Toronto, ON                                                                                              November  2007

Hb logo on blueToronto
HypnoBirthing News
published by Jennifer Elliott, HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator    416-462-1938


With one baby just four days old and an expectant mother a few days past her Guess Date, the HypnoBirthing Celebration on Oct 28 truly included the Newly Born and Nearly Born.

An older HypnoBirthing baby kept her dad busy walking (yes, she was walking at not quite 10 months!) around the room, others slept, some ate. There were babies in arms and one sitting and crawling all on his own. There were babies with very little hair, some with lots, and even a little redhead who arrived fashionably late. Babies born at home and babies born in hospital.

Parents shared their birth stories, stories that were a testament to their commitment to birthing normally, and to accepting whatever turn their birthing took. One mum commented that while we must accept  the path our birthing takes, we can decide how we respond to it.

There were a couple of remarkably quick births, some average and a few longer ones. Some were attended by midwives, others by doctors and nurses. A couple of parents even videoed their births. Some women assured us that their births were painless. One dad told us he had recited birth prompts for 12 hours. Another commented on the importance of speaking up for his wife's needs.

Expectant parents also attended. They were grateful for the birth stories that were so generously shared. One father-to-be expressed appreciation for the wide variety of births, happy to know that there wasn't one right way.

Many thanks to all who came (despite the closure of the Danforth affecting access due to the Greek Community parade). And thanks to new HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator Allison Thompson who supplied the fruit and invited her first HypnoBirthing couple!

Watch for the next gathering in 2008! We hope to see you there!

We learn to trust ourselves as parents when we trust ourselves during birth.

Peggy O'Mara,
Mothering Magazine


HB baby

Next available 5 week series begins:

 Thurs. Jan. 10
Tues. Jan. 22
Learn more:
Having another  baby?
Take your second HypnoBirthing class for half price! Attend as many classes as you like!



Ask John Tory!

On October 31, John Tory, provincial Conservative leader, became the proud grandfather of a baby boy - despite the fact that his son and daughter-in-law were expecting a girl!!!

Ultrasound has become a popular tool for diagnosis in pregnancy. It is, as the Torys found out, not always correct in its prediction. Not all technicians are equally skilled in the procedure.

Ultrasounds have also proven to be inaccurate when done to assess the baby's weight close to term, sometimes off by more than a pound!

While they are more accurate in early pregnancy to determine the age of the baby they cannot change the conception date. If you know when you became pregnant an ultrasound to confirm this may be unnecessary.

Keep in mind that the long- term effects of ultrasounds have not been thoroughly studied.  One consistent finding associated with exposure to ultrasounds is  more non-right-handedness (left handedness or ambidexterity). This may indicate damage to the baby's developing brain (unless heredity is the more likely reason).

Concern has been expressed about the effect of the ultra-high frequency sound waves on the baby. How does this affect the baby's hearing? Another concern is the number of worries an ultrasound can raise, often creating unnecessarily anxious parents and leading to more testing.

In their Clinical Practice Guidelines written in June 2005 The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommends:
Obstetric ultrasound should only be used when the potential medical benefit outweighs any theoretical or potential risk.
Make sure that you understand and accept the reason for an ultrasound. And keep it short to minimize exposure!

Remember that you have choice.  Listen to your body and your baby. Some women decide against all ultrasounds in pregnancy.


Private hypnosis sessions to
enhance fertility
cope with medical conditions,
connect with her baby,
turn a breech baby,
release fears, and
let go of disappointing birth memories.

To book an appointment
contact Jennifer at 416-462-1938 or jennifer@lifesjourney.

Purchase a CD for yourself or a friend:

Birth with Calm and Confidence

Calm and Confidence for the New Mother

Relax and Refocus

Experience mind and body relaxation and train yourself to think positively.

Destination Graduation
a great gift for your favourite university student.
These CDs are written
and recorded by Certified Hypnotist Jennifer Elliott
at Zoo Music
in Toronto

Available from



2007 HypnoBirthing Stats


births: 56


  home births: 15

intact perineums: 10

(not everyone reported)

Please send in your

Birth Reports so that your birth is included in these stats!
And remember to announce your births to your classmates.
They are waiting to hear your news!



HB logo
Are you listening?

Years ago I spent a month trekking in Nepal. After many days of walking we reached the first overnight above 3000 metres. Here we stayed for two nights, astounded by our weariness, as we acclimatized to reduced oxygen. From there on, each day we walked just 300 to 600 metres higher in altitude, spending more nights acclimatizing. Some of us had headaches; all of us found our strong bodies less capable then we had ever imagined.

Finally the day came for our final ascent, Kala Pattar (5000 M), a rocky outcropping that looked down on the Everest Base Camp and up (way up) to Mt. Everest. Reaching our chilly destination we pulled on the down jackets and hats we'd been carrying, gazed about us in wonder at the world's highest peak, took photos and ate.

About half an hour later we began our descent. Almost immediately we came upon an American man and a Sherpa. The former expressed great disappointment that there would be no one to take their picture at the top. My husband immediately offered to go back up. From my mouth came the words, "I just want to go down." I had no idea until that moment that I needed to descend to where the air was less thin, but my body knew. My body recognized its need for more oxygen and let me know I needed to go down immediately.

Our bodies are wise and they lead in so much of life if we listen. You may have noticed the messages your body has been giving you in pregnancy. Perhaps your body even let you know that you were expecting. Maybe you've been blindsided by fatigue in pregnancy, your body telling you to slow down. Perhaps you've had cravings for foods that your body and your baby need, or aversions to foods that they don't benefit from. You may even have experienced at times in your life that unsettling feeling that lets you know that something is amiss in your life and needs to be addressed. These are all opportunities to pay attention and follow the wisdom of your body.

The wisdom to birth is within you. Just as you trust your pregnant body to nourish and grow your baby, trust your body to birth your baby. Your baby participates as well; some research suggests the baby releases the hormone that triggers your body to begin labour. It is your job to tune in and follow the messages that your body and baby are giving you. As you relax deeply, you turn inward to listen to your inner wisdom. You drift more deeply inside yourself to your place of knowing and intuition - the place where your body talks.

Let your body be your guide. It will tell you when to ignore early labour surges, and when to relax deeply and let the surges of active labour wash over you. Your body will let you know
when to lie down, and when to walk, lunge or sway your hips. As you listen you'll know whether to move into the polar bear position or to relax in a bath or shower. Your body will let you know when to call your midwife, or when to go to the hospital. And your body will tell you when to breathe your baby down and into the world.

Your body, your baby - who could know better?


HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator

To forward this email to a friend click 'forward' at the bottom of this email. There is also a place to unsubscribe.


Baby Bodi

What Jennifer's clients have said about their HypnoBirths:

"I didn't talk to anyone during labour. I shut
everything out. No one knew I was dilating. I give
100% credit for my natural birth to HypnoBirthing. I cannot thank HypnoBirthing enough."
- Firy

"The HypnoBirthing course gave us the confidence to
enter the birth without fear or doubt. I was never once offered pain medication and did not think about it. The course empowered Shane to give me the help I
needed, and when I needed it the most. I feel the
HypnoBirthing experience brought out the best in both of us. I'm lucky to have taken the course."


"The birth could not have gone better! We planned for
a home water birth and that's what we did! The
HypnoBirthing was invaluable. I attribute the smooth, relatively quick birth (active labour 4.5 hours) to the focus and breathing techniques in the program."

- Elissa

"I had the most positive and wonderful birth experience. I will never forget the birth of my daughter. I experienced no pain after the birth and was able to enjoy my daughter and being a mother without having to nurse my own wounds. I am so glad that I took the HypnoBirthing course and practiced diligently." 

- Jana

"There are not enough adjectives in the English language to describe how empowering and mind-freeing this program has been for us."
- Cindy

"Thank you Jennifer for a great class! Pat and I are confident in our abilities to have a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for our new arrival!"



Artificially Releasing Membranes
Does NOT Speed Labour

New Research found no shortening of the length of the first stage of labour when a midwife or doctor broke a woman's membranes to release the amniotic fluid. This Review of 14 Randomised Control Trials was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews on
October 17, 2007.

Membranes may spontaneously release before labour or any time in labour, including second stage. Most commonly the waters will release during late active labour but it is possible for the baby to be born in the caul (still in the sac). At this point the membranes should be torn so that the baby can make the transition to breathing air.

Intentionally releasing a woman's membranes (or breaking the waters as it is commonly known) is a common intervention. Many caregivers practise Active Management of Labour, an approach that encourages interventions if labour is not proceeding at a recommended pace (about one cm dilation, or more, every two hours). This study argues against routinely releasing the membranes to speed labour.

The authors found that routine amniotomy (releasing the waters by tearing the membranes intentionally with a crochet-like long  plastic hook during a vaginal exam) should not be recommended for normally progressing labours, or in labours which have become prolonged.

The researchers further state that there are potential adverse effects on the woman and baby, such as problems with the umbilical cord or the baby's heart rate. The authors recommend that the evidence presented in this review be part of a discussion if an amniotomy is suggested by their caregiver.


Toby Neal is a doula and Classical Homeopath. She has a general family practice with a special focus on pregnancy and birth. Here she shares common homeopathic remedies for the childbearing year. Some may be familiar to your midwife.


Homeopathy in Childbirth

I was fortunate during my pregnancies to already know the benefits of Homeopathy. Thankfully, for my babies, and me, most of the risks involved with any medical choices I had to make, were avoided with the use of Homeopathy. Homeopathy is a gentle form of medicine, safe for both mom and baby.  In using Homeopathy, you are working with your body, allowing your immune system to work, to heal itself. Therefore, Homeopathy will strengthen your immune system, and bring about balance to your health, both physically and psychologically.

A little back ground. Homeopathy was founded in 1796 by Doctor Samuel Hahnemann. It has since been used to treat all manners of illness. Today Homeopathy has gained popularity all over the world and is used extensively as the norm throughout Europe and India. Over the years Homeopaths have noticed that patients who have been treated before the birth (and even better, before pregnancy) have had much healthier outcomes, and their children have been witnessed as being overall healthier.

For six and a half years I have treated women through pregnancy and birth, and whether it is morning sickness, varicose veins, miscarriage, pre-eclampsia, premature labor, non-progressing labor, hemorrhage, postpartum recovery or any of the other mild to severe possible complications, taking the right remedy makes a world of difference!

While treatment by a trained Homeopath is best, you can try some things at home. Following are just some of the possible remedies and their indications.

Morning sickness:
    This can really mean sickness any time of the day.  Mild nausea in the morning during the 1st trimester can be common and normal, but nausea that persists through the day and is out of proportion can be addressed with a remedy and proper diet.

Possible remedies and their indications:
    Ipecac: Persistent, constant nausea, that is anytime of the day and night You may have profuse salivation, and are turned off by all food and drink. There could be vomiting of drink and undigested food and nothing makes you feel better!

    Colchium: Nausea can last all day but you cannot touch or think about food, extremely sensitive to odors. You are worse from smell of food, especially cooking food, fish and eggs. Also worse in the evenings and from motion.  Better: legs drawn up

    Sepia: You get nauseous at the smell, sight or thought of food, you are unrelieved by vomiting, have a bitter taste in your mouth. You are hungry and crave sour or     acidic things. While vomiting there is a bearing down sensation. You are worse in the morning, especially after rising and in the evening after 6pm. Eating may bring you some temporary relief but you have to force feed yourself. This remedy is also indicated when you feel some regret about the pregnancy, or are indifferent or depressed and weepy.

    Nux-Vomica: Is indicated with acidic and bitter burping, hiccough, & heartburn. There is a sensation of weight in the pit of the stomach, cramps with retching.
Craving for chalk or earth. There may also be constipation, with urging to move the bowels. Vomiting with vertigo, restlessness, and irritability but vomiting brings relief. Your stomach may be sensitive to pressure. Your temper is touchy and you are irritable. This is all worse: morning, and after eating.
Common remedies for getting labor going when there is a slow start:

Pulsatilla: Labor is slowly progressing, there is an absence of marked contractions; feeble, things seem "stuck" or changing; weak one minute, strong the next.  Pains wander or move about. Emotionally you are weepy, indecisive, concerned about the baby, needing love and attention. You are sensitive to the pain but like fresh air and walking about.

Gelsemium: This remedy is important when there is nervous, performance anxiety. An excellent choice when labor stops on arrival to the hospital. You may be exhausted, sleepy even though labor has just begun. Also indicated when labor has been many hours with no real results.  Chills are common, up the back (nervousness). Red, flushed, heavy expression, with weakness, apathetic, dull, drowsy behavior. It may seem as though the baby ascends instead of descends. Pains shoot up the back or from back to hips. An underlying fear of losing control is often present.

Caulophyllum: Labor seems to be ineffectual, your contractions weak and feeble, they seem to fly about. Or you may have spasmodic hard contractions but there is no dilation. You may feel prickling pains, are often thirsty, shivering, maybe even feverish. You may notice a lot of secretion of blood and mucus.

Cimicifuga: No progression, misplaced pains felt in hips, buttocks, back (large muscles). Spasmodic contractions. You are constantly chatting, but kind, not sharp tongued. You may sigh often, have nervous chills and shivering. You are sensitive to noise.

How to take these remedies: choose the one that is the closest match for you, a 30c potency is a good place to start. Put 2 pellets under your tongue then wait and see. If you are not noticing any change you can repeat the dose every 10 minutes. If after 5 doses there is no change then discontinue; it is likely not the right remedy for you.

Your recovery can be greatly enhanced with these remedies;
    Arnica  - One dose every hour for the first 3 hours then every four hours for the rest of the day (24 hours).
    -Day 2 if still feeling sore take arnica 3X/day. Continue as needed for bruising, sore muscles and aching pains

    Bellis Perennis - Day one - one dose every 4 hours
      -Day two - one dose every 6 hours
  -Day three and on- Use as needed every 6 hours for internal bruising, pain, tenderness, especially in the abdominal region

    Hypericum - Day one - one dose every 4 hours
           -Day two - one dose every 6 hours
           -Day 3 and on - use as needed for discomfort in your back, headaches from epidural, tearing or if it was necessary for an episiotomy.

    Calendula - Tincture - Dropper full in your peri-bottle every time you use it. Also can be used to wash cesarean incisions and speed healing. 
    -Cream- use as needed on episiotomy or c-section incisions. Also is the best thing (besides plenty of airing out) for diaper rash.

Birth is a normal natural process. Homeopathy encourages your body to do what it already knows how to do. Having homeopathy in your life means having safe and healthy choices.

Toby Neal, D.S.H.M, regularly teaches classes on how to use homeopathy at home. She can be reached at 416-659-1516 or


The November-December issue of Mothering includes one woman's journey through the decisions and challenges of pregnancy and birth. She and her husband found what she calls their 'emotional courage' and made the changes in their care arrangements to best support the birth they wanted. They found a birth centre staffed by midwives and left their Obstetrician. And they discovered HypnoBirthing! She describes her short (3 1/2 hours) beautiful Hypnobirth.

In making her choices, author Cynthia Overgard says, "Eventually we quieted the outside noise and discovered our own aticulate voices... It is the right of every woman to pursue her own child's birth ... wth the information, honor and freedom to which she is entitiled."

Mothering is an American magazine promoting Natural Family Living. Articles and letters offer support for natural birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering and many other parenting topics. Mothering is available in health food stores and some baby stores. See for more information.

The same issue includes a tribute to Toronto's own Dr. Jack Newman, an internationally known breastfeeding expert. He runs a breastfeeding clinic in Toronto to assist new families with breastfeeding challenges. He and his staff also offer prenatal consults. For more information:

Those willing to conquer the fear our culture has falsely instilled in us will change the face of what it means to birth safely, gently and with dignity. We'll see it when we believe it."
Kim Wildner, HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator and author