White coat syndrome and hypnosis
Taking back your power and your calm
As always, if you feel your situation could use some extra support, please reach out. We’re happy to help.
And remember that blood pressure is a valuable measurement, especially in pregnancy, so please seek help if you find that your blood pressure is higher than it should be.
White coat syndrome, or white coat hypertension, is when blood pressure is higher when taken in a medical setting. Luckily, there are some really great ways to help that experience shrink back down and feel safer.
Hypnosis can help you reverse a stressful visit, and give you a nice tool or two to work with in the active moments. It’s very empowering to find new ways to think about and deal with situations that feel out of your control, so let’s discuss a few things you can do to relax and feel better!
What you practice becomes your programming.
Practicing good things helps WAY more than practicing hard things!
Here are a few tips to work with:
Find a power pose that means deep relaxation and safety, and use it. It can be subtle. It might be hands on the hips, shoulders squared, a fixed gaze, a smile, an open hand, a hand on the heart, or any other pose that helps to remind you how safe and powerful you are. Sometimes places like Walgreens have blood pressure machines you can work with too. Just be gentle and forgiving with yourself as you practice, and think of it as a chance to expand and grow into a new understanding, doing better each time.
If you’ve had a bad visit in the past, spend some time imagining the care provider doing something silly. Removing providers from a place of absolute authority can help your mammal mind take back its own authority.
Imagine the techs or nurses with warm smiles and soft hands, wishing you success. Luckily, this is easy to do with our pleasant and kind Dar a Luz staff.
Find a mantra. Some good examples:“I’ve got this!”
“My calm smile reminds me that I’m safe.”
“This is easy for me, because I easily relax.”
“I’m cool and calm.”
“Focusing on my breathing calms me.”
“I love getting gentle arm hugs. I’m wide open to kindness.”
“Quiet and calm. Soft and warm. Open and easy.”
“I’m safe. My body is safe. I’m safe.”
“I always find my way.”Practice a lot. Have someone squeeze your arm and make a sound while you practice. Laugh about it. If you’re going to use visualizations below, practice them beforehand so you’re just visiting a familiar scenario.
In the moment:
Before having your blood pressure taken, ask for time beforehand to relax. Play a song you like. Have someone hold your hand and focus on the touch and warmth and safety while you smile. Find another place to be and really be there!
Remember to take deep, deep breaths that fully fill your lungs… hold, and blow out like you’re blowing through a straw. Do this a couple of times in moments when you’re alert about being activated.
Focus on the feel of the floor and chair beneath you, holding and cradling you, supporting you. Find all of the places that feel supported right now, and sink into them.
Draw up strength from the earth with every breath and repeat, “I am safe, so safe, right now, right here. Safe. Calm. Easy.” Smile.
Keep a moist mouth, the entire time. (Moist mouth is a pool of liquid saliva on the tongue.)
Use your Let Go Trigger, and your Partner Trigger, if applicable.
Slap a big beautiful smile on your face before, during and after.
Use your power pose. It can be subtle—see above.
Use your mantra—see above.
Visualize happy places and good things. Think about taking a cozy nap with a baby or soft pet, all snuggled up. Soft and safe and warm, deep, easy breaths.
See a wide stream beside you, flowing by easily. Notice a couple of rocks and twigs narrowing the path, and clear them out. Calm flowing water. Hear it, smell it, see it, feel it.
Think of the blood pressure cuff as a friend’s hand, giving you a squeeze to let you know they are right there. Smile and be grateful for the support.
You can even imagine something silly like a beat poet, rocking and swaying with black sunglasses and a martini, saying stuff like, “Keep it chill, just let it flow, ride the wave, man… yeah baby.” Stupid funny stuff can totally help.
Think about the reward you’re going to give yourself after. See below.
Start thinking of this situation as a great teacher instead of a “syndrome.” You’re so lucky you got to learn so much!
Give yourself a reward for a job well done! It can be something little or big. Focus on kindness and reward — animal trainers know that rewarding small steps is the secret to big steps.
Be kind and forgiving with yourself about each aspect of the experience. Be proud of yourself for trying. Know that being human means stumbling sometimes, and that it’s always okay to simply do your best.
Feel grateful for smallkindnesses, and focus on those. Focusing on successes can be a wonderful way to expand your memories of the experience.
Nod, emphatically giving yourself a “yes” head movement, when you’re thinking of past experiences (instead of mentally or physically wincing). Start to forgive yourself for the past, understanding that it’s okay to show emotion, to ask for help, and to make mistakes.
Think ahead to the future, when you’re all better and your confidence soars. You are looking forward to looking back on these times.
Remember you MUST practice beforehand to have access to these feelings and images when you need them! What we practice becomes our reality. Let us know how these tips work for you!
Laura Wood teaches Dar a Luz’s birth hypnosis class, Blissborn.
For more info visit our Facebook Page HERE or call (505) 463-4787
To register for classes visit our website calendar page HERE
Birth Center Tours
- Saturday, July 13
- Saturday, July 20
10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Interventions and Hospital Transfers
Learn what happens when birth doesn’t go as expected. Hear from midwives, doulas, counselors, and a past family who transferred. Free dinner! YOU MUST register for this class. Click HERE to register.
- Wednesday, July 24
5:15 to 8:00 p.m.
visit Doula page on our website HERE
PLEASE NOTE UPDATED SUMMER SCHEDULE:
Doula Teas with the New Life Doula Collective
Come & join us for some tea, and meet our doulas. We’ll help you learn more about doula care, so you
can explore your options. RSVP for tea HERE to let us know you’re coming (drop-ins OK too) or to learn more about doulas
- Monday, July 22 5:30 p.m.
- Saturday, August 10 noon
Breastfeeding and New Moms
Facilitated by our Lactation Consultant Robin Hayter with support from the nurses and midwives.
- Wednesday mornings, 10:00 to noon
Mindful Partnering, Mindful Parenting
Feeling overwhelmed? You are not alone. Please come explore and experience gentle guided meditation and mindfulness practices that will leave you feeling calm, witnessed and supported.
- Thursday, July 11
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Postpartum Mom Group
Our staff counselor Kimberlee Maresma, LPCC will hold a therapeutic group that supports the new mother for the first year. Email Kimberlee HERE with any questions.
- Friday, July 12 noon
…and counting! That’s over 2850 gallons! Go, Mamas, Go!
Disclaimer: Most of the special events below are set up and led by community members — not Dar a Luz staff members — and as such, they don’t necessarily reflect our beliefs as an organization. Dar a Luz is not responsible for their content, and does not necessarily endorse every aspect presented.
Postpartum Partner Workshop
Thursday, August 22nd at 6 p.m.
Please join Jose Maresma for an evening of an emotionally safe exploration of the differences our partners face after the birth of a new baby. This Workshop is FOR PARTNERS ONLY. Suggested donation: $10-20
Need an August Birth Class?
Saturdays, August 10-24, 2019 from 2:00 to 5:30 p.m.
ONE TIME OFFERING! Due to our packed schedule, we are offering a mini Dar a Luz birth class series (which still counts toward your 5-week series requirement). Register online HERE
One of our philosophies at Dar a Luz is to strive to be an environmentally conscientious organization, minimizing our environmental impact and encouraging others to do the same. You support this mission by completing online intake forms, bringing a refillable water bottle with you to your visits, and utilizing our recycling bin. We have a recycling bin in our kitchen space. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with what is recyclable. Thank you for helping support our efforts!
The Big Latch on 2019
Saturday, August 3rd
Fun Fact: Jael is a palindrome birthday baby!
You can have your baby featured by emailing usHERE a picture of your cutie and we’ll put them in a newsletter! Please include permission to use the image, your little one’s first name, date of birth, and a fun fact.