holding newborn baby

The Power of Hypnobababies

Interested in the concept of hypnobirth or how to achieve a pain-free birth experience? Today we’re exploring all things scrunchy birth with Kerry Tuschoff, founder of Hypnobabies. Whether you are curious about the concept of hypnosis, desire a peaceful pregnancy, or want to feel more empowered during childbirth and beyond – this episode is for you. 

Join us as Kerry dives into her birth story and how it led her to create Hypnobabies along with tips we can use to have a mindful birth. Shari shares how the hypnosis tracks have helped her beyond birth and how she implements them into her life for peaceful parenting. This episode will remind you to advocate for yourself and trust your intuition above all.

Tune in and then make sure to use code NP20 for 20% off all online orders at Hypnobabies!

Listen to the Podcast

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

[01:44] About Kerry Tuschoff

[02:12] Why Kerry created hypnobabies

[09:37] We are all in a state of hypnosis during different points of the day

[13:59] Hypnosis starts with physical relaxation

[15:42] How hypnosis works – addressing the conscious and subconscious mind

[17:39] The difference between meditation and hypnosis

[18:48] How the Hypnobabies program works 

[24:54] How Hypnobabies has helped Shari outside of childbirth

[27:10] Being educated and empowered during pregnancy and beyond

[31:36] “Change of plans” Hypnobabies track

[33:17] Additional tracks in Hypnobabies – eliminating nausea, fear of childbirth, breastfeeding, etc

[37:50] “Believe in yourself, you are fully capable of understanding what you and your baby need”

About Kerry Tuschhoff

Kerry Tuschhoff is the founder and director of Hypnobabies Hypnobirthing Childbirth Education. Kerry has loved being a childbirth and hypnobirth educator, doula, speaker, and hypnotherapist for over 30 years. Teaching families to trust in their minds, bodies, babies, and the process of childbirth is her passion, and hearing healing birth stories is her joy! Educating people who need change and healing, about the life-altering benefits of therapeutic hypnosis for many physical, emotional, and financial issues is also paramount to Kerry.

The Hypnobabies Beginning

When Kerry got married, a friend of hers gave birth unmedicated with The Bradly Method. She was completely fascinated because she never heard of anyone doing this. Her friend said that although it hurt a lot, she was able to do it. Kerry then started to look into The Bradly Method and wanted to become an instructor. She realized that they had incredible information on nutrition, exercise, staying healthy, and deep relaxation. As she became an instructor, she would go to her student’s birth as a doula and even though they were in pain, she thought “Well, this is manageable.”

Then Kerry got pregnant and she thought she knew everything there was to know about having a baby. She went into labor and experienced excruciating pain for 26 hours. She ended up going to a hospital and had an epidural. She did not have the unmedicated birth that she was dreaming of and the pain traumatized her. When she was a birth instructor, she thought that everyone should have an unmedicated birth but this opened up her eyes to the perspective and choices that people make.

Kerry ended up using hypnosis to recover from this birth trauma and four years later she gave birth to her son. This was a seven-hour labor where she experienced excruciating pain again. Her husband, sister, and midwife were all helping her during her contractions and her sister said to her “It should never have to be this hard.” This was the moment when a light bulb went off in Kerry’s head. She was going to find a way to make sure that no one suffered like this.

She came across a TV show where a doctor was helping women have babies with hypnosis and even though it was not pain-free, it was much easier. She then found an organization that taught hypnosis for childbirth so she took the hypnobirth training and started teaching it. She went to her student’s child births and they were still having pain. Kerry realized that there was not enough hypnosis in the birthing process.

She ended up becoming a hypnotherapist and studied hypnoanesthesia. This is used when someone who needs to undergo surgery is allergic to medical anesthetics. They work with a hypnotherapist ahead of time and when they go into surgery, they do not feel the extreme pain. This led her to find Gerald Kein’s Painless Childbirth Program and 22 years ago she created Hypnobabies using medical-grade hypnosis.

You Use Hypnosis Daily

Kerry shares that when most people think of hypnosis, they think about magic shows but this is entertainment and not what therapeutic hypnosis is. Hypnosis is a very focused form of concentration. Kerry reminds us that each one of us is in a state of hypnosis during different times in our day. When we fall asleep, when we are waking up, when we are reading anything, we are in a state of hypnosis. Anytime we are watching a screen for a short period of time, we are in the alpha state of hypnosis which is a lighter state. Hypnosis is a natural state and there is nothing weird, religious, or new age about it. 

Kerry shares that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis and you choose to enter it, stay in it, accept the suggestions and messages, and choose to emerge out of it. You are 100% in control all of the time. It is also important to know that therapeutic hypnosis can help with almost anything. If you wanted to eliminate a phobia or the fear of childbirth, you would go to a hypnotherapist who could guide you down into a deeper state of hypnosis.

Physical Relaxation is Key

All hypnosis starts with physical relaxation, this is included in all of the tracks in Hypnobabies. For ultimate relaxation, you have to be in a supported position where your head and body are completely relaxed and supported. You cannot be moving around, watching TV, or even doing yoga. Deep relaxation is relaxing even the tiniest of muscles from the top of your head down to the tip of your toes. Then once your body is completely relaxed, you can relax your mind. 

There are different ways that you can be led into hypnosis including, counting backward, imagining walking down steps, or going down an elevator to different levels. This gets your mind away from things that you would normally think. Then you can completely relax your mind and go into the deep state of hypnosis where changes can be made. 

Addressing the Conscious & Subconscious Mind

When we think about our mind, our conscious mind is at the top, our subconscious mind is at the bottom, and in between there is something called the “critical faculty.” We need this last part to “take a nap” and we do that with hypnosis. By deepening and going down the levels, we can get to the button (the subconscious mind) and this is where everything we have ever done, seen, heard, and experienced is. This is what creates our belief system.

Once we are there in this deep state of hypnosis, we can give our subconscious mind suggestions. Then every day, we need to keep “updating the software.” This is where we give the same suggestions over and over again for weeks until the subconscious mind keeps the message. With hypnoanesthesia, we need to do that in a series of audio tracks that build upon each other for six weeks. Then we bring back all of the cues you have learned and you are retrained with them at the end. We want to keep these techniques, thoughts, and words in our subconscious mind. 

Hypnobabies podcast interview

Meditation or Hypnosis?

Although meditation is similar to hypnosis, they are not the same. In meditation, people usually have a mantra, a word that means something to them, or they want to clear their minds. In hypnosis, you are going much deeper. When you do that, you retrain the subconscious and conscious mind.

The How of Hypnobabies

Kerry shares with us that the Hypnobabies program is a childbirth education course that also retrains the conscious mind. This program teaches:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Staying healthy
  • All the stages of birthing (and the comfort measures you can take)
  • All of the benefits and risks of the common interventions that you could come across

She reminds us that we are in charge of our own pregnancy journeys. No one can ever make you do anything in pregnancy, birth, postpartum, or your baby’s care. Some materials tell you why you are doing certain hypnosis tracks and there are pregnancy affirmations that you can listen to at any time. You’re encouraged to listen to the affirmations while you are driving, playing with your other children, cooking, or anything else. This will help retrain the conscious mind that pregnancy is a wonderful thing and it is going to go well. When you hear these things from the outside, you will have a more positive state of mind. It will also help to counteract negative stories that other people will tell you about. 

Reframing Your Mindset

The synapses in your brain change with every thought you think so if you are allowing people’s negative words and messages in, your brain will adapt to that. This is why it is important to have positive thinking. You want to make sure that you dwell on what it is that you want for your birth because your subconscious mind will know what you want and do everything it can to create it. Make sure not to focus on “I don’t want” statements because your subconscious mind does not process negatives. Instead, it will hear “I want” and then the thing you don’t want.

This is where the joyful pregnancy affirmations come in because they can help you think about what it is that you want. Hypnobabies also has a full birth visualization track that you can use every day to bring in the behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs that are going to get you to where you want to go. Keep your mind on the things you want, not the things you fear. 

Hypnobabies Beyond Birth

Shari shares that she uses the fear cleansing track because it helps during those times that fear comes in, whether that is during birth or another season of life. Many of the tracks in Hypnobabies transcend childbirth. When Shari feels overwhelmed by gentle parenting, she goes back and uses the “Bubble of Peace” track and it can relax her because she already has this wired within her subconscious from using it before. 

She also loves that Hypnobabies focuses on self-advocacy because first-time moms are usually not taught how to self-advocate. Throughout the entire Hypnobabies program, they lay out what your options are and how you can choose what you want for your birth. Even if you have had a baby before, it is a reminder that this is your birth and you can experience it how you desire. 

Self Advocacy Through Choices

Kerry shares that the most important thing that anyone can learn when preparing for childbirth is that there are going to be many choices. They will be offering you different tests and exams and you have the right to decline anything that does not feel right for you. You may want to decline a test because it is invasive, unnecessary, and is not going to give you any information that is actually going to help. 

For example, an internal test could introduce bacteria in and around the cervix where it was just sterile a minute ago. It could break your water and they could even do a cervical sweep without asking. This could cause even more bacteria in there. There are risks to these things and in Hypnobabies, we teach you these associated risks and remind you that you have the right to decline any test that they are asking you to take. 

Kerry also teaches the many choices in birthing and the risks associated with them. A lot of times when people go into the hospital they will say that they need an IV but not everyone needs an IV. Hypnobabies teach them to ask questions like “What are the benefits? What are the risks? What are the alternatives to having an IV? What are we doing it for? What if we do nothing?” Then once you get the information, you can decide. 

Most people do not realize that as the patient, you have rights to what you say yes and no to, and the right to ask questions about it. The medical staff might have you sign a paper, called AMA (against medical advice) so they are relieved of the responsibility by your choice, but Kerry reminds us that we are intelligent and know what is right for us and our baby. 

Coping When Plans Change

Kerry suggests making a list of the things that are important to you at birth because then you can see what the interventions are and make a birth plan. If complications arise, you can use the “change of plans” track so you can physically and emotionally flow with the changes. Creating a birth plan does not mean that you are inflexible, it means that you are educated and empowered to make your own choices. This also included postpartum and with your baby’s care. She reminds us that we are 100% in charge. 

More Ways Hypnobabies Helps Parents

As Hypnobabies advanced, their students started to ask for different tracks. They desired some to help eliminate nausea at the beginning of pregnancy, to eliminate their fear of childbirth, and they even created a track for COVID. They have one that aims to eliminate pregnancy insomnia and helps you adjust to the baby’s movements during the night. There is a breastfeeding course that shows you how to breastfeed and then you have a breastfeeding success track that goes along with this to help you relax even deeper. They also have weight release, emotional eating, a twin-track, and many more people as their students recommend them. 

They created an “After Your Baby Comes” track to help you sleep in sync with your baby and bring confidence as a new mother. You will find that many people are telling you what to believe and what you should and should not do, but Hypnobabies is here to empower you to make your own decisions. 

Believe in Yourself

Kerry reminds us to believe that we are fully capable of understanding what both we and our baby need whether this is during pregnancy, after, or both. We have to find and keep faith in ourselves and Hypnobabies teach moms to “stay in their bubble of peace”. We can use these words to deeply relax when we are feeling stressed and even if we do not take Hypnobabies, Kerry reminds us to just breathe. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth and say to yourself, “My knowledge, confidence, and intuition are enough.”

Resources mentioned:

Hypnobabies: Use code NP20 for 20% off 

Connect with Kerry: 

Website: https://www.hypnobabies.com/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@hypnobabiesofficial_

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hypnobabiesofficial_/

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