The Gift of Love for both Mother and Baby


www.birthingasnatureintended.com www.banibabies.com

“Bravo to Teresa Van-Zeller and her book, Birthing As Nature Intended, (B.A.N.I.), for synthesizing both the physiological and psychological value of training our mind away from fear and toward relaxation and pleasure in birth.  I wish I had this book when I was teaching birthing classes.  Better yet, I wish I had it when I was preparing to give birth to my daughter 41 years ago.

Birth educators and doulas will find this book gives them valuable skills they can offer women and couples from every walk of life.  If nurse-midwives, nurses and obstetricians recommend this book to clients, they will see many more of them have natural, normal births and become confident mothers.”

Quote by Suzanne Arms: Author, Birth Educator, Activist.  A grandmother of the international birthing movement, Suzanne is Founder-Director of the USA-based Birthing the Future®, a nonprofit/charity and The Time Is Now global project.


Birthing As Nature Intended - A guide to achieving the birth you envision

Having a baby is the most normal, natural beginning of life and nature never intended for it to be painful. The female body is perfectly designed to nourish, grow, and protect the unborn child and then just as perfectly, to birth the child naturally.

Nature provides us with pain to tell us when something is wrong.  But there is nothing wrong with having a baby.  It does not make sense that nature can create such a perfect little human being but would then create intense pain to bring the child into the world.  No other creature experiences suffering with childbirth when there is nothing wrong.

The uterus, which is the environment for your baby's development, is also perfectly designed with two sets of muscles that work in perfect harmony.  The inner, circular, horizontal muscles which stay closed during pregnancy to allow the baby to be nourished and safe, and the second outer set of long verticle muscles that during labor, will pull up to allow the horizontal muscles to relax open, allowing passage for the baby to be born.

The perfect example of how these muscles work in perfect harmony can be found everywhere in your body.  For example: Just hold your arm straight out in front of you and bend your arm at the elbow and then straighten it again.  There is nothing uncomfortable about that motion.  There are two sets of muscles working together that are necessary to allow your arm to bend.  The muscles on top of your arm must shorten, (or draw up) to allow the arm to be pulled up while the muscles under your arm relax to allow the movement to occur. Then to straighten the arm, the reverse is true.  The muscles underneath must shorten (or contract) while the muscles on top relax, allowing your arm to straighten again. Most muscles in the body including the uterus works the same way without any need for discomfort.

What causes pain in uncomplicated labor, is fear.  The body knows only one way to react to fear or stress and that is “fight or flight”.  When someone is stressed or fearful, the body releases stress hormones (catecholamines), which direct all of the body’s available resources, except those needed for sustaining life, (including blood and oxygen), to the arms and legs so that the person can fight for their life or run.  This serves a very useful purpose if you are in a life or death situation. However, with stress, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between a “life and death” stress or a “fear” stress.

Because of all the “horror stories” people have heard about birthing, and the movies depicting laboring women in agony, women have been conditioned to “fear the pain” of childbirth.  So when the woman goes into labor with fear, her fear causes her body to release stress hormones, which cause most of the blood and oxygen in her body (including all but the minimum needed amounts to sustain her and her baby's life), to be redirected to her arms and legs so she can “fight or flee”.  This causes the horizontal uterine muscles to “clamp down like a vice” so that when the vertical muscles begin to pull up, she now has two sets of muscles fighting each other rather than working harmoniously.  As an example of this, take the same arm that moved so effortlessly a moment ago and hold the arm out.  Now tense the arm as hard as you can and try to bend it. The muscles are no longer working in harmony because of the tension and now it is immediately uncomfortable.

The good news is that as soon as you relax the arm again, easy mobility returns.

Women do not need childbirth preparation classes to have natural comfortable births.  Nature has supplied the means to that end since the beginning of existence. The B.A.N.I. childbirth education program was developed to “de-hypnotize” mothers and help them let go of all the negative stories, movies, and books that have been conditioning them to expect and accept that pain is a necessary component of childbirth. This is simply not true.

Not only are women able to have comfortable and oftentimes totally pain-free births, but many women experience ecstatic births which confirms that the birth of a child is the epitome of female sexuality.  The classes being offered, B.A.N.I. Classes, help expectant parents to eliminate the “Fear-Tension-Pain” cycle by teaching techniques that enhance the release of endorphines, (nature's natural anesthesia that is stronger than any "man made" drug available), so that they can birth their baby calmly, naturally, and more comfortably, the way nature intended.

What you will learn:

A variety of relaxation, visualization, and NLP techniques (many are forms of self-hypnosis) to reduce and eliminate the fear and tension that cause longer labors and pain.  You will gain the confidence that you are taking an active role to achieve the calm, comfortable birth you envision.

  • The creation and control of the body's own natural anesthesia.
  • That despite popular belief, pain is not a necessary component of birth.
  • Why some women experience pain during childbirth while others experience no pain and still others experience intense pleasure while giving birth.
  • Why and how the mother's body is designed to work harmoniously with nature throughout labor.
  • How and when to practice your relaxation techniques to prepare for childbirth.
  • The importance of bonding with your baby.
  • The importance of understanding the various potential interventions so that if needed, true informed consent can be given.
  • Techniques that you and your companion will use to achieve goals in other aspects of your life in addition to achieving a more comfortable labor.

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"A few weeks prior to my estimated due date, I visualized the birth taking place on the Friday morning two weeks after my estimated due date.  Friday was the perfect day for the baby to come into the world; my husband and I would have the whole weekend to relax and our five year old was going to be in school all day (she had already told me that she was not interested in attending the birth).  In my mind’s eye, I saw the birthing happen quickly, easily and calmly.  Sure enough, on Friday morning when I awoke at 7am, the surges started quickly and frequently.  I knew it was time.  I called my husband to take our daughter to school at 8:15am and then come back to get me so we could meet our midwife by 9:15am at the birth center. My husband lit candles in the room and played my relaxing music while the Doula gave me a light touch massage and rubbed a yummy smelling oil on my belly.  We had chosen a water birth. As soon as the tub was filled, I was ready to get in and relax while my husband read me the relaxation script.  It all happened so quickly.  Shortly thereafter my membranes released and I could feel her moving down the birth path.  For a few moments, it felt like I couldn’t breathe and I really got that my body and the baby knew what they were doing without me.  I used a few birth breaths to breathe her down and she was born.  It was 11:25am (20 minutes after the membranes released) and we were thrilled to have our newborn up on my belly without even a single “push”, tear or stitch. I was relaxed and had lots of energy after her birth. She latched on with ease and nursed before the midwife gave her a little rinse bath and exam. Our midwife set up our car seat, gave us a few pointers and by 2:45pm we left to go pick up our older daughter from school.  By 3:30pm, we were home and had the first visitors come to meet our beautiful 8 pound 3 ounce little girl.  All in a day’s work!  What a wonderful day and a beautiful baby.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat."

-Heather N., Thousand Oaks


"I just wanted to drop you a little note to say thank you for all that you taught Jim and I about hypno-birthing.   Both Jim and I believe that the reason my son Spencer is such a happy contented boy is because he had such a peaceful entrance into the world! Spencer is 3 months now and is the happiest baby I have ever seen.  He only cries or fusses when he is hungry.  He smiles, laughs or plays contently 99.9% of the time.  I recommend Hypnosis 2000 & B.A.N.I. to anyone who will listen."

- Star, Jim & Spencer L., Westlake Village


"I took Teresa's birthing classes back in 2000 for our first birth.  I credit her class (taken one month before my due date) with helping me achieve a completely painFREE 18 hour hospital labor.  I never asked for or needed an epidural.  I practiced with the tapes every single day.  Prior to giving birth I was a nervous wreck about everything that could go wrong.  What if my OB didn't show up?  What if, what if, what if...?  By the time I went into labor, thanks to the wonderful relaxation self-hypnosis tapes, and Teresa's instruction, I felt so self-confident and was actually (surprisingly) looking forward to giving birth.  One of the things that helped me the most was listening to her own personal and numerous B.A.N.I. Birthing client success stories.  I told myself that if they could do it, so could I.  My son's labor (our first baby) was a wonderful, transformative, spiritual experience and I cannot wait to go through labor and give birth again.  Teresa is sensitive, intelligent and compassionate and I am so lucky to have taken her class. She teaches the B.A.N.I. accreditation course in Southern California and in the Western U.S.  If you take the class from her, consider yourself lucky because you are getting one of the very best birthing teachers available today."

- Tanya Arce Fox, Westlake Village


"David and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the most wonderful experience we had in our birthing class as well as the birth itself. Not only did we gain a greater knowledge of the female body, but we felt much more at ease with the birthing process and all of the wondrous pieces that come together through birth. Although David and I felt the knowledge we gained in class would enable us to be successful in a natural birth, we were thrilled to have you as a part of our team. After 32 hours of back labor and no interventions, your presence and unquestionable support helped with the decisions we were faced with. Teresa, if it wasn’t for your professional help with my fear of needles, I’m not sure we would be blessed with little Tatiana. You are an integral part of our family and will always have a special place in our hearts. Thank you for all that you do to help dispel myths about the birthing process and for being a wonderful friend and support system. The whole process was made possible by your love, guidance, and support."

- Andrea, David and Tatiana Duran