Do you want a happy, healthy baby? Are you struggling with fears about birth?
Do you desire to avoid unnecessary interventions, but don’t know how to prepare to avoid them?
Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ gives you the tools to create your dream birth:
- learn deep relaxation tools so you feel little pain
- clear your fears, trauma and negativity so you stay relaxed
- visualize how you want your labour and delivery to go
- practice so you know what to do to have a healthy, happy birth
- learn specific birthing partner tools to support you and your baby
The Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ program is a complement to your prenatal care
What is Sacred Childbirth with Reiki?
Learn how to create an effortless, serene, drug-free birth
We manifest our reality by what we think and feel about a situation. Often those feelings are long forgotten, and yet they heavily influence our experience. This is true about birth. Recorded in the cells of our bodies are the feelings of our own birth: anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, and disempowerment to name a few. Births of previous children, loved ones’ births, others’ horror stories, births we have viewed in the media, and our own birth together weave the tapestry of our experience. All affect the outcome of our births.
During Sacred Childbirth with Reiki sessions, the practitioner uses Reiki to help you release your bodies’ negative feelings and memories about birth, creating a clean palate for you to design and manifest the birth you desire. You will learn natural breathing rhythms, visualizations, and affirmations to access the ancient natural birthing wisdom in your body. Then, using Reiki, the practitioner guides you through practice birthing sessions creating new, positive, vibrantly peaceful pathways for the birthing energy to flow. This new way of birthing is encoded in the cellular memory of the mother’s body. When the birth actually occurs the energy flows along those pathways creating a peaceful, empowering experience for the baby and the couple.
Couples learn that the baby also manifests experiences it needs to have to do its life work. We don’t know what those are. These little ones also come as our teachers and sometimes our healers. They are using their births to begin that process. It is the parents’ job to prepare, to assist and support the baby, and to use those tools as the birth unfolds. They are then able to rest in the knowing that however the birth happens, it is absolutely perfect and in Diving order.
Empower yourself to manifest an effortless, drug-free birth filled with pleasure and serenity welcoming your child to this world in a sacred way.
Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™
Using Reiki, a relaxing, centering energy, mom, mom with birthing partner, or couples learn how to work together to tap into the ancient birthing wisdom of the mother’s body; enabling them to work with Mom’s body to birth their baby in tranquility, drug-free; empowering them as parents; and deepening their bond.
There are three ways to experience this method:
1) Take a one-day workshop where both the mother and birthing partner (or mother if the birthing partner doesn’t feel called to support in this way) are attuned to Reiki I and learn how to do Reiki on themselves and on each other. The emphasis of this training is nurturing, bonding, relaxation and stress reduction. Three individual follow-up sessions are done each with the mom and birthing partner where, using Reiki, birthing fears and negative birthing experiences are released creating a clean palate for then to design and manifest the birth they desire. Using Reiki, breathe and visualization the couple learns and practices accessing the body’s ancient birthing wisdom creating new, positive, vibrantly peaceful pathways for the birthing energy to flow. This new way of birthing is encoded in the cellular memory of the mother’s body. The couple continues to practice this method throughout their pregnancy to continue the encoding process and to bond with the baby. When the birth actually occurs the energy flows along those pathways creating a peaceful, empowering experience for the baby and the couple.
2) Schedule a session with a Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ Practitioner where, using Reiki, birthing fears and negative birthing experiences are released creating a clean palate for then to design and manifest the birth they desire. Using Reiki, breathe and visualization the couple learns and practices accessing the body’s ancient birthing wisdom creating new, positive, vibrantly peaceful pathways for the birthing energy to flow. This new way of birthing is encoded in the cellular memory of the mother’s body. The couple continues to practice this method throughout their pregnancy to continue the encoding process and to bond with the baby. When the birth actually occurs the energy flows along those pathways creating a peaceful, empowering experience for the baby and the couple. (Suggested number of sessions is three to ensure that the clearing process is complete and the encoding is strong. Your inner guidance will tell you how many.)
3) Schedule a phone session with a Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ Practitioner where the practitioner uses the Reiki long-distance symbol to give Mom a full Reiki session via phone. The same process and results can be expected as stated above.
The Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ method of natural childbirth is a complement to your prenatal care.
“During the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki sessions, the clearing process I went through to let go of all the negative pregnancy and birth memories about my first birth was a significant emotional event for me. Some memories that I had not even been aware of surfaced. When I birthed my second baby 13 months after my first birth, Reiki helped me re-center my thoughts after we transitioned to the hospital. I was able to get back to a place of peace and control. My body did all the work this time in a fraction of the time of my first birth. I spent less than 10 minutes actually pushing. It was more like my body was making her come out instead of me pushing her out. It’s an indescribable feeling. The most amazing thing is that although my blood pressure was elevated with this pregnancy as well I delivered with no medication, and she was born perfectly healthy. This program gave me the birth I’d always wanted to have. Thank you for helping Baleigh have such a peaceful entry into this world.”
– Heidi N., Killeen, TX
“Reiki transformed my birthing experience. I have witnessed the two most extreme opposites of labor and delivery. My first birth was very traumatic- scary, painful, out of control…my second birth was smooth, calm, peaceful, and painless. It is unbelievable the difference between the births. I am so blessed to have been guided to Cori to support me through this process.”
– Erin L. Evergreen Park, IL
“When I was 8 months pregnant with my second child I visited Cori for Reiki sessions. Cori talked me through the memories of the birth of my first son and helped me locate and release the pain and fears I had been carrying around. She taught me relaxation techniques and a way to release fearful thoughts and feelings as they came up during the birth of my second son. Thanks to Cori’s reiki sessions I had a much more peaceful, and trusting birth experience with my second son Joseph.”
– Bridget H., Lockport, IL
“My wife and I have three children. We used some Reiki on our first child who was born in the hospital, where we experienced the birthing process we dreaded: invasive methods including unwanted drugs to induce birth in a cold, scientific environment, 8 or more people we did not know in attendance (baby born in his own time, undaunted). We received our second level Reiki attunement, experienced and practiced the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki method before our second labor. A truly mystical experience unfolded at home. Then, two years later, another miracle in a birthing center, with baby completely out at 12:00 on the dot, essentially helping us to set roots in a new community and new state. More than the childbirth was sacred. The individuals born, as well as the details of each birth before during and since their arrival, redefines sacred reality and unified mind of One People in the Light.”
– Jodie C., Seattle, WA
“When I was expecting, I researched and read so many books to educate myself … & the more I read the personal experiences, the more fearful I became! I, personally, noticed that nearly every birth story I came across was a horror story, the experiences of these women had every cell in my body cringing at the thought of variables … Not knowing what to expect as a first-time mother … & I recognized my fear was incredibility deep. I had to stop reading all the books … & I began looking for an outlet to release my fears.”
“I discovered Cori Nielsen’s Sacred Childbirth with Reiki sessions & was guided to experience it for myself! During the sessions, I felt my body waking up to its innate wisdom & experienced massive memories of fear melting away through the guidance of Cori. After the sessions, I left so blissed out, lighter, & clearer.”
“During my actual labor, my birth team told me that they could hardly tell I was in labor & I attributed that power in me to the wisdom gained in Cori’s sessions. I actually heard Cori in my head randomly through my labor repeating some of the forgotten knowledge of what we are truly capable of … That my body knows how to birth this baby naturally **without pain!!** ~ That I relax all the muscles except those pushing out my baby ~ etc.!!! I specifically remember reaching an edge where I didn’t think I could take it anymore (because my head tried taking over) and yet I heard Cori telling me I would receive a flood of endorphins to allow my body to endure this experience … and consciously felt the endorphins flood my body!!”
“The sessions are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced … Hypnobirthing mixed with Reiki healing?! That’s the best way I can explain it!”
“You hear stories of women laboring for days, pushing for hours … and that was not my experience! I pushed maybe for 10 minutes ~ my baby was breech!”
“I am thankful I was able to release my fears and get out of the way to allow the extreme intelligence of the birthing body to take charge.”
“Highly recommend Sacred Childbirth with Reiki for expecting mommas or practitioners interested in expanding their practice. I cannot thank you enough, Cori.”
– Valerie H. – Hammond, IN
Viviana’s Story as told by her mom
I wanted to tell you that we welcomed our baby girl, Viviana, on July 26th, on the eve of the Lunar eclipse, born at home unassisted into her father’s hands. I decided at 38 weeks to discontinue my midwifery care and instead have a freebirth at home. I was conflicted about having a medically managed birth the whole pregnancy because it never felt in alignment with the vision of my perfect birth. I was super determined this time to be completely autonomous. And we did have the perfect birth! It was so profoundly healing. 3 hours of super intense contractions followed by three big pushes and she came so gently- we were soaking in the moonlight, candles lit, sage burning, listening to Shipibo songs from an ayahuasca ceremony we attended last year. No fear at all. So euphoric. It was incredible. I am healing so much faster this time. And Mark and Jojo have been all home together with us, we are all so blissed out and in love Xo Victoria M., Switzerland
Imani & Innana's Story as told by their parents
Reiki, My Surrogate Fire Mother
The beautiful thing about Reiki work is that it came to us through the births of our children, Imani and Inanna. When I was pregnant with Imani, I hoped it would help balance us on all levels, including mental, physical, spiritual, and especially the emotional level. I also thought it might help our communication and loosen up the anxieties we felt about becoming parents.
I had my first Reiki session with a MSW friend of my aunt’s. I was very intrigued, sold Jodie on the idea and we both took the Usui system Reiki level I certification. Imani immediately reacted to the Reiki work; when Jodie put his hands on my belly, Imani would flip joyfully towards the energy, then settle down and sleep.
I envisioned Imani’s birth to be beautiful calm event where Jodie and I witnessed an entity wiser than us entering the world. It was to be natural and at the hospital birthing room with midwives. I didn’t want to have a lot of interventions or drugs unless a complication warranted it. I wanted to spend as much time nursing and rooming in with the baby and Jodie after the birth. Being pregnant was very challenging emotionally for us. Both of our mothers had passed away years ago. Though we both had quite a few surrogates, we both mourned not being able to share our and draw on the experience with our respective moms. I felt the Reiki eased this somewhat as we learned to care for each other and ourselves.
I had the loving support and advice of numerous family and friends, many of who were at the birth. I read about birth alternatives and an apprenticing birth doula volunteered to be at the birth. Yet I faced two secret fears; first I didn’t know how my body would actually accomplish the task of birthing a baby and second, I was fearful of having an epidural, which felt very invasive. Fears aside, I sank into the experience of being pregnant and loved it. Jodie and I spent time taking photos, talking, singing and reading to the baby. I loved how we reveled in my roundness and sensuality and how Jodie cared for me first before he did anything for anyone else. I felt that I was learning so much about the baby as we grew.
To our disappointment, I was induced because of a risk of a prolapsed cord. It was tremendously disappointed knowing I couldn’t go into labor on my own, and was scared knowing an induction increased the chances of a c-section. I was induced at midnight. Jodie was anxious, too but showed a sense of surrender to the process that I didn’t feel. By 10 a.m. I was in active labor and breathing rhythmically. My water broke and I took dosages of several herbal tinctures to help pain. I disliked how the contractions pounded away at me. I felt back labor kick in. Jodie used Reiki on my shoulders and chest but it felt like hot, squelching heat and I asked him to stop. By three o’clock I was only at 4 cm and the back labor was overwhelming. I tried Stadol for relief, but found myself only in a drugged sleep in between contractions.
By 6 p.m., I was receiving an epidural to let me rest and dilate. I felt such a strange loss of control, from the driving overkill of the Pitocin to the silent paralysis of the epidural. I felt nothing from the waist down. The nurse checked the readouts and told us our baby was sleeping. Jodie and I asked the baby to turn to help relieve the pressure on my back, and I asked my body to dilate.
Finally I felt the subtle slow motion of the baby turning and the sensation began to return to my body. I felt a counterclockwise spiral of energy spin up me from my thighs to my uterus; I knew it was time and I was excited! I was 9.5 cm, but when I contracted I dilated fully to 10 cm. I went into active labor at 1 a.m., and pain returned in my right hip Just after 2 a.m. the baby slipped right into the birth canal and the pain was over.
I pushed for an hour sitting upright and when I became tired, Jodie sat behind me so I could brace myself. It was the closest he would get to give birth. Sunday morning at 3:11 a.m. Imani was born. He took his first breath and gave a beautiful cry, protesting as if hadn’t wanted to wake up. Jodie and I talked to him while we stroked his back; he nursed for a bit, and then dozed.
Imani is a very special person, in part because of his sensitivity to energy. From the Reiki he received in-utero he was encouraged to stay connected to us energetically besides touch and hearing. I believe that Reiki helped to keep him relaxed during labor. At birth he not only recognized our voices, but also immediately responded to our touch. At almost 6 years of age, Imani still calms down immediately when we use Reiki with him. When he is tired or ill he will sometimes request it. I believe the Reiki built a stronger bond between Jodie, Imani and me during pregnancy onward. Furthermore, it helped us to be more intimately connected to prepare us for Imani’s difficult arrival.
With our second pregnancy our Reiki Master Teacher, Cori taught us how to use the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki Method. Our intention for this pregnancy was very different; we wanted none of the hospital interventions. We used one midwife, planned a home birth and I had experience a postpartum doula myself. I wanted to trust my body to do instinctively what it knew. This was exactly what Cori had experienced in her own birth and helped us to embrace.
Jodie and I went through individual Reiki sessions to clear fears and resolve the body impressions from Imani’s birth. I needed a clean slate where I didn’t expect the experience of the first birth to determine the experience of the second. I wanted nothing to interrupt the connection with my baby or body during labor or birth and I wanted control over my birth choices. During the Reiki session to clear body tension of the birth, I had clear recollection of my own birth. The session revealed many of the anxieties and experiences from my own birth were mirrored in Imani’s birth. It helped to settle and resolve much apprehension and helped me to set the intention for a new and more empowered birth adventure.
The pre-labor occurred sporadically for a month with Inanna, getting me excited and ready to feel my own rhythm and energy. I finally went into labor and retired to the bathtub. Imani played with his grandmother and took photos of us. Jodie hands sent soothing Reiki to me while I did Reiki four-count breathing. The Reiki felt relaxing, balancing, heated but not anything like the burning feeling with Imani’s birth. This time we had a concrete method we used that gave us a means to an end.
I ate while laboring, and I drank much water. It was freeing and pleasurable at first and I sunk into each contraction deeply. I breathed and toned and Jodie joined me. The intimate space between Jodie and I was a cocoon. The pace quickened, I felt back labor beginning so I changed positions often in the tub. Laboring was like holding sheer, raw power; I experienced it fully, letting it travel through me.
Sarah, our midwife, had me labor out of the tub when the contractions seemed to plateau. After trying the stairs and the birthing stool, then walking and dancing, I returned to the soothing tub water. I labored long and hard and had flashes of having to be induced at the hospital again. I stopped myself, regained my focus on my breath and continued to allow the contractions to ride through me. The back labor increased and Jodie furiously rubbing my back. Twice I lost my breathing rhythm and the whole experience became painful. I quickly returned to focus to my breath and toning with the wave of the contraction. I was pain-free except for the back labor—that remained throughout each contraction. Sarah said it was the baby’s head pressing downwards. Jodie’s hands on my back helped me to relax completely between each wave and I felt the Reiki flowing. At 7:30 p.m. Sarah put me in bed to rest and I was at 7 cm.
With Jodie lying on his side right behind me, top half of my torso crunch around my middle and felt such powerful intensity like a volcano erupting and wondered would I make it. I almost growled, found my right knee turning up to the side and Inanna’s head crowned! After only two pushes, Inanna was born at 7:41 p.m., my membrane breaking as she emerged. She cried immediately with emotion, Inanna went to the breast right away noisily sucking and fussily crying all the while. Imani climbed up right next to Jodie, the baby and I with curiosity and pride. I stroked the downy soft skin of her back over and over, feeling it both wrinkled and plump.
After the birth, I lost too much blood. I was taken to the hospital via ambulance. I stayed in ICU healing from serious hemorrhage apparently due to a cervical tear. I had also suffered a sodium/mineral loss called hyponatremia. I was in a stupor for almost ten hours while Jodie gave me Reiki. He said I did the Reiki breathing the entire time.
Inanna’s birth was at times enjoyable, freeing, intense, and dramatic. The Reiki helped me trust my body. It served as an anchor for me during dangerous birth complications as well as for Jodie and me during labor and birth. Reiki precipitated Inanna’s calm demeanor and seamless adjustment to being away from me for the first two days. She latched on immediately as if we had never left off. She’s a very affectionate, observant and strong toddler. She does not often sit still for Reiki. However, when she does, she quickly goes to sleep like she did in-utero. Her attachment, confidence and self-awareness emerged more quickly from her exposure to Reiki. I thank the Source, Jodie and the empowering Reiki energy work for helping to make the births of our children so profound and different.
We decided to co- host a new life in a time that seemed most uncertain. We knew energy influenced our daily reality, and our ability to accept perceived blessings as well as the wealth of fantastic opportunities of which we were just becoming aware. It was then that we found Reiki Healing. Kerensa had an appointment with a Reiki Master and was excited when she returned. The next thing I knew, we were at a training that gave us a preliminary understanding of energy healing. We left that session completely elevated.
Realizing that feeling internally, meant two things; one, there was hope for the future of our family in terms of an entire new way to understand energy; two that there was an incredible darkness all around. Somehow I knew that my soul was determined to prove that if we found the light, we could escape the tunnel.
My enlightenment was the time spent with Kerensa pregnant and the energy that involved us and Imani. As we enjoyed the relaxed into the experience, the hospital atmosphere felt regimented. Their midwives sold us on using them by showing us their natural birthing room. Ultimately, they worried about the amniotic sac being too full, and chose to induce, which meant there was no chance for the holistic room. Though Kerensa did not want to be drugged, there were needles, I.V.s, catheters and monitors. We felt invaded, separated and exhausted to such a degree by that ‘special medical authority’ before we the body ever informed us that it was time to push.
To counterbalance the amount of imperial pressure that we received from professionals and their assistants, we welcomed family and close friends. Their presence at Imani’s birth was tremendously fulfilling and encouraging. It gave me a sense of what my part was in the process when I felt more on the outside looking in. I felt like I had no ability. It seemed to me that anyone else in the room had more knowledge and presence of mind, whereas I was the moldable easily influenced audience. The only time I felt a part of the birth itself was when Kerensa requested that I massage her lower back and also join her in bed to support her entire body.
The energies were finally in perfect alignment for all parties to make way for the birth. He kept his heart rate normal throughout the influence of contraction inducing drugs. He went to sleep until he was ready, then his mother shook loose the effects of the drug and set about the task of labor. She asked me to touch her stomach during the contractions. I felt the sensation of tightening scales, as one would on a snake. We sang out as Imani emerged from the birth canal. From where I sat it appeared as if God handed him to us. Even now his intuitive knowledge of the surroundings continues to leave me in awe, as does his ability to give in to and use a higher power source. There is a lot that he taught and has to teach us in that department.
Conversely, sister Inanna has the will to hold intense power in her hand playfully. She looks down from her high chair now as I suspect that she did from heaven when choosing us. Her birth was miraculous. I helped tone with her and keep her mind focused on the wonderful work that her body was engaged in. She completely engrossed herself in the task at hand. Kerensa put ten hours into laboring that day. At 7:30 p.m. we helped her from the bathtub, where she had been most of the day, to the bed where she could rest. Kerensa let out the most restful sigh that you could imagine, in the same motion, she rolled over and there was the crown of Baby Inanna’s head.
We were so joyous at seeing the baby. We had succeeded in giving birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl at home. I couldn’t be happy enough. But the amount of blood that surrounded us told me that our story was not over with the birth. She was dangerously low in electrolytes, sodium, and blood because of a tear during birth. Eventually there was an ambulance to take Kerensa and me to the Hospital. I consciously pushed notions of loosing her from my mind. I maintained the Reiki cadence that had sustained us the previous day. We worked hard thru the night, but we did not avoid the influence of cat scans, brain scans, and the woman had having lost 4 pints of blood. Kerensa recovered after the third day, and was home by the weekend. There is no doubt that Reiki for Childbirth provided the link that linked me as the root to Kerensa in the ethos as she ‘went on walkabout’. Numerous friends and loved ones thought of her and woke from their sleep not knowing that her spirit took stock of us all, and for its own reasons returned to us. I will forever be thankful to Dr Usui, Takata, all Reiki Masters who are within the Light, Cori, her family and Kerensa, for our family.
Makayla, Adrian and Aaron and Twins - by their mom, Angela
When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted a painless childbirth. I knew I wanted a drug-free, natural birth. When I started looking into “natural childbirth”, I became a bit disturbed at the misinformation available. That’s when I found out that people didn’t know the difference between vaginal birth and natural birth. They think that if they birth vaginally, that it is a natural birth even if they use drugs, but this is not the case.
I believe that the reason a lot a people have pain in childbirth is because they don’t do the research and learn and prepare for it. When they are in labor they don’t know what is happening, they get scared, they resist, and they feel pain. I believe that childbirth can be painful when you’re not prepared physically and emotionally. Doing the research, practicing physically for several months before and preparing emotionally are important. People will prepare financially for a baby and they prepare their home, but not their bodies and minds.
My husband and I started researching what birthing support choices were available. I had heard about Lamaze, but it just didn’t resonate with me. So then my mom told me about using Reiki for Childbirth. I called Cori Nielsen for more information and learned more about Sacred Childbirth with Reiki and the Bradley Method. It called to me because it incorporated relaxation (allowing the body to do what it already knew how to do) and energy work (to help support the process instead of interfere with it).
Once we decided on Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ and The Bradley Method, our main goal was to practice almost daily: massage, relaxation exercises, and visualization. I found that in order to have a successful birth, it is important that your birth partner (even if it is not your husband or significant other) is in tune with you and that you practice together for several months. There are a lot of details that everyone needs to get down: where you need to be massaged, how hard, relaxation cues, signs that you will need support, etc. I think it is important that you are with someone who supports you in whatever birth outcome you are wanting. It is very important that your partner understands the process even if he/she does not understand what you are going through physically.
Joe did that for me. We educated ourselves about what was out there and we decided months before what kind of childbirth we were going to have. We learned about the stages of labor, so when I went into labor, Joe was aware of the stages and was able to support me through them. Also, I didn’t have to worry about making any kinds of decisions when I was in labor because we had already agreed beforehand what was acceptable and what was not; including everything from a shot to a C-Section.
Physically I made sure that I was eating properly: enough proteins, folic acid, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber and calories. I was exercising. In the beginning I was going to the gym and doing cardio, weight training, and Pilates. After a few months, I stopped the Pilates and was started Yoga for Pregnancy. Toward the end, daily walks and yoga were sufficient. My muscles stayed strong and supple and my mind relaxed.
I did the research to understand what my body was going through (and what it would go through during labor and delivery). I surrounded myself with people that supported the fact that a drug-free, painless childbirth is attainable.
Joe and I also took Reiki I so we could do Reiki on ourselves, each other and the baby. Shortly thereafter we started the Childbirth sessions with Cori and learned the breathing, the visualization, the affirmations, and the precise Reiki hand placements for channeling the energy. I would get so relaxed during the sessions that I would fall asleep.
One hot summer night during July 2002, I had had my first really strong contraction. Up to that point they were pretty mild and they didn’t stop me from doing anything. But that one hit me. Everything just clamped up and stopped me cold. At that point I was really hesitant about labor because I realized that everything I was feeling before was child’s play and that it was going to get a lot more intense. That is when Cori gave me Reiki and talked my through the breathing, the visualizations, and the affirmations. As I relaxed, the contractions felt manageable. I even fell asleep later while she was doing the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki session. From then on as Joe and I practiced the breathing, the visualization and the affirmations I started feeling more confident, more secure in my choice in childbirth methods.
I took the information that was given me through the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki sessions and I kept reminding myself that information throughout the day, especially when others would tell me their painful stories. It was really important that I took the information from Reiki and kept telling myself that I was going to have a painless birth and the kind of birth that was important to me. First thing in the morning I would remind myself that my body already knew how to do this and because of that I was going to have a painless childbirth. Then, throughout the day, if I came in contact with people that reinforced the negative, painful childbirth idea I would remind myself that I could have the kind of childbirth that I wanted, and that I didn’t have to have the kind of childbirth they had. As I was lying down to sleep for the night, I would go over the visualization and the affirmations that were given to me during the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki sessions.
On September 4th, I was just about three weeks past my due date. I noticed that when the baby moved I would leak a little. My friends told me that the baby was sitting on/kicking my bladder. On September 5th, we were rear-ended on our way to the doctor for a check-up. They did an ultrasound and a non-stress test. The baby was doing fine. That night when I was lying in bed I noticed that although the baby had not moved I felt fluid leaking. It was considerably more than it had been before. I called my doctor that night and was told to come in first thing in the morning. We found out the bag was ruptured and I was leaking amniotic fluid. Because of the risk of infection, I had to be induced with Pitocin. I actually cried in the doctor’s office because I didn’t want to be induced. I was scared that by being induced I wouldn’t be able to have the kind of birth that I wanted. After a few phone calls to friends and family we got admitted to the hospital and I was induced.
My labor started about 5:00 p.m. I was induced with Pitocin. In the beginning, before transition, I had a lot of back labor. Joe knowing Reiki was so helpful. Not only could he walk me through the visualizations and remind me of the affirmations, he could give me Reiki on my back, which helped a lot. As the nurses kept upping the dosage, the contractions became very close together and so strong that I felt like I really didn’t have a chance to breathe or relax. It took all of my concentration to stay in the moment and to let go and flow with the contractions. There was a point where I didn’t think I could do it without medication. That’s when the visualizations came in so handy and to have Joe with me who was reminding me of those visualizations and affirmations, reminding me about the stages of birth and reminding me that I was almost there. I was able to relax and go with the flow of the contraction. In fact, during this time right before transition, I actually relaxed enough through the contractions to fall asleep for a half hour.
When I started to transition, we stopped doing Reiki because I had to focus just on what my body was doing. I kicked everyone out of the room (even the nurses). The lights went off. The CD was turned off. I had the urge to push but was told by the doctor that I wasn’t fully dilated (only 5cm). After trying not to push for the first couple of contractions, I decided to trust my body and push. I was told at 3:25 that I could not push. By 3:50, I was ready to push and ignoring everyone telling me not to. Makayla Nichole was born on September 6, 2002 at 4:01 a.m. weighing 8lbs. and 10oz. She was 20 ½ inches long.
They put her on my tummy when she was born. I still cannot accurately describe what I felt at that moment. Relief. Immense joy. Indescribable, heart-filled love. She was so alert. She was looking around. Her eyes were so bright. She looked so healthy. Pink, happy. She even smiled once. Her apgar came in at a 10. She roomed in with us the entire time (if I was in the bed, she was in my arms. If I got out of bed, she was with Joe).
Makayla has always been very alert. At 12 days old she was able to track a helicopter that flew over. She started rolling over at 1½ months old. She started crawling at 4 months. And at seven months old, she was already taking steps. She only cried when she got really hungry or really tired. Other that that she was a happy-go-lucky, loves everything baby.
Talking to my doctor, I was told that only 20 percent of first time moms can have a natural birth. Knowing what I know now, I truly believe it’s because they haven’t prepared. They do not have the support they need. Labor/childbirth really is like a marathon. You wouldn’t get up one morning and successfully run a marathon. You need to prepare. You have to exercise and eat right. It comes down to what’s important to you. It was important to me to eat right and to work out and stay strong so that Makayla would be healthy. It was also important to me to have a drug free birth to give her that extra boost in the first stages of her life. I think it is very important for a woman to know her body intimately so that she can listen to her body and know what it needs and what she needs to do to fulfill that.
I know that a pain-free childbirth is possible if educate yourself and prepare yourself, in all aspects, so that you can have the birth you want. I now have 3 children and all were born pain free and naturally. It really is doable if you have the right tools and support.
Makayla is now eight years old and is joined by two brothers. This is what Angela says:
Makayla is just so in touch with her world around her…she still loves Reiki. She uses it, occasionally, herself. She’s the one most “in tune” with the Reiki. We did use Reiki for both boys, but the births were so different. For instance, with Adrian, I did more very deep toning (humming) and rocking on all fours. It just felt right for me…and even to this day, a great way to help calm him is by doing that (humming and rocking). Aaron is perpetual motion. Throughout my entire labor I just wanted to move; walk and rock. We did use Reiki for Aaron, but not as much as we did for Makayla (I just couldn’t sit still long enough). Aaron prefers to be rocked or walked to calm down. It’s amazing at how different all of the births were and how the methods used to help ME relax during labor, are the same ones that help them to relax now.
Makayla and Adrian are both very gentle, very loving souls. They are much more sensitive to their environments. Aaron is a much more self-assertive. He’s very strong and while he is very loving, laid back, easy going and happy-go-lucky, he has no problem with asserting himself when he feels he needs to.
I am due with twins January 2011 and fully intend to have them naturally, as well. Labor/childbirth really is 90% mind over body. You have to prepare for it mentally as much as you do physically. It is work, but it is totally do-able and it is totally worth it.
Excerpt from Sarada’s Birth Story written to her by her mom, Asha
Photo by Glen Cooper
Sunday night I had contractions, six minutes apart for 20-30sec. I went to bed. They stopped for a while, but then at 2:30 a.m., they picked up again. I didn’t have a watch, but I knew they were about 30 seconds and probably six minutes apart. I decided to remain lying in bed trying to relax through each one. I practiced different breathing techniques breathing to see what helped. I couldn’t stand it anymore in bed, and I got up at about 6 a.m. to bake the scones that I had promised your sister.
When my contractions were five minutes apart and 30-40 seconds long, I called Deborah, our midwife. Then I called the acupuncturist, Maya. She was going to help me keep labor steady. She came and put needles in my ears. Deborah arrived and joined me in my sounds as I met each contraction with an Aaaahhhhh or OM. I loved hearing her sweet echo and my intense sound as I tried to match the sound to the intensity and location of the sensation of the contraction. I labored walking around the kitchen. Sometimes Papi or Maya press on my lower back or hips, and that felt really good. The counter pressure really met the contractions well. Music was present and I was present to it. Deborah said, “This baby is going to come out dancing!”
Deborah felt I had progressed but since I didn’t want to be checked to see how dilated I was she would guess between 2 or 3cm. I didn’t want to know since I was a little traumatized by my last labor when I was focused on the goal of 10 cm and was told I was only 4 cm, then only 7 cm after working all night long. That was so discouraging. This time I wanted to just keep working with my body until I felt the desire to push.
So, it continued. Deborah went home because she was only a five minute ride from us. I labored in the kitchen then decided to go to bed and do some relaxing exercises. I figured that if contractions slowed down, I would get up and keep walking. Things got more intense. As I visualized my body being completely relaxed, I also visualized my cervix opening and visualized your descent! I relaxed on my left side while hugging pillows. Papi came into the bedroom as he was talking to Deborah on the phone. He asked me, “Do you want to see Deborah?” I said, “I think so….” So he asked her to come over. I heard Maya say, “Her sounds are getting deeper,” and I thought, “YES, they are! I am feeling very internal and primal.” I mentally thanked Maya for bringing this observation to Glen and Deborah.
Papi lay behind me. I had a couple more contractions while visualizing opening up. I looked up at my drawings. (I made drawings that depicted me having my Mona Lisa-type smile that resembled my inner knowing as I held hands with other women around the world. The other was of my wide open cervix open words describing what would accompany me in labor: Dharma, Isis, Water, Determination, Music, DOUBT. Doubt stood out, but so did Determination, and so did Experience and “In this Moment”.) All these words danced in my head as I recalled the conversation Papi had with Dr. London while Deborah was still at our house. Dr. London told Papi that my Strep B test was positive, and that I could choose to go into St. Elizabeth’s Hospital with everyone and anyone I wanted. The doctor had become uncomfortable with my midwife and my desire to birth at home!
I had asked myself earlier, “Do I want to go to St. Elizabeth’s and do the ‘right’ thing?” My answer was, “I don’t know.” Well, my new way of living had been that if the answer was I don’t know, then the answer is really NO. Also, I asked myself, “If you DID know, what would you choose?” The answer was “Stay home and have my baby.” I asked my angels to help me remain in my conviction and give me strength to stay in my knowing: to maintain my AUTHENTICITY.
While Papi lay behind me, my moans and sounds got deeper to meet the depth and location of the sensation. The last few contractions were long, deep, and intense. Then I had this overwhelming feeling of joy, peace and happiness. I decided to share how I felt and I said out loud “I am so happy to be home,” and then “I love you, Glen.” Then like unbelievable magic, I felt a POP and warm liquid gushing out of me. I immediately felt you squirming around, no liquid, just baby. I felt you positioning yourself down and squirming to keep going.
Deborah was on her way… I was afraid, excited and looking for guidance. I said “Where is Deborah, because I have to push!!!!” I didn’t have the urge; I just KNEW innately that pushing was next. I asked four times for Deborah, and then I heard someone scream, “She’s at the door!”
Total relief came over me.
My intension was to sit on two people’s laps and be supported while pushing. But I couldn’t get myself to explain to them what I wanted. So, Papi sat on the edge of the bed and I held on to his neck squatting on the ground. I asked Deborah if I could push. She laughed. (I guess because it was so obvious that this was the next step, and said, “Of course!”. I told her very authoritatively, “No, check me!” She checked and said laughing, “Oh, yeah, the baby is right there.”
I pushed, and I felt my cervix opening up, burning but I was super focused on getting you out. I wanted to know immediately that you were OK. I pushed again and I felt a bloop, bloop. I reached down and felt your head and I said, “It’s the head, my sweet baby.” Deborah echoed me, “Yes, your sweet baby.” I grabbed Papi again and I pushed a couple more times. Then I felt another bloop, bloop. I asked if it was only part of the body or the whole body. Deborah said that I just needed a little more. So one or two more pushes and the third bloop, bloop. I grabbed my sweet baby and held you in my arms. The cord was a little tangled on your body, so I couldn’t’ get a good hold. Plus you were so slippery!
I looked to see if you were a boy or a girl and then I said, “It’s a girl. Hi, Sarada! You looked like a little Indian baby and Paloma, the other name I had chosen, just didn’t fit you. Sarada you were. Nobody heard any of this. Maybe I was communicating mentally with you, and I never said a word out loud? All I know is that I was the first one to hold, love and communicate with you.
You cried and I said, “Thank you, God,” and I heard Deborah’s echo, “Yes, Thank you God.”
(Asha has been called Spiritual Midwife by her clients. Find more about her offerings at Reclaiming Your Power at http://www.reclaimingyourpower.com)
Thor and Baleigh - by their mom, Heidi
When I was pregnant with my first child I was not really interested in going to the traditional birth classes like Lamaze. Instead I purchased a book and CD on Hypnobirthing. I believed that was the path to a calm relaxed birth process. I went into labor the day before my due date but since it was the same day as a regular checkup I waited all day until my appointment. My doctor told me I was in labor and about 4 cm dilated so she sent me up to labor and deliver to get checked in. Upon arrival I was told various things, including “you can’t possibly be in labor you aren’t in enough pain.”
However, due to my slightly elevated blood pressure I was admitted and poked, prodded and harassed for the next few hours. Every time my husband would leave my side they tried (successfully) to do something different. Because of my elevated blood pressure they administered Magnesium which they did not tell me would not just bring down my blood pressure, but slow my labor as well. Because of this it was forcefully suggested that they also give me a Pitocin drip. I wanted to give birth without the assistance of pain medication but every nurse who attended to me questioned this choice. After 12 hours of labor with Pitocin I gave in and got and epidural. I managed to sleep for a few hours before they woke me up and said that I was not progressing fast enough so they were going to break my water. Even after that my labor was slow going. When I finally reached 10 cm and began pushing I was so tired and hungry that I couldn’t do it effectively. I had one nurse yelling for me to “push, push, push” and I felt powerless and incapable of doing this one final task. After almost 4 hours of pushing the doctor said they would be taking me to the O.R. to have a C-section. This was the absolute last straw for me. With four powerful pushes I gave birth to my son Thor.
I wish I could say that I was overjoyed and basked in the glow of my first child’s birth but honestly, the first thing I asked was if I could go to sleep. I don’t even remember holding my son for the first time I was so tired, hungry, and drugged. My recovery time was long and painful even though I hardly tore at all.
Baleigh, our second child, was born just 13 months after my son. I was scared of a repeat performance. Although I again practiced HypnoBirthing, my dream of a calm, peaceful birth was realized through Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™. I went through a clearing process to let go of all the negative pregnancy and birth memories. It was a significant emotional event for me. Some memories that I had not even been aware of surfaced. It saddened me to realize how little I got to bond with my son in the first hours of his life. I also went through visualization sessions with Cori to “see” what this birth could be like.
On Thanksgiving morning 2007 my labor started. I was so excited! We decided to go on with our planned activities for the day until I felt it was time to go to the hospital. I felt more in control this time and didn’t want a doctor taking that away from me. Towards early evening, my contractions were about two minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. After five needle sticks trying to start the obligatory IV, with my tension rising I said “no more” and the doctor agreed.
Not only was Cori my Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ practitioner but she’s my mother-in-law. She was there and helped me re-center my thoughts and I was able to get back to a place of peace and control. My labor progressed quickly and with relatively no discomfort. I walked for about an hour before my water broke and I decided to spend the rest of my labor on the birthing ball or in bed receiving Reiki on my lower abdomen. When I reached the transition point I felt very powerful. I lay on my side and curled up almost in the fetal position to push. Someone held my leg and I could actually feel the baby causing friction because she was moving so fast. My body did all the work this time and in a fraction of the time. I spent less than 10 minutes actually pushing and it was more like my body was making her come out instead of me pushing her out. It’s almost an indescribable feeling. The most amazing thing is that although my blood pressure was elevated with this pregnancy as well, I birthed with no medication. Baleigh was born perfectly healthy. My recovery this time was also amazingly fast. About an hour after giving birth I was ready to go home and if they had let my daughter go then, we would have gone home.
My daughter was such a happy well adjusted infant. She slept through the night very early on and was very contented. This was such a great departure from Thor. He would cry if not held and would only sleep curled up on my chest for 20 minutes at a time for the first 6-8 weeks. I am grateful that Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ helped me achieve my dream of a calm, peaceful birth for myself and my baby.
Birthing in the Light, Pain-free Childbirth - A Powerful Case for the Ancient Birthing Wisdom of the Body
Appeared in the Chicago Monthly Aspectarian January 2000
By Cori and Bill Nielsen
Cori: I was 35 when I became pregnant with our first baby. It was important to us to that the baby had a non-medicated, peaceful birth. We took the Bradley Method Natural Childbirth classes together. I ate well and exercised every day. We planned a homebirth, soft lighting, music and me in the natural squatting position so that gravity would help the baby pass through the birth canal easily.
My labor started five weeks early, too early for a home birth. Our doctor sent us to his back-up hospital, saying he’d be there when he finished his office hours. Labor progressed more rapidly than expected and our doctor was delayed in rush hour traffic. The pediatrician who was called in to assist found himself in charge. He didn’t know us, how we’d prepared or what our wishes were. He was from the old school and followed the standard birthing routines. This means that he delivered our baby instead of helping us birth him.
In the cold, sterile delivery room I was placed flat on my back on a hard table; feet in stirrups and was told to push again and again. The situation felt like it was rapidly spiraling out of control. So was my body. I was so scared. I heard screaming and was embarrassed when I realized it was coming from me. The pain was incredibly intense.
My husband, Bill, was beside me every step of the way, refusing those routine procedures that we’d learned about and had decided were unnecessary; battling for the birth we’d planned. The doctor insisted I needed an episiotomy or the baby’s well-being would be compromised. We believed him.
Brad was born after 9 ½ hours of labor. He nursed immediately, a good indication that he was fine. In spite of this he was whisked away, screaming, from the only comforts he knew: my warmth, my heartbeat, my voice. I can still hear him crying for me as they examined him under the warming lights. I wanted to yell, “Bring him back! Check him while I hold him. I’ll keep him warm. He needs me!” but I didn’t. They whisked him off to the nursery and I didn’t see him for over an hour.
I felt an immediate sense of loss and disconnection upon being separated from the heart that had beat so close to mine for nine months. Brad responded by retreating into deep, deep sleep for several days. It took eight long years before he stopped experiencing separation anxiety. Was this a result of his birth experience? For me, every night when I nursed him to sleep, I’d replay his birth in my mind, willing myself to remember to sit up, grieving for our peaceful birth gone wrong, feeling guilty that having a healthy baby wasn’t enough. It took nine months to work through the process.
When I became pregnant the second time, we decided to use a midwife for our home birth. We visited her back-up doctor, wrote our birth plan, and visited the back-up hospital. I ate well and exercised regularly. Again we were prepared.
I was in labor off and on for five days. The baby was fine so we waited. On the fifth day we received an incredible gift. I woke up knowing with extreme clarity that I needed to visit a particular hypnotherapist I’d heard about. We went to see him that evening. Under hypnosis he gave me very specific information about how to access the ancient birthing wisdom of my body. Then we went home and went to bed.
At 12:35 a.m. I was awakened by a sound like a champagne cork popping followed by three strong contractions. Feeling the intensity of the contractions, I started to panic and tense up, but a voice deep inside of me said:
“Your body knows how to do this! Breathe deeply! Relax! Each contraction brings deeper and greater relaxation. All the muscles in your body relax except those working to push the baby out.”
Bill timed my contractions and called the midwife. I focused on the contractions, breathing in, following them to the to the peak with my breath, breathing out. The contractions felt like enormous ocean waves building intensity and momentum to their crest then ebbing away. Riding them, using my breath as the board, was like surfing. At one point a voice in my head said, “I want to name this feeling pain because I know no other word for this intense squeezing. But this is not pain. This is power, RAW power!”
I was totally focused. The stillness within created an acute clarity and presence. I felt no fear, no pain. Kneeling at the foot of our bed, letting gravity do its part, I visualized the baby surrounded by a beautiful white light. I envisioned my perineum opening up like a flower blooming, caressing our baby’s head, as it crowned and passed comfortably for both the baby and myself. I looked down and watched my abdominal muscles undulate from top to bottom and then start at the top again. The rest of my body was totally relaxed while my belly pulsed intensely – beautifully. It was incredible to watch, wave upon wave upon wave. I was the silent observer, awed by the power of my body.
The depths of my being rejoiced saying, “I knew it!!! THIS is what I’ve been longing for!”
As I was mesmerized by my dancing belly, those muscles birthed Caleb’s head without my feeling it. Amazed and eager to have our baby in my arms, I intentionally pushed to get the shoulders out and ripped in two places. I imagine that if I’d allowed my body to continue its own rhythm, I probably wouldn’t have ripped at all.
Caleb was born one and one-half hours after my labor started. Bill snuggled us in our bed. Caleb peacefully gazed at me, content, warm, and secure. He and I rested in bed for several days, slowly easing him into the light and noise of the world as he adjusted to his new surroundings. He seldom cried. Whenever he wanted to nurse he made a specific “I want to eat now” sound. He was a very alert, peaceful baby. He is a happy, self-directed boy. Is this a result of his birth experience?
Bill: When I asked Cori to marry me, she made it very clear that she wanted to have children. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea since I already had custody of my three boys from a previous marriage. Jeremy was 12, Jake 10, and Adam 7. Being a single parent had taken its toll and I was less than enthusiastic about the prospect of more children.
As we continued to talk, I became aware of just how much having children of her own meant to her. The loving ways she accepted and cared for my boys finally won me over. She was, and is, a wonderful mother to all of our boys. Brad came along in ’90, Caleb in ’93.
From the moment we began talking about having a baby together, Cori expressed strong views concerning the birthing of children. I have to admit I never thought about it much (my first three sons were all C-section babies). I was about to be educated. It began with Joseph Chilton Pierce’s book, The Magical Child. It ended with me delivering my son, Caleb, in our bedroom.
When Cori became pregnant with Brad, we chose a group of doctors who were advocates of home birth. Their policy of endorsing drug-free childbirth, with little or no intervention, and breastfeeding, seemed to make them the perfect choice.
When Cori’s water broke five weeks early, the birth we’d hoped for went to hell. The whole day was one battle after another. The recommended hospital (and staff) had birthing attitudes from the 50’s. I was Cori’s only advocate for the birth she wanted and I failed her miserably. In the midst of constant confusion, and confrontations by those who “knew better” what was required, I was rendered powerless. Bradley’s birth was not unlike what mine must have been like 40 years before. It was awful: cold, sterile, and very routine – awful. But regardless of circumstances, we had our beautiful baby boy, and that overwhelmed the disappointment, or so I thought. Yet as I sit here and recall it fourteen years later, I still feel a great sadness.
A little over two years later we decided that our little family of six was missing something. This time it was going to be different – and it was. We decided on a midwife-assisted birth at home. We studied, chose a back-up physician and hospital, and waited. When Cori’s labor began, we were very ready. When it stopped, that was okay, too. And when her mom went back home and all was quiet, Cori made her dream of how it could be, and should be, come true just after midnight.
There was no fear, no panic, no confusion. Cori was quiet and determined. Her contractions came fast and furious yet she never cried out. Our two boys in the next room slept peacefully through it all. We spoke softly to each other, staying close.
When Caleb was born in our bedroom, it was one of the most joyous moments of my life. Being with Cori as she quietly labored to bring our child into the world, I was both awed and humbled by the power of it. Laying together, the three of us where moments before there were only two – there are no words to describe it.
I’ve had five sons come into the world and yet, if it weren’t for Cori (and Caleb), I might never have had the experience of seeing and feeling the deeply profound beauty of birthing a child. For that I will always be eternally grateful.
Cori: That was eleven years ago. I have heard many birth stories since then and few are similar to ours. This has troubled me. Even more distressing is that according to the National Center for Healthcare Statistics the national rate for Cesarean sections is at an all time high of 24.4% and while a C-section can be a life saving intervention, those scheduled for patent or provider convenience or to avoid labor pain in my opinion are unnecessary. If my body could experience a pain-free birth at age 39, so can the bodies of other women of all ages. I spoke with the hypnotherapist I worked with that night. When I told with him that I am a Reiki Master/Teacher, he suggested that Reiki be used to teach women how to access their body’s birthing wisdom.
Reiki is defined as spiritually guided life force energy. It is a precise, easy to learn method of body work that connects the body’s innate healing powers with the life force that surrounds, permeates and sustains it. It is gentle. It is powerful. It works on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. The recipient feels wonderfully nurtured, relaxed and vibrant.
Giving birth is a rite of passage into motherhood. Our gift and our power as women is the inherent knowledge in the cells of our bodies about how to birth our babies pain-free without drugs. We have believed for far too long that we must suffer pain in childbirth. IT NO LONGER HAS TO BE THAT WAY!
KNOW in every cell of your being that
IT IS POSSIBLE
TO BIRTH your babies
We must learn how to re-awaken the inherent knowledge of our bodies about how to do it. We must reclaim this wisdom that is our birthright as women and in so doing we will create the space within ourselves and within our families that life is about pleasure and empowerment.
Doreen Virtue Ph.D., doctor of psychology, states in The Crystal Children that the new generation of children is highly psychic and sensitive. They are beautiful inside and out—one look in their eyes and you can see Divine love and wisdom. They have profound insights concerning peace and love. It is my opinion that all the precious ones being born deserve to experience their birth as a gentle, non-medicated, pleasurable passing from womb to world.
Over the last seven years I have taught expectant couples the Reiki for Pleasurable Childbirth Method. In both hospital and home settings they have been able to birth without pain, without an epidural or medication for pain, even when labor needed to be induced. If it was a second birth, their experience was empowering even when the first birth had left them with a deep-seated disappointment. The Reiki for Pleasurable Childbirth Method was an integral part of their positive birth experience.
The children are the most rewarding part of this story. Consistently they are happy, peaceful children. Physically they hold their heads up, rollover, sit, crawl, walk and talk sooner than the accepted norm. I attribute this in part to the fact that their bodies are not stressed by their mother’s fear or from medication. And in part it may be because they are sensitive, wise, gifted children.
It is my prayer that your hearts are stirring as mine did, searching for a tranquil way to birth your babies. It is my dream that our story awakens within you a deep-seated “Yes!” that is the “knowing” of the soul; the knowing that as we settle into the new millennium, it is time – it is past time – to learn how to birth these children of the Heavens in peace and power. It is knowing that in doing so we make each child’s birth a springboard for the essential earthwork they come to do. It is knowing that NOW is the time to take this step in bringing greater peace, cooperation and harmony to our planet.
Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ - Empowering Birth Filled with Pleasure and Serenity
by Cori Nielsen
The Monthly Aspectarian October 2010
Breathe deeply into your belly following the contraction to its peak. Exhale. Each contraction takes you deeper and deeper into relaxation. All the muscles relax except those working to push the baby out.
I became the participant and the observer. Crystal clarity. Still Presence surrounding, permeating, sustaining. Oneness, with myself, with Source, with the process. Undulating waves. Dancing the baby into the world. Painless. Empowering!
That was my experience during the birth of our last child, sixteen years ago. Fourteen years ago I became a Reiki Master and eventually my painless childbirth experience evolved into the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ method of natural childbirth.
What is Reiki?
Reiki (pronounced RAY-key), a Japanese word meaning spiritually guided life force energy, is a gentle method of hands-on bodywork of incomparable ease and power. It is a technique that addresses both chronic and acute conditions, gently and powerfully promoting balance among all the body’s systems and the regenerative processes of body, mind and spirit. Reiki is profoundly relaxing, supporting one’s good health, well-being and happiness. From that place of deep relaxation, tension floats away and your body is able to balance itself on all levels.
The gift of Reiki is that it is spiritually-guided life force energy. As such, it automatically goes to the root of any problem at the level it occurs: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Gentle and efficient, it allows old pain to release. Those spaces where the pain was held are then filled with the much higher Reiki vibration. The potential is resolution of significant blocks those feelings may have created in your life, healing, and a much deeper sense of peace and well-being.
Energy Follows Thought
We manifest our reality by what we think and feel. Often those feelings are long forgotten or subconscious, yet they heavily influence our experience. This is true about birth. Recorded in the cells of our bodies are the feelings of our own birth: anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, and disempowerment to name a few. Births of previous children, loved ones’ births, others’ horror stories, and our own birth weave the tapestry of our experience. All affect the outcome of our births. We have to start asking ourselves, “What are the initial emotions our babies feel as they experience their births?”
These are the facts about birth in the United States:
• Over 90% of all infants in the U.S. are born with drugs (e.g. narcotics from epidurals, Pitocin, acetaminophen, etc.) in their systems. (www.givingbirthnaturally.com/birthing.html).
• The cesarean delivery rate rose for the 12th straight year, to 32.3% of all births. (www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr58/nvs r58_16.pdf).
• The World Health Organization (WHO) states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15 percent. (www.childbirth.org/section/CSFact.html).
• A search of birth costs shows on average that c-section costs $5000-$7000 more than a vaginal birth, some sources quote that it’s double the cost.
• About fifty percent of women use epidurals during childbirth, according to Dr. Jun Zhang, Ph.D., M.D., of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Division of Epidemiology.
Side effects of an epidural for the mother are possible and it is advisable to fully research that choice before making it. Possible side effects for the baby may include direct drug toxicity, fetal distress, abnormal FHR which can lead to emergency cesarean, drowsiness at birth, poor sucking reflex, maternal fever (impeded thermoregulation from numb skin) which leads to fetal hyperthermia and neonatal NICU workup (spinal tap, etc.), neonatal jaundice, decreased maternal-infant bonding resulting in behavioral problems, or hyperactivity up to seven years of age (suspected). www.childbirth.org/articles/sideeppi.html
Why are epidurals in such high demand? Fear of the pain. Unlike our ancestors who birthed at home, we are removed from the naturalness of birth which is now often treated as a medical emergency. Dr. Grantly Dick-Read in his book Childbirth Without Fear, explained that fear restricts blood circulation in the uterus which causes pain. His research proved that women who were not predisposed to fear had no birth pain. Patty Bowen is a childbirth educator, labor and delivery nurse of 23 years at Yukon Medical Center in Connecticut, and Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ practitioner. She states that fear about birth is rampant among women.
What is Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™
Reiki’s ability to release old patterns and to deeply relax the receiver makes it a valuable tool for sacred childbirth. Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ gets to the root of the fear.
The key to the success of a sacred childbirth is that while deeply relaxed as they receive Reiki, mothers and fathers are guided to re-experience their children’s birth experiences and then their own births, if they so desire, to remove all negativity from their body’s cellular memory. Doing so creates a clean slate on which the dream they hold for their child’s birth can be envisioned and practiced while holding the awareness that they are co-creating with their baby the absolutely perfect birth experience for what the baby needs to do its life work. With the addition of the Reiki symbols, a focused, empowered pathway is blazed within the energy fields of the bodies. When in labor, the birthing energy flows along the created pathways bringing into the physical a sacred, empowering birth experience for both the parents and the baby.
This method has been used for over 10 years. These parents share their experiences:
Heidi about Baleigh’s Birth
During my Reiki sessions, the clearing process I went through to let go of all the negative pregnancy and birth memories about my first birth which was a significant emotional event. Memories that I had not been aware of surfaced. When I birthed again just thirteen months after my first birth, Reiki helped me re-center my thoughts after we transitioned to the hospital. I was able to get back to a place of peace and control. My body did all the work in a fraction of the time. I spent less than ten minutes actually pushing. It was more like my body was making her come out instead of me pushing. It’s an indescribable feeling. I delivered with no medication. This program gave me the birth I’d always wanted to have. I am thankful that this method helped Baleigh have such a peaceful entry into this world.
Erin about James’s Birth
Reiki transformed my birthing experience. I have witnessed the two most extreme opposites of labor and delivery. My first birth was very traumatic- scary, painful, out of control…my second birth was smooth, calm, peaceful, and painless. It is unbelievable the difference between the births. I am so blessed to have been guided to this process.
Bridget about Joseph’s Birth
When I was eight months pregnant with my second child, I visited Cori for Reiki sessions. Cori talked me through the memories of the birth of my first son and helped me locate and release the pain and fears I had been carrying around. She taught me relaxation techniques and a way to release fearful thoughts and feelings as they came up during the birth of my second son. Thanks to Cori’s Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ sessions, I had a much more peaceful and trusting birth experience with my second son Joseph.
Are there long-term effects from Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ births? Do these babies’ births create an empowered foundation for how they live their lives?
Makayla, first daughter born to Angela and Joe, was induced with Pitocin due to a car accident that had caused Angela’s bag of waters to leak undetected. Joe, a Reiki I, gave Angela Reiki during labor and guided her through the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ visualization and breathing. Makayla was a happy baby and developed early. Makayla is now 8. This is what Angela has to say: “Makayla is just so in touch with the world around her … she still loves Reiki. She uses it, occasionally, herself. She’s the one most ‘in tune’ with the Reiki.”
Innana was born at home to Kerensa and Jodie and big brother Imani. Kerensa describes Innana as affectionate, observant, and self-confident. Reiki helped her to adjust seamlessly when Kerensa spent two days in ICU due to post-birth complications. Kerensa says about her birth experience: “The energy of the Reiki strengthened our connection. Innana is now six. She’s an extremely sensitive, energetic person. Reiki has helped her have a strong sensitivity to energy and to her connection with it.”
How do I learn more? Where can I find a practitioner? How can I train to do it?
Please visit our website at www.sacredchildbirthwithreiki.org. We have practitioners in five states. All contact information is on the website. Please email or call with your questions. Trainings to be a Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ Practitioner are open to experienced Reiki II Practitioners and above. Check out our upcoming Chicago area training Oct. 8-10. The trainings are a life-changing experience. Here is what people have to say about that experience:
During the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki training process, I was able to identify and release deep seeded traumas that centered around birth and fertility. This process allowed me the opening to completely uncover the hidden obstacles that I have held in my body for over 20 years. I would recommend this training for anyone who wants to take their practice to a new level and particularly those practitioners working with women who are trying to conceive or have a trauma-free birthing experience.
— Ann M., Chicago, IL
The practitioner training for Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ was one of the most profound experiences of my life. Even though my children are parents themselves, the re-experiencing of my pregnancies and births brought up issues I was not even fully aware existed for me. Under Cori’s skillful direction, I was able to relive these landmarks of my life without the pain and in full recognition of the issues that had developed around the traumas of the initial events. Cori guided me through the emotion of releasing these traumas and resolution of significant blocks these feelings had created in my life. I am profoundly affected by the experience of this training and look forward to being able to assist others, both women and men, in clearing the fears and pain related to their own births and/or pregnancies they have experienced.
— Pam F., Pittsburgh, PA
I received many sacred gifts while participating
in your workshop. I am so grateful to have taken this training. The work we did enabled me to resolve any personal birth issues so that I can now be more empowered to do this work with other women, maximizing their potential for a positive birth experience!
— WB, Buffalo, NY
There are many methods of natural childbirth available that honor both the baby and the mother. Research your possibilities. Find a method that dances in your heart and embrace birth for what it was meant to be—a sacred rite of passage for both of you!
Cori Nielsen is the creator of the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ method of natural childbirth. She has been a Reiki Master/Teacher since 1997, a Dar’Shem Master since 2005 and is a certified teacher with 35 years of experience. Cori is an ordained Spiritual Peace Minister, a medicine woman and a drummer. She facilitates classes in Reiki, Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ and Dar’Shem. She invites you to send your Reiki childbirth stories for a book on Childbirth with Reiki. To share your stories and for more information, contact Cori at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Parts of this article first appeared in Reiki News Magazine Summer 2010.
Reiki and Painless Childbirth
by Cori Nielsen
REIKI NEWS MAGAZINE • SPRING 2006 • www.reiki.org
“I’M GOING TO TELL you a secret that has been kept from women for a very long time.
Your body knows how to birth this baby without pain. The memory is in your DNA.”
Deep inside, my whole being answered, “YES! This is what I’ve been searching for. I knew it! I KNEW IT!!!”
I heard about this childbirth secret from a hypnotherapist on the fifth night I was in labor with our second child. All the years I’d spent researching natural childbirth methods had been leading me to this moment, to this birth, and ultimately to the development of Pleasurable Childbirth with Reiki, a painless method of natural childbirth.
It started sixteen years ago when I was pregnant with my first child. We dreamed of a natural childbirth, took Bradley Method of Childbirth lessons, and planned a homebirth. When labor started five weeks early, we had to deliver in the hospital. There was a sense of emergency and danger about our delivery. I was very afraid, and as a result I was in great pain. Brad weighted 6 lb., 11 oz. and nursed immediately. He was perfect, and cried only when they took him from me to check, poke, and prod. When they finally brought him to me he’d retreated into a deep sleep, as if saying, “If this is how cold and harsh the world is, I’m not going to participate.” We spent months mourning the peaceful birth we’d planned.
With our second pregnancy we chose a midwife for our homebirth. My pregnancy was easy. I went into labor on a Saturday and labored for eight hours, dilating to four centimeters, where I stopped. The baby was fine so we opted to wait. Labor was on and off for the next five days, mostly off. The morning of the fifth day I woke up knowing that I needed to visit a particular hypnotherapist to release an emotional issue that had been bothering me. He gave me an appointment for that evening. Under hypnosis I released the emotional issue and checked in with the baby to confirm all was OK. It was then that he spoke those powerful words, reminding me that my body knew how to birth this baby without pain, talking me step-by-step through the labor and delivery.
We went home and went to bed. At 12:35 a.m. I was awakened by a sound like a champagne cork popping followed by three strong contractions. Feeling the intensity of the contractions, I started to panic and tense up, but a voice deep inside of me said:
Your body knows how to do this! Breathe deeply! Relax! Each contraction brings deeper and greater relaxation. All the muscles in your body relax except those working to push the baby out.
Bill timed my contractions and called the midwife. I focused on the contractions, breathing in, following them to the peak with my breath, breathing out. The contractions felt like enormous ocean waves building in intensity and momentum to their crest then ebbing away. Riding them, using my breath as the board, was like surfing. At one point a voice in my head said, “I want to name this feeling pain because I know no other word for this intense squeezing, but this is not pain. This is power, RAW power!”
I was totally focused. The stillness within created an acute clarity and presence. I felt no fear, no pain. Kneeling at the foot of our bed, letting gravity do its part, I visualized the baby surrounded by a beautiful white light. I envisioned my perineum opening up like a flower blooming, caressing our baby’s head, as it crowned and passed comfortably for both the baby and myself. I looked down and watched my abdominal muscles undulate from top to bottom and then start at the top again. The rest of my body was totally relaxed while my belly pulsed intensely, beautifully. It was incredible to watch—wave upon wave upon wave. I was the silent observer, awed by the power of my body.
The depths of my being rejoiced, saying, “THIS is what I’ve been longing for!”
As I was mesmerized by my dancing belly, those muscles birthed Caleb’s head without my feeling it. Amazed and eager to have our baby in my arms, I intentionally pushed to get the shoulders out and ripped in two places. I imagine that if I’d allowed my body to continue its own rhythm, I wouldn’t have ripped at all.
He was born an hour and a half after my labor started, weighing 8 lb. 12 oz., and measuring 22 inches long. Bill snuggled us in our bed. Caleb peacefully gazed at me, content, warm, and secure. He seldom cried. Whenever he wanted to nurse he made a specific “I want to eat now” sound. He was a very alert, peaceful baby. He is a happy, self-directed boy.
That was in 1993. Over the years I spoke with many mothers. None had a painless birth. How could this be? If my body could do it, so could others. In 1996/97 Reiki found me and I took my levels I, II and Master in a matter of months. Shortly thereafter, I spoke with the hypnotherapist who’d helped us that night, asking for information about becoming a hypnotherapist so that I could help other women have painless births. He told me I could use Reiki to do the
same thing. But how?
I started to research. The “father” of natural childbirth, Dr. Grantly Dick- Read, in his book Childbirth Without Fear, explained that birth pain was caused by fear. Fear restricted blood circulation in the uterus. Restricted blood circulation gave rise to pain. After attending a painless birth, he theorized that for women who were not predisposed to fear; birth had no pain. To prove his point he uncovered scholarly evidence showing that the Bible passage that women should suffer pain in childbirth had been mistranslated. The original Hebrew said that women birthed not in pain but in labor, as one labors in the fields. Pain was not dictated by women’s birthing bodies but by civilization, which conditioned women to be frightened in birth.
David Steward, PhD, states in The Five Standards for Safe Childbearing that the brain and the emotions are connected inseparably to the body. As a woman thinks and feels in labor, so will her body respond. “It is a truth that is particularly applicable during pregnancy, labor and birth. Fear and tension can prolong labor. They can even arrest labor, cause fetal distress, reduce the oxygen supply to the baby and cause brain damage. In fact, the most commonly given reasons for cesarean sections are fetal distress and failure to progress in labor.”
I began to understand how Reiki could assist in pleasurable childbirth. Reiki can be defined as “spiritually guided life-force energy.” The wisdom of the God Consciousness guides and automatically goes to the source of any problem—physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. It is very gentle and efficient, allowing old pain to float away. The higher love vibration of Reiki flows in to fill the space. It is a natural fit with childbirth, because Reiki takes the body into a deep, deep state of relaxation and from that place the fear-tension-pain connection can be released.
My Reiki guides instructed me that Reiki is able to serve the birthing couple in several ways. It can help remove the fear, anger, anxiety, and sadness surrounding previous births, including their own. Doing so creates a clean slate to create the birth they desire. The couple can use Reiki on each other and the baby for relaxation and bonding throughout the pregnancy. It can assist the birthing mother into a deeply relaxed state; from there, using breath and visualization, she can birth her baby painlessly. Reiki also gives the birthing partner a very focused, active role in the birth.
My neighbor was my first client. During her first birth, she was so drugged she didn’t remember she’d had a baby until the next day. Kelly was not attuned to Reiki. During her first Reiki session I put the Time/Distance symbol, the Emotional/Mental symbol, and the Power symbol into her crown and heart charkas and did the head and neck positions (treatment time was ten minutes). When I saw her take a big breath and release, I knew she’d moved into a deeper relaxed state, and from that place I asked her to tell me about her daughter’s birth. Every time she got to a place in her story where she expressed a negative emotion I’d ask her where she felt it in her body. I’d put m hands and the Emotional/Mental and then Power symbols on that place and ask her to use her breath to blow the tension out her right foot into the earth. It would quickly leave. Then she’d resume the story until the next stuck point, and we’d move it out, until all negativity in the story had been released (twenty to thirty minutes). Then I told her the secret that her body knew about how to birth her baby without pain. It is such a powerful statement. At that deep level of relaxation the body, mind, and soul embrace this wisdom and they respond. We practiced visualizing and breathing through the contractions and birth as I gave Reiki to her abdomen and feet (fifteen minutes). As she rolledvonto her side to receive Reiki on her back (with lots of pillows for support), I told her to rest and bask in the wonderful job she’d done and to know that she would feel like she’d had a great nap when her session was complete (ten minutes).
We repeated the process during two more sessions, each time telling the birth story. I looked for any remaining anger, anxiety, sadness, or fear. I had her speak what she’d wanted to say during the birth and hadn’t, always applying Reiki to the place where pain was trapped. Each session the storytelling time became shorter and the practice of the relaxation and birth became longer. Kelly says about the experience:
Reiki helped me relax as soon as I went for the first session. I was more focused and
better with Amber, my daughter. This labor went very fast. I was in labor for ten hours. The contractions felt like Braxton Hicks, with hard labor the last twenty minutes. They did break my water, and ten minutes later my body started pushing just like you said. I gave three really good pushes, and five minutes later he was born. I felt so good. I healed quickly and had lots of energy. I felt ready for motherhood with two children. Austin was a happy strong baby and started holding his head up and moving around sooner than most.
My chiropractor was not attuned to Reiki for her first birth. She received three Reiki sessions before her birth. She feels that the Reiki treatments along with chiropractic shortened the time of her first birth to only nine hours. She said:
I kept trancing myself and visualizing the flower. The nurse kept asking me if I had pain and I kept saying it didn’t hurt. Emily weighed 8 lb., 9 oz. At three days she rolled from her back to her side and could hold her head up and arch. The biggest comment from everyone was how alert she was.
Dr. Joann took her Reiki I and II before the birth of her second baby. She gave herself Reiki during her labor and delivery while practicing the breathing and visualization techniques. Her husband, Ron, was also willing to participate in the second birth and did his own clearing of the fears and anxieties he had around his first daughter’s birth to be a calm support for his wife. Evelyn Ann’s head birthed after the third push. She weighed 8 lb., 11 oz. and was 21 inches long.
Patty and Mark
Neither was attuned to Reiki, and they were birthing their second child. Patty received Reiki treatments for two sessions where we followed the same process. At the third appointment, Mark was present to experience how to coach her during labor and helped the baby to turn head down by asking the baby to put its head on the Reiki hands placed low on Patty’s belly. Patty dilated to six centimeters in the first three hours of labor, feeling very relaxed and pain-free at home. Her transport to the hospital made it difficult to again relax into the contractions. She chose an epidural for hard back labor and visualized the baby surrounded with light. Jacqueline Rose was born 7 lb., 5 oz, and 21 inches long and was a happy, content baby.
Angela and Joe
This couple both chose to be attuned to Reiki I. This was their first birth. They were open to the idea of exploring their own births. In individual sessions, I regressed them, clearing any negativity. Joe practiced the visualizations daily with Angela while he gave her Reiki. This practice was instrumental in creating the birth they’d dreamed of when complications arose. Angela and Joe were in a car accident late in her pregnancy. Unbeknown to all, her bag of waters started leaking. When it was discovered, labor was induced to avoid infection. Angela tells the story:
I was induced with Pitocin, and they kept upping the dosage. The contractions were so close together and so strong I didn’t really have a chance to breathe. It took all of my concentration to stay in the moment and to let go and go with the contractions. I had a lot of back labor. Joe knowing Reiki helped so much. He not only walked me through the visualizations and reminded me of the affirmations, he gave me Reiki on my back, which helped a lot. There was a time before transition, when the labor was really strong and he was giving me Reiki that I actually fell asleep for about half an hour. Then there was a point where I didn’t think I could do it without medication. Having Joe with me, reminding me of the visualizations and affirmations, telling me that I was almost there, I was able to relax and go with the flow of the contractions. I had the urge to push and I was told not to because I wasn’t fully effaced. After trying not to push for the first couple of contractions because the doctor was telling me not to, I decided to trust my body and push. I pushed for about an hour. The very last part when she was being delivered was about fifteen minutes. I tore a little. I only needed two little stitches. I was in labor for ten and a half hours. Makayla Nichole weighed 8lb., 10 oz. and was 20 1/2 inches long. She was a happy baby and developed early.
Kerensa and Jodie
This couple had used Reiki on each other and their baby during her first pregnancy, having had Reiki I. They learned their Reiki II and Pleasurable Childbirth from me. This is what Kerensa had to say about their experience of preparing for and delivering their second child:
Jodie and I went through individual Reiki sessions to clear fears and resolve the body impressions from Imani’s birth. I needed a clean slate where I didn’t expect the experience of the first birth to determine the experience of the second. I wanted nothing to interrupt the connection with my baby or body during labor or birth, and I wanted control over my birth choices. During the Reiki session to clear body tension of the birth, I had clear recollection of my own birth. The session revealed that many of the anxieties and experiences from my own birth were mirrored in Imani’s birth. It helped to settle and resolve my apprehension and set the intention for a new and more empowered birth adventure.
Jodie took an active role in assisting Kerensa, giving her Reiki and remindin her of the visualizations and breathing. It served them well as the story of their homebirth continues:
I labored long and hard and had flashes of having to be induced at the hospital again. I stopped myself, regained my focus on my breath, and continued to allow the contractions to ride through me. The back labor increased and Jodie furiously rubbed my back. Twice I lost my breathing rhythm and the whole experience became painful. I quickly returned to focus my breath and toning with the wave of the contraction. I was pain-free except for the back labor—that remained throughout each contraction. Jodie’s hands on my back helped me to relax completely between each wave, and I felt the Reiki flowing. I felt such powerful intensity like a volcano erupting, felt her head crowning, pushed twice and Innana was born weighing 8 lbs, 8 oz., and measuring 20 1/2 inches long. She nursed immediately.
After the birth, I lost too much blood. I was taken to the hospital via ambulance. I stayed in the ICU, healing from a serious hemorrhage apparently due to a cervical tear. I had also suffered a sodium/mineral loss called hyponatremia. I was in a stupor for almost ten hours while Jodie gave me Reiki. He said I did the Reiki breathing the entire time.
Inanna’s birth was at times enjoyable, freeing, intense, and dramatic. The Reiki helped me trust my body. It served as an anchor for me during dangerous birth complications as well as for Jodie and I during labor and birth. Reiki precipitated Inanna’s calm demeanor and seamless adjustment to being away from me for the first two days. She latched on immediately as if we had never left off. She’s a very affectionate, observant, and strong toddler. She does not often sit still for Reiki. However, when she does, she quickly goes to sleep like she did in-utero. Her attachment confidence, and self-awareness emerged more quickly from her exposure to Reiki.
I met her at a retreat with the Beloved Community where we were both ordained as Spiritual Peace ministers. She was seven months pregnant and a Reiki II. We had time for one appointment together where she was able to release the pain around her first birth and learn the breathing and visualizations in preparation for her home birth. She says this about the experience:
It was clear that my baby was guiding me. She wanted to be more evolved throughout my pregnancy. I was called to get acupuncture, to get my Reiki II, get ordained, and lead a woman’s group. She was seeking higher vibrations. Through Pleasurable Childbirth with Reiki I felt that I released at a cellular level my past birth experience, mostly related to my birthing doctor, so that it opened space for a new relationship with my myself and my midwife. The visualization of how the baby comes out with fluidity worked so well—three pushes and how graciously she came out. Sarada was born weighing 7 lb., 13 oz. She is a very happy, alert baby. She held her head up immediately, rolled over at four months, and wanted to walk at six months.
My experience agrees with what Asha stated. Years ago a counselor said to me, “Don’t you think you’ve had enough pain for one lifetime?” She was right. The era of “no pain, no gain” is passing. It is possible to learn more through pleasure and joy if we intend it to be so. These children seem to be seeking out peaceful ways of birthing themselves. When one looks into their eyes you see a wise old soul in a tiny body looking back at you. Children born with this method are calm, happy babies. They are strong physically. They hold their heads up, have strong straight backs, and roll over, crawl, and walk earlier than many children. I have no clinical proof, but my thoughts are that it is due to less stress on their systems during the birthing process. Because of this, they aren’t spending days recuperating from their birth. Their first impressions of life are ones of relaxed pleasure. What a beautiful foundation upon which to build one’s life.
Birth is a rite of passage for the mother, the baby, and the family. It is the time when a woman is the most vulnerable and the most powerful. It is a time of greatest joy and deepest sorrow, pain, and regret. Many people are deeply wounded by their birth experiences. Reiki can heal this. The technique is described fully in Kelly’s story. I encourage you to use it. Every birth is absolutely perfect, no matter what happens. Reiki gives the couple the ability to flow with peace and acceptance through every situation.
The process for healing people’s birth stories is simple and direct. My experience is that it is most effective when you have healed your own story first. Invite a Reiki II or Master to team up with you to do the three sessions necessary to heal yourself and then start doing it for others.
The birthing techniques of this program take training to ensure that you’re providing the mother clear and accurate information and are doing so tenderly, ensuring her a safe birth.
The final step in this process has been to create a training program for Reiki Masters. In this training first you’ll heal your personal birth stories. This is critical. Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now states, “A strong unconscious emotional pattern may even manifest as an external event that appears to just happen to you.” So as a facilitator of this method it is crucial for you to repattern your personal birth experiences, releasing all negativity and encoding your experience as peaceful beauty at a cellular level. Then you are able to hold a pure loving space of nonattachment for your clients as they release the pain around their own birth stories.
Students then practice birthing their own baby (it can be a goal or dream), intimately experiencing and embodying the breathing and visualization techniques. Classes include lecture, hands-on, discussion, and questions. Students receive a step-by-step manual, a certificate of completion, and consultation time as you start practicing with clients.
I see sacred birthing centers or birthing temples filled with peaceful beauty and free of negativity, where birth is treated as a sacred event, not a medical emergency. Midwives, doulas, and obstetricians are using integrative techniques like Reiki, aromatherapy, massage, and drumming to create holistic birth experiences for the family. Parents prepare for birth and seek support and fellowship to learn holistic ways of parenting. They are beacons of Love and Light, portals of Peace and Joy. This is my dream, which I’m consciously focused on creating.
With deep gratitude I thank Reiki and the Reiki guides for bringing this painless method of childbirth into the world.
—Rev. Cori Nielsen is the creator and founder of the Painless Childbirth© with Reiki method of painless natural childbirth. Mother of 5, she has been a Reiki Master/Teacher since 1997, a Dar’ Shem Master since 2005, a certified teacher with 30 years experience and a Spanish teacher, interpreter and translator. Cori is an ordained minister of Peace and a spiritual counselor. She facilitates presentations, practitioner trainings and classes for Reiki and Painless Childbirth with Reiki©. She can do all Reiki sessions by phone and will travel to do trainings for those interested in becoming Painless Childbirth with Reiki© practitioners. Cori can be contacted by email at email@example.com or through her Web site at http://instrumentsofpeace.tripod.com.
Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ Four Years Later
As submitted to Reiki News Magazine Summer 2010 issue
by Cori Nielsen
“Breathe deeply into your belly following the contraction to its peak. Exhale. Each contraction takes you deeper and deeper into relaxation. All the muscles relax except those working to push the baby out.“
I became the participant AND the observer. Crystal clarity. Still Presence surrounding, permeating, sustaining. Oneness, with myself, with Source, with the process. Undulating waves. Dancing the baby into the world. Painless. EMPOWERING.
That was my experience during the birth of our last child, sixteen years ago. Fourteen years ago Reiki found me and eventually my painless childbirth experience evolved into the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki© method of natural childbirth. To read the whole story and the birth stories of several amazing women I’ve worked with, please read “Reiki and Painless Childbirth” in Reiki News Magazine, spring 2006 issue.
My dresser overflows with statues that have found me over the years: pregnant goddesses, mothers holding babies, Isis, Sophia, Quan Yen, Gaia, and most recently a very large pregnant Black Madonna from Oaxaca, Mexico. All sit beneath a Navajo Marriage basket. They’ve gathered themselves creating an altar. Crystals anchor their energy, holding space for Sacred Childbirth to manifest again on this planet. It is the womb space of my dream of sacred birthing centers where birth is honored as a sacred rite of passage. These centers are infused with love, oases of light where the healing power of Reiki is used. Couples are empowered to have non-medicated, gentle, peaceful births with the assistance of alternative and allopathic healthcare. Babies’ first welcome is with warm, loving hands that honor them as Sacred Humans. What a powerfully positive imprint on the cellular memory of the child’s bodies!
Recently Sue from Wisconsin and Pam from Pittsburgh called, having read the first article in Reiki News Magazine. Both are excited about training to be practitioners of this program. It was Pam that suggested I write another article saying that while the first article shared the process of how to birth without pain using Sacred Childbirth with Reiki; it did not begin to convey the depth, the joyousness and the beauty of the program. I realized that as the program has gestated, the honoring of the spirit of the baby and the sacredness of birth as a rite of passage has emerged. The children born using this method are reported to be content, strong babies. While I knew that our son’s birth directly correlated to how he lives his life, I wondered if it was true with the other babies in the article. Were their peaceful births an on-going reflection of their lives? Let’s check in on them:
Our son, Caleb, was birthed at home. Five days of off-and-on labor culminated in 1 ½ hours of intense undulating waves of contractions. Minutes after birth, Caleb peacefully gazed into my eyes secure and content. Now a sophomore in high school he is a self-directed, easy-going, self-confident young man. A musician and honor student, he fondly calls himself a ‘band geek”. Having four older brothers who have had to prove themselves as fighters to get the other boys to stop picking fights with them, I asked him if kids were mean to him. His reply was, “Not anyone whose opinion matters to me.” His highest priority is happiness. He innately knows how to balance between work and play. So wise at such a young age!
Makayla, first child born to Angela and Joe, was induced with Pitocin due to a car accident that had caused Angela’s bag of waters to leak undetected. Joe, a Reiki I, gave Angela Reiki during labor and guided her through the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki visualization and breathing techniques. Makayla was a happy baby and developed early. She asked to be attuned when she was 5 days old. Tapping the symbols into those tiny hands, newly come from Source, was a holy experience! Makayla is now 7 ½. She has been joined by two brothers, Adrian, 3 ½ and Aaron, 20 months. Angela and Joe used Reiki for all three births. This is what Angela has to say:
“Makayla is just so in touch with her world around her…she still loves Reiki. She uses it, occasionally, herself. She’s the one most “in tune” with the Reiki. We did use Reiki for both boys, but the births were so different. For instance, with Adrian, I did more very deep toning (humming). It just felt right for me…and even to this day, a great way to help calm him is by doing that. Aaron is perpetual motion. Throughout my entire labor I just wanted to walk and rock. We did use Reiki for Aaron, but not as much as we did for Makayla (I just couldn’t sit still long enough). Aaron prefers to be rocked and walked to calm down. It’s amazing at how different all of the births were and how much they have “stayed true” to the methods used to help ME relax during labor, helps them relax now.
Makayla and Adrian are both very gentle, very loving souls. They are much more sensitive to their environments. Aaron is a little more assertive. He’s very strong and while he is very loving, laid back, easy going and happy go lucky, he has no problem with asserting himself when he feels he needs to.”
Innana was born at home to Kerensa and Jodie and big brother, Imani. Kerensa described Innana as affectionate, observant, and self-confident. Reiki helped her to adjust seamlessly when Kerensa spent two days in ICU due to post-birth complications. Kerensa says, “the energy of the Reiki strengthened our connection. Innana is now six. She’s an extremely sensitive, energetic person. Reiki has helped her have a strong sensitivity to energy and to her connection with it.”
Innana now has a little sister. She was born at a free-standing birthing center Kerensa says about her experience:
“I experienced a strong labor and Malaika was not waiting for me to get used to it. I labored in water again. My spouse Jodie easily worked on me with massage and Reiki and mimicked my rhythmic breathing, as the labor picked up intensity, I felt some back labor like my other births, but I felt better able to release into those sensations while riding the contractions. It was as if all the muscles were more coordinated. Malaika was born quickly with much gusto at high noon. Malaika’s temperament was calm, observant and friendly, usually patient if you will. It’s as if she knew from birth that she had to take turns with her siblings.”
These stories speak of the empowering beauty of Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™. The following data speaks of the reality of birth for many.
Birthing Data in the United States:
- Over 90% of all infants in the U.S. are born with drugs (e.g. narcotics from epidurals, Pitocin, acetaminophen, etc.) in their systems. <http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/birthing.htm>
- The c-section rate rose 2 percent in 2007, to 31.8 percent, marking the 11the consecutive year of increase. www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_12.pdf
- The World Health Organization (WHO) states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15 percent. www.childbirth.org/section/CSFact.html
- On average a c-section costs $5000-$7000 more than a vaginal birth, some sources quote that it’s double the cost.
- If a c-section is not performed, the use of epidurals is high.
- Across the US, about 50 percent of women use epidurals during childbirth, according to Dr Jun Zhang, PhD, MD, of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research.
- Some hospitals, particularly larger ones, have epidural rates as high as 85 percent. pregnancyandbaby.sheknows.com
- In Turkey in 2006, 96% chose epidurals, in Stockholm 52%. childbirth-labour-delivery.suite101.com/article.cfm/epidural_for_labor
- In England it was 33% in 2007/08 (BirthChoiceUK, 2009).
What is the affect of an epidural on the baby? According to the American Pregnancy Association:
Though research is somewhat ambiguous, most studies suggest some babies will have trouble “latching on” which can lead to breastfeeding difficulties. Other studies suggest that the baby may experience respiratory depression, fetal mal-positioning; and an increase in fetal heart rate variability, which may increase the need for forceps, vacuum, cesarean deliveries and episiotomies.” www.americanpregnancy.org/labornbirth/epidural.html
Patty Bowen, childbirth educator and labor and delivery nurse of 23 years at Yukon Medical Center in Connecticut and Sacred Childbirth with Reiki practitioner states that fear among birthing women is rampant. Dr. Grantly-Dick-Read in his book Childbirth Without Fear, explained that fear restricts blood circulation in the uterus which causes pain. His research proved that women who were not predisposed to fear had no birth pain. Sacred Childbirth with Reiki gets to the root of the fear.
Chi Follows Thought
Chi follows thought. When thought is charged with emotion, powerful manifestations happen, positive or negative. The key to the success of a sacred childbirth is that using Reiki, mothers and fathers are guided to re-experience their previous birth experiences, including their own to remove all fear and negativity from their body’s cellular memory. Doing so creates a blank canvas on which the dream they hold for their child’s birth can be created and practiced. They also learn to hold the awareness that they are co-creating with their baby the absolutely perfect birth experience for what the baby needs to learn to do its life work. With the assistance of the Reiki symbols, a focused, strong pathway is blazed within the bodies’ energy fields. During labor, the birthing energy flows along the newly created channels bringing into the physical dimension a sacred, empowering birth experience for both the baby and the parents.
The following are new stories of Sacred Childbirth with Reiki. Both are stories of second births. Pay attention to how the mothers feel about themselves and the experience.
Baleigh by her mom, Heidi
With Heidi’s first child she practiced for a calm, relaxed birth using a HypnoBirthing CD. She delivered in an army hospital. Early in labor, concerned about her slightly elevated blood pressure, they gave her Magnesium without telling her that a side effect was slowed labor. That led to 12 hours of hard labor on a Pitocen drip before she gave in to each nurse’s suggestion and agreed to an epidural. 14 hours later (26 hours of hard labor) she was hungry and exhausted when it was time to push. She says:
“I felt powerless, incapable of performing this one final task. After four hours of ineffective pushing the doctor announced they would be taking me to the OR to have a C-section. This was the absolute last straw for me! With four powerful pushes I gave birth to my son Thor. I wish I could say that I was overjoyed and basked in the glow of my first child’s birth but honestly, I was so tired, hungry and drugged, I don’t even remember holding my son for the first time. My recovery time was long and painful even though I hardly tore at all.
Baleigh was our second child was just 13 months after my son. I was scared of a repeat performance. Although I again practiced HypnoBirthing, my dream of a calm, peaceful birth was realized through Sacred Childbirth with Reiki©. I went through a clearing process to let go of all the negative pregnancy and birth memories. It was a significant emotional event for me. Some memories that I had not even been aware of surfaced. It saddened me to realize how little I got to bond with my son in the first hours of his life. I also went through visualization sessions with Cori to “see” what this birth could be like.
On Thanksgiving morning 2007 my labor started. I was so excited! We decided to go on with our planned activities for the day until I felt it was time to go to the hospital. I felt more in control this time and didn’t want a doctor taking that away from me. Towards early evening, my contractions were about two minutes apart so we headed to the hospital. After 5 needle sticks trying to start the obligatory IV, with my tension rising I said “no more” and the doctor agreed.
Not only was Cori my Sacred Childbirth with Reiki© practitioner but she’s my mother-in-law. She was there and helped me re-center my thoughts and I was able to get back to a place of peace and control. My labor progressed quickly and with relatively no discomfort. I walked for about an hour before my water broke and I decided to spend the rest of my labor on the birthing ball or in bed receiving Reiki on my lower abdomen. When I reached the transition point I felt very powerful. I lay on my side and curled up almost in the fetal position to push. Someone held my leg and I could actually feel the baby causing friction because she was moving so fast. My body did all the work this time and in a fraction of the time. I spent less than 10 minutes actually pushing and it was more like my body was making her come out instead of me pushing her out. It’s almost an indescribable feeling. The most amazing thing is that although my blood pressure was elevated with this pregnancy as well, I birthed with no medication. Both children were born perfectly healthy. My recovery this time was also amazingly fast. About an hour after giving birth I was ready to go home and if they had let my daughter go then we would have gone home.
My daughter was such a happy well adjusted infant. She slept through the night very early on and was very contented. This was such a great departure from Thor. He would cry if not held and would only sleep curled up on my chest for 20 minutes at a time for the first 6-8 weeks.”
James by his mom, Erin
Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ transformed my birthing experience. I have experienced the two most extreme opposites of labor and delivery. The birth of my first child, Tess, was very traumatic. She was born a month after my husband’s parents were killed instantly in a car crash. I was in the hospital for high blood pressure, had a lot of swelling, and was very uncomfortable that month before giving birth. Before that month, the pregnancy had been very easy and comfortable so I know my trouble was directly related to the emotional stress I was undergoing. Tess was a week late. I was induced with her (which was not in my “plan”). I was in labor for 18 hours. I pushed for three hours before she was born. My epidural did not work so I was in tremendous pain. I was so scared and felt very out of control during delivery. When Tess finally emerged, the cord was wrapped around her neck. Thank God my doctor acted so quickly and was able to remove the cord and call for emergency assistance. Before I knew it, the room was filled up with strangers and they put Tess under oxygen and whisked her away to the NICU. I was petrified. My placenta did not come out naturally so after a half an hour, I had to have that physically removed. It was such a nightmare. I had no idea labor and delivery could be so terrifying. I was frightened for my baby and just longed to hold her. I finally was able to see Tess after a couple of hours and I nursed her and cried and cried. I was so relieved that she was safe and healthy.
When I was pregnant with James, I made a decision to not go through anything remotely like my past experience again. My intent for James’s birth was for it to be peaceful, natural, and without complications. My sister and I attended a holistic healing convention. I was drawn to Cori instantly. I saw her name was Cori and that she did Reiki and I knew immediately who she was. Cori trained my Aunt Laurie, who was like a second mother to me, in all the levels of Reiki. My aunt had recently passed away. I feel like she guided me to Cori so that I could create the birth I wanted to have with Tess but was unable to.
I was about 5 months pregnant at the time and knew this was exactly what I needed. Cori and I then met several times for Sacred Childbirth with Reiki©. She talked me through each session. She had me re-live my birth experience with Tess. It was strange at first and I thought I could tell the story with ease since I had so many times before to family and friends. However, this time it was different. The feelings that came over me were overwhelming. I felt a release of all the tension, anger, sadness, fear, and worry I was carrying with me for so long. I did not even realize that I had experienced all these feelings and realized that I felt guilty for feeling the way I did so I suppressed my emotions. I tried to focus on the elation, joy, and love I felt for having Tess but those other feelings were there and they needed to come out. The Reiki helped me let go and give my feelings up to God. We first worked on reliving the experience, then recreating it, then intending the new experience of the birth of my second child. During the last session, my sister who also does Reiki, was there because she was my planned support person during delivery. She and Cori worked together to determine how she could “coach” me and assist me through the birth. Cori helped me tremendously through the process. I knew in my heart that the birth of James would be different.
I began having contractions with James at 9pm on December 15, 2008. Cozy in my home, I was very peaceful and tried to rest. I felt so much more in touch with my body this time. I used visualization techniques Cori introduced me to and “reframed” the pain to “pressure.” I walked, stretched, and did Reiki on myself. Three hours later, settled into my room at the hospital, I was dilated to 7 cm with contractions very close. This experience was moving much quicker than the last! I felt like the baby was just bursting to join this world! I was focusing on my breathing and doing Reiki on myself to manage the pressure because it was becoming more frequent and more intense. I was told by the nurse that I needed to stay in the bed and in the same position due to the fetal monitor. This was very difficult for me. I felt like I could handle the pressure when I was able to move, stretch, and walk around. For this reason, I decided to ask for an epidural. The epidural provided relief and I felt more comfortable in the bed. At about 10 minutes to 8am, the doctor said it was time for me to push. I literally pushed three times which took just a few minutes, and the baby emerged. I heard his healthy, hearty cry and burst into tears.
I was shocked at the difference of this birthing experience. I felt no pain or emotional trauma. I was absolutely in heaven. I knew it was truly the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki© and setting my intention that made all the difference. James was a wonderful nurser right from the start. I was able to hold him immediately. I was well enough to talk on the phone after about five minutes and share the news with friends/family. I was AMAZED at the difference. It was mind boggling.
This experience was very empowering. It is incredible the power we have over our bodies and the way we experience pain/discomfort. I feel like I have so much more control over my health and my body. James is a joyful, content, relaxed baby. He is healthy-eats and sleeps well and has a very calm demeanor. James has a smile and a twinkle in his eye that could light up the world. He is my little angel.
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For
As a planet we are experiencing times of rapid transformation. There have been great shifts in energy, portals of light are opening, and higher dimensions are more assessable. Esoteric teachings have opened to the masses from many ancient sacred traditions. With these teachings, vibrations are raising, enlightenment becoming possible for many. I feel it is a time when those of much higher vibration are preparing to birth into our planet in masses. How will we receive them?
Years ago a spiritual counselor said, “Never forget that you are working with ancient souls in little bodies.”
We are the ones we have been waiting for. We have birthed ourselves into this time and space to be the trailblazers for these enlightened souls. They are calling us to use the tools we’ve been given to make the changes we know in our hearts are needed. The Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ method of natural childbirth is one way that we can welcome them. If your heart feels moved there are several ways you can participate:
- Train to be a Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ practitioner and start facilitating sacred birth in your area.
- Send long distance Reiki to the Sacred Childbirth with Reiki™ program that it may become deeply root and spread around the world, so that there will be adequate practitioners for all the parents who are seeking an empowering, sacred birth.
- Share Reiki with your clients who are pregnant. Encourage the mother and the birthing partner to be attuned to Reiki I so that the baby is attuned to Reiki and so that Reiki can be used during labor, delivery and post-birth bonding and recovery.
- Send me your empowering birth stories (Reiki birth stories and any other methods that have resulted in empowering births) to be added to those I am collecting for a book about Sacred Childbirth. If you know others who have had one, encourage them to share their story so other women can be empower by it. Be a part in changing the tide of medicated births!
However Reiki manifests through you, whatever your passion,
I encourage you to share it.
This is the Hour!
WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!
from the final lines of a prophetic message sent out from the Elders of the Hopi, “the People of Peace”