HypnoBirthing® Burlington

The following birth stories are shared by the local HypnoBirthing Mamas. Thank you for embodying empowerment and inspiration.  

Karen's birthing of Audrey

We had a baby girl at home on Sunday afternoon, she arrived at 2pm weighing 6lbs 9oz. What a magical experience! My husband and I can't stop talking about what an amazing experience it was. 

I had signs that labour was going to begin (bloody show) at about 2:30 am, at 5:30am we paged our midwives and my contractions were 5min apart, lasting up to 1 min for an hour. I was in pre labour; we were to page back when they were 2-3 min apart. I laboured in and out of our bath tub, and in our living room listening to music with my husband supporting me through each surge. I used my breath to help me work through each surge and they melted away. At 11:30 am our midwife called us wondering what was happening with my labour, I was working through each surge with ease, but at this point I was not able to talk through the surge. She thought she should come and check me out. 

When she arrived I was labouring in the living room, we moved to the bedroom and upon checking me I was 9 cm dilated and my cervix was fully thinned. My husband was boiling water and getting the inflatable tub set up for the birth. I spent the last part of labour in an inflatable pool, which was set up in our daughter’s room. The water was so soothing and helped manage the surges. My husband was such an amazing birthing companion; we worked well as a team.

By 2:03 pm Audrey was in our arms and we were admiring our new bundle of joy. We spent the next hour bonding and admiring our precious baby girl and the magical day we had just had birthing our baby. I have no doubt that Yoga combined with our preparation (HypnoBirthing) provided the ground work for an amazing birth experience.  Looking forward to seeing you at Mom and Baby yoga!


Jacey's birthing of Vera

Just wanted to let you know that our daughter, Vera Anne Steltman, was born on September 28th. She weighed 9lbs 3oz (9 days past my estimated delivery date). Our experience with Burlington Midwives and Joseph Brant Hospital were great and Hypnobirthing was a huge help!
My Birth Story:
My water broke at 4:30am and I waited until 9 to page my midwife, Kaelyn, who had us meet her at the clinic at 11 to check things out. She was all ready to send me home to wait for contractions to start when she took my blood pressure and realized that it was just slightly higher than it should have been. She had to recommend that we go to the hospital to consult with the OB and warned me that they would almost certainly recommend that I start on a pitocin IV to get labour started. My sister was in town (hoping to be at the birth) and her flight was leaving that evening. She decided to postpone her flight home to Manitoba for one more day and I decided to induce labour so that she could be there with Cameron and me (she is in her final year of Nursing and wants to focus on Labour and Delivery when she graduates). 

Things were great until the OB came in and started the IV and broke my forewaters. Her name was Dr. Sorakis and she was lovely and knowledgeable but as soon as she left the room I went from slight cramping to full on active labour. I lasted about an hour before I said that I needed something for the pain and probably an epidural. Kaelyn brought the gas in but said that we should wait for a little while to request an epidural and see how dilated I was because she knew it wasn't what I wanted originally. Cameron suggested that I try my hypnobirthing tracks and I said "No thanks - that isn't going to work. Being induced is making my contractions too much.". Luckily, Cameron persisted and found the Marie Mongon relaxation track on my ipod and said "I'll just put the headphones in your ears and if you don't like it just take them out and I'll put the ipod away." He put the headphones in and he and my sister couldn't believe the effect. They said my shoulders and hands totally relaxed and my blood pressure went down to a regular rate when Kaelyn checked. I could still feel the surges but my body was able to relax and I was able to stay calm and have Cameron and my sister help me by pressing on my hips as I sat on the birthing ball. It also helped to do my breathing and make low, low sounds as I exhaled. At some points all three of us were making low sounds as I exhaled but my sister said she couldn't keep up because I'd been practicing drawing my breath out all summer. 

My labour went very quickly (5 hours) and the midwife called the secondary midwife and student when I was 9 cm thinking it would be about an hour. I went to the bathroom and suddenly called out that I had an uncontrollable urge to push. By the time I walked back to the bed I was fully dialated and my midwife had to ask my sister to go to the nursing station and request a nurse just in case I delivered before the other midwife arrived. About 5 minutes later, the nurse came into the room, introduced herself and I had to start pushing. 5 pushes later and our baby was on my chest. As soon as I had her on my chest I felt an indescribable sense of relief and euphoria. There was a small crowd in the room as I delivered the placenta and got a few stitches (midwife, my birthing companions, nurse, secondary midwife, student midwife, and my family doctor who happened to be there at another patient's birth) and I couldn't have cared less (I'm not normally that uninhibited) . I was chatting away to everyone and just so happy and excited. 

Kaelyn told me that I was her first "Hypnobirther" to be induced with pitocin and she was very impressed at how well it worked to help me cope. I'm really glad that I chose not to have the epidural because the experience of feeling her being born and the release ofendorphins afterward was so incredible. My recovery has been quite good and Vera is very good natured. Cameron said the other day that he thought maybe she was so content because of all of the meditations I did while pregnant and the fact that I was so relaxed during her birth. 

Thank you so much, Dominique, for sharing your knowledge with us and helping us to have such a great birth! 

Lisa's birthing of Colin

This is my second birth story and a  much more happier than my first, which I found to be a traumatic experience. 

My journey started out on the Monday.  I figured I was nearing the end of my pregnancy as I was exhausted beyond belief.  I remembered feeling like this with my first son.  Went to Locke St bakery and had a labour bagel (mostly all women go into labour when they eat this bagel). I didn't, however, I had the best sleep in years that night.  I woke up refreshed and started my day.  This day was actually 2 ultrasound due date and the full moon.  My first son was born on a full moon so we guessed and prepared for today as the due date.  I went to pick something up and squatted down and minutes later I couldn't walk at all.  The pain in my leg was annoying and something I hadn't felt in a week or so. I was getting worried as I was wondering how I was going to labour like this.  I went to the chiropractor I told him I was done being pregnant at this point and I could barely walk please help. He said baby has dropped down even more than the day before. He could barely work on me as I could barely move.  He smiled and said he thinks things are starting and not to be scared, remain calm and move around as much as you can (ya right).  

After the adjustment my mom, son and I went out for lunch.  I ordered a labour sandwich (why not try again) and then went to my midwife appointment.  I asked her to check things down there as the week before the midwife said things were starting to soften and open up.  She had to move cervix forward (ouch) but said it would definitely help speed things along in labour and could also start labour (I was happy to hear that an gladly continued with the painful technique).  Went home and got my mom to read the fear release script.  Minutes later I swear I felt what would have been my first surge (I was walking better at this point and went to walk up the stairs and my back went a bit stiff, the pain was a negative zero but later on realized things were starting).  

This stiffness would come and go didn't think much of it as the week before I had braxton hicks and nothing.  This was different though.  About an hour later my show started to come out.  I actually thought it was my water breaking but it wasn't  ( which I was much grateful for as I was GBS positive and would have to go straight to the hospital). I called the midwife she said the show could be watery especially after the technique she did earlier.  The trickling stopped so did the very minor stiffness.  I got my mom to read the fear release script again I took a shower, had dinner and walked aimlessly around my house. My husband did a couple of rounds of acupressure points and after the second round my surges started to minutely intensify.  I probably would not have noticed the surges if I hadn't been watching my body closely wondering if they were in fact a surge. Over the next few hours I walked around my house aimlessly giggling as my husband and sister in law watched me. Nothing really happening but thought hey why not try to get things going.  by 11pm I decided to go to bed and I got into bed and 11:30pm felt my first real surge. I thought great now I have to start timing.  I continued to walk around then rock in my chair and tried to rest too. 

Over the next hour and a half they intensified and and came closer together very fast.  I decided to call the midwife and say time to go tot the hospital to prepare my room for Hypnobirthing.  I layed on the bed put my cd in moaned through the surges.  Called the midwife at about 6-8 min apart 20 min later when she arrived they were about 3 min apart 7 cm dilated and in transition.  Tried to make my way downstairs and into the car.  Ate a banana and had full conversation on route to the hospital.  Husband was in shock and laughed.  Got to hospital not even 5 min later contractions 2-3 min apart got upstairs about 1-2 min apart.  No one could believe how relaxed I was.  My body was a dead weight and in between surges which were about 1 min apart if that I would just fall asleep (well that's what it looked like, just zoned out in an otherwise hectic environment.)  Lights were on everyone talking people poking with an IV it was crazy got mad at the lights and talking. I would come out of hypnosis and as soon as someone mentioned breathe or calm down I would instantly calm down.  Couldn't hear the cd at all but just did my best.  4:05am on Wednesday my beautiful boy was born.  

Since I found out I was pregnant I started making my own affirmations before even reading the Hypnobirthing book.  They were and along with the ones in the book:  
1) My water will not break till the end- This totally happened it broke as he was emerging saw the whole to prove
2) Wanted to have a great night sleep before starting labour- this happened too
3) Wanted a shorter labour-from first major surge to time of birth 4.5 hrs.-  First birth process 30 hrs 17 hrs active labour but felt like 24 hrs of active labour.
4) Wanted to be relaxed and calm-happened which is great for me a very anxious person
5) Wanted a private room-happened for stay
6) Did not want to tear like I did last time-Yeah happened too
7) Hope for a baby under 9 lbs- yes a weird one but first son was 9,7 healthy just a weird request because need him to last in his bucket seat longer than Kyle did. Colin was 8 12 hehe.

Yes I know a very long testimonial, however, I was so happy with my experience I tend to over talk it. I had prayed a lot for the experience I wanted this time and from the beginning was blessed to have a team of support that literally fell together like it was meant to be.  I don't think I would have managed as well as I did without Hypnobirthing  Thank you so much Dominique.

Lisa Gravitis

Karyn's birthing of Regan

Regan Ireland jumped feet-first into the world on Tuesday, August 30th,2011  after about 6 hours or so of active labour, and only about 10 minutes of actual birthing.


Despite everyone’s best efforts, Regan remained a breech baby right to the end.  We had several consultations with the OB, and after many discussions of the potential risks (from his perspective) and rewards (from our perspective and the midwife’s), we decided to go ahead with an attempt at a vaginal birth.  In Canada, vaginal breech births have only been ‘allowed’ recently since 2009 (for at least 10 years or more before all breech babies were delivered by C-section), so there aren’t many OBs who are trained to assist a vaginal breech birth, and the Burlington midwives are not trained either for planned breech births.  Luckily our midwife was able to refer us to one of the few OBs in Burlington who had been trained in breeches, simply because he has been practicing for so long, since before breech births were considered abnormal/risky and needed automatic sectioning. 

 Because we knew that about half of the OBs in the on-call rotation at Joseph Brant were “breech-unfriendly” (meaning that if I were to come in to the hospital in labour while they were working, they would C-section me automatically), we decided to schedule induction for a day when our OB would be in the hospital. We figured that the possibility of C-section with induction was less than the possibility of C-section with an unknown or ‘unfriendly’ OB.  We met with our OB on Monday the 29th (I was 41 weeks at that point) and scheduled the induction for the following morning (Tuesday the 30th).

 However, our prayers were answered when I went into labour all on my own on Monday evening!  I had been feeling twinge-like sensations very low in my pelvis periodically throughout the day, but had been ignoring them because I didn’t think they were surges; I just thought that I was having some constipation!  When John got home from work on Monday, I mentioned them to him, and we decided to start timing them, just in case.  I was able to use the Hypnobirthing techniques to remain relaxed through the sensations – and I really wasn’t feeling any pain anyway.

 We called our midwife at around 10:00 in the evening to let her know that we thought that I might be in labour.  At this point the surges weren’t very strong or very regular, so she advised us to go to bed, and she’d meet us at the hospital the following morning to be there for our scheduled induction, which we might not even need. 

 I was able to sleep until about midnight, when I was awoken by a stronger surge.  The sensations were coming more regularly at this point, so I went downstairs and tried lying on the couch to breathe through the surges so that John could try to get some more sleep.  At about 3:00 am it felt like the baby was trying to either turn herself around, or break out sideways!  She was pressing and punching on my sides, and kicking at my cervix, and it was all I could do to stay calm.  I was ‘singing’/humming/moaning on my exhalations to maintain my focus, which kept John awake anyway.  He came downstairs and encouraged me to sit on the birthing ball and lean forward, which helped a little, although I couldn’t remain in one position for very long.

 We called our midwife again at around 4:30 to let her know that things seemed to be progressing; I went through a couple of contractions with her on the phone, and she could tell by my breathing and my voice that I was in active labour.  She arrived some time after 5:00 a.m. and after checking me, she announced that I was about 4 cm dilated, and that when she checked, she was feeling toes – not a bum.  I had gone for two biophysical profiles & ultrasounds in the previous 4 days, and each time the ultrasound technician had thought that the baby’s feet were closer to my cervix than the bum was.  The midwife explained that this might present an additional wrinkle for delivery, although she reassured us that often as the baby’s bum gets pushed down by contractions, the feet get pushed up, more into a frank breech posture.  Frank breech is generally considered to be a more favourable position for breech birth than complete breech, and definitely more favourable than footling, which in most cases puts the mother into an automatic C-section.  The risk with a footling presentation is that the umbilical cord can prolapse, or come down with one of the feet, which can cause the cord to be compressed and cut off the flow of oxygen to the baby.

 We headed off to the hospital and arrived just before 6:30 a.m.  Our midwife asked to have the previous night’s OB, who was just finishing up her shift, check me out and give us her opinion.  Rhea explained that this OB was generally in favour of vaginal breech births.  However, when the OB checked me, she uttered the words I didn’t want to hear:  “If you were my patient, I’d section you right now.”  She thought that the footling presentation was too risky, especially so because I am a first-time mother with an ‘unproven pelvis’.  Our hearts sank, and the vaginal birth versus C-section decision was once again before us.  I can’t count how many times this discussion had come up in the previous 4 weeks, since we had learned that our baby was breech.  I was in some pain by this point, and was in no mood to have to make any more decisions.  Just as I was about to give in and say, “Let’s just get this baby out; let’s have a C-section,” John said, “Okay, we’ve gotten to this point.  Let’s wait until our OB comes in and checks you in an hour.  We’ll see what he says.  If you haven’t made any more progress, then we’ll consider a C-section; but if he says that you’ve dilated more and he’s comfortable with the presentation, then let’s go ahead as planned.”

 Our OB came in about an hour or so later, checked me, and said that I was 7-8 cm dilated, and he didn’t see any reason for us not to go ahead.  He said that he would probably need to use forceps to assist the delivery, and recommended that I have an epidural, to “take the edge off,” as he put it.  I was trying to breathe through the surges, which were coming harder and closer together at this point, and finally agreed to the epidural, if only to just have some peace and quiet without having to make more decisions.  I think that I must have been in transition at this point.

 Soon the anaesthetist came in, and John was sent out of the room so the epidural catheter could be put in my spine. This was the hardest part, because until that point John had been by my side the entire time, talking me through surges and holding my hand.  After the catheter had been put in, I began a hard contraction and found that all of the labour team had dispersed to take care of various preparations, and I was on my own.  There was nobody else in the labour room with me!  I called out for someone to please help me, and John, who had been quietly going out of his mind outside the door while the epidural was administered, came charging in, reminding me to breathe.  Shortly afterwards my water broke and I started to feel the need to push, and I was wheeled down to the operating room, which had been set up in case we had to resort to an emergency C-section.

 I was made to get off of the bed in which I had been lying, and shimmy on to an operating table. This was a comedy of errors, with me in full-on labour being asked to scoot down on the table several times, and then only to find out that I was too far down and to scoot back up again.  John, in frustration, asked the team loudly, in a half-joking tone, “You guys have done this before, right?”  My body was involuntarily bearing down, and I called out that I needed to push.  Nobody told me that yes, I could push, so I tried to breathe through the feeling, keeping in mind the Hypnobirthing instructions to breathe the baby down.  The epidural had not taken any effect, so I could easily feel the baby moving down the birth canal. 

 Once again the medical team had dispersed to various corners of the room to make their final preparations, and as John was moving around the table to come to my other side where he would be out of the way of the various machines that had been brought out, he looked down and saw that one of our baby’s feet had come out already, and yelled, “I see a foot!”  Suddenly everyone descended around my table and our moment had arrived.  Our baby was born very quickly, after a very short period of actual pushing (the doctor did eventually tell me that I needed to push, to get the baby out quickly).  I remember the doctor talking about doing a small episiotomy, and I managed to grunt out, “No…episiotomy….no…episiotomy.”  As it turned out, the doctor did not need to use forceps, and made only a few slight adjustments to the baby’s positioning as she exited my body.  I had a very small (first degree) tear in the skin of my perineum, and I’m convinced that the perineal massage and stretching that we had been doing for the 8 weeks or so prior to delivery was a huge factor in my being able to birth the baby with very little in the way of injury to myself.

 After the baby was born, the cord was cut and baby was placed briefly on my chest.  I remember hearing a couple of coughs, and then baby was whisked away to the resuscitation table.  I had to ask if it was a boy or a girl.  The room was nearly silent, although there were 10 people in the room, not including John and I.  Someone said that it was a girl, and I began calling out, “Regan … Regan…” to try to get some kind of a response, to hear a cry or anything.  I was later told that she had swallowed some meconium on the way out and needed to be suctioned and have her lungs inflated.  It took her a couple of minutes to begin breathing, but once we heard her cry, John and I started to cry as well.  Once she was breathing and my placenta had been delivered, the doctors and nurses all packed up and left, and suddenly it was silent again. We were there only with our midwives and the machines that go ‘ping’.

The epidural never did take effect; by the time the doctors left, the soles of my feet were just beginning to feel tingly. 

 As it turned out, the cord had been wrapped twice around her neck, which explains why all of our efforts to turn her were unsuccessful.  Also, the cord being around her neck made her footling presentation safer, because it meant that the cord wouldn’t prolapse.  In hindsight, it feels as though every aspect of Regan’s birth happened exactly the way it needed to happen.

My recovery, and her progress, has been amazing.  In 9 days she has gained 10 ounces over her birth weight, and is feeding like an expert!  I can feel my body starting to bounce back already.  Life is very, very good!

 Thanks again for your positivity, and for teaching us the Hypnobirthing techniques.  I look forward to Mommy & Baby yoga once the healing process is complete.

Karyn, John & baby Regan Ireland


Heather's birthing of Carter

Well our beautiful son "Carter Jeffrey Davidson" finally arrived on August 29th at 3:49pm weighing 8 lbs 11 ounces!!  Yes he is a big boy :) and decided to be almost 2 weeks overdue.....we are doing well and enjoying parenthood. 

The Thursday before he was born we were at our regular 41 week appointment and Dr. Wu said my cervix was no good and that he was not dropping at all.  After an ultrasound in his office, he estimated a 9 1/2 lbs baby so he said inducing me was not an option and that because of my size and my cervix, a vaginal delivery was not an option and that I would have to have a c-section.  I had trust that he was making the right choice for Jeff, baby and I but it was still upsetting as Jeff and I spend months preparing for a vaginal birth.  I decided that everything happens for a reason and there must be some reason he had to be a c-section baby.  The only tough part was that it was supposed to happen Friday, then got bumped to Monday morning at 8am then bumped again until 2 then finally the surgery started around 3:30!!  It was a very long day but definately worth the wait.  He was a tough baby to get out because Dr. Wu needed to use forceps to get his head out......not quite sure why??  

We both wanted to thank you again for all the support, love and care you enriched us with through yoga and hypnobirthing.  The deep breathing helped keep me calm throughout the weekend before he was born and especially during the insertion of the spinal block.  I was really scared  and anxious about being frozen (since I didnt want an epidural if vaginal) but I had no option.  The staff at Jospeh Brant were wonderful and the nurse helped me breath deep and calm during the spinal insertion and after it was in I felt total euphoria and the anthesialogist actually told me to stop breathing so deeply or I might actually pass out! LOL....I was a trooper during the surgery and Jeff's love and support helped me stay awake and remember the birth of our son.  I had a really bad reaction to the spinal, a ton of shaking and vomiting after the birth but I wouldn't trade it for anything.....the instant love we both have for Carter is totally worth it.  Without your techniques and months of preparation I know I wouldn`t have been the same and had the same birthing experience.  Words cannot express how thankful we are to you!

Heather and Jeff


Lynn's birthing of Mason

Our son Mason was born on September 30th (3 weeks and 2 days early!).

My water broke at 1:30am (yup, just like in the movies - full on Niagara Falls gush of water). My surges had not really started (but I did have back discomfort) however my midwife suggested we go to the hospital because I was considered pre-term (as it was 2 days before "37 weeks"). 

By 3:30am I was in active labour. I did use the hypnobirthing CD twice through my labour - but I have to say I spent most of the labour just in silence (and with silence around me - whether I was on the ball, in the tub, or standing) so I could focus on my breathing. John was amazing at massaging my back with every surge (as I had "back labour" throughout the entire time). I have to admit, I was tempted to have an epidural at one point but when the midwife checked me and told me I was 8cm it gave me a renewed sense of determination to continue with the breathing and the relaxing of my muscles (I remembered Dominique saying that if you can make it to 8cm without an epidural than you can make it through the rest since the surges do not increase in intensity from this point on). Before I knew it was delivery time. 

The delivery was strangely "easier" than I thought. I felt energized (pumped with adrenaline) and the surges were very manageable. I even managed to crack a few jokes between surges! 

Mason was born at 9:18am (6 hours of labour; 8 hours from the time I woke up to Niagara Falls). I couldn't be happier about our birthing experience and truly felt the hypnobirthing classes helped (not only with the breathing and relaxing but also with the education of what is happening with the body during labour, timelines of surges, etc..)
Thank you Dominique!

Lynn & John


Hypnobirthing®Burlington Copyright 2010All Rights Reserved


"The whole point of woman-centered birth is the knowledge that a woman is the birth power source.  She may need, and deserve, help, but in essence, she always had, currently has, and will have the power." Heather McCue


"A birthing woman needs to feel secure in a world without time or standards of performance, simply able to be herself and experience the intensity of what her body is telling her to do."  Sheila Kitzinger


"Birth is not only about making babies.  Birth is about making mothers, strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength." Barbara Katz Rothman

"The power and intensity of your contractions cannot be stronger than you, because it is  you." Unknown

"You are constructing your own reality with the choices you make...or don't make.  If you really want a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth, and you truly understand that you are the one in control, then you  must examine what you have or haven't done so far to create the outcome you want." Kim Wildner-Mother's Intention: How Belief Shape Birth

"If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing." Agnes Sallet Von Tannenberg

"Just as a woman's heart knows how and when to pump, her lungs to inhale, and her hand to pull back from fire, so she knows when and how to give birth." Virginia Di Orio

"We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful; it's that women are strong." Laura Stavoe Harm


 "There is no other organ quite like the uterus.  If men had such an organ they would brag about it.  So should we."  Ina May Gaskin


"Each baby has only one opportunity to be born." Nancy Wainer


"If a woman doesn't look like a Goddess during labour, then someone isn't treating her right."Ina May Gaskin


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