Testimonials From Students & Clients
The most profound, transcendent , incredible day of my life was the day I gave birth to my son; February 2, 2014. I was unable to get an epidural because of medical reasons, so from the very beginning I knew I wanted to have a natural birth. I did some research and thought hypnobabies was the right fit for me. I found Shanon's class and enrolled, not long after that I hired her as my doula.
I couldn't have been more prepared for the birth. I stayed at home comfortably for 10 hours with Shanon and my husband by my side. When I was ready we relocated to the hospital, at that point I was already 8 cm dilated and progressed quickly from there my son was born within the next hour in a half. During the birth, Shanon helped me find comfortable positions, she rubbed my back, gave me ice chips, pulled my hair back, she talked my husband through it all, she took pictures and coached me through pushing.
My birth was 100% pain free, it was the most incredible thing I've ever experienced. During my hospital stay every nurse that stopped in my room said they heard about my birth... no one had ever seen a one like that, especially not a natural birth. Let me also mention my son was 8lbs 10oz and 21" long! My OBGYN said he had never been a part of a birth with a more wonderful doula. He said she was such a pleasure to be around and wished that more of the doulas he had met had her disposition, knowledge and care.
Following the birth, I couldn't get my son to latch onto my left breast, when Shanon came for her visit, she helped teach me different techniques for a successful latch.
I chose to do placenta encapsulation; I believe that because of the pills, I never had the baby blues, I was tired but at no point so exhausted I couldn't get through the days and nights and I had a robust milk supply for the entire 13 months I breast fed him.
Shanon spent a lot of time with us before and after the birth. Time that I'm sure she would have much rather spent with her own family, however she offered her services via phone, email and in person without ever making it seem like an inconvenience and for that I cannot ever thank her enough. I cannot recommend her more, and feel so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing birth story to share with the world. <3
Tiffany DiNome-client July 2014
Encapsulating my placenta was the best thing is did for my postpartum preparation. Shanon was a pleasure to work with, informative, professional and helpful. She even gave me some new mom and breast feeding tips when she dropped off the pills. She's a great resource for information and always follows up in a timely fashion. Thanks Shanon for making my postpartum experience more peaceful!
From a dad, and I urge other soon-to-be dad's and mom's to read this. Especially you dad's.
Let me lead off by saying I'm not a particularly 'crunchy' guy. My wife and I first explored looking for natural child birth solutions because my wife was born with a very rare bleeding disorder, and we weren't sure if she'd even be allowed to have an epidural. This process was somewhat complicated by our lack of comfort with my wife's life-long OBGYN, and his generally cavalier attitude toward my wife's disorder. Comments like 'I've experienced this disorder before, and have delivered thousands of babies in my career - many of which share the same bleeding disorder' were more than disconcerting, as roughly 1 in 1.2 million people have my wife's disorder, and half of them are men, meaning perhaps 5-6 women in the state of New York shared my wife's disorder. I knew for a fact that two of them were my wife and her mother. We simultaneously started searching for a more progressive and honest OBGYN, specialists in hematology, as well as a doula to assist us in preparing for a natural childbirth (midwives are hard to come by in NY).
I don't know exactly how, but my wife found Shanon as one of several doula's we would interview in a search for the person who'd be our partner in the most exciting journey of our lives. We were both instantly comfortable with Shanon, and probably the predominant reason was the education she provided in our interview with her. To be fair, all of the doula's we interviewed with provided more information, taught us more, showed us more data and case studies, and were more transparent than both our original OBGYN as well as all of the others we interviewed. Frankly, especially in the state of New York, it is terrifying both how little OBGYN's educate new upcoming parents, as well as how arcane (if not medieval) the process in working with doctors in your pregnancy will be. Shanon would prove to be our biggest resource, a true educator, and our partner as we got closer to the big day.
Next came hypnobabies. Let me first say that to me that the 'hypno' prefix is a bit of a misnomer, or at least somewhat superfluous. The best way I can describe the process is as a deep, deep meditation. In joining Shanon's hypnobabies class, my wife and I would work with several other couples (not all first time parents) in learning more about what the girls bodies would be going through, what to expect from their OBGYN's, and the realities of 21st century best practices in pre-natal care - much of which is not practiced by the OBGYN's, and certainly not the state of NY. If I could add anything else here it's to educate yourself, as Shanon asked us to do. The reality is that modern medicine treats pregnancy like a medical condition where almost all require medical attention, and the truth is just the opposite of that. Women's bodies are made to reproduce, and are simply amazing. Lesson being, don't take my or your doctor's word for it and learn this independently.
Then the big part, working with our wives, and them with us, on learning how to relax one-another, using confidence inspiring readings, soothing music, and a secure and comfortable environment. I quickly realized this stuff works. I know this because we tried in on one-another; by using these techniques we were truly able to reach a state of meditation separated from our immediate environment and physical pains - I know this because we practiced on one another, and it worked on everyone; on every wife, and on every husband. When my wife or I would be in this state of meditation, we'd feel almost nothing - I would (sneakily) pinch my wife as hard as I could, and she would hardly notice a thing. And vice versa.
I will tell you it's super important to practice with your wife, outside of class, as you lead up to the big day. In our case, my wife (and especially our doctor) urged us to stay open to having an epidural. Worth noting here that our hematologist said this would not be advisable, as my wife was at a elevated risk of paralysis or other complications. Fast forward to the day of, because of our training we were able to stay at home (with Shanon's help leading up to, and then with us this whole day) to get almost fully dilated with contractions lasting almost 2 min, with a 1 min or so in between, before arriving at the hospital.
At the hospital, Shannon was a huge asset. My wife required fresh frozen plasma as a precaution because due to her bleeding. Both the nurses as well as the doctor still insisted on prepping my wife for an epidural, because none of them thought she could do this naturally. After conferring quickly, the resident anesthesiologist and hematologist agreed there was no way they'd ever give her an epidural. She was to high of a risk. Shannon was instrumental in this whole process because she allowed my wife to think of nothing but having a healthy, easy, and painless birth, and helped my be there for her, to focus on her, and to deflect all questions, comments, or concerns from nurses and doctors. We had arrived at the hospital at 12:45am, and largely with Shannon's help, and with all my wife's dedication to the hypnobabies process, she delivered a beautiful, healthy, baby boy at 3:51am. With no epidural, pain meds of any kind, nor did she have an episiotomy. My tiny little wife (101 lbs pre pregnancy, 127 lbs full term) had an absolutely beautiful birth; to the amazement of the nurses in the room, and even more so to our OBGYN - who would later admit he 'never thought she could do it.' Shannon was so engrained in our process that I at times didn't know she was there, was so aware that I never missed a thing, massaged and guided my wife, and somehow found time to take pictures of almost the entire birth.
Simply put, the birth of our first child was the most amazing experience of our lives. As it should be. But what was more amazing was how Shannon and hypnobabies allowed this to happen on our terms. We knew everything we possibly could, we were in complete control, and I know that my wife truly experienced no real pain. Her body was made to do this and, with Shannon's help, so was her mind. So were our minds.
If I can say anything of any value to anyone, it's that this process is amazing. I highly recommend a dula, and if you're fortunate to be able to get Shannon - do it, do it, do it. If hypnobabies sounds too wonky for you. Stop. This works.