What couples have said about attending the Natal Hypnpotherapy workshops
"Ben and I had a little girl on New Year's Eve. Her name is Maya Eve Pearce and she weighed 8lbs 6oz.
The birth went very smoothly. I had a show the morning of the 30th and contractions started that night. By the next morning they were getting too strong to lie down so we watched TV and tried to distract ourselves - I found the birthing ball very useful at that point. This went on till about 3pm when they were getting pretty strong and I couldn't concentrate on anything else. I used a TENS machine throughout, which I found very useful. I would definitely credit the Natal Hypnotherapy techniques with enabling us both to stay calm and focused. I was sick a few times but it didn't really bother me as I knew to expect this.
At about 6pm I asked Ben to fill up the pool and call the midwife. By this point the contractions had been about 3 every ten minutes for an hour. I got in the pool about 6.40pm and the relief was immediate - however a minute or two later the contractions became much more intense and closer together! The midwife arrived at about 7pm and I was 4-5cm dilated. From that point on the contractions were very intense and the second stage arrived very quickly. The pushing lasted quite a long time as my waters hadn't broken so part of the membrane sac came out first. Maya was born at 9.14pm and the midwife punctured the sac and put her on my chest.
She is a very calm baby and sleeping fairly well for a 9 week old! The only pain relief I had during the birth was a few puffs of gas and air - however it didn't really have any effect as by the time I got it I was already pushing. Using the 3-2-1 relax and the breathing techniques helped enormously and I don't feel traumatised by the birth experience at all, in complete contrast to most of my friends who had horrible experiences in hospital. I'm so pleased to have had the birth we wanted, thank you. " Rachel Malcom
" We have been meaning to send you an email but have been rather busy with our gorgeous little girl born on the 29th December (my due date was the 24th). She is now 9 weeks. The birth was fantastic - stayed at home until contractions were 3 minutes apart (they went from about 7 to 3 minutes when I listened to the Effective Birth Preparation CD lying on my bed!!). Then listened to the relaxation music all the way to hospital in the back of the campervan and used Tens on its lowest setting. Was 5 cm when we got to hospital and we had really thought they were going to send us home!
Spent 2 hours listening to the music lying on my left (wasn't really into any other birthing positions as I was so relaxed!). Then got in the pool for 10 hours on and off with the background music, lavender oil, a couple of paracetomol, rescue remedy and arnica, not forgetting deep breathing down to the baby and visualising my beach scene. I think one thing that really helped was breathing out and down in a really low guttural sound rather than using high pitched noises. When I was in transition I tried gas and air for 3 contractions but it made me scream so I stopped. It stopped me from being able to breathe correctly and to do my visualisation.
They could see the baby's head for about 2 hours as she had descended nicely but I was finding it difficult to push correctly - I was really exhausted and the pool seemed very hot. I woudn't get out of the pool as I really wanted a water birth but in the end about 20 minutes before she was born they threatened the medics with their ventouse or forceps so I gave in and pushed her out in stirrups exclaiming, 'This is not good birthing practice!!!' So the gorgeous Ruby arrived into the world calmly and safely at 4.47am weighing 7lb 13oz . I didn't need stitches either (perhaps because of coconut oil perinneal massage?).
So, a really natural birth without pain relief and no interventions and I can honestly say it is totally down to the workshops with you, Maggies CDs (I did listen to them every day from 32 weeks, sometimes twice), my determination to have a natural birth and my belief in the philosophy of Natalhypnotherapy - that fear will make the pain worse. I never use the word pain to describe the experience of labour to other people - just that is was intense and powerful and pretty amazing what your body is designed to do. I found the background CD amazing - it really brought back all the positive affirmations used on the hypnosis CD and really helped me relax - I have never listed to the same CD for 12 hours before and I still love it!!
This was meant to be a really quick email while the baby sleeps (does Maggie do any hypnotherapy CDs to help babies sleep!!!?) and I fully intend in writing a detailed testimonial soon for you to show other people. You can use this in the meantime if it makes any sense!
Thank you so much. Labour and birth went from something I had intensely feared to something that I actually enjoyed and feel proud of. An interesting thing is that people are so into hearing and sharing horror stories of birth (even my best friends) and that's what makes everyone scared and perpetuates the fear pain cycle. I find that when I tell most people that I found birth a positive experience due to Natalhypnotherapy they really aren't as interested as they are in the negative stories and don't really ask much detail. It's funny isn't it?!!"
"A must for all couples. A very bonding experience - empowering for both the mother and the father - better than any NCT or postnatal class I have ever attended. My little girl was born in 58 minutes! (from 3cm dilated to her being placed on my tummy). Her arrival was an amazing experience - I tell her she was born with love. I felt in control throughout the whole of my labour and much more knowledgeable about my body and what stage I was act. My little girl and I acted as a team - and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life. Thank you. " Lucy Horton, London
"I decided to sign up for the Natal Hypnotherapy course as I wanted as many tools in my arsenal as possible which would help me have a natural birth. Also, like many women (I assume), I was worried about how I would cope with the pain of labour. In 2005, I had had twins who were delivered by caesarean section before labour had even started. So, although I had two children, I'd never experienced a single contraction. I therefore had no idea what the whole experience would be like. And of course, all you hear are terrible stories of births, and all you see in films are scenes of women screaming and everyone panicking!
The course was run in South Woodford by Khim Lee, an experienced midwife, over two Saturdays. We were given a really useful book which had everything (and more) which was covered on the course. On the first page it says that the course is "about teaching you the tools and techniques to help you overcome fear, be in control and reduce pain, it teaches you to understand and trust your body". This is a good summary of what the course is all about. I also bought a set of CDs. I listened to two fairly regularly before the birth. It was great for relaxation and full of positive messages. I was so relaxed (or perhaps that was exhausted?!) that I often feel asleep whilst listening. However, Khim said this was fine and that my mind would still be taking in the positive messages on the CD.
The course was really helpful for preparing my mindset for the birth ahead. It taught me to trust my body; the message was that it knew what it was doing and I should just let it get on with it as much as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to be relaxed and the course helps one to get into the relaxed state necessary to allow the birth to progress. One of my fears had been being unable to push the baby out; worrying that I would not know what to do, or how to push effectively. The course made me understand that my uterus was capable of doing all the work, for example that women in comas have given birth - obviously without consciously pushing. Of course it might happen quicker if you do push, but somehow knowing that I didn't have to took the pressure off!
Although it is called 'hypnotherapy', I didn't feel'out of it', but rather in a very relaxed state. I also found that if I was in a relaxed state, focussed on something in my mind, pain would be much less. This was demonstrated during the course when Khim gave us "Chinese burns" on our arms whilst in a relaxed state, and then again afterwards in a "normal" state. I perceived much less pain when in the relaxed state, which gave me some confidence for the birth ahead.
The course also covers the different stages of birth and what you are likely to feel emotionally at different times. This is very useful preparation, including for the birth partner who can then offer appropriate support throughout.
When the time of the birth arrived, I found I was able to put some of the techniques into practice and that they really helped. During the course we had worked out a birth plan which kicked into action once everything started. One of the biggest things was just having the confidence to know that my body knew what to do. I used the techniques to remain as relaxed as possible as I knew this would be the best thing to help labour progress. Although I had a long pre-labour period with two days of contractions, I remained calm and let my body get on with it. There is a CD of music which I played on a loop throughout. It is the same music which is found in the background of the relaxation CDs and therefore helps to trigger the positive messages which the brain has taken in previously.
In the end I had a home birth in water, with no pain relief. During the pushing phase I really relied on the natal hypnotherapy techniques and tried to completely relax my body between contractions. I did not want to have any gas and air as I had heard people say it made them feel "out of it" and instead I wanted to remain very focussed on relaxing, and then pushing when the contraction arrived.
Although the course is called "hypnotherapy" it is not about being a zombie or feeling like you are not there. In fact, I would say that I felt incredibly 'present' throughout the entire experience.I was a very active participant throughout, much more so than during my first birth when I felt that I was quite passive, having things "done to me" rather than actively doing anything myself. This birth was the opposite of that.
I would never say that the course meant that I had a pain-free labour and birth. The sensations were intense and I found the whole experience to be very physical, hard work and somewhat brutal. However, I can say that I didn't feel fear or panic during the experience (tired and fed-up yes, but not fear and panic). This was due in large part to the natal hypnotherapy course, and I do believe (as they teach on the course) that a lack of fear and panic can really help a birth proceed as smoothly as possible. " Elizabeth Petch
"The Natal Hypnothearpy course is fantastic in that it gives you a strong inner confidence and resource to draw on - and relaxation through confidence is the key to opening (allowing muscles to be supple and yielding)and birthing naturally!!12-hour labour - relaxed at home using breathing techniques from start of contractions at 5pm then tried to sleep - felt nauseous so sat in bed next to sleeping husband while I breathed and visulaised using birth music cd - I love this music! Got up around 2am and moved around as contractions became stronger and about 5am left in car for hospital 25 mins away - felt as if about to gibe birth on the way - closed eyes , breathed and when arrived made it to the maternity ward where I was examined and found to be 10cm dilated so went stright ito second stage and gave birth standing / squatting over the hospital bed with my husband holding my arms from the other side - Olly was born at 6:47am. I loved my pregnancy and the birth- i am a massage therapist and trained to specialise in pregnancy massage during my pregnancy so I did a lot of reading (esp Ina May Gaskin) and positive thinking about a natural birth determined not to be influenced or made to fear through horror birth stories. I truly believed I could have a natural birth -the natal hypno truly helped that to be the case." Beverley Pearson, Surrey
"I've been meaning to send you a thank-you note for a long time now! Paul and I really enjoyed your course and found it very helpful. Anika was born on 30 March and weighed a healthy 3.6kg. We had a natural birth and apart from gas and air, I had no other pain relief. The only negative thing was that I was so calm when we arrived at the hospital that the midwife initially said I wasn't in labour (although i was already 3cm dilated at that stage!) Because of this, my contractions actually went away for a while! I will seriously consider having a home birth next time!
Anyway, thank you again for all your help. I have recommended you to all my friends!" Amrusta & Paul, London
"Thanks for a great 2 days. It was really useful for me to understand about the phases of birth and how to deal with the medical team and being given an important role in the whole process. I particularly enjoyed the hypnosis sessions and felt very comfortable asking any questions and talking about my fears" Michael, London
"This course should be on the NHS. All expectant parents can benefit." Tim, Brighton
"I had a very traumatic 1st birth experience (82 hours - 3rd degree tear - intrusive and horrific - resulted in me having post traumatic stress disorder). I had an 'intensive' Natal Hypnotherapy course arranged by my sister (as I wasn't too sure it was for me -I am/was a bit of a cynic!) and the experience was totally different. Got to 6/7 cm at home - just breathing - mum and husband astounded by my reactions - so relaxed and in control. Much quicker - less intervention (well, none!) and NOT traumatic. My little boy was poorly (nothing to do with birth) and not sure I could have coped with him being in special care if the birth had been a nightmare - so was really important -I came out of it feeling 'empowered' and proud - so thank you." Melissa Way
"The course was fabulous. It was wonderful being there with Tim and sharing the amazing possibilities of an exquisite birth together. Maggie is fabulous. keep doing what you are doing - you are truly inspiring, clear and passionate. Thank you, it has been a sweet joy and pleasure" Kate, Brighton
"I was so nervous about my baby's birth, I really needed a lot of help to prepare and to take control. Natal hypnotherapy gave me this, its amazing! It not only helps you to understand fully what your body is doing, but it also taught me how to relax before and how to get through it!
Contraction's started at 8 in the morning, very mild, scrubbed the kitchen floor and went for a long walk to get things moving. - 4.0 in the afternoon contactions started to get stronger, needed to walk through them and lean when they peaked. Started using the tens machine, which was great. - 7.0 called the hospital to say that I thought I needed to come in, was put off but stuck with it as new it was time. - Was finally examined after being there for 2 hours, I don't think they thought I was in established labour, but I was 6 cms dialated! - Had to be on the monitor but wanted to stand as I felt much more in control, took myself into the zone and used a swinging motion forward and back while concentrating on my breathing, never planned to do this, but it helped so much. - Around 11.30 I felt more and more of an urge to push as my waters hadn't broken and the pressure was very intense, I wasn't checked at this stage and feel Now that perhaps I should have been. - I was given pethedine and went into a very dazed sleepy state. - After around half an hour later (so i'm told!) I was examined and I was ready to push. - I remember coming round so quickly, as I began to push and the midwife broke my waters Ava's head crowned and within 5-6 pushes she was there on my chest! - Totally over-whelming and amazing experience. - Ava latched on immeadiately when she was put to the breast ( still breastfeeding 8 months on) - Could not have got into that zone without being taught by Sarah! (She's amazing) - Ava is totally contented baby, who rarely cries." Lucy Stock
"The course really helped me to get over the hang-ups I had following the birth of my first child (induction followed by an emergency section for failure to progress, then problems breast feeding) - the prepare to conceive cd helped but it was only in talking through my experiences with our practitioner and looking at them in terms of the natural birthing process that I was able to view my previous experience in a positive manner - something I'd not previously been able to do. We then looked at how we could build on this to actually look forward to and plan for a positive birth experience and a successful VBAC with my second baby - I went away from the course having a confidence in my body that I'd never really had before, and certainly had not had since the induction process.
I was booked to have an elective section at 14 days overdue (as I would not consent to another induction nor having a section before the 14 days overdue mark - I hoped to go into spontaneous labour prior that time so as to avoid the need for a section) - the 14 day mark came and I was woken at 6am, a mere two hours before I was due at the hospital for the section, by a contraction - by the time I got to the hospital a couple of hours later, I was in active labour and five hours later I delievered our daughter by VBAC - she was a good size (9lb 11oz) and her shoulders got a bit stuck but with the help of the McRoberts manoeuvre and one last big push she was with us, safe and sound. I had only used gas and air as the labour had progressed having only used essential oils, masage and relaxtaion/visualisation techniques for the first few hours. (The positive birth experience also led me to try again at breastfeeding and I am delighted to report that I have successfully breast fed my daughter for her first year - now trying to wean her onto cow's milk as I am expecting again!!!!)" Charlotte Jackson
"The Natal Hypnotherapy course gave me a lot of techniques to help to manage the birth process and get as close to my ideal birth as possible. It was also invaluable in helping my partner to assess what stage in the process we were at and what needed to be done.
I woke on Saturday morning between 2 and 3 am with a back ache in the base of my spine. I had not had any lower back pain during my pregnancy so I thought that the best thing to do would be to get up and do something to take my mind off it. As the next few hours wore on I started to get an ache under my bump that generally lasted for about 20 to 30 seconds. It was not too much of a bother though. It made getting back to sleep impossible so I kept repeating 3, 2, 1, relax and I was able to put up with it. At about 9/10 am I woke David and told him that I was feeling some discomfort. He asked me if it was labour but I honestly did not know so we decided to get on with doing all the things that we had been planning on doing. Within an hour David was sure that I was in labour so he called the hospital to let them know. David helped me to continue to use the natal hypnotherapy techniques that we had learned. At about 3pm having spent some time using my birthing ball David encouraged me to do a little bit of baby dancing with him. This prompted a show. At 4 pm David stated to load the car with our bags and items that we wanted to take to the hospital.
He had to persuade me to go to the hospital as I was sure that it was too soon and that we would just be sent home. David recognised this as part of the self doubt phase and cajoled me into the car. We arrived at the hospital car park at 4.30pm. We went to the maternity unit and were shown straight to a delivery suite. I was asked to get into my comfortable birthing clothes and get onto the bed so that they could give me a quick exam. David and I were happy for this, so I changed. As I climbed onto the bed my waters broke. There was meconium in my waters so the midwife asked if she could monitor the baby. She also asked if I would like any pain relief so I opted for the gas and air. I had managed a fairly active labour up to this point but was not feeling overly active so after David asking the reason for monitoring we agreed to it. The midwife was very helpful. She said that I was 8cm dilated and that the part that was left to dilate was all on one side. She then suggested a position that would assist.
A few contractions later and I was fully dilated. It was then just a matter of pushing. Our baby girl was born at 7pm on 29th September weighing 8lbs 5 oz . I was able to deliver the placenta naturally - all inline with the birth plan that David and I had made.
The natal hypnotherapy techniques were incredibly helpful to me during the labour, allowing me to achieve a fairly natural birth (gas aside). David found the gate keeper role notes to be invaluable and he was able to really look after me during the labour. We are both hugely grateful for everything that we learned during the hypnotherapy course. It had a really positive impact on us and enabled us to have the sort of birth experience that we wanted" Samantha and David
"The Natal Hypnotherapy course prepares both you and your partner mentally and helps de-mystify things. You feel more prepared for what is going to /or might happen.
Labour started in the early hours. I also had some bleeding which i was worried about so called the Birth Centre. They told us to come in and get checked out. We picked up our Doula en route. Contractions were continuing and I was able to breathe through them with the help of our Doula. Was told bleeding was ok and they checked the baby's heartbeat which was also fine. I was only 3cm dilated but allowed to stay in as Birth Centre was quiet. After several hours i was able to use the Birth Pool and Gas& Air...bliss. Things were progressing slowly (half a cm an hour) and baby was back to back. I used visualisation to help me focus and to deal with the contractions. We had a change over of MW which stressed me out a bit. I had to get out of the pool and move around to try and move things along. I found this very painful. I also have scoliosis so the pain in my back was intense. The Doula and my husband helped with massage and pressure on my lower back. After about 20+ hours I was struggling to stay focused. The MW said we may need ventouse. It was down to me...so a few more hard pushes and a move onto the birth stool...and suddenly the head was out - what a relief, then the body... we discovered for ourselves that we had a son :-) . We were left to hold him for a while and then i had to deliver the placenta which was harder than i'd anticipated. Then finally i was able to lay back and bask in the knowledge that our baby was here, healthy and perfect." Charlotte Browning, Dudley
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your fantastic course. I finally gave birth 10 days late and have just had the most amazing experience of my life!
My midwife kept commenting that she'd never seen anyone so relaxed! I felt so in control, totally able to breathe through the contractions,.The most amazing part was the birth itself, it went exactly as I had dreamed and hoped it would, just breathing the baby through the birth canal, then 1 push for the head, 1 for the body.
I really appreciate everything you taught us, to experience such a wonderful birth after such a terrible one last time, was just fantastic. I've found it so easy to adjust and recover. hank you so much for teaching me your amazing skills, I'd recommend the course to anyone!" Cathy and Steve Smith
"Without the Natal Hypnotherapy course I think I'd have not even tried a VBAC and would have probably just opted for an elective section at around my due date - Natal Hypnotherapy gave me the confidence to let my body and baby respiond to their own instincts and as such I have had the privilege of having a natural birth and my baby was allowed to come of her own accord. I wish I'd done the course during my first pregnancy!! Lucy, London
"The course was excellent. The whole thing could easily have been presented in a "crystal waving", "dolphin diving" way that would have been off putting, but Maggie was refreshingly down to earth and professional" Mark, London
"The Techniques I learnt on the Natal Hypnotherapy course were very helpful. The course helped me think positively about the birth
With my first baby, I had learnt some active birth techniques which I used during my labour but still ended up having her while on my back - combined with poor midwifery I had an episiotomy and 3rd degree tears. This time round, I was very nervous about that happening again and needed to feel more positive about the whole birth experience. I had slow contractions for most of a day, I spoke to Khim (our practitioner) who reminded me of my breathing and relaxation and also why my body was taking its time (all v normal!). That evening, Khim brought a Tens machine round for me which I went to sleep using. My contractions got stronger all that night. I breathed through them, focussing on each steady breath and picturing my body contracting. I had the birth relaxation CD playing on and off and used the birthing pool to sit on and lean against. My husband massaged me in ways Khim had explained to us - pushing down on my lower back, squeezing my hips together. By about 6am, my husband phoned the hospital who said my contractions weren't close enough together and to take paracetamol and use a hot water bottle. I did this, though the hot water bottle wasn't much help! By 7.30am I knew I needed to get to the hospital, though I still felt very incontrol of what was happening and able to breath through my contractions. I sat in the back of the car during the drive to the hopsital, again breathing and getting my husband to push against my back and hips. I felt the baby may well come in the car, but luckily made it to the hospital! Once we arrived at the hopsital, I continued as I had before through the pushing stage and Ruby arrived half an hour later. I had no pain relief except my 2 paracetamol and felt wholly in control through the whole experience - very different from the first time round!"Sarah Meares
"I had a very difficult and traumatic first birth and was therefore worried about the second birth. i really wanted a home birth and feel without doing the course to prepare both myself and my husband, who needed some encouragement to agree to a home birth, this would not have been possible, as we would not have been emotionally prepared. We both thought the course and materials were fantastic and, together with our fantastic midwife, gave me the birth I really wanted.
My beautiful daughter Kitty (named after her great great grandmother) was born at home in our lounge, one day after her due date. After a difficult birth of my son, 2 years earlier I was anxious to avoid a similar labour where I felt all the problems were caused by over intervention of the midwives. He was eventually born after a 40 hour labour, epidural and ventouse. I longed for my second labour to be as I wanted my first to be, relaxed, drug free and led by me. This was possible as a result of the natal hypnotherapy course and a wonderful independent midwife. I was able to use a birthing pool at home, have my own relaxation music and felt under no pressure to do what others wanted. I have wonderful memories of her birth, despite the fact that it was exhausting 2 hours work pushing her out - she weighed in at 10lb 5ozs! I will also laugh as I remember shouting at the moment of her birth : "don't get blood on the curtains" as I had ended by the lounge window (well my mother in law had made them!)" Sarah Peirson
"Understanding the physiology in plain English was great - it made me realize how natural it is and that relaxing is going to be far more beneficial than panicking" Paul, Surrey
"As a worried expectant father, I learned so many ways to help my wife - as well as building my confidence to deal effectively with the medical team at the hospital" John, Surrey
"I was always a believer in the benefits of self hypnosis, but since my course I am completely convinced. The course helped myself and my husband relax about the pregnancy and it helped me convince my husband to let me have a home birth. I also helped by the history lesson and explanation of why relaxing the body helps with the labour. This was very reassuring to me in the following months and I believed helped me relax about the labour.
My waters broke at about 4am, I used self hypnosis to control the contractions until about 8am, when I asked my husband to call the midwife. The midwife arrived at about 8.50, when I was given gas and air (at that point the hypnosis techniques weren't really helping). My daughter arrived at 9.20 after 3 easy pushes.
"At last I have 5 minutes to indulge myself by regaling the story of Henry's birth to you. At about 5pm on sunday evening I was having a very long and lazy siesta listening to my cd. The sun was coming through the window making me really warm and snuggly. I felt a very mild contraction but knew straight away that the labour was starting.
I had the most amazing feeling of strength and power as I lay there , knowing what was going to happen, I felt so ready and so happy that I smiled to myself.
Ollie came home a little later and I told him that the baby was coming. We went for a walk to a friends house, had a glass of wine and two paracetamol (!) and arranged childcare for the night. The lovely midwife that I had arranged to have was free and so phoned the unit on my behalf and managed to get the very overstretched co-ordinator to agree to let me have a homebirth even though it was officially 'too early'.
The midwife was sent to check up on where we lived and meet us, we had not met her before but she was seemed really lovely and was thrilled to see my cd 's by my bed as she knew you, her name's jen and she attended Toby and Jakey's births as a student. we couldn't believe it, how fab!
Jen went away again as I decided it was time to take myself off to bed. I spent time listening to the birth prep cd in the dark, under my duvet where I had done all the practising. It felt so amazing, I was so happy with every contraction I was allowing my body to do it's thing and it was working! It felt like the most natural thing in the world and I was enjoying it.
Ollie came to join me after a while and was able to support me in different positions, occasionally prompting me to relax my jaw or shaking my apples !
He felt so relaxed and confident, he did not worry for a single minute and he felt that he knew what his role was and things just came naturally to him too.
Anna was also prompting me, she reminded me to use my 'pain dial'. I didn't think that I had given the pain dial much practice but it was something that really helped me. I used it to get me to the end of really intense contractions.
During the early stages with each contraction I had the words 'pressure warmth and power' just arrive in my head when I needed it. -incredible stuff.
Later on I focused heavily on my body and what was happening but I didn't try to focus, it just happened. it was after he was born that I looked back and realised that it just happened like that. Ollie said that I 'just got on with it' that is how it felt, it felt like I was able to accept what was happening to my body and go with it.
The midwife came back at about 2. 30 and at this point I decided that I needed some gas and air. I had used gas and air before with Joseph but really didn't like the feeling it gave me but this time felt very different as was able to be in control of it (rather than the other way round as it had felt before) My midwife arrived at about 3 am and it was about then that I had a bit of 'self doubt' and asked for pethadin, I was basically told 'nope' and asked once more (just to be sure) and was actually managed to get through it with Anna and ollie's help.
I felt my breath change and knew that the baby was making his way down and this felt really incredible. I was so happy and I knew he would be here soon. I heard the music change to the bit where the baby comes and told Ollie and Anna (up until now I hadn't really done much talking) my waters broke at the last minute and little henry was born very easily and quickly at 4 20 am. I didn't feel any pain at all pushing him out, all I felt was pure joy!
I then had a natural third stage where the placenta came away in 6 minutes, apparently that is quick?
It couldn't have been a more perfect experience. I'm over the moon.
9 days later and I have a very happy baby, very chilled, is great at feeding, really happy to receive big sloppy snotty kisses from his big brothers and who entertains us all. I am managing the sleep thing so far and am about to get started on the post-natal cd to get some super sleep!
there is no doubt in my mind that this fabulous pregnancy and birth experience I had was because of the natal hypnotherapy. so thank you." Kate and Ollie Room
"It was a lovely two days. It helped prepare me mentally for the birth so i was not worried about it. I felt confident I could do it. We met nice people and the whole experience was positive.
I had a 'sweep' when my baby was 9 days overdue. A few hours later contraction started at about 6pm on the saturday. I felt very calm because of the course. We went out for dinner and watched a film when we got back. When I felt a contraction, I would breathe through it and use my visualisation techniques. On the sunday we went for a picnic. The contractions were getting slowly closer together but were still at least ten minutes apart. That evening at about 7pm they were getting more painful and I found the breathing and visual techniques did not help any longer. The pain was getting too much for me and I found it hard to focus on the techniques learnt. I went to hospital about 9pm and asked for an epidural. The midwife said It was too late as baby was ready to come out. I had gas and air and ran round the room as I found this to be my natural reaction to intense contractions. When the baby had crowned I lay down and thought about the breathing techniques again. I slowly breathed rather than pushed baby out. He was born naturally at 1.20am on Monday morning."
"I would recommend this course wholehaeartedly because I learnt something very important - that my body was able to manage and control the birth like all the mammals. I practised with the hypnotherapy CD's and always with aromatherapy and was remembering the sentences during the birth. I was able to control myself and breathe calmly and manage my birth until the end. I stayed at home the maximum time, started my contractions at 4.00 am and reach the hospital at 12.15 am. There I asked to the midwife: are you going to send me home because I think I am not dilated? The midwife had a quick check and said: you are not going anywhere, you are 10 cm fully dilated, baby is on his way!!! And baby Thomas was born at 2:05 pm measuring 54 cm and 3670 gr. He started crying straight away and his apgar score was 9. I have just used entonox and the TENS machine during my birth. I was booked for the birth pool in Mayday but only one midwife was there with a woman already, so I went to the labour ward. I have to thank also Lisa and student Max for their great support, they were very helpful! I cannot thank you more for the two days I sepnt in the course with a very nice bunch of couples and an awesome teacher! If I will have another baby one day, for sure I will train the Natal Hypnotherapy technique! Thank you for all."Sonia Horta
"The course and the CDs were a great combination. On the course we talked through our hopes and fears for birth and eliminated the fears. It also gave my husband the chance to understand what I was doing by listening to the CD's and he learnt some techniques to assist me during labour. I found teh course very valuable.
I have used Natal Hypnotherpy for labour with both of my sons - both born at home naturally in water. During my last labour I was totally relaxed throughout thanks to the techniques I had learned using the CD and remembering what I had learnt on the course. My waters broke at 2.45am, I was expecting a quick labour as my first had only been 41/2 hours so I called the midwives immediately, I used a tens machine and birthing ball in the lounge whilst listening to my music CD, it amazes me how hearing the music makes me immediately relax. The midwives did not arrive for an hour and a half despite saying they would only be half an hour, I remained calm and managed to control the pain. I was 7cm dilated when they finally arrived and gave birth to Henry James Patrick (born on St Paddys day) 30 minutes later, weighing a hefty 10lb. I believe without the Natal Hypnotherapy I would have been panicking and therefore in a lot more pain! The funny thing was I was actually preparing in my mind that I may have to give birth with just my husband, but it didn't seem to phase me!"
"Just wanted to mail you to let you know that we had a little girl last week! Her name is Katja and she was born safely at home.
I wanted you to know that the birth was amazing....gritty....but amazing! after doing your course in March I dedicated the start of my maternity leave to practising all that we'd learnt from you and I believe her gentle safe arrival was mainly down to the hypnotherapy techniques that you taught me. At the start I wasn't even sure if I was in labour and we spent the morning pottering around the house, then decided to go into town for some lunch! I was having contractions whilst eating my tuna feta wrap!! I didn't even say much to David. I just closed my eyes each time and breathed through gently, thinking about the 'relax' technique. When we got home in the afternoon I thought I'd better rest as much as possible and listened to the birth prep cd again. During this, they began to become more intense and so I transferred to all fours, supported by lots of cushions and a bean bag on the bed. I called my midwife. She arrived at 8:30 and checked me - hoorah! i was already 6cms dilated!she told me to get into the pool and then whoosh!! i was off!!
I was really conscious of keeping my whole body as relaxed as possible and let the sensations just take over as they needed to. david put the birth music on and I was able to focus well each time a wave came over. I progressed well and my primal side came out of me - I started to make these involuntary low deep noises which really helped at the peak of each contraction. There were self-doubt stages when I felt like I couldn't take it anymore but david was there to gently remind me to 'stick with it' and relax. Words like 'power' and 'strength' came into my head - echos from the birth prep cd that helped me to go on. I did have to push for 2 hours and needed to get out of the pool to 'wiggle' her down a bit but it actually worked out for the best as david held me in a supported squat and it felt like we did the last 'heave ho' together!
I wanted you to know what an impact you had on me and the huge amount we both learnt from you. I am so proud that I managed to do it without any intervention and the fact that I was so focused I didn't even want gas and air. I had always hoped and visualised it like this but to actually experience it was magical. Hard work but worth it! Because the experience was so intense and powerful I've found it so comforting to listen to your post-natal cd too as this had helped me to sleep a bit in between all the feeding! Anyway, I've been recommending the course and cds to everyone i know who's pregnant as I desperately want them to learn from you and understand that their experience can be as amazing as mine. As long as you're prepared to put the effort in, of course! Thank you thank you a million times thank you!" Nicky and David Walker
"The techniques we learnt from your course/cd were invaluable not only during the actual birth (I managed to avoid the gas and air until the last 8 hours of the 24hr labour - and felt I only used it when really necessary) but helping me to relax during the pregnancy - particularly in the last two tense weeks when Grace was overdue I felt extremely empowered (and confident) to make the decision not to be induced. Also Brian was confident that he was doing the right things during the whole process to support me - 'shaking the apples' was great!.
I definitely feel that Brian and myself managed and ran my labour (The Birth Centre midwives were of course great supporters and were very low key just checking every 15 mins until the end of course). It was a wonderful experience!". Brian and Anna Morgan
"The Natal Hypnothearpy course was a very well structured course that explained the need to relax during labour. It also gave lots of evidence that it is possible to have a birth without drugs and pain and that other people have done this.
I had twin boys weighing 6lb 6 and 7lb 10 and went to 40 weeks plus 3 days gestation period which is very unusual for twins. I used natal hypnotherapy with my partner for the full 20 hours of labour and no forms of pain relief. The NHS were not happy with me at all as I did not take their recommended epidural. I also avoided a c-section by remaining relaxed and had 1 hour 35 minutes between the time of the birth of the first baby and the second. Normally a c-section is required for more than 20 minutes between babies."Susie Kong
"Even though we had a few challenges during the birth, we were both really happy with the whole experience under the circumstances and thanks to you felt informed and able to ask for things to be done the way we wanted. I am convinced that the techniques I learnt with you enabled me to cope in an environment that felt very alien and not at all relaxing. I religiously listened to your cd every day since the course and I really did feel in control which is amazing under the circumstances. " Kevin and Estelle
"Fantastic course, so pleased we came, I would recommend it to everyone, it should be compulsory for all pregnant women, their partners and midwives. There was a wealth of information that was really useful especially the tools for birth. Thank you" - Mollie Warwick
"Great course which found my excitement for this baby at long last - I am confident this birth will be different and a positive experience. I realise now that I have options for how and where I labour & give birth. Also that I can question and challenge advice from doctors/midwives if it doesn't feel right to me. I loved all the practical exercises and examples which really boosted my confidence" - Amy Delicate
"Having only had one child I am not sure what the experience would have been without the course however the training that we were given and then practising what we were taught ensured I was relaxed and calm througout the whole experience. The course also clearly explained what your body does when preparing and handling labour and this information was invaluable and made my birthing experience pleasurable and I am sure that there are not many people who can say that!!!
My first contractions started during in the early hours of the morning but I was relaxed and could cope with them with no problems at all (they were just like strong period pains). They increased in strength and from 9am they were every 7 minutes. I stayed at home as long as possible just keeping myself busy, drinking tea and eating toast and could breath through the contractions and if they were strong used the 321 relax techinque which made them easy to breath through. During this time I was completely relaxed (not worried in anyway as I knew from the course that if I stayed relaxed and worked with my body this was a completely natural experience and would be easier the more relaxed I stayed). I didn't think I would know when but at about 5pm I said to my husband it's time to go to the hospital as my contractions increased in strength and grew closer together. I used the 321 relax technique all the way to the hospital (30 minutes) especially over the speed bumps!! When I arrived at the hospital after being in labour at home with contractions every 7 minutes for over 10 hours!! I was still relaxed and spoke to them normally whilst having a contraction and they didn't think I was in full labour until they put me onto a monitor and then were very surprised. I was then 5cm dilated and they took me straight through to the labour suite - my waters broke just before we walked down to the labour suite!! In the labour suite I dimmed the lights, put on my birthing CD and they let me walk around and it was then my practising was all worth while. I had gas and air but stayed walking around and was in my own little world thinking about the sea rolling in and out every contraction and as my mind was relaxed I could breath through my contractions. The midwife was amazed and let me have my space as she could see I was coping well. At odd times I was asked to sit down to make sure I wasn't too tired for the part where I needed my energy. I finally gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at 8am and even though the last 10 minutes were a pain I couldn't even explain (and yes I did say to the midwife I want to go home at this point!!!) it was 10 minutes and then I saw Amelie!!! Every midwife and nurse I saw from this point onwards commented on what a wonderful birth I had!!! and thanks to everything that I was taught on the course it was true!!! I would not hesitate to recommend Natal Hypnotherapy as my experience was amazing and I couldn't have done it without your help! " carli stephens
"It was very well structured and very informative to someone who was very sceptical at the beginning. The key parts for me were the breathing control and giving me the confidence to support my partner. The trainer was very good, very clear, was not judgemental and encouraged questions - the delivery of course was excellent." Will Ingles
"Thanks for a great 2 days. It was really useful for me to understand about the phases of birth and how to deal with the medical team and being given an important role in the whole process. I particularly enjoyed the hypnosis sessions and felt very comfortable asking any questions and talking about my fears" Michael, London
"The birth of my son, Angus has been an amazing journey. The first steps in my journey involved me making a big shift in my thinking about birth. This was helped by my sister and friend’s positive experiences of birth and then by a course my husband and I undertook with Maggie Howell in natal hypnotherapy. This course helped us learn how a woman’s body is made to give birth; the emotional phases a woman goes through when giving birth; techniques for working with my body while it gives birth and above all, the importance of mentally getting out the way and allowing my body to do its job.
On the 24th of April, I woke at 3am to the dawn chorus and feeling a bit peculiar. I soon realized Angus was on his way. I lay in the quiet stillness of my room, feeling the gentle tightenings of my uterus. After an hour or so I woke Michael, and together we lay chatting, listening to the day awake…full of excitement and anticipation.
We called my doula, Maggie and awaited her arrival. I rested in bed, listening to music. By the time Maggie arrived I’d got a little caught up with timings! Maggie took away my watch and suggested I come downstairs – allow my son to join in, move around. This was a great move – I think primarily because I disengaged my mind and just got on with being excited about the day ahead and enjoying everyone’s company.
Gradually though I had to concentrate more deeply on my breathing and started to try out different positions. I remember the birth had reached a more serious point when I got off my gym ball and lent over it rocking gently. Understanding that this was the next natural phase of the birth helped me to focus on ways I could help my body – for me, this involved deep breathing and changing positions frequently. I constantly kept telling myself too, “Allow your body to do its job”
I had decided to give myself plenty of time to get to the hospital. On the journey my husband recounted a special day we’d spent together which I visualised. We also said, ‘321, Relax, Emma’, a trigger for my brain to let go and relax. I felt myself breathe deeply as I uttered these words.
On reaching the hospital, we realized we’d forgotten our hospital notes. Michael had to go back to get them. At this point I either lost my focus or reached the self doubt phase I’d learnt about. To my relief, Maggie allowed me to hang on to her and took me through a visualisation which helped calm me. As soon as Michael returned I felt I could get down to business. As a complete surprise to me, I stood up and began to stamp my feet and say very loudly, “Come, Angus, come”, “Come, baby, come”, “Come beautiful boy”. It felt so empowering.
When I reached the delivery room I lent on the window sill and continued with the stamping and was soon shouting. I think the whole hospital knew his name by the time I’d finished! The next hour I experienced more as 10 minutes and remember it as moments in time: staring at Michael’s face; Maggie and Michael encouraging me to breathe down; Maggie’s relaxation music. It felt quite supernatural and above all, my body felt in control. The midwife said that when I felt to push to start panting. I found this a bit confusing as I started asking myself questions: How hard should I push? When? In retrospect I never felt a desire to push, just an amazing bearing down that my body was in charge of, not me…To my delight, when Angus’s head and arms had emerged, the midwife asked if I wanted to deliver him. Instinctively I reached down and pulled him up to me. I was lying on a beanbag and it felt safe to be close to the ground with this little life. Angus breathed his first breath and took his first cry. What an amazing and perfect sound.
The time after this was one of immense peace, calm and joy. Michael and I just sat in complete amazement, cradling our son, examining every part of him. We didn’t feel rushed but relaxed in an atmosphere of joy and peace.
I was particularly amazed how great I felt so soon after giving birth. I was up and about chatting, eating toast, marvelling at my son. I felt ready to get on with looking after him and felt well and elated. The last hour or so my body worked hard, but it wasn’t unlike running up a steep, steep hill at the end of a long run. But unlike a run, my body was in charge of making my uterus work hard, not me, in a similar way to my heart beating with or without my help. I wasn’t exhausted at this last stage either, having spent the day managing the contractions peacefully and in a relaxed atmosphere at home.
Angus’s birth has taught me a great deal: the importance of giving my body and mind good, positive images and thoughts, nutritious food, adequate sleep and ways to relax. In doing so, I feel more able (most of the time at least!) to manage more challenging situations in life…Above all, I am just so happy that the first hours of Angus’ life were so beautiful and that I was happy, well and overjoyed to see him" Emma and Michael Trim
"I would (and have) strongly recommended this course in combination with the birth preparation CD and birthing music. Giving birth to my baby was the most amazing experience of my life. That is such a big thing to say given all the negativity in our society around child birth. The course left my partner and I understanding exactly what would happen to my body and the baby so that I followed my body's natural reactions to labour, we were calm and felt fully prepared. It helped to ensure that my partner was a full part of the birth and we both trusted each other. It also reassured me that I could calmly birth, as I was determined that my baby was not going to be born to distressing sounds and a stressed environment. I had a wonderful birth.
My waters broke 7 days early when I was listening to the birth preparation CD. We went to hospital as I hadn't felt any contractions but it turned out that I was 3cm dilated. We returned home via the supermarket and cooked the lovely meal we wanted as part of our birth plan and then settled down to watch Sex and The City The Movie - again something I'd been saving for this part of the birth plan. Half way through the film the pain started and we went into our bedroom, candlelight and birthing music and there we stayed for 5 hours. Paul then decided that it was time to move to hospital as I'd become very serious. During the car journey (again with the birth music playing) I felt Matilda's head start to come out. At the hospital the birthing process slowed as my perinium stretched. Again the birthing music was on and after less than 7 hours of labour Matilda entered the world. I had no pain relief at all, I only had a very small tear and I felt in control, safe and able to manage throughout. When people ask I say that it hurt - but I was on a beach and it hurt!" Caroline, Reading