Celebrating 6 years of Blissful Birth

Our eldest is 5 this month, which means that Blissful Birth is fast approaching 6 years old. How time flies.

I’d like to say a sincere thanks to all our customers, especially all of you who have helped to spread the word and sent in your feedback – it really makes our day to read your emails and hear your stories.

We’ve also listened to your feedback, and as a result we’re only offering the complete Blissful Birth Programme from now on.

There are two reasons for this:

Firstly, we want to remove some of the confusion people faced over which product to buy;

Secondly, feedback shows that people who purchased our full programme have much better results than those who only purchase the MP3s. That’s no surprise really, as our workbook covers loads more material than the MP3s ever could.

So to celebrate our 6th anniversary, we’re relaunching our Blissful Birth programme with a very special deal – get the whole programme for the price of the old MP3 product.

So if you know anyone who could benefit from our programme, please pass this on to them.

And if you are a Facebook or Twitter user, I’d really appreciate it if you would hit our shiny new like/tweet buttons and help spread the word.

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – Are you a Blissful Birth Mum? Did you hit the like/tweet buttons? Are you celebrating too? Drop a comment to say hi!

NHS To Trial Hypnosis for Giving Birth… finally!

Using hypnosis as a way to make giving birth easier, more comfortable and even faster has been known about in the western world for the best part of a century, so it’s good to see the NHS finally trialling the use of hypnosis with birthing mums.

As Dr Christian Jessen (of TV’s ‘Embarrasing Bodies’ fame) reports in the London Evening Standard,

An 18-month NHS trial study aims to teach expectant mums how to hypnotise themselves before giving birth as an alternative to painkillers. This will involve learning how to attain a trance-like state during labour in the hope that they will not need costly treatments such as epidurals.

He then goes on to explain how it works:

Hypnosis is successfully used in many other areas of healthcare, including dentistry, well known for its association with pain and fear, and fear here seems to be the key. Most mums experience anxiety and fear about the impending birth, in part due to our society’s highly medicocentric approach to birthing, implying that it is a dangerous, painful and scary experience.

Hypnotherapists believe that a lot of the pain of childbirth comes from fear acting on the body to cause tension and muscle constriction. If women can relax and release muscle tension, this causes less pain, more effective contractions and often a shorter labour. It certainly sounds plausible, and the feedback from women who have used it has been consistently positive.

It’s even been backed up by several relatively large-scale studies, one of which found that self-hypnosis during childbirth eased some of the pain of labour, lowered the risk of medical complications and reduced the need for surgery. Another study found that hypnotherapy shortened the first and second stages of labour. For women having their first babies, the first stage was reduced from an average of 9.3 hours to 6.4 hours, and the second stage from 50 minutes to 37 minutes on average. The differences for women having their second or later children were less dramatic, and it is here the financial benefits may be seen.

It’s such a relief to see the NHS taking hypnosis seriously and finally taking a closer look.

If you would like to take a closer look too, why not sign up for our newsletter and get a free self-hypnosis mp3, read a free chapter from our Blissful Birth book or read about how I gave birth using hypnosis – twice!

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – Please leave your comments below!

Laura’s birth story – the Birth of Jule in Germany

I’m always thrilled when I get to hear from mothers who have used our programmes, and below is a birth story I received from Laura from Germany who gave birth to baby Jule 14 months ago.

Laura used our self hypnosis for childbirth mp3 which helped her go into labour feeling positive and self-confident, and she came away from the experience feeling empowered.

And although she didn’t use our full Blissful Birth programme (which covers the pain control side of things in much more detail), she was able to avoid using an epidural, and gave birth in a warm pool by candlelight with just her husband and the midwife present.

Many thanks and congratulations to Laura; and over to her for the full birth story…


Jule’s Birth – 04.10.2008

I used the mp3s from the 25th week on. In the beginning I heard them every two to three days, later I listened to them every day and often again in the evening to calm down for a better sleep. They helped me very much in the preparation, they gave me self-confidence and a very positive feeling about my upcoming birth. I was looking forward to a calm, quick and wonderful birth at home with just my midwife and my husband.

I liked the music in the background and the carefully chosen words.

The whole pregnancy I was only three times at my ob/gyn, the rest of the care did my midwife.

One day after the due date at 1o’clock in the night I felt he first contractions which were very light and I decided to listen to the “Birth Rehearsal” again. Then I woke my husband and we started to get busy filling up the birth pool and setting up everything. I called my midwife who said, that if I did not need to concentrate during the contractions there was no need for her to come. So we decided to meet in the morning at the birthing centre or “birth house” as they are called in Germany if nothing changed because we had already set up a date for a CTG two days before.

I was in the water on all fours most of the time and did not get much sleep – compared to the contractions later they were not serious but nonetheless exciting for me as I never had felt any kind of contractions before as some women do in the last weeks.

We had an appointment with our midwife at 11 o’clock because of me being over the due date and chose with her on the phone that it would be early enough to see her then. We went there, everything was nice but the cervix only 2cm dilated which was disappointing for me after the whole night with contractions. We went out for a walk in the fields and then to the baker because it seemed we could use food for the following day and night. At the time I stopped shortly during the contractions and breathed, but lightly.

We went home again and drove to the “birth house” several times over the day for checking. In the evening I was in the pool again because the warm water made me feel so much better – it was a nice atmosphere with the pool in the living room and just going on a bit with normal life watching TV or talking although we knew what was coming up. It was easier to spend the time than it would have been in a hospital.

My midwife had given my a suppository to use if the contractions became more painful – I used it some times but it did not really help.

At 21 o’clock a midwife from the birth centre called because mine unfortunately did leave for her family holidays just at this day. But I knew the other one as well. She told me there was another women whose labour could start soon and we had to come because she was alone and could not handle two birthing women in two places. We went there but I was really disappointed and di not feel good with this – but no choice.

The cervix was still only 2-3cm dilated and once we were there, the contractions got more powerful – and more painful. I was breathing and singing during the contractions, my husband read to me from a children’s book we found there. I changed positions all the time, labour got more and more powerful. Acupuncture did not really have an effect on the pain.

At 23:30 I was on a point where I thought I could not stand it much longer and really really tired after one night without sleep. And it did not seem to get on which discouraged me. My midwife told me we could drive to a hospital and I could get a PDA there [a PDA is a type of epidural offered in Germany] and could sleep for a while. I thought about that but had never wanted this to happen – apart of it knew many women with complications after PDA, needing medication to enforce the contractions afterwards and it would take at least an hour until everything was done and the PDA could have an effect. And I could not imagine me in a car for twenty minutes with the contractions I had. My midwife had the idea that I go into the tub again and we’ll see what happens – why did we not think about this earlier?

Just one hour later she came to examine me and it were 7-8cm. I slept shortly in between the contractions. From there on I lost track of time.

After a total opening period of 27-28 hours, from which the last six were really intense, I could finally start pressing.

The pressing period was about twenty to thirty minutes only and Jule was born on 4:43 in the morning – without analgesia, in warm water, with candlelight and just me, my husband and our midwife. The midwife helped her dive up and turned her towards us, still in the water with her body. Jule looked at us without crying, just with very big interested eyes. She was breathing, everything was fine. Just a small noise came from her.

We got out of the tub very quickly, I felt exhausted but happy. We lay down in the bed with Jule and took some time for us. Nursing went great. After half an hour the midwife weighed and dressed her, everything still fine.

We slept for two hours all together in a big family bed in the birth centre. After six hours we packed everything and went back home.

Directly after the birth I was overwhelmed by the contractions, the pain that they had caused and how my body felt – so tired, kind of abused by the force that birth needs.

After some time I realized that everything went so great and that I managed all the birthing so well – supported by my husband who was with me all the time and did everything I asked for. I got out of this experience more powerful – I did it! And I did great!

We could stay out of a clinic which was my biggest wish – I’m studying medicine and spend enough time there to know how the birthing “business” there works.

I would use the blissful birth mp3s in my next pregnancy again and I am curious how the second birth will be, hopefully at home then.

Win back the cost of your purchase with PayPal

Our payment processor, PayPal have recently launched a prize draw in which you can win back the cost of your purchase – in other words, you could end up getting our product for free!

Every week from now until 20 December 2009, PayPal will be paying back 500 lucky customers for one of their PayPal purchases.

Full details here:
https://www.paypal-marketing.co.uk/campaigns/win/

Bye for now
Heidi

Free money for UK mums-to-be

You can now claim a one-off, tax-free payment of £190 from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if you’re a mum-to-be who’s at least 25 weeks pregnant. The payment is called ‘Health in Pregnancy Grant’ and is to help you prepare for the birth of your baby.

More details here:
http://campaigns2.direct.gov.uk/money4mum2be/en/

Bye for now
Heidi

Ps – This is ‘free money’ from the government to help mums-to-be cover the costs of preparing for birth. Because it is a grant, not a loan – you don’t have to pay it back! So you can easily cover the cost of the Blissful Birth programme and still have over £150 left to buy all those other essentials. 🙂

It’s good for women to suffer the pain of a natural birth, says medical chief

Congratulations to Dr Denis Walsh, one of the UK’s most influential midwives, who spoke out saying that mother and child would benefit if the ‘epidural epidemic’ gave way to yoga, hypnosis and birthing pools.

The Guardian Observer reveals that Dr Denis Walsh, a senior midwife and associate professor in midwifery at Nottingham University, said that hospital maternity staff are too quick to offer an epidural injection or agree to a painkilling injection request from a mother in labour.

Dr Walsh insisted that labour pain is natural, healthy and temporary, but the current culture of celebrity has made pain relief seem normal.

Unsurprisingly, his comments prompted a furious reaction from many quarters, but in my view this backlash only served to obsure his core messages.

Giving Birth is not a medical condition – it is a natural process.

And yet the number of women having an epidural has nearly doubled, despite medical risks such as a prolonged first and second stage of labour, a heightened chance of the baby’s head being in the wrong place and lower rates of breastfeeding.

And crucially, Dr Walsh says – “in the west it has never been safer to have a baby, yet it appears that women have never been more frightened of the processes”.

In my experience, it is this fear which makes labour more painful than it needs to be – as fear causes tension which slows down the process of giving birth.

Why?

Because, in survival terms, your body (and ‘mother nature’) knows that giving birth in a ‘dangerous’ situation could be fatal to you and your baby. Fear is the alarm bell that warns the body of danger.

The thing is, your body doesn’t know you are frightened of experiencing labour pain – so a vicious circle of fear, pain and tension sets up. In other words, women experience more pain in labour than is necessary because we have been conditioned to expect it.

It doesn’t have to be like that – and whether you choose to learn birth relaxation and reduce labour pain with our Blissful Birth programme, or you choose an alternative approach like HypnoBirthing or Yoga, you owe it to yourself to break that conditioning and have as relaxed a birth experience as possible for you and your baby.

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – Please leave your feedback and comments below!

Handy Manny Lyrics

It has been a while since I posted a blog entry – life with two boys is busy as you might imagine, so it hasn’t left a lot of time to write.

Our eldest turned three years old last month, which made me think how quickly time goes with children around – in hypnosis we call it ‘Time Distortion’ (which, by the way, is also a very useful technique to help change your perception of contractions in labour too).

It also means that the Blissful Birth programme is three years old now – and still going strong. Thanks to everyone who has purchased the programme over the last few years, and for telling your friends too.

It’s not much in the way of a return favour, but those of you who have already been through the Blissful Birth programme and have children will probably already know about ‘Handy Manny’ – which airs on Playhouse Disney.

Our eldest loves the programme (he even had Handy Manny plates and cups at his party), as well as the songs they sing. So after some fruitless googling for the lyrics, I decided to do a public service and put them here.

Those of you who are still pregnant will thank me one day 🙂

“Work Together”
Let’s get going and fix it right,
Twist and turn, make it tight,
Trabajamos juntos (← ‘we work together’)
we work together now.

Cut it, measure em, tap it flat,
Bend and twist, just like that,
Each of us has a special job,
We work together – Todos juntos (← ‘everyone together’)
We can fix it right!

“Let’s get to work”
Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro, Cinco, Seis, Siete, Ocho, (Neuve)
Hop up jump in,
Come on let’s go
Hop up jump in
Si vamanos (← ‘yes, lets go!’)
Hop up jump in
Don’t move too slow – keep up!
Let’s get to work
Muy rapido! (← ‘quickly!’)

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – Glad to have these? Think I’ve finally gone mad? Did I miss something? Leave your feedback below!

Beat The Credit Crunch

In the last week, the US Federal government has bailed out two key mortgage institutions, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; Lehman Brothers, the fourth largest investment bank has filed for bankruptcy; Meryl Lynch has been sold off to Bank of America, and stock markets around the world have been plummeting. And on the news there are comparisons to the Great Depression of 1929.

Now, I’m no financial expert, but it looks like tough times are ahead… and we already know how financially stretching it can be when you are preparing to give birth (even when times are good!)

So, we’ve decided to do our bit to help out by bringing back our popular ‘Pay What You Like’ promotion.

Yes, that’s right – we’ve listed our regular selling prices as a guide, but it really is up to you to decide what you can afford to pay for our Self Hypnosis for Childbirth MP3 programme and our Standard Self Hypnosis and Relaxation Birth Programme.

We’ll try keep this promotion running as long as we can, but reserve the right to withdraw it at any time without notice, so please order asap.

You can pay whatever you can afford, from one penny to full price (or more if you are feeling particularly flush – we won’t mind!)

Oh, and of course you still get our unconditional 60 day money back guarantee too.

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – You really can just pay whatever you can afford, because we would rather that you get benefit from the programme and then tell all your friends than miss out because things are tough right now. So choose the programme that is right for you and order now.

[Edit: Sorry, this promotion has now ended!]

UK maternity units ‘turn women away’

I came across an article in the Independent which reports that many English hospitals had to turn away women in labour last year because they were full.

The BBC reports that of the 70 per cent of hospital trusts that provided data, more than 40 per cent said they had been forced to shut their doors or divert women to other sites at least once.

One in 10 said it happened more than 10 times…

“It is difficult to precisely predict when a mother will go into labour and sometimes, at times of peak demand, maternity units do temporarily divert women to nearby facilities,” a Department of Health spokesman told the BBC.

“When this does happen it is often only for a few hours and to ensure mother and baby can receive the best care possible.”

For me, this is an important reminder that many things in the process of giving birth are just outside of your control – and the only thing you do have choice over is how you respond to the situation.

As Blissful Birth mothers know, our programme helps you relax and mentally prepare for birth, so that if these unexpected things happen, you are better able to cope and remain in control.

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – If you have a comment or story to share, please post it below.

Under the knife with hypnosis

Not birth related, but hats off to Bernadine Coady, who used self hypnosis to control the pain whilst having knee surgery.

She told surgeon Ahmed Shair of the private Orthopaedics and Spine Specialist Hospital in Cambridgeshire that she could feel only tugging and pulling. She said “I was just telling the surgeon, I felt uncomfortable as I had too many pillows! My positioning gave me more problems than the knee!”

“I didn’t feel any pain” said the 67-year-old from Cambridgeshire. “I imagine two blocks of ice on my knee to freeze it and spray the top of my knee and that’s all my preparation.”

You can see the BBC news report and video here.

What a shining example of the power of self hypnosis. Rob has written more about this on our cognitive hypnotherapy blog, but just think, if she can use self hypnosis to make a major operation pain free, how useful would it be if you could use it even a fraction as well as Bernadine did while you are giving birth?

Bye for now,
Heidi

Ps – join the conversation and leave a comment below