StorkNet's interview with

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI
Certified Hypnotherapist, Childbirth Educator, and
Founder, President and Director of

Kerry TuschhoffKerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Childbirth Educator, Founder, President and Director of Hypnobabies in Cypress, CA.

She teaches Hypnobabies Hypnosis for Childbirth classes, Pregnancy Nutrition and Breastfeeding workshops, Birth Hypnosis Specialty Courses and gives seminars in her community on natural pregnancy and childbirth options.

She is also an international conference speaker and lecturer, and trains childbirth educators and hypnotherapists to become Hypnobabies Instructors.

Hypnosis for Childbirth
Hypnosis is used in medical and dental procedures with great success by patients who have life-threatening allergies to anesthetics, allowing them to undergo surgeries with no drugs and no pain. We know therefore that the mind can be trained to experience discomfort as only pressure, and that is what is achieved in childbirth hypnosis as well. In addition, with labor, the more relaxation the mother experiences, the more comfort she will have, and the depth of relaxation necessary can easily be achieved with hypnosis, as physical relaxation is learned and practiced daily in preparation for birth using guided visualizations followed by positive hypnotic suggestions. When the critical conscious mind is by-passed with hypnosis, the inner mind can literally be reprogrammed to believe that birth will be comfortable, easy and joyous. Software for your mind!

Learn more at
We're very pleased to welcome Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI who is the Founder, President and Director of Hypnobabies®. Kerry is also a Certified Hypnotherapist and Childbirth Educator. She was here to discuss hypnosis in childbirth.

From Casey: When do most women feel relief through Hypnobabies, beginning, middle or end of labor?

Dear Casey: Hypnobabies includes hypnosis techniques for all parts of labor, so our moms can have comfort the entire time they are laboring and giving birth if they have learned, practiced and used the techniques as directed. The pushing phase seems to be the time when some Hypno-Moms forget to use their Hypnobabies techniques and may experience more discomfort, but those who do use them generally feel very comfortable.

From Faith: What is hypnosis in childbirth? This is my first time hearing about this subject and I'm curious. Thanks.

Dear Faith: Hypnosis for childbirth is a method of childbirth preparation that many expectant mothers are using now which teaches them to learn, practice and use self-hypnosis techniques and cues. When deep hypnosis techniques are used properly, they produce an easier and much more comfortable labor and birth. The experience may also be safer for mother and baby due to fewer complications that could occur, since the mother is much more relaxed, in control and generally needs fewer or no medical interventions.

For childbirth hypnosis to be the most effective, expectant mothers need to dedicate themselves to learning, practicing and using the techniques as directed for at least two months prior to their baby's birth. This ensures that the subconscious mind has the time and "compunding" (repetition) needed to accept the new suggestions and belief systems which can produce excellent results.

The inner mind is like a computer and by using childbirth hypnosis techniques, we can "re-program" it to accept that childbirth will be much easier and more comfortable. We are allowing it to understand that the birthing mother will feel normal birthing sensations such as stretching, pressure, pushing etc., but without the intense discomfort that can be associated with natural childbirth. The inner mind needs to have reinforcement of these suggestions every day as you prepare by listening to hypnosis audio tracks for approximaetly 35 minutes a days. Depending on the hypno-childbirth program you choose, there may also be other techniques to practice as well, such as Hypnobabies' "Eyes Open Childbirth Hypnosis" techniques which allow birthing mothers to walk, talk and move around easily without losing hypnotic focus, relaxation or comfort.

From Shelly: When should we start hypnobirthing classes? I'm 15 weeks.

Dear Shelly: We suggest to our Hypnobabies moms that they begin their course by about 30 - 32 weeks pregnant. This allows them to take our 6 week course and have several weeks left to practice, which aids in a better birth experience and much more confidence.

From Mandy: I really really want to learn hypnobirthing but there aren't any classes within a 100 miles of my little town. Is there another way I can learn?

Dear Mandy: Hypnobabies has an excellent self- study course which is being used very successfully all over the world. If you choose any other "self-study course" make certain that it contains at least 8 somnambulistic hypnosis scripts, fear clearing sessions and several cues for entering hypnosis as well as an audio track to listen to when giving birth which keeps you deeply in hypnosis and comfortable.

From Lisa: I tried hypnobirthing during my first labor and it didn't work very well. I would like to give it a try again with my new pregnancy. Do you know if moms who weren't successful with it the first time have better experiences the next time or is it something with me that hypnosis doesn't work?

Dear Lisa: I really feel for you and of course I encourage you to use birth hypnosis again since there are several things that can help you have a better birth experience this time. Without disparaging any other program, I need to tell you that not all childbirth hypnosis programs use the same hypnotic depth, hypnosis techniques, cues or other "hypno-tools". This makes a huge difference in what women consider a "successful" hypno-birthing experience. All birth hypnosis program should include the following:

  • Deep "somnambulistic" hypnosis, which allows real medical hypno-anesthesia to be produced in the body. To acheive somnambulistic hypnosis, there needs to be at least 15 minutes of hypnosis induction on each hypnosis track, with 3 levels of deepening.

  • At least 8 hypnosis scripts used to prepare for childbirth, which are learned in class *and practiced at home*. It does little good to hear a hypnosis script one time in class and then not have it to use for future subconscious training. The inner mind depends on compounding (repetition) to re-train itself with suggestions that stick and can be used during childbirth.

  • At least 2 deep hypnosis audio tracks that are listened to in labor which help keep you in hypnosis using all of the techniques, cues and tools you have learned and practiced.

  • 2 Different cues for entering hypnosis instantly during labor

  • At least 3 cues/techniques for deepening hypnosis instantly during labor

  • Complete Childbirth Education, since it is important for all hypno-birth mothers *not* to take other forms of childbirth education while learning birth hypnosis techniques. (see below for more information)

  • Hypnosis suggestions that are built into the course which allow for complete movement by the birthing mother during labor without the loss of concentration, focus, relaxation or phsyical comfort. These suggestions are written into every hypnosis script in the course so that compounding can take place easily. The ability to eat, drink, talk, walk and move around during labor is extremely important to all birthing mothers since it helps with progress of labor, and descent and positioning of the baby.

From Natalie: If I use hypnobirthing, will I remember anything about my birth? I wouldn't want to forget the good parts!

Dear Natalie: Hypnobabies mothers are so deeply in hypnosis that they are actually hyper-aware of everything going on inside of themselves and around them. They are also able to choose to "tune out" what they don't want to absorb and remember what they want to vividly. You can see in Missy's Birth Video how aware and talkative she is.

From Ashley: I want to take hypnosis classes but my husband thinks it's a bunch of crap. What can I do to convince him to try it?

Dear Ashley: Many husbands are skeptical at first but become big fans of hypnosis for childbirth when they begin to see the positive effects that practicing it has on their wives. From the moment they begin our course, our Hypno-Moms are much more calm, confident and comfortable; having an easier pregnancy, sleeping better and actually looking forward to giving birth instead of fearing it. You may want to read birth stories to him from our website at; there are many written by moms and dads who are just "normal people" that chose to give birth a different way in order to give their baby a natural birth experience, and give Mom a much easier one.

From Connie: I live in a small town and no one at my hospital is familiar with hypnobirthing? Is this a problem? Do you have to have hospital support to do it?

Dear Connie: Although hypnosis for childbirth is becoming much more well-known now, in some places they haven't seen it, however it does not matter if that is the case. The great news is that the way that any mother chooses to give birth has nothing to do with the facility where she has her baby since it is a completely personal choice. In a childbirth hypnosis course you will learn, practice and use the techniques yourself, and you won't need the help or support of anyone at your birth facility.

It is also very important for all expectant mothers to uderstand that in any situation that arises regarding your pregnancy, birthing and with your baby's care, you are always in charge! You (two) as the parent(s) are responsible for making the all-important decisions that will affect your health and that of your baby, your labor and after-birth procedures. No one can actually "allow you" or "make you" do anything. Contrary to what many expectant couples currently think, no one can set a date that your baby must be born by, insist you undergo tests or medical procedures that you don't agree with, or manage your labor in any way that you don't want. You are the consumer, and just like any other service you pay for, it is you who calls all the shots! More information can be found on our Birth Empowerment page.

From Vera: Can this method work in conjunction with Lamaze or Bradley or is there a different breathing technique? I'm so confused!

Dear Vera: Actually any good childbirth hypnosis course will tell you that it is extremely important that you *not* take a 'pain-management' childbirth class along with hypnosis for childbirth. Since the belief system that you hold as you prepare for and experience childbirth needs to be based on 'pain elimination' (that childbirth does not need to be painful to be successful and produce your baby), it can be very detrimental to also invest in learning a process based on the philosphy and belief system that childbirth very simply *is* painful and that you need to accept it and consider it "pain with a purpose". Since the latter belief system is one that is already deeply ingrained in most women's subconscous minds, and is fear-based, it becomes dominant and it is much more challenging for the inner mind to accept a *new* belief system of easy, comfortable childbirth. For the absolute best benefit, each mother needs to choose *one* belief system and stick with it: a "pain-management" childbirth course or a childbirth hypnosis course.

From Shawn: As a dad, how much can I participate with my wife if she uses hypnosis? Do I have to learn everything she does?

Dear Shawn: Although Hypnobabies is designed for everyone including single moms to use, we do encourage our dads who want to be involved to do so! If you are taking a Hypnobabies class, you will learn all of the techniques right along with your wife, practice hypnosis with her and even receive your own Birth Partner's CD to help you remain calm, relaxed and confident about pregnancy, childbirth and your part in all of it. You will have a special part in the course called the Birth Partner's Guide, designed for teaching you how to support your wife during the rest of her pregnancy, her birth and afterwards. You can be as involved as you would like to be. Our self-study course also has modified versions of all of the above.

From Kelly: I am so scared of the pain. Can I have an epidural and use hypnobirthing?

Dear Kelly: Of course. Some moms want to learn hypnosis for childbirth because they want to have effective tools to use until they can get an epidural. The amazing thing that we see so many times is that a lot of these moms who use Hypnobabies surprise themselves and end up not getting that epidural at all since they don't need it!

From Leslie: I want to have a waterbirth. Is hypnosis possible when I'm in the water? Dear Leslie: Yes, quite a few of our moms have waterbirths and do very well. You can see a few of them in videos here, here and on our YouTube Channel.

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