Rachel YellinHelping you be who you were born to be
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It’s been over 16 years since I attended my first birth. My sister was scared and felt like she couldn’t breathe. My niece was stuck in an asymmetrical position for several hours and my sister’s epidural wasn’t working the way she’d hoped for after a long labor. So, I got close. I gently stared into her eyes and said, “feel the air at the tip of your nose. It’s going in and out. You can feel that. Now watch me, listen to my breath, and we’ll breathe together.” She said I saved her. But really, she saved me with her willingness to be real and vulnerable and powerful all at the same time.
Truth is, I never intended to be a birth expert. I simply saw my sister and listened to her and had deep compassion for her. I was strong, calm, grounded, and I directed the power of her baby’s birth to her. Little did I know then, but that experience put me on a path to become someone whose purpose in life is to bring joy to people giving birth. If you ask people who know me now; doulas, midwives, doctors, and parents, I think they would say that I’m effective because the energy that surrounds my teachings makes an enormous difference in the way women experience birth. It’s a little surprising, given that I’ve never given birth myself, but perhaps my “gift” is a result of the hundreds of births I’ve attended, or from listening to thousands of my birthing class students tell me their experiences, or from reading countless books about birth, or simply from having an enormous passion for helping people access their innate power.
When I Was a Child
When I was a child, growing up in Newton MA, with 3 awesome older sisters, I really wanted to be a farmer or a veterinarian. Instead, I moved to San Francisco in 1995 and became a residential treatment counselor for emotionally disturbed teens – which I was practically one myself! I continued doing helping work as a camp director at the JCCSF, a children’s director at a shelter for families, and a development director at a K-8 School. As I realized that I didn’t want to do fundraising for the rest of my life, timing had it that I attended the birth of my first niece from the story above, and a year later I attended the birth of my third nephew (different sisters!) At that birth, a woman in the room said to me, “You should be a doula”, to which I replied “I should do what?”, and then she explained. Things lined up in the next year and I took my doula training at Natural Resources in SF, while I simultaneously was doing my 600 hour teacher training at the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco. After I graduated both programs in 2002, I started teaching yoga and hung up my shingle as a doula. I was successful right away. From there, I and 6 other women started the San Francisco Doula Group.
Hypnosis for Birth
After 3 years of attending births as a professional doula, I knew that my clients needed more skills for birth. One of my sisters introduced me to HypnoBirthing and I took their training, became certified, and starting teaching HypnoBirthing Childbirth Education. My natural birth rate went from 45% to 75%. After teaching the HypnoBirthing curriculum for a couple of years, I continued to develop myself through training as a Hypnotherapist, and Depth Hypnosis practitioner (2 year intensive program) for which I now have a private therapy practice for both pregnant, and non-pregnant adults in San Francisco, Marin and on-line. I became keenly aware of the ways in which my clients needed more than what HypnoBirthing offered. So I developed my own curriculum and my natural birth rate increased again.
The classes I teach today are what I consider the best of HypnoBirthing, infused with other practices and teachings that I’ve learned including Yoga, Buddhism, Shamanism, Transpersonal psychology, neuropsychology, Hypnosis, Meditation, Relational Counseling, Health Studies, and my own life experience.
Relaxation & Meditation
A core piece of my classes became teaching relaxation and meditation in addition to breathing and hypnosis techniques and I soon realized that what my expectant moms needed was to practice the techniques at home. That’s when I launched my first CD with 3 tracks. In 2014, after 5 years of researching and testing what would be the most effective, I released the complete 3 part program, Yes to Birth! Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond Audio Relaxation Program – an essential practice tool that helps women develop the mindset to go towards the sensations of labor, welcoming their baby with confidence, focus, and the ability to let go.
I am so fortunate to have found this work that inspires me and gives me such a sense of purpose in life. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve thought “I should pay them for this experience.” Thank you for letting me be a part of your life, helping you in this amazing time in your life and for allowing me to have an affect on your life.
Helping you be who you were born to be.