Here is a short film with Mickey Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing®, explaining instinctive birth.
Using hypnosis and hypnotherapy for pregnancy and childbirth is fantastic! I love to work with pregnant clients. I have been teaching the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing® since 2001, and I have seen many transformations from fear to confidence in my HypnoBirthing® students, as well as hearing amazing, inspiring birth stories. I see pregnancy as a fantastic time to work on all of your emotional baggage so that you don’t bring that with you to your birth or to your parenting skills. Some of the many topics I’ve worked with over the years include:
- Turning breech babies
- Turning posterior babies
- Alleviating nausea or vomiting
- Keeping an over-active cervix closed during pregnancy
- Reducing blood pressure
- Alleviating heart burn
- Lowering stress or anxiety
- Sleeping deeply at night
- Reducing or eliminating fear of childbirth
- Changing the perception of labor, especially how the uterine surges feel during labor (transforming the sensations from “pain” to “pressure”)
- Teaching moms to relax during birth so that their births are more comfortable and so that they birth instinctively, as nature designed
What do you want to transform during your pregnancy and birth? The possibilities are limitless.
Here’s a fantastic YouTube video of the physiology of normal birth:
I compiled this list with the help from “The Birth Partner,” by Penny Simkin, which is a fantastic book to prepare you for your partner’s upcoming birth. I added a few HypnoBirthing® specific enhancements as well.
For the Mom:
- Unscented Oil (almond or sesame), lotion, or cornstarch for massage
- Lip balm
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Pajamas that open in the front for breastfeeding, robe
- Warm socks and slippers
- Rolling pin and/or tennis balls for back massage
- Extra pillows with distinctive pillowcases
- Relaxation music
- MP3 player, charger, headphones
- Special objects or photographs
- Coconut water, Recharge, snack foods
- Cosmetics, toiletries
- Eyeglasses & contact lenses
- Hair bands
- Nursing bras and pads
- Underwear (several pairs)
- Heavy-duty menstrual pads (usually provided by hospitals — ask first)
- Reading and writing materials, address book, birth announcements
- Money for incidentals
- Health insurance card, photo ID
- Going-home clothing
For the Birth Companion:
- Extra copies of the Birth Preferences for the hospital staff
- Birth Companion’s Prompt Card and Rainbow Relaxation script
- Personal supplies (toothbrush, breath freshener, deodorant, shaver)
- Food for snacks, such as sandwiches, fruit, crackers, beverages (consider beforehand what they will do to your breath)
- Change of clothes
- Swimsuit so you can accompany the mother in the shower
- Paper and pencil
- Other reading materials, or handwork, for slow times when the mother does not need your help
- Phone numbers of people to call during or after labor
- Cell phone with battery recharger
- Camera (still or video), film or videotape, batteries
For the Baby:
- Undershirt or onesie
- Outer clothing (hat, warm clothing)
- Receiving blanket
- Car seat
For the Trip to the Hospital or Birth Center:
- A full tank of gas
- A blanket and pillow in the car
- Extra towels for mom to sit on
- A shower curtain or garbage bags for the car seat
Consider doing each of these things ahead of time to make your transition from pregnancy to birth easy.
- Pack your birth bag at week 34 (you can get everything out and stage it, but the birth companion should pack it so they know where everything is). Keep it in your car. Here is a blog entry I wrote about what to pack in your birth bag.
- Keep the baby car seat in the car, along with a shower curtain or garbage bags and extra towels to sit on. Learn how to install the car seat as well as how to adjust the straps. Here's the DMV website on installing child car seats.
- Arrange for baby-sitting & household help, if needed.
- Choose a pediatrician or family practice physician for your child. Interview several.
- Research the vaccinations your baby will receive. Vaccinations begin at birth with the Hepatitis B vaccine, but they really get underway at the 2-month well-baby checkup, so do your research ahead of time and be informed parents. Three great books to prepare you are: “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan,” by Paul Thomas, M.D., "The Vaccine Book," by Robert Sears, and "The Vaccine Guide," by Randall Neustaedter (you only need to read one). You have options other than getting all of the recommended vaccinations all at once. You can space out vaccinations so your baby receives each one at a time. You can delay vaccinations, and you can also say no. A baby who will be attending a day care and is drinking formula needs vaccinations much more than a baby who will be staying at home and who will be exclusively breastfed. Children in California must have the minimum doses of certain vaccines in order to attend school. Here is the link for the required vaccines.
- You will get a Group B Strep test at week 35-37. As a prevention measure, consider taking a daily, high dose, enteric-coated probiotic. Also keep in mind that semen kills Group B Strep. Group B Strep is an opportunistic bacteria that comes from the rectum, so remember to wipe from front to back, and cut out the foods that would feed it (white sugar, white flour, white rice, processed foods) and eat the foods that discourage its growth (plenty of vegetables and whole foods).
- Take a breastfeeding class and a care of the newborn class. The Santa Rosa Birth Center offers both.
- Arrange for diaper service or stock up on diapers. Tidee Didee and Diaper Wagon are the two diaper services we have in Sonoma County. YouTube videos are great for learning how to diaper.
- Prepare food in advance and freeze it in individual serving containers(chicken soup is great!). You can also request frozen meals at your baby shower, and a phone tree of friends who bring meals to you is great. It doesn't have to be dinner: they can bring you food any time of day in exchange for seeing you and the baby.
- Read about the Fourth Trimester. Two great books that I recommend are, "The Happiest Baby on the Block," by Harvey Karp, and "The Attachment Parenting Book," by William and Martha Sears.
- GET A LOT OF SLEEP. DO NOT burn the candle at both ends right before birth. Your birth will go much better if you are well-rested ahead of time. If you don't sleep well at night, take naps during the day. Be a sleep magnet.
Many years ago, in September of 1999, the television show Dateline published a segment on birthing with hypnosis. They featured a doctor in Florida who was using hypnosis with his childbirth patients. The segment caused quite a sensation, because the women birthed without pain, and were very relaxed and calm throughout their births. While this wasn’t the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing®, what Dateline did was post a link to the HypnoBirthing® Institute on their website. The next morning, Mickey Mongan, the founder of HypnoBirthing®, had over 1000 emails in her inbox from pregnant moms all over the country who wanted to birth like the women they saw on Dateline. I’ve searched for the original segment on YouTube and posted it for you if you’re curious.
Dateline — Birthing with Hypnosis Video: Part 1
Dateline — Birthing with Hypnosis Video: Part 2
If you are considering registering for a HypnoBirthing® class series, here are my upcoming HypnoBirthing® classes for the next few months:
- Wednesdays, November 7 – 14, November 28 – December 12, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
- Wednesdays, January 16 – February 13, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
There is still space available in all of the classes. Please send me an email if you’re interested in registering.
If you are interested in learning more about the Mongan Method of HypnoBirthing®, here is their official YouTube channel to peruse. You can watch Hypnobirths and learn a little more about this wonderful way of bringing a baby into the world.
The cost of living can be extremely challenging right now, and many people are holding out for special occasions like birthdays to receive a massage. Since an hour massage runs anywhere from $60 to $150, many of us can think of many other ways to spend that money. Rather than thinking of massage as a way to pamper yourself, I invite you to think of it as an investment in your health.
Top 10 Benefits of Receiving Regular Massage:
- Reduces or eliminates pain and muscle tension from chronic or recent injuries
- Reduces stress and fatigue
- Alleviates headaches and lowers the need for migraine medication
- Accelerates your recovery from muscle injuries and surgeries
- Improves poor posture
- Increases joint flexibility and muscle range of motion
- Increases circulation and lowers blood pressure
- Improves immune system function
- Alleviates symptoms of depression
- Enhances attentiveness and focus
For more information on the scientific research being conducted on the benefits of massage, visit the website for the Touch Research Institute.