Monday, September 3, 2012

2013 HypnoBirthing Classes in Las Cruces

HypnoBirthing® is a childbirth education method based on the philosophy that a birthing woman and her baby benefit most from a birthing environment that incorporates confidence, deep relaxation and focus, information, and optimal health.

I am certified by the HypnoBirthing® Institute to teach a series of 5 classes (2.5 hours each), where we focus on each mother's inherent ability to give birth as comfortably as possible and according to her own informed decisions. You will watch videos, learn and practice a comprehensive set of relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques, become familiar the process of labor and birth, and learn how to advocate for yourself and your baby to achieve the best possible birthing experience.

Upcoming Group Class Schedule in Las Cruces

At this time, I provide private instruction--we can arrange the classes according to your schedule, in your home or at my location. Lots of chances for personal attention and questions!

If I receive enough interest in a group class at one time, I will do my best to coordinate a group class schedule that fits everyone's needs.

Group Classes:  $295
Private Classes:  $395 (in Las Cruces*)

Fee includes includes all 5 classes, HypnoBirthing textbook, 2 CDs, & all scripts/handouts.
*Additional travel fees apply for private classes in cities outside of Las Cruces, such as Alamogordo, El Paso, Truth or Consequences. 

If you have questions, or would like to register, email me at or call me (773) 732-4038 or (888) 670-1875 for a registration form and instructions.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Natural (Mother-centered) C-section

A cesarean section does not need to be a cold, quick, anxiety-provoking, and/or inhumane procedure.  It is still a birth!  It can be worth it to spend time planning for a c-section in a way that prepares you and your baby to have a very special, gentle experience.  One of the ways that HypnoBirthing can help is by incorporating relaxation and visualization into the birth room--even if it is in the OR.  You can also advocate for immediate, uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with your baby and immediate breastfeeding.

This is not selfish!  It is best for the baby, if it is possible.  It is not always convenient for hospital/OR staff, but here is a video that shows some of these ideas.  I hope it helps you, or someone you know, plan for a more gentle, natural, or mother-friendly/baby-friendly cesarean section:


About Me


Certified HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator (HBCE) since 2005

Former Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)

Certified Hypnotherapist (CH); Certified in Clinical Hypnotherapy

Licensed Massage Therapist (Illinois, Texas, & California) & Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCTMB)

Certified Massage Doula

Certified Prenatal Massage Therapist

Certified Infant Massage Instructor

In addition to what is listed above, I also have a vast and varied background in movement, bodywork and alternative health; I hold a B.A. in Dance, have studied modalities such as neuromuscular massage therapy, acupuncture/acupressure, Oriental medicine, yoga, tai chi and holistic nutrition. Although I have spent many years working in the massage field, I chose to specialize in pregnancy in 2003. After discovering the joy of working with women during this enlightening time, I then began attending the births of my clients--and soon became certified as a doula and a HypnoBirthing practitioner. I was a Lamaze-Certified Childbirth Educator between 2008-2011 (but I have always exclusively taught HypnoBirthing!).

I possess an insatiable passion for interpreting the research and truths about childbirth. I believe that most parents want the safest, healthiest birthing experience possible. Sifting through the conflicting messages provided by medical staff (who are often trained to deal with emergencies or crises) can be confusing. In addition, parents often have many fears about the process. HypnoBirthing helps moms & dads to see birth as a natural, normal process; while providing skills for relaxation, visualization, and advocacy that can be used in all areas of life--and last longer than just a CD or book.

I have taught HypnoBirthing for over 7 years to hundreds of moms & couples. In addition to teaching HypnoBirthing, I have a masters degree in Clinical Psychology, with a thesis examining cortisol reactivity to acute stress in co-occurring anxiety and depression.  My other research interests are in stress and coping, mindfulness, postpartum depression, PTSD, and long-term survivors of interpersonal/sexual violence. Clinically, I have worked with substance abuse and sexual trauma. In the first half of 2010, I served as a research assistant at the University of California, Irvine for the Health Psychology department, for a major pregnancy & postpartum study. I am involved in multiple studies involving mindfulness-based interventions and biological stress reactivity.  I am currently working towards my Ph.D. in Psychology at New Mexico State University.

New Birth Story!

Hi Cindy,

It’s official. Baby L has arrived...We are all home and doing well. Adjusting to new life has had some bumpy moments, but all in all I couldn’t feel more blessed or grateful. I thought you would be eager to hear how things went:

I experienced a lot of practice labor during the month of June. Lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions and lots of cramping. Nothing that ever mounted to anything or had any kind of rhythm until Sunday night. I started experiencing lower abdominal cramping, felt like period cramps. These were different then ones I had experienced before because I could feel it in my lower back and they were coming and going. It wasn’t an intense cramp, very mild. I started timing them, Z came home and I told him he should pack his bags, this could be the night. However the contractions didn’t seem to be progressing it was getting late and we decided to go to bed and that was that. Skip forward to Tuesday. I had a midwife appointment at 7:30pm. I was experiencing some cramping and Braxton-Hicks contractions during the visit. It was kind of like a dull ache, nothing that was cyclical. My midwives don’t check to see if you are dilated or not, they let the baby come when the baby is ready to come. I told them about Sunday, they said to just keep doing what I was doing, things looked good and we set up an appointment for the following week.

Sunday night starting around 9:00pm. I started feeling the cramps again with the lower back pain and a cycle.
Z and I timed them. They weren’t at the right intervals to call the midwives and they weren’t very strong. I could move around just fine through the contractions, I would be a little short on breath, but I could speak. So we monitored things, but it didn’t seem to be going anywhere, so we decided to get some rest. This is when things started to pick up. I went to bed around 11:00pm. Not long after l laid down, I started to feel a stronger uterine contraction and it was coming and going. I had already had it in my head that this was probably going to be like Sunday again, so it didn’t register immediately that this was something to pay attention to. I was tired and I just wanted to fall asleep. I was doing some breathing techniques to ease the pressure and I was getting irritated that the cramping was keeping me up. That’s when it registered that this was different, they are keeping me awake, I should pay attention to these. I took out the watch and started timing them. They were coming around every three to five minutes. Stronger, they weren’t painful, just uncomfortable, so I thought it would be a good time to get out one of the meditations and see if things would calm down or increase. I wasn’t but 5 minutes into the meditation when my membranes released, this happened at about 12:10am. Then it was on and it was on FAST. Z timed my contractions as I got into the shower to wash off. We then called the midwives to let them know what was going on. They said come on in. By this time the contractions had increased tenfold. I was trying to concentrate and get my body and mind calm, but it was difficult, because the task at hand was to get to the hospital. It was really starting to get painful. When a contraction hit, I was on the floor on all fours trying to stay with it. I told Z in between a contraction that this baby was coming fast. I was able to walk to the car between a contraction. We were on the road at about 12:50am.

The contractions only continued to increase and become more powerful. Somewhere between North Ave and Division Street while driving south to get to the highway I started to getting the urge to push and I yelled out to
Z that my body wants to PUSH!!! We kept hitting every red light. It just happened to be that we pulled up to a police officer at the next the red light. Z rolled down the window and yelled out to them that I was in labor and we needed to get to the hospital fast and that he was just going to go through the red light. They let us go and then followed along next to us with their flashers on helping us through the intersections till we could get to the highway. I wish I could tell you that I was totally in control and staying calm through the drive, but I lost it a few times because I couldn’t fight what my body needed to do and we still had to get to the hospital. It was an extremely intense feeling, and I could feel the babies head trying to come down through the birth canal. Z was awesome though, he stayed calm. He told me to pull it together and stay with him. I was able to bring it back together, it took everything I had not to push the baby out in the car. I was doing the short, frequent breaths with a tone and that brought me back in control. We pulled up to the hospital. There just happened to be a wheel chair sitting outside close to the car. Z ran for that while I got out of the car. I got hit with another huge contraction and I was on all fours again trying to stay with it. We left everything in the car, we didn’t even bother to shut the passenger door that I had left open. Z got me in the wheel chair and we bounded for the ER. The ER nurse was a little slow to respond to the immediacy of the situation, but when I started yelling that I needed to push she moved real fast. I told Z he could push the wheelchair faster through the hallways. By some minor miracle our midwife was already at the hospital with another mom. She met us before triage and helped us bi-pass and get us to the room. It was not ready, but there was no more time left. They pushed me to the bed. I got up on all fours and surrendered to the urges. They had barely pulled my pants off, before the baby came sliding right out of me. It took two or three pushes and there he was. The relief of the pressure felt amazing, but my body and mind were in a state of shock due to how fast everything went. They helped me lay down and put the baby on my chest to hold. Z didn’t get his chance to announce the sex at first. I had to ask. I didn’t get to hold him very long, I had the shakes and they needed me deliver the placenta. Once things calmed down and I was all taken care of, they helped me sit up so that I could have L latch. He latched on like a pro and he’s been a greedy little guy ever since. We couldn’t be more happy or grateful for our little guy.

So that’s the story. I hope all goes well with your deliveries. It’s an incredible feeling to meet that little being that has been held inside of you for so long. I will say this, the breathing is really important. Although I did loose it a couple times, I was able to bring it back together and it was all about the mind and the breath. So if you loose your concentration or control during your labor, just know that you can get it back together. I can’t wait to hear from you and your stories and see pictures of you little ones.

Blessings to you,


Contact Information

Cindy Unger, NCTMB, HBCE, CH
Phone: (773) 732-4038 or (888) 670-1875

Testimonials - From some of my satisfied clients...

"HypnoBirthing helped me to look at labor without any fear. Everyone kept asking me if I was nervous about labor and I answered them honestly with 'No, I'm actually very excited about labor.' The breathing techniques are wonderful and so helpful, not only during labor, but any time you need to relax. I used the breathing techniques in the beginning when breastfeeding was painful and I really think it helped Jack and I to bond more easily." -Emily (pictured with baby Jack)

"It was absolutely the reason I had such a calm, wonderful birthing experience...I think it's the best childbirth instruction out there." -Leanne (Professional Doula & HypnoBirthing mom, pictured with baby Adrienne)

"I had a great birth experience...I feel that the birth couldn't have been any better. I wouldn't change a thing. I really thank 'HypnoBirthing' for getting me through this experience. I used a lot of visualization techniques and I have to say that most of what I wanted and visualized came to be in reality." Wendy (pictured with baby Wyatt)

"Cindy brought a sense of peace and calmness with her which filled the whole room and made all my fears disappear...Cindy's mere presence and reassuring look was very comforting and was very encouraging to me...We are sure that we are going to have her as our Doula for the next baby." Hima & Venu

"In total my labor was about 14 hours and honestly through most of it, I didn't even think it was happening since it wasn't bad or 'painful,' mostly uncomfortable. After Stephen was out I felt great and did not take any medication afterwards. So, big THANK YOU for the HypnoBirthing classes!!!!! I was really relaxed and confident through the whole labor and pregnancy. Thank you again and keep doing what you do!" (Julie, Summer 2008)

"The class was useful! The labor was pretty uneventful...not very long, so I made it through without medications. I think the most useful thing for me was actually doing the relaxation exercises in class...I would definitely use the techniques again...I feel that my recovery was faster because of the decisions I made." T.M. (First Baby)

"Thanks for thinking of us and thanks for your help! The labor was long, about 20 hours, but med free and either walking or kneeling which is what I wanted...The nurses commented that they were surprised by my control. That surprised me, since I was shooting for even more than I thought I had...The breathing was most helpful and I used the countdown method to help me relax, that and [my husband's] eye contact." T.M. (Second Baby)

"My birth experience was a really positive one. I have to thank you for the relaxation techniques that you taught me to help me get through the events of that day...The slow inhale breathing really helped a lot..." (Name withheld by request)

"We'd just like to reiterate how terrific Cindy Unger was during the class, and indeed during the entire pregnancy. We are very grateful to her. The breathing techniques, the visualization exercises, & Cindy's descriptions of the labor process [were] extremely useful. Cindy was also enormously helpful outside of class, by email, etc. We also feel that HypoBirthing made the pregnancy, not just the birth, a much better experience." (Names withheld by request)

"We are doing well and had a wonderful birth (unplanned at home!). Thank you so much for the great classes, I am convinced that it was the HypnoBirthing preparation that allowed us to have such a smooth, easy, beautiful birth." - Angie, December 2006

"Thanks, Cindy! I'm certain I couldn't have had such a great experience without your class. This was completely different from [my first baby's] birth!" - Summer '08

"I was SO HAPPY with our birth...I know that not everyone can say that their birth went exactly the way they wanted it to go, so I feel really blessed. Thank you for everything! I will refer you and Hypnobirthing to everyone!" - Summer '08

"The birth couldn't have been more beautiful--I labored almost entirely on the birth ball and was able to birth her without any pain medications. I really used the techniques you taught, and appreciated your class." - Summer '08

Childbirth Resources & Referrals

Local Resources Coming Soon!

Other Resources: - The main site for HypnoBirthing®, The Mongan Method. - Information for inquiring minds. - Information about pregnancy, labor & birth in the "wiki" format.

The Brewer Diet - Joy Jones is a nurse who has assisted homebirth midwives for about 30 years. A little over a year ago, she created a new website about the Brewer Pregnancy Diet. Excellent Information for Pregnant Women!!

Prenatal Comforts - A wonderful site with products and resources for pregnant women. - Author of The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth and Obstetric Myths vs. Research Realities, Henci is an invaluable resource for information on pre- and perinatal research. Great for truth-seekers.

La Leche League of Illinois - Lactation support & resources.

Chicago HypnoBirthing Network - HypnoBirthing class listings for Chicago & Suburbs. - The #1 Site for Breastfeeding Information, Support & Attitude! - The Magazine of Pregnancy, Birth & Breastfeeding. A great source for red raspberry leaf tea. - Chicago-area resource for all things related to childbirth!

Lactation Associates, Inc. - Nurse Lactation consultants, Home visits; Phone: (847) 509-8302 Pager: (847) 479-2229 - A fellow HypnoBirthing practitioner and author, Dr. Nancie Barwick. Dr. Nancie's book is entitled, Unstuff Yourself: Finding Joy on the Road to Wellness. - Waterbirth International. "Waterbirth is a safe and gentle alternative to the standard high-tech approach associated with giving birth today and is completely compatible with HypnoBirthing®." - Hey! Who's Having this Baby, Anyway? "In her explosive new book Breck Hawk reveals how many pregnant women
can avoid serious repercussions from the drugs and unnecessary medical interventions that are pushed on them while in labor...
simply by being aware of their basic patient rights and options.
Hey! gives power back to moms-to-be and shows them how they can
make themselves be heard!" - International Cesarean Awareness Network. A great resource for ALL expectant parents, including VBAC's. - Free online birth announcements & so much more...Find a Baby, Free Baby Stuff. - Doula listings - "Herbal Medicine for Women's Health and Well-Being. Articles, links galore, natural health books, workshops. Subjects include menstruation, fertility, childbearing, breast cancer prevention, spirit healing and more ... Books include Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year, a confirmed favorite with pregnant women, midwives, childbirth educators, and new parents." - "Natural Childbirth information for the HIP and MODERN mom. Find information about cord blood banking, read pregnancy articles, find pregnancy resources and don't leave without checking out our baby names section to help you find the best baby name for that HIP baby of yours." - "Your Source for the Top 100 Baby Names" - More baby names! - Partners with HypnoBirthing International; "Devoted to providing websurfers with reviews and ratings of the absolute best websites of interest to families and parents-to-be." - A site for moms and moms-to-be.

Low Prices on MP3 Players; EParts & More. An MP3 player can be very handy during your labor and birthing - for music, self-hypnosis and tuning out the outside world. - Good Childbirth by Dr. Steven Reid: "Over the last twenty years I have been working with expectant women, trying to establish why for too many the experience of labour does not meet hopes and expectations. Out of this work has emerged the book 'GOOD CHILDBIRTH' which can increase the prospects of your having the pregnancy and labour you deserve." - This site is now the home of Robin Elise Weiss, the founder of - a multiplicity of topics arranged from the beginning(wanting) to the neverending end(growth and development). - Attachment Parenting International. - Cord Blood Banking; personal storage & donation.

Inflatable tubs for labor: or

Purple Thistle Tea Company - Jenny West (a HB practitioner & midwife); Herbal teas, remedies and tips.

In Touch with Elizabeth Pantley - Online Resources for Raising Children, free newsletter.

Hypnosis for Successful Breastfeeding - Sheri Menelli, CLC, HBCE, CHt

Articles & Misc. Info:

Animation of Normal Delivery

Bonding with Your Newborn (by William Sears, MD)

Children Need Touching & Attention, Harvard Researchers Say

Hypnosis for Pain Relief in Labour & Childbirth: A Systematic Review

American Academy of Pediatrics Medical Library

More coming soon!