"Music is the only art form whose archetypal origin is in the
Quotes from mothers and couples:
Pamela Gregg, Yoga teacher, Artist
Thank you, Giselle. You were such an important figure in my transition. You helped me immensely to keep my heart and mind open, at a time when I was quite unsure and afraid. Thank you very much. I know that you will help others who are fortunate enough to cross your path.
Jenny Langlois Fitzpatrick, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Pregnancy Massage
I am a birth and post-partum doula, as well as a new mother. My daughter's birth was a natural, joyous occasion done at home with a caring midwife. The two prenatal music sessions I had with Giselle during my pregnancy contributed immensely to this positive outcome. As our time together was short, Giselle adeptly honed in on what she felt would be the most beneficial tools for my baby and I. The unique visualizations and guided meditations we did in our sessions proved invaluable during my labor. I was able to call upon many of the tools she gave me and effectively remained focused and strong throughout the entire birthing process. (And my daughter loves the lullabies Giselle taught me!) Giselle's wisdom, compassion, talent and generosity of spirit run from a very deep well and I am looking forward to working with her again during the entirety of my next pregnancy.
Haya Sakadjian, B-C Music Therapist, GIM practitioner
Giselle used music improvisation, toning, guided imagery, movement, relaxation and mandala artwork to assist me in connecting with my baby in utero. She used deep listening before each session in order to address my changing needs and concerns as pregnancy progressed.
The high-light of my experiences were sessions where my husband joined, and Giselle used music and couple's guided imagery to facilitate bonding and intimacy. This was a special gift of time just for "us", a welcome space set apart from the busy and hectic rhythms of our fast paced lives, in order to share meaningful moments together in the music. We came away totally refreshed and with a sense of great peace.
Pregnancy is an internal, creative experience. Pregnancy reaches into both personal and archetypal mythos. Giselle's prenatal sessions provided deep opportunity to explore feelings and birth issues in a safe and gentle environment. I recommend her work highly to any woman or couple seeking a conscious birth experience.
Anjalika Sharma, first time mother and Independent Film Producer
When I met Giselle the first time what struck me was her eyes, how deep and kind they looked and how peaceful her persona was.
She brought things to create an ambience for the birth … essential oils and some small instruments that I had responded to during our sessions. But most important of all was Giselle's complete energy and heart, it was her kindness and her love that were her best tools. With the music and smells in the room Giselle created a zone in which I felt no time ... time collapsed and I was in a zone, a zone where I was laboring for the love of my baby. Not only was she there at the birth but the strength she gave me before the birth with her spiritual energy helped me build my courage and helped me have a birth experience that I can always be thankful for.
Giselle did musical and breathing exercises with us as a couple that brought us closer. She never came between us, I feel like with her help we had an amazing journey together. I can think of nothing else I could have needed from a doula.
Dhaval Sejpa, first time father, Computer Engineer
Giselle enabled an amazing sense of calm, love, beauty and joy to our experience. I am not sure if it was her energy, or the music, or the wonderful aromatic oils she had brought. But it all blended so naturally that the discomfort and the hours just didn't seem to matter. The only desire I had expressed to her at one of our pre-birth meetings was that I would like Anjalika to have the most positive experience possible. I think Giselle made that so much more than a reality by her love, sincerity, care and dedication for providing the best care she possibly could.
Stacie Fox, first time mommy and Business Woman
I spent many years perfecting my career. And no time spent on the wonders of motherhood... My work with Giselle started around the end of my sixth month of pregnancy. We spent the first several sessions on having my emotions play catch-up with my physical body. Her soft and nurturing ways, through music therapy and relaxation helped me create a place emotionally where I could embrace my past and celebrate my future. Her work then continued as a doula with myself and my husband, in order to prepare us for the day of arrival of our beautiful son. Our birth experience was one of great joy and peace. I wish all mommies-to-be to have a delivery with the same sense of peace and safety that I had with a birthing team like my husband and Giselle E. Whitwell.
Jenna Barba, first time mother and Business Woman
Giselle’s sessions were full of emotion, connection, peace, and exploration. Through her work with music, art, meditation, and affirmations, I became more and more connected to my unborn daughter, as well as feel my strength grow to deal with my labor.
On the evening of my active labor, Giselle arrived to our house at 10:00pm, full of her true tranquil and supportive self. Her voice immediately calmed me, and I felt so grateful that she had arrived. She brought not only her soothing music, candles, aromatherapy, but also her being of “all is well, and all will be well.”
I know that I was able to move through my difficult contractions because of her suggestions of different positions, and I felt her true presence the entire time I was pushing…
Erica Young, first time mother, nurse.
Mike Young, first time father, history professor.
We were blessed to meet Giselle in the most difficult time of our life. My husband and I have been grieving for our unborn son since we found out at six months that he had severe birth defects and was not going to survive. I met Giselle a day before I gave birth, and I was not in the best state of mind at that time. I was experiencing some complications and my doctor moved up the date for the induction, so suddenly I had one day to prepare for the birth. I think I was in a state of shock. But when I met Giselle, she instantly made me feel so relaxed physically and emotionally at ease. She is so gentle and kind. I left her house feeling that I could handle the situation.
Her music selections really calmed me down and took away my anxiety. She taught me how to do deep breathing and relaxation exercises which helped me a lot during my labor and delivery. She not only cared for me but also for my husband for which I am very thankful. Losing our first born son is like losing a part of us and a part of our future, but because of Giselle's presence, support and kind words, she made us feel somewhat better and at peace.
Zara Phillips, mother and singer,
Working with Giselle and her music was extremely helpful to me during my pregnancy. The guided meditations along with different pieces of music helped me focus and gave me the confidence that I could deliver my baby naturally. My husband and I felt it helped us both connect to each other and of course the baby. To include our 4 year-old son for some of the sessions was a wonderful gift to our family. When it came time for the birth playing the pieces of music were tremendously helpful. I was able to go back to that relaxed state and use the music and the images I received from the meditations to help me through the most painful part of labor. The birth was all I had hoped for. We often play the music in our house for all of us because it relaxes us.
Giselle’s work as a doula was extremely supportive for both my husband and myself. She has a calming and confident presence; she reassured me and always made me feel I was strong enough to have the “Birth” I wanted. She was readily available for us in whatever capacity we needed her.
J.Berghofer, musician, therapist, teacher, and mother.
Ms. Whitwell's sensitive integration of music, relaxation, visualization and information, enabled me to prepare for birth with a positive, informed and excited attitude. Her practical resources, chosen and developed with my individual needs and background in mind, were carefully introduced, discussed and supported by current research. She enabled me to access a very clear visual image which remained central not only in the birthing process, but as a valuable resource today. Ms. Whitwell contributed much to my process and outcome - a natural musically supported birth and a precious healthy daughter.
Sara Weber, mother and business woman
The work with Giselle was to repair, heal, make whole my tree of life by letting my roots sink deeper into the earth and anchor me into motherhood to find all that I needed to bloom, birth myself and prepare to birth my daughter. This was a huge transforming process that required me to find ways to nurture myself and be nurtured by others, as well as to receive healing in a sacred space that Giselle created and held honoring my pregnancy. Like tending a garden, I watched and found many beautiful aspects of my life that were neglected and forgotten brought back to life again.
I believe that the work we did together prepared me to come into motherhood by being able to honor and acknowledge my own inner voice and connect with the pulse of life. This work was very regenerative, where there was loss, there was healing, where there were wounds there was repair. The classical music, chants, songs, lullabies, and working with movement, color, drawing and dreams were very powerful, profound and enjoyable experiences. These made me feel that the pieces of my own puzzle were falling into place. Music and dance helped me reconnect to the missing pieces in me and also opened windows and doors to my inner self.
Michelle Laviolette, jeweler and mother
My therapeutic voice healing work with Giselle for 10 weeks during my pregnancy was a true gift for my pregnancy and birth to come. Each week she guided me through a variety of voice exercises which helped me to relax and to connect with a deeper part of myself; mind, body and spirit, as well as with my baby inside of me. By practicing the exercises I was also able to heal some things in my body, like migraines, through calming my mind and bringing in new ways with voice and breath to move the energy through.
Giselle and I sang lullabies from around the world to the baby, which I will continue to sing throughout pregnancy and after the child is born. My favorite lullaby, a Bengali Indian one, I sing as my special song to myself and the baby when I am out in the world and find myself desiring to re-connect, or during meditation.
I recommend working with Giselle to anyone who is interested in a deeper, spiritual connection while on the journey through conception, pregnancy and mothering.
Sherry Lewis-Ramirez, mother and teacher
I had the pleasure of working with Giselle during my second pregnancy. I loved the singing and toning exercises we did with her. Some of the songs we sang together I still sing to my baby who is now 4 months. Giselle has such a soft, sweet nature, and such a wonderful energy. I feel strongly that part of the reason I had such an amazing second birth was due to the work I did with her. I highly recommend Giselle to any expecting mother!
Arely Sulvarán-Achenbach; socióloga
Sin ninguna duda, las sesiones de música prenatal fueron una experiencia nueva, única, curativa emocional y espiritualmente, la cual me devolvió la alegría y me ayudó a conectarme, de una manera muy especial con mi bebé y a transmitirle todo mi amor.
Las vocalizaciones que practicamos tuvieron un efecto curativo y relajante. También estas vocalizaciones son herramientas que me ayudaron a sobre llevar el dolor durante el trabajo de parto. A veces me sentí libre de prejuicios escuchando a mi voz y lo que cada sonido me hacía sentir. Trabajar con los colores también fue una experiencia curativa y re-energizante.
Todas las experiencias en conjunto me dieron la fuerza y confianza para dar a luz de forma natural. El CD que grabamos con los cantos y canciones de cuna, tocando los diferentes instrumentos fue hermosísimo. Gracias, gracias, gracias Giselle.