HOW TO FIND A HypnoBirthing Class NEAR YOU

You can simply scroll through the event calendar to find a class that starts about 2-3 months (8-12 weeks) before your due date.

Or click on the practitioner map to find a HypnoBirthing practitioner near you. Please contact the practitioner directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What will I learn in the HypnoBirthing classes?

The full class outline is here: http://hypnobirthinggta.com/about/

2) How many weeks are the classes?

The full program is five weekly classes of 2.5 hours each.

3) When should I start the classes?

Because you baby could arrive anytime after 37 weeks (full term), it is recommended that you start the classes when you are 32 weeks pregnant or earlier so that you will finish the classes in time.

Some mothers like to start the classes much earlier so that they have a lot of time to practice and benefit from the relaxation exercises. Some mothers prefer to start the classes later so that the information is fresh in their minds.

4) Can my husband/spouse/partner/ friend attend the classes?

Your chosen birthing companion is welcomed and encouraged to join you during each class. The program includes exercises for the birth companions to help relax the mother as well as guidelines on how to best support the mother during labour and birth. Alternatively, some mothers don’t have a partner, and that is fine too!

5) Do I need to take an additional prenatal class from my hospital/ midwife clinic/ doctor’s office?

The HypnoBirthing Childbirth Preparation classes are designed to provide (along with the HypnoBirthing techniques and exercises) comprehensive information regarding labour and birth, with discussion on what to generally expect with hospital and home births as well as brief discussion on breastfeeding and after care for the mother.  Many parents who take the HypnoBirthing classes don’t take any other additional prenatal classes.  The HypnoBirthing class outline  is here for your reference: http://hypnobirthinggta.com/about/

6) Do I need previous experience with hypnosis or meditation? What if I’m not good at relaxing? 

No previous experience with hypnosis or meditation is required. You don’t have to be good at quieting your mind or be “good at relaxing”. In fact, many mothers seek out HypnoBirthing because they may struggle with relaxation, anxieties and fears.  By the end of the program, many mothers comment that HypnoBirthing has helped them become more relaxed and less anxious and more confident about their baby’s birthing day.

7) Does it matter if I have an midwife or OB? Does it matter if I plan to give birth at home or in the hospital?

HypnoBirthing is useful for any birthing situation. Each HypnoBirthing practitioner has received positive birth stories or attended wonderful births at home and hospital, with midwives and OBs.  Regardless of how your birthing unfolds, the techniques and exercises taught in your HypnoBirthing classes will be useful and beneficial for you and your baby.

 

Have a Doula at your Labour and Birth

Many of the HypnoBirthing practitioners of HypnoBirthingGTA are also doulas.

Imagine the double advantage of having both a doula and a HypnoBirthing practitioner at your birth (especially if you took your HB classes with her!). A doula trained in HypnoBirthing is familiar with the exercises and techniques you learned in your HB classes and can help remind you and reinforce what you need to do during labour and birth — RELAX!

The following HypnoBirthing practitioners are also trained doulas or also attend births. Please contact them directly for more information:

Sarah Baker

Carol Anna Skorvaga

Tahira Mohammed

Deborah Orenstein

Dr. EeVon Ling ND

Jennifer Elliott

Karen McWilliam

Eloisa Slimmon-Weber

Dr. Olivia Chubey ND

Kris Pedder

 

What is a Doula and How Can She Help Me? 

A doula (also referred to as a labour attendant or labour coach) is considered the person who provides continuous physical and emotional support and assistance to a woman before, during and after childbirth. Having a different role than a midwife, OBGYN or RN, the doula provides important care from a non-medical aspect.  A doula also helps the birthing partner and/or family by providing information, physical assistance, and emotional support. Having this continuous support during labour and birth is associated with improved maternal and newborn health and a variety of other benefits.

While the goal of an OBGYN or midwife is a safe childbirth, the goal of a doula is to ensure the mother feels safe, comfortable, confident, informed and supported before, during, and after the birth of her baby. Doulas cannot make or voice decisions for the birthing couple nor can they intervene the actions of the attending midwife, RN, obstetrician or other medically licensed professional active during labour and birth, but they can help the birthing couple ensure that they are active participants within their healthcare team every step along the way.

A mother who feels safe, comfortable, confident, informed and supported is able to relax and allow the natural process of labour and birth to happen in a healthy normal way.

Many studies have shown significant benefits of having a doula present during labour and birth:

Benefits to mother

  • Continuous ongoing support during labour and birth
  • Shorter labours
  • Lower rates of intervention use during labour and birth
  • Lower rates of epidural use
  • Lower C-section birth rate
  • Higher levels of reported satisfaction

Benefits to baby:

  • Lower rates of fetal distress
  • Lower rates of low APGAR score at 5 minutes after birth
  • Higher rate of breastfeeding initiation
  • Lower admittance rates into the NICU

 

 

 

References:
Hodnett ED, Gates S, Hofmeyr GJ, Sakala C, Weston J. Continuous support for women during childbirth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Feb 16;(2)

Kozhimannil KB, Attanasio LB, Hardeman RR, O’Brien M. Doula Care Supports Near-Universal Breastfeeding Initiation among Diverse, Low-Income Women. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2013 Jul;58(4):378-82.

Kozhimannil KB, Hardeman RR, Attanasio LB, Blauer-Peterson C, O’Brien M. Doula care, birth outcomes, and costs among Medicaid beneficiaries. Am J Public Health. 2013 Apr;103(4):e113-21. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301201. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Deciding What to Bake for Your Baby’s Birthing Day? GROANING CAKE RECIPE

One of the mums in my HypnoBirthing class generously baked a groaning cake for the class (it was a trial run for her, as she was deciding what to bake on her baby’s birthing
day). It was still warm when she brought it in and the smell of warm cinnamon, clove, almond and molasses wafted in the class. The cake tasted as delicious as it smelled as
we all eagerly ate a piece during the class break! Her choice had been made, she would be making this Groaning cake come birthing day!  — EeVon Ling ND, HBCE

” The tradition of a groaning cake, or kimbly, at birth is an ancient one. Wives’ tales say that the scent of the groaning cake being baked in the birth house helps to ease
the mother’s pain. Some say if a mother breaks the eggs while she’s aching, her labour won’t last as long.” — Ami McKay, The Birth House

Groaning cake recipe
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 molasses
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract

Pre-heat oven to 350.  Grease two loaf pans.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Then add apple, oil, orange juice, molasses, sugar and almond extract. Blend well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Divide batter between prepared loaf pans.

Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Enjoy!

Optional: Add a cup of raisins, dates, dried fruit or nuts.

 

Enjoy!

Home Sweet Homebirth — Birthing Your Baby at Home

Home Sweet Home – Birthing your Baby at Home

By EeVon Ling ND

 

Childbirth = Home

 

This equation may appear incorrect since 99% of North American babies are born in a hospital. However in actuality, home births more reflect the norm around the world and for the other 1 percent of babies here — not to mention that in the history of human race, babies were born at home up until the last several decades.   In Canada, if you are healthy and have a normal, low-risk and uncomplicated pregnancy, choosing to birth your baby at home poses no more risk than choosing to birth your baby at a hospital (and vice versa). Of course, where you choose to birth your baby is your (and your baby’s) choice, but for those of you who would prefer or are considering a home birth, I hope to provide some useful information in this article.

When I was pregnant, there was no question that we wanted a natural home birth, specifically a water birth using HypnoBirthing techniques. This choice came from our own beliefs about what birth should be like for the baby – undrugged, peaceful and welcoming. Fortunately for us our friends, family and health professionals (mid-wife, family doctor) were very supportive of our ideas and we met with no resistance or argument. I suppose being a naturopathic doctor myself helped – they knew that I knew what I was getting myself into! And, I knew friends who also had home births, in some cases all their children were born at home!

When Keira was born, her birthing day unfolded more or less as we hoped … she was born at home, without drugs and with me in the birthing pool. And most importantly she was healthy and I was OK.

If you are choosing or considering a home birth, I wish you the same kind of positivity around your decision and situation as we received.


Things to consider when choosing a homebirth:

Do you want a natural, drug-free birth? Most drugs and procedures administered during labour (epidural, oxytocin, forceps, vacuum etc) can only be done at a hospital with an OBGYN and other medical professionals. This may be a good thing if you REALLY want a natural birth, because at home, you don’t have that option. It is still possible of course to have a natural birth at a hospital, but when the medications are available and offered, it may be easier to accept them in the heat of the moment.

Do you want an OBGYN or a mid-wife? In Ontario we are fortunate to have the option to choose between an Obstetrician (OBGYN) or mid-wife (given that your pregnancy is healthy and uncomplicated). Who you choose depends on what kind of birth you plan. OBGYN’s don’t do homebirths. Mid-wives can’t do C-sections. OBGYN’s are surgical specialists in complicated pregnancies and births. Midwives are specialists in normal pregnancies and births. Midwifery is a regulated health profession in most provinces in Canada and covered by the government in those regulated provinces. The things I really liked about our midwife care were the longer appointments and home visits after the baby was born. We also had 2 midwives: one attending to mom and one attending to the baby.

You will need to gather supplies, prepare your home and clean up after. Unlike the hospital, where you just show up and then leave, you will need to equip your home for the birthing day. Midwives DO NOT clean up! Your midwife will provide you with a list of supplies (such as extra bed sheets, towels, pads etc) and you’ll need to keep them handy and ready. That part is easy. The clean-up … well, we didn’t even think about the clean until we needed to clean up. The honest truth: Birth is messy. There is blood. There is body fluid. There is the placenta. That said, Dad had the condo spotless by the end of the next day (and we don’t forget we had a birthing pool to empty and clean up too!).

Who do you want at your baby’s birth? Most hospitals limit you to 2 people in your hospital room. At home, you could have a family reunion if you really wanted. You can even have pets and other children present.

Also, whatever you want to create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere, you can have it – candles, videos, music, incense whatever. Birthing equipment such as a birthing pool, birthing stool, birthing ball etc are other options too.

You can also eat and drink what you want at home — hospitals usually have restrictions about what the labouring mother can eat and drink. You also avoid many of the usual hospital procedures such as IV hook up, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, continuous blood pressure monitoring etc.

Are you considering cord-blood banking? Cord-blood collection CAN be done from home! Please check with your care provider of your options.

 

So, you have decided that “yes, we’re having our baby at home!” and you share this information with your friends and family. What if their reactions are not supportive? What if they start talking about the “what if’s”? What can you tell them?

First, take comfort in knowing that your midwife is a highly trained professional, providing you and your baby with proper care and medical advice and doing what is in the best interest for you and your baby. On your birthing day, the midwife brings with her the necessary medical equipment to monitor you and the baby as well as other supplies that may be needed in an emergency (such as oxygen). If at any time your pregnancy or birthing moves away from being normal and low-risk, she will recommend and take the appropriate actions in order to address any medical needs, that may mean moving your birthing to the hospital or transferring care to an OBGYN.

Multiple studies comparing the outcomes between hospital and planned home births show no difference in terms of the amount of risk to mother or baby. Healthy babies are born at home and at the hospital. In fact, for a healthy, normal pregnancy and childbirth, home may be a safer place. Some people may not think there are risks in hospital births, but there are – drug-resistant infections, unnecessary interventions that can lead to side effects and complications. The safest birth for a healthy low-risk pregnancy is one without any interventions. Birthing at home affords you the time you need to birth your baby, so situations such as a long or stalled labour can be managed safely and on your and your baby’s schedule, not the hospital or staff’s schedule.

There are many benefits to birthing your baby at home:

Mom is usually more relaxed, therefore allowing her to better manage or even avoid unnecessary discomfort.

Rates of post partum depression are lower in moms who had a home birth

You have better access to resources: food, drink, clothing, shower/ tub, people, TV/radio ec

Those who choose home births generally delay umbilical cord cutting. Delayed cord cutting allows more blood, oxygen and immune cells to reach baby.

There is more room at home for mom to change positions as she choose or for emergency purposes (such as the baby is not in the proper position)

Mom and baby bond and recover in the privacy of home, rather than in a shared room.

What About “Emergencies”?

Contrary to what is depicted in movies and TV shows, birth is generally a slow process and there is usually ample time to get to a hospital even in the case of a true emergency. And while there is small a risk that a medical situation could happen which could possibly be better handled in the hospital (such as umbilical cord prolapse, uterine rupture, abrupted placenta, postpartum hemorrhage) the midwife monitors the labouring woman carefully for potential problems.

Excessive bleeding (postpartum hemorrhage) can be managed at home by breastfeeding immediately to stimulate oxytocin production and uterine contractions or by doing uterine compressions. The midwife may carry IVs or an injection of Pitocin for these circumstances.

For true emergencies that require going to the hospital, those living 20 minutes from the hospital have the same access to emergency services as women birthing at that same hospital. Many hospitals cannot prepare for an emergency surgical delivery in less than 20 minutes. The standard is “30 minutes decision to incision” for all non-scheduled cesarean sections.

 

The experience of birthing at home is very different than in a hospital. It feels calm, relaxed and familiar. Even looking at home birth pictures brings about a different feeling compared to looking at hospital birth pictures. And even though birth itself can be unpredictable, birthing at home can give you a secure sense that you can control some things. And when it’s all done and you meet your baby, you’re already home!

 

I wish you a happy birthing day!

Vitamin D Supplementation in Infants

The “Sunshine Vitamin” is Very Important for Babies

 

For several years the Canadian Pediatric Society (CPS) and Health Canada have been recommended that all breastfed infants receive 400 IU (international units) of Vitamin D supplement per day. Lack of vitamin D, a vitamin that is usually gained from exposure to the sun, can lead to rickets, a disease leading to poor bone growth and development. There is also evidence that increased exposure to vitamin D during key points of fetal and infant development may offer protection against asthma, osteoporosis, dental cavities, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D is present only in low amounts in breastmilk, regardless if the mother is taking Vitamin D herself. Therefore, some breastfeeding advocates argue that since breastmilk is a baby’s natural food it contains all the nutrients a baby needs.  However, it is known that those living in the northern hemisphere tend to be low in Vitamin D, especially during the winter months. This is especially true for babies born during winter and early spring, when the mother may be low in Vitamin D and the developing baby does not receive enough of the nutrient in utero.

Now the CPS is suggesting that pregnant women talk to their caregivers about taking a supplement of 2000 IU/day. The Canadian Cancer Society also suggests a daily supplement  (1000 IU per day) for adults under 50 from October to March when our Canadian sun is reduced. Vitamin D is believed to reduce the risk of cancer and Multiple Sclerosis.

Vitamin D status in adults is a simple blood test that is available through your MD.

Vitamin D supplements for infants are readily available at pharmacies and healthfood stores. Look for a supplement in drop-form that is free of artificial colours, flavours or added sweeteners. It is easily given to your baby by placing a drop on your nipple before breastfeeding or on your finger and letting your baby suck it off.

 

Gentle Birth Breathing, Not Forceful Pushing

Pushing vs  BIRTH BREATHING

An Explanation of the HypnoBirthing® Approach

Prepared by Jennifer Elliott, B.Ed, HypnoBirthing Practitioner, www.lifesjourney.ca

 

The HypnoBirthing goal: a calm, gentle birth for both mother and baby using spontaneous bearing down in second stage.

 

Why not ‘push’?

HypnoBirthing, the book, advises against ‘forced pushing,’ ‘purple pushing’ and the valsalva maneuver. It uses the term ‘pushing’ to refer to all of these that are generally caregiver coached and directed, requiring a woman to hold her breath. This style of pushing may be against a woman’s natural instincts and desires and research has found it leads to reduced satisfaction with the birth experience. Valsalva pushing which requires a closed glottis, is associated with reduced oxygen to the baby and a tense jaw. Tension in the jaw causes women to tighten their vaginas, like a pelvic floor exercise (kegel), causing the baby’s head to meet more resistance as it is pushed down. In an article contrasting Active Management of Labour with physiologic birth, Marie Mongan, author of HypnoBirthing and creator of the program, says, “When using forced pushing, she is closing the sphincters of the vaginal outlet ahead of the baby. This kind of pushing reduces the flow of oxygen to the baby, and his heart rate may decline.

 

Renowned American Midwife Ina May Gaskin believes a relaxed mouth and jaw are directly correlated with the ability of the cervix and vagina to open fully (The Sphincter Law). Research suggests spontaneous bearing down is gentler on the mother’s tissues, reducing the incidence of stress incontinence.

 

What is Birth Breathing?

HypnoBirthing refers to the concept of ‘spontaneous’ or ‘mother-directed’ pushing as ‘birth breathing.’ We encourage women to ‘breathe down’, ‘bear down’, ‘nudge the baby down’ and ‘breathe down and in a J’ (the direction the baby must move to curve under the pubic bone). It may be only the language that is different from how a midwife might guide her client.

 

Does the research support Birth Breathing?

Yes. Spontaneous pushing has proven to be less tiring for the mother and to result in higher APGAR scores for the baby. Women report greater satisfaction and they experience fewer negative effects on several urodynamic indices.

 

How does a woman prepare?

The HypnoBirthing woman has learned to relax her body completely and is working to maintain that relaxation even in second stage. She does perineal massage at the end of her pregnancy, training herself to relax to the sensation of the pressure of the baby’s head. She visualizes the tissues of her vagina gently unfolding in front of the baby.

 

Practice for breathing down is done on the toilet during a bowel movement. She is encouraged to notice how her vagina and anus open as she breathes down on the exhale, sending the energy down her body.

 

What does a woman need from her care providers?

Be patient as she tunes into her body. HypnoBirthing encourages women to begin breathing their baby down when they feel the urge, which may be some time after they are fully dilated. Many women experience a resting phase before the active phase of second stage. Mongan notes that we wait for women with epidurals to allow their bodies to bring their babies down and we should be prepared to do the same for all women.

 

Support the mother’s ongoing relaxation and inward focus. Women may appreciate only quiet, gentle encouragement, using the language highlighted above. They take several breaths with each surge (contraction), in and out through their nose.

 

Mongan describes what she calls ‘the birthing phase’ this way, “Once she has mentally moved into her birthing body, she will follow the lead of her body and her baby and use the Natural Expulsive Reflex (NER) to bring her baby down to crowning. Her baby will be breathed down. She knows that Birth Breathing assists the normal expulsive pulsations of the mom’s body and that a recent study shows it to be as effective as valsalva pushing.”

 

Be positive. Some mothers find their bodies so relaxed, often because they have practiced relaxing while doing perineal massage, that they experience no discomfort during crowning. For this reason we do not discuss the negative possibility of a “ring of fire.” One mother said that she found the feeling of her baby coming out of her body, “exhilarating.”

 

Be prepared. Some mothers experience a very efficient Natural Expulsive Reflex, similar to Dr. Michel Odent’s description of the Fetus Ejection Reflex, which brings the baby’s head quickly and easily to the perineum. If a mother says the baby is coming now, believe her. She is very tuned into her body.

 

Special Circumstances

HypnoBirthing parents are aware that there may be concerns (known as special circumstances) that arise at any time during birth that require a more directed approach.

They are prepared to hear the recommendations of their care providers if a concern arises and to accept whatever path their birthing takes.

 

Thank you for your support of HypnoBirthing and birthing women.

 

Believing in the miraculous design of our bodies makes the miraculous more possible.

 

Please feel free to contact HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator Jennifer Elliott, B Ed, for further information on Birth Breathing– jen.elliott@rogers.com

 

How HypnoBirthing Compares to Conventional Childbirth

HypnoBirthing versus Conventional Childbirth Report 2010

Between October 2005 and October 2010, the HypnoBirthing Institute received 2001 Parents’ Birth Reports from United States.

For comparison, HypnoBirthing® data are compared to Listening to Mothers II Report of the Second National U.S. Survey of Women’s Childbearing Experiences. New York: Childbirth Connection, October 2006, www.childbirthconnection.org/listeningtomothers, (hereafter abbreviated as LTM II.) Limited comparison data are also available from “Births: Final Data for 2007”, by Joyce A. Martin, M.P.H.; Brady E. Hamilton, Ph.D.; Paul D. Sutton Ph.D.; Stephanie J. Ventura, M.A.; T.J. Mathews, M.S.; Sharon Kirmeyer, Ph.D.; and Michelle J.K. Osterman M.H.S.; Division of Vital Statistics. National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 58, Number 24 August, 2010

Labor interventions: HypnoBirthing® mothers used far fewer interventions during their labors than mothers in the comparison groups

Medical induction:  18% of HypnoBirthing moms vs. 38% of LTM II

Pitocin augmentation: 21% of HypnoBirthing moms vs. >50% of LTM II

Perineal stitches: 32% of HypnoBirting moms vs. 60% of LTM II

Epidural anesthesia: 21% of HypnoBirting moms vs. 71% of LTM II

Cesarean section: HypnoBirthing® mothers experienced surgical birth (Cesarean section) at a much lower rate (17%) than that reported by LTM II (32%) or the U.S Division of Vital Statistics (31.8%). Data does not differentiate between primary and repeat Cesareans.


Choice of Care Provider: 45% of HypnoBirthing® mothers who birthed vaginally chose obstetricians and 57% chose midwives, including CNMs and direct entry midwives. By comparison 79% of the respondents to LTM II were attended by obstetricians.

93% of HypnoBirthing mothers rated the quality of supportive care they received from their care providers as “good” or “excellent.” 86% percent rated the supportive care from nursing staff at the hospital or birthing center “good” or “excellent.”


Birth Place: LTM II and US Vital Statistics show reported less than 1% of births took place at home or in a free-standing birth center. 7% of HypnoBirthing® mothers birthed at home and 6% chose a free-standing birth center, with the remainder birthing in hospitals.

Low Birth Weight and Large Infants: HypnoBirthing mothers reported fewer low birth weight babies and more large babies than indicated by LTM II and the U.S. Division of Vital Statistics. The fact that more HypnoBirthing babies are born beyond 40 weeks may certainly contribute to the differences, but the two comparison groups include a much wider cross section of the population and the differences are most likely due many factors.


Benefits of HypnoBirthing:

Mothers were asked to rate a series of statements about how they perceived HypnoBirthing benefitted them. 70% or more of mothers agreed that HypnoBirthing:

Adequately prepared them for labour and birth

Allowed them to be more confident in their ability to birth

Helped them make good decisions for birthing

Helped them have a more comfortable birth

Helped them to have a more gentle birth

Helped them have a better understanding of their birthing options

Helped them be able to communicate better with their care provider


Satisfaction with the birthing experience: 500 women wrote responses to the question “Apart from meeting your new baby, what was the best thing about your experience of giving birth? “ The answers most often mentioned feeling powerful, competent, having their partner very involved and supportive, and very often included comments about the ease and comfort of labor and birthing .

77% said they would definitely use HypnoBirthing again and 19% said they may or may not. 87% said they would recommend HypnoBirthing to others.

HypnoBirthing Testimonials

What HypnoBirthing Parents Are Saying:
“What a relief to find that when you release fear, go into your body and work with the sensations, labour is quite manageable.”

“I always thought (that) like my mother, I would require a c-section. I am so proud and grateful that I was able to experience a natural birth. I attribute a big part of that to the HypnoBirthing techniques.”

“It truly was a great experience and I would do it all over again. I recommend HypnoBirthing to all my friends.”

“He was born at 1:03 PM and I was still waiting for labour to begin. HypnoBirthing – IT WORKS!”

“I am blessed to not only have a beautiful baby girl, but also to have had a beautiful birthing experience.”

“It was 6 hours from start to finish, something that left us all surprised and convinced the midwives that HypnoBirthing really works to make the birth go smoothly.”

“ I am still in awe. I gave birth in water at home and so fast…I still feel I’m in dreamland.”

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