Read more HypnoBirthing natural birth stories on Carol's blog at 

Nick, my husband (an OB & DO), encouraged me to sign  up for Carol's HypnoBirthing classes. I was never set on going naturally and have always believed (and still do) that there's nothing wrong with an epidural if you need one. But it was such an amazing experience. I felt great... honestly great. I was just so present for the whole delivery. It truly was a pain free delivery ... I didn't realize how other physicians dealt with birth until Nick and I talked about it more.  HypnoBirthing classes gave me the positive reinforcement that this is what my body was supposed to be doing and to just relax and work with it. It was such a blessing. I still am amazed that we have a daughter. Thank you for all of your help. ~Angie & Nick Capetanakis (OB & DO)-1st time parents, San Diego, CA, who now have three children.

I just wanted to let you know that little Baby Ella was born on Friday June 13. I was able to have a successful VBAC, and was also able to do it naturally. It was an amazing experience and I couldn't have asked for it to be any better than it was. I truly have your classes to thank for so many reasons. I was able to use HypnoBirthing throughout the process. I think that the most helpful was that I was able to relax between surges. The surges were quite strong, and I didn't exactly fit the mold from all the videos we watched. However, I was always able to come back to a relaxed state before the next one. The other way in which your classes helped was that it showed me that I could have a natural delivery and VBAC. Prior to these classes I was not sure it was possible. I did actually switch to Dr. Biter who made it absolutely amazing. I also used Dawn Thompson as our Doula, who was also amazing. I really learned that by having the right people and the right frame of mind anything is really possible. It was an incredible day, and I thank you so much for your part in making it that way. Thanks again for everything.~Jenni & Greg, 2nd time parents, Encinitas, CA

I had a wonderful 1st birth experience! I couldn't have dreamed of having a better birth! I had Dr. Biter as my OB & hired a doula, Linda Goldsmith, to be a support to my partner & I. There wasn’t ever a time the thought of drugs or an intervention entered my mind.  I was totally at ease.  I did feel pain, but my body surrendered to it and it did not make me tense or uncomfortable.  It was so pure and real and after the delivery I was very awake and clear.  I truly experienced and felt every moment of the birthing process and best of all my body did exactly what it was supposed to do.  Without the HypnoBirthing classes, I feel I would have been nervous, unfocused, anxious, scared, frustrated, and in uncomfortable pain.  I am very proud of our birth story.~Laura Fairchild, 1st time mom, Encinitas, CA.

I was told I wouldn't be able to birth a baby over 7 pounds by my first OB/GYN. I was the first in three generations to not have all C-Sections. My first two births, I can still remember every single detail down to the minute... I believe I feel this way because I chose to remove myself from the medical aspect of birth and just go with it- thanks to you! I wouldn't change a thing about my 3rd birth and I'm so grateful for the knowledge, support and advice we received from HypnoBirthing, my doctors, Dr. Capetanakis & Dr. Biter, & my doula, Donna Hooyen. I always knew HypnoBirthing was the one tool that would help me and help change the way I think about birth. So thank you for everything. I was able to have a wonderful natural birth and experience something that I will never forget, something that I will always cherish. My husband told me that he truly believes I was able to birth a 9 pound baby naturally thanks to HypnoBirthing and the amazing care I received. ~Christina H., 3rd time mom, Encinitas, CA.

By taking your classes both my husband and I were able to feel  very knowledgeable about what was to happen at our baby's birth.  For me personally, much of what I was fearful about was the unknown since this was my first baby.  The classes helped educate us in a calm and interactive way allowing us to ease into and inform us of what we were going to experience as opposed to being told what a scary and painful experience giving birth is. We went into it anxious and excited for it to happen and to meet our baby.  The breathing and self hypnosis exercises allowed us to really prepare and envision what was going to occur, which I found very invaluable. Listening to the Rainbow Relaxation CD every night before bedtime really helped me stay focused and relaxed while in labor.  I would definitely recommend taking Carol's HypnoBirthing classes and plan on taking them again next time we get pregnant.~Alana & John, 1st time parents, Vista, CA.

I wanted to let you know that Ezra was born on March 9th, at 9:31am. He was 7lbs, 19.3"long, and entered this world via a beautiful, natural HypnoBirth. Thank you so much for teaching such a wonderful, transformative class. You know that I wasn't convinced on the idea of natural birth before the class started, but I could never imagine doing anything else now. It was such a wonderful experience being fulling aware and in control throughout the birthing process, and Ezra so wide-eyed and alert after he was born. He is such a mellow, easy baby. (Takes after his dad!) I can't tell you how many people are shocked when I tell them that Ezra was born with no induction, no epidural, and no tearing. I had stopped telling people how we were planning to birth because I didn't want to hear "This is your first? Talk to me afterwards!" anymore. It is as though people don't realize that it is actually possible!!!!~Amy & Ian, 1st time parents, Encinitas, CA.

We were at the hospital for about 3.5 hours before Kaian's birth, and my entire labor lasted maybe 6 hours.  We checked out about 24 hours later.  It went exactly as I planned, as I always visualized it would.  Although the surges were intense, I would not classify them as painful.  They were also never consistent, so I'm glad I learned to listen to my body to tell me when I was ready.  The pushing stage was the hardest for me.  No pain, but it took me a few tries to find my rhythm.  It was hard work.  But in hindsight, the pushing part only lasted about 20 minutes so it went much faster than it seemed.   I do know that I probably could not have done this without the HypnoBirthing classes or without Evandro's unfailing support.  Your classes helped us complete our pregnancy and to experience labor with nothing but the most positive and loving outlook. I now know why you are so passionate about taking control of your pregnancy and birth, and in demanding nothing but the best for your family.  Your class was the best pregnancy decision we made and I try to share my knowledge and experiences with everyone I can.  It makes me so sad to think about all the women out there who have a negative experience just because they don't know there's an alternative.  I am a firm believer in HypnoBirthing!.~Courtney & Evandro, 1st time parents, Encinitas, CA

were horror stories of epidurals. I honestly couldn't find a single negative experience online about HynoBirthing. The more I researched side effects and effects on baby, I became more frightened of the epidural than of labor pain. The decision to go through with the HypnoBirthing classes didn't take much- it was more instinctual and characteristic of me than not to do something alternative and holistic.
What I learned through HypnoBirthing was more than how to relax during labor; I was completely empowered to make decisions on my own and my baby's behalf, since I understood what to expect, what to decline, and what to be wary of. Birthing is complicated... though most people seem to approach it with a lot less investigation or question. Regardless of whether I had actually gone through with the natural birth after all was said and done, I still would have felt better knowing what I knew, being empowered and educated, and getting as far as I physically could on my own. It would not have been failure to give into the "help"- I would have still been better off than having never learned and practiced HypnoBirthing.
The breathing and the relaxation meditation did work for me. I practiced it a lot leading up to labor, just by listening to my ipod each night. At one point, probably at about hour 15, I had my blood taken. I had my head slumped in my husband, Robbie's lap as I breathed through the blood draw. I heard the nurse, as though in a dream, say something about never having seen someone so relaxed at that point. That made me feel great! I didn't even realize how relaxed I was because I was so "in my zone." I literally listened to that meditation for 20 straight hours. (We put it on the speakers during my times in the shower). Even though the last couple hours were not perfect HypnoBirthing, the meditation was the key to my success of having a natural, unmedicated birth.
One of the best things that came out of the experience was Carol's recommendation to hire a doula. Because of our uncertainty with our due date falling so close to our busy catering season, she recommended we have someone to help us just in case Robbie couldn't be there right away. Good call!!! Turned out that having Connie Merritt was best for both me AND Robbie. She aided me through labor, but more importantly gave Robbie cues and reminders to help him aid me through labor. She made suggestions about positioning, eating, drinking, showering... whatever, them let Robbie take the lead in facilitating. When Robbie needed a break (labor is exhausting for Dad too!) she was there to take over supporting me. One of the other great things was that she took lots of photos for us of the birth! Robbie could catch Johnny as he came out, and focus on me and baby, not be behind the camara! In a nutshell, having a doula didn't take away from Robbie's role- it added to it by helping him be the best supporter and cheerleader through the whole experience. She was invaluable.~1st time parents, Julie & Robbie, Encinitas, CA, personal chefs, www.dining-details.com, who now have 2 HypnoBirthed children.

What made me choose HypnoBirthing? I had met another practitioner years ago and was intrigued by the thought of it. I have always been a person to think outside the box- rather than just go along with the status quo. I question things, and investigate alternative options... especially if it means something the "harder" way... I have never been one to take the short cut. I did go through a period between being interested and being committed to HypnoBirthing, in which I joked around that I would be walking in backward to get my epidural.

When the baby was actually kicking inside me, another instinct set forth... the instinct to research pros and cons of epidurals and HypnoBirthing. I googled and googled. I was looking mostly for horror stories of HypnoBirthing. All I found 

“I want to thank you so much for all of your help in getting us prepared for Blakes' arrival by giving me the confidence and important information that I used during his birth. I truly believe if it wasn't for you, my birthing experience wouldn't have been so wonderful. My birth went so fast, (4 hours total) we forgot the HypnoBirthing CD in the car, so I was unable to listen to the CD during the rest of my labor. But because of all your information and relaxation techniques I learned during the classes, I was still able to stay calm and mostly relaxed. When I was ready to push & the nurses would tell me to hold my breath and push or open my eyes and focus on a spot in the room I didn't. I went inside myself and listened to my body and did what felt right for me and because of this I had a great birthing experience and that is all thanks to you. Throughout the birthing experience I was totally present and didn't let other people take control of my son's birth. Blake was born at 5:12 A.M, which makes my entire labor only 4 hours and I probably only pushed for 20 minutes! I think that is pretty amazing for a first time birth. I didn't have any tearing and I account that to staying relaxed and listening to my body, which included getting in different positions. Now I wouldn't say that I had a pain free birth but it was definitely manageable. I had such a great experience because of you and if you ever need a reference I would be more than happy to recommend you and tell other woman interested in hypnobirthing my birth story. ~Erica & James H., 1st time parents, Carlsbad, CA, who now have 2 HypnoBirthed children.

Adam and I felt so lucky to have been able to go to your class. We know you were a God-send for us. I don't think I would have been able to do a 20 hour natural birth of a 9 lb 9 oz baby without HB. I have already referred 1 person to your class, and we are telling everyone how great HB is. All the people who laughed at us when we told them our plan have stopped laughing! Thank you so much for everything.~Jennifer & Adam, 1st time parents, Vista, CA, who now have 2 HypnoBirthed children.

I, like many, had a misconception about hypno-experiences, as the idea of being out of control or susceptible to outer influences was a turn-off. I found that in Yoga classes I had too much mental chatter, for example I would make note list of all of the errands I needed to do; either that, or I would be in the back of the class cutting jokes and not entering “the zone” or finding the opportunity even remotely Zen-like. The other students seemed to find a peace and sense of surrender that I envied.
It was not until preparing to give birth that I came to realize that it is that exact type of experience that would enable me to have the most miraculous day of my entire life! Being alert, receptive, and non-sedated during every moment of the childbirth experience contributed to making my first day as Mom even a greater personal achievement. My husband, right at my side, was my coach (trained partner), and the exercises we had practiced helped us focus, block out pain, and most importantly, keep me calm! My commitment to learning the skills in the classes prepared me for a total drug-free experience; my reward being a brand-new human being that literally crawled across my body in her first minutes. Fully present, I watched her latch right on to the “leche mobile”. It was pure heaven!
There is absolutely nothing that has been a more rewarding/organic experience as the morning my firstborn entered this world. Without the skills that are instructed in HypnoBirthing, I would not have been so sure of my commitment to going totally natural, nor would I have had the discipline to stick with the initial pains of nursing. My surrender to a more healthful, less risky approach was a form of empowerment that has made me a stronger person, and to this day I use the same skills to get through physical pain, as well as to find calm during those days I wish I could just bury my head in the sand. I might need a HypnoLiving course (if there is such a course) soon, as a little refresher, though!
I praise you, Carol, for your gift that you offer the community and am happy to share my story. The money and time is an investment that will be life-altering to many. What a bargain!
Thank you! ”~Stacey Ross, www.SanDiegoBargainMama.com

I couldn't believe how wonderful my birth was! To give birth to the first child in two and a half hours?! Without pain relief?! In a darkened, calm room, without forced pushing, nobody who takes my baby away? No stitches? I could not have thought about a better birth for myself. It was the best experience in my life and I am looking forward to doing it all over again. To birth with happiness and joy was amazing!”~ Mareike K. 1st time mom, Midwife in Europe & delivered over 200 babies, Oceanside, CA, who now has 2 HypnoBirthed children.

We feel blessed to have been able to successfully VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), and to have accomplished our goal primarily due to relaxation techniques and the confidence I gained in our HypnoBirthing classes with Carol.~Katrina & Mike V., 2nd time parents, Oceanside, CA.

HypnoBirthing was really amazing! It was a great experience...I wouldn't have been able to have a 67 hour completely natural birth without HypnoBirthing. I still had some lingering doubts beforehand, but once labor started, I was able to relax & even sleep between surges in the beginning of labor! When labor got more intense, I was able to remember what Carol had taught me & I was able to stay in the moment & not get overwhelmed. The midwives at UCSD were amazed too & said they had never seen anyone like me--smiling & talking while I was pushing. Our baby is a really mellow baby & very alert. I highly recommend taking Carol's classes & using the UCSD Birth Center. Carol's members-only Yahoo HypnoBirthing® group was a great asset for me! I soon found that the more HypnoBirthing® birth stories I read, the more comfortable and confident I felt about birthing my son through the HypnoBirthing® method. Reading other women's positive and joyous (and easy!) birth stories helped me to believe in myself and the birth process. Later, the group became even more of an asset as I found connections about breastfeeding, immunization issues, baby health concerns and much more. I still use the group even though we just celebrated my son isn't a baby anymore! It is a great group for all of a Mom's needs.~ Kristin, 1st time mom, San Diego, CA

I will be honest, and tell you I was very scared of the birthing process. When I had my son, I had an epidural. Although, it was a beautiful birth, I felt I needed to research what would be best for my next baby. When I heard about HypnoBirthing, I knew it was for me. The classes taught me that my fears would affect my birthing experience, whether I had an epidural or not. I knew I wanted to have a peaceful birth. I was empowered by what I learned in Carol's HypnoBirthing classes. I was so committed to having a peaceful birth that I changed my OB & our hospital in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. When I went into labor with my daughter the tools I learned in class helped me to stay calm. I had her in three hours. I did not scream once. After her birth, my doctor and my husband said I made it look so easy. I was humming through the surges. I will always be grateful for the tools I learned in Carol's HypnoBirthing classes that empowered me to face my fears. I want to thank you for the support you have shown me and all the resources you have given us. We are very grateful.~Susan & Miguel N., 2nd time parents, San Marcos, CA.

In between contractions, I was in such a calm state, the most relaxed I'd been in months! I heard the ocean waves (cd) in the background and the smell of the massage oil that they (my husband & doula) were using on my back and I almost felt like I was at the spa. The HypnoBirthing techniques I learned helped me stay focused on keeping all other muscles relaxed, to focus on each contraction & not "freak out about the whole thing" & to trust my body & my instinct. This helped a ton. Overall it went just as planned. Our daughter is healthy and beautiful and such a calm baby. Thank you for all of your help!”~ Corinne H., 1st time mom, San Diego, CA. (Corinne only attended 2 classes because she went into labor!)

HypnoBirthing was invaluable to my birthing process. I was able to stay calm and relaxed throughout the entire birth ensuring that I delivered my little girl with ease and without intervention or drugs. I got exactly the birth I wanted thanks to all the care, attention and wisdom that Carol provided.~Jane P. 2nd time mom Encinitas, CA.
(Jane took an accelerated private 2 day course after feeling like the other non-hospital childbirth education class she was taking didn't remove the fear she had regarding this birth. She was due in less than 2 weeks.)

Watching Jane's HypnoBirth was like watching nature in full glory…totally relaxed mom & a peaceful, calm birth. It was one of the most beautiful births I have ever seen.~ Dee Nipper, Doula to over 400 births.

I was most impressed with the overall package of the class. With all the information we learned, along with the VERY helpful instructor (Carol), materials for the class, etc…for the cost of it all; it is so worth the money! I loved the HypnoBirthing class because it helped get me through my birth, but you could apply the relaxation techniques and methods to your daily life! It was the best class I could take while preparing for my birth. The affirmations, scripts, visual aids, CDs with deep relaxation exercises, etc. , were ALL so helpful. I am so thankful for everything that I learned. I plan on using it again with my future children as well! Also, Carol was very positive and ALWAYS willing to help when we needed. Thank you, Carol, for EVERYTHING…you are an inspiration to us all. We both enjoyed the class and are so thankful for your willingness to educate and help with our birth!!!~ Susan & Hector, 1st time parents, La Mesa, CA, now parents to two HypnoBirthed children.

I know that HypnoBirthing helped me stay completely calm and relaxed throughout the experience. I was deeply relaxed and never felt "pain" per se...uncomfortable at times with a lot of pressure in certain areas. My doula played an integral part in my experience. Her knowledge of HypnoBirthing helped me stay focused & calm. Her knowledge of positioning and just what to do for me was invaluable. Also, having an OB that was completely supportive of a VBAC that I knew I could trust completely was another key factor in my successful VBAC experience.
I would say that the combination of having the HypnoBirthing techniques, having a wonderful, supportive doula & OB was the answer to my prayers for a natural, easy, beautiful VBAC birth. Having this experience helped heal my past negative birth experiences. It really helped me release the fear I had prior to this birth as well. I am telling everyone I know about HypnoBirthing! I can't believe now, after having this life-changing experience why anyone would choose to have medication...and this is coming from someone who never previously believed in non-medicated birth! I highly recommend taking Carol's classes. She has a gentle, calm manner that really lends itself to the HypnoBirthing philosophy and techniques.~ Anne, 3rd time parent, Encinitas, CA.

I wanted to say that we really enjoyed the class and found it extremely detailed and helpful. Much more so than the several classes we took at the hospital. We feel well prepared for a successful and positive birthing experience.~Colleen & Eric, 1st time parents, Carlsbad, CA.

My birth story is short and very sweet.  Intense surges up until my daughter's birth--it took only about 5 hours; I didn't practice anything I learned in HypnoBirthing class it all happened so fast!  The only things I remembered to do were to keep my moans low and gutteral, to keep moving (I paced the house for a while) and to position my body in a squat to help baby move down.  I instinctively went inside my body; I had my eyes closed the whole time, from the time we left the house to go to the hospital up until she was born.  I never had a fearful moment except when I worried I might throw up (I never felt sick!  I'd just heard a lot of stories of women barfing during childbirth) so I kept the car window rolled down just in case.  I started feeling real proud of myself when the nurses started showing up in my room to tell me how impressed they were with how well I did, how they had never seen anything like it, etc.  It was really helpful to have Rosie Peterson, my doula, as my advocate in the hospital.  I couldn't have done it without her.  And I couldn't have done it without you, Carol!  You're an amazing and dynamic person and I learned so much from your class.  Thanks again- Kirsten V., 1st time parent, Vista, CA.