We'd like to introduce ourselves.

Laura Ross Wood and Shelley Ross Black, sisters and best friends, created Blissborn together; a course that blends the best of hypnosis and childbirth education, firmly anchored in neuroscience, psychology, biology and mind-body wisdom.

Our course teaches couples what really works to make birth quicker, safer and more comfortable. We believe that Blissborn is the best childbirth education course available today.

When we started having babies, the more we learned about natural birth, the more passionate we became about the quality of this incredibly important experience — for our own families and others' as well.

We have both used other programs with all kinds of techniques and philosophies, but felt that there was a place for a childbirth education course for people who want all of this to make sense, and who are looking for well-designed, attractive, and efficient program. We decided create it ourselves.

How it began

We had seen the power of hypnotherapy in friends' lives and our own, and we decided to pursue our training together. (Read more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy here.) When we completed our training in 2007, Laura was eight months pregnant. The plan was to focus our practice locally on pregnancy and birth — a natural fit for our passion and interests.

We knew hypnosis could be powerful, but we had no idea just what was possible until we experienced it ourselves. With Laura's daughter's arrival, we discovered just what was possible in labor and birth using hypnosis, and it rocked our worlds. Even though Laura has a famously low tolerance for pain, the birth was five hours long, and it mostly looked a lot like sleeping. Out of more than 600 births the midwife had attended, she said Laura’s home water birth was the calmest she'd ever seen.

Moments after Quincy was born, we knew we had to get the word out.

The same techniques used and tested in Laura's birth became Blissborn.

We became clinical hypnotherapists because hypnosis works, and it really does make sense (see more about hypnosis and hypnotherapy here). We have done extensive work with birth, goals, chronic and acute pain, anxiety, phobias and fears, trauma, self-esteem, relationships, depression, and more. We believe in the power of language and thought and imagination to create change. We put that understanding into the Blissborn classes and into the skills and knowledge we teach. Beyond just childbirth education (which is also a major part of the course), for Blissborn students, this means an understanding of why and how all of this works for them in their birth -- no matter how or where that birth happens. Parents learn real-life skills and tools, which leads to confidence, connection, and excitement about birth.

We created this course because we want to change the way the world, especially Western society, views and experiences how babies are born. Our mission in life is to help new families get a great start in an atmosphere of peace, confidence and empowerment — an experience which sets the stage for loving and peaceful homes and happy children.


Meet the Founders

Laura Wood

Laura Wood

Laura Wood, CHt, BHE

Before becoming a hypnotherapist, Laura was a full-time mom with degrees in Speech/Language Pathology and Psychology. She used hypnosis for the birth of her third child. Comparing her hypnosis birth to her previous two (one Cesarean and one very, very long but natural birth in the hospital), she feels that hypnosis was the main factor in making her third labor easy, short and comfortable. It was one of the greatest experiences of her life. This led Laura to change her life path and help to make sure moms and families know what is possible for them. She loves every minute of it!

Laura is always working on creating new content and programs for Blissborn. She coaches new Blissborn Educators (see more about teaching Blissborn here). She also teaches Blissborn classes locally, and sometimes by phone or online with private clients. (Contact Laura about her classes.) Laura lives in the North Valley of Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and three children.

Shelley Black

Shelley Black

Shelley Black, CHt, BHE

Two natural hospital births — one with breathing techniques alone, and one with visualization techniques — motivated Shelley to find a better way to birth. Supporting Laura with hypnosis in the birth of her third child was so inspiring, she knew she had to get the word out about using hypnosis in birth. She left her corporate career and dedicated herself to developing Blissborn.

Shelley holds degrees in Biology and English. In addition to her ongoing management of the Blissborn program, she is the Office Manager for Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center, a freestanding midwife-run birth center in Albuquerque, NM. She has worked for wineries and medical practices, and has also worked in journalism and editing.

Shelley lives in the North Valley of Albuquerque, with her two amazing children.