Hypnobabies and The Retreat Make a Winning Combo
There’s a common trait among the women who choose to birth at The Retreat: They are researchers!
Ana had researched the benefits and beauty of a natural birth years before she had even heard of The Retreat Birth Center in El Paso. Ana’s drive to learn more was sparked when she watched “The Business of Being Born.”
“Before I was pregnant, I knew I wanted a home birth or a birth center birth. As I researched more, I found out about Hypnobabies and decided I wanted to do that, so when we moved here from L.A., I took Lety’s class,” says Ana.
Birthing With Hypnobabies
Ana’s labor started quietly, with her water breaking in the middle of the night. The contractions didn’t kick in for many hours, so Lynn Arnold, an El Paso midwife and director of The Retreat, gave her a special labor milkshake to help her progress. “It actually tasted really great! I drank it all right away,” says Ana.
After the milkshake and lots of walking, Ana relaxed while her husband Dillon and her doula Lety Knight massaged her feet and ankles with clary sage essential oil. When she finished the massage, she stood up and Boom! Her first strong contraction washed over her.
Throughout the following hours, Ana practiced soothing self-hypnosis with her hypnotrack, and enjoyed the freedom to walk, shower, and do whatever felt right for her body at each moment. “Michelle, the L&D nurse, kept checking for my baby’s heartbeat, to make sure she was okay. And she did so without bothering me, allowing me to stay in whatever position I was in,” says Ana
Her cervix was dilated to 4cm when she felt the need to take some very deep hypnosis time on the bed. For the next hour, she was so peaceful that she appeared to be asleep, but she was still present and aware of her environment. Suddenly she felt the urge to push–her hour of focus had brought her quietly to full dilation! After just five pushes, she welcomed baby Emma into her arms for their first nursing session.
A Family Affair
Dillon, Ana’s husband, didn’t share her initial enthusiasm about natural birth outside of the hospital setting. “He was set on a hospital, but I educated him about the safety of birthing at a birth center. What really convinced him was when we took a tour of The Retreat. Lynn explained how they’re prepared for anything, and have backup plans and a nearby hospital. After that visit he was comfortable,” says Ana.
Today Dillon wouldn’t change a thing. He even got to “catch” baby Emma as she made her way into the world–his favorite part of their experience at The Retreat! When they were ready to be alone, the family of three spent time bonding in the serenity of their birth suite–in stark contrast to the hospital-reality of a constant stream of strangers coming in to monitor mom and baby.
“Afterward, we just got to be alone together. I remember him lying on the bed with me and just looking at Emma. It was so peaceful and private. I even got to take a two-hour nap and wake up to see him sitting in the rocking chair holding her,” remembers Ana.
When Ana, Dillon, and Emma were ready for company, their families dropped by with coffee and warm wishes. “It was so awesome. Everything felt so peaceful and homey,” says Ana.
The Research Paid Off!
As Ana and Dillon look back on their Hypnobabies class and the amazing staff and environment at The Retreat, they both agree that the research was right: A natural birth at the retreat was both safe and peaceful.
“We would do it again, definitely!” says Ana.
Are you preparing for a natural birth in the El Paso Las Cruces area? Click to learn more about Lety Knight’s Hypnobabies class, and the Birth Suites at The Retreat.