Here at Wellspring Hypnotherapy Center, the pregnancy and birth classes are centered around the use of hypnotherapy and related mind/body techniques. Understanding and practicing these techniques help create an inner environment of calm and trust in one's body and the birth process. The deep relaxation that is practiced during pregnancy makes for a more comfortable pregnancy and birth experience.
Wellspring does not offer a traditional childbirth class curriculum (a traditional childbirth class curriculum typically covers labor and birth physiology, medical interventions, postpartum and newborn education and a tour of the FAHC Birthing Center). Often, it is valuable for first time parents to combine the Hypnosis for Birth series with classes from another organization that covers the traditional childbirth class curriculum. There are many of these classes available in different parts of the state.
I have partnered with the Birth Journeys group www.vtbirthjourneys.com to create a “combination class” option, allowing you to take both the traditional and the Hypnosis for Birth class series at a reduced cost. If you sign up for the Birth Journeys childbirth classes along with the Wellspring Hypnosis for Birth class series you will receive a $25 discount on each of the two class series. This allows you to "mix and match" the classes that will work best with your due date and personal schedule.
Birth classes can be started between the 5th and 7th month of pregnancy, except the Early Pregnancy Class which can be taken in the first four months. The cost of the classes below includes recordings to use in your hypnosis practice and will give mothers-to-be and their partners skills to use in all areas of life, not just labor and birth!
What Birth Classes will work best for me?
Sometimes the best way to assess this is to speak with me in person. However, here are some general guidelines.
First baby for mother (first or subsequent birth for partner)
Generally if you are having your first baby, it is helpful to take a traditional childbirth series in addition to the Hypnosis for Birth classes. The Hypnosis for Birth classes help you anchor and practice the skills that will really make a difference in your labor and birth as well as other areas of your life. The traditional childbirth curriculum takes you through many of the specifics of the labor, birth and postpartum experience. If you have done a lot of reading, parts of the traditional class may be information you already know, however it is often helpful to hear it and discuss it in a group setting. Most classes include interactive exercises that will help you to clarify your own feelings about a variety of issues. Meeting other first time parents sometimes results in friendships you will continue long after the class has ended. If you are birthing in the hospital, the class offers an easy way to familiarize yourself with the birthing center. (If you do not take a class that includes a birthing center visit it is well worth your while to arrange one directly with the hospital.)
Some good reasons that parents decide not to take a traditional childbirth class series include the following: One or both parents already has a strong foundation of knowledge about labor and birth; One or both parents is uncomfortable with various aspects of the traditional birth class curriculum (most often an anxiety about blood, needles or other medical scenarios).
If you opt not to take a traditional childbirth series and the Hypnosis for Birth classes will be your only childbirth education, I hope you will talk to me about your choice and let me help you fill in any “holes” in your knowledge base with a private class (only $40 if you are already taking the Hypnosis for Birth series) or a referral to resources that will give you the preparation that is right for you.
Second baby (or thereafter) for both parents
The Hypnosis for Birth series is an ideal “stand-alone” class. It will give you time together to focus on this new baby coming into your lives. The relaxation techniques you practice in class and at home will be valuable in day-to day parenting even before your new baby is born. If you have emotional “baggage” from your previous birth(s) you may also want to come in for an additional private session (only $40 if you take the full class series) with me to process that experience in a way that helps it become a resource instead of a concern.
Second (or more) baby for mother, first baby for partner
The Hypnosis for Birth series may be enough. Some partners can do a little reading about what to expect during labor, birth and the postpartum time and then relax and go with the flow. Others will be much more comfortable with a full class series or a single private class to answer their questions and concerns. If you are birthing in a hospital, a visit to the birthing center of your hospital is extremely helpful as a part of your birthing preparation. (This can be done with a class or directly through the hospital.)
Early Pregnancy Class
Private classes by appointment only. Please call to schedule. This is a wonderful way to make your pregnancy more positive. In this meeting, Carolyn will teach you some simple hypnosis skills that will be good for you and good for your baby throughout your pregnancy. These techniques also help with physical and emotional challenges (nausea, worries, sleep problems, etc.) You will receive a CD to use for practice. Fee: $60
Hypnosis for Birth 3 class series focuses primarily on the inner journey of birth, and hypnosis techniques that facilitate an easier birth experience. Birth physiology and the "outer experience" of birth is addressed only briefly. The Hypnosis for Birth series is valuable for both mothers-to-be and their partners. The recordings that are included with the class help parents fine-tune their ability to relax and be comfortable in a wide variety of situations. Many people find reduced stress and improved perspective in their work, relationships and other aspects of their lives as they develop these simple mind/body communication skills.
Three Class Syllabus
Fee: $175 (includes mother and birthing partner) or $160 if you opt for mp3 instead of CD recordings
$150 if taken in conjunction with the Birth Journeys Childbirth Education Classes
I (Carolyn) teach private Hypnosis for Birth classes during daytime hours between 6am and 3pm. The cost is $85 for a 2 hour class. Materials for practice are $15 for mp3s or $25 for CDs. Three classes are often sufficient to become comfortable and experienced with the techniques.
Sometimes people have fears or issues specific to them that may not be specifically addressed in a group class. This could range from a fear of blood or medical procedures, to a previous birth experience, to other traumatic events such as sexual abuse that may have an influence on your feelings about pregnancy, labor and birth. Often these can be significantly improved through one or more private sessions. For those people who take a class series, private sessions are available at a reduced rate.