• Michelle Smith

Happy 15th HypnoAnniversary

Today marks 15 years to the day that Marie Mongan officially certified me as a HypnoBirthing Practitioner. It has been an incredible, life changing journey. I have now taught almost 600 hypnobirthing courses! (500+ hypnobirthing courses and approximately 50 refresher courses combined.) I love it as much now as when I began teaching. I am so honored and humbled to have been able to be a part in the pregnancies and birth experiences of so many families. I want to thank you for entrusting me during such a sacred time in your life. It has been such a joyful experience to work with you all! And to all the midwives, doctors, and nurses who have been supportive of Hypnobirthing and my services over the years, my sincerest appreciation.

I have learned so much in these fifteen years, and I strive to continue to keep learning, growing, and developing. I have seen HypnoBirthing grow from a somewhat obscure methodology to trendy. When I began so long ago, the big question was, "Can I really have a pain free birth?" (Yes, there are some women who have experienced that amazing reality.) Alarmingly, about 5-6 years ago, the focus became whether or not she could simply give birth vaginally versus by cesarean. Now the focus has once again returned to finding a way to feel more confident and achieve an unmedicated vaginal birth.

What I have found over the years makes hypnobirthing so valuable is it provides women with fear release techniques and genuine relaxation skills that can be used before, during, and after birth. And while I am awed and thrilled beyond words when a mama has a beautiful, gentle, and for some, even comfortable birth; I am exceedingly grateful when what I have taught helped her cope in a stressful life situation, a long or difficult labor, an induction, or a when a cesarean birth is necessary. For myself, I absolutely know what I teach helped me to stay present when the PTSD (from my childhood and the birth trauma I experienced when my first child was born) was triggered when my last baby was born 10 years ago. These skills, along with the support of my midwives, allowed me to peacefully birth my baby into water myself instead of getting lost in the triggered trauma. Being able to help parents process their fears and walk through them is a privilege I do not take lightly.

I am also very grateful that people find the sound of my voice so soothing. Having a dad nickname me "Verbal NyQuil" was the best compliments I could ever receive. I do wish I knew how to find my elementary school speech therapist and thank her. Because of her, I am using my voice to do what I love as a hypnotherapist and birth worker -- helping parents to bring their babies into the world more gently.

Thank you again to all the families, midwives, doctors, nurses, and fellow birth workers that have supported me along the way!

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