Birthing: The Normal, Natural, Physiologic Function of the Uterus

I have had numerous witnesses over the past 30+ years that women have everything they need to birth a baby without intervention or interference!  Our bodies were perfectly created to birth our young!  In fact, that’s the only reason we have a uterus!  Each month a woman’s body cycles with innate hormonal fluctuations that we have no conscious control of. As long as we are in good health, the uterine lining “rolls out the red carpet” to receive a fertilized ovum. If fertilization does not take place…then the “beautiful red carpet” is sloughed off and the process begins anew.  Childbirth is THE normal, natural, physiologic function of the uterine muscles.  They were created for this purpose. And, as with any muscle group, when one muscle (of a paired muscle group) is working, the other muscle should be relaxing.  It is so with all paired muscle groups in our body.  When the biceps are working, the triceps are relaxing…when the quads are working the hamstings are relaxing, etc. This is the case with the longitudinal muscles and the circular muscles of the uterus.  When the longitudinal muscles are working or contracting…the circular muscles are relaxing and being drawn up around baby’s head. When a mother is relaxing, melting, and letting go during a contraction, the uterine muscle group works in complete harmony and she can birth her baby in calm and comfort and with confidence.  Conversely, when a laboring mother is fearful of the process, fearful of the unknown, or anxious…she enters what we “lovingly” refer to as the “fight or flight” response (and I will add “freeze” here as well) and then the paired muscles work in opposition…longitudinal muscles contracting AGAINST the constricted circular muscles because it is simply not safe to let baby out under the current or present circumstances.  The ensuing result of muscles working in opposition is pain!  The longitudinal muscles contract, shorten, flex to “draw up” the circular muscles…and the circular muscles constrict and tighten and clamp down to safeguard the fruit of the womb.

The medical model for birthing was designed to “rescue” a mother from the pain experienced in childbirth when a mother is in “fight or flight or freeze”. She may actually want or need this rescuing. But, with education, a deeper understanding of the physiology involved in birthing and a trust in the birthing body and in her creation, a calm, relaxed, anticipatory laboring mother will not produce catecholamines (stressor hormones) and thus the “fight or flight” response is prevented. When we add a tool bag of relaxation techniques, coupled with practice, mothers birth their babies calmly, gently, more comfortably, and confidently…and all those abilities are taken right into parenting!  She then parents more calmly, gently, comfortably, and confidently!  And because parenting is largely “on-the-job-training”, the relaxation practice she did in preparing for birth is also incorporated into her parenting style. Each day is a new day…and thank goodness children are resilient and give us opportunities for growth. We get to start over with our “practice session” every single day! If I blow it one day with my teens, I now know that they will provide me with every ample opportunity in the days ahead to practice and sharpen my parenting skills as well as my “letting go” skills! Laboring mothers must “relax”, “melt away”, “let go”, “yield”, “submit”, “surrender” to their birthing body to bring forth children. And when they are surrounded by a loving and supportive and protective quiet environment and birthing team, they do this so very well.

My role as a childbirth educator and HypnoBirthing Practitioner is to educate mothers, fathers, and families on the natural physiology of birth as well as educating them on relaxation techniques, visualizations, hypnotic deepening techniques and answering her questions while also providing emotional and physical support to help build her confidence and trust in her birthing body is something I take very seriously. As a doula, I offer to provide one on one labor support for the couple in facilitating her letting go and letting her uterine muscles fulfill their normal, natural, physiologic function. I make special effort to involved the baby’s father and guide them in working together to bring this baby into the world and, in so doing, the relationship is strengthened and they work together better in raising the child. Childbirth is meant to be the culmination of love making. The pinnacle. The best part! And the same cocktail of hormones involved in love making is the very same cocktail of hormones involved in childbirth. Facilitating relaxation, safety and security and honoring mother’s birthing preferences as well as keeping the birthing environment calm and quiet and protected allows the natural cocktail of hormones to flow uninterrupted and allows mother to birth well and confidently. When a mother has a say in how her birthing plays out and the birthing staff honor her special requests and do all they can to create her desired outcome, she will be pleased with her experience and look forward with anticipation for another opportunity as this.

It so matters how women give birth!  It literally changes who we are, how we mother, and how we parent. Birth is a celebration of life! And, when women can birth confidently with calm and comfort…and actually direct how their birthing plays out…they are confident mothers and can better handle the demands of childrearing. God really has given us everything we need to birth our babies gently, calmly and more comfortably! It’s all about love! We came together in love to conceive a baby and we come together in love and work together to welcome this little one into the world! May you experience great anticipation for your birth and find great joy in bringing these little ones into the world. Enjoy your happiness! You have prepared well! And you have everything you need to birth your baby just the way you desire.

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If we get birth right, the world is right!

If we get birth right, the world is right!

Wow!  What a mouthful!  Gentle births create gentle beings!


If we hope to create

A non violent world

Where respect and kindness

Replace fear and hatred…

We must begin with how

We treat each other

At the beginning of life

For that is where

Our deepest patterns are set.

From these roots

Grow fear and alienation

Or love and trust.

         Suzanne Arms, Immaculate Deception

What will happen to our culture/society after generations of NOT relying of the natural hormonal cocktail associated with pregnancy and childbirth?

Michel Odent wrote, “Today, most women have babies without relying on the release of their natural hormones…pharmacological substitutes block the release of the natural hormones, but they do not have their behavioral effects…When a labouring mother is given a drip of synthetic oxytocin, the release of natural hormones from her pituitary gland is inhibited…This intravenous injection will be effective at stimulating uterine contractions, but the drug will not reach the brain: it will not have the effects of a ‘hormone of love’. “And even if, by chance, a woman has given birth to her baby without any intervention and without any drug, there is a high probability that she will be given an injection of synthetic oxytocin for the delivery of the placenta.  In other words, her release of ‘love hormone’ will be blocked just after the birth of the baby.  How will our civilisations evolve after several generations of women giving birth without releasing a flow of ‘love hormones’?”

We may end up with a society where we have weakened the oxytocin system…where people will become less interactive, less friendly, and more stressed.  I, personally, think we are already reaping the benefits of medical intervention with synthetic oxytocin.  Look at the addiction to online and computer gaming…living and operating fictional worlds…cell phone usage, texting to someone sitting right next to us, fast food drive throughs–then eating in the car…it doesn’t require person to person interaction.  And it’s a pretty lonely world at times!  Look at the unrest in our neighborhoods, our culture, in our society, in our nation, in the world!  I believe we are already reaping those consequences of interrupting natural birthing.

We so need to reevaluate routine medical interventions with regards to birth and especially in the hospital setting.  So much medical intervention and meddling is still routinely accepted and implemented that has been dispelled for decades.  Take eating and drinking in labor, for instance.  What happens when you take food and fluid away from a pregnant woman?  Now ask her to labor without food and fluids!  How ridiculous!  Yet hospitals still routinely take it away and offer, instead, ice chips!  Sometimes syrup flavored ice chips!   Where is the protein?  Where is the long-term energy source?  And IV doesn’t cut it, folks!  IV placement merely provides a ready access for anything they choose routinely to put in the IV port–most commonly Pitocin either to induce or augment the labor or after the baby is born to “prevent hemorrhage”.  What about the natural release of oxytocin (released in conjunction with endorphins) to facilitate labor’s progress and the increased, more frequent surges of oxytocin as labor continues and as birthing ensues…and, again, as mother gazes upon her baby eye to eye for the very first time, another large surge of oxytocin—the love hormone– is released, facilitating bonding, suckling at the breast with subsequent release of oxytocin and prolactin, preventing hemorrhage and facilitating the natural expulsion of the placenta!  Mother nature has you covered on this one!

Why are we so quick to intervene at a moment when mother and baby should not be separated, meddled with, disturbed, poked and prodded???  Nature had such a different plan in mind!

Sarah Buckley said, “Natural birth is an ‘endangered species’ and we need to save it…because the future of our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing as a culture depends on it!”

We need to get back in touch with our birthing bodies and feel confident that birth is a normal physiological process and women have everything they need to birth calmly, easily, comfortably…provided they have a good supportive midwife or care provider that will keep their hands in their pocket and watch nature at its best AND good emotional support from other companions.

It has always been my opinion that every birthing woman needs a doula!  After working with women in childbirth for 17 yrs. I hired a doula for the birth of my first biological son! Was I not aware of the labor/birth process?  Did I not know what to expect?  Wasn’t I well informed of the many relaxation techniques to assist in making birthing a calm, comfortable experience?  And the answer is of course I knew these things!  But I was also VERY aware of the vulnerability of a laboring/birthing mother to any suggestions that were given or comments that were made.  How grateful I was to have Claire at my bedside reminding me to “Go with how your body feel…” rather than feel disappointment when the nurses with their DATA collection reminded me my progress was slower than I would have liked.  And I went back and hired her again for the birth of my second biological son.  How grateful I was when Claire entered the hospital room 10 minutes before my baby was born, touched my shoulder…instilling that all-familiar relaxation that I knew from her touch and her voice after having worked with her previously, reminded the nurse that I was already assuming my labor/birthing position of choice and supported me when the phlebotomist came in saying “I need to draw your blood…” when I was breathing my baby down.  I turned to the phlebotomist and said, “Oh, no you don’t!” and my doula invited her to come back the next day!  I had talked with Claire on several occasions during my next pregnancy and had planned to hire her services..but Eran was born at 33 wks. due to special circumstances.  When I called Claire to share with her that Eran had arrived and the circumstance under his early arrival, she cried with me; put my name on her fridge, and immediately contacted her prayer circle friends and had them offer prayers in my behalf and in behalf of my preemie who was at another hospital facility in the NICU.  Her emotional support at that time was as invaluable as it was the two previous births!

Yes, every mother ought to have a doula!!!  When women birth in a hospital setting, hiring a doula is a must!  The mother needs that additional physical, emotional, and psychological support!  And she needs another companion who is advocating her birthing desires and preferences as well as her birthing companion!

Doulas are so very helpful for birth center births and home births as well to provide the same kind of emotional support and assistance in maximizing relaxation techniques and positions to further a calm, easy, comfortable labor and childbirth experience before calling the birthing attendants to come or before leaving the home for the birthing center.  Usually, the care providers and support persons for birth centers and home births are much, much more supportive of the laboring mother’s desires and in tune to her needs.  They are focused on one mother and not many!

Women WILL take back childbirth!  And we will realize that when we get birth right, everything will be right with the world.

Yes, “How we give birth matters!  What a mother experiences at the very transition from maiden to mother changes her.  What our babies experience shapes who they are.  Gentle, natural birth unlocks something primal at our very core that makes mothering easier [and] makes families stronger…..If parents would only realize that every single decision they make from conception onward influences the outcome of their birth, they could reclaim what they didn’t even know was lost.”  (Kim Wildner, Mothers’ Intention)

May we move forward in supporting natural childbirth…the way Nature intended.  Pain IS NOT a necessary component of birth.  And the most important decisions new parents will ever make will be in their choice of care providers and birthing facilities.  We need to bring birth back home…as the normal, natural physiological process and experience that it is!  It is not a medical event!

And if a special circumstance arises…the mother will know!  I knew something was not right at 10-11 a.m. the day after Easter.  I just didn’t feel good.  And I followed the lead of my body in laying down and tuning into my baby and my body.  I called for my oldest son to get in touch with my husband and have to come home immediately.  Jay immediately came to my side and asked what was happening.  I didn’t know, but as I stood to go into the bathroom to empty my bladder, I started hemorrhaging.  Though initially I panicked, I soon realized that the panic served no one…least of all me and my baby.  I laid down, had my husband call 9-1-1, had him next alert my doctor, then the women’s center…and called upon my HypnoBirthing techniques to breathe love and life to my baby.  I didn’t feel my baby move at all as I went via ambulance to the hospital, but when I arrived Eran looked fantastic on the monitor.  He had benefitted from my calmness and my relaxing breathing and my tuning in and expecting great outcomes!  He was calm because I was calm!  And he just “hung out” until help was available.  He was delivered by cesarean just before 4 p.m., 2+ hrs. after I arrived at the hospital.  When special circumstances arise and mothers tune into their babies and their bodies, they WILL know what to do!  And most always they will have time to make informed decisions!  I trust that!  And I trust birth!

Eran is still my most calm, patient child.  He will wait patiently on his bicycle while I visit with a neighbor.  He will wait patiently in a chair at the credit union while I make a deposit.  He is helpful and kind and shares eagerly!  He was very aware that I had different plans for his birth…but he showed me how we can both be flexible and make informed choices when special circumstances arise.

When we get birth right, everything will be right with the world!

One World Birth Click here for more info.


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Nurturing Instincts…What’s in a business name???

I have reflected much on why I chose the business name “Nurturing Instincts!”  It’s not easy choosing a business name as an entrepreneur!  There is much conversation and brain storming and prayerful meditation at least.

My entire life has been journey of education and research and practice…coupled with meditation and pondering and spiritual promptings…AND…what I have learned is that our Creator gave us everything we needed!  We just need to know where to find it!  I would hope that my efforts in working with others would be a testament of that fact!

With regards to birthing, for instance, I have had numerous witnesses over the past 30+ years that women have everything they need to birth a baby without intervention or interference!  Our bodies were perfectly created to birth our young!  In fact, that’s the only reason we have a uterus!  Each month a woman’s body cycles with innate hormonal fluctuations…we dont’ control it consciously, it just does it as long as we are in good health…the uterine lining “rolls out the red carpet” to receive a fertilized ovum.  If that fertilization does not take place…then the “beautiful red carpet” is sloughed off and the process begins anew.  Childbirth is THE normal, natural, physiologic function of the uterine muscles.  They were created for this purpose…and, as with any muscle group…when one muscle (of the muscle group) if working, the paired muscle should be relaxing!  It is so with all paired muscle groups in our body!  When the biceps are working, the triceps are relaxing…when the quads are working the hamstings are relaxing, etc.  This is the case with the longitudinal muscles and the circular muscles of the uterus.  When the longitudinal muscles are working/contracting…the circular muscles are relaxing and being drawn up around baby’s head.  When a mother is relaxing, melting, and letting go during a contraction…the uterine muscle group works in complete harmony and she can birth her baby in calm and comfort and with confidence.  Conversely, when a laboring mother is fearful of the process/unknown and anxious…she enters what we “lovingly” refer to as the “fight or flight” response (and I will add “freeze” here as well!) and then the muscles work in opposition… longitudinal muscles contracting AGAINST the constricted circular muscles because it is simply not safe to let baby out under the current/present circumstances.  The ensuing result of muscles working in opposition is pain!  The longitudinal muscles contract, shorten, flex to “draw up” the circular muscles…and the circular muscles constrict and tighten and clamp down to safeguard the fruit of the womb.

The medical model for birthing was designed to “rescue” a mother from the pain of childbirth…and if she is in “fight or flight or freeze”…she may need and want this rescuing.   With education and deeper understanding of the physiology and what she can do to thwart the release of catecholamines (stressor hormones) and prevent the “fight or flight” response AND a tool bag full of relaxation techniques coupled with practice…mother’s birth their babies calmly, gently, more comfortably, and confidently…and all those abilities are taken right into parenting!  She then parents more calmly, gently, comfortably, and confidently!  And because parenting is largely “on-the-job-training”, the relaxation practice she did in preparing for birth is also incorporated into her parenting style.  Each day is a new day…and since children are resilient and give us opportunities for growth…we get to start over with our “practice” every single day!  If I blow it one day with my teens…I now know that they will provide me with every ample opportunity in the days to come to practice and sharpen my parenting skills…as well as my “letting go” skills!  Mothers have to “let go” in every aspect of the word to bring forth children!

My role as a childbirth educator, HypnoBirthing Practitioner, and doula is to educate mothers/fathers/families on the natural physiology of birth, provide tools of relaxation, visualization, hypnotic deepening techniques, help her bond with and work with her baby and her body during pregnancy and birth, and provide her with the physical, emotional and perhaps even spiritual support she may need to trust birth and have confidence in her ability to do just that…birth her baby in calm, comfort, and confidence!  It so matters how women give birth!  It literally changes who we are, how we mother, and how we parent.  Birth is a celebration of life!  And, when women can birth confidently and with calm and comfort…and actually direct how their birthing plays out…they are confident mothers and can better handle the demands of childrearing.  And for those of you who read this and are parents…you understand what I mean when I say “parenting if not for wimps!”

I have literally travelled the world educating individuals and families on being self-reliant in proactively managing their health and wellness issues confidently using nature’s remedies and specifically essential oils in providing support for the body’s systems and functions. It’s so empowering having on hand at their fingertips what they might include in their daily routines to support a healthy lifestyle. As I educate them on what essential oils are, how to use them, and the experiential training that comes in doing so…we learn to “listen” to what our bodies need.  We re-engage our instincts!  Our body knows what it needs!  My desire it to help them tap into those instincts once again.

Over the past few months, I have had many express interest in using my business name and wanting my website domain!  It is NOT for sale!  I purchased this domain first!  And I plan to use it as long as I am living and beyond!  And just because I am not updating my blog on a regular basis does not mean I am no longer engaged.  In fact, for those wondering…know that it means quite the opposite.  I am SO engaged in Nurturing Instincts and serving those who come within my circle of influence that I haven’t taken the time to update my blog!  My business name…Nurturing Instincts…appropriately clarifies what I am about and what my life’s mission is!  There is no mistake in our creation nor in the creation of this world in which we live.  All the I’s were dotted and all the T’s were crossed!  Those living on this world may not be perfect, world circumstances are not ideal, life if not fair… because of man, not because of God.  Everything beautiful testifies of Him, as do I!  And I will continue onward in my mission to Nurture Instincts!  God really has given us everything we need!


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A View of HypnoBirthing from Dr. Tan in Singapore!

Dr Tan took HypnoBirthing in Singapore a year ago and has incorporated it into her practice.  She summarizes her results in this lovely story of gentle births with fewer interventions.   
Shared by Di Bustamante, HBCE and Faculty, USA
My First Year with HypnoBirthing
I took up HypnoBirthing out of curiosity. I had one mom that birthed via HypnoBirthing in 2013; and she really amazed me, smiling and saying ‘no pain’ up to the very end. I also attended a talk by Bee Ting and that made me more curious.
I went for the Practitioner course in February last year in Singapore. I wasn’t so sure how it works at first. I started introducing it at one of my antenatal talks in March 2014 and immediate a few mothers signed up. Yati just taught the lessons as we were instructed but the first few mothers were not so successful. It took me and Yati at least 5 to 10 moms to realize how it actually works.
I think one of your (Di’s) moms who birthed at Tung Shin asked me why is it that most doctors do not accept HypnoBirthing while I support it. I gave a thought and I think that it was because, firstly, I have a low Caesarean rate to start off with. I support vaginal births all along, and my total Caesarean rate for the years prior to HypnoBirthing was lingering between 10 to 15 % (both planned and unplanned). The other reason was I saw how much easier breastfeeding was with HypnoBirthing mothers, and I have always been a strong advocate of breastfeeding. So it just sticks to me, and I am loving HypnoBirthing more and more.
HypnoBirthing has actually changed my whole perception of birth. We were always told that pain from childbirth is the most painful thing a woman can ever experience. Now I realised that childbirth is not that painful at all. With the right mindset and support from the entire team, all women can endure the pain of childbirth. Childbirth was not supposed to be a painful experience. My mothers have never stopped amazing me. Mothers sleeping, eating or taking baths at 8 or 10 cm. I just had one mom last week who slept for 4 hours at 10 cm dilation until the membranes released.
All along we were told that first time mothers need to be taught to push. Nowadays, I tell mothers that if I leave you alone like the cat, you would birth anyway. Animals do not need to be taught how to push. Why should humans! And because the baby would come out slower, there is less tearing. Birth was not supposed to leave any tear. Vaginas are supposed to expand slowly to accommodate the baby.
Conventionally, we were taught that during the second stage, women need to hold their breath to push. With the birth breathing, it works as well, and even better. Women do not need to hold their breath at all.
In the past, I have never heard of delayed cord-clamping. We have always known that breastfed babies are anemic but formula fed are not because of the fortified iron in formula milk. Now I realized that it was not meant to be like this. Babies were not supposed to have the cord clamped too early so that the baby has enough iron stores for the next 6 to 12 months. And this is important for the development of the baby.
Controlled Cord Traction for the placenta has always been a routine practice. In fact, I have never learned about natural third stage. In the past, I had cases of retained small pieces of placenta that came back a few weeks later with bleeding as well as infection. To cope with that, I routinely scanned all uteri after delivery. With that, the cases reduced but I still got it occasionally. Nowadays, I routinely wait for all my placentas, irrespective of whether HypnoBirthing or not. No more cases of retained pieces of placenta so far. And I no longer scan the uterus.
Episiotomies have never been a routine practice in the past, so that did not change. But my practice of suturing the wound has changed. The first few cases that refused suturing came back with perfectly healed wounds with no traces of a tear at all. I would say that the wound healed better without suturing. Nowadays, I give the option to all skin nicks and first degree tear of not suturing as long as no active bleeding and no zigzag tears or multiple pieces.
Breastfeeding was a miracle. I have always struggled whenever there were flat nipples, inverted nipples. With HypnoBirthing mothers, the babies latched on so naturally after birth. It does not matter whether flat nipples, inverted nipples, or no nipples! They would just latch the moment they are on the breast. It made me realize that all babies were meant to have no problem with breastfeeding. It was the sedative pain killers that sedate the baby and made the baby lose the natural ability to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding has always been a struggle during the first week due to poor supply. I have always asked my mothers to persist for one week, and the supply would be abundant. I now realize that it was not supposed to be like that. The reason why the supply was low was because babies were sedated during the first few days of life. Sedative pain killers remain in the babies’ bodies for 72 hours. They feed less because they are sleepy all the time. By day 4, they would be alert and very hungry and mother’s supply still low because hardly breastfed during the first 3 days. With HypnoBirthing, babies are very alert during the first 6 hours and would suck and suck non-stop. This stimulation would encourage early initiation of established milk supply.
How has HypnoBirthing changed my practice? Without realizing it, my Caesarean section rate was only 6% last year (for both planned and unplanned). Lowest ever. Why? I don’t think I have reduced my threshold of Caesarean in general. I think I just had more and more moms who really want natural or vaginal birth. And with their mindset for a natural birth, my Caesarean rate goes down naturally.
Irrespective of whether HypnoBirthing or not, I have changed certain practices. I allow more ambulation and intermittent CTG. I allow different birth positions even if they had Pethidine or Entonox as long as they don’t look overly sedated. Delayed Cord Clamping for all. Skin-to-skin for all. Bonding and breastfeeding for 1 to 2 hours for all. Options to suture for all. Natural third stage for all.
I have changed my way of induction too. I know that some of you are against induction. But in certain special circumstances, it may be necessary. I routinely use the Foley’s balloon for all. There are 2 ways. I can insert the Foley’s balloon and allow them home. Most moms would admit in the next one week in labour and give birth naturally. Or, I may admit them for Foley’s and proceed with further induction. Moms love the Foleys because it’s totally pain-free.
What are my future plans? I have started giving skin to skin and initiate breastfeeding in the Operating Room. Lots of resistance from the Paediatricians. I usually quietly do it. I have the support from the Medical Board Chairman who actually asked me to do it for all, but the Paediatricians still never say yes. I am trying to slowly convince them to allow.
Rooming-in was never allowed. Now they allow it for single rooms only. I am planning to make it available for all in this coming meeting with the Paediatricians because it’s actually one criteria set by Ministry of Health for hospital licensing.
I am now discussing with the CEO of another hospital, Pantai Ampang, to start this mother-friendly care services. Our plan is to create a 2-room delivery suite where one room is for all other family members. Husband, parents, the elder child can all accompany the mom during the whole hospital stay. I will soon be giving training to the staff on HypnoBirthing and WaterBirth. The only problem I face is that all the Paediatricians in Pantai Ampang collectively do not want to accept WaterBirth cases. Luckily, my hubby has agreed to receive all those cases that the other Paediatricians do not accept. But still pending approval from the hospital side. They have never allowed spouses that work as a team to protect the other doctors. But, I hope that this can be an exception.
My next target would be Sunway Hospital at Sunway Velocity. Hah! Still waiting for Nadine to come up with the proposal. They plan to build another hospital at Sunway Velocity. I am going to propose to them to have some delivery suite like the ones at Pantai Bangsar. Hopefully I have less trouble with the Paediatricians.
It has been a busy year, and I foresee a busier year ahead. I have a total of 386 births last year. Busiest ever, compared to 376 in 2012 (Lots of Dragon babies). March 2015 marks the busiest month with 52 deliveries. Thanks to all of you for your support. I am sure that the birth rates went up so markedly due to your support and spread of news via your groups and friends. I will try my very best to further promote HypnoBirthing. A very big THANK You to all of you.
“Towards a Gentle Birth For ALL”
Dr Tan EE Ping
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HypnoBirthing Fosters Calm, Gentle Birthing for Mothers and Babies

Love this testimonial from Dr Tan EE Ping in Malaysia, a new Practitioner, on the outcomes of using HypnoBirthing techniques to foster more calm, gentle birthing for women and babies:

I have had more than 10 HypnoBirthing patients so far. The differences that I observed are:
1. Patients are very calm during labour. No cry or scream, unlike those given pethidine or entonox.
2. Some of the patients were induced with oxytocin or prostin but they were still very calm and do not require any other methods of pain relief.
3. Second stage is without active pushing but big babies can also be born easily. My biggest HypnoBirthing baby delivered was 3.8 kg, first baby. No active pushing. Just breathe down. It’s amazing. Without HypnoBirthing, most patients would push for hours and may need vacuum or forceps due to maternal exhaustion.
4. Patients are very fresh and alert after giving birth because they were at deep relaxation state throughout the whole labour process. So, they are very keen for immediate bonding, skin to skin and breastfeeding. Patients without HypnoBirthing are usually very tired and exhausted and usually spend limited time on bonding and breastfeeding.
5. HypnoBirthing babies are also alert and very keen to breastfeed immediately after birth unlike those with no HypnoBirthing, many babies are sedated and often not keen to breastfeed.
6. Most HypnoBirthing patients can spend the next few hours breastfeeding because both mother and baby is fresh and alert. I have observed that these babies have less problems breastfeeding over the next few days. Unlike the non HypnoBirthing babies, they can be sedated for the next few days because pethidine takes 72 hours to eliminate from the baby. So, babies sleepy most of the time and with no stimulation, the mother takes more days to establish breastfeeding.
7. Breathe down method of birth also reduce the chance of episiotomy and less tearing because the baby descend slowly and allow more time for the perineum to stretch.

With every HypnoBirthing patient I have, I am amazed by the advantages of HypnoBirthing. This is definitely one method of birth that I would teach my daughter.

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Opening Blossom Visualization

Opening Blossom Visualization

One of the most effective visualizations for women during labor is the “open blossom”. When birthing women use the power of the mind in opening the birth path for their baby ingto be born…creating more space…plenty of room…it is truly amazing.  I have witnessed this first hand on many occasions over the more than 28 years that I have been working with women in childbirth.  On more than one occasion that I still remember vividly today, I would encounter a mother nearing completion of the thinning and opening phase and saying things like, “I can’t do this anymore!” or “I don’t know what I was thinking…but I’m done!” or “How much longer?” with that all too familiar “wanting to quit” that comes at that time in labor when she has that adrenalin rush near the end…the rush that says, “Get up and move!  It’s time to transition to moving this baby down the birth path!”  When laboring mothers experience that adrenalin rush, all too often it throws them into fight or flight…and they “hit the wall” and want/need to be done.  Help them prepare for it ahead of time an note what is going on at the moment…remind them of how well they have been relaxing…that they are progressing beautifully and getting closer to having their baby.

Lots of emotional support, encouraging words and words of affirmation are so vital at this point…and usually all it takes to build her confidence and move her forward one surge at a time.  When you get her up and move her…get her out of bed, take her into the bathroom to empty her bladder, change her position, give lots of hugs, allow the tears to flow…she will usually take a big breath followed by a big sigh as her pelvis opens.  And, it feels better to get up and move…and then she is back in the “game” again.  Sometimes there will be tears and phrases like, “That’s it!  Let all that emotion go…”  “I know you are working so hard!”  “You are doing it!”  “You’re so close!”  “You have everything you need to birth your baby!”  “I am/We are here for you!”  “I’m so proud of you!”  “You are so strong and I can help you the rest of the way!” …go a long way to help her on that last home stretch.  I actually love the tears at this moment…because usually it is holding on to that emotion that prevents her from opening that last little bit!  I remember a midwife walking in about the time one mother said, “I can’t do this anymore…” and the midwife commented, “Your brain doesn’t think you can…but your body knows you can!”

As a nurse, I remember doing a vaginal exam and calling her by name and asking her to open her cervix so baby can come out…and lo and behold, her cervix would open completely with the next surge.  Let go!  Surrender!  Don’t hold back!  Let baby come!  It’s time!  And…it usually is!  Encourage mother to follow her body’s lead…”Your body will tell you what to do…”  “Trust birth!  Trust your body and your baby!”  “Open your cervix all the way…”  “Move baby along the birth path and out into your arms…”  “That’s it!  You’re doing it!”  Just at that moment when she feels like she cannot go on anymore…she is almost done!  Love her, love her, love her!

One of our HypnoBirthing practitioners put together an amazing video depicting this opening…so beautifully done!  Click on the link below to view the video.

Opening Blossoms


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La Leche League of Sandy

La Leche League of Sandy

Some great info for La Leche League of Sandy:

Hello, my name is Meghan, I am a Leader with La Leche league of Sandy. We are currently holding meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 10AM at Community of Grace Presbyterian church, 2015 East New Castle Drive (8890 South). We offer free breastfeeding advice, information and support. Women who attend LLL meetings, and have the support that goes along with it, are more likely to breastfeed their babies longer and have a more fulfilling breastfeeding relationship. With your permission I would like to add you to our monthly newsletter so that you have up to date information on how to contact a Leader and when our meetings are held. Our meetings are free and open to all interested women (breastfeeding or otherwise), children are also welcome. You can refer any of your clients to our meetings both while pregnant and/or after their babies are born. Even if they are not having breastfeeding problems they are sure to enjoy the support of other breastfeeding m others. Also if any of your clients are interested in being added to our newsletter you can simply email their email addresses to and I will make sure they receive our newsletter.

La Leche League has been a great support for many women and I would be happy to endorse their services.

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HypnoBirthing Is Beneficial to Moms Who Must Have A Cesarean

Can HypnoBirthing be beneficial to someone who has special circumstances or who must have a cesarean?

HypnoBirthing Is Beneficial to Moms Who Must Have A Cesarean–

As a mother who must have C-sections I used the HypnoBirthing® techniques throughout my pregnancies with my two daughters, Samantha and Isabella; and HypnoBirthing® helped me in several different ways:

Prenatal Bonding – HypnoBirthing® encouraged me to connect with my unborn child. After having several traumatic pregnancies I found it hard to bond with my baby.   By singing, talking, and being consciously aware of my child I found a positive connection to my baby. I wasn’t living in the past I was engaging the present through various creative bonding techniques.   HypnoBirthing® embraces the idea of prenatal bonding and this is helpful to ALL mothers.

Breathing Techniques – Why would I need to learn breathing techniques if having a C-section?   The point of the breathing techniques for a mother having a C-section is to help slow the body down.   Why do you want to do that?   Nerves and stress can impact the mother’s ability to take anesthesia and impact her surgery.   Using the breathing techniques can help facilitate the body accepting the anesthesia easily.   It allows a Mom to relax and use hypnosis effectively. Breathing deeply can be a quick way to calm oneself to be consciously present in the moment without stress.   This is an effective tool for parenting, breast feeding, and life.

Rainbow Relaxation –The Rainbow Relaxation CD is the HypnoBirthing Program CD and it was created with the primary purpose of helping Mom to relax and be able to use her natural expulsive reflex.   However, there are so many more ways in which the Rainbow CD is helpful.   It can be used for prenatal bonding, getting better in tune with your body, and just relaxing.  If you are relaxed before, during, and after surgery your recovery will be easier, quicker, and hopefully filled with less pain or no pain at all.  Donald Curtis said “Relaxation means releasing all concern and tension and letting the natural order of life flow through one’s being”. The relaxation that this CD helps foster is a deep feeling of relaxation which is critical post birthing for being an effective parent and again with breast feeding.

Birth Preferences – You might think, “I am having a Cesarean Section so I have no Birth Preferences, right?”  That is not true at all.  In HypnoBirthing® we go over all of the various areas that a vaginal birth preference document incorporates. There is no reason that the same principles used to create a vaginal birth plan cannot be used for a C-section birth (Pre-Admission, Admission, Prior to Surgery, Surgery, Recovery, and Baby Options).  If you must have a C-section, we encourage you to research your options for anesthesia, surgery, and recovery. There is even a family friendly gentle C-section procedure that was developed in England for OB’s to use that mimics some of the sensations of a vaginal birth for the baby.  We can provide you with that information to present to your doctor.  Most of all we encourage open communication between you and your care providers. That includes your entire health team to include OB/GYN, Interns, Labor and Birthing Nurses, Anesthesiologist, and post care nurses.

Fear Release – In HypnoBirthing® we incorporate a fear release session to help mothers to leave their fears behind and feel empowered going into their births. Just because you are having a C-section does not mean you cannot be empowered. Having a baby can cause parents to have some serious fears.  If you couple those fears with that of the major surgery of a C-section you have a parents who are stressed, worried, and not relaxed to welcome their baby into the world.  Doing the HypnoBirthing® fear release exercise can open communication up between couples, allow them an opportunity to resolve concerns, and participate in an exercise that helps them to release their fears.  Through releasing these fears we are able to have parents who are calm and confident.  This is a solid base to begin their adventure into parenting.

Education – Through taking the HypnoBirthing® class parents are encouraged to investigate their choices in birthing.   They are taught how to ask questions of the birthing team in a respectful manner while being clear that the birthing energy is their own.   They are good parents first before being “good patients”.  Learning as much as possible is important when presented with a special circumstance or a surgical birth.  Parents are exposed to options to help empower and educate them on alternative holistic approaches which can be beneficial.  Some of these holistic approaches can include hypnotherapy, acupuncture, herbal remedies, prenatal massage, and even reiki.

Hypnotherapy can have a huge impact in helping a mother through a C-section and during recovery.  Many HypnoBirthing practitioners are hypnotherapists themselves or are aware of hypnotherapists in their area to whom they can refer.

This referral can help a mother in many ways.  Parents who use hypnotherapy for pre- and post-surgery preparation find their anxiety is reduced.   They are calm, and confident which promotes healing and a speedy recovery. Hypnosis will help to reduce pain and discomfort after surgery.  It will help reduce bleeding during and after surgery which is helpful for mothers recovering from birth.  Many moms report that it reduces the need for post operative drugs so they can breast feed without worry of drugs passing through to the baby.  From a recovery perspective, I was able to walk after my C-sections between 3 and 5 hours after surgery.  I had very little discomfort, and my incisions healed rapidly.

You don’t have to “go it alone” if you are facing a necessary C-section.  HypnoBirthing® techniques will see you  through in many ways.

Written by Sharon Gourlay, Lancaster, Ohio

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“You’re having a baby…”

You’re having a baby…

You’re having a baby, how fantastic to know
That for 40 (or so) weeks your baby will grow
Safe within your nourishing womb
Embedded there now, just watch you bloom

You’re responsible now for a new little life
Soon you’re booked in with the local midwife
Tests and measurements, nutrition advice
A date is given but it won’t be precise

Because a baby comes when it’s ready we know
Some babies come quicker, some babies are slow
But come it will, so for YOUR birthing day
You decided to see if there’s a better way

HypnoBirthing you thought, now that sounds great!
So with Nurturing Instincts, you made a date
Then you both came along, each week to class
You’re amazed at how fast, 5 weeks can pass

You learn relaxation and breathing, visualization too
Positions, affirmations and birth plans reviewed.
Anatomy, physiology, and hormone release,
Baby bonding and nurturing and inner peace.

You listen to music, and watch birth DVD’s,
Birth companion learns their role, to support and to please.
As mothers advocate, their role is important no doubt
With knowledge and confidence, in control throughout.

Between classes you practice calm and surge breathing,
Bouncing on your birthing ball during the evening.
Perenial massage, and light touch massage, too
Shoulder anchors and poems, there’s so much to do!

To achieve the safe, calm and comfortable birth you deserve
When the birth show arrives you won’t loose your nerve!
When your surges begin it won’t be so frightening
No pain will you feel, just pressure and tightening.

While thinning and opening, you’ll patiently wait
When offered intervention, there’ll be no debate
A natural birth, like your body’s designed for, indeed
For pain relief you’ll find much less of a need.

Relaxed and controlled when baby’s head comes to crown,
You’ll picture your rose and you’ll breathe baby down.
Pulsating cord lies still, before clamping and cutting
Releasing your baby for skin to skin cuddling.

Your baby is here – you’re alert and elated
For this special moment, so long you have waited!
Baby’s arrived so perfect, so calm,
And now lays contented in parents arms.

So now when friends ask for YOUR birthing story
You can smile to yourself then bask in the glory
Of a fulfilling birth, and I hope you will say
I know just the person, there’s a better way!

Congratulations on your beautiful bundle of pure joy
I am so happy to have been a part of your journey
And a warm welcome to baby …
what a lucky boy/girl she/he is!

Though I am not the original author of this poem, I dedicate it to all of my HypnoBirthing couples…past and present!  May your birth be everything you hope it to be…and more!



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The Rules of the Mind

The Rationale for Hypnosis in Birthing

Rules of the mind:

1)      Rule:  The mind can hold only one thought at a time.  Opposing thoughts cannot be held simultaneously; therefore, affirming positive thoughts creates a positive outcome.  The person thinking the thought can, and must, choose what the nature of that thought will be.

HypnoBirthing® Application:  If a pregnant woman refuses to entertain anything but positive images of birthing, she creates a positive mindset.  It prepares her for a positive outcome.  It is essential that she leaves all previous negative thoughts behind and not bring that negative energy into the present.  If a complicated first birth or a repeat of a previous difficult birthing experience is not wanted, DON’T ENTERTAIN THESE CONVERSATIONS.  DON’T EVEN CONSIDER IT!

2)      Rule:  Thought precedes reality.  Whatever a person focuses upon, whether it be of an internal or external origin, becomes manifested.  What one says is what one gets.  Intention and belief create experience.

HypnoBirthing® Application:  Mental images become imprinted, and the subconscious plays out the plan.  By imprinting positive thoughts and birth plans, positive outcomes are realized.  This in the reason that we avoid discussion of complications in HypnoBirthing classes, though we do mention “special circumstances” that require the evaluation of a healthcare advisor.

3)      Rule:  For every thought or emotion there is a related physical response.  Thoughts that are imprinted into the subconscious create a biochemical response within the body; hence, over a period of time we can create our own health or illnesses with conditioned responses.  The rich get rich; the poor get poorer.

HypnoBirthing® Application:  This rule is perhaps the most important rule of the mind that applies to birthing mothers.  When fear is present, the fight or flight response is triggered and catecholamines are secreted causing muscles to constrict rather than relax.  The birthing muscles work in opposition rather than in harmony.

4)      Rule:  New programming in the subconscious is always more powerful and always wins out over past programming when the two are in conflict.  The non-reasoning, computer-like subconscious does not distinguish between fact and imagination.  If the illusion is that the new information introduced into the scene is for the person’s well-being, the subconscious accepts the new programming—right or wrong.

HypnoBirthing® Application:  The aura of authority and infallibility of the medical personnel or of older authority figures can lead a vulnerable laboring mother to accept intervention even when that intervention is contrary to her best interest and could lead to unnecessary pain or hardship.  The previous programming and sound information that she held can go by the wayside if the subconscious mind acquiesces to the illusion of knowledge and power.  This is all the more reason why couples need to be informed and educated to question the validity of the new information.  Once the information is verified, the couple will be more acceptant of necessary change rather than disappointed.

5)      Rule:  Once a thought is accepted and acted upon, behavior becomes easier with each subsequent similar thought.  Continued reinforcement of the thought or action tends to make the thought more readily accepted, and it becomes easier for additional suggestions of the same nature to be accepted and acted upon.  (A child once frightened by a vicious dog may become frightened of all dogs even when there is no reason for fear.)

HypnoBirthing® Application:  Once a pregnant woman becomes aware that easy, comfortable birthing is possible, she more readily accepts the premise that she is able to birth according to her own natural birthing instincts.  The conviction becomes stronger with practice.  On the reverse side of the coin, if she continues to have her fears of labor and birth reinforced with discussion of the complications and medical procedures, along with relatives’ advice, she can lean in that direction and shut out all possibility of serene birthing.  Continued emotionally motivated reaction becomes a conditioned response.

6)      Rule:  Once a thought is accepted by the subconscious, it remains intact until it is replaced with another.  Regardless of information to the contrary, unless the original imprint is released and a new imprint is substituted a person will continue to harbor the original thought.

HypnoBirthing® Application:  The confidence and conviction of the HypnoBirthing® Practitioner helps to alleviate and even eliminate the previous horror stories of birth from the pregnant woman’s mind.  Once she frees herself of these obstacles and replaces them with positive thoughts of birthing, she is free to birth as nature intended.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”   Albert Einstein, Physicist

©HypnoBirthing® Institute.  All rights reserved.

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