Fourteen years on, I'm happy to see you thriving in your practice/teachings. This thank you note comes unusually late but no less meaningful.
I was looking up your information for a friend and realized I never shared the joyful story of the birth of my 2 children. My partner Michel and I took a group hypnosis for childbirth class with you in 2000. We had planned for a home birth but after many hours of labour that didn't progress, my midwives transferred me to the hospital that they have admitting privileges at.
Our son was "stuck" and thanks to the obstetrician (an old school doc), we avoided a C section and even the epidural that was on order. Although this was an intense experience, I was in a deep trance like state which allowed me to handle everything without any panic or even much fear. Our son just turned 14 and it is a privilege to have him in our lives.
In 2003 we attended a refresher class as we prepared for child number two (I was age 40). When I went into labour with my second child in 2003, I sent my partner off to work thinking it would be some time before anything happened. I got into bed with headphones listening to the soothing sound of your recorded voice.
Around 1pm, I notified my midwives that "something" was happening and because I sounded so calm, they said they'd stop by on their way to see another client. Well, much to their surprise (and mine) I was 9 cm dilated and our wonderful daughter was born at home soon after. Our son was at the birth and I must say, these two have a beautiful bond and supportive relationship.
Your teachings and support greatly contributed to our positive birth experiences. I will always be grateful.
Linda M, Toronto
As a midwife, I’ve had numerous clients take Shawn’s course over the years. Those clients had the births that most stand out in my mind as calm, peaceful, quiet and short. They were the primips [first time mothers] who would call me at 9 cm, ready to start pushing. I can’t thank Shawn enough for preparing them so well.
I decided to take Shawn’s course because I wanted a calm, peaceful and short birth. Before even attending the class, I received the textbook and CDs in the mail. I started to read right away and made it a practice to listen to the CDs once a day. The peace that came over me was almost instantaneous. Finding that calm in myself helped to diminish my anxieties.
Taking Shawn’s course reinforced the normalcy of birth in a way that no amount of reading or talking has been able to do. It reminded me of the fact that labour doesn’t have to hurt and that it can be a short and spiritual experience. Shawn taught my partner and I very practical tools to cope with the experience, but above all, she taught me to believe that birth is normal and beautiful.
I taught prenatal classes for many years so I understand the importance of mental preparedness for birth. Shawn takes it beyond mental preparedness to a level of physical preparedness that I have never experienced before taking her class. Not only do I feel calm mentally, but I believe that my body is prepared for the journey that awaits. I don’t think that that feeling can be conveyed without the hypnosis component of the prenatal class.
After hearing so many testimonies about how much Shawn has helped pregnant women to prepare for their labours over the years, I feel tremendously fortunate to have had the opportunity to take her course. Both my partner and I have learned very practical skills that we will use in our lives beyond labour and birth. The course far exceeded my expectations and I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Patrice Latka, R.M.
I visited with Shawn Gallagher last week to try out some new therapies she has been studying. This is the same woman who taught us hypnosis for childbirth, a class I really enjoyed and will report on after I've had the chance to put her lessons to use.
She is a wonderful practitioner, intuitive and calming, and we worked on releasing any blockages or fears that I may be holding onto surrounding this upcoming birth.
I felt remarkably lighter after the session with her, no small feat for a person carrying around so much weight! I can't recommend her enough.
Dr. Michelle Fagen
January 11, 2009 blog
Mary and Bengt welcome their son. Mary found the hypnosis she learned in the course very helpful in her births.
See if you can spot Shawn at the birth!
(Hint: look for a fisherman knit sweater...)
Sorry - this video isn't available :(
Click on the following to read about Julia's homebirth in Toronto.
Beautiful photos (ok for kids!) showing very happy family members.
The link below is a blogpost dated April 2016 from my client who gave permission for this to be shared.
From my reading of the birth, I suspect that the baby's position may not have been optimal (i.e. she wanted to be in a forward leaning position and had vomiting). A less than optimal position adds to the pain as well as the length of the birth. I think we can all agree that she was amazing.
Thank you again for the session before Joaquim's birth. His birth did not go as hoped and ended with a caesarean BUT it was a surprisingly lovely experience and I had a great recovery. You helped us enormously.
I ended up having contractions that didn't "uncontract", which was something our midwife hadn't seen before. I felt contractions but no relief in between and I remembered you saying that this could be a warning sign in a VBAC [Vaginal Birth After Caesarian) situation. I only had about 4 hours of labour before we made the decision to have a caesarean and everything went incredibly smoothly after that. The caesarean was a disappointment initially, but I have no feeling of regret about Joaquim's birth.
We have been enjoying our amazing boy immensely. So far he is the perfect baby - eats extremely well, sleeps beautifully and has just begun blessing us with smiles. Such a joy.
Thank you so much for all of your help. I've found sessions with you to be so incredibly helpful in terms of my emotional preparation for mothering. I really can't thank you enough.
All the very best,
My partner and I want to thank you again for such a precious experience attending your hypnobirthing weekend.
We have both expressed a very changed feeling and approach towards the labour experience and towards each other. We feel deepened together and with our baby. We want to maintain this wonderful feeling and will continue to practice our newly found abilities to relax deeply.
I feel this experience was such a pivotal part of this pregnancy journey with my partner and with myself and baby, a very cherished memory. It has helped us see each other and learn more about each other.
We thank you deeply.
Thanks again for the [ChildbirthJoy Hypnosis] session. I'm so glad I took it! I can't begin to even tell you what a huge difference it has made in my perception of our (me, Chris, and baby Frankie) first birth experience. Where before I was so wracked with doubt and fear, now I'm just really looking forward to the whole experience.
Thanks again! Looking forward to attending your relaxation sessions in September (hopefully, it'll be before my due date so I can take advantage of it.)
The ChildbirthJoy Hypnosis class enabled me to have my baby without medication...something completely out of character for me!
My partner said it was quick and easy and as enjoyable as a birth should be, with very little worry and nervousness about VBAC [vaginal birth after caesarian].
I will definitely use the book and recordings for my next birth!... ChildbirthJoy Hypnosis helped me prepare mentally for the experience.
I dilated so quickly and managed the contractions very well. I didn’t even expect to have been fully dilated by the time I reached the hospital. I would recommend [ChildbirthJoy Hypnosis] to anyone.
One of the midwives said it was the fastest birth she’d been at. Both said it was beautiful.
My doctor was impressed—told me to come back next year!