Scott, Cindy and Kaylee

An Edited Article on Cindy and Scott's Story is in the Spring 2002 Issue of "Vim and Vigor" Magazine (Custom Publishing Council) page 58-61) 



[Early in the year 2000, Cindy, a nurse at Pendleton Memorial Methodist Hospital, ask me if I helped pregnant women use hypnosis for childbirth? I told her that I had and asked if was she expecting? She said she was not but planned be in the near future. A few months later, she called for an appointment as she wanted to use hypnosis for natural childbirth. This time she was pregnant. I went to work to develop a six session protocol for hypnosis for childbirth. I worked with Cindy Cannon and her husband Scott [who was with her at each session] in preparation for natural child birth. As I am not certified in hypnobirthing, I used a combination of hypnobirthing developed by Marie Mongan, Dr. Sean Longacre's procedures and my own ideas to work with them. Cindy called me at about 3pm Dec 21. 2000. She was in L&D and had just had her baby. I went to visit her, her baby girl (Kaylee Deann) and her husband. She told me she did a lot of pushing, but did not have to have any chemical anesthesia. The doctor and nurses were impressed. As a result, I have several referrals from her physician and other physicians to help pregnant women use hypnosis for childbirth. I asked Cindy to write a history of her pregnancy and she agreed to do so which I share with you in this article. In addition, I have added my "initial hypnotherapy protocol" and "six session protocol using hypnosis for childbirth". ]

Marie Mongan left, The late R. D. "Sean" Longacre right

Cindy begins: Our hypnobirthing story began in 1999, long before we were pregnant. My husband, Scott, and I were watching a Dateline special about a Florida doctor's use of hypnosis to relax expectant mothers during labor and delivery. The report featured two families: one delivering their first child, and another, whose first delivery had been a difficult and painful one, turned to hypnosis for their second.

We were amazed to see both women walking and talking during labor in no apparent distress, and drug free! Scott and I had never heard of hypnobirthing and we were naturally skeptical. But we were also intrigued at how calm and relaxed the two women were throughout the labor and delivery of their babies. It was quite a contrast from the dramatic depictions of women screaming, sweating, and swearing we had been bombarded with on television and in the movies. I turned to Scott and said, "When we get pregnant, that's what we're going to do."

I had always feared epidurals, but I also feared the "pain" that I had come to believe was inevitable with childbirth. Everyone I talked to who had children told me horror stories about how excruciatingly painful labor and delivery was. Interestingly, many of the stories of pain and difficulty came from women who had the benefit of medication. I found that frightening.

When Scott and I became pregnant in April 2000, we sought the services of Chaplain Durbin, who worked at the same hospital where I was a nurse. I was aware that Chaplain Durbin was a certified hypnotherapist and assisted patients with hypnosis, but I did not know if he was familiar with the use of hypnosis during birthing or if he would be willing and available to assist us. Fortunately, he was familiar with the particular techniques of hypnobirthing and was eager to help us.

(Chaplain Durbin explaining hypnosis to Scott and Cindy)

Our first visit with Chaplain Durbin came when I was just eight weeks pregnant. We did not know what to expect, but we knew we had no background in the use of hypnosis, so we thought it would be a good idea to get an early start. Chaplain Durbin first explained to us what hypnosis was, and more importantly what it was not. We needed to hear that because despite the Dateline special, we were still skeptical. All we knew about hypnosis was what we had seen on talk-shows. And though we were entertained watching hypnotized people doing silly tricks, we still did not know anything about hypnosis or whether it could have any real benefit for us.

Chaplain Durbin explained that under hypnosis, one is more susceptible to suggestion, but only within the bounds of one's morals. The people we had seen on talk- shows "performed" because they were there with the intent to be entertained and the circumstances made their silly behavior appropriate. Chaplain Durbin told me that I would probably not do anything foolish if asked to do so during one of our sessions, but that I would likely come out of hypnosis.

Even after being persuaded that Hypnosis was for real, I still did not believe that I could be hypnotized. But about two minutes after we began our first session, Chaplain Durbin had helped me to achieve a very relaxed state of hypnosis. Scott was amazed. Chaplain Durbin had me outstretch my arms. He suggested that one arm was light and floating upwards because there were helium balloons tied to it. He suggested that the other arm was heavy and sinking downward because I was holding a very heavy book. Amazingly, one arm began to rise while the other lowered!

We could not contain our enthusiasm and told our friends and family about our first session. But most people we told about our plan to use hypnobirthing were incredibly skeptical.  Especially women who had delivered their own children. They raised eyebrows as if to say, "Yeah, we'll see...."

Over the next few sessions, Chaplain Durbin taught us how to relax and reach a deep state of hypnosis. Scott attended all the sessions so that he could learn the techniques and be my "coach." Our first practice session without Chaplain Durbin, in June of 2000, was comical! Every time that Scott spoke the words of the hypnosis "script" we had been using to relax me, I began to giggle. In the beginning, it all seemed so unnatural and amusing to us, but within no time we were achieving deep hypnosis and practicing regularly. Soon our sessions seemed perfectly normal.

(Chaplain Durbin demonstrating hand anesthesia)

Chaplain Durbin next introduced us to a technique called "glove anesthesia", in which he persuaded me that my left hand was numb. I was then able to use that hand to transfer the numbness to other body parts as needed during labor and delivery. When he convinced me that my hand was numb, he pinched it hard enough to leave a red mark, but I didn't feel anything.

By July, we had been to four sessions with Chaplain Durbin. He allowed Scott to lead me and he then offered recommendations to improve our techniques. Scott and I continued to practice about once a week. Each time we practiced it became easier.

In October 2000, spurned by my excitement over the results we were seeing with the practice sessions, I went online to research hypnobirthing further. I discovered a web- site by Marie Mongan, the founder of "hypnobirthing." I ordered her book and relaxation tapes. The book reinforced what we had already learned from Chaplain Durbin, and provided me with a resource (the tapes) to allow me to achieve self-hypnosis. That allowed me practice even more. Mongan's book taught that hypnosis helps one relax through contractions which enables the body to work with the contractions, not against them.

I listened to Chaplain Durbin's or Marie Mongan's tapes everyday. And Scott and I continued to practice weekly.

We met with Chaplain Durbin for the last time on November 24th. He told us boldly that we were going to do great and that our technique was good.

December 20, 2000 - My contractions started sometime during the day but I didn't know that I was having them until the doctor pointed them out to me on our last scheduled doctor's visit. I began feeling the contractions at about 10:00 p.m. I listened one last time to Marie Mongan's affirmation tape. The tape encouraged me, assuring me that I could do labor and delivery "normally and naturally." The rest of that night I watched television and paced the floor, not wrested with pain, but filled with excitement.

December 21, 2000 - 6:00 a.m. - Contractions were five minutes apart and lasting about 45 seconds. Scott helped me relax with hypnosis in the hospital parking lot because we feared the hustle and bustle of the hospital would make focusing on relaxing difficult.

8:30 a.m. - Contractions were four minutes apart and lasting one to two minutes. I was dilated 6cm. Labor progressed quickly and pain-free.

10:00 a.m. - Contractions were almost on top of one another. Although I was dilated eight centimeters, our baby was not dropping. Scott and I kept our attention focused on relaxing. But when our doctor told us it would be at least two more hours before the baby came, I became discouraged. I was getting tired and I began for the first time to worry that I might not be able stay relaxed through two more hours of contractions. Scott changed gears from coach to cheerleader. His pep talks made the next two hours fly by.

When contractions came, I quietly put my head down, closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and relaxed as Scott applied counter-pressure to my back. Our nurse entered our room during a two-minute-long contraction; she shook her head in disbelief that I was so quiet and composed during the contractions. No moans, no tears, not even a raised voice. Other nurses commented that the expectant lady in Room 1 (that was me!) was too quiet and that I must have had an epidural.

12 Noon - The doctor examined me and again I was told it would be "awhile longer." My husband, knowing my earlier discouragement, convinced our doctor to move me to the delivery room. He told the doctor that it would encourage me to believe I was making progress and getting close to delivery. We were putting into practice "mind over body."

2:00 p.m. - After pushing drug-free for two hours, our baby's heart rate dropped. It had dropped with every push, but this time it wasn't returning to normal. Our doctor attempted to use suction, but my fear over the health of our baby and the distraction of the doctor working made concentrating on relaxation difficult. Our doctor, seriously concerned about the baby's distress, urged us to consider an emergency saddle block so he could take the baby immediately.

Within minutes, the anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist and several nurses entered the room to perform the saddle block. But just as they arrived, I began another contraction and I began to push through it. Everyone in the room began chanting, "Go Cindy! Go Cindy!"

On the fourth push of that contraction, the doctor performed an episiotomy and our healthy baby girl was born!! Scott and I had succeeded in giving birth to our beautiful little miracle using hypnobirthing.

5:00 p.m. - I was back in the labor room and walking on my own, even going to the bathroom on my own.

6:30 p.m. - Our beautiful baby girl, Kaylee Deann, was brought to us. She "roomed" with us on that first night. Kaylee was alert and energetic and, most importantly to us, she had absolutely no drugs in her system.

Scott asked me several weeks after we delivered Kaylee whether I would use hypnobirthing again? My immediate answer was "Yes!" We did not use hypnobirthing because we thought it was novel or different.  We had a goal in mind to deliver naturally. It was a means to an end and worth the effort to learn and practice to be fully aware and in control of my body during the entire labor and delivery process. I controlled every aspect of my delivery; it did not control me. And interacting with our alert baby convinced me that I had chosen the best method of delivery.

We had not excluded other options, should they become necessary, but we successfully delivered using the techniques taught us by Chaplain Durbin and the materials we obtained from Marie Mongan..

[I thank Cindy and Scott for sharing their experience with hypnosis for childbirth with you and wish for Kaylee a health and health life.]

[NOTE: My program using hypnosis for childbirth is not "an all or nothing" program. The client is aware that she can have chemical anesthesia when and if needed and that is alright. I worked with my daughter-in-law (Gretchen) and son (Scott) using hypnosis for childbirth. It was working fine, but late in the afternoon, the baby was not moving down properly, so the physician recommended a C-Section which they decided was best for the baby. A beautiful baby boy (Brewster Paul) was born on July 13, 2001 and is the joy of his grandpa. He is a happy baby and cries only when he want his bottle or when he is hurting. Now when he want his bottle, he lets you know in no uncertain terms. I am convinced the hypnosis sessions, the music time for the baby, his mother and dad talking to and playing to him before he was born, and him feeling their love for him contributed greatly to his wonderful personality. You can see pictures of Brewster Paul my Frog World". Paul]



Dear Friend of Methodist,

Could anyone have a brighter, more invigorating outlook on life than the celebrity on the cover of this issue of Vim & Vigor? Oprah Winfrey certainly tops the list of happy, confident, self-sufficient and successful women in the world, She has much to smile about, But as you learn in the interview, Winfrey's journey into success followed a path that had years of sorrow, abuse, discrimination and hard work And just like most women, she's encountered the concerns and emotional stresses that come upon a woman as her body changes and matures, In this issue's cover story, the well-known celebrity shares her thoughts, her processes and her daily activities as she faces a new, midlife phase.

As we learn with Oprah Winfrey, things are not always as they first appear. The article "Baby Blues" presents a look at the heartache of depression that many women experience with the birth of a baby.

One of the most joyous moments of a family's life may trigger significant depression and isolation that could interfere with vital maternal/ child bonding. Psychiatrist William Colomb, M.D" reviews the symptoms of postpartum depression and discusses the outpatient course of treatment that returns a mother to her family.

Other articles of special interest to our women readers are "What's this Lump?" and "Peace of Mind." Surgeon Steven Jones, M.D" defines fibrocystic breast conditions while presenting information about equipment that differentiates between benign cysts and suspicious indications on a mammogram. Accompanying human-interest articles highlight two women and their experiences with stereotactic imaging and tissue sampling to confirm or eliminate the presence of breast cancer.

The article "Road Less Traveled" is an interesting look at a "new" way of having a baby. Chaplain Paul Durbin, Director of Methodist Hospital's Clinical Hypnotherapy Department and internationally recognized expert in hypnotherapy, talks about hypnosis as an alternative to more traditional labor and delivery. Although this method is not for everyone, it does provide an interesting and intriguing choice for the younger generation. Please be sure to contact the Methodist Women's Center if you would like additional information on this service.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to remind you of the numerous free classes, workshops, seminars and screenings that Methodist Hospital offers throughout the year, Please visit our continually updated Web site, \V\\, for information on community programs or call the hospital's Wellspring office at ( 504 ) 244-5728 for a calendar of events.   Frederick C Young, Jr.


According to Navaho tradition, a woman's first signs of labor are signals for the tribe to gather. As she waits for the birth of her baby, family and friends surround the mother and celebrate the activity of childbirth.

In some areas of Spain, the expectant mother experiences labor outside, near a stream, while onlookers help comfort the mother and baby with laughter, stories and singing.

Hammocks are the place of delivery for woman in the Yucatan and in Medieval Europe: women retired to special lying-in-waiting rooms as they passed the last months of their pregnancy.

The birth process is as varied and as diverse as the many cultures that comprise the world. While patient in the United States generally choose to between natural childbirth with the Lamaze method or a mild anesthetic to ease the pain, hypnosis for childbirth preparation can also be very effective.

LET METHODIST HELP: For those interested in following the hypnosis delivery path, Methodist Women's Center, in association with Director of Clinical Hypnotherapy Paul G. Durbin, Ph.D., offers hypnosis for childbirth. "Hypnosis for childbirth preparation is a guided relaxation technique before, during and after labor and delivery that allows the mother to break the cycle of fear and anticipation that contributes to tension and increased pain," Durbin says, emphasizing that self-hypnosis for childbirth is not for every woman. "It is important that couples interested in hypnobirthing discuss the process with their physicians. And, of course, couples may change their mind at any time during the planning process - or even at the time of delivery." Internationally recognized for his work in hypnotherapy and diplomat of the International Medical and Dental Association, Durbin emphasizes that clinical hypnosis is quite different from the stage hypnosis or the image of hypnotists depicted in the media. "Hypnosis is a normal, natural experience - similar to traveling to a place your have been before, but your mind is on something else and without realizing it, you find yourself two or three blocks beyond where you want to go. Even though you were not paying attention, your were driving safely. Your subconscious mind protects you."

A MEANS TO AN END: Durbin explains that a hypnotherapist is a guide, assisting an individual in preprogramming the subconscious mind to overcome fear, or to break a bad habit such as smoking. Candidates for using hypnosis during childbirth participate in a series of therapeutic sessions in which they learn self-hypnosis techniques and trigger mechanisms used to begin the process when labor first begins.

The expectant father also plays a significant, supportive role during hypnobirthing, similar to that of a Lamaze partner. Additionally, the patient's physician and attending nursing staff participate in the process with positive, encouraging communication and assistance. Hypnosis for childbirth preparation requires a physician referral.

BENEFITS FOR YOU AND BABY: Durbin notes that the benefits of hypnosis for childbirth include:

* reducing fear, tension and pain, before, during and after labor and delivery

* reducing need for pain medication

* allowing the mother to be conscious and more cooperative with her physician

* controlling the timing of the labor process, possibly preventing premature labor

* reducing post-operative nausea and other side effects of chemical anesthesia

* eliminating unnecessary stress on the drculatory, respiratory, hepatic or renal system

* producing resistance to fatigue

* shortening labor time by up to four hours for most women

* promoting an easier delivery

For additional information on hypnosis childbirth preparation contact Methodist Women’s Center at 504244-2999 or visit the website (For information appointments, you can also call 504-244-5431)