Why don’t I see a schedule on the website?

You do not see a fixed schedule on my website because I attempt to accommodate all couples and their time restrictions as much as possible. In order to find out more information about classes and schedules, it is best to call, share with me your preferences for weeknights/ weekends, group or private classes and go from there.


How long is each session?

Each session is typically 3 hours long. This accounts for break, as well as some settling down and Q&A time.


Where are classes held?

Classes are held in a beautiful space in downtown Stamford. The location is easily accessible from both 1-95 and the Merritt Parkway.


What is HypnoBirthing?

HypnoBirthing is a childbirth method that focuses on preparing parents for gentle birth. In HypnoBirthing classes, you will learn proven techniques in a well-thought-out program of deep relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis. All of these are designed to help you achieve a more comfortable birth. HypnoBirthing encourages a calm, peaceful, and natural pregnancy, birth, and bonding experience for families.


How does HypnoBirthing differ from other childbirth preparation methods?

Unlike other childbirth methods that teach you how to cope with and manage pain, HypnoBirthing is based on the premise that childbirth does not necessarily need to be painful if the mother is properly prepared and relaxed. When women understand that pain is caused by constrictor hormones, created by fear, they learn, instead, to release fear thus creating endorphins—the feel good hormones. They are then able to change their expectations of long, painful labor and are able to replace them with expectations of a more comfortable birthing. Rather than exhausting, shallow breathing and the distraction techniques of typical “prepared childbirth” programs, HypnoBirthing parents learn deep abdominal breathing and total relaxation, enabling the laboring mother to work in harmony with her body and her baby. This allows her to achieve a shorter and more comfortable labor for herself and baby.


How is the Birth Companion involved?

The Birth Companion of the mother’s choice is an integral part of the HypnoBirthing experience. He or she practices with the mother in helping to prepare for deep relaxation. During labor the Birth Companion guides the laboring mother through hypnosis prompts, relaxation techniques, deepening methods, and visualizations, provides comfort measures, and joins in welcoming the new baby, often by receiving the baby as he emerges.


Will I be unconscious or will I remember my birth experience?

Despite misconceptions and misinformation, you are definitely not unconscious during self-hypnosis. The HypnoBirthing mother is deeply relaxed, but she is also an active participant in the labor process. Though she is deeply relaxed, she is totally aware and may return to a conversant state or choose to become mobile whenever she desires. HypnoBirthing mothers often find that they experience time distortion and are not distracted by other people or their birthing environment, while they focus on their birthing and their baby.


Will HypnoBirthing be useful to me if I don’t opt for a natural childbirth or if circumstances necessitate medical intervention or a surgical birth?

Absolutely. The things you will learn in your HypnoBirthing classes will help you to learn relaxation skills that will be useful to both you and your baby, regardless of your birth experience. In the event that medical intervention of any sort is needed, you will find yourself better able to remain calm and in control. Mothers who have needed scheduled cesareans for medical reasons report that they were totally relaxed before, during and after the procedure. Many report that they needed little or no medication following the birth, and they were able to return to normal functioning in a very short period of time.


Is it true that I will experience a pain-free birth with HypnoBirthing?

HypnoBirthing does not promise painless birthing, though many HypnoBirthing mothers do report having a relatively pain-free birth or one that they were able to manage easily. When the cause of pain–fear that constricts the birthing muscles—is eliminated, birthing can be accomplished in a shorter period and much more comfortably. A relaxed mother’s body will produce more endorphins, nature’s own relaxants. HypnoBirthing mothers may still experience sensations of tightening or pressure; but most describe their birth experience as working with their body through the sensations, and thus avoiding the excruciating pain that is frequently spoken of by women who choose other methods of preparation for birthing.


What if my doctor/midwife is not familiar with HypnoBirthing? Can I still use this method and how can my healthcare providers help me to achieve my HypnoBirthing goals?

More and more care providers are becoming aware of the benefits of HypnoBirthing. Many hospitals offer HypnoBirthing as an option in their childbirth education programs, and HypnoBirthing is now taught in some schools of medicine to student doctors. If your care giver is not knowledgeable about HypnoBirthing, take the opportunity early in your pregnancy to discuss the techniques you will be using and the type of calm birthing environment that you desire. In class, you will learn how to create a plan of Birth Preferences, which will help you to communicate your birthing goals and preferences to your doctor or midwife. Also, your HypnoBirthing instructor will contact your provider with information on HypnoBirthing.


Can HypnoBirthing be beneficial to someone who has special circumstances or who must have a C-section?

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
Sharon@sacredbeginning.com

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