We first met Carrie as our Hypnobabies instructor for our first son in 2020. After starting the course and meeting Carrie, we wanted her as our doula for our son’s birth. However, it being COVID, we were not allowed to have a doula at our hospital birth. Nonetheless, Carrie was helpful providing support over the phone during this birth. When I got pregnant with our second son in late 2022, we knew we wanted Carrie this time around. Carrie worked with me in my second trimester through her Conscious Recovery Program to overcome the trauma I had from the birth of my first son. This allowed me to go into birth preparation for my second son feeling mentally healthy and not held back by my prior birth experience. I did not realize I had so much to heal from until these sessions. Moving into the birth of my second son, Carrie provided support in my Hypnobabies home course and then doula services. She was very responsive to all my questions, needs, etc in the time leading up to my birthing time. During my hospital birth, Carrie kept me focused and in hypnosis, even while being poked and prodded by the nurses for various monitoring. We 100% credit Carrie for my fast birthing time! I arrived at the hospital at 1:30 AM and my baby was born at 5:47AM. Carrie helped me focus through each pressure wave. My water had not broke and the baby’s head was high. Carrie suggested a new position that I would have never come up with on my own and, sure enough, my water broke. Shortly after I was pushing and again Carrie kept me focused throughout this phase. She stayed with us after the birth of the baby and the placenta to make sure we were settled and that I got some much needed food. We are eternally grateful to Carrie for the amazing birth experience we had with our second son, as we know this experience would have been much different without her. She approached our birth preparation and birthing time with compassion, professionalism, and attentiveness. I would highly recommend Carrie to anyone looking for doula services, especially if planning a hypnobirth! Additionally, Carrie has helped me in my postpartum period with Conscious Coaching sessions. I always feel comfortable sharing with Carrie and our sessions are helping me in my postpartum/motherhood journey.
I signed up for Carrie’s Hypnobabies course because I knew I wanted an unmedicated birth, and as soon as I met her, I knew I needed to have her as my hypno-doula, as well. She gave our family the beautiful gift of a positive birthing experience, and I am forever grateful.
This was my first birthing experience, and with that came a 35-hour labor which Carrie was there for every step of the way. She made herself available at all times, ready to answer any questions, offering suggestions on how I could support my body while laboring at home, and being ready to come over whenever we asked. She helped me labor at home for as long as possible (27 hours!), providing me with the support I needed by coaching me through my birthing waves and helping me to get in tune with my body. I was ready for Carrie’s in-person support after about 20 hours of early labor since I was struggling to get into a hypnotic state on my own. As soon as she arrived, I felt more relaxed and reassured, and I was able to deepen my hypnotic state. After 5 hours and little progress being made (birthing waves remained fairly consistent), I told Carrie to go home to rest and that I’d let her know of any changes. She had told me that more progress might be made if I “retreat into my cave” (our primal instinct), and she was exactly right. As soon as she left, I laid down in bed to get some rest myself and that’s when I entered transformation.
My husband and I headed to the hospital around midnight and Carrie met us there shortly after. I was admitted at 7cm and baby girl was still in the OP position. I had created a birth plan which was signed off by my OB, but, unfortunately, my OB was not on-call that night. Pretty much right away I could see that I was going to have to advocate for myself in order to have the birthing experience that I had wanted. I could not have done this without Carrie by my side. She helped me feel confident and trust in my intuition. Carrie and I wanted to do Spinning Babies techniques in order to reposition baby, but I was getting push-back about needing to be continuously monitored (my OB had agreed to intermittent). With Carrie’s presence, I felt confident sticking with my plan and signing the informed refusal. I was checked again after several hours and was still at 7cm. We decided to have them break my water and 30 minutes later I was pushing. During this phase is when I felt most in tune with my body and really in the hypnotic state that I needed to be in. Although I was being told to push by laying on my back by the on-call OB, I trusted my body and pushed in the positions that I had practiced in our Hypnobabies class and those felt best in the moment. This, again, is something that I couldn’t have done without Carrie by my side. It was so incredibly reassuring knowing that I had her on my team. After some time of getting continuous push-back, I compromised by laying on my back in an inclined position. At 8:06 am, after a total of 2 hours of pushing, baby girl was here - healthy and happy! I should also note that I’m thankful for Carrie’s expertise in Spinning Babies since baby girl ended up being in the optimal position when birthed.
Thanks to Carrie, I was able to have the beautiful birthing experience that I had hoped for (although I had to fight for it to some extent!). Going into the birth, I had some regret about choosing a hospital birth, but she helped create a soothing ambiance that not only helped me relax into my body but conveyed a message to the staff of the type of birthing experience that I wanted. Her positive energy, innate ability to know what I needed, and source of strength was everything and I’m eternally grateful. I know that I will be using Carrie’s hypno-doula services for our next birth!
This was my second birth with Carrie. I knew after my first birth at a hospital with Carrie that i definitely wanted her by my side again. This time around my experience was so much different giving birth at a birthing center.
The midwives were well trained and gentle. No sterile lights or pushing me to hurry up. They just let me birth my baby and were there to support me.
Carrie was my rock, tending to my every need. She could read my vocals in the birthing sounds i was making and coaching me to push the sound deep down helping to push my baby out. She is exceptionally intuitive as a birth doula. I’m so grateful for her and i feel like i couldn’t have had a positive birth experience without her (even though she says i could ;-) If you are planning to have a natural, easy, and positive birth, get Carrie by your side.
Carrie was wonderful at conducting the class meetings making both the wife’s and husbands feel comfortable and included. Discussing weekly assignments with the rest of group to practicing exercises with our partners made my birth much more manageable than I imagined. Carrie practiced hypnosis during the class and walking our partner through the material was critical for my actual birth. I wouldn’t have made it to 6cm at home without the skills Carrie taught me. I am forever grateful for her!!
If you are thinking about having a good birth experience i highly recommend hiring Carrie as your doula. She was both my Hypnobabies instructor and my birth doula and i couldn't have had my amazing experience without her help.
She was there for me every step of the way and was the one person i wanted by my side coaching me and protecting my energy. From the start of labor to birthing my baby it couldn’t have gone any more perfect. I labored at home as long as possible with Carries support, got to the hospital at the perfect time, had a very short labor, zero medication and zero complications.
Carrie gave me the confidence, knowledge and tools to set us up with a perfect birth experience.
She will always have a special place in our family and i am eternally grateful for giving me the gift of a beautiful birthing experience
(Editor's Note: Ashley did the Hypnobabies Home-study course with babies #1 & #2, and decided to take the live class with me for baby #3)
Baby Madison made her appearance on Wednesday September 14th at 1:12am in our hotel bathtub 😳 I had birthing waves on/off for two weeks but suspected it was our time Monday the 12th and went in to Mission Hospital where I was having strong waves every 3 minutes but did not progress pass a 3 after 6 hours so I was sent home at 1am with instructions to return when they got stronger. Living an hour away from the hospital we decided to get a hotel. For most of Tuesday I did not have any waves and then that evening they picked up again but never got any stronger until transformation.
That evening though as I felt the birthing waves start up again, I decided I needed to "clean up" the hotel room and set up my Hypnobabies room. We got out our orange glowing diffuser, our signs that our daughter made, tea lights, hanging lights, and some other comfort items. My husband and I enjoyed a nice Italian dinner (630pm) in our hotel and after that I went into my space with Hypnobabies tracks playing. Birthing waves continued to be about 5-6 minutes apart with some further spaced out. The plan was to go around 4 minutes apart as the hotel was 15 minutes away and I didn't want to be sent home again. Well the 4 minute birthing waves never happened as things went from 5 minutes to 1-2 minutes apart around 1230am.
I got in the shower/bath to see if I could slow things down enough to get to the car while Steve got our bags together but my water broke and I knew we weren't going to make it. I figured it was easier to deliver in a bath than a car at 1 in the morning. We prepared for this as I have a history of going very fast once in active stage. We had an emergency kit with suction, clamps, ect handy. We took a few minutes to discuss our plan, gather supplies and so forth. My body gave me a few longer "breaks" that I thoroughly enjoyed and allowed to really relax in the tub between each wave. Steve got the "pushing" track going and started to match me in my "peaceeee" breathing. Sometime after 1 I felt the urge to push and 4 or so pushes later, we met our baby girl. She didn't cry but was absolutely perfect and alert. We planned on driving to the hospital but with my history of postpartum hemorrhage and with having to walk down through the lobby without a wheel chair and baby still attached we decided it was safer to call an ambulance to take us. The hospital experience once we got there was really nice. We were still able to use the midwife suites and were discharged 40 hours later.
Our birth experience was absolutely amazing and I couldn't have asked for any better. It was intimate and amazing just having that time for the two of us without interruption so much so that we would most likely choose homebirth if there was another baby.
I'm sure there's a few things I'm missing in there but overall we felt very fortunate to have the birth experience that we did.
Thank you again for helping us in this beautiful journey we are so grateful!
Ashley & Steve
I’m laying here wide awake reflecting on my birth last night and I just had to email you and tell you what a difference you and the Hypnobabies course made in my child birth.
After we last met for our private session I was pretty positive baby girl was coming early because I just felt her so low and was having so many pre birthing waves and mentally I was just so ready. Our last session really put all the pieces together and made me feel so confident going into my birth. Then the following week my husband came down with covid (unrelated to me being sick) so needless to say it was super stressful and all my birthing waves shut down. I moved out of the house and was living with my parents and my daughter for over a week hoping to not go into my birthing time, otherwise zack would not have been able to be present at the birth. The affirmations and deepening tracks helped me sleep during the week when there was so much stress going on around me. On day 10 of his quarantine ending, I woke up that morning with pretty strong pre birthing waves. The timing was literally perfect because I could finally go home. It was on and off, but fast-forward to when active birthing time began and it was a quick 7 hours later and she was born at home, in the birthing pool, with Zack and my birth team. It was perfect. I used the ball and many birthing positions that you taught us. You were totally right, this hypnobirth was night and day different from my first non hypnobirth at a hospital!
I was not one of those quiet birthing mamas we saw in the videos haha but I was SO relaxed in between everything. After the birth, everyone commented how relaxed I was. The education I received from the course was beyond empowering and I knew exactly what was happening to my body as it was happening. I played the hypnosis tracks all day long, had salt lamps all over my house, and created the perfect birthing cave. And because of you and the class I literally breathed my baby out. Before this course I had no idea that was possible. There was zero coached pushing, it was the most magical thing ever, and I literally just breathed.
Sorry this email was A LOT but I just really wanted to share with you my experience and let you know how incredibly grateful I am to have had you guide me in this journey. I told Zack last night, none of this would have been possible without your class ❤️ Please feel free to take any of this and use as a testimonial or review! I was already telling friends about your course but now I will seriously be telling everyone!
Thank you so so much!!
Born at home, September 16th 9:20pm
Everyone told me to be prepared to “be late”! So I wasn't expecting it when I started my birthing time, two days before my guess date, and I didn't actually believe it was happening until we called my midwife telling her we thought I had food poisoning and needed to go to the hospital.
But let me rewind a little...
I really enjoyed my Hypnobabies classes and the home-play, and I know that listening to the CD’s and practicing my self-hypnosis kept me relaxed through the last few months of my pregnancy. I had confidence in my body and myself, and I wasn’t scared about giving birth. However I was nervous about finding the right doula. Our Hypnobabies instructor wasn’t a doula herself, so I had to look else where to find a Hypno-doula. We had a couple interviews with potential doulas that never felt right, until we met Carrie. After 10 minutes I knew that Carrie was the one!
Fast forward to June 7th…
My Mother-In-Law and some of her friends were in town visiting for a few days and we all decided to go out to dinner. At dinner everyone said that I didn’t have that so-called ‘look’ and that they thought it would probably be at least another week or so, and I really did too. I ate some heavy and decadent food, like lobster mac n’ cheese and crème brûlée but I was really just looking forward to getting home so I could relax and not talk about when I when I was going to “go into labor” anymore! After dinner my husband, Daniel, went out for a nightcap with his Mom and I went home and listened to a couple Hypnobabies tracks and went to sleep.
I woke up at 11:00pm with what I thought were horrible stomach cramps, which lead me straight to the bathroom thinking I had food poisoning. In the back of my head I thought that it was possibly my birthing time, so I downloaded an app to track the cramps, which were every 4 – 5 minutes or so. But I still thought I was just sick!
Around 1:00 am I decided that I needed to wake Daniel up because I thought I would need to go to the hospital if I was really having food poisoning. 30 minutes after waking him up I told him to call our midwife to find out what we should do. Of course she asked if the cramps were rhythmic and if we were timing them, and then she informed us that it wasn’t food poisoning but my birthing time! She told us to call Carrie and to keep in touch as things progressed.
We had this expectation that my birthing time would start out slowly, giving us ample time to get everything set up. Which lead to this romantic idea of baking muffins together and putting together charcuterie platters for our birthing team. The reality was that my pressure waves were pretty intense from the get-go and I wasn’t able to talk or even think clearly during them. I ended up shouting out to Daniel in between to “get this” and “do that”, as I sat in the bathroom thinking about all the things I needed to do but couldn’t make myself move. I spent some time in the shower, which felt amazing and then around 2:30 am I told him to call Carrie and get her down here.
While we waited for Carrie to arrive I tired to play my Hypnobabies tracks and get myself into hypnosis. Although I don’t remember much between 3:00 am – 4:30 am, I clearly remember the feeling of relief once she arrived! Carrie helped me deepen my hypnosis so I could relax in between and during my pressure waves, and just allow my body and baby to do what they knew to do. At some point I really started to feel pressure in my low back, so we moved from the toilet to my birthing ball, where I was able to sway a little while she massaged by back and read me scripts, all the while keeping in touch with our midwife.
Then boom, around 4:45 am my bag of waters broke, and I was pushing and I couldn’t stop myself! Carrie asked me if I was pushing and then quickly messaged my midwife to hurry because the baby would be here soon. She told Daniel to get the birthing tub inflated and filled and helped me get unto our bed in case our baby girl came before our midwife arrived.
My midwife said when she and her assistant ran through the door that Daniel looked like a deer caught in headlights! They quickly checked the baby’s heart beat and let me reach down to feel her head, and then helped me into the filing tub. Getting into the tub was the BEST feeling ever! Within 2 or 3 pushes our baby girl was born and I sat back against the tub as they placed her in my arms. I remember looking back at Daniel and feeling this love for him that I’ve never felt and then looking down at our daughter knowing that our love for her was more powerful than anything we’ve ever felt and that we would move mountains, if we had to, to give her an amazing life.
I will be forever grateful for all the support and love that Carrie gave to us before, during and after Everly’s birth. We can’t wait to get pregnant again and will without a doubt have Carrie as our Hypno-doula!!
I cannot say enough great things about Carrie. As a Hypnobabies instructor, she went above and beyond. You can tell she has a passion for what she does. I really enjoyed her Hypnobabies classes because they were so informative and useful during this journey. And learning from Carrie made all the difference in preparation for our birthing day. Having her present as our doula during our birthing time was priceless. She brought such a light and strength to our team, and now I look back on my baby's birth with such fond memories. She is truly an advocate for her mamas. Thank you, Carrie for your love and support!
I also want to mention how amazing Carrie was with providing hypnotherapy.
I would urge anyone that is struggling with pain or obstacles in their lives to seek Carrie's help. Her gentle spirit and warm smile are such a comfort during her hypnotherapy sessions. I walked away with such peace and insight after only one session! Now I have the tools I need to live my best life
This was my third Hypno-baby! My first Hypno-baby was born 9 years ago, my second Hypno-baby 7 years ago and I had amazing experiences both times. I used the home study program for my first two children but this time I decided to actually take a class. I highly recommend taking a class if you can. I feel that I listened to my tracks and practiced a lot more when held accountable. I also learned a lot of new things that I didn’t know before.
My instructor, Carrie Cesario Mendes was also my hypno doula and it made a world of a difference having a doula who truly understood and was passionate about Hypnobabies! Although I had positive experiences with birthing my first two children, this time I had my dream birth! “Visualize your birth” was my favorite track and I listened to it daily in the last few weeks. It is truly amazing what we can manifest through visualization because everything went almost exactly as I had envisioned. Birthing my daughter was the most empowering and spiritual experience of my life!
From the beginning, I knew that I wanted a natural water birth for my daughter. I was very disappointed to find out that according to my hospital’s policy I was only allowed to “labor” in the tub but not actually give birth in the tub. My midwife told me that they would have to get me out of the tub before I started pushing. A home birth was not really an option for me because I personally feel more comfortable birthing in a hospital setting. Still, I continued to visualize a water birth at the hospital while listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. During one of my weekly Hypnobabies classes the topic of catching your own baby came up and it really stuck with me. So, I also started to visualize pushing my baby out and pulling her up to my chest myself.
During the last month of my pregnancy, I was experiencing prodromal birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor). Lots of inconsistent pressure waves (Hypnobabies word for contractions) starting in the evening and dying off by the morning. It was getting to be really physically and emotionally exhausting because I would have lots of sleepless nights with waves that didn’t result in going into my birthing time. At week 40 I was tired, cranky, anxious, and not feeling quite myself anymore. I was listening to Hypnobabies tracks every single day and “Come out Baby” was played several times a day for the last two weeks because I was feeling desperate for my baby girl to make her debut. On Sunday, July 14th I met with my hypno doula, Carrie for a hypnosis session. After our session, I felt my anxieties fade away.
My husband started his paternity leave that following day so we dropped off our kids at summer camp and decided to spend the day at the beach walking down the pier. It was such a nice moment for us to relax and connect. After the hypnotherapy session and therapeutic beach walk, I felt that I was finally mentally in a good place for baby girl to make her debut.
That afternoon I had a little bit of bloody show and I started getting some stronger waves but they were not coming consistently so I rode the waves all night listening to the Hypnobabies tracks. I decided to go into the midwife’s office the next morning, July 16th. I was feeling waves every 10 minutes or so. The midwife did a vaginal exam and told me that I was about 3cm dilated 50% effaced. After my appointment, we decided to go to the mall to have lunch and do some walking to move things along.
Once at home the waves were coming every 4-6 minutes so I took a shower, got all of our stuff ready and headed over to the hospital. Once I got in the car and put my headphones on I was totally in the zone. My waves were coming every five minutes at this point. There was a bit of traffic so it was about 5:00 pm when we arrived at the hospital.
We had prepared snacks and drinks to bring to the nurses and they really seemed to appreciate the gesture. I was also really glad that I did the registration and paperwork before I went into the hospital since I didn’t have to bother with any of that once I arrived. When we were admitted, the nurse immediately asked us “What would you like us to call contractions?” and my husband asked her to call them “waves.” The nurses and staff at the hospital were amazing and very considerate of our Hypno-birth and birthing plan! The nurse did a vaginal exam and I was 4cm dilated and 60% effaced and -2 station. They gave me the option to go home but I preferred to stay at the hospital at that point.
I was very focused and in the hypnosis zone until my midwife walked in. She was so warm and friendly and wanted to chit chat with me. Although I appreciated her friendliness I was completely pulled out of the zone and switched over to my “thinking brain!” My waves seemed to come to a complete stop and the midwife again recommended that I go home which I really did not want to do. At about 6 pm Carrie (my hypno doula) arrived to save the day. She came with a suitcase full of her tools, a peanut ball, a birthing tool, and most importantly her presence. As soon as Carrie arrived she set a different tone in the room and helped me get right back into the zone. I was listening to Hypnobabies tracks on my headphones while she was reciting affirmations to me. I liked having both voices speaking to me since it gave me a continuous stream of suggestions and affirmations.
Carrie had me do some Spinning Babies moves to get the baby to come down further. We did the side-lying releases, shaking the apple tree and the abdominal lift and tucks. I’m not going to lie; the abdominal lift and tucks were quite intense and I felt some pain when we did these. Once the nurses blew up and filled the birthing tub I stepped inside and felt such a relief! The warm water was really soothing and felt so relaxing. Carrie poured warm water on my back while my husband held my hand and I was able to completely focus on my birthing time. My midwife and nurse sat on the bed just observing for about an hour when they decided to step out. They must have figured that I had quite a bit of time left until I started pushing.
Soon after the midwives stepped out, I started feeling the urge to push. I decided to just listen to my body and let it do what it wanted to. I wasn’t making any loud sounds or looking like I was in distress so even my husband and my doula didn’t realize right away that I was pushing. I wasn’t feeling any pain. It just felt like intense pressure.
After pushing for about 10 minutes (or less) I felt the baby’s head bulging out. I put my right hand below and felt her face. Her tiny nose and mouth! I was so excited to meet her! I pushed about two more times and felt her coming! I reached with both hands and pulled her right up to my chest saying, “Hi Sweetie!” I was just so happy she was finally here! I was blissed out with her on my chest when my husband said, “Her cord!” and I noticed that the cord was wrapped around her neck twice. I knew from my Hypnobabies class that a cord around the neck was very common and that it’s unlikely to cause any problems so I didn’t panic. Just then the nurse and midwife rushed in to find me with a baby on my chest. She quickly came over and unraveled the cord from around Remi’s neck. Right after she was untangled she let out a cry and my heart just melted.
We waited for the cord to stop pulsating and my husband cut the cord. Remi was alert and latched on right away. Carrie massaged my legs with Cypress essential oils while I birthed the placenta. The midwife said I had a minor first-degree tear. I think having a water birth really helped with the tearing and recovery.
Remi was a perfect 7lbs. 3oz. despite my gestational diabetes. She was born at 10:32 pm. It was less than 6 hours since we arrived at the hospital and everything went so quickly and smoothly! Remi’s birth was everything I had ever dreamed of. I ended up having that waterbirth that I wanted so badly and even got to “catch” her myself!
My older children are over the moon to have a baby sister and our family finally feels complete.
Thank you Hypnobabies and Carrie Cesario Mendes!