, it taught me the cultural and historical reasons why I associated pain with birth, how fear during birth causes increased pain, and the importance of 'self-talk' and the language we use around birth.

My fear of birth and my fear of epidurals and medical interventions led me to look for a way to birth that made me feel empowered. For that I am grateful, and I look at my fear of giving birth as a gift. After the classes I felt very prepared both mentally and physically. I was no longer afraid of birthing my baby. I believed in myself and my ability to birth my baby. And when the time came, I was excited rather than fearful. One of the hypnobirthing affirmations I used was “I am so excited that my baby is finally coming to me”. And I was. I was more excited than fearful.

Pregnancy fears are common and I trust that there is a reason for them. You are now responsible for another life. Your life is changing dramatically whether it’s your first baby or your fifth! You may have fears about your body, your baby’s wellbeing, your mental health, how your life will change once the baby is born, finances, relationships, or birthing to name a few.

But keep in mind that the fear response was developed to help us. In the early days of humanity, we needed to have a very extreme fear response because we were facing a very dangerous world. And although we aren’t running away from predators anymore, fears are still here to tell us that something isn’t right. But we need to take the time to figure out what that something is, and what we can do about it. If we don’t do that we can get caught up in a cycle of chronic stress and our bodies suffer from the impact of the continual activation of the fight or flight response.

We cannot avoid stress completely, but it’s best to learn to manage our stress and fears. When we are pregnant, it’s especially important to assure that our stress response isn’t thrown into continual overdrive. There are many ways to decrease stress such as gentle exercise, meditation, rest, massage, reading, writing, affirmations… the list goes on.

But when you are dealing with fear, one thing that I have found helpful is to reframe your fear as a gift or a lesson. You can say to yourself “I know that life is always working for me. As such, I choose to see this fear as a gift. I am open to understanding what this fear is trying to teach me.”  That alone may help you take the next step. You may realise that your fear is trying to tell you to take a break, or take a birthing course, or see your health care provider.

The important thing is that you do not allow yourself to get caught up in the cycle of fear. By reframing fear as a gift or a lesson you are setting yourself up to take control over your emotional response.

Have you had fears during your pregnancy? Can you reframe any of those pregnancy fears as a gift?

Saturday, 02 November 2013 10:14

Birth Made Easy Book Review

BIRTH MADE EASY is a complete hypnobirthing package as it comes with a hypnobirthing CD.  There are no classes to attend. The book is easy to follow and simply written.

This book is for the mum-to-be and for her partner. This book focuses on how you can take control of your mind and body so that birth becomes the straightforward process it is meant to be. You will learn to trust in the biology of your body – which is designed to give birth – and in the inner power of the unconscious mind to create healing, so your baby’s birth can become the truly magical experience it should be.

The techniques described in the book – self hypnosis, visualisation, different breathing methods, and the use of colours for healing and relaxation – have had proven results, empowering mothers-to-be to enjoy their pregnancy, have a wonderful birth experience, be relaxed and in control, promote their own rapid healing and recovery, bond easily with their baby, and get back to pre-pregnancy weight, shape and dimensions very soon after birth.


Praise for 'Birth Made Easy'


“As a GP with an interest in hypnotherapy I found this a fascinating book. I was fortunate to benefit from Paola’s teaching and her clear communication skills make this an easy read. Techniques she describes and teaches could benefit expectant mums both during pregnancy and beyond.”

Dr Robert Overton, MBBS DRCOG


“This book by Paola Bagnall is a very comprehensive and easy approach to the use of self-hypnosis in childbirth. The book will take you through all the tips that you need to know for a safe and natural birth. It will also give you an insight into pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period, and how hypnosis can help you in those different stages.”

Lucia Montesinos, Midwife, expert in homebirths


“A most useful guide that can help mothers-to-be to have an easier and pleasantly memorable birthing experience.”

David R Hamilton PhD, author of many books including 'How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body'


“Paola Bagnall’s method is revolutionary. It transformed my second pregnancy from dread to joyful anticipation and gave me a wonderful natural childbirth. Her empowering approach gives control of the birth process back to women, and minimises the need for medical intervention and pain relief.”

Emma Johnson – a Hypnobirthing mum


"Birth Made Easy by Paola Bagnall is a new and important addition to the books on the subject of hypnobirthing.  The book is clear and extremely informative.  It is easy to read and packed with information.  Pregnant women will enjoy it and find it extremely useful in their preparation for birth, and hypnotherapists will also find in it a useful tool in developing their hypnobirthing practices.  The range of topics she covers is impressive, and I would highly recommend it."

Katharine Graves founder of The Hypnobirthing Centre UK


"I searched for a hypnobirth book on Amazon kindle and found your Birth Made Easy first. I downloaded it and read it and listened to the MP3 track for the book from your website every night for my last trimester. I found hypnosis and meditation to come easy to me. I listened to your mp3 during my 11-hour labor and your voice guided me through every contraction, like a labor coach. I remained in hypnosis the entire time actually sleeping between my 2-minute apart contractions. I had a successful natural childbirth without fear and full of peace, thanks to you. Thank you so very much, it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, I learned how to trust my body and not to be afraid.

Melanie Willis, Haughton, Louisiana, USA, had her second baby in November 2012, using the book BIRTH MADE EASY, and the free CD that comes with the book, after a negative first time experience.


"I just had my baby on 21 July 2013. Today is Day 5. I would just like to say that this is without doubt the BEST $20 I have spent in my life. I had an incredible birthing experience, completely free of any drugs/synthetic hormones/TENS machine. I didn’t even use a heat pack or the bathtub as your methods allowed me to simply visualise the relief. I also used active birthing, i.e. I delivered in a kneeling position. I also followed your advice on perineal massage. My perineum is completely intact, and I was up and about right after skin-to-skin contact and the first breastfeed. My baby is so calm and contented as well; I am sure that your pregnancy methods that I used while practising with your CD had a significant part in this, as I have had an extremely stressful pregnancy. I feel my incredible childbirth experience has really empowered and prepared me for motherhood. The midwives and doctors in the hospital said it was the calmest birth they’ve ever seen, and a nurse took a photo of my book! The female body is designed to give birth, we forget that in these days and time. Thank you, Paola, for reminding us."

E I, Perth, Australia had her first baby July 21st 2013 using BIRTH MADE EASY and its free CD.  




This book contains the full Inner Power Hypnobirthing package
 with a FREE CD for the mum-to-be and her partner.

The book is available here: and also on Amazon, Kindle* and iBooks.


*Please note that the Kindle version does not come with a free CD as there is a link in the book to download it.


Published in Product Reviews

Ever heard of tocophobia? It’s a term used to describe the fear of childbirth. Researchers in Sweden have found that when expectant fathers experience tocophobia, it may have negative effects on the birth experiences of their partners.

The study, titled 'Psychoprophylaxis - Antenatal preparation and actual use during labour', by Malin Bergström found that many of these men were fearful not only of the process of childbirth, but in their roles as parents as well. There have been some signs to indicate that tocophobia contributed to an increase in cesarean sections, pointing to the need for birth professionals to address these fears with expecting parents.

Since the study, the Swedish Medical University has begun providing childbirth preparation classes featuring the use of psychoprophylaxis (relaxation techniques) for all expectant parents with good results.

Childbirth educators encourage both mother and partner to participate in class discussions to try and address these common fears about labor and early parenting. Educational models such as the Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing, and Birthing from Within place a great deal of emphasis on the partner as a strong yet calm source of strength for the woman in labor by teaching the partner relaxation techniques like massage and affirmations.

In another study on childbirth education classes from Lamaze International* the researchers discovered the rate of attendance for childbirth courses, and particularly courses lasting more than one session, has been decreasing over the past several years. Couples are encouraged to take lengthier courses, independent of the hospital preparation courses to get a more complete training in birth support.

Additionally, hiring a doula can help parents receive one-on-one training in these techniques and a sense of security in asking questions concerning any anxieties in an intimate and supportive setting. Doulas also help the partner to feel comfortable that everything is going well in labor, knowing that the mother will never be left alone and that there is a constant source of guidance and expertise by their side.

For a list of childbirth educators in your area, visit the International Childbirth Educators Association website.


*Contemporary Dilemmas in American Childbirth Education: Findings From a Comparative Ethnographic Study, Christine H. Morton, PhD and Clarissa Hsu, PhD, Journal of Perinatal Medicine Fall 2007

Published in Just For Dad

Giving birth should be a straightforward, wonderful and magical experience.

By using the mind-body connection it is possible to achieve this.

The dictionary definition of the ‘mind-body connection’ is the taking into account the physiological, psychic and spiritual connections between the state of the body and that of the mind.

The idea that our minds and emotions play a critical role in our health is far from new. Many ancient healing systems emphasize the interconnection between mind and body in healing, including Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, who taught that good health depends on a balance of mind, body, and environment.  This is also true for a good birth.

We all have an innate power in our unconscious minds to change the way we think.  By choosing to think differently then we actually change our brain chemistry so we release serotonins, the happy hormone, as I call it, as opposed to adrenalin. Serotonins make us feel good and help the body to heal and deal with pain.  When one feels fear adrenalin is produced in large quantities and the more fear one feels then the more adrenalin is produced.  Deepak Chopra states, “To think is to practise brain chemistry”.  So thinking relaxing thoughts changes your brain chemistry and creates a good mind-body connection.

The late Dr Grantley Dick-Read (1890 – 1959) visited a woman giving birth at her home in Whitechapel in London.  She declined his offer of chloroform, and gave birth without undue problem.  After the delivery, he asked her why she did not want chloroform and she replied, “It didn’t hurt.  It wasn’t meant to, was it?”  Dr Dick-Reid actually said then that relaxation is the key to a good birth and in his book, Childbirth without Fear publishedin 1942; he returned to women their rightful gift of a truly natural birth.

There are several ways in which we can connect to our unconscious minds to change our thinking, thereby keeping us relaxed and so help the release of serotonins in order to have a good birth experience.

A very easy way to counteract the adrenalin production is to concentrate on your breathing as this automatically reduces its flow.  This in turn causes the release of serotonins.  There are two simple breathing techniques, which can be used -

Breathing technique one: -

Breathe in to a count of 4.

Breathe out to a count of 6.

Repeat this as many times as required, and at least fifteen times.

This sends a signal to the unconscious mind to reduce the adrenalin flow.  In this way you are always in control in any situation and especially during the birth of your baby.

Breathing technique two: -

The programme for three deeper breaths

Breath 1 brings instant mental calmness.

As you breathe out SAY to yourself  “I am calm”.


Breath 2 brings instant feelings of physical relaxation.

As you breathe out SAY to yourself  “I am relaxed”.


Breath 3 brings instant feelings of confidence.

As you breathe out SAY to yourself  “I am confident”

                                                             “I can do ………..”.

This technique can be used whenever you want instant feelings of calmness, relaxation and confidence.  Using the breath reduces the adrenalin flow so creating the calmness and relaxation.  I find it easier to say a few words after each breath as it keeps me focussed on what I am doing.  The suggestions for the phrases are as above.

This breathing programme can be used in any situation where more calmness, relaxation and confidence are required so it is not just for being pregnant or for the birth of the baby.  It can be used at work, rest or play!

At breath three your are using positive affirmations.  An affirmation is anything you say or think and this affects your unconscious mind.  Your thinking in fact, determines all things.  Think negatively and you attract negative realities.  Think positively and the benefits you desire in life will come true.  When we say something over and over again, we create neural connections in the brain.  The more we say it, the more connections we create and the stronger they become, bringing about the reality we desire.  There are 3 things to remember about affirmations, 1. Repetition, 2. Repetition, 3. Repetition.  The mind not only affects the brain it also affects our body at a cellular level by causing the production of different chemicals.  This is so important in healing and pain control and to have a great birth.

State the affirmation in the present tense, as if it is happening now, and state what you want to happen.  For pregnancy and birth the list of affirmations is endless:

“I enjoy my pregnancy”

“My digestive system works efficiently and effectively”

“My digestive system is more and more comfortable” (to overcome early morning sickness)

“I look forward to the birth with excitement”

“I have a wonderfully natural childbirth”

“I heal up easily after the birth”

“I breastfeed easily”

“I enjoy being a mum”

“I am a great mum”

“I trust my instincts and intuition”

Use your imagination and you can make up as many affirmations as you wish.

Emile Coué (1857-1926) put forward the 'Law of Concentrated Attention’, which states, “Whenever attention is concentrated on an idea over and over again, it spontaneously tends to realise it.”

Therefore keep on saying your affirmations and they will spontaneously happen for you.  The more you say the affirmations, and with feeling, the faster the changes.  Build them into your daily routine perhaps repeating them ten times morning and evening.

Use the programme for the three deeper breaths whenever you can to reinforce how you want to feel, and be, during your pregnancy and during the birth.

This programme, along with positive affirmations, can also be used to help you deal with a work situation effectively, or to improve your sport performance and to improve relationships with family, friends and work colleagues.  Its uses are infinite!

Positive affirmations also link up with “The Law of Attraction” which states that what you put into the universe is reflected back to you.  So radiate positivity and calmness and that is what you get back, especially during pregnancy and childbirth.

Another way to link into our unconscious minds in order to modify our thinking is by the use of Guided imagery or visualisation, which utilizes the power of imagination to heal.  This has been shown to reduce anxiety and pain in people with a wide range of medical conditions, including asthma, back pain, headache, to help patients better tolerate medical procedures and treatments and of course to create a wonderful birth experience.

Visualisation, or imagery, utilizes the natural language of the unconscious mind to help you connect with the deeper resources, the inner power we all have, to make the changes you desire.  When you visualise what you want to have happen then the unconscious mind actualises this.  As Bo Bennett aptly states “Visualisation is daydreaming with purpose”.  Visualising and positive affirmations are also forms of self-hypnosis, which I teach as part of my Inner Power Hypnobirthing.

If you wish to you can practise a Relaxation Visualisation by downloading my free MP3 here (this is also self-hypnosis)

My relaxation allows you to choose a place where you can truly, deeply relax and unwind.  It also allows you to choose a colour of relaxation that is right for you.  This relaxation, which is self-hypnosis, is to be practised as often as possible before the baby’s due date, preferably daily.  Then when you are having contractions you can take yourself to your special place and really be there.  Or use your colour of relaxation flowing over you so you remain in control of your baby’s birth and can work with your body and intuitively know what to do.  When you are daydreaming like this then you are able to dissociate from the ‘feelings’ of the contractions. 

The reason why visualisation is so effective is because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and unreal!  So when you are imagining being in your favourite place then your unconscious mind really thinks you are there and responds by secreting lots of serotonins (the happy hormone) so you feel good about yourself.  When you use this relaxation technique during the birth process then you are producing a natural epidural to cope with the contractions.

As well as being in a special place you can also visualise your perfect birth happening in just the way you want it to.  Do this on a daily basis up until the birth.

Visualisation can be used in any situation and not just for the pregnancy and birth.  It can be used to ‘see’ you giving the perfect presentation or improving your piano playing or succeeding at performing well at an interview and getting the job you really want.

David R Hamilton states that “Our thoughts and attitudes inspire our actions, and our actions create our world”.  In conclusion the mind-body connection is achieved by our thinking, which modifies our brain chemistry.  When we have relaxed thoughts we cannot feel fear.  So to create the perfect mind-body connection in order to have a wonderfully natural birth as nature intended we simply have to practise special breathing techniques, positive affirmations and use visualisation, all of which are part of self-hypnosis and hypnobirthing.

Hypnobirthing is the use of hypnosis to have a magical birth experience as nature intended.

Hypnosis is a state of deep relaxation with altered awareness.

Being in a relaxed state reduces the ‘panic’ hormone adrenalin and increases the ‘happy’ hormone serotonin, which makes us feel good about ourselves.  In this way we are better able to cope with the fear of the unknown, and any pain as a result of the contractions.

Adrenalin produces dramatic changes in the body in response to fear, shock or stress.  It causes the rapid preparation of the body for swift action and so is also called the ‘fright, fight and flight’ hormone.  Adrenalin causes an increase in the rate of the heart beat and heart output, the ventilation rate, constriction of small blood vessels in the skin and abdomen, so more blood circulates to the skeletal muscles, taking more oxygen and sugars. The general effect is that the whole body is ready for vigorous action, which might be necessary in an emergency.

As the blood is taken away from the digestive system so more goes to the muscles creating the ‘butterflies in the tummy’ effect.  In extreme cases this can cause the voiding of the bladder and bowels.

This state of tension cannot be tolerated for long periods and usually other hormones destroy the adrenalin.  When one feels fear adrenalin is produced in large quantities and the more fear one feels then the more adrenalin is produced.

Everyone deals with pain differently.  When one experiences pain you have the actual organic pain itself, but you also have your psychological awareness of that pain, which is your pain threshold, and you have your own personality reaction to the pain, which is how much you think it will hurt.

Women are constantly bombarded with negative stories about childbirth.  As soon as they tell people they are pregnant they are told that it is the most painful thing they will ever do in their lives.  This is in fact negative hypnosis and so people believe that childbirth is painful and expect it to be so. TV programmes like ‘One Born Every Minute’ in the UK, emphasise the ‘pain’ and fear of birth, as the producers have to show births that are dramatic to increase viewing numbers.

However, in my opinion the birth contractions are not painful.  They are a strong pressure.  If you think ‘pain’ then ‘pain’ is what you will get.  By thinking of contractions, rather than ‘pains’, this straight away alters your perception of the birth process. 

There are four levels of pain control.  The first one is to remove the biggest obstacle, FEAR, that is letting your intellect start imagining all sorts of things that could happen.  Fear inhibits two important abilities we have, of concentration and relaxation.  So fear becomes pain.  The fears usually associated with pain are the fear of making it worse, fear of the unknown and what is going to happen.   

The second level of pain control is achieved by generating trust and belief in the hypnotic process and in the ability of your body to deal with the pain.  Know that your body makes its own pain killing drugs, by the release of serotonins which are released in a very site-specific way in the brain so that all the other vital systems and functions of the body continue.  This is how nature intended pain control.  Have you ever noticed a bruise on yourself and cannot remember how it happened?

Once your brain has been freed from fear then you can focus your intellect and concentration on the present moment.  So the third level of pain control is to engage in the use of progressive relaxation.  Relaxation is the most important key to successful pain control and healing.

This then leads to the fourth level of pain control, which is the process of dissociation through self-hypnosis.  In hypnosis one is in the alpha-theta brain wave pattern with an altered sense of awareness.  In this state the unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and unreal.  So when in hypnosis you are relaxed and in control, and the levels of adrenalin produced by fear and pain is maintained at low levels.  In this way relaxation and self-hypnosis make the contractions much easier to cope with.

Relaxation produces effects at a cellular level.  It produces the hormone oxytocin, which not only protects the body from heart disease but it also plays a significant role in the regeneration of wounds.  Relaxation also produces anti-oxidants, which soak up the free radicals, which can also cause heart disease.  Thus all relaxation techniques, and self-hypnosis, are beneficial to the body, whether pregnant or not.

Oxytocin is the hormone involved in birth, bonding with your baby and also in breastfeeding.  By learning the hypnobirthing techniques you learn how to relax at a deep level, so you work with your body and intuition, and are able to dissociate from the feeling of the contractions.  For many women this does mean that they may have a pain free childbirth.  We all have different pain thresholds and so hypnobirthing cannot guarantee a completely pain free birth for everyone.  However, what hypnobirthing does is to give you the best birth possible for you so having your baby is an empowering, magical experience, as nature intended.

There are several methods of hypnobirthing.  I am a biologist and a hypnotherapist.  The Inner Power Hypnobirthing starts with a biology lesson so you know what is happening in the body and understand that the female body is in fact beautifully designed to give birth.  You learn special breathing techniques to maintain calmness, positive affirmations, visualisation, the use of colour for relaxation and healing and of course self-hypnosis which is created by using all these techniques.  In this way you are able to flood your body with serotonins, a morphine based hormone during the birth process, which is your body’s natural epidural.  Thus the adrenalin levels stay low.  When you are relaxed you cannot feel fear, and the ‘pain’ of the contractions is considerably lessened.

Therefore giving birth becomes a truly memorable, exciting experience.

All the techniques that you learn for Hypnobirthing are techniques that you can use for the rest of your life to keep you calm, relaxed and in control and so deal with all of life’s challenges.





Friday, 26 April 2013 18:19

What is Hypnobirthing All About?


Hypnobirthing is simply a generic term that means the use of hypnosis for birth.  

We are all in hypnosis, without knowing it, about 60% of the day so this is something that comes naturally to us all. It occurs just before you fall asleep and just as you awaken.  Other examples include losing track of time when reading a good book or when watching something interesting on television or when you do anything you enjoy doing.  Have you ever driven from A to B, arrived at your destination and not remembered how you drove there?  If so, you were in the day-dreaming state of natural hypnosis.

In essence, hypnosis is simply a state of heightened relaxation and altered awareness.  In hypnosis you are awake, aware of what is going on around you and you are in control.

So hypnobirthing is the intended use of hypnosis to allow you to tap into your inner resources, which we all have in our subconscious minds, to create feelings of well-being.

These feelings of well-being are created by using special breathing techniques to maintain calmness, positive affirmations, visualisation, colour for relaxation and healing and of course self-hypnosis which is created by using all these techniques.

When you are relaxed you cannot feel fear at the same time.  When you are relaxed your body produces serotonins, a morphine-based hormone, that makes you feel good about yourself and is your body’s natural epidural.  I call this hormone the ‘happy hormone’!

When you are anxious the body responds by producing the panic hormone, adrenaline, which causes all the skeletal muscle to contract, the heart to beat faster and your breathing to increase.  So you feel tense, scared and you do not allow your body to work as it should do, especially when giving birth to your baby.

I am a biologist, as well as a hypnotherapist, and I feel that today we have lost sight of the fact that the female body is, in fact, perfectly designed to give birth naturally.   When you are in a relaxed, hypnotic state then you work with your body to have a wonderfully natural birth creating a magical experience as nature intended.  When you are relaxed your intuition tells you what is going on in your body and the baby can flow out much more easily.

Hypnobirthing is not just for the mum-to-be.  It is also for the dad-to-be who plays a vital role in helping his partner maintain her self-hypnosis during the birth.

Hypnobirthing helps you to:

  • put things in their true perspective
  • relax, stay calm and in control - in a calm, relaxed state your muscles and skin can stretch easily and naturally in a pain-free way
  • stay focused on the process that your body is going through and be in tune with what your body and your intuition are telling you
  • be healthy and sleep well
  • heal quickly and recover faster 
  • bond with your baby
  • breastfeed easily, if you choose to do this
  • be happy and have confidence in your abilities as a mother 
  • get back to pre-pregnancy weight, shape and dimensions very soon after the birth

Hypnobirthing does not guarantee a pain-free birth. It does, however, give you the tools to make it as comfortable an experience as possible and an enjoyable, empowering one.

Hypnobirthing can also help you if you have; nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, needle, doctors and hospital phobias; swollen extremities; placenta previa and how to move the placenta to a safe place for the birth and how to turn a breech baby. 

Wednesday, 06 February 2013 18:00

My Very First Hypnobabies Birth

My birth story all started on October 28th 2006 when I saw that pretty double blue line. I was ecstatic I didn't know what to say, do or think. I just cried from enjoyment, I couldn't have been happier. But now what? First of all we didn't have maternity insurance second of all this was a little bit of a surprise.

My sister is the one that introduced me to the whole hypnobirthing thing. I started doing my own research and was liking what I was reading. The more I read the more I wanted to do it.So I signed up for the class.

When the classes finally came around and it was getting closer to my birthing time, I started to get nervous. But once I went to the first class something came over me and I was calm and I knew that I would be able do this and everything was going to be ok. Going to the classes was pretty much the highlight of my week. I learned so much in the class. This was my first baby, I didn't really know what to expect, and I had no idea what my body was going through. I learned a lot not only about my body but how to relax in general.

When the classes came to an end I had 6 weeks till my estimated due date, so I thought. I will be honest with you, I didn't do my homework as often as what was advised, I thought I had time. When I was 35 weeks I went in to my regular weekly cheek up and requested that they checked me because I was having a lot of pressure. They did and I was already at 4 centimeters and 80 percent effaced. All I could think was WOW! This baby is going to come sooner than I thought.

That weekend I went in to the Hospital with pressure waves every 3-5 minutes apart and they were very strong. I got there about midnight and they sent me home at 6 o'clock in the morning after giving me a shot to stop my pressure waves. I was still at a 4 and they couldn't induce me because It was so early. It was kinda funny because my sister-in-law was supposed to get induced earlier that day, but got turned away because the hospital was so busy with emergency c-sections. We all joked that the babies were waiting for each other to
come down on the same day.

That following Tuesday June 5th started like any other Tuesday. Lindsay my sister-in-law had my niece at 3 o'clock in the morning and everyone joked that Keagan was going to come later that day. My Mom and my sister Talya came down to my house to help me clean since I couldn't, and Keagan's room was no wear close to being finished. We finished everything and they left around 5:30 P.M. About a half an hour later I had just gone the bathroom and was finishing some laundry. I bent over to pick up the basket, and I thought to my self, either I wasn't done going to the bathroom and I peed my pants or my water just broke. So I called my mom and asked her, "what does it feel like when your water breaks?" Since hers never broke at home, always at the hospital she told me to call my sister. I called her and asked her the same thing. She didn't know either. But she told me to lay down and see if more amniotic fluid comes out when I roll over, because the head can act like a plug and stop it from coming. It did. It was like a flood, I soaked 4 towels. We called the hospital and my midwife to let them know I was on my way.

My husband was getting everything ready while I laid on the couch and listened to my Cd's to relax myself and get ready for the birth of my baby. After I was ready to go, I got in the car and just did my breathing and got my self deeper and deeper into relaxation. We got to the hospital about 7:30 P.M. along with my Mom, Dad and my sister Talya.

We finally got into the delivery room at about 8 o'clock. I turned off all the lights and listened to my deepening CD, while I was rocking on my birthing ball. My sister was pushing on some pressure points, to try to get my pressure waves stronger. I was in no pain and totally relaxed feeling good.

My midwife came to check me at about 10 P.M. and I was still at 4 centimeters with no progression. I was getting a little antsy and she suggested pitocin. I took it, not really knowing how it would feel. At about 10:45 P.M. is when it kicked in. My pressure waves got stronger real quick, it was not gradual at all. I wasn't mentally ready for that kind of sensation yet, I hadn't prepared my self. I got scared and jumped out of my relaxed peaceful state. Because I had taken the pitocin it took me a good hour before I felt relaxed again and like I could do it. I was having pressure waves lasting up to 90 seconds and only 20 seconds apart. I didn't really have much time in between the pressure waves to relax myself, like I was. I knew that I could do this and I knew that my body was made for this. It helped a lot to have my sister there, because she had been threw this three times before, to remind me to relax and to breath and think about my beautiful baby. My husband and my sister kept telling me positive things when they saw that I was struggling a little bit, it helped. Knowing that I had people there supporting me and reminding me to relax and to breathe helped a lot.

It was 11:45 P.M. when I started pushing. I was laying on my back the usual way that doctors do deliveries. Threw the whole pregnancy I was terrified that I would have to get an episiotomy. I did, The needed to get my baby out as fast as they could, because Keagan's heart rate had dipped quit a bit. When his head came out he was completely purple. I was terrified. They found that the cord was wrapped around his chest twice. Keagan was born at 11:59 P.M. Weighing 7lbs. 4 oz. He made it by a minute to share a birthday with his cousin. They quickly gave him to the pediatrician that was on call. I didn't even get to hold him first and I was so sad, but I wanted the best for my baby. After the was out my midwife was having trouble getting the placenta to detach, it just wouldn't come. When she told me this my husband put his hand on my forehead and said, "relax." and I was thinking "release, release." As soon as we did that out it came. I strongly believe that was why.

After he was born they took him to do tests since he was a preemie and completely blue, they had to make sure everything was alright. The next day they ran an x-ray and found out that he had pneumonia. My heart broke. He had to stay in the hospital for 5 extra days, I was lucky enough that I got to be with him everyday and hold him everyday that he was there.

After giving birth I was expecting to bleed for a few weeks. I didn't, I bled for only three days, and my stitches were healed by my one week post appointment. I know was because I had him all natural with no drugs in my system. It was perfect. I couldn't have asked for a better birthing time, even though he was sick, I loved every minute of delivering him. HypnoBabies helped me relax and be comfortable for my birth as well as other things out side of being pregnant. I strongly believe in this and can't wait to do it again with my next child. I recommend it to everyone. Your body was made to have babies, so why not enjoy it?


Published in Birthing Stories

 In having a home birth you will not have hospital protocol around you. Having the knowledge that a class can give you may be priceless in the end! Your care provider may be able to give you some insight during your appointments, about what to expect. However this does not substitute taking a class and doing hands on learning.

So how do you choose which to go with? There are so many choices, here is a brief synopsis of some of the choices out there.

Hypnobirthing uses a long term training (start early in your pregnancy), of putting yourself in a sort of trance by using a set series of touches to help you deal with your contractions. There are classes you can take taught by certified people or there is a home training that you can do. 
Hypnobabies similar to Hypnobirthing but rather than use touch as the corner stone for the self hypnosis it is using actual hypnosis to help through pregnancy and labor. It helps you learn a closer bond with your baby and makes it more of a symbiotic process rather than autonomic. This can also be taught by a certified trainer or by a home class using cd’s. 
Birthing From Within this class uses imagery and visualizations to help you move through pregnancy and birth. The class is tought by a certified trainer, but there is a book that you can buy to do your own self study. 
The Bradley Method is often referred to as the Husband Coached Birth. This was created to allow the spouse to be more involved in the birthing process. Again they are taught by certified trainers who have used this method or taken an extensive training program to become certified.
Lamaze has long been used in labors as a breathing technique to get through labor. The organization has grown from just birth to doing more about pregnancy and raising children. This is taught by a certified trainer. 

Go back to: Step #7: Gathering Birthing Supplies

Go ahead to: Step #9: Birth Support

Go to: Birthing Methods Main Menu

Published in Birthing Places

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