(This is the first in a series of e-mails Angela, posted on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group in December.  I will be posting them here approximately on the dates she sent them in December so you can see the steps she took to try to create the ideal birth for her.  It required a lot of her work on her part.  Check back to see the challenges she faced and the choices she made and what the outcome was.)

Hello all of my fellow Hypno-moms and moms to be.

I just finished the hospital tour of the place where we will be birthing (as of
now). While they say it is patient centered and focuses on the patient
experience is it a very standard -rule- treat you like your are a sick patient
type hospital and did not seem very natural friendly. I’m sure I would have had
a better experience if I had a private tour but no matter how many people I
asked they said it is not allowed and not done even by request. So this was my
only option.

I took in my sheet of questions and asked every one, even through some were
laughed at.
I didn’t think softening the lights in the birthing room would be
so funny and awkward of an idea but it gave all of the nurses at the nursing
station a laugh. I didn’t appreciate their approach to answering my questions
even though I asked them calm and nicely. Luckily I was able to keep a strong
BOP through all of the guide’s comments of “p” management, and
c-sections..etc..and all other “standard procedures” that are done on all
patients and babies.

A few questions for those of you have used Hypnobabies in hospital births. We
have given our “Birth Preferences” to our Dr. and it has been scanned into my
file. We will also be taking the copies with us to the hospital as well as all
of our hypnobabies papers for the nurses. I also have been discussing them with
all Dr.s in the practice since I really don’t know who will be on call when the
Birthing time begins.

A few questions on how to approach the hospital:

1) they say “No Video” cameras allowed but I would like to video the birthing.
Any ideas on who I should talk to or what I could do to be an exception.

2) They say only Ice chips and water during birthing time. I would like to at
least have some juice. The lady giving the tour said that pretty much anything
(smells of food, or other drinks) would make you throw up. Should I talk with my
Dr. about juices and have them sign a note or something to add to my file?

3) they showed us the bed area for birthing..and the bed position for birthing
(laying on back with feet up) and said this is the way it’s done. They do have a
“birth ball type of thing…but should I just take my own instead? Also I’m
looking at seeing if I can rent a birth stool somewhere. Anyone know if those
type of things are available?

Any other advise or encouraging stories from Hypno-moms who are or have given
birth in a hospital would be greatly appreciated!

The important thing is I have a wonderful Husband and support team (my mom- who
is a RN and dad) and a group of Doctors that is open and interested in my
hypnobirthing approach. The Doctor I met with today has heard about using
hypnosis during childbirth but has never seen it. It seems like I may be a
first for this practice and one of first if not the first to use it in
childbirth at the hospital. Here goes for trailblazing a path for future

Thank you for any advise and encouragement in advance!

38 weeks and 3 days

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  1. Our digital camera takes video. Maybe you could find a friend that has one of those and use it for video. That way it doesn’t look like a video camera. 🙂

  2. Wow, can’t wait to see how it develops. Fingers crossed!

  3. This makes me so grateful for our hospital here. It amazes me the ignorance of the nurses. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!

  4. mommymichael

    I went on a tour with my Hypnobabies students. They had their list of questions, and I would ask along with them. The nurse giving the tour said that the baby’s vaccinations were REQUIRED BY THE STATE. Making all those parents thing, there was no choice and if they didn’t do it, they were breaking a law.

    I was glad that I’d had a homebirth, and knew what was a fudge when I heard it. I said, “that’s interesting, when I had my sons – all I had to do was sign a waiver for them not to have it. Don’t you do that here?”

    She replied that we’d have to talk to our doctors about that.
    She told me later that my students and I were the only people she’s seen to ask such “hard” questions.

  5. Oh my gosh, there are so many things in her post that raise a red flag for me! I would run as far away from there as possible… but that’s me. I really hope she has a wonderful birthing experience, but it sounds like she will really need to fight for the birth she wants.

  6. What a depressing tour experience. 🙁 Poor Angela!! I hope this wasn’t indicative of her entire experience…

  7. Just for ONE thing, even ACOG itself has now okayed liquids (juice, broth) in labor. I personally feel even *that* is absurd, really, but that’s beside the point. Bring juices and a copy of ACOG’s revised guidelines, I say. (And stash snack bars in your bag anyway!)

    I fear that bringing in a birthing stool, into THAT environment, would be useless if no one is willing to attend to you on it, which seems very, very likely. Using a squat bar on the bed would be your best bet, IF their beds come equipped with them, or, perhaps better, leaning over the BACK of the bed on your knees. The squat bar is demonstrated briefly at about 1:10 here: http://www.injoyvideos.com/mothersadvocate/videos.movement.html But again, if the doctors will only deign to sit on their stool between your raised legs, you’ve got an uphill battle.


  8. Elizabeth

    Ohh sounds like my hospital 🙁 but it IS POSSIBLE to have your birth experience! As long as whoever is with you is supporting you and you remember what your goal is, you can do anything! Nobody can force you to do what you don’t want to, including signing papers for C section and such.

    Also I don’t think you’ll have someone in the room with you the WHOLE time (esp if theyre busy) so just feel free to sip ‘water’ from a SIGG bottle or something. They won’t be able to see. If you want it, have it! It wont make you throw up, puh leez! Lots of moms eat lightly during labor. How else are you supposed to have energy?
    Try honey packets too..

  9. Since Angela says her doctors are “supportive” of her hopes for the birth, I would suggest that she go back to them on the next visit and tell the doctors about her tour experience. I would ask them, what is going to happen when I get there, and you’ve signed off on dimming lights, sipping juice and trying different pushing positions, but the nursing staff finds all this laughable? I would ask the OB for advice on how to avoid a disconnect between what the hospital vs. the care providers are ok with. (And if the OB doesn’t have any suggestions or reassurance, I would personally be exploring nearby hospitals to see if the tour goes differently there).

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