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September 21, 2010:
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What Professionals are Saying:

"It was amazing to watch someone labor with seemingly no pain!" - Laurie Perrin, Obstetrician

"This is how all births should be! Calm, focused, relaxed." - Sid Kamrava, Obstetrician

"Absolutely marvelous! I would have never believed it if I had not seen it. My client was so focused and yet so comfortable all through labor, enough to even brush her teeth at 8cms. I will definitely recommend Anne's HypnoBirthing classes to all my clients. Thank you Anne..." - Jill Colin, Certified Professional Midwife

"Wow! Your baby is so much calmer than most of the newborn babies I see. I need to learn more about HypnoBirthing!" - Lee McGarey, Pediatrician

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Another Mother's Story:

The class taught me to embrace contractions (surges). "Think of them as bear hugs," our instructor would say. For the first time in my type-A life, I learned to relax. Most of all, I learned to trust my body. With each passing week, my confidence grew. I would have no problem giving birth. It would be a magical experience. My body would know what to do. I could picture it." - Beth Fisher, 2006

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Discover HypnoBirthing:

Hypno Mom

CITY PORTRAIT, LAS VEGAS LIFE MAGAZINE, MAY 2006
edited by Kate Silver

SITTING IN A COZY TOWNHOME IN EAST LAS VEGAS, Dr. Jennifer Mallinger-Young and Anne Swanson are having a pleasant conversation, colored with words like "wonderful", "calm", "peaceful" and "amazing." Their eyes alight, smiles aglow, the two are practically giddy as they share stories about one of the best moments of their lives: giving birth.

Gone are the groans, the faces tensed with strained memory, the war stories so often associated with what many women consider the most physically painful experience they've ever endured. Even more surprising? These smiling women had their babies naturally, with no drugs. Their secret, they say, is HypnoBirthing®. It may sound like a parlor trick or a stage antic, but some followers swear by this technique (also known as the Mongan Method), which teaches women and their partners relaxation and meditation skills, along with childbirth education.

Not surprisingly, both women are used to the looks of shock and skepticism.

"I tell everybody. I tell all my patients," says Mallinger-Young, who's an optometrist. "The biggest question I get is, 'Did it really work?' Well, obviously, if I gave birth to a 9-pound-5-oz baby naturally, yes."

The main source of doubt derives from misunderstanding about hypnosis. It's not the swirling-red-glasses experience you've seen on cartoons where a suddenly zombie-like person can be controlled by others. Actual hypnosis is simply deep relaxation reached through patterns of breathing, concentration and meditation. And it's what brought these two women together.

Swanson felt no pain giving birth to her daughter, Michal, using HypnoBirthing in 2002. She was so impressed that, after declaring she couldn't wait to do it again, she became a certified HypnoBirthing practitioner in 2003 (hypnobirthinglasvegas.com).

Mallinger-Young is one of her clients. She had her daughter, Sabrina, on January 14, but you wouldn't know it from her pep and zip. That, says the working mother of three, is also thanks to the self-hypnosis lessons. Now, even if she only has 15 minutes at night to sleep, she says that she's able to put herself in a state of deep relaxation that recharges her. Gone is the grumpiness and exhaustion that she had after both of her sons, who are 5 and 2, were born. She brought her two boys into the world the more traditional way -- with the help of drugs -- and didn't like the haziness or the recovery time. After hearing friends speak so enthusiastically about giving birth naturally, she decided to try it.

"I had heard all these women who had natural birth. They talked about their birth so passionately, and, like Anne said, it's such a different experience. I wanted that different experience," say Mallinger-Young, smiling. "And I wanted to feel my baby come into the world, and I wanted to help my baby come into the world."

And it's not just a method for women who want to give birth naturally. It's also a helpful technique for those who will have drugs, and even for those who will have a C-section. Learning to reduce the stress doesn't have much of a downside. "No matter what type of birth experience is desired, being relaxed in only beneficial," says Swanson. -- Kate Silver