Because Nicole Murray’s first baby was stillborn, her
fear of losing her second threatened to take all the joy out
of her pregnancy. That’s when a midwife at the Hollywood
Birth Center recommended she see Marie-Paul.
Marie-Paul Baxiu, C.C.H., C.H.I., R.P., C.R., Birth doula,
and a Prenatal YogaCise Instrutor; a Clinical Certified Hypnotherapist,
is becoming increasingly well known in Los Angeles for her
work with mothers before, during and even after childbirth.
Through individual hypnosis sessions, Marie-Paul helped Nicole
dispel her fears and envision a positive birth experience
for her second child.
“She had me describe the birth I wanted—who would
be there, what the baby would be like,” Nicole recalls.
“I wanted a labor that was less than six hours, and
Marie-Paul suggested that the birth would be just as I imagined.
She made an audiotape of the session that my husband, Charles,
and I could listen to.”
The results even surprised Nicole. “I labored for three
hours and pushed for about fifteen minutes. It wasn’t
exactly as I imagined it, but it was very close. The training
had a huge impact on the birth. I was able to dig into my
intuition and trust that everything would be OK.”
Nicole, 31, who lives in the Windsor Hills area of Los Angeles,
was so happy with the hypnosis work that she has continued
to see Marie-Paul after the birth of her daughter, Amel, to
help in the transition to motherhood.
“I’ve been to other counselors but they weren’t
able to get through to me the way the hypnosis did. I’m
getting my Ph.D. at UCLA and I train teachers, so I like things
to be scientific. I’m pretty driven and high-strung,
my mind races and I’m always strategizing and figuring
things out. I’m just not an easy person to relax and
I didn’t really think the hypnosis would work—but
Highland Park mother Raquel Vargas, 32, says the experience
of using hypnosis techniques during the birth of her daughter,
Juleanna, was “so relaxing that it was almost like having
an epidural, which I didn’t have.”
Marie-Paul used soft music and a hands-on healing
method, to help Raquel with the back labor she was experiencing.
“It was incredible. It eliminated the pain and I just
got a wonderful feeling of well-being. I was even able to
sleep for long periods of time. There were about four hours
of active labor, just as we had discussed in our sessions.”
Raquel was especially appreciative of the hypnosis benefits
because her first childbirth experience was tense and difficult.
“After that birth, I remember thinking that I never
wanted to go through that again,” she remembers. “This
time, I didn’t have any of those feelings. I just kept
thinking it was a beautiful experience. I was relaxed, rather
than tense, and I was able to appreciate it so much more.
Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, a British physician, was the first
to propose the “fear-tension-pain” syndrome in
his work Natural Childbirth (1933), and hypnosis has been
found to be an extremely effective way to eliminate the fear-tension
cycle, addressing it on the subconscious level to allow the
physical body to relax deeply. In fact, research studies have
shown that the effective use of hypnosis for childbirth results
in shorter labors, reduced use of pain medication, higher
Apgar scores (measurement of the baby’s well being at
the birth), and even reduced surgical delivery (Caesarian
delivery and forceps).
For example, several studies have found a statistically significant
reduction of 2-4 hours in the length of labor of mothers who
used hypnosis methods. A British study also found that 55%
of 45 first and second time mothers who used hypnosis methods
required no medication for pain relief, compared to only 22%
of 90 women who did not use the hypnosis techniques. Other
studies have shown rates as high as 79% for non-medicated
births when hypnosis was used.
Marie-Paul explains that Childbirth Hypnosis
Training is different for every woman. “Because I work
with women individually for six sessions rather than in a
formal class setting, we can address their unique concerns
and needs. Fear of the unknown creates stress, panic and tension
that can make the birth process so much more difficult than
it needs to be. Women often expect the experience to be painful
and difficult. With hypnosis, we release this negative programming
and free mothers to learn to trust and work with their bodies.
It creates a much more comfortable pregnancy and safer way
to give birth.”
The hypnosis training includes deep relaxation techniques
and guided Imagery to release fears and tension that can lead
to more complications and pain while giving birth. The result
can be a more natural and comfortable experience for both
mother and baby.
“When a woman is properly prepared for childbirth,
her mind and body are in harmony with her natural birthing
instincts,” explains Marie-Paul. “Expectant mothers
are able to call upon their own natural endorphin response
as a natural anesthesia. Moms are more in control with a heightened
state of awareness and connection to their inner strength.
It can create a much more loving, relaxing, and nurturing
Marie-Paul has been a Clinical Certified Hypnotherapist for
the last 19 years. She graduated from the Hypnosis Motivation
Institute, the first nationally accredited school of hypnosis
in the United States. A native of France, she was raised in
Europe and has been a resident of the United States for 24
Pregnant mothers generally see Marie-Paul for about five
1 1/2 hr - 2 hrs sessions prior to birth. Sessions are held
in her Los Angeles office. She can also be hired to provide
labor support at the birth and for continuing sessions after
the child is born. Childbirth hypnosis can be used in conjunction
with other childbirth preparation training methods.
Jennifer Dudley, a doula as well as childbirth educator at
Hollywood Birth Center says, “Hypnosis can give women
access to whole different opportunity for experiencing birth.
I’ve seen women go through their entire labors so relaxed
that they are virtually limp, yet awake and fully aware—it’s
call 888-218-4614 or 310-901-9440
or see website www.easybirthing.com
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