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Birthing: The Choices are YOURS!

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 1 views
By Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

There is no more vulnerable time in a woman’s life than when she is pregnant and concerned for herself and her unborn baby. The health and safety of mom and baby loom large in her mind, and most expectant mothers read everything they can get their hands on physically; every pregnancy book and magazine to be found. They also peruse pregnancy and childbirth related websites, and many moms watch reality TV birth shows avidly, absorbing the messages, good and bad that they see and hear. Rarely do they come across the information that can serve them the most clearly and positively as they prepare for their baby’s day of birth; the most important message of all.

“I know what I want for my birthing, but the doctor says I have to have_____(fill in the blank) as a standard procedure. I don’t feel right about the protocols I have to comply with at the hospital where I will give birth, and now I’m feeling so nervous about it all.”

This sad tune is one so commonly played by expectant women who have not yet learned the truth about these interventions and policies: they are actually only routine procedures that you can choose to accept…..or decline.

If you were a student of Hypnobabies and opened your student workbook up to Class # 3, this is what you’d see:

Your Birthing Choices

Class begins with a quote from a doula:


These wise words form the basis of the information all expectant couples need to know as they await their baby’s arrival. These days there are many choices available when it comes to being pregnant and having a baby, and the choices you make in your last trimester and during labor can have a profound impact on you, your partner and your baby. Many of them will directly affect the course of the birthing itself, your recovery period, and how you all feel long after the little nipper is born, since childbirth is such an emotional and life-changing event. It is therefore necessary that each pregnant couple take full responsibility for these decisions and educate themselves completely regarding their options. In Hypnobabies class, we make that easy by teaching an entire class on Childbirth Choices.

The following sometimes comes as a surprise to those gestating a little one:

In any situation that arises regarding your pregnancy, labor and birthing as well as the care of your baby after his/her birth, *you* as the parents and consumers are always in charge. That’s right! It is no different than any other service that you pay for, except that it is much more important. You are paying the doctor's, nurse's and other staff's salaries, and you deserve to get what you want. If there were to be true complications the doctor, midwife or nurses step in and help, just like being a Lifeguard at a pool. No one needs to do anything except keep a watchful eye on things, and if anyone's in trouble, that's when they jump in to help. Fortunately if labor is allowed to proceed in a normal and non-interventive way, complications are few. However it is usually when a birthing is interfered with by unnecessary procedures that troubles begin and change the course of the labor dramatically. I

According to Maya Johanson of,

“Sorting out what is truly medically necessary instead of what is typical and ordinary in today's hospital births can be difficult and frustrating, especially since evidence-based studies do not support today's routine technology. The challenge is find a compromise between what a birthing woman needs for her comfort versus what is done to her and for her in the hospital setting.

We must all recognize the value of medical intervention in childbirth, when necessary. Proper and timely intervention with a complicated birth can save lives, and there's no question about that. However, since around 90% or more of all births are absolutely normal in all respects, intervention should be much less common than it is.”

Of course we agree with this admonition, and Hypnobabies students are all encouraged to do more research and be their own “scientists”, searching out the knowledge and insight they need for an easy and safe childbirth. After learning what their childbirth choices are as well as the benefits and risks of each, our students are able to make informed decisions regarding pregnancy, labor and their baby’s care, knowing that they alone are responsible for those very important decisions. They have learned some invaluable facts:

If something that you have researched well and feel strongly about makes you feel uncomfortable, you *cannot* be made to do it. No one can ever force you to be induced, accept Pitocin, an I.V., remain confined to bed or have your water broken if you don’t want these things, no matter what the circumstances are. You as the consumer make all of the decisions, not the caregivers. You tell them how you will give birth since they are working for you, and if an emergency arises they step in expertly and do their jobs as Lifeguards.

Would you allow any other service professional tell you how they were going to perform a service for you? Consider this scenario:

You want your carpets cleaned and you call Joe Carpet Cleaner to do the job because either a) he is the only carpet cleaner in town, b) he has 20 years experience, or c) he was first in the phonebook. As you are talking, you tell him exactly which rooms and area rugs you want cleaned and that you want the furniture moved to do it. He says: Well, I know it is *your* house, but….I’ll clean your carpets *my* way, and only 3 of the 5 rooms you wanted clean, no area rugs will be done, and no furniture moved, and I want $2000.00 as payment.

Would you say, “well…OK. Joe, whatever you say – you’re the expert in carpets?” Or maybe something not quite so nice? Would you ever allow someone to charge you money for a service you didn’t want?

Childbirth is so much more important than our carpets, yet when we don’t realize that we are *consumers* who can call all of the shots - the parents of the baby being born, and also people whose desires need to be respected, we can feel helpless. You’re not.

One of the best ways to help with positive communication with your caregivers regarding your birthing choices is to make a concise, easy to read and understand Birth Plan. This informs them (nicely) how your birthing will go in the absence of complications, and then during your labor, your birth partner and doula will enforce this by reminding the staff of your choices. You can change your mind at any time during labor, and you can also sign waivers which release the hospital from responsibility for your decisions, if the need arises. (AMA forms)

Can we also help have a positive birthing experience by using our minds? Absolutely. Here is what I suggest to my Hypno-moms:

Always imagine that you are going to have the most wonderful nurses and doctors attending you during your Birthing Time. Project into your future that your L&D nurse will be a nice one from Sweden or Denmark who used to be a midwife and had all her children at home. She just loves natural childbirth and is fascinated with your Hypnobabies training and use of techniques. If you keep these positive images of what you *do* want firmly in your mind every time you think of your Birthing Time, you will have a much better chance of truly getting someone who will be just what you need. Remember: The mind works backwards and will create for you that which you dwell upon most, so all that you think about needs to be what you *do* want and not what you don’t want.

Research, take responsibility for your Birthing Choices, and plan for the best birthing experience!


Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Childbirth Educator, and Founder of Hypnobabies Network in Cypress, CA.
She teaches Hypnobabies Childbirth classes, Hypnobabies Instructor Training Courses, Hypno-Doula Workshops, Pregnancy Nutrition and Breastfeeding workshops, Birth Hypnosis Specialty Courses and gives seminars in her community on natural pregnancy and childbirth options.
Kerry also created the Hypnobabies Home Study Course for women who need self-study options for hypnotic childbirth, and is the author of Pregnancy Hypnosis the Hypnobabies Way, The Introduction to Childbirth Hypnosis Workbook for Professionals, and The Hypno-Doula Training Workbook.
The foremost expert in Hypnosis for Childbirth, she is also an international conference speaker and lecturer.
Kerry can be reached at: (877) 55-HYPNO.

[email protected]

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