Questions about hypnosis

Click on your question to jump to the answer.

    What is hypnosis?
    What is self-hypnosis?
    What does hypnosis feel like?
    Is it harder for a strong-minded or analytical person to be hypnotized?
    Meditation doesn't work well for me. Is this different?
    In hypnosis, will I be deaf or lose my memory?
    Can I be controlled or brainwashed?
    Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
    How do I know hypnosis will work for me?
    I have trouble visualizing things. How will this work for me?
    What is birth hypnosis?

Questions about Blissborn

Click on your question to jump to the answer.

    Why do people choose Blissborn training?
    What is the difference between Blissborn and other programs?
    How is the homestudy program different?
    If childbirth happens naturally, why do I need Blissborn?
    What about painless birth?
    Will I be able to open my eyes and move around?
    Will Blissborn work for first-time moms?
    My first birth(s) didn't go the way I hoped. Can Blissborn help me this time?
    What about twins and multiples?
    What will my OB/GYN or midwife or doula think of Blissborn?
    What will my husband/boyfriend/wife/partner think of Blissborn?
    Does my birth partner have to attend every class?
    What will my birth partner's role be?
    Are Blissborn birth classes LGBTQ-friendly?
    How will my Blissborn training benefit my baby?
    What are some other benefits of taking Blissborn training?
    When should I start my Blissborn classes?
    What do Blissborn classes cost?

Questions about hypnosis

Q: What is hypnosis?

A: The technical definition: Hypnosis is a natural, yet altered state of mental relaxation that allows the mind to focus selectively while critical thinking is partially suspended.

What that means to you: hypnosis is a natural state that we just don't use much in Western culture. It's the place in our minds that's in between being awake and sleeping. We've all experienced this state when daydreaming, watching TV and getting into a sense of "flow." In hypnosis, the passive, dreamy quality of total absorption is focused to accomplish a goal. You also have more access to your subconscious mind -- think about waking up with the solution to a problem, or having something pop into your mind after you wonder about it, not knowing why you feel sad or angry, or even feeling frustrated with yourself for doing something or being afraid of something. All of that comes from the subconscious. Quite simply, you can access that place on purpose, and make positive changes.

Q: What is self-hypnosis?

A: In effect, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. It's a relief for most people to know they're always in control in hypnosis, and that it is just being coached to get there -- much like a guided meditation.

Q: What does hypnosis feel like?

A: If you ask 10 people what hypnosis is like, you’ll probably get at least 10 different answers. There’s no one “right way” to do it – people experience it in their own ways. Hypnosis has the unique quality of increasing or decreasing sensory awareness, depending on what that person needs at that time. Most people report feeling extraordinarily relaxed and focused, as if the mind is awake while the body rests. They can move, talk and express emotion as usual. Some people report feeling floaty or unaware of parts of their bodies while they're deeply relaxed. "Pleasant" is the word we hear most often to describe the relaxation of the body and mind.

Q: Is it harder for a strong-minded or analytical person to be hypnotized?

A: Just the opposite! Intelligent and creative people are usually easier to hypnotize because they already have experience controlling their own minds. However, if a person chooses to resist, they will not go into hypnosis. This is usually a sign of nervousness. This can be resolved with education about what hypnosis is all about. Everyone can use this state if they choose to. It's natural, just not something we access much in our culture.

Q: Meditation doesn't work well for me. Is hypnosis different?

A: While the relaxation is similar, meditation is more about bringing your conscious mind down into that relaxed space and observing, focusing, and allowing the mind to explore itself. It takes a good amount of control and practice. In hypnosis, it's okay if the mind wanders a bit. The subconscious is always listening. Also, hypnosis is more like a guided meditation, where your mind is coached to imagine certain things, and they're pleasant and individualized, so they're interesting to you. Everyone can do it.

Q: In hypnosis, will I be deaf or lose my memory?

A: No. The idea that you lose control of your senses and memories is part of the mythology of hypnosis built by Hollywood to sell movies. Real-life experience always busts these myths. Here are some things people say upon emerging from their first hypnotic experience:
“I heard everything you said.”
“It wasn’t like being asleep, the way they show in movies. I was aware the whole time.”
“I remember everything that happened.”
"I was totally in control.”

Q: Can I be controlled or brainwashed?

A: No. Hypnosis actually gives you greater control over your mind and body. Hypnosis is not something someone does TO you — to be hypnotized by another person is simply to follow her instructions because you have chosen to do so. If you choose not to follow the instructions, you won’t be hypnotized. And if you are in hypnosis, you are able to decide what to do, what to say, and what to think at all times.

If you've ever seen a stage hypnotist, you're probably worried about being made to do silly things. The truth is, you won’t do anything in a hypnotic state that wouldn’t be acceptable to you in your everyday awareness. You won’t accept any instruction or suggestion that wouldn’t be good for you. Stage performers carefully select the person who is playing along the best, and that person agrees to do silly things by complying. No magic there!

While hypnotized, it's also nice to know that you can modify the instructions and control your experience. For example, if you are told to imagine relaxing on a lovely beach, but you’d prefer to be elsewhere, you can instead imagine another scene that pleases you.

Q: Can I get stuck in hypnosis?

A: No. Just like you can't get stuck in a daydream, you can choose to emerge from hypnosis at any time. You are always in control. It would be nice if life was like this scene from Office Space, where the main character gets stuck in a happy and relaxed state after a hypnosis session that doesn't end...but it's not real. You put yourself in hypnosis and you can take yourself out when ready – and your Blissborn class will teach you how to do it in a gentle way.

Q: How do I know hypnosis will work for me?

A: Most people go into hypnosis easily once they understand what it is. Those who are "resistant" are choosing to be so, usually based on doubt, fear or misunderstanding about the natural state of hypnosis. Generally, good candidates for hypnosis can focus on a project for a time and enjoy working alone sometimes. They can use their imaginations, feel empathy, trust others and follow instructions.

Even if these qualities don't totally describe you, you can still benefit from hypnosis by working with your instructor to customize an approach. Since it's a natural state, everyone can learn to use it. It's even great for people who have trouble meditating — it's like meditating with a coach, and following someone else's instructions is a great way to quiet that "monkey mind" right down!

If you're still wondering about it, we suggest you give it a try. Download our free mp3, Joyful Pregnancy, here. It's not an advertisement -- It's just a brief 10-minute relaxation focused on pregnancy. Enjoy!

Q: I have trouble visualizing things. How will all of this work for me?

A: We talk a lot in Blissborn about how YOUR mind works. It's not about visualization for everyone. Some people are more about what they feel or hear. If your imagination is all about hearing, and we ask you to see yourself on a beach, see the staircase, etc., you will just wind up feeling like you're not good at hypnosis. We work with your mind as it learns, and help you make your imagination work for you.

Q: What is birth hypnosis?

A: Birth hypnosis is simply the use of the hypnotic state to make birth easier, safer, and more blissful. We think it's important that Blissborn students understand why all of it works, and we'll walk you through it so it makes sense to you. After that, you'll learn powerful techniques to help you make your baby's birthday a wonderful experience.

Your thoughts and feelings affect the way your body works. We have the ability to control more than most of us know. For instance, some yogis might control their heart rate, blood pressure, or skin temperature. In hypnosis, you’ll experience and manage more of the intimate connection between your mind and body. As you learn how to control your mind and body more effectively, you’ll practice being more comfortable and relaxed, allowing your baby’s birth to progress in its own perfect way. In addition, self-hypnosis shortens labor — relaxed muscles aren't fighting each other, so labor progresses more quickly and comfortably. One study found a reduction of 3 hours for first-time mothers for active labor, taking the average length of labor down to about 6 hours. Pushing was shortened significantly as well. And, thanks to a hypnosis phenomenon called time distortion, women using hypnosis have reported that their labors felt shorter than they actually were. And another great thing — many of our moms spend a lot of their time in labor so peacefully that people think they're asleep.

Questions about Blissborn

Q: Why do people choose Blissborn training?

A: There are many reasons, but here are some good ones:
• It’s complete childbirth education. This is the only class you'll need.
• It’s effective. This stuff really works.
• It’s safe and 100% natural, with no negative side effects (and lots of positive side effects!).
• It’s economical. It will dramatically reduce your chances of needing medication or surgery. In the US, currently about 1/3 of babies born to non-hypnosis moms are delivered by Cesarean section. But 85% of Blissborn moms give birth naturally, and of the 15% who need assistance with medication or devices, only a fraction end up in the operating room. Did you know that a cesarean can cost more than $7000? When you compare that to the cost of hypnosis training, the choice is clear!
It's modern. We offer a well-designed, attractive, and easy-to-digest 246-page manual (with the latest studies -- almost 200 references), a flash drive (instead of CDs), useful handouts, temporary tattoos -- everything is the highest quality and 100% guaranteed.
• It’s proven to shorten labor, reduce pain, reduce bleeding, speed recovery, increase parents’ satisfaction and reduce post-partum depression.
• Self-hypnosis, fear release and pain control (What we call Comfort Techniques) are some of the tools you'll learn that you can use for the rest of your life.
• You'll learn instant hypnosis. Contractions come on quickly. The "Let Go" Trigger relaxes you instantly.
• You'll learn eyes-open hypnosis. It's not about eye closure. You can maintain relaxation and open your eyes.
• You'll learn walking-around hypnosis. Yes, you can move and talk and walk, which is great for maintaining an upright position in labor, and for moving with the energy of birth.
• Practicing makes it easy. Practicing hypnosis feels good and when we practice things, our subconscious mind takes over, making it easy. Think about the first time you tried to type, play an instrument, or drive a car... now that you don't have to think about it anymore, it's easy for you. We provide recordings for deep relaxation, and suggestions and imagery to use before, during and after your baby’s birth. Practicing actually maps your brain so you can return quickly and easily to that wonderfully relaxed state, whenever you choose. It's also nice to have dedicated time to relax with your partner.
• You'll focus on partner skills. We know it's a big job to support you, and your partner's place is right there by your side. We want partners to feel confident, and we want you to feel supported. Starting with the very first class, partners experience hypnosis, and gain understanding and trust in your body's abilities. They learn lots of great ways to support you in an intimate and confident way, and to stand strong beside you -- experiencing birth as an active participant.
• Blissborn uses real language to describe what's going on in your body during labor and birth -- for instance, the words "contraction" and "labor." This is because there's nothing inherently negative about either word. As your body does the good work of labor, uterine muscles contract and open the cervix, and then push the baby down. Accurate understanding of what's going on during your baby's birth builds confidence. And by meeting birth where it's at right now, you aren't trying to change others' language while you're focusing on your baby's birth.
• We frame things positively, though -- we use "Comfort Techniques" instead of pain control, for example. You'll also learn to come up with your own positive language for your own situation. Language is powerful. If you hear "Don't be afraid," your mind actually hears the word "afraid." Instead, we focus on things like, "I'm brave and strong. I have everything I need inside of me to handle anything that comes my way." Every word you'll read and hear in Blissborn is created positively, from a deep understanding of the mind.
• We have the best customer service! If you ever need us, you'll receive timely answers to your questions from Shelley or Laura, personally. We are always available to you. We support our families from start to finish -- and beyond. This often means phone conversations or long emails exchanged, and sometimes deeper support than that. One of the great joys of this work is connecting with families.

Q: What is the difference between Blissborn and other programs?

A: There are so many differences! Get ready...this is a long one.

We firmly believe that Blissborn is the best, most comprehensive, well-organized and modern childbirth education available, ANYWHERE. Really.

But you want specifics, so here you go.

First, we want to say that birth programs all want the same thing — every birth program wants your birth to be peaceful and satisfying. We're all on the same team! We also want to make sure that your program is a good fit for you, so please read on and decide for yourself. This is all about you and what you want and need. Our goal here is not to put down other programs but to provide you with the knowledge you need to make the right decision.

Blissborn versus other childbirth education programs

(such as Lamaze®; The Bradley Method®; Birthing From Within®; independent or hospital birth classes)

Information and regular relaxation are wonderful. They build confidence. We have tried these programs and think they're great.

Blissborn also offers lots of great, modern, relevant information (and it's footnoted, painstakingly researched, and updated regularly). We don't do birth art in class, but we think it's a valuable tool. In Blissborn, we explore our deeper feelings about birth in a different way.

We are extremely partner-centered and information centered. We only watch one video in class. We don't focus too much on interventions, although you will learn about them in class. Beyond this, Blissborn presents this information in a really positive way, and doesn't spend too much time on why you should have a natural birth — if you found us you already know about natural birth and why it's so great. We also want to support moms where they're at -- in whatever their birth ends up being. It's not just about birthing one way.

In addition, Blissborn has so many useful tools — tools that really work, as shown by Blissborn parents' phenomenally high rate of success. We move fast and deliver lots of information. And there is homework -- which is mostly reading and relaxation.

The main tool we use is hypnosis, and it's simply the perfect state to be in for a more peaceful, faster and easier birth. There are many tools within hypnosis, too. Since it takes some practice, taking a Blissborn class is the best way to get really good at being in that state.

Blissborn versus other birth hypnosis programs

(such as HypnoBirthing® and Hypnobabies®)

We think these programs are great. They've helped many moms have more peaceful births. Mickey Mongan's book, HypnoBirthing, is a wonderful, wise and groundbreaking work. HypnoBabies has a well-deserved and loyal following and was the first mainstream method that used more hypnosis skills.

And yet, when we (birth-crazy information-junkies) were looking for a program, we found that we wanted more modern information, better organization, and more hypnosis.

Something that worked and also made sense! A program that embraced positive language, partner skills, real fear work, and deep hypnosis -- lots of deep hypnosis. As for the skills, there are so many great tools available within the world of hypnotherapy, why wouldn't we use them? We work with comfort techniques, fears and anxiety, Control Panels, blueprints, triggers, shields, mudras, affirmations, scripts, stepping into different feelings, creating scenes, chalk boards, focusing, focusing on the positive, prioritizing, self-esteem, and much more.

Blissborn is modern hypnosis for analytical people.

Blissborn goes deep. We use education methods that respect you as an adult, respect the way you learn, and provide you with important tools, lists and illustrations, for right where you are in your pregnancy. It's all done in five classes, and with homework. We spend our valuable class time on the important stuff, and we provide even more in-depth information in the manual for people who want to go deeper. We have the very latest useful, easy-to-digest information, and we add to it and update it. We understand that your time is valuable. We could teach a college-length course on pregnancy, labor, and birth, but you don't need to know every single thing there is to know on the subject. In fact, you most likely received information on nutrition and exercise from your care provider, early in pregnancy. You already know why natural birth is what you're aiming for (although there's lots of support in the class and homework for your choices).

What you're looking for in your birth class is the information, skills, and techniques to help you achieve a more peaceful and easy labor and birth. What we offer is a deeper understanding of your mind and body and why all of this works. Lots of "lightbulb" moments. Knowledge is confidence, and so it's important that you understand the processes of labor and birth, so you trust your amazing body. We give you lots of tools to move through this incredibly important experience on your own terms, no matter how or where it happens. We want it to work for engineers and doctors, artists and musicians, teachers and entrepreneurs...and everyone in between. If you are interested in learning about your mind and body and your birth, and finding a better way that really makes sense, this might be a great fit for you.

We also know your partner is an integral part of your peaceful, connected birth, and that means a well-informed and skilled partner is a huge part of our program. It's the dad's or partner's baby too, and partners are tired of being left out. We get that! In our earlier births, our own partners complained about feeling like they didn't know how to help. We ask that your partner comes to every class, for good reasons. Read more about that in the question "Does my birth partner have to attend every class?" below. We also go over positioning and massage, encouraging movement, touching and talking, and nurturing intimacy and connection, if it's what both partners desire.

We don't change the specific language of birth, although we fully embrace positive language (such as "comfort" instead of "pain") and thought. "Contraction" and "labor" are accurate descriptions of the good work a woman's body does in labor.

We are considered provider-friendly. Blissborn is designed to work in every setting with any provider. We are absolutely trying to change the world of birth, and we're also meeting birth where it is, right now. We respect your provider's expertise as well as your expertise. You chose your provider and your birth place for a reason. Blissborn is designed to work in hospitals, birth centers, and at home, with midwives, doulas, and doctors. Even if you plan an out-of-hospital birth, if your situation changes, you should have tools and resources and confidence to create your birth with the next level of care. So really, it's all about you, and what a good birth looks like to you. Your birth should be the most joyful, powerful, in-control, and comfortable birth possible. We want you to look back on your day and smile. That's our goal for you.

Other differences

In our hypnotherapy practices, we've worked with our clients to alleviate severe and chronic pain, and we've helped many, many people with anxiety and fears, too. So all of that is in Blissborn, and our teachers are experts trained in this field. We give you all the information you want and need, but most of the class time is spent on learning the TOOLS. Our Blissborn Educators are highly-trained in hypnosis and childbirth, which means they're experts in how your mind and body work together, and they are capable of teaching real hypnosis and helping you find real solutions.

All of this comes with an understanding that, although there's a lot of magic in birth, you don't want magical thinking as you learn these things — you want real tools with a scientific basis, and an understanding of how and why they work. A modern program that's respectful of your intellect and abilities. Nothing annoying or patronizing. Just what works, from moms like you who demand the best birth class available, because this is THAT IMPORTANT.

Don't take our word for it! Read some thoughts from other parents like you here. And come back and add your story after your beautiful, peaceful birth!

If you have further questions, we're always available to you. Contact us any time. Blissborn sets the standard with the best customer service available — real people available to you, responding with real solutions. Your experience is so important to us. Feel free to contact us here and try our customer service out! One of us will personally get right back to you. We really do want to hear from you.

Q: How is the homestudy program different?

A: We wish every parent who wanted to could find a class to take in their area at a convenient time for them. We know it's not always possible... which is why we created the Blissborn Homestudy.

The Homestudy Program has the same great info! The main difference is that our homestudy has all of the things listed above, but the class comes in an audio format. We've done the research, and we've found audio to be the best way to get the information across if you can't attend a live class. You could read and read, and sift through all of the information on your own, but with our audio class you get class-like instruction and the answers to common questions, and you set a time to do the class with your partner. You are both more likely to get it done and learn what you need to learn this way, creating more connection and more confidence.

We also offer all of it on a flash drive, instead of CDs. You're a modern consumer. We get that.

If you have questions, we are completely available to our homestudy students by email or phone. We can also set up a private single class or two to support you as you do the homestudy (if you're interested in this, contact Laura here). Our goal is to help you achieve whatever a good birth looks like to you.

Q: If childbirth happens naturally, why do I need Blissborn?

A: Women have gone into altered states naturally in childbirth since ancient times, but our culture has largely forgotten how to use this state during the past century, with the medicalization of birth. Furthermore, in our society, we have to get past a lot of negative programming around birth, and creating positive expectations is an important tool for accomplishing this. Blissborn works with you to develop your "blueprint" for birth — so your mind has a positive image of where it's all going when labor starts. Many moms report that their labors happened almost exactly as they imagined.

So, while you have the natural ability to give birth peacefully, with Blissborn you'll have the best training available to use that ability, and to use it whenever you want. When you train for a marathon, you can do it yourself, but you'll go a lot farther, a lot faster if you train with someone who has done it before, studied it, and made it their life's work to help you have that experience be the most powerful, enjoyable, satisfying experience of your life.

Q: What about painless birth?

A: We get this question a lot!

The easy answer is that it is possible, and some moms really shoot for it. Some of our moms report back to us that they felt little or no pain throughout the entirety of, or parts of, their labor. We've heard back about painless transitions in labor, no ring of fire, quiet pushing, intensity instead of pain, and more.

The longer answer is that while a pain-free birth is possible, it's nothing that anyone can predict, since every birth is so different. We do know there seems to be a correlation between the amount of practice moms put in on the comfort techniques and the smiles they have on their faces when they share their birth experiences. In Blissborn we teach you a different way to think about the sensations of labor, as well as five different hypnosis techniques for reducing, transforming, or eliminating pain — the same techniques used for surgeries with no anesthetic. If you'd like, watch some videos about hypno-anesthesia here.

Beyond this, it's good to know that a really cool thing happens naturally in hypnosis, and it's something you get to experience yourself in your Blissborn class and in your daily practice. Lots of studies have shown that people in hypnosis have reduced brain activity in areas related to pain and suffering. This translates to a certain "removedness" from the pain, and moms report that pain feels, well, much less painful in hypnosis (and much more manageable). So even if you're not one of the "pain-free" moms, you can count on experiencing a big difference in your labor. Birthing your baby can be easier than you expected!

Q: Will I be able to open my eyes and move around?

A: Yes! When you first start learning how to go into hypnosis, you'll probably want to practice while remaining quiet and still. It's really handy that we can shut out 80% of our sensory input by just shutting our eyes. It makes it easier to focus on what you're imagining. By your second class, you'll be up and moving around and opening your eyes while remaining deeply relaxed in hypnosis. We encourage you to practice in lots of different situations and positions. Moving around in labor is so important, and we want you to move, move, move! You'll be an expert before you know it.

Q: Will Blissborn work for first-time moms?

A: Absolutely! In fact, the majority of our moms are first-time moms (and the rest are more experienced moms who want to do things differently this time, or to recreate their last Blissborn birth).

First-time moms are looking for information. Maybe it's more appropriate to say they have a passionate and fervent drive to understand every possibility, idea, and piece of anatomy involved in labor and birth. We meet that need for up-to-date, interesting, and confidence-building information. We provide the tools to help moms achieve the births they barely dare to hope for! Even new moms report feeling excited to give birth.

Q: My first birth(s) didn't go the way I hoped. Can Blissborn help me this time?

A: Absolutely! We have lots of parents who use Blissborn for their second or third babies, or beyond. We've had moms and partners who needed to get beyond past traumas, as well as parents who felt like they could do it the way they wanted to, if they just had the right tools. Feel free to ask us any questions about it here. Something else that's good to know: even if you've used other programs or already know a lot about birth, the information we present is relevant and interesting. Learning about the mind and body and birth this way is fascinating, and the time you spend on the classwork will bring you understanding, as well as information. It's a worthwhile use of your time.

Q: What about twins and multiples?

A: Blissborn works equally well with moms of singles, twins and multiples. We suggest that parents of multiples take the class a little earlier! Hypnosis works wonders with relaxation, and visualization is great for bonding with babies and creating more confidence about parenting multiple babies. We also support vaginal delivery of multiples when your healthcare provider says it's a good idea, and we have a great section in the manual on ways hypnosis can help in different scenarios. And if your birth scenario leads to cesarean surgery, Blissborn can still be of great value. Calm and comfortable birth no matter what the scenario -- that's the goal. Congratulations on your multiple blessings!

Q: What will my OB/GYN or midwife or doula think of Blissborn?

A: Once they experience a Blissborn birth, healthcare providers love Blissborn! You'll probably be one of their easiest clients. You may have to share some of the finer points of the program with them, but we include a handout in Class 5 for just this purpose. It includes education about what you'll be experiencing and how to help keep your peaceful labor going ... like supporting a "nest" of safety and calm in the birth room. We also let them know that they may be surprised by how far along you are in your labor, so they're prepared for your birth a little sooner than they might otherwise estimate. And we always welcome providers into our classes for free so they can learn firsthand what Blissborn is all about. Oh, and FYI, a "doula" is a helper you hire to provide support before, during and after labor. They're a wonderful addition to your birthing team, and they're welcome to come to Blissborn classes too!

Imagine how much easier your provider's job is when you are more in control, more comfortable, and moving right along in labor! We've found many providers just step back and let you keep on doing what you're doing because it's going so well.

They are also often relieved to find out that Blissborn is provider-friendly. There's no special language to learn, and it's designed to work for you, wherever you are, whatever is going on.

That said, we also include training for you and your birth partner to ask the right questions, diplomatically express your desires, and peacefully get more of what you want. We talk about effective advocacy and some of the situations in which you might need to speak up. Although we'd prefer for every birth environment to be set up perfectly, you'll have the tools to feel satisfied with your birth, no matter who is present or what is happening.

Q: What will my husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend/partner think of Blissborn?

Seeing the occasional partner who gets dragged to that first class, who won't make eye contact with the instructor is a kick... we fully understand why they're concerned about this hippie voodoo they've been dragged into! We also get many partners who are even more excited to be there than the mom. Whether your partner is freaked out by the whole notion or totally curious and excited, we've found that virtually every partner enjoys the class, loves the hypnosis experience (often more than the mom), and appreciates having a real role in the baby's birth. Plus, in this busy world, it's so nice to have designated times each week to spend together, concentrating on each other and the baby and peaceful, comfortable, lovely relaxation. And a lot of the work of birth class happens on the car ride home... when some really important discussions take place. Part of the importance of this time you're dedicating together is just giving this process your attention.

Other partners (friends, relatives and doulas) are usually welcome to attend classes as well! While not everyone in the birth room has to be an expert, it helps if they at least understand what's going on. If someone is a cynic, most of the time education is the solution. We include a handout in Class 5 to share with other birth partners so they understand a little more about Blissborn and the mom's peaceful state of mind.

Have your partner look over the website, and have them contact Shelley or Laura or your instructor with any questions.

One neat thing is that by the end of the first class, the hypnosis-phobic partner has figured out what it's all about. After that, they are usually the most enthusiastic people in the room!

Q: Does my birth partner have to attend every class?

It is strongly suggested that you bring a partner with you to all of your classes. Partners are such an important part of birth. They have many important jobs before and during labor. Providing support, advocacy, and coaching are the top three. After going through the classes with you, they also know what you're experiencing in hypnosis and have special tools to assist you in getting into that peaceful place and staying there. We want your labor and birth to move along naturally, easily and peacefully in the instinctual part of your brain. Your partner is there to take care of everything else. So can you get into that state by yourself? Absolutely. And your chances of staying in that state are tremendously improved by relying on your partner.

If the father or other parent of the baby isn't available, a friend or relative is a great choice. While we always love to hear that couples have partnered with doulas (in Ancient Greek doula means "a woman who serves"), in some situations it's best to hire a doula to be your main partner in labor.

Partners love taking the class — they're learning all about labor, hypnosis, and how to be a truly effective part of the baby's birth. And they're learning lifelong skills too!

We've also had moms go through the course without partners, or with partners at home who can't attend any classes, and we support them equally. In a live class, your instructor might be able to support you in this capacity too -- check with her!

Q: What will my birth partner’s role be?

A: Birth partners (the father of the baby, other mother of the baby, a relative, friend or doula) are a very important part of your preparation and birth! Classroom instruction and homework are for both the mother and her partner. In addition, we teach the partner how to help mom in lots of ways — real tools to make her more comfortable and relaxed, to calm and focus her, to support her, to protect and advocate for her, to coach her, and to be an active and involved part of the birth. Partners are so important that we hope that moms won't take Blissborn classes without them.

Partners deserve to have a more active and effective role in the baby's birth. They'll learn how to be more helpful, how to be better advocates, and how to not take things personally if it gets intense.

Everyone loves having time each week to concentrate on each other and the baby and to just RELAX. Blissborn moms report feeling more supported, connected and close to their partners after taking the class; Blissborn partners report feeling confident, strong, connected, and ready after taking the class. And frankly, they usually love learning hypnosis even more than the moms!

Q: Are Blissborn birth classes LGBTQ-friendly?

A: Yes! We've had lots of same-sex and non-traditional couples in our classes. Lesbian moms, donor dads, surrogate moms and gay dads, and any other family situation are all welcome in Blissborn birth classes. We are thrilled to meet parents of every type and gender and hope that our classes and materials embrace partners and relationships in a way that helps every family grow stronger. All of our materials use gender-neutral "they" pronouns when needed, and we refer to "partners" instead of just "dads."

Babies deserve parents who love them, and parents deserve respect. Period.

Q: How will my Blissborn training benefit my baby?

A: We know that your mind and body affect your baby’s mind and body. If nothing else, we know that mothers share a hormonal connection with their babies. It's important for you to know that babies are meant to handle some stress! It's also important to know that our own minds and bodies are intimately connected within ourselves, and baby and mother are connected and cross-connected to each other's mind and body. If there's no other connection, we know there's at least a hormonal interaction between what the mother experiences and what the baby experiences.

We also believe there's a deeper connection...

There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
— Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

It can seem magical that imagination can cause a reaction in the baby, but what if it is possible? For example, one study of breech babies (positioned in the womb in a position other than head-down) showed that women using hypnosis to "imagine" the baby into the right position turned their babies to a head-down position with an 81% success rate. If it's a possibility that your thoughts can affect your baby, it can't hurt to spend some time thinking good ones.

Regardless of how you feel about the magical connection between mother and baby, a relaxed body offers less resistance to the power of contractions, and to the progress of the baby’s head in the birth canal. This can mean a faster and easier birth for both of you. A baby born to a calm mother isn't sharing in the mother's stress hormones, either. When you stay calm and relaxed in pregnancy, labor and birth, you share all of those happy hormones with your baby, too, which may give babies in the womb a powerful message about the world they're about to enter -- which could possibly affect their biology. Anecdotal evidence shows that after birth, hypnosis babies are calmer and easier to comfort, and they sleep better. We know that babies love the time their mothers spend in hypnosis. They generally begin to visibly move around as soon as their mother begins to relax in a session. This is usually the very first observation a mother shares after her initial hypnosis session with Blissborn.

Q: What are some other benefits of taking Blissborn training?

As you might have guessed, there are many, many other benefits for you, your partner, your baby and your life!

Hypnosis is recognized worldwide as a great way to relax, lower blood pressure, regulate body systems, control pain, ease stress, ease anxiety, lessen or alleviate panic, ease insomnia, and end habits and addictions. Plus many, many other things — anything the mind controls including thoughts, feelings and behaviors...and so much more. So, yes, learning these valuable skills is great not just for your labor and birth but for your whole life.

Beyond this benefit, moms have specifically reported relaxing more, worrying less, feeling more content, sleeping better, feeling more confident, feeling more connected to their partner, eased morning sickness and hyperemesis gravidarum, relieved migraines, feeling more connected to their baby, feeling EXCITED to give birth, starting labor when needed, easing sciatica pain, controlling hip pain and joint pain...the list is long. All this and no negative side effects! We all know what stress can do to a body. Hypnosis encourages the body to be in the opposite state of stress -- so theoretically, the systems of your body get more of what they need to function optimally.

Q: When should I start my Blissborn classes?

A: We recommend you start classes somewhere between weeks 28-32 of your pregnancy (early in your third trimester). Your partner should attend each class with you. We want you to take the class series early enough to have time to finish, even if your baby is a little early, and late enough that you're still motivated to practice, practice, practice until your baby is born! And the practicing is the best part — it's all about relaxing.

If you're earlier or later in your pregnancy, we have solutions for you. The class can be condensed, or you can start working with hypnosis early on. Ask your local instructor about your options.

Q: What do Blissborn classes cost?

A: Blissborn teachers set their own prices. Class prices are usually in line with other birth class prices in your area. Go ahead and get in touch with your local teacher and talk to her or him about the class — our teachers are here to help you find what you need! And feel free to contact us with specific questions. We love hearing from you!

If you're wondering about the cost of the homestudy, you'll find it here.