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Blissborn Educators' Knowledge base

Check these out -- each one is updated and some are brand new!

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The following questions were submitted by educators and we've shared our answers here (organized by topic).

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If the answer you need is not here or if you’d like more information, Contact Us. We’ll probably add your question and our answer to the list!

Questions

Marketing Blissborn

      Blissborn business questions

      In-class questions

      Hypnotherapy questions

      Answers

      Marketing Blissborn

      I met with a midwife/client today who wanted to know exactly how Blissborn and other hypnobirthing classes are different. What do you tell people?

      A: First, I’d like to make the distinction between hypnobirthing, HypnoBirthing, and Hypnobabies. 
      All birth hypnosis methods tend to be called hypnobirthing, which is unfortunate because it sounds just like the trademarked name and a well-known program created by Marie Mongan, called HypnoBirthing. While this is probably the most well-known, it can also bring up some preconceived notions, which we’ll address below. So educate people about that distinction. The other program out there is called Hypnobabies. It’s good to know about these programs in case you’re asked.
      So differences... we will share these ideas with you and include our honest opinions, and we recommend that you find positive ways to share them with your clients. Bashing other programs isn’t the goal, but we worked very hard to overcome these issues in Blissborn, and you should know the differences.
      •    HypnoBirthing: While we love the BOOK and actually recommend it to people to read if they're interested in learning more about birth, the truth is that HypnoBirthing is light on hypnosis. It has way less hypnosis practice and under-utilizes the many, many tools hypnosis offers. Most practitioners are very lightly trained in hypnotherapy -- usually a one-day course in hypnosis, not its therapeutic applications. The result can be enough power to slow or stop a labor. HypnoBirthing also enlists the parents to be the foot soldiers in changing the language in their birth place, instead of teaching them to create their own experience and concentrating on their birth. HypnoBirthing says "pressure waves" instead of contractions, for instance, and asks that providers say this too -- and lots more language changes. HypnoBirthing also coaches the mom to “breathe the baby down,” which some moms use to stop pushing. Some parents feel like they failed at HypnoBirthing, even though a lot feel like they succeeded too -- but they just don't know how much better it could be, in my opinion. Lastly, we've gotten a recent wave of teachers coming over to BB from HypnoBirthing. That said, we aren’t “haters.” Any hypnosis is better than none! And HypnoBirthing has brought birth hypnosis into the world’s awareness – we are so grateful for that. The program has a lot of fans. 
      •    Hypnobabies: This program has better hypnosis offerings than HypnoBirthing, however it is still usually taught by someone who has gone through a very brief training in hypnosis and who can’t offer the same level of understanding about the tools available. That said, our big beef with this program is the materials. It’s not well-organized and things are written in a crazy style with LOTS of *strange* emphasis on every topic. It’s hard to follow. There’s a huge time commitment to taking the classes as well (27 hours of class time is harder for the parents and you) and lots of time dedicated to nutrition, which we believe is already covered by the time most parents find us.
      Blissborn offers the following: 
      •    We are modern. We do therapeutic fear release processes, which we're experts at, because we're hypnotherapists. We teach real pain control, which we're experts at...because we work with chronic pain patients and we know what works. We teach moms and partners the reasons hypnosis works so well, because there are real, scientific reasons it works so well, and we can prove it. We give them dozens of great tools, tons of great info (that is current and proven), and support them in whatever a great birth looks like for them.
      •    We have an extremely well-organized, 234-page manual that goes with each BB class , six CDs to listen to so the mom can map her brain to relax deeply on command, an instant self-hypnosis trigger so moms can drop down into that state rapidly and easily, eyes-open and walking-around hypnosis, scripts for partners to use, incredibly in-depth partner training, modern and updated information, footnotes, better explanations, better diagrams (and lots more of them), more anatomically correct diagrams, at least 10x as many hypnosis tools so parents can find the ones they like best, better support from the Blissborn base, better results (although admittedly on a smaller scale)...
      •    We emphasize partners. We won’t teach a class to a mom without a partner because it’s so important to her good birth.
      •    Our classes are well-organized according to the latest theories and principles of adult education, and support parents in their particular learning style.
      •    We work WITH providers and are doc and hospital friendly. We don't try to change the language
      And BB works no matter what the situation, no matter where they're giving birth, no matter who is there.
      •    We meet parents where they are so they feel satisfied no matter what happens--teach them how to deal with any situation and they have more confidence so they can get out of their own way. 
      •    BB works with first time labors as well as subsequent labors (a common complaint about HB is that it doesn't work well with first-time moms).
      •    In BB, moms spend more time in hypnosis, and babies benefit from this too -- we get calmer easier babies.
      •    I used hypnosis in my own birth, and Shelley coached me, so we are the only program around that is written by moms with experience. I can tell you, every single thing in our program works and works well. And it's organized. And pretty. And modern.
      •    Finally, I honestly and truly believe Blissborn is the best childbirth education program available...in the whole world, ever. And I'm not kidding. Birth education is usually put together by very passionate people without a lot of writing or organization skills, or adult education skills, or experience with peaceful birth.

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      I'm meeting with a birthing class instructor at our local hospital to talk about teaching Blissborn there. Do you have any pointers for me?

      A: The first thing is to bring the Parent Manual so they can see it's cohesive, complete and ready to go. 
      Frame everything in terms of benefits to the hospital, staff and patients. Anytime you're dealing with a hospital they want to hear about saving money (shorter stays, less maintenance by staff) and patient satisfaction (variety of options, your attentive and effective service, and great outcomes). Avoid any discussion of fewer interventions, unless that's what they're looking for, because they actually make money on them. 
      Let them know it's good as a stand-alone childbirth education or as a compliment to other classes. The class size is limited to 5 or 6 couples so you can give each couple personal attention and support. Speaking of fear, everyone in childbirth education and medicine knows fear is the main thing that stops or slows labor, so spend some time explaining that Blissborn helps mom release their fears with a therapy process. This is addressed in the Blissborn video, so if you have time you might play the first segment in your meeting (not the whole thing).
      They should also know it's doctor- and midwife-friendly (some of the other programs try to change medical language and challenge the staff at every turn). Also that it's geared toward people who want a natural birth, but works equally well for those who want pain meds or need other interventions. No guilt included! It's all about feeling in control mentally and being satisfied with whatever happens, as birth is mysterious and unpredictable.
      Another important point is that Blissborn teaches moms how to use hypnosis to keep their labors strong (HypnoBirthing has been criticized for the opposite, teaching just enough self-hypnosis to stop or slow labor and not enough to start it or keep it going -- but we don't want to denigrate other programs because they certainly have their merits too.) 
      The program appeals to partners because it trains them to support moms emotionally (the hospital often relies on nurses for this). You might consider offering a side class just for dads and feel free to use Blissborn partner training Class 2 for ideas! Think about the benefits to the staff of having well-trained dads who are confident and know how to take care of the moms (so the nurses don't have to do so much). The patients are very much in control and are often easier to deal with.
      I think a hospital-endorsed Blissborn birth class would have the couples paying the hospital and the hospital advertising and paying you a percentage of each couple's tuition. So find out what the other programs cost participants, get an idea of what you can charge and how much of that you want to take home, keeping in mind what each parent set will cost plus shipping. You can charge more than a regular non-hypnosis class. You might also talk about an introductory rate that you can raise after a short while (after the staff gets a taste of it they will recommend it and people will pay more). 
      Keep the focus on your expertise as a clinical hypnotherapist and all of your training and experience in helping people reach their personal goals. You are much better prepared than most childbirth educators in the world! And Blissborn provides nearly everything the parents need to know so it's easy to succeed.
      We have a few educators teaching in hospitals and birthing centers, and can put you in touch with them if you like. Just let us know.
      Most importantly, just be your charming self!

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      Does Blissborn replace other traditional childbirth classes?
      A: Blissborn is good as a stand-alone class or as a complement to other more traditional classes. Parents get a lot of scary information and rote memorization stuff in the other classes, but in Blissborn they're getting practical training with hands-on experience (in their minds) and their subconscious gets to remember everything by learning in hypnosis, so there's not a need to fill the conscious mind with data that the parents will forget in labor anyway. We like to think they'll learn everything they need to know, and more, in Blissborn. Of course, there's always more to know, but we feel we covered the essentials pretty well and maintained the focus on hypnosis training, which the parents need to get in person. Short answer, yes!

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      I am a product distributor for another company and I think these products would help my Blissborn clients. Can I present them in class?
      A: No. Blissborn educators should not offer outside products or services inside the classes. Blissborn classes are not to be used as a forum for presenting other products besides hypnosis and hypnotherapy services. The class is about hypnosis and birth, mental empowerment and personal satisfaction with whatever happens -- nothing else. 
      Here's why:
      1.    Client vulnerability: As instructors we are in a position of incidental power. It's essential that we recognize we do have the power to persuade in this situation. Even more important is to avoid misusing that power, especially in Blissborn where educators also serve as hypnotherapists. In my experience pregnant moms are also more sensitive and open to suggestion than the general population, and knowing that, we can't take the chance that they buy something only because they're worried that if they say no, they'll be uncomfortable, they'll disappoint the teacher or they'll be judged harshly for not buying something that's obviously good for their babies. Educators have a responsibility to handle their relationships with parents delicately -- no selling to these folks who have already invested in hypnosis for one of the most important events of their lives.
      2.    They already have everything they need: The role of the Blissborn educator is to offer the information people need to make good decisions about their labor and birth, and just to support them where they are and trust that they will get where they want to be by doing their own inner work with hypnosis (not external things they have to purchase). People know when they're being sold to, and it's inappropriate to combine that with the therapeutic setting in Blissborn. It could erode the crucial element of trust. Blissborn's motto, “You're built for a better birth,” is based on the idea that they already have everything they need inside them to be successful on their own terms, and nothing is required except to expand it and remove obstacles to it. This mission has nothing to do with cleaning products, supplements or starting a new career. The laser-focus in Blissborn is hypnosis and all the energy goes into taking that deep for a transformational experience at the subconscious level. 
      3.    Captive audience: These parents are committed to being in class once they've paid for it, and so we mustn't ever use that advantage of having their time and attention to try to get them to do other things we want. (Also, there's barely enough time to teach all the Blissborn material in the 10 hours of class, much less add outside stuff.) Birth classes are not the right forum for reaching another company's audience because these folks are there to learn hypnosis and talk about birth, and they've paid for that time and teaching. 
      4.    Quality control: We've worked very hard to standardize Blissborn so parents everywhere know what to expect within very clearly defined parameters. Blissborn educators have to stick to the philosophy, outlines and scripts. This is quality control and it's absolutely essential to our success as a company and our reputation as the best birth hypnosis training on the planet. 
      We want all the Blissborn parents to have a pure experience of high-quality birth hypnosis and support, without other company ideals mixed in. Do what's right for your success, but if you become a Blissborn educator, you'd also have to do what's right within the specific mission of the program -- stick to hypnosis and birth in class. 
      That being said, if someone in a class picked up a catalog and called you about it, that would be fine. If they asked you about it during class you'd need to tell them you could talk about it outside of class time. You'd have to be careful not to mix birth classes with product offerings and not to do anything remotely like persuasion, always remembering the vulnerability aspect in reason #1 above.

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      Blissborn business questions

      How do I accept credit cards?
      A: After much research, we like Square for in-person payments (they charge a flat 2.75% fee and send you a smartphone credit card reader for free – it’s neat!) and PayPal for invoicing. If you find a better solution, be sure to let everyone know!

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      Do you charge sales tax for parent materials I purchase? Should I be charging sales tax to my clients?
      A: As of this writing, we don’t charge it. Theoretically your transaction is not taxable because it is a sale across state lines, and/or you’re reselling these products and the burden of taxing them and paying the tax falls to you.
      For NM residents: we encourage you to claim an exemption with NM’s Taxation and Revenue Department. The exemption form is called an NTTC (non-taxable transaction certificate) and it basically means we don’t charge you tax because you are reselling goods, and the tax burden is yours. You must have your business registered with the department and then you can fill out the paperwork here: https://efile.state.nm.us/NTTCNET/TPLogon.aspx . Our Federal Tax ID# is 03-118565007, but you'll use your own numbers to log on and file the paperwork, and then send us a copy. 
      No matter where you practice, we do support the philosophy of “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” – meaning, pay your taxes. It helps us sleep well at night knowing we’ve paid every penny due and all our accounts are clean. And we think being financially honest keeps the channels of prosperity open. So charge your clients sales tax when applicable and be grateful for the prosperity that allows you to contribute to your local economy.

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      Does the mom pay Blissborn directly for her materials or do I collect and pay you myself?
      A: Only certified Blissborn Educators can buy the materials, so you place your order and then include the cost in your students' tuition. You can market that all materials are included as an advantage because some other programs require parents to go out and buy their own stuff on top of the class price. Order and pay for the materials before your class starts and then reimburse yourself when you collect the mom’s tuition.

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      Can I order Parent Materials and other Blissborn things without a credit card?
      A: Of course! Contact us directly for this. Once we’ve received your payment we will place your order with our shipper. You can send a check or money order to Blissborn, PO Box 3914, Albuquerque, NM 87190. Allow extra time for this, as snail-mail can be slow and we don’t check our PO Box every day. Definitely notify us about what you’re doing so we can work with you to speed the process.

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      My hypnotherapy liability insurance is expiring and I’m thinking about changing companies. Who do you recommend?
      A: We won’t make an official recommendation, but we can say that we use Lockton because it’s fairly inexpensive and we haven’t had any problems with them – but then, we’ve never made any claims. Definitely do your homework and make sure your chosen company gives you what you’re looking for. 
      Also be aware that most insurance policies will protect you in cases where the “damage” occurred on or after the day your policy became effective, and not before, unless you’re renewing with the same company with protection from older incident claims. That means that if someone you saw five years ago files a claim today, the company you’re with may cover you only if you were insured with them back then and you still have a policy with them today that extends your coverage backwards into the past. 
      In such a case, your insurance company is constantly extending the time period it’s covering for you and this is why liability insurance gets more expensive the longer you’re in business. It usually doesn’t go up in cost as fast as your income though!
      Check the policy provisions for your current insurance and any new insurance you’re considering to find out how the coverage works. With a new company, see if you can purchase a rider to cover your past. Start the process early so you don’t allow your coverage to lapse!

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      What will the CEU requirements for Blissborn be when my certificate expires?
      A: We are still working on this. When renewals come up the cost and time commitment will be minimal. We’ll keep you posted. This is at the top of our list!

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      Where can I buy clothespins for Class 4?
      A: This is our favorite link.

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      What will be the parameters for couples ordering the home study course? How will the availability of the home study course affect educators’ classes? 
      A: We are aiming to make Blissborn a household name -- so successful that educators can fill their classes without much effort. One way we’re doing this is the new website, with greater appeal and functionality. Eventually it will let you update your own profile with your offerings and specialties. Another is a service-variety structure that points prospective clients right into educators' classes. And yet another is the newsletter to parents who sign up on the Blissborn site. 
      The homestudy course is now available. The reasons for its creation are:
      The marketing mentor we've hired tells us we need a higher-tier and a lower-tier offering, and most parents will choose the middle. The homestudy is the lower-end product and private custom classes with Laura are the higher end. Of course live classes with educators are then the middle tier. This model is working for our main competitors, HypnoBirthing (offering philosophy book w/CD to a general audience and live classes as well) and HypnoBabies (offering live classes and homestudy). Both companies' instructors are benefiting from the publicity their other options provide. There will always be people who prefer to study alone (like Shelley) and people who prefer a live class (like Laura). Our marketing mentor says they start out looking for a live class or looking for a homestudy based on their preconceived notions about the cost and benefits of each. We can catch each kind of person this way and then nudge them in the direction we want. Our top goal is to get more people to know about and sign up for a live, local Blissborn class, no matter what they started out wanting, which leads to the next point ...
      There are thousands of pregnant women in the nation at any given time and if they only knew about Blissborn, we know many more would do it. Even if only 1% of the pregnant population goes for a class, there are more than enough to fill every educator's classes every month. The problem is getting it in front of the right people at the right time. Birth hypnosis is hitting its stride with many celebrities using it, and we need to get Blissborn out there as the newest, best-est thing to capitalize on that. Good avenues are all mommy sites where people talk about what program they're using, and we need to get it into the hands of people who are tech-literate, ordering things online and blogging about them. (We're also working on those celebrities!) The testimonials of real customers on blogs will do more to boost class attendance than any other kind of advertising we can do. So we want to get lots more real customers out there talking about it.
      We are currently offering the homestudy at $297 -- to reduce the temptation to get the cheaper version unless they have no other choice. We also hope this is inexpensive enough to accommodate moms in areas where Blissborn is not yet available -- we want to help those moms too. We are still playing with the price structure, and we will keep you informed as we go.
      We have your best interests at heart! We hired a very fine, very expensive marketing mentor to guide us in how to make Blissborn more successful and prosperous for our educators, and her advice has been good so far in all kinds of areas. We want to have everyone lining up for your classes. There may be some that prefer the homestudy but there will be so many more coming to class when they know what's possible!

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      If I lose my Educator Manual – the 3-ring binder – or my Educator discs, what should I do?
      A: Over the years, people have contacted us saying they're missing this or that and after they look around a bit more, those items nearly always turn up. Check in the place you keep your hypnotherapy books and binders and see if it's there. Also check your personal library and the places you keep your class supplies.
      If you still can’t find it, contact us and we’ll invoice you for the replacement cost and get it in the mail to you promptly.

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      Does health insurance pay for Blissborn classes? 
      A: I haven't worked with insurance companies to bill them directly (they won't pay here in NM, but your area may be different) but I've encouraged couples to pursue reimbursement through their insurance and I provide them with the codes I've found. The codes are not state- or company-specific. They come from the AMA (American Medical Association) website and several national code books that all coders study and use. However, the codes are changed every few years, so you should check them out at the AMA website before giving them to your couples. I don't know if any of my couples has ever gotten the cost reimbursed by insurance, but some of them have gotten reimbursed from their cafeteria plans. I recently ran a couple’s FSA (Flexible Spending Account) card through my Square device and it worked perfectly (see the topic, “How do I accept credit cards?”).
      One exception is if you can get in with a hospital or birth center that will pay you and bill the insurance for "patient education" with their other fees. That's a very exciting way to do it, as the facility advertises, bills and fills the classes, and you can just show up and get paid. It does usually require some kind of connection at the facility. Hospitals love Blissborn once they get to know us.
      However, we get the best results with parents who pay out-of-pocket because they are more motivated! For people who just show up because it's free or cheap and don't put their hearts into it, it's not as much fun to teach and the results are less exciting. I'm sure you know this -- it's the same with hypnotherapy. The more people invest, the better their results. Funny how that works!

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      An acquaintance of mine is a birth doula and would like to teach Blissborn. Would she be able to get Blissborn certified without being a certified hypnotherapist? 
      A: Blissborn educators are required to be hypnotherapists before they can apply. They must be able to show 200 or more hours of training (or a combination with commensurate experience and relevant training). We also get to know them first to be sure it’s a good fit.

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      Can I contribute my ideas to Blissborn?
      A: Absolutely! You can either request the materials you have in mind (we may already have something, or we might be able to create it for you) or you can create your own solutions and submit them. Contact us to tell us what’s on your mind. If we use your ideas we will reward you with free stuff like discounted or free Parent Materials, Blissborn mugs, pens, bumper stickers, etc. Your contributions are a vibrant and valuable way Blissborn continually improves!

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      In-class questions

      Does the partner always have to be at each session? And if he/she can't make it for some reason, does the program still work?
      A: Blissborn works with or without a partner, though without a partner some of the exercises must be adjusted. 
      However, we gently insist that a partner (husband, sister, doula, mom, friend, etc) attend each class because they learn how to be the mom's hypnotist, advocate and protector in each class, and they are part of the activities, hypnosis and discussion throughout. We ask educators to stand firm in this. 
      Here’s the reason: Moms need people who they can count on to be there in labor, and a dedicated partner taking the class with the mom is essential. Being on the same page, about what to expect, what their preferences are, and how to handle things, are all big priorities. So is handling details, protecting the space, aiding her in her state, being on her side, and being strong for her. 
      In fact, when there's a financial issue for a mom who has no partner and can either pay a doula or pay for the Blissborn class, I tell the mom to get a doula. Having good support is the number one most important factor in birthing success. Hypnosis is number two! In the old days when women didn't have to battle for their rights in hospitals and overcome many distractions, they often could birth alone -- but in those times they also participated in each others' births and saw how the natural process unfolds, and had more trust in their bodies and experience with the process. 
      Nowadays having a trained, supportive, dedicated partner is, in my opinion, essential. Moms cannot be expected to go through it alone, with or without hypnosis. The cards are stacked against them. I don't tell this to my students, just gently insist on a partner. If they can't find one single person to support them just because they love them and want a good outcome for mom and baby, they need to hire someone.
      Hired help can be fairly affordable if the mom can go to a birthing center covered by her insurance – she will often get more support in such a setting. She can also look for any local doula training programs and ask them if they have newly-trained doulas who need experience and will work for free or cheap.

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      I am trying to figure out seating for my classes. What options do I have?
      A: Some seating and lying down space to consider:
      •    Thrift store couches with matching covers
      •    Bean bags
      •    Futon mattresses (consider leaving them on their frame for seating, pull off the frame and spread out for hypnosis)
      •    Yoga mats (come in many thicknesses)
      •    Chairs backed against a wall with a pillow for head support, and maybe lower back support
      •    Folding chairs with pillows they bring
      •    Folding chairs placed upside down so you can lean on the back of the back (with a pillow)
      •    Air chair-style lawn chairs from Walmart or yard sales
      •    Birth balls (found them at Ross for $7 each!!!)
      •    Fold-out mattress
      •    Large memory foam pads
      •    Air mattress
      •    Sleeping bags
      •    Sleeping bag pads
      •    Thick rug

      If you're really stumped, think about an office waiting room you might be able to borrow some evenings, or think outside the box - if you know a furniture store owner maybe he/she would let you run the classes there where everyone gets a comfy chair. Check out some prenatal yoga classes to see if women look comfortable on the floor. Call a few childbirth class teachers to see what they do for seating and how they handle their relaxation training (guided relaxation much like hypnosis).

      Overall, I've found that the couples are comfortable if I am. They just settle in and make themselves at home once you get started and it's not as big a deal as I once thought. I've taught many a class in a little yoga studio with no furniture, just a hard wood floor and some blankets. I brought a foam pad and pulled a mattress off a futon in the lobby, and we all just sat down on the floor with some hot tea and did it. The ladies did hypnosis on the pads, the guys laid on the floor with pillows and rolled blankets under their heads, hips and knees. They actually liked it because there's something re-connecting about lying on the floor. Lots of deep hypnosis in those classes.
      So far nobody has complained about spreading out on the floor. If you set the chairs up in a circle (instead of classroom style) people seem to be more comfortable in general, and they'll be more casual about using the space in the middle to lie down. Some moms insist on the floor because it's better support! Trust them -- they'll tell you what they need and make do with what you have. They're not all that fragile anyway. Once you have good rapport, they'll make adjustments to help you. It's not as formal as you might think. 
      In any case, I would recommend waiting to make any large purchases until you get a feel for how the classes work. I think you'll find it's simple and doesn't require you to go out of your way too much. Parents can bring a pillow and make it work.

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      One of the couples I am currently working with was asking for postpartum CDs or scripts similar to what we are using in class -- sort of something to affirm her as a new mom. What do you recommend?
      A: New mom confidence: That is a great idea! Affirming new moms -- everyone could use that! We don't have it yet but it’s in the plans. We are hoping to roll out some new CDs sometime this year. In the meantime, there are affirmations and visualizations to strengthen new moms throughout the hypnosis CDs, especially in disc 5. 
      You can always create a custom CD for her, as well. See the topics “Can I contribute my ideas to Blissborn?” and “How do I make custom CDs for my clients?”

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      What kind of therapeutic suggestions/imagery do you suggest for Moms having difficulty breastfeeding? 
      A: Breastfeeding goes very well with self-hypnosis -- just the relaxation makes the milk flow better, and for nipple soreness, aching arms and shoulders or engorged breasts, moms can use their pain control techniques. 
      If you want to do even more for these moms it helps to know what kinds of issues they're dealing with, so I'd recommend a book like the Nursing Mother's Companion to get ideas about that. The range of issues is wide, from psychological to physiological to sexual ... so much goes into it. In making a general presentation it's good to stick with the mind-body connection to explain how hypnotherapy can address anything going on in the mom's mind or body that is getting in the way, to clear the blocks to letting this most natural process be easy. After doing some research you'll be able to give specific examples of the issues that can come up and how hypnotherapy helps with those issues.
      When you work with a mom you'll know what to do to help with her specific issue. Great specifics are ideas like:
      •    Visualizing milk ducts filling with warm, rich, nutritious milk that fills and nourishes the baby, as it flows easily and in just the right amounts at just the right time. It's good to show the mom a picture from an anatomy book so she knows what's she is visualizing. Also, explain the supply and demand of nursing -- milk is made when the baby usually wants it, and as the baby nurses too. If the demand goes up, more milk is made next time. If the demand goes down, less milk is made (this process isn't necessarily fine-tuned ... so if the mom misses a feeding it's not going to make all the milk go away.)
      •    Using a control room to turn up milk production, maybe connecting it with the baby so the baby controls it by sucking ... creating an even stronger connection between the mother's body and the baby's needs. *NOTE: it's so important to never introduce the idea that a mom is failing her baby, not doing it right, not a natural...so saying things like "even stronger connection" is a good strategy.
      •    Lots of affirmations about the above--good mother, strong for her baby, knows just what to do and when to do it, feels confident, is deeply relaxed and open, at ease, a natural, deeply connected to her baby, at peace, knows she's doing it just right, connected to the 100,000 generations of mothers before her who are supporting her and sharing their wisdom right now, connected to the web of life and is a very important and amazing part of the grand design, trusts her body, etc. Reaffirm the commitment, trust that this time is short and commit to embracing it and enjoying the closeness, just relaxing into it fully. 
      •    Filling the milk with love and peace and sending that out to the baby too. It sort of depends on what the issues are -- just plain support or if there's a specific problem. 
      We do have plans for a hypnosis CD that can help, but it's in the future, after we've accomplished a few other goals. 
      We'd love to hear what you come up with! See the topic “Can I contribute my ideas to Blissborn?”

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      One of my moms made quite a connection with the baby with Disc 2 and wondered if there was anything like that in any of the CDs that the dads listen to.
      A: There are a couple of options (though no specific CD for dads to bond with babies … yet!)
      Everyone experiences the sessions differently but if they can listen to Disc 2 together, with the dad’s head or hands resting next to her belly, they can share that experience. Her connection with the baby can be shared with him through that energetic bond they all have, and he can experience that in his own way too. 
      In the 12-minute Partner Boost (on Disc 2) the dads receive affirmations that they are going to be wonderful in their new role.
      Judith Prager, PhD, has a CD that they might like called "Bonding with the baby within." It's billed as a meditation but you and I know it's hypnosis! I think that one also is geared towards moms but I think dads can benefit too.

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      In Class 3, when we were looking at the moms’ fears, one of my clients said her number one fear was that she would die in childbirth. Any suggestions on how to deal with this fear?
      A: This can be a big one for moms, and we don’t usually open this one up in class if there is more than one couple. This is appropriate in a private session. 
      As for the fear of dying, during pregnancy and with a new baby to care for, she almost certainly feels she has more at stake than ever before. Expressing that understanding will probably get her to open up when you ask her to answer her own question. You may get good answers in the interview, or you may have to do a quick induction and ask in trance. It can also be a stem sentence, like “If I die, what I'm afraid will happen is ...” She may say things that are about the fate of her own soul or what will happen to the people, things and other matters left behind. 

      If it's about the baby, I would give her homework to write four lists: 
      1. Things I want to happen with/to/for my child if I die (who will care for her/him, financial affairs, parenting philosophies, etc) 
      2. Things I can do right now to ensure each item in list #1 happens
      3. Action steps to accomplish the things in list #2
      4. Top 10 reasons to live
      You can change #1 to match whatever she's worried about leaving behind. 

      If she’s worried about a cesarean, she might just lack information about the surgery. Have her get and read the book 'The Essential C-Section Guide” by Maureen Connolly. It addresses both the physical and the emotional, and gives info and advice for before, during and after the surgery. Give her the stats that 33% of all pregnancies come to C-section for delivery and the vast majority come out perfectly fine. All of this without downplaying it, of course. We never want to try to alleviate a person’s fears – it often comes across as telling them why they’re wrong to feel what they’re feeling. And the main work happens in hypnosis, not conscious analysis.

      If it's about her soul, ask her to finish the stem sentence, "If I died, the worst thing that I think may happen to me is ..." This way you get beyond “fear of the unknown” which is a myth, and get to exactly what she's projecting will happen. Usually you'll hear “I'll become nothing” -- if so, recommend Thich Nhat Hanh's book “No Death, No Fear.” If it's “I don't know where I'm going,” do another stem sentence like “If I died, the place I'm afraid I'm going is ...” If it's like “I'm going to hell,” her homework is to talk to her clergyperson within the week to have that authority person give her spiritual counseling. Be sure to find out what it would mean about her if she did indeed go to hell (personal lie), and reverse that.

      In Class 3, Birth Without Fear, for a private class, if this fear of dying is the biggest thing and not much else is scaring her, you might skip the fear processing worksheet (which works best with non-lethal fears) and do parts therapy for that session, working with the part that is generating or maintaining the idea that she might die and/or the personal lie generating the fear of it. If you have a background in past life regression this might be a great modality to expand her vision.

      One more thing to think about is that the fear of dying doesn’t necessarily have to be a biggie. Sometimes clients hypnotize us, but holding that space that this is just another fear to be worked through can be a powerful statement to the client as well.
      Whatever you do, the goal is to show her how to expand her view so she's not focused on that fear and can see the bigger picture through space and time; in a sense to reduce her own self-importance as a being separate from all else (don't tell her this). A fear of dying can come about because a person feels disconnected from life already and is holding on too hard to un-fulfilling things, afraid to “let go” in every sense, not trusting that something better is available. When we live each moment to its fullest, there is no need to fear the future because we know we'll handle it just like we handle each moment -- with presence, attention and an expectation that there is something good to discover in every situation. This is the perfect time in her life to re-discover this skill for living, because her baby will demand it of her. Mastering this now will reduce her chances of PPD dramatically! (don't tell her that, either)

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      One of my couples asked about the shield identified in the Class 5 relaxation, and then in the 6th CD. There isn’t a reference in the materials to the shield, and I am wondering when you explain it to someone. 
      A: The shield is referenced for the first time in Disc 2. This is a little test we put in ... if someone asks about it, they may not be practicing with the CDs at home, and you can reinforce how very important that is. It would be good to ask class participants about it in the beginning of class 3 so they get that reinforcement then. It is referenced in the CD contents portion at the end of Class 2.

      For your reference, here is an excerpt from the script we used on the CD (copyright Blissborn):

      Build shield with gratitude

      ...Now I’d like you to imagine or think about someone for whom you feel very grateful. It could be a friend, your partner, your baby or a beloved pet. Let those feelings of warmth and gratitude grow as you focus on the blessings this being has brought into your life…  Make the feelings even stronger now as you breathe it in… and gently exhale. Good. Now let that person or pet fade away, but hold on to the feelings. Notice that the feeling has a sort of color to it. Make the color more rich and vivid now, and notice the feeling growing stronger.

      Good.  Now breathe in that color. Imagine, sense and feel it spreading from your lungs, to your heart, creating a warm feeling of love and aliveness… spread it down through your body, all the way to the tips of your fingers and toes … now take in another breath and spread it up through your shoulders and neck, into your head… and even into your mind… that color of loving gratitude is moving all through your body and mind now. Let it be a good feeling, as more and more of this color and feeling permeate every cell of your body. Let your body completely fill with this color, this light, so that it even begins to come out through your pores. Let this color swirl around you and back onto you, forming a second skin of light, a kind of shield that protects you and your baby.

      The colors and light allow your own necessary information into your body but discern what to allow in from others, protecting you from any unnecessary information. Just enjoy the way this shield feels and looks and sounds, in and around your body for a moment… Now when you whisper or think the words "Let go" to yourself, your body and mind will remember how to bring you back to this state of gratitude and love and safety instantly, puttingup your shield and making you feel really happy and secure. So whisper or think "Let go" right now...
       

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      If and when the doulas/midwives/doctors are invited to a Blissborn class, how do they participate or do they just observe?
      A: When guests come, I ask them to go ahead and ask questions but to be careful not to share scary stories or dominate the conversation so the parents can get everything they need. I have them sign an agreement that includes that kind of stuff plus the typical release of liability for anyone I do hypnosis with. You can see what this might look like by going to the Educators download page. Feel free to modify it and use it in any of your own productions if you like (of course, we’re not lawyers so use at your own discretion!).

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      The mom and dad in my class tonight had an argument right before coming in. I'm curious to hear what you might have said and done about this.
      A: You're not their couples' therapist, of course. You can offer to help them refocus on the class by doing a visualization with them: putting all their grievances and negative emotions in a gift box and sending it away on a train, truck or boat for a little vacation. They can come back to it after they get their work done in class. That's a great skill for setting aside any distraction, really. 
      But if there's a point where it feels important for you to deal with what's in front of you, I would encourage you to honor that, too.
      I spent one whole class mediating the situation between one of my couples. (It was a private class; otherwise they probably wouldn’t have let it interfere with class time and neither would I). I just reframed what they were saying, telling them they were both totally entitled to feel the way they felt, but that the mutual solution would be somewhere in the middle. Also, what the dad was doing wasn't working and I likened it to that point in labor where the mom tells the dad that something he's doing isn't working and he doesn't get defensive, just says "sorry" and tries something else (see “Will I be an effective helper?” in the dad’s Class 1 homework in the Parent Manual). That worked well for them. But it was a different situation. 
      Sometimes just feeling heard is enough, so some active listening is in order. "Sounds like you're feeling this way...Is that right?" "What do you think you need to feel better?" "Does that make sense to you, (partner)?" And just make them right, and encourage them to listen to each other with love and compassion. We want them on the same side. Build them up, recognize what makes them strong together.
      If you think some counseling is warranted and you can make a referral, don't hesitate to say so! The stress on their lives is about to get heavier with a new baby and the mom's attention will be seriously divided. She needs his support much more in the coming year. Be firm and get their agreement that they will seek the help of a professional.
      I think the important thing to remember is that they have their own situation to deal with and whatever help you can offer within your area of expertise is great, but it's not in your scope to help them heal their relationship or make up after a fight. Remind them that this class is all about them and what works for them, so they should do whatever they need to do, but that they just get these two hours with you tonight and should choose how they want to spend it.
      We can lead a horse to water but we can't make it drink ... but maybe we can empower it a little along the way?
      One of the major things I've learned about this work is that sometimes couples need things to go a certain way and we just have to stand back and let them have their experience. But I also know they found you for a reason, and there's something special about you and your expertise that will bring them to a higher level. Even if it's not as high as you hope, it will be higher than they would have gotten without you. Just show up and give what you have and what you're comfortable giving, and let them go where they're heading with a little more light. They're very lucky to have you
      The third class does seem to be where these conflicts emerge most often, I suspect because in Class 2 they both have had to face what it means to be a partner and realized they have to rely on each other in a new way -- testing their weaknesses -- but this forges a new bond and new commitment that can feel like growing pains. Most couples are happy together again in the next class. It will be OK! Just hold an image of them happy, connected, and successful, and then watch it come to be reality before your eyes! You are powerful.

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      One of my couples said they didn’t like some of their homework. What should I tell them?
      A: Blissborn gives them a lot of options and a lot of ways to learn so they can take what works and let the rest pass through. They can learn to trust themselves by seeing how you trust them to navigate this material. We sometimes get those gold-star students who love every bit of info and do all the homework, but for the rest, they will absorb about half and use maybe 30% of everything you’re offering. That’s just the way it goes. Trust that they'll get what they need!

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      In Class 2, I’m curious to hear any proactive or troubleshooting tips you might have for this class.
      A: As with all of the classes, there’s probably more info than you can cover in two hours. Here are my suggestions:
      Breeze through the neocortex stuff -- it has several pages that go with it and more in the homework, so just keep it moving.

      Compliment the partners a lot, and tell the mom in the partner's presence how lucky she is to have such a caring and involved partner. I sometimes tell a story about a partner that was awful just to build them up. I do this because so many dads are waiting to be set free from their jails of not being allowed to feel anything or cuddle or nurture. Not always! But a lot of dads feel free for the first time when they meet their babies, and I want more for them in their child's birth, too. So I've found that well-placed compliments to draw them a little closer to their comforting sides... I never go so far away from their true selves, but I might really focus in on a glimmer to draw it into a spark, and compliments are a great way to do this. For instance, I might say he's a natural when he reads a script, and that I just wanted to close my eyes and listen. Moms really appreciate this too – it gives her a chance to compliment him as well. Dads rise to the occasion and moms are so grateful to have that extra support.

      I love this class because the dads are so darn sweet. It makes me cry sometimes.

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      In the game-show-type quiz in Class 2, do you divide the couple or keep the question-and-answer more casual?
      A: The game show really just depends on your personality and their personalities. I usually pit them against each other, because they laugh more that way. I do make them come up with a team name too, and I ham it up. Even if they're a bit more somber I still have them compete -- one of the reasons we included this activity is that it's good to shake up the way adults learn, and knowing they're going to have a quiz makes them pay attention as they read. 
      Then the anatomy stuff is out of the way (even though most dads forget the stages of labor immediately, but it doesn't matter at all) and you can move on to the good stuff--the hypnosis! And I always keep the donuts hidden until the end, and I pass them to the winner first, offering them a yummy cervix. It always gets a laugh.

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      Hypnotherapy questions

      I am going to work with a woman next week whose baby is breech. Wanted to check in to all my resources and see what you have used with great success!
      A: One study reported that turning a baby with hypnosis is about 81% successful, a better rate than any other method! Check out “14 ways to turn a breech baby” in the Parent Manual for more great ideas. You can make a copy of this page for the mom if you like.
      There is a great website devoted to this also: http://www.spinningbabies.com/
      Turning the baby with hypnosis usually involves lots of visualization of the best position (think yin-yang, baby’s head down and facing mom’s spine), deep relaxation of the uterus to give baby room to turn, messages that the world is safe and the baby is safe, and direct suggestions from the mom to the baby (coached by you) that it's time to turn over. You can have the mom lay all the way back in your recliner with some pillows under her hips so she's sort of upside down for the session, have her hold a flashlight near her pubic bone and in hypnosis have her tell the baby to move toward the light. I personally have not had to go so far, but it's an idea that combines some of the info in the Parent Manual with hypnosis. Usually just the relaxation and visualization do the trick. I've seen babies turn right in my chair. One turned so fast the chair literally shook from side to side like "whomp!" Very cool.
      It’s also important to check out the mom’s past traumas and fears. One mom I worked with had lost her previous pregnancy and realized in hypnosis that she was “hanging on” tightly to the baby. Working through the trauma of the loss allowed her to let go so her baby could turn.
      Another mom had been carrying a mental image of her baby as resting in a hammock in her womb, and the baby was breech sideways, just as if he was in a hammock. I asked her to visualize the hammock becoming a pea pod hanging from the pea plant, with the baby’s head down, facing the plant. The next week the baby had moved into position.

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      My new Blissborn student developed blood pressure problems during her last pregnancy and had a cesarean. With this pregnancy her blood pressure is getting higher with every prenatal visit. She has unresolved anxiety about the first birth and we agreed she needs private sessions in addition to Blissborn. How might you handle it?
      A: I’m so glad she has come to you. This work will really benefit her. There is a section in the Parent Manual on p. 157 about high blood pressure, with ideas for resolving it with hypnotherapy – private sessions if possible. Hypertension is often about not speaking your mind, not speaking up for yourself, holding things in like a pressure cooker. 
      So here's one way to run it:
      1.    In the interview, get a good picture of how she wants the rest of her pregnancy, labor and birth to be and look and feel. Get positives. Tell her you're going to work first with whatever is standing in the way of that, because those positive things are her natural state and you have to only remove the blocks to that for her to experience it.
      2.    As always with a pregnant mom, start the hypnosis by visiting the baby and having the mom tell him/her that mommy is going to do some work, everything is OK, and it's not about the baby. 
      3.    Have her get in touch with the feeling of anxiety and identify where she feels it in her body, and then to describe how it looks, moves and feels. Tell her to ask this part of her what it has wanted to say but has been holding back. Tell it this is its chance and it's safe to say it now. Explore that a little. 
      •    If it's about a person, have her put that person in front of her mentally and speak her truth. Tell her to tell that person what she has started to believe about herself or the world as a result of what happened. As she ventilates remind her to open the back of her throat and let it all out. Give lots of coaching to say "Now I speak my mind," "I deserve to be heard," and "What I want matters," kind of stuff to the central figure.
      •    If it's not about a person but a situation, let her ventilate her feelings about what happened, and ask the part what it learned from that experience. If there's a limiting idea, write that for later reversal with affirmations. If it's positive, write that for later affirmations.
      4.    Next, use your hypnotherapy, EFT or NLP skills to reverse the trauma, decontaminate the past, and apply positive resource anchors.
      5.    Return to the part to see how things have shifted and changed. Ask the part to take the new job of reminding her to speak her mind in a loving and assertive way from now on, for the benefit of herself and her loved ones.
      6.    Follow with any affirmations you collected or those you come up with, and future-pacing the positive scenarios she outlined in the interview.
      7.    Before ending hypnosis, go back and have her give the baby lots of positive reassurance, love and acceptance, and receive any messages from the baby.
      8.    As part of her homework, have her get a book on becoming assertive. If you have a self-hypnosis CD, have her take it and use it daily. 
      If you do a second session, address any lingering need for control -- that's where some quick self-hypnosis training could be fit in because self-hypnosis and releasing the need for control really go hand-in-hand. Add affirmations that she maintains control by controlling her peace of mind, and nothing is worth giving up that peace, she always does her best, etc. Have her visualize a great birth, seeing herself keeping that peace of mind, always speaking her mind peacefully from the heart, and because of that everything goes her way, and doesn't it feel great to truly be in control now? Etc. 
      For a third session you could do the fear-processing worksheet and hypnosis from Blissborn Class 3 (you can repeat it when she takes the class and the benefits will multiply), and many of her action steps and affirmations could be drawn from the new resources and affirmations from the first two sessions.

      The first session is easily 1.5 hours so leave enough time and definitely have her commit to at least a second session and, if possible, a third. What she has going on is serious and could undermine her birth (though I wouldn't put it in those terms to her). It is worth doing the work, for sure.

      Well, that's what I think I would do. I always adjust my plan and follow the client if it seems my initial impressions aren't right, and give her what she thinks she wants. It's hard to get controlling people to let go of their initial ideas sometimes. Eventually the real issue comes out, once rapport is built and she's used to hypnosis.

      Just know that whatever you do, it's going to help her!

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      I will start working with a mom next week who plans to have a C-section. Should I have her purchase the Parent Manual and CDs, or if I should modify the course content and record custom CDs for her for before, during, and after surgery?
      A: Blissborn is very useful in a c-section and she can use all the same techniques -- visualization (easy, calm, comfortable, baby is fine, bonding, etc.), fear release, partner support, comfort techniques esp. during healing. The whole program is generalized to include birth however it happens. In fact, you can still call a c-section birth and it can be beautiful. This mom actually has an advantage knowing just what will happen so she can prepare specifically for it. Just let her know some of the reading is directed at those who don't know and are trying for a vaginal birth. Also, a pre-and post- surgery CD is a great idea. Hypnosis during the surgery may be a waste of time because she'll want to hear what's going on, how the baby is doing, and to be talking to the docs about her comfort level, etc. Pre-surgery suggestions for relaxation and safety, sending positive messages to the baby throughout and that the surgeon's hands are “divinely guided” would be great, in addition to an anchor for calmness she can use during the surgery. See the topic, “How do I make custom CDs for my clients?”

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      What books do you recommend that address being positive in raising kids, being a positive mom, etc.?
      A: There are some recommendations in the appendix of the Parent Manual. Also there's an excellent chapter about raising them with self-esteem in the back of the book “Self Esteem” by Fanning and McKay, which I think every human alive should read. “Emotional Intelligence” and “Social Intelligence,” both by Daniel Goleman, fall into that category as well. Along the same lines is the wonderful parenting book “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child,” by John Gottman. It's fabulous and mind-blowing and explains so much about why we do what we do and what we should do for our children. It affected me greatly as an adult. This would be my number one recommendation.
      The Love and Logic series by Cline and Fay is good too.
      A really neat one for helping little kids through hypnosis is “Harry, the Hypno-potamus: Metaphorical Tales for the Treatment of Children” by Linda Thompson. This one is designed for therapist use but parents who feel savvy about hypnosis can use it to help their kids through common early childhood problems.
      And then there’s Mothering Magazine online! It provides excellent ongoing inspiration and all about attachment parenting. Attachment is so important. New studies show attachment disorder in infancy and childhood is at the root of depression, obesity, and many other chronic health problems, and most importantly is a trauma that opens the door to more lifelong trauma vulnerability.
       

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      How do I make custom CDs for my clients? How do you recommend doing the recordings, disc faces and case covers?
      A: Free recording software (shareware) is good enough for a hypnosis recording. Audacity is our favorite: http://www.cnet.com/1770-5_1-0.html?query=audacity&tag=srch

      With Audacity, you might need to play around with the microphone settings on your computer. Sometimes if your computer mic is still recording you can get echoes. As far as microphones go, just find a uni-directional high quality microphone. Your local sound store dealer can recommend one, or you can read reviews on a site like Amazon. Expect to spend between $70 and $200. We use the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser USB Microphone (about $100) for the PC, and have heard good things about the Apogee MiC USB Microphone for iPad, iPhone and Mac (about $200).

      With this software, you can record your voice, edit the recording, and add music. You can upload music for the background (from your own mp3 files), adjust the volume, cut and paste, and export as an mp3. (You might have to download a special file to make mp3s but Audacity tells you exactly how to do that.)

      For the background music, be sure you’re not using copyrighted material. You can find royalty-free music by searching around a bit. We like Thought Sounds, although a lot of the individual tracks are spooky-sounding.

      Your particular computer probably has disc-making capabilities. After you create your final mp3 files (create one for each track) it's time to burn them on the disc, using a program such as Windows Media Player. Be sure you're burning audio files and not data files.

      For the disc faces there are a few options. Laura uses an expensive large-format printer to print with ink (requires ink-jet paper face CDs she orders in large quantities online, not usually available retail). Some smaller printers will do it too with a special tray.

      You can instead purchase disc face labels at an office store and print the faces from a desktop design program like PhotoShop (expensive) or PrintShop (cheap). They will print on a color printer and then you just peel and stick. It does make the disc thicker and some CD players can’t handle it.

      There are also CDs that a laptop can print in the disc drive (two-tone, AKA LightScribe). You have to have the right hardware and software, and it takes a long time.

      For the disc case covers, your design and paper will depend on the kind of case you’re using. If it's one CD per case, I just put it in a clear slim jewel case and call it good. Printing the case covers for multi-CD cases or DVD cases (called “entrapments,” with good cause) is tricky -- trial and error by measuring and printing on larger paper (A4 or legal) over and over, and cutting with a large paper cutter. The design is easiest in a design program.

      If you need multi-CD cases they can be ordered online... Amazon, Media SuperStore or Costco has them cheapest, I believe.

      For bulk CDs we like our production company, Vervante, for order fulfillment. You upload tracks and art to their site and then place an order, no minimum, and they send you a bill at the end of the month. They are aimed at fulfilling your customers' online orders but can ship in bulk to you also. As far as we can tell, there’s no other company like them out there.

      You can also go through a company like Disc Makers for a reasonable price if you're doing a large run like 50 or more single CDs.

      We have also considered putting everything on a thumb drive as mp3s because that's what so many people use these days. You can order them with your logo and contact info printed right on them and deliver in a little gift box. A bit more expensive than a CD but less time.

      Also consider setting up downloads on your website and giving a coupon code on a free business card from Vistaprint. This is something to discuss with your web designer.

      It's all a bit of a process. If you find a great solution and write a little article about it, like a how-to for other Blissborn educators, we have a rewards program (free Blissborn goodies) for contributors. Send your solution to info@blissbornonline.com

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      My new client is a smoker who just found out she is pregnant! She is desperate to quit smoking and also wants to take a Blissborn class. Have you worked with anyone in this situation and do you have any advice for me? 
      A: I'm glad she's coming in for rapid help! Here's how I help people quit in one session:
      Start with finding out in the interview what her reasons are for quitting - things she's heard or read that worry her, for herself and her baby. Then find out what things disgust her (puke, rats, roaches, etc.) and ask about and write down body and emotion reactions to those things for intensifying later (it helps to have her close her eyes when identifying these). Then have her open her eyes and talk about something else for a moment so that feeling will pass. Next, have her close her eyes and imagine a life where smoking is in the past and she doesn't even think of it or crave it ever, like it never happened. Write down imagery, body and emotions. 
      In hypnosis, first have her visit her baby and tell it that this is mommy's work and is not about the baby, and that everything is fine. Then have her put baby in a safe cocoon and come back to your voice.
      Do a visualization of all limiting ideas about quitting getting packed into a snowman and melted or given to a train conductor and carried away, or floated away like clouds (you can find this in the Blissborn class 1 script - just change it for smoking. Then remind her of some of her disgusting things and anchor them with a firm touch on her arm, one after another (this is called stacking anchors in NLP). Release the pressure but keep contact with that spot.
      Now have her think about picking up a cigarette and smoking right now, and firmly press the anchor again. Force impressions about the disgusting things associated with smoking (say things like, “You may notice how the cigarette on your lips reminds you of roaches crawling on the butt of the cigarette with their filthy legs and you want to spit it out and wash your mouth,” and “The smoke smells like puke with chunks of tomatoes and acid that burns your sinuses, and you want to get away for some fresh air,” etc. Weave in the body and emotion info she gave you. This is the only time I use aversion and it really works! Important note: Don't put damage to the baby anywhere in the session, as you don't want to suggest harm in hypnosis!
      When she's good and grossed out, then tell her you're going to show her how to be rid of it forever, and release the touch.
      Now do a visualization of a vacuum cleaner or sponge cleaning up her body and washing away the habit and everything to do with it because she doesn't need it and wants to clean house for her beautiful, clean, pink, precious baby. Get everything inside sparkling clean from lungs to mouth to fingertips to brain and mind.
      Then do suggestion therapy: She craves healthy food, rest, laughter and fun, and whatever else she likes, and use her description of life when she has quit and never thinks about it. Tell her that if ever she thinks about smoking, she is immediately reminded of the disgusting things and goes and does something good for herself (be specific about what she said in the interview), and as she does, all thoughts of smoking vanish and she feels great and satisfied. 
      Next comes the visualization of two days after quitting, a week after quitting, then a year, and on like that, weaving her body and emotion comments back in. Remind her that she's really done with the old way, can just let it be easy, that this is making a deep, permanent impression, and she can now notice what it's like to really be free, easily and naturally, and without effort. Give her the powerful phrases, “That’s just a thought,” and “I am a person who keeps promises to myself.”
      Have her go back and bring baby fully into her healthy, clean body, nestled in her womb, and share the image of total freedom and health with the baby, and notice how happy and relieved the baby is now. Have her and the baby share some love and gratitude together. At this point it's nice to ask if baby has any requests or messages, then end the session on this positive note.
      Remember throughout the session to hold an image in your own mind of her completely free of the habit forever.

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      Also, I’m sending a separate email with a postpartum track on it to the class. The Rainbow relaxation (Track 2) will be nice for you. Save the postpartum track for later, though!

      There are lots of things that can help… and some things to think about. This struggle may be one of your greatest learning tools. I had a mentor once tell me, when a struggle comes up you must always thank it for being your kind teacher. :)

      in labor, you’ll need to find ritual, routine, sounds, movements…deep breath, breathing deeper and deeper, or imagining breath sweeping through you, can be a good way to go, too. Music can be amazing. Dance, sway, sing. Find your moan, roar…it’s as individual as you are and very much your own journey.

      There’s also a meditation technique that might interest you — going into the pain even more. Finding all the parts of it, the edges of it, exploring it. Going into the pain itself can be a good distraction, if you can really get lost in what you’re doing. And sometimes in birth, we need to move into the discomfort and commit to it, to progress. I think this one might be a really good exercise for you, because I don’t want you to only have escaping as your plan. The more you work with it and deal with it, the better your tool box. I would like you to try this and get back to me on it. See what you can do with it. It’s a little like Transformation, but a deeper level of the skill set. I’m curious to hear about your experience with it.

      In the Eagle’s Eye recording, really get into the feeling of flying…endorphins! And it’s all about sharp focus and the bigger picture. I love that one, and think it will be very relevant.

      Keep this in mind, too: You can do ANYTHING for a little while. Mind your suffering. Notice your mind. Count and see if you can increase your time. The only way out of it is through it.

      There’s a study that is super morbid but relevant. Ready? In South Africa, in the thick of the Apartheid, people were tortured. Some people were broken and destroyed by it. And some people survived, even thrived after. There was an in-depth study done on it. What they found was that the people who survived it found some means of control, no matter how small. They might wait five seconds before making a sound, or count to 10 before giving in. That small step was the difference between a broken spirit and a survivor. Now, please know that I don’t think your labor is going to be torture! But there are some human traits there that we can learn from. Another thing to think about as you work with going into the sensations. I would love to see you really dedicate yourself to this exploration. Report back! I’d love to hear what you come up with!

      I think I might write a newsletter on this one. It’s a great topic! Glad you reached out :)

      Let me know how it’s going. If you want to do any more work around it, we can find some time next week.

      Warmly,
      Laura

       

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks again for a wonderful Blissborn class series! As I mentioned at the end of class, I'm struggling with some of the comfort techniques. It seems like dissociation works pretty well, but the control panel techniques were a struggle--I tend to focus more on the pain using those and have a hard time toning it down.

      Do you have advice on other techniques that might help to distract from pain? I'd love to have another option to get through general pregnancy discomfort and labor.

      Thank you,
       

      Ruth told me last night — I’m so sorry. How frustrating and upsetting. Start that disc right now! If you can get things moving yourself, you will require less medication. You can also talk to them about starting with a lower dose — depending on your situation, it might not be advisable, but you can discuss it. Use your hypnosis and relax into it, but start early! And know that you are still in control, and you can still have a beautiful, amazing birth. I’ve seen very intense labors with no pain medication, if that’s the mom’s goal. You can use your control panel to work with blood pressure (always do it in an open-ended way: as long as it’s best for me and my baby…) and to turn up your labor, to increase your comfort, to ripen your cervix, to open help with anything that comes up.

      You have an incredible, amazing partner, and a strong and loving relationship. You two are a powerful team. And this baby is so strong and ready. Here are some affirmations you can keep in mind:

      I am strong. I am powerful. My body moves forward easily and opens powerfully. I remain comfortable and calm because I know at the deepest level that I have everything I need inside of me. My calm heart beats slowly and gently every moment, reminding me that my deep breaths, deeper and deeper breaths, are moving quiet peace through my veins. Softly and gently, the peace I’m breathing in right now flows through me. I feel my slow, peaceful breath relaxing each of my toes…the bottoms of my feet…the arches of my feet… (continue with each body part)…

      My cervix is soft and squishy, like squishy pink bubble gum. My body is ready. I accept each kindness and open more and more. I am so excited to meet my baby. The more I relax, the faster my baby will be in my arms. I deserve to have a wonderful birth, and I am creating that right now. I always do the best I can, and it’s always good enough. Our birth is perfect for us. We are resilient and flexible. My cervix is resilient and soft, and gently opens. I am comfortable with my baby moving down. I am comfortable and relaxed. Every movement, every breath, brings me closer to my baby, and so I breathe deep and slow. Deep and slow, as I powerfully bring my beautiful baby into this world. My body knows just what to do. I am amazing. i am a goddess. i am mighty. I relax because I am so strong that I can do anything. I am made for this. We are doing this together. All three of us are doing this together. We are a mighty team. We are surrounded in love. We are creating the perfect way for our baby to be born. I just go deeper and deeper. I am doing it just right. I love this baby with all that I am, and I give this baby all that I have. I would do all of this and more for our sweet baby. I have so much strength, a deep well of strength. I relax into each wave as I open and open and open and open. I am now letting go.

      My baby is perfect and healthy and strong and ready. My baby’s lungs are strong and pink and ready. I am sending all of my power, all of my strength, all of my health and love to my baby right now, and we are doing this together. Each contraction is for my baby, and I welcome the movement, the opening, the power. i surrender to the powerful forces of my body as I bring my baby into my arms.

      You two can work with these ideas and more. I would super-charge the hypnosis right now, honestly. The more you can get done yourself, the better! Please reach out if I can be of any assistance. You’ve totally got this. And you get to meet your baby so soon! What a lucky little person to land in your arms. I am very excited for you. You can do anything for a little while — and your prize at the end is going to be the most amazing thing you’ve ever accomplished. Keep that strong in your mind! You are so loved and supported, and you are going to have AN AMAZING BIRTH. I believe it!

      xo

       

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      In-class documents

      The latest versions of our support documents

      Class 1 Intake form
      This new form works well with other new stuff, including a release for the emails (see below). Customize -- for instance, you may not want to use the HIPAA portion. Just so you know: This is not a legal document. Run your own form of this by your lawyer to make sure you comply with the state and federal laws where you live.

      Class 1 Notes
      New! After each class, keep track of your students' progress on this confidential form. Find a couple of good affirmation words for each student. Use in the Class 5 hypnosis, where you have the option of adding in any words that will support your students.

      Class 1 Receipt
      A nice-looking paper receipt you can customize. You're the payee, FYI.

      Class 1 Sign in
      Have students sign in for each class on this sheet.

      Class 5 Birth Preferences to email
      New! Save this in a special spot to attach this Word document to your Class 5 email, to make it easier for students to create their Birth Preferences documents. For more info, see "Emails to parents," below, or click here to find those emails.

      Class 5 Roster for students
      To make it easier for students to share contact info with each other, have them fill out and take a picture of this, or make a copy for them.

      Class 5 Top priorities (Use instead of cards)
      New! Same as the Class 5 handout (to the left) for the Priority Sorting exercise.

      Class 5 Top priorities cards (Or use handout)
      This is the old version of the Priority Sorting exercise. If you still want to use it, print it on perforated business card stock to make it easy.

      Date calculator wheel
      Is yours getting a bit worn? Print a new one here.

      Emails to parents
      New! Send an email after each class to keep in touch, encourage homework completion, and provide valuable links to students. You can also click here to find these emails if you don't want to download.

      Extra guest agreement
      Slightly updated version. Again, just so you know: This is not a legal document. Run your own form of this by your lawyer to make sure you comply with the state and federal laws where you live.

      Quiet Please door sign
      New and pretty version to put on the door of the place you're teaching, to ask everyone to be quiet for you. Print this one in color

      Handouts

      The latest versions of our Class Handouts

      Class 1 Handout Let Go Trigger reminder
      Updated! Pretty! Please print this new sign to replace the old version.

      Class 2 Handout Ecstatic Birth article
      The same article as before, but a bit more compressed.

      Class 2 Handout Partner duties, affirmations
      Updated a bit.

      Class 3 Handout Facing Down Fear MOM
      New Fear Processing Handout -- this one is more detailed. Check with Laura if you have questions. Print out one of these for each mom in your class, and print a separate one for each partner -- they have different examples on them (see below).

      Class 3 Handout Facing Down Fear PARTNER
      New Fear Processing Handout -- this one is more detailed. Check with Laura if you have questions.

      Class 4 Handout Guest Comfort Techniques record
      Updated a bit. Use with any extra guests (beyond the mom and her partner) attending this class.

      Class 5 Handout Flyer to customize
      Customize this one-page handout for students to share with their friends. Consider offering a discount here to friends and family.

      Class 5 Handout Informed Consent cards
      Pretty and functional. Just print on business card stock. You can also save the JPEG file from this document to create professional cards.

      Class 5 Handout Letter for the provider
      Slightly updated version. Feel free to customize with your own information.

      Class 5 Handout Letter for the team
      Slightly updated version. Feel free to customize.

      Class 5 Handout Shh door sign
      New and beautiful! Print this in color for your students, to remind others to keep it quiet on the birth day.

      Class 5 Handout Survey
      Slightly updated version. Customize this to answer your own questions about your classes. This is just for your use -- we don't ever collect these pages.

      Class 5 Handout Top priorities Use instead of cards
      Use this one-page handout instead of the cards in the Priority Sorting exercise. It's easier, and students can take their sheets home at the end.


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      Blissborn Logo

      Read Guidelines before use

      We have an updated version of the logo available for your use. Please check out the different styles below, after reading our guidelines for their use.

      Blissborn Guidelines for use of Blissborn logo and materials
      You are welcome to use the Blissborn logo in your marketing materials and on your website. In fact, we encourage you to use our language and layout! However, we have some requirements. Please read up on how to use our copyrighted and trademarked materials to make your marketing pop!

      Blissborn Logo B black
      A simple small version: Just the "B" with a heart, in black and white. Right-click to save this one as a JPEG (or JPG) file.

      Blissborn Logo flower B
      The "B" portion of the logo in color, with the flowers behind it. Right-click to save as a JPEG (or JPG) file.

      Blissborn Logo flower background
      The logo, in its full glory. Right-click to save as a JPEG (or JPG) file.

      Blissborn Logo for a pen
      Interested in ordering your own pens? Here's a simple black and white design. Add your information on the design site. Right-click to save as a JPEG or JPG file.

      Blissborn Logo white background
      A simple version of the logo, in color, with no background. Right-click to save, as a JPEG or JPG file.

      Blissborn Logo You're Built For a Better Birth
      The logo in color, with the tagline, "You're built for a better birth." Right-click to save this as a JPEG or JPG.

      Blissborn Website Favicon (the little icon on a website tab)
      Look up at the tab on this web page. See that little icon with the "B" on it? It's called a favicon. Now you can add this detail to your website, too. Right-click to save this one as a PNG file.

      Remember: If you have specific needs, get in touch! We're here to help!

       

      Marketing documents

      The latest versions of your marketing docs

      Business cards JPEGs and instructions
      New! Use these templates on a design site (we suggest Vistaprint.com -- look for coupons before buying!) to create nice business cards.

      Business cards sheet Customize and print
      New! You can use this page to print your own business cards.

      Flyer to customize
      The same as the handout, above. Consider customizing this one as a marketing tool.

      Free MP3 general
      New! A pretty card to order professional cards to use as a marketing tool. Directs clients to Blissborn.com for a free 10-minute download. We suggest doing a two-sided card, with your information on the back. Right-click on the picture to save this one as a JPEG (or JPG) file.

      Free MP3 to customize
      New! This pretty card has a space for your info. Make your own MP3 for your own website using the instructions below, or just put your own information on this card to direct clients to our ready-made MP3. Right-click on the picture to save this one as a JPEG (or JPG) file.

      Instructions for recording MP3
      New! Use these helpful instructions to make your own free download for your own website, using the "Joyful Pregnancy" script below.

      Joyful Pregnancy script
      A script you can use to create your own MP3 file, or read live, at seminars.

      Seminar 1 hour outline
      Customize this updated outline to market your classes at free or low-cost events. Help people get to know you and understand more about what you're offering.

      Seminar ideas
      Marketing language for seminars. Updated.

      Seminar sign in sheet
      Use this updated sheet to gather attendees' information.

      Talking points for Blissborn Movie
      A few more things for you to know about, in case people ask.


      You're just one quick click away from lots of other great stuff -- exclusively for you!

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      Blissborn Educator Resources


      Need help? We're here for you! Just click here to go to our contact page -- we'll get right back to you.
      You are always free to ask for help from Laura or Shelley or Rachel.
      We've got your back.