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Top 5 From Hypnobirthing teacher Teralee Malouf

How to get the birth of your dreams:

Pregnant mamas, I've been where you are. I know what it's like to feel my baby growing inside me, hoping for a wonderful birth experience. Please understand this: Your dream birth isn't something I can wrap up and hand over. I would love for every mother to enjoy her dream birth, and I also know how vital it is to be really proactive in order to get it. Here's what you need to do:

1. Prioritize your resources: If you have limited funding, don't spend it all on baby gear. That adorable crib, stroller, and nursery décor will be gone from your life in a few years. If time is in short supply, spend every spare minute you have working toward an amazing birth. Your birth experience and feelings about your birth will remain with you for the rest of your life. Use your resources to create an experience that will evoke feelings of joy and empowerment every time you look back on your birth.

2. Pay for a quality prenatal education: This means you pay for the very best. Don't just try to wing it by reading books or articles or mom blogs. Find a HypnoBirthing educator and class that will push you and give you the tools you need to enjoy your birth. Learn how to look forward to an incredible birth.

3. Pay for a provider and birth location that will support you 100% in your wishes for birth. Have an open dialogue with your provider throughout your pregnancy to ensure that you are on the same page. You will come to trust your perfect provider, and if your birth happens to take an unexpected turn, you will be able to navigate it with confidence.

4. Plan for/pay for the support you need. Only invite people into your birth space who are completely dedicated to supporting your birth preferences. Whether it's your partner/mother/sister/friend, make sure everyone is there to facilitate a positive experience for you. Hire a doula, find your perfect match and be willing to pay her accordingly.

5. Dedicate yourself to practicing the techniques you learn in class. Choose to spend time becoming an expert at the tools you've acquired.

If you have leftover resources (like time and money) after you've done the things I've just mentioned, go ahead and buy your favorite baby gear. Go on a fun vacation before your baby comes. Hire a birth photographer/videographer. You'll love all those things, of course, but most of all, you want to love your birth experience. Because your memory of this birth will remain with you forever, and you want it to be a beautiful memory.

Pregnant mamas, I've been where you are. Six times. And now I'm here on the other side of six beautiful, thrilling births. And I can tell you that it has been worth every second and penny spent. I paid out of pocket for my HypnoBirthing course while on a student budget. My husband and I dedicated time to practicing our HypnoBirthing techniques when I literally saw him for only 30 minutes a day, every day. I switched providers at 40 weeks so I could have a provider who was 100% supportive of my birth preferences. I chose to pay a lot of money to birth with a provider and at a location where my wishes would be honored instead of getting a free birth with an

provider and hospital. I've chosen birth locations that were less convenient and further away than closer, unsupportive options. I've worked through long and intense labors with strength and grace and grit. I've birthed big babies in comfort. And I cherish all of it!

I have zero regrets about my births. It has taken a lot of preparation, dedication, and effort, but I can truly say I've experienced the birth of my dreams every time. Planning, directing and owning my births has been the most empowering thing I've done in my life! I hope you can also feel empowered by creating the birth of your dreams! -Teralee Malouf

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