So it begins…

Last Tuesday I got my first confirmation that my birth journey has officially begun. My midwife declared me 1-2 cm dilated and noted the baby was riding low, good indications I would deliver sooner rather than later. I could walk around for a couple of weeks like this, or bust into active labor at any moment.

Instead of nervous, I feel excitement welling within, and I’ve been hustling between naps to finish all the things on my to-do list. Which has happily dwindled down to the bonus section of “would-be-nice” but “not required.”

Now that I’ve arrived at the last bit of pregnancy, I’ve officially declared it a huge success & have been reflecting on what a complaint free condition this has been. I deeply believe this has everything to do with the modest but monumental practices of care that I have assimilated into my pregnancy routine.

Here are the key aspects to my pregnancy routine that have contributed to a smooth pregnancy:

Practices That Made It Easy

Midwifery Care – Each appointment is a full hour, where I can build a trusting relationship with my midwife, Kelli Johnson. She answers my questions & allows me to share my feelings without judgment while performing all the necessary medical tests & procedures. I can call her anytime of the day or night & she’s part of a large network of families that recycle their baby gear, so I’ve come home with several boxes of baby clothing from her.

Reiki – Reiki is a technique for stress reduction & relaxation that also promotes healing. I made sure to get this energy treatment weekly to help clear my body of imbalances physically, emotionally, mentally & spiritually which enabled me to handle my fluctuating hormones, connect with my baby, sit more comfortably in my body and work through life’s everyday stress with ease & grace. Private sessions with Amber Melendy at Shine On Yoga

Network Spinal Analysis – Gentle spinal adjustments combined with unique breathing techniques to reconnect me with parts of my body that shift throughout pregnancy. My pelvis and lower back loved me after each session. As Dr. D’Anna always says, you have to “Find it to fix it!” This weekly treatment prevented the aches and pains that most pregnant ladies complain about.

Hypno Birthing Meditations – When my older sister had her last child, I was blessed to be her birthing partner and took a series of classes with her on Hypno-Birthing. Then I witnessed her painless “labor” where she went within and focused so intently, it looked like she was sleeping while her cervix dilated to 10cm. It was impressive & empowering. My friend Sune handed down her Hypnobabies Home Course, which I have been listening to practically every night before bed. There are classes you can take in town – check the Central Florida Birth Network for info.

In these sessions, I am taught to surround myself with only positive people and messages, to create a positive view of childbirth and the expectation that my birthing with be a beautiful, peaceful experience. There are sessions dedicated to eliminating fear, labor’s worst enemy. Fear and anxiety can create adrenaline production in the body, causing labor to become dysfunctional, a common reason for Cesarean Section surgery.

Essentials I Couldn’t Go Without

Organic Healthy Food – Thank goddess I own Dandelion Communitea Cafe. I am able to eat delicious organic food, homemade with love by people who care for me anytime of the day or night. Since I run the place, I know the ingredients all meet my high standards and are SO good for me & my baby.

Community – An expectant mother needs additional support to lift things up around the house and listen when you start to feel a little blue. As a single mom, I had to patiently navigate some of the heavy lifting aspects, but my community of sisters & brothers really pulled through for me, helping me move, mow my lawn, cook me food, keep me company & support me endlessly, all while telling me how beautiful I am the whole time. Good people!

Coconut – Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for my body (no stretch marks!), coconut water to keep me hydrated & energized (no leg cramps!) and organic coconut milk to keep me in healthy fats.

Painless ChildbirthThis book & accompanying workbook guided me through my pregnancy, and helped me work through issues that needed healing from childhood and personal relationships. My number one recommended reading!

Pregnancy Vitamin Tea – grown, harvested & prepared by my midwife Kelli Johnson, along with a variety of homemade and amazing herbal remedies.

Audubon Park Community Market – My weekly ritual for the week’s essentials: a fresh batch of local eggs from happy hens, a locally grown vegan meal from the ROOTS booth, fresh squeezed juice, some of Ginger’s salsa and garden veggies. It’s also a time to catch up with friends while a local musician croons in the background and people monitor the progress of my growing belly.

By learning and practicing hypnosis, you are able to enter into self-hypnosis instantly, and create your own natural anesthesia whenever and wherever you need it. This is important as any drugs taken by a laboring woman can be dangerous for her, and especially her baby. Using Hypnobabies, you are in control over your body and emotions, and are an active participant in your birth process. You are always aware of everything around you, and as labor progresses, you’ll go deeper inside yourself, trusting in your body’s natural ability to give birth with ease and comfort. Your mind is trained and programmed to give you exactly what you need as you give birth to your baby.

Too good to be true?


Can women give birth without experiencing pain? They can, and there are many variables in labor and birth that can affect the outcome! Couples need to have a positive but realistic view of hypnosis for childbirth. Each pregnant woman and her partner must take responsibility for the choices they make while in labor and how they can affect the dynamics and outcome. Many a wonderful birth has been thwarted by not realizing how to make positive, informed choices and yet these issues are easily addressed and learned in a good consumer oriented childbirth hypnosis class such as Hypnobabies.

Without a doubt, all of our Hypno-Moms are much calmer and more relaxed during labor, which automatically creates more comfort, as well as having *powerful* post-hypnotic suggestions to actually eliminate pain and fear. How effective is this? Statistics vary depending on the goals of each Hypnobabies mother, as well as the dedication and compliance to the program. Our Hypnobabies Instructors all have backgrounds in both hypnotherapy and childbirth education and are able to address each woman’s personal needs to help her achieve her goals for childbirth.

Statistics: The following are statistics for Hypnobabies only: (our very successful 6 week course, 18 total hours of instruction)

1) Pain-free births – 70-75%.

Women who report that they felt mostly pressure, tightening or mild cramping sensations.

2) Pain-free until transition – 15%.

Pressure only, until the 10-60 minute transitional period, with mild to intense degrees of sensation thereafter. “Very manageable.”

3) Pain-free until active labor – 10%,

with mild to intense degrees of sensation thereafter This group can have any number of things that affect their birth experiences; prodromal labor, posterior or asynclitic presentations that do not resolve, other labor complications, emotional issues, lack of support, or they simply did not do their homework! (45 minutes a day) Hypnosis for childbirth won’t help a mother or a couple that is not willing to do the work involved in preparing for their baby’s birth.

All women reported that the Relaxation and Fear Clearing in Hypnobabies were invaluable to them during their labors.

Benefits of using hypnosis for childbirth:


* Fewer drugs or no drugs at all – less risk of side effects on mother and baby.


* Shorter labors – resistance of the birthing muscles as a response to pain is minimized or eliminated.


* An awake, energized mother, due to total relaxation throughout the birthing process.


* A calm, peaceful birthing environment. A comfortable natural birthing also allows for a joyful, rested mother and a calm baby post-partum.


* Breech and posterior babies can be turned using hypnosis.


* Fewer interventions and complications during labor.


* Babies who are better sleepers and nursers due to fewer drugs in their systems.

It is well worth the time to look into hypnosis for childbirth as an option, both for yourself and for your baby. Natural Childbirth without intense discomfort has many benefits to mom and baby, and the deep relaxation has even helped many a nervous dad to enjoy pregnancy and childbirth, since they experience hypnosis in Hypnobabies class as well! In addition, the skills you will learn for relaxation and hypnosis will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Hypnosis Instructor, Childbirth Educator, Hypno-Doula and Founder/Director of Hypnobabies Network in Cypress, CA.

She teaches Hypnobabies Childbirth classes, Hypnobabies Instructor Training Courses, Hypno-Doula Workshops, Pregnancy Nutrition and Breastfeeding workshops, Birth Hypnosis Specialty Courses and gives seminars in her community on natural pregnancy and childbirth options.

Kerry also created the Hypnobabies Home Study Course for women who need self-study options for hypnotic childbirth, and is the author of Hypnobabies, Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis, The Introduction to Childbirth Hypnosis Workbook for Professionals, and The Hypno-Doula Training Workbook.

The foremost expert in Hypnosis for Childbirth, she is also the “Ask the Doula” Expert on www.Pregnancy.Org and an international conference speaker and lecturer.

Kerry can be reached at: (714) 952-BABY (2229).

Website: www.Hypnobabies.com

E-mail: Info@Hypnobabies.com

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4 thoughts on “So it begins…

  1. Congratulations! You may not know me we meet only twice or so, however, I just wanted to let You know what a great human beign You are for creating this local community! Thank You Julie. And wish You all the blessings for You & Baby to come… becoming a Mom is one of the most beautiful experiences ever in this life!

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  2. Wow Julie… this is great, thank you! If I am ever blessed with getting pregnant & having a baby, I will have you on speed dial 🙂

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  3. hello julie! we spoke recently a time or two when you checked out at whole foods at my register and we talked about how i had seen your slideshow and was so inspired, and how i was also hoping to go to school for midwifery in the future. so i was looking back at your blog today to find this post for resources i can use to read up and become more informed on natural pregnancy and birthing. i followed the link to the book you said is your favorite, on painless childbirth, and the site was kind of unclear, so i was just wondering if you could point me in the direction of that book, and your other favorites that i can look into. many, many thanks for being such an inspiration to me! your experience was truly incredible and both powerful and empowering.

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