Selina Pang, a first-time mother-to-be, was skeptical about doing traditional birth preparation training. “I felt that some of them create too much pressure to do things the way they want you to. For example, I didn’t want to feel like a failure if I decided during the birth I wanted an epidural.”

While she was at her yoga class in Santa Monica, Selina saw a brochure for Marie-Paul Baxiu’s Childbirth Hypnosis Training and decided to do some research on childbirth hypnosis preparation methods. “I went on the Internet and made some calls, asking for references. Marie-Paul’s name kept coming up, so I decided to meet with her.”

Selina was immediately impressed with Marie-Paul’s approach. “She was very warm and easy to talk to. I could tell that she was accommodating and wanted me to do what was comfortable and felt right for me. She wanted me to trust my own instincts.”

Selina began childbirth hypnosis training with Marie-Paul. “The sessions included childbirth education, where we discussed what I could expect, what my body would go through, which types of procedures are available, etc. In each session, we discussed my worries and issues, including my past experiences that might contribute to my concerns. We also focused a lot on relaxation and visualization techniques that I could do during the birth. Marie-Paul made an audiotape that I listened to at home in the evenings. It was a great way for me to take time out and relax. I loved it.”

Selina enjoyed working with Marie-Paul so much that she asked her to provide labor support for her also, an additional service that Marie-Paul offers. “I was very happy with the way she encourages you to trust yourself, listen to your body—and even try to pay attention to what your baby is telling you. It really helped to relax me and make me feel more confident.”

That confidence came in handy when various challenges arose. For example, Selina’s gynecologist decided to no longer take her type of health insurance just weeks before her due date. As if that weren’t enough of a crisis, she was soon after told that she might want to induce labor because of Intrauterine Growth Retardation (IUGR).

“I intuitively felt that my baby was fine and decided to trust that. As it turned out, the baby was totally fine and a perfect size. In fact, the birth was the best possible scenario.”

Active labor at Santa Monica UCLA Hospital was intense but brief: only 3 1/2 hours, with 18 minutes of pushing. “Marie-Paul worked with me on hypnosis and relaxation techniques and it was wonderful to have her there. She was really on my side, and helped to make sure that I and my husband had what we needed.”

Selina, her husband Dason, and their baby son, Kai, are doing fine and are grateful for the positive birth experience. “It was very smooth and I think that not being fearful made a big difference. I felt some pain but I never felt fear. In fact, my nurse didn’t even recognize I was in active labor because the relaxation and visualization techniques were working so well. It was really amazing.”