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Birthing Methods: Hypnosis

A certified clinical hypnotherapist walks us through this all-natural pregnancy and birthing solution.

Birthing Methods: Hypnosis

When you say the word hypnosis, many people instantly think of people on a stage being magically convinced to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. But the truth is hypnosis is much more than that--and it carries many benefits throughout all stages of pregnancy. It can help women cope with everything from morning sickness to pain and even the actual delivery.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Kate Middleton, underwent hypnotherapy to treat food aversions and morning sickness related to her pregnancy. Since then, expecting moms everywhere have been wondering if hypnosis is right for them. The simple answer is yes because, after all, hypnosis is an all-natural therapy. However, if there are any medical complications related to your pregnancy, always check with your doctor and take his or her advice.

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What it does:

Medical professionals have used hypnosis and self-hypnosis techniques since the 1930s to help expecting moms achieve physical comfort and relaxation. Other benefits to hypnosis for pregnancy can include shorter labor and quicker recovery; it can help a woman sleep better and deeper; it can lower blood pressure; it can create a more positive state of mind for mom and also help her avoid postpartum depression. In addition to alleviating morning sickness, it may also reduce heartburn and nausea.

When starting out, hypnosis is best for the afternoon or evening when the physical symptoms of pregnancy are lessened, enabling the patient to stay more focused and relaxed. You can do hypnosis with a certified clinical hypnotherapist or try self-hypnosis techniques alone. If you decide to work with a professional hypnotherapist, it is highly recommended that they are certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners or similar organization.

How it works:

The process usually begins by having the patient lie down and begin taking slow and even deep breathes for about five minutes. Once the patient is fully relaxed, the hypnotherapist will proceed to offer "suggestions" out loud. These same suggestions can be made by your spouse or a trusted partner.

A few examples of suggestions:

- Your stomach is calm and relaxed.

- You are calm, relaxed and feeling strong.

- Your baby is calm, relaxed and healthy.

- The more relaxed you feel, the calmer and more comfortable your stomach feels.

- The more comfortable your stomach feels, the easier it is to focus your mind and remain calm and clear-headed.

- As you feel your head clear, you feel that you can eat what is nourishing to you and your baby, and as you do, your stomach feels calm and comfortable.

You can replace these more common suggestions with some that are personalized to your situation. If you’re worried that you won’t be a good mom, for example, come up with suggestions that reinforce the reasons why you will.

Additionally, your hypnotherapist or spouse can reinforce these suggestions physically, by putting their hand on you stomach. As they do so (or instruct the pregnant woman to use her own hand), they can make a verbal suggestion by saying, "Any time you don't feel well, you feel better when you put a hand on your stomach. When you put a hand on your stomach, it feels calm and comfortable, and your mind becomes clear and focused on your health and well-being."

This physical touching combined with the suggestion forms an association, so even when the pregnant woman is not hypnotized, she can trigger the subconscious suggestions with the simple physical touch of her hand.

Why it works:

The reason hypnosis works so well is because the conscious mind acts as a gatekeeper to the subconscious mind. Under hypnosis, we can make the conscious mind inactive, allowing us access to the subconscious mind. This allows us to get deep into the part of the brain that deals with the reactions to stress, pain, emotions and more. In a sense, hypnotherapy can reprogram your beliefs that birth will be comfortable, easy and exciting.

Many women are apprehensive at first when trying hypnosis, and for that reason it’s important they know they are always in control and will never do anything against their will. A person under hypnosis can come out of it whenever they choose. In most cases, after the first session, most women are eager to get back to a hypnotic state because it makes them feel better, more confident and relaxed about their pregnancy.

Colin Christopher is a clinical hypnotherapist certified by the American Council of Hypnotist Examiners. In his clinical hypnotherapy practice, Colin works with expecting mothers to make pregnancy relaxing, less painful and more enjoyable. He is author of the book Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make or Break You. Visit www.easybabybirth.com, http://www.colinchristopher.com/, and www.stmbook.com

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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It’s science: Vacations make your kids happy long after they’re over

Whether you're planning a quick trip to the lake or flying the fam to a resort, the results are the same: A happier, more connected family.

Whether you're looking for hotels or a rental home for a safe family getaway, or just punching in your credit card number to reserve a spot in a campground a couple of states over, the cost of vacation plans can make a mom wince. And while price is definitely something to consider when planning a family vacation, science suggests we should consider these trips—and their benefits—priceless.

Research indicates that family vacations are essential. They make our, kids (and us) happier and build bonds and memories.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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