Perinatal Birth Counseling
People experience a wide range of physical and emotional experiences during pregnancy. Sometimes the transitions pregnant individuals go through deserve deeper exploration. Counseling can help ease normal worries and fears while providing a safe space for women to explore their feelings as they prepare for motherhood. Individuals who have sought perinatal counseling services have felt more prepared and capable for birth, and report an easier, more satisfying birth experience.
Holistic Childbirth offers the Peterson-Method of Body Centered Hypnosis (BCH) to support people with the unique counseling needs in and around their pregnancy. BCH uses counseling, visualization, hypnosis, education, and creative outlets to provide individuals and their partners an opportunity to explore the many emotions that commonly occur during preconception, pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Pregnant people experiencing the following might be interested in this valuable resource:
- fears, ambivalence, and anxieties in pregnancy, birth, and parenting;
- a desire to heal from prior pregnancies, losses, or traumatic birth experiences;
- a desire to reduce stress about pregnancy and birth, while developing confidence in birthing and parenting;
- a desire to work towards a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC);
- concerns that history of sexual or physical abuse might impact their birthing or parenting;
- a desire to identify their own coping style for pain;
- a history of postpartum depression or trouble adjusting to parenthood;
- a history of miscarriage and perinatal loss;
- a desire to process a past birth experience or adjustment to parenthood;
- a normal pregnancy with a wish to explore their vision of birth, and to deepen the connection with their baby and birth experience.
“The hypnosis exercise that Kate took me through undoubtedly gave me confidence and reassurance that I could have a healthy birth.”
- JS, 2009
Perinatal Counseling FAQ
Information about this unique counseling model from www.askdrgayle.com:
“How is the Peterson Model different from other childbirth methods?
The model is unique in two ways…
It is based on psychological theory that supports the development of the individual woman. It is a model that facilitates a woman’s growth through coping with pregnancy and labor and becoming a mother. The goal is self-discovery, development and solidifying a woman’s self esteem through this process. It does not presume a particular outcome, but supports a woman to face the reality of coping with birth and life. The model is both broad and deep, in order to encompass the full spectrum of women’s varying experiences and needs. It is an individualized approach.
It is a preventative model that can help to reduce risk in childbirth. Women have an opportunity in the birth counselor interview to not only express their anxieties, but to address them before the labor ensues. This provides a framework to truly handle fear and anxiety, including previous traumatic childbirth experience, lessening the impact of distress when labor occurs.
How does this kind of approach affect childbirth outcome?
Research supports the fact that when women are able to address anxieties specific to their situations, it reduces stress in the body. Because these anxieties have been realized and a woman has the opportunity to resolve certain issues prenatally, her experience of labor is generally smoother and medical outcomes are better. If there is a complication, she is more likely to be able to cope with it, reducing physical stress for her and her baby during labor.
How does this model support birthing women?
The philosophy of the model accepts women where they are in their lives and facilitates their development, whatever their choices. As such, it supports women through the process of giving birth, allowing them to discover their needs and address them in the context of childbirth. It does not dictate how to give birth. This allows a provider to encompasses the full range of venues using this model; from hospital, birthing center to home birth. This model can be utilized effectively with natural, medicated or surgical intervention as necessary.”
About Kate’s Services:
How long are counseling sessions?
The full counseling series happens in four parts:
Session on discovering your individual pain coping techniques
Body Centered Hypnosis session
Each session is 1-2 hours depending on a woman’s individual needs.
Can I schedule more sessions if I feel like I need it?
Yes! For example, if a woman is concerned about pre-term labor, a monthly check-in and hypnosis session would be very beneficial. Your emotional needs may shift as you approach your due date, we can meet as many times as you feel necessary to feel supported in each stage.
Should I include my partner in these sessions?
Partners often participate in the pain coping session and occasionally the postpartum follow up. The joint session is a great way to start the discussion about meeting your needs in labor as well as preparing for any postpartum adjustments that naturally occur.
Is this like Hypno-birthing?
Yes and no. Yes, in that both methods encourage women to use relaxation as they prepare for birth. No, in that Body-Centered Hypnosis does not require you to learn any techniques for your birth. BCH is done primarily prenatally, and I incorporate your specific history into a birth visualization. Women often feel calm, prepared and capable, and don’t tend to use hypnosis as a relaxation technique during the birth. I do help women discover their natural coping technique and build up a toolbox of support resources to call upon, as necessary, during their birth. This model encourages to cope with pain, rather than using hypnosis to disassociate from the experience.
I am interested in your counseling services. When in my pregnancy should I contact you?
That depends. If you have specific concerns about the pregnancy or birth, I recommend contacting me earlier in the pregnancy so we are best able to meet your specific needs. If you are just looking to prepare for an upcoming birth, anytime between your 32nd and 37th week of pregnancy gives you plenty of time to complete the counseling sessions. Women can contact me anytime before becoming pregnant or after their birth to meet their needs during the periods around a pregnancy. Feel free to contact me to discuss this on an individual basis.
When are your hours and where do sessions happen?
I am available for counseling Tuesday-Thursday from 8-5pm at my office @ 203, 201 Dey Street, Suite 203. If you are not local to Ithaca, we can also schedule sessions through Skype, FaceTime, or on the phone.
What is your fee schedule?
I charge $89/hour at my E. Lincoln Street location. If I travel to your home for sessions my fee is $125 /hour. Phone sessions are also $89/hour.
I am interested in your services, but I am not local to Ithaca. Can I still use your services?
Yes! Almost everything that I do can be done over the phone. I can send the hypnosis sessions via email or on a CD in the mail. Email or give a call to schedule a session to get started.
I think that this would be great for me, but I am not sure. Can I call to talk to you about my specific needs to make sure this is a good fit?
Absolutely! Schedule a 15 minute call and I’d be happy to talk your specific needs and help you figure out the best way to meet those needs.