Stories from first time Mothers giving birth in hospital
Royal Alexander Hospital Paisley
I was very nervous about the birth and my yoga instructor recommended Natal Hypnotherapy. I am scared of blood, can’t stand needles and feel sick if someone vomits, in short I was petrified of giving birth! The hospital run course of hypnobirthing was fully booked so I went online and purchased your CD.
I listened to it initially with my husband and we had a bit of a laugh. He was very supportive, but I don’t think he really believed it would work, however he was happy for me to believe anything if it helped me to relax. I followed the recommended listening times and found the sessions relaxing and comforting. In the few weeks prior to the birth I listened to the CD daily.
When I was first in labour I had to spend the initial stages in a ward and I found it very uncomfortable I couldn’t listen to the CD and the ideas went out the window. I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to do without painkillers. I was allowed to go to the birthing pool at 2pm where I was able to put on my CD and everything changed for me.
I required no pain relief and most of the labour felt like I was an observer rather than the one feeling the pain. I truly felt like I was on my beach. My husband kept putting the CD back on he said that he could repeat it word for word now! I gave birth in the pool at 8:38pm without any complications or follow up treatment.
It was an amazing experience for us both. If someone as pain phobic as me can give birth without pain relief with just a CD anyone can you just have to believe it will work and follow the plan!
Whipps Cross Hospital, East London
I was a bit nervous about the birth during my pregnancy, I think it was a fear of not knowing what to expect or how much pain I would feel. I bought the home birth preparation hypnotherapy CD and listened to it regularly over the month prior to giving birth. I found the CD an amazing help, once I had listened to it a few times it helped me achieve a really relaxed state, and made me feel a lot more confident and prepared for the birth, in fact I was kind of looking forward to it! I had hoped to have a water birth at home but unfortunately the local NHS Trust didn't have the staffing available so I had to go into hospital.
I was quite gutted that I had to go into hospital but luckily the midwives who looked after me were both amazing. I initially put on some music during labour, but it didn't feel right, so I put the natal hypnotherapy CD on instead, and it immediately helped me to focus. I actually didn't listen to the words of the CD during the labour, but because I had listened to it so many times before I knew what was being said without having to concentrate on the words, and as I had already learned to get myself into such a relaxed state of mind by prior listening, just hearing the soothing voice was enough to help me get back into that 'zone', and along with the gas and air helped me deal with my contractions enormously. I gave birth to a beautiful healthy daughter, and will definitely use the CD again if I'm lucky enough to have another child!
Southmead Hospital Bristol
The effective birth preparation book and the cds were great and helped a lot for both myself and my partner but I felt that I did not have time to listen to the postnatal cds.
I was lucky with my pregnancy as from the start it was textbook. Charlie was head down and stayed that way from quite early on in the pregnancy and all the midwife appointments were very routine. I started doing antenatal yoga from 14 weeks and heard about hypnobirthing there as the instructor was running courses of her own for couples. I did not want to spend money on a full course as we'd already signed up to the NCT courses but really enjoyed the relaxation part of the yoga. I had a look online for some relaxation cds and came across the natal hypnotherapy through the babycentre forums and decided to get the cds and the book.
Understandably I was nervous of labour as it was my first experience and had read that it had helped a lot of mothers overcome their fears prior to giving birth. I listened to the pregnancy relaxation cd as much as I could (about once a week) from about 30 weeks and then listened to the effective birth preparation cd daily from 36 weeks. Both myself and my partner also read the effective birth preparation book and he listened twice to the cd (the first time he fell asleep!)
So much of the book made sense to me that birth is a natural process and that our bodies are made specifically to carry out the process effectively and that fear and inhibition can slow labour down leading to interventions. I felt that if I could stay positive and calm then hopefully my labour would go smoothly. On the day I went into labour, I was 5 days overdue. I was not even aware at the start that I was having contractions as it felt like mild period pain and not the Braxton Hicks contractions I’ had during pregnancy. We went for a walk and once home we started timing them. I had a bath, listened to the cd and my partner massaged my back. At 9pm I felt the need for something more and put on the TENS machine. By 11pm I felt the need to go to the hospital and when I arrived I was already 7cm. We started off in one of the delivery rooms with dim lighting, mats and a gym ball whilst the pool was being filled.
The midwives already had the natal Hypnotherapy music and put it on as soon as they saw the Hypnotherapy sticker on my notes. By 9cms I had started using the gas and air and got into the pool. The midwives at the delivery suite were used to mothers using Natal Hypnotherapy and were therefore very discreet and left us to it, only examining me as and when necessary. My labour started to slow down as my waters had still not broken so I did get out the pool briefly to have them broken and then after that things progressed very quickly. During my moments of wanting to give up, I found the music really helpful. When it changed to the part where I would normally hear “you will meet your baby” it gave me the boost I needed to push on through.
When I felt the need to push, the midwife told me to just do what my body needed and with only the brief amount of pushing, my perfect little baby was born. I was only in active labour for 5 hours and another 45 minutes later I delivered the placenta naturally. After the birth I felt completely energised and recovered very quickly. I put my amazing birth experience all down to the fact that I had listened to the Natal hypnotherapy cds and read the book allowing me to not be scared and let my baby and body do exactly as nature intended. Thank you Maggie!
Raigmore Hospital Inverness
Natal Hypnotherapy was great for helping me to relax during my pregnancy. I rarely made it to the end of the CD without drifting off into a peaceful sleep. I felt that it improved the quality of my sleep during the night also.It was great to take time out and focus on myself and my baby, encouraging our bond.
The CDs enabled me to feel proactive about my impending labour as I was taking time to consciously prepare for it.I listened to the CDs during the early part of my labour and was able to relax and focus on my breathing. I was maybe too relaxed as the midwives were very dismissive when I told them my labour was progressing.....until the baby's head crowned! I had written in my notes that I was using hypnotherapy but I doubt my birth-plan was even read, the staff said i must have a very high pain thresh-hold!I have lent my CDs to various friends and would recommend them. If I go on to have more children I will definitely use my CDs again and would buy the labour companion and breastfeeding accompaniment
Before my labour and birth I was clear that I wanted to use all tools available to me to manage any pain as naturally as possible. After reading a review of the CDs in a magazine I went ahead and ordered them. I had full faith in the CDs to aid relaxation during labour and birth but didn't realise just how useful they would during pregnancy
I had to work away a lot during pregnancy and have a stressful job, and the relaxation cd helped me so much - especially to come back to my hotel room after a busy day on the office or travelling, and just listen to the cd really helped me wind down. Everyone I spoke to including family and friends commented how relaxed I was throughout pregnancy and how well I seemed - I'm sure the CDs helped give me a bit of inner peace to be able to glide through this with little stress!
Using the cd during the labour helped me go through 24 hours of contractions with only 1 shot of pethadine (to help me sleep) and no other pain relief In the end I did use gas and air and due to complications I has to go to theatre and have a ventouse delivery so an epidural was necessary. Despite this still used visualisation and 321 relax for the anaesthetic and again it helped hugely Thank you for taking away the fear and helping me relax I would not hesitate to recommend!
Queen's Hospital, Burton upon Trent
I listened to the CD religiously each day at the end of my pregnancy and it helped me over come any fears I did have and convinced me that pain relief would not be needed during my birth.I was planning to give birth in a Midwife birth centre and use my cd's during my water birth.
Unfortunately my waters broke and the contractions did not follow naturally, so had to be induced in hospital and on a hospital bed, as attached to CTG and hormone drip.Although I was unable to listen to the CD during the birth, I remembered the techniques taught on the CD.
The CD definitely did help me with breathing and dealing with the pain. I will definitely use these CD's for my next birth, as it chilled me out and as a result. I have a very relaxed and chilled out baby.
Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital
Straight forward pregnancy although I did have low blood pressure which meant that I fainted around the middle of my pregnancy. Listened to the CDs from about 20 weeks. At first they made me laugh but then I found that they were a good opportunity to just switch off from the day at work and spend some time focussing on my and the baby. Max, my little boy, was born 5 days after his estimated due date. I was calm about his late arrival and several people commented that I didn't ever reach the stage of being fed up with being pregnant and just wanting it over with. I had a stretch and sweep on the Thursday morning, my waters broke at 4.15pm and then Max was born at 10.14pm that night.
I arrived at the hospital at 7.30 pm and was already 6cm dilated so was taken straight through to the delivery suite. My husband was with me and we were able to stay focussed on each other with him helping me to focus on my breathing. The midwife took a very backseat approach whilst guiding us through the process. My husband had sometimes listened to the CDs if I played them as I went to bed so he jokingly referred to "relax" which probably prompted me to remember some of the techniques. I used gas and air during my labour and didn't need anything else.
I had gone into the whole thing saying that I would prefer not to use any pain relief but that if I changed my mind or the medics advised that I should then I would obviously change my mind! I think having an open mind to the experience helped a lot. My second stage of labour was 7 minutes! We had been to NCT ante natal classes too which I think helped to prepare us for what would happen, so a combination of that and the CDs generally reinforced my approach of letting nature take its course and see what happens. At the end of the day, you can't plan for what will happen and I think that having an open mind helped enormously.
I would say that labour and giving birth was the most positive experience of my life. I know that if anyone had tried to tell me that before I would have just thought they were crazy! You can never say if the CDs helped or not as I can't do a control of what I would have been like if I hadn't listened to them, but I do know that my labour was great and I would listen to the CDs with any subsequent pregnancies.
Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester
I heard about natal hypnotherapy from my sister who was having her first baby four months ahead of me. I saw how much it helped her during the last weeks of her pregnancy and the difference she said it made to her labour. Although I found it hard at times to motivate myself to do the relaxation exercises in the run up to my son's birth, I always felt so much better afterwards. I was concerned that I kept falling asleep whilst doing the exercises but kept thinking of the reassurance on the CD that I would be absorbing the information anyway.
To be honest, if I had not used the CD I don't think I would have found the time to lie down in those last weeks, so it probably helped me to get some much needed rest. Jack arrived 8 days after his due date and doing the relaxation exercises and reading the effective birth preparation book helped to keep me calm and focused.
The morning my labour started I saw the 'show' and felt exited not scared that it was all about to happen. It was a lovely hot day despite being the end of September and I went to sit outside in the sun to read a book. I barely felt the early contractions and was chatting to a neighbour. Later on, I had to visit the hospital because I noticed I was bleeding fresh blood. When I was examined, the midwife informed me that I was already 1-2 centimetres dilated and she expected she would see me again later. I returned home and still did not feel any significant contractions, so my partner and I decided to go for a meal out. The restaurant was only 5 minutes walk from the house. During the meal I became aware of slightly stronger contractions and noted the times. Back at home we put on a favourite film, dimmed the lights and lit candles. I used the birthing ball for a while as well as lying on the sofa.
I noticed I was bleeding again, so was advised to go into hospital. The contractions seemed to be about 3 minutes apart at this point and I was using the TENS machine. I requested to use the mid-wife led birth centre and got straight into the pool. I was told I was 7 centimetres dilated at this point. We played the relaxing birthing music CD and hearing it automatically reassured and relaxed me. I remember concentrating on allowing the contractions to wash over me. I tried to go with rather than against the sensations and this really helped how I experienced them.
I also remember thinking over and over in my head that I was feeling 'pressure not pain' and this is pretty much exactly how it was. I tried to embrace the power of the contractions, knowing that they were going to bring my baby into the world. I was in the pool for around 6 hours and the midwives and my partner helped massage my back where I was feeling most of the pressure. I instinctively felt I needed to be on my hands and knees and stayed in this position in the pool for a long time. Unfortunately, after an hour and a half of pushing, Jack's head was not making any further progress despite being extremely close. Due to not having emptied my bladder and not eating sufficiently through the labour I was transferred to the labour ward. There they allowed me to continue pushing for about another hour.
I believe that writing a clear birth plan stating what medical intervention I did and didn't want and under what circumstances helped a lot. In the end, Jack was eventually born by forceps delivery and, we discovered, with the cord around his neck, which I was told probably impeded a totally natural birth. However, up until that point I had barely touched the gas and air and did not feel I needed any more pain relief than being in the water.
I had a very positive birth experience and am sure that practicing the natal hypnotherapy techniques made all the difference to my attitude towards the birth and my belief in myself and my body.
I actually attended a hypnobirthing course but was not able to bond with the rainbow relaxation cd that they provided. I bought these cds to fill the spot and found them a lot easier to relate to and I loved the part about the lying on the beach. I enjoyed listening to the cds every night for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy and I found the beach relaxation really helpful during my labour and even use it now when I need to relax or for pain relief, I find it really works, for anything from headaches to stabbing pain.
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
I had a wonderful birthing experience and a very natural labour apart from being induced because I was 2 weeks over due. From mild contractions to holding my baby took almost 12 hours. I managed with just a birthing ball and TENS machine until I was about 6cms but spent the last 3 hours of contraction in the birthing pool with entonox.
I stayed very focused once in the pool making minimal noise. I kept my eyes shut and the lights dim and just concentrated on getting through the contractions telling myself, like the CD said, that it was just my body opening and that it was just doing what it needed to do to bring my baby into my waiting arms. After 2 and a half hours pushing I eventually delivered a healthy baby boy in the pool.
It was a wonderful experience and I feel that the CD helped me stay focused and very calm. It was also lovely to fall asleep to every afternoon for the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy.
National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
Hypnotherapy was recommended to me by one of the midwives during my pregnancy. I was quit sceptical about hypnosis but she said that she had been surprised at how effective it had been for other women she had assisted. After listening to samples of a couple of other CDs, I found this one the best. I started listening to the pregnancy relaxation CD quite late - about 34 weeks - but found it was a wonderful way to unwind, and it helped a lot any time I had trouble sleeping or was feeling anxious.
I started listening to the Effective birth Preparation CD at 36 weeks, and started with the hospital version before switching to the homebirth version, as we decided to aim for a home birth as my confidence about the birth increased. The week before my due date I wrote down the phrases from the CD that I found most helpful and asked my husband to keep them in mind to say to me during the birth. My labour started around 7:30am on 23 December, and for about 6-7 hours I had fairly mild sensations, like period pains that gradually increased in intensity. When the contractions were 5 minutes apart we called the midwife.
She examined me and was surprised that I was already 2cm dilated, as I was very relaxed and this was my first pregnancy. She thought if I kept going at that pace the baby would arrive that evening. We filled the birth pool (which I cannot recommend highly enough), and I put on the birth music CD. The music was very helpful in triggering the hypnotherapy techniques, and as the contractions got stronger I was able to stay calm and breathe with them. Unfortunately my waters did not break spontaneously despite me moving around a lot, so at 11pm, the midwife advised that I should go to the hospital as she could not safely break my waters at home.
I was transferred by ambulance, and this part of the labour was quite stressful, particularly since everything had been going so well and I had been calm and relaxed until then. Once I got to the hospital, I put the birth music back on and had to really focus on the hypnotherapy techniques to get myself calmer again. At this point it was hugely helpful to have my husband reminding me of how to focus and stay calm, and to trust that my body was doing the right thing. Once the doctor had broken my waters, the birth progressed more quickly, and I was 6cm around midnight and fully dilated around 4am. Because it took so long to get to that stage, I was exhausted, and needed to really focus on breathing and staying relaxed. I had gas and air, and at the final stage felt that it was becoming too difficult, so was considering other pain relief, but the midwife told me I was nearly there so I decided to keep going with gas and air.
At the very final stage I wasn't able to focus too well any more and relied on the encouragement of the midwife and my husband. My daughter was born at 4:38am on Christmas Eve, weighing 8lb 1oz, after 21 hours of labour. I needed stitches for a 2nd degree tear, and in a way found this much more painful than the birth as I was not prepared for it and it was a very different type of procedure. It turned out that my baby's umbilical cord was extremely short, so the baby hadn't been able to drop far enough to trigger the waters to break.
I used the postnatal relaxation CD a few times during the 2 months after the birth, and found that helpful if I had trouble sleeping or was feeling anxious about motherhood. I would say that listening to the hypnotherapy CDs were the single most useful and effective thing I did to prepare for the birth. They gave me a great sense of calm, control and confidence in my body. They particularly helped me to regain control after the transfer to the hospital.
Despite the labour being quite long and somewhat difficult, I think back on the experience with pride and a sense of achievement, which I think was at least in part due to having the preparation of the hypnotherapy. I will most definitely be using the CDs again when I have another baby and cannot recommend them highly enough.
Queen Charlottes hospital, London
As I did not conceive naturally, I wanted the birth preparation and labour to be as natural as possible and without drugs to balance my medicalised conception. I was worried about giving birth without even gas and air so I went to weekly yoga classes throughout pregnancy, listened to your relaxation CD weekly (then alternate days in the last weeks) and I had reflexology, acupuncture and massage about 2-4 each in the 6 weeks before my due date.
When I went into labour at about 8 a.m I found it easy to relax between contractions and I felt in control and prepared because of my relaxation techniques. I went into established labour at 10:30 and into a pool. I found the contractions agonising and often back to back, that I couldn't focus on a lovely beach or a quite place in my mind, but I just tried to get through one at a time. At 1:45 my son was born. My labour was quick and bearable because of the yoga and CDs, but in the last 2 hours nothing could help me when the pain was desperately painful.
I was introduced to Natal hynotherapy in my parent craft class. After reading the Birth preparation Book I decided that I would use the CD & Relaxing Birth music with the water birth that I had planned. I started listening to both quite late in my pregnancy (36 Weeks) but actually felt that until I started my maternity leave, I could not focus wholeheartedly. This did not hinder the effectiveness of both the music or the hypnosis. Typically my Birth did not go to plan.
At 41 weeks I was admitted into hospital with Swine flu. I was also in very slow first stage labour. After 2 days in Quarantine I was finally nearing the end of 1st stage. Unfortunately my birth partner was not able to stay overnight until I reached active labour status. The relaxation music & natal hypnotherapy sessions were the only thing that got me through the night. I even found that I could sleep through the contractions once I was in a hypnotic state, always coming back up at exactly the same point. Pretty good considering they were 5 mins apart & I was 3 cm dilated. Due to the swine flu I was unable to use the water pool. I also had meconium in my water when they broke so I had to be attached to monitors, limiting my mobility. After 8 hours the doctors realised that I had not progressed and that the baby was in the OP position.
I was not able to have any pain relief due to the swine flu and the baby being in distress. During the 20 hour labour I was allowed paracetemol & Gas & Air. I played the relaxation music constantly which helped trigger the hypnosis techniques. The breathing techniques allowed me to maximise the use of the Gas & Air. I felt calm, focused and confident throughout. I finally gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He is 3 weeks old and we are getting to know each other. I still use the music now to help me unwind and stay relaxed through stressful situations. I have already recommended it to many friends! I think it is amazing!
"I started at 4pm went to the hospital at 5 and was told I was 8 cm. I had a water birth which was amazing and my baby was born at 8.01pm. Natal Hypnotherapy should be offered on the NHS as it helped me prepare totally for the birth emotionally which they don't teach you at antenatal. It was most beneficial for my partner as he did the course as well and he used the breathing techniques with me during the birth which helped loads and it also helped him understand what I was going through and the emotional stages of labour. I highly recommend it."
Royal Berkshire hospital
"I was determined to have a natural birth and prior being pregnant suffered from extreme anxiety about the birth. I had a history of anxiety disorder and depression before my pregnancy. These CDs made me totally overcome any fear I had about the birth. On the day I went into labour I was completely calm and needed no pain relief at all for the 13 hours I was in labour. I was using just a tens machine but on the lowest setting and sometimes I even turned it off. Unexpectedly they discovered my baby was breech. No one knew as I had always been told she was cephalic. So I then had to have a caesarean. This has always been my biggest fear about birth. However I didn't panic and just utilized the relaxation techniques I had learned. Had it not been for the relaxation CDs I would have freaked out. I feared an epidural because of how invasive the procedure is but I calmed myself using the relaxation I had learned. During the Caesarean I imagined myself on the beach with the sun beating down on my face when in fact it was the bright lights of the operating theatre beaming down on me but it got me through. I would recommend these CDs to all pregnant women. They even help to calm my newborn now when she's fretting if I put them on the CD player. Thanks natal hypnotherapy ".
Royal Cornwall hospital
"I was 9 days overdue and even at this late stage I hadn't experienced the fear stage - the oh my god what have I done stage that everyone seemed to be going through. I had been waiting for it to kick in but it didn't - a result of the reassurance from the CD? I had been having discomfort but not what I would call pain from 11am on the 24 January. By early evening I noted the discomfort was becoming regular but still not what I would call painful. I had carried on my day and evening as normal throughout. It got to about 11pm and my husband and I went to bed, the discomfort was such that I felt uncomfortable laying in bed so went back downstairs and stayed upright, pacing around and using the wall for support when the discomfort was prominent and breathed through it whilst totally zoning out as taught on the CD. It didn't seem to require any thought to use the breathing techniques it just seemed the natural way to breathe through it.
This routine continued for about 3 hours, during which time I had downloaded an app for our IPod to time the discomfort to see if it was regular as I had no concept of the times involved, just taking it as it came. The nifty app told me that the discomfort was regular, about every 4 minutes lasting 45 - 50 seconds. At this point I called the on call midwife as I wasn't sure what this discomfort was, it didn't feel painful just uncomfortable but manageable with the breathing and the all important wall to lean on and stare at, that coupled with the fact that everyone said you'll know when your having contractions had convinced me they weren't contractions so I wanted to just check it wasn't anything bad happening. The midwife said the discomfort I described sounded like contractions but that I sounded to calm to be far enough along to require hospital; she did say to call the delivery suite if it got unbearable.
About an hour later I called delivery as I still wasn't experiencing pain but my new iPod app was informing me the discomfort had moved to 2 minutes 30 seconds apart and lasting over a minute. The midwife said I sounded very calm and because of this wasn't convinced whether it was even contractions or whether my timings were right. I asked if I could come in to be checked as I wanted to be sure the discomfort wasn't something else entirely. She agreed for me to come in and be checked but warned that I would be sent home if only 1 - 2 cm dilated. After a prolonged journey to the hospital (due to us being unaware of roads being closed!) my husband drove past the car park and headed to maternity wing as he said he would drop me off then park and catch up with me, I told him to turn around and go back to the car park and that I was perfectly capable of walking!
After difficulty getting into the hospital as by this point it was about 4am on the 25 January, we eventually got to the ward and I was examined, the midwife said she would just clean up and then tell us the good news - I figured she was going to tell me I was contracting and that I would be on my way home, instead I found myself being taken straight to delivery as I was already 7cm!! I was allocated a student midwife who looked after me fantastically, when arriving on delivery suite the midwife who I'd spoken to on the phone came over and said she couldn't believe I was 7cm as I sounded too calm and collected on phone earlier. The next 3 hours consisted of continuous pacing, breathing and befriending a new wall. The student midwife found it most entertaining that between contractions I was smiling and joking around as there still wasn't pain, just discomfort.
Eventually with what turned out to be only 90 minutes until stage 2, it was suggested I might want to try my TENS machine, so I reluctantly did and loved it. Stage 2 was slightly more eventful and took longer than it should have due to baby's head being the wrong way round and that for a while I couldn't feel the contractions so had nothing to push with - this is when I decided to dismiss the TENS machine and go back to totally natural. Baby M was eventually born at 10:40am on the 25 January.
I would 100% recommend the CD and already have done to 2 pregnant friends. I had such a positive experience that just 2 weeks later I am already looking forward to having baby number 2 and experiencing birth for a second time."
St Thomas hospital
"I returned from the hospital tour at about 7pm whilst my husband went out to meet a friend. Although I hadn't had that nesting instinct everyone went on about or the urge to clean the floor, I do remember feeling particularly calm that evening. I had a lavender bath, ate dinner and watched TV before getting an early night. In bed I finished reading the last chapter of the natal hypnotherapy book a friend had leant me and then switched the light off. At about 2345 I started getting contractions and these quickly became about 1 minute long and 5 minutes apart and stayed that way til birth. My husband returned at 0030 and held my hand for a bit and rubbed my back before passing out drunk but I didn't really mind as it felt like a very personal thing I knew I had to do alone. I called the midwife at 2am who told me to ring back when the contractions were 3 mins apart or if they got more intense.
I spoke to her again at 4 and 6 and got a bit annoyed that she didn't seem to think I was particularly far along as I wasn't yelling and screaming. I suppose the contractions were getting more intense, it was just difficult to gauge this when you experience them in succession. They did hurt- like bad bad period pains but the pain wasn't unbearable and I just lay awake in bed timing and writing down the contractions- this helped to distract me. I listened to the birth preparation cd once near the beginning and once more at about 5am- I wasn't very good at using the visual imagery or taking myself off to the special place but the 321 relax mantra helped and the breathing and the music all helped to keep me calm.
I finally went to hospital on the midwife's say so at 8am and got into my room at 8.20. The pain was quite bad by this point but at no point did I ask for pain relief. when the midwife finally measured me I was 9.5cm dilated and soon after it was time to start pushing- no time to fill the pool or even get the gas and air going. 1.5 hours later at 0950 Ada was born. I have no doubt natal hypnotherapy contributed to my relatively easy birth in terms of completely removing my fear of birth"
Understanding the principles behind natal hypnotherapy before I fell pregnant, I was actually always fairly relaxed about giving birth. I took the attitude that it is my first pregnancy so I will never know what it is like until I have been there and that millions of women have been through it and it is a completely natural process. I took the horror stories that were told to me as examples of women fearing labour.
When I went into labour at 38 weeks, my husband and I both had influenza. My husband is a builder and we were staying and working in Bristol at my grandmother's house, some 35 miles from home. I woke up with contractions and thinking they were Braxton hicks thought nothing of them until around midday when they were stronger and more frequent. At that point I timed them, every fifteen minutes for 40 seconds, despite being fairly confident I was going into labour - I continued working re-laying floor boards until the evening. I wanted to wait as long as possible before going home and into hospital, I had tea and sat down to watch 'the apprentice' before I decided that driving 35 miles down the motorway in a very upright position in a van was not going to be at all comfortable for much longer and so we left at around half ten in the evening. I went to bed for a few hours on getting home and finally gave up at half one in the morning and went into hospital where on examination I was 4cm.
Being so ill, I was informed that I couldn't have a water birth as my temperature was 38.9C and I was so concerned about feeling sick that I refused gas and air. I was measured at half six and was then 6cm - two hours later, I was still measuring at 6cm as baby was lying in a posterior position, at this point I began gas and air. I gave birth to my son at 11.23am by ventouse delivery as his heart rate was dipping. I felt the techniques that I learnt in the CD and the suggestions that were given enabled me to make it to 6cm without any pain relief - not even gas and air. All in all labour was a challenging but positive experience for me, I had faith in my body and it's ability to birth my baby without the excruciating pain associated with child birth and therefore had a birth where, even at the end, was certainly manageable with only gas and air despite having influenza and a temperature of 38.9!
It all happened so quickly. It was my first baby and he was born in under 1hour 45minutes which resulted in feeling like there was no time to put things into practice. However I felt relaxed before going into labour (I was not worried about it) and I stayed calm even though my husband didn't manage to make it in time. Maybe I was too relaxed bearing in mind I drove myself to the hospital, parked the car, and walked to the labour ward and less than 45 minutes later I gave birth to Charlie!
Hull's Women & Children Hospital
I purchased the Hypnotherapy box set as I was planning on having my daughter in a birthing centre, which offers only Gas & air & the birthing pool as pain relief, but is very tranquil and homelike. I listened to the Cd's about 2-3 times a week from about 30 weeks, & when it was time to move to the "birthing CD" I listened to it in the bath, to help associate the water & my "special place". Unfortunately I found out the day before I went into Labour I was unable to birth in the birthing centre & this sent me into a whirl of panic, I didn't plan for a hospital birth at all. I actually cried all day, as I was so worried about the noise & it been so busy, this was actually the first time during the whole of my pregnancy that I started to worry about my labour, I'd been very calm & positive about it up until then. But when the time came I was relaxed and coped with nothing from 11pm till about 4am, when I used the TENS, I went into hospital bout 5 & again just used the TENS until 9am, when I went into the pool. Each time I got a contraction I managed to "bounce & breathe" it away. Also I was so relaxed I managed to nap in between contractions. When I read in pregnancy books to try and relax in between contraction, I used to think, "how can you relax when you in such pain but I did, & a few times I woke, had my contraction and say to my husband "they're slowing aren't they" and he'd reply and say "no that was ....secs after the last, they're getting closer". I felt like I'd had a 10 minute power nap, between each contraction, which really helped when it came to the pushing stage as my baby was back to back & been in thepool I had nothing to grip on so I had to work extra hard to get her out.
After my daughter was born they was a problem with my placenta which I had to have removed manually, & I needed a spinal block which was very disappointing as I'd given birth with no pain relief and an epidural was my worse fear. My dad was very worried about my choice of no pain relief and as a result, and after many occasions of him trying to talk me out of it, he decided he didn't want to know when it started only once his grand daughter had been born, as he didn't want to think of me in "unnecessary pain". Once home my dad asked me if the breathing helped & I said "you know what I completely forgot to use my breathing techniques", then my husband interrupted and told me the Cd's obviously helped a lot, because I was very calm, my breathing was even, I coped without pain relief, I was relaxed, & he was even surprised at how I coped with needing a spinal block.
Even though it was long it was straight forward until after my baby was born, & I do believe it was because I was so calm & relaxed. I just empty my thoughts & let my body do what it needed to. I have suffered a lot of post pregnancy pain due to my daughter been back to back & me needing surgery afterwards, So I've also used my breathing techniques to help me ease pain from that. Hypnotherapy helped me a lot during my labour, and it did without me realizing, I will definitely use it again & I have recommended it to my friends. All my family was surprised and so proud I did it drug free, especially as I ended up going into a hospital, a few thought it would get too much and I'd give in and have drugs, as I am a bit of a wimp. But I always use water to ease any pains/aches. So I had complete confidence that with the combination of the water and breathing that I'd do fine, & I did, I had the calm water birth I planned even though it wasn't in the location I wanted, but because of the Hypnotherapy I managed to block out the fact I was actually in a hospital, And I believe that due to my calm, relaxed pregnancy & labour, that is the reason I have a calm, happy baby.
My waters broke on my due date 4/10/09. No contractions went into hospital and they said they would augment my labour in 48 hours if nothing happened. Got back home about 2 hours after my waters broke and my contractions started. Baby was moving lots. I found it very easy to cope, walking around the house listening to my birth cd. I felt calm and in control. My waters had broke at 2am, I’d had contractions since 4am, but at 9am everything stopped. This didn’t worry me, I felt very calm. I had a bath, a sleep, and then at about 1pm when I had not had any contractions since that morning, I and Thomas went for a long walk to try and restart the contractions. Still nothing. I was due back at hospital 9am the next day. I wasn’t worried, just went with the flow. I was really calm (very unlike me). Then at 11pm that night the contractions restarted. Irregular at 1st but by 1am they had become every 2-3mins and much longer lasting. I felt so in control and able to cope. By 7am they were every 1-2 mins apart. Still feeling able to cope, I decided to wait until 9am and just go to hospital as planned. I was happy walking around and listening to my birth music.
Around 8:30am my contractions had began to slow down. By the time I arrived for my hospital appointment at 9am, they had pretty much stopped. I still felt calm and in control, thinking it was my body's way of labouring. When at the hospital, I was examined and found to be 3cm dilated and fully effaced. I felt really proud of myself to have got so far along at home walking around. I had experienced very little pain until this point, mainly pressure, so I was very happy. The midwife said as I had got myself to 3cm she would leave me a few hours to see if my contractions would come back. By 1pm still no contractions, so syntocinon was started and a CTG. This meant I couldn't leave the bed. Contractions came back within the following hour. I felt trapped and out of control as when I tried to move during a contraction the baby’s heartbeat was lost so I was told I needed to sit still. I commenced using gas and air which helped for a few hours. By 3pm I was unable to sit still or cope with the pain. I asked for an epidural. I was examined and found to be 7cm dilated. I felt totally out of control so had an epidural which helped me refocus and rest. At 6pm the pressure was really intense even with my epidural. I was examined and found to be 10cm. As I had an epidural, they wanted to give me 1 hour before I pushed. But by 6.30pm the pressure was so intense I couldn’t stay on my bottom. Started pushing at 6:40 and about 6 pushes and 29 mins later at 19:09 my beautiful little girl was born. Good apgar - 9 at 1. Weighing 8lb 4oz she was very alert. I had skin to skin with her straight away. She was a great breast feeder. After the birth I did feel quite traumatized by parts of it. I would often sit back and look at it in a negative light. As time has gone on I see the positive side, a happy healthy baby with no real complications and a normal birth.
I am a natural worrier but spent my whole pregnancy and early labour calm, happy and very relaxed. I honestly believe without the cds this would have been a very different case.
They helped me so much and I will use them when I have my next baby. I think they are great. My only regret is not listening to the post natal cd, I will do this next time I am sure. Sorry it’s such a long story. Thanks for giving me the chance to write it down, it has really helped me. Thanks, Kerry and baby Isla
St Mary's Hospital, Manchester
I had miscarried 7 times before I had my first baby, and so was very anxious going into my 8th pregnancy. I did the pregnancy relaxation CD at least a few times a week from the 4th month onwards and I definitely felt this helped me to enjoy pregnancy - in fact I surprised myself and really loved being pregnant, and loads of people commented on how much pregnancy seemed to suit me. As a first-time mum, I was preparing myself for a long and hard labour and was very ready to take pain relief drugs as needed. But actually I had a very positive experience and I think that the natal hypnotherapy CDs helped me to condition my mind to view it as a positive event and feel excited about it rather than being afraid of how the contractions felt. I think also doing antenatal yoga and reading a lot about Active Birth positions all worked well together and complimented the CDs.
My labour started with period-like cramps through the Sunday night until about 2pm on the Monday afternoon. From 2pm the contractions were about 3 minutes apart, 30 seconds long and getting strong enough that I started to use the yoga breathing technique I had learned to make them more manageable (making a 'Shhh' noise on the exhalation). I sat on my birth ball in between and then leaned against the mantel piece swaying my hips during each one. By about 6pm the contractions felt stronger and I leant on all fours over the stairs and made big circles with my hips. The contractions were still only 30 seconds long so I thought I might be at home for a while and the midwife had told me to wait until they were 60 seconds before coming into hospital. As it happened, shortly afterwards I started to bleed quite badly so had to go into hospital to get checked over, but expected to be sent home again before delivery. Although the bleeding panicked me initially, I remained a lot calmer than I'd have thought possible given my history of miscarriage. We arrived at hospital at about 7pm and I was strapped up to a continuous monitor and an IV drip. I was worried that this might stop me getting into upright, forwards positions and but the midwives helped me to lean forwards on all fours over the back of the bed and then to stand and lean over the bed. Once they had checked there was no reason for the bleeding, they examined me and found I was 4-5 cm dilated, which I was very pleasantly surprised by as I didn't feel very distressed considering I was so far progressed. We put the Natal Hypnotherapy relaxing birth music CD on at this point. I tried gas and air a couple of times but actually didn’t like it and found the breathing technique more effective at keeping things manageable, so I didn’t have any other pain relief either. Also moving backwards and forwards in rhythm with my breath, and my husband rubbing my lower back, really helped.
The pushing stage was relatively quick (my husband thinks about 20 mins tops) and I delivered in a standing semi-squat, leaning over the bed. I didn’t even really feel aware I was pushing, my body just did all the work. I didn’t tear at all and I hadn’t been doing perineal massage or anything. Baby Alec was born at 10:20, just 3 and half hours after arriving in hospital. I was absolutely stunned that it had happened so quickly and that I had stayed so calm throughout. I didn’t really experience it as painful, just very powerful. I read somewhere that the best thing to do it get your mental self out of the way and let your body get on with it and I’d definitely say that’s how it was for me and I think the Natal Hypnotherapy CD's may have helped prepare me to experience it in the way I did. I have already lent my CDs to another mum I know and even though in part I may just have been lucky, it can't hurt to listen to the CDs in preparation.
Despite a physically difficult first pregnancy, using the CD regularly made me feel calm in the run up to the birth. From first twinges at home to the birth in hospital I utilised the visualisation images which aided my breathing and made me feel relaxed. The midwife commented on how chilled out I was and said that the breathing techniques I was using were helping me to manage my pain without the need for additional medical intervention. Giving birth was a positive experience (in spite of an episiotomy, rips and tears!) and I honestly believe that the CD made all the difference. Baby Daniel is a very relaxed, alert and responsive baby and I put a lot of this down to the positive, calm attitude I developed through using the hypnotherapy CD.
First labour and I surprised myself, not to mention my husband and mum, at how calm I was. I used the TENs machine through the night and found the breathing techniques and visualisation of a 'golden light'. Invaluable - it got me right through the night and up to 5cm dilates. The combination of using techniques learnt from Cd, water pool and gas/air gave me such a positive first labour experience. Took all the fear away. Thank you so much.
My daughter's birth was very fast, straightforward and safe. I started experiencing regular and very manageable contractions at about 8am. At 11am I took a bath to help me cope with the sensations and afterwards put the Tens machine on. I called my local birth centre and arranged to go in at around 1pm and arrived there and had an internal exam which confirmed I was 4cm dilated at 2:15pm. They thought I was not in established labour because I was handling the contractions so well. Unfortunately my blood pressure then began to go up and the hospital required me to transfer there by ambulance in case I had pre-eclampsia. The ambulance took a while to arrive and at 3:20pm I asked the at the birth centre to give me another internal exam by which point I was 9cm dilated and feeling an urge to push. The hospital still expected me to transfer so I had a fairly unpleasant ambulance ride.
Rose was born in a single push just one hour after we arrived at hospital at 5:15pm. Her Apgar scores were perfect 10s. I felt very calm throughout the whole process, and handled the ambulance journey well. With hindsight I wish I had had the confidence to refuse the transfer, since my blood pressure was only raised due to the fact that I was going to give birth very shortly. The experience at the hospital could have been very stressful with large numbers of anonymous health professionals bustling in and out of the room and shouting instructions at me. I think the natal hypnotherapy practice enabled me to tune out most of the unhelpful comments and to focus on my husband who was reminding me that I was doing a great job and that my efforts were powerful and effective. The only problem I had really is that my calmness alarmed the healthcare professionals who were convinced that I could not be having productive contractions and that I would need interventions.
Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading
I was initially very nervous about giving birth, especially since my husband wasn't sure he would be able to stay with me, but the relaxation and birth preparation CDs really helped me to change my attitude and feel that I could manage my fear and relax. I had a positive birth experience - although forceps (and a spinal block) were required at the end, the support of my birth partner, husband and midwife helped me to know that we had done all we could to try for a natural birth, and my midwife was clearly impressed at how far along I was without any pain relief before arriving at the hospital, and how calm I was on only gas and air throughout labour. Although we didn't use the birth music CD for the actual birth, I did use it when I got home to help me remain calm while establishing breastfeeding and I feel that this really helped.
The Whittington Birth Centre
I went into labour at 11.55pm on a Saturday after my contractions woke me up. I stayed calm throughout Sunday walking and listening to my BP CD. At 7pm I got into the bath and by 9pm contractions were every 2 minutes so we left for the birth centre. I climbed into the pool all the while feeling relaxed and calm and quite enjoying it all. It all seemed manageable. My birth music CD was playing in the background and I lay in the pool in a darkened room. I was deep breathing throughout and felt totally relaxed. Whenever the baby’s heartbeat was checked it was always perfect reflecting that she was not stressed. Time seemed to fly by very quickly and around 3.40am I was ready to push. My contractions had slowed down so I got out of the pool and sat on a birthing chair. In just a few pushes my baby girl came out very calm and relaxed not screaming or stressed and looked straight into my eyes.
I was very shocked that the suggestion 'warmth, pressure, power' really worked. I only really felt 'pain' during the period just before transition, and even then it was more like intense pressure. Once in birthing pool the cd helped me to visualise baby sliding out and down and the midwife said she wishes she could have videoed my breathing techniques! Naturally there were moments of anxiety, wondering when head would crown etc, but I had confidence in the people around me to guide me when necessary (as suggested in cds!) The relaxation music was played throughout and really made the birth feel like a magical journey. I shall miss the cds, but am overjoyed at the happy birth experience and beautiful, calm, happy baby Amelia!
Mrs Lucinda Williams
I was so calm throughout the labour and the midwives on duty commented on how I didn't appear to be in labour. I planned a water birth which I experienced and it was amazing, I really did enjoy every minute of my labour - even the contractions seemed fulfilling! I was progressing really well, I did use the gas and air whilst I was in the water but still used the Natal Hypnotherapy techniques, my birth partners (husband and sister) felt pretty useless as I was coping so well with it all. Unfortunately my baby ended up back to back and complications resulted in me having to have pethadine and then taken to another hospital for an epidural and eventually an emergency c-section. Although this was beyond my control I was calm throughout and if I had had a 'normal' labour I believe it would've been the water birth that I had wanted. The midwives even commented at the end of it all that if it wasn't for the complications, I would have laboured really quickly and had the birth experience I wanted. I plan to use Natal Hypnotherapy again when it's my second time around, and I have been told I will not have to have a c-section, so hopefully I will have the birth I wanted this time around with the help of the cd again. Thank you for curing my fear and anxiety over giving birth. I now have a contented baby girl whose apgar score was 10 - fantastic!!
I was extremely afraid of child birth and pregnancy and have been for as long as I can remember. Listening to the birth preparation and relaxation cds before the birth of my first baby really helped, both with easing fear and in general for relaxing. However, I only got a chance to listen to the birth preparation cd approximately 10 times, rather than the recommended 20, as I went into labour 7 weeks early! The relaxation techniques in particular have helped in all situations, including labour but I must admit that the pain of the late stages of labour was much worse than I expected. (Although, I did get to 9 cm with just gas and air so I believe the techniques from the CDs really helped) I think natal hypnotherapy is great and I would have liked to have had the chance to start it earlier to feel the full benefits.
Dewsbury District Hospital, West Yorkshire
I listened to the CDs from quite early on in my pregnancy having heard great stories from other Mums about them. Many people commented on how calm I was throughout my pregnancy which I didn't, at the time, consider was as an effect of the CD because I kept falling asleep while I was listening to them! It was only when I managed to stay awake to listen to them that I realised that many of the statements I'd been using to describe how I was feeling during pregnancy were used on the CD. My pregnancy was incredibly calm and my little boy was definitely comfy in there and after 13 days over my due date needed a little encouragement! This had no effect and I was eventually referred for a caesarean. I had been really keen to have a natural water birth so this change in events was a far cry from my birth plan yet I was still totally calm and was just happy to meet my little man. I listened to the relaxation CD during the procedure which definitely helped with how I was feeling. I would recommend these CDs to anyone as they were the perfect way to wind down after a busy day at work and gave me the opportunity to focus entirely on me and my baby.
Contractions started irregularly at 4am. Managed to cope with a TENs machine and stayed at home throughout the day until approx 4pm, when the contractions were just bearable. Got into hospital and Stanley was born at 8pm. Felt very calm all day and only felt the need to go into hospital at the last stage. The midwives (and us) were very surprised at how far along I was! I truly believe the cd helped me to stay so calm, I’ve already recommended it to a few people. Thank you!
Gave birth to 9lb 14 baby boy on April 14th 2010 on only gas and air! Midwife commented on how well prepared and calm I was throughout first stages up until I had to get out of birth pool for last stage. Labour started 1am and Corrie was born at 1:14pm lunchtime. This was my first baby. I found the cds very helpful and was surprised how calm I was despite having a fear of giving birth - I would highly recommend them to anyone feeling anxious about the labour, they definitely worked for me and it was helpful having my partner giving me the anchor words whilst massaging my back.
Natal Hypnotherapy was invaluable in the lead up to my birth, when everyone in my NCT group focused on pain relief, I was confident and calm about neither needing nor wanting it. My waters broke at 4pm on 25th March - I calmly called the hospital, went for a check and was told it was unlikely I would go into labour that day. Four hours later I was back and 9cm dilated. I started pushing as soon as I got to hospital and Lucy was born at 10:45pm. I had wanted a water birth but they didn’t have time to run the bath! The cds gave me the confidence to not go to hospital until the last minute which really sped things up. The visualisation meant she was a week early and I was so calm that I missed stage 1.
Whipps Cross Hospital, London
My waters broke on my due date so I went to hospital and they confirmed it and told me to be back in 12 hours but they expected me to be back before as mild contractions had started. The next morning came and nothing was happening so I went back to hospital as instructed. My baby had been diagnosed with a leak in her heart before she was born so they decided to keep me in, but still no contractions.
After 24hrs the contractions were very irregular and I barely noticed them so I had to have a hormone drip, as I was told there was a risk of infection after 24hrs. I was asked what pain relief I wanted and when I said I none as I was practicing Natal Hypnotherapy, the midwife (who was lovely) laughed and said she'd never seen someone induced and not need pain relief. I asked to see the anesthetist to find out what effect an epidural would have on my baby, just in case I decided to have one as I was starting to lose faith in myself. He also said women who were induced tended to need pain relief and fully expected to be back again to administer the epidural. I was now being constantly monitored, although I was allowed to stand (on my insistence), it was so uncomfortable as I was attached to so many machines, I ended up lying on the bed for most of the time.
My worst nightmare was coming true - I was to be stuck in bed with my birthing ball sitting forlornly in the corner of the room!! I went from irregular, hardly noticeable contractions to full on 'sensations' every couple of minutes within a very short space of time. The doctor's parting words were 'I'll be back in 4hrs, hope you are 4 cm dilated' I used the breathing techniques but had a couple of wobbles (to put it mildly) when I insisted I needed an epidural but I always did it at the height of a contraction. My husband was great and calmed me down, made me wait until the contraction had passed before we decided. He hadn't listened to the CD but had come on the weekend course and this really helped both of us, as before it he had said he didn't really know how he could help but after it he felt very secure in his role of birth partner. I said I could wait until the 4 hrs were up then if I was only 4cm I would have to have an epidural.
At 5am the midwife went to examine me and offered me gas and air (which I'd forgotten about before) but as she moved around the bed to examine me I was saying 'I'm pushing, I'm pushing' I thought she was examining me and told her to stop because it was hurting and she said 'it's not me, it's your baby's head!!' So gas and air was no longer an option as I now had to concentrate on pushing. I eventually had to have an episiotomy (despite an excellent maternal effort - yes I read that in my notes!!) as the baby was showing signs of distress and out she flopped. Only 5lb12!! I didn't really imagine myself anywhere else during the labour, putting myself on the beach etc didn't really work for me, I just kept telling myself I was ok, it didn't hurt and would be over soon. I also had been given some baby clothes beforehand so took in a pair of the tiniest socks I'd ever seen and kept looking at them and telling myself I could easily 'get something that small out of me' So, a very long story (it's not over yet) but I did it!!!! Even the anesthetist came back to see me to congratulate me. I don't think they could quite believe it. I have to say had it not been so quick (5hr 51min labour) I think I would have struggled but hopefully 'normal' labours are more gradual so still manageable.
So that was the good bit..... A few hours later I began to lose a large amount of blood and a doctor was called urgently. The discussion in the room was that I needed to be taken into the surgery and given a general anaesthetic but the dr said there was no time and someone was already in there prepped for a caesarean (that he was due to perform) He had to 'scoop' large amounts of blood clots from me. This time I did get to use the gas and air but did the whole thing without pain relief, which again caused much amazement amongst the 4 staff members in the room. This time I had a beautiful daughter to look at while everything was going on around me so that helped. I needed a couple of blood transfusions so was on the labour ward for 36hrs and there was a lot of screaming going on in other rooms. My husband saw someone arrive at the hospital in tears and wailing, then a few hours later being sent home again, so not even in full labour.
I'm totally convinced the Natal Hypnotherapy worked for me as everything I wanted for the birth went out the window but we both managed to stay calm and ask all the questions we needed to. Had I not done it I think I would have accepted the epidural as soon as they said they'd never seen someone on a hormone drip do it without had it not been for the 'training' The last big positive is we were sent to heart specialists a couple of days later and have been told that our daughter's leak is healing itself and they don't need to see us again. We had been told since the 12 week scan that something was wrong with our baby and now we have a perfect daughter.
Ninewells Hospital Dundee
Had an induction due to bleeding during pregnancy and was very unhappy about medicalisation of the birth. Had a midwife who was very unsupportive of 'alternative' methods of pain relief and asked me to remove tens machine and was pushing me to have an epidural. She insisted I have the syntocinon drip even though I had gone into labour on my own following prostin pessary saying "we're not here to mess about". I became quite scared and felt very under pressure to abandon all my hopes of a natural birth however the one thing we did have control of in the room was the music and having the familiar sounds of the cd at several points during the 4 hour labour (so much for it being too slow for that midwife's liking).It was very calming (for both myself and my husband I think!) and I believe helped keep me focused on our birth plan and do it without an epidural (even though my uterus became hyper-stimulated with the drip and stopped having breaks between contractions for a spell until another midwife switched the drip off- my fairy godmother).
I had used the hypnotherapy cds through out my pregnancy. I went into labour when I was four days overdue. I laboured at home comfortably using the relaxing birth music and a tens machine. When I got to the hospital I was fully dilated and just had to push! My son was born an hour later, with no pain relief. We were both healthy and went home 12 hours later. Overall a very positive birth experience and I'm sure the cds helped me to relax and trust my body to birth naturally.
My labour was very fast. I used the CD before we left for the hospital to help calm me down. I felt in control during the birth and could manage and deal with the pain. I followed all instructions I was given by the midwife which I also think meant my labour went quickly. I definitely think listening to the CD helped me feel in control during the whole thing.
Scunthorpe General hospital
“It was ten days early when my waters broke at 3am and by the following lunchtime I was having strong contractions. I used a TENS machine but didn’t feel it was much more than a distraction and something I could control. I took the birth music with me to hospital but couldn’t use it as I had to be in a side room on a ward as the delivery suite was full. I couldn’t use it at home either during labour as we had a power cut! Nevertheless I focused on breathing, the fact that giving birth was instinctive and that my body would do the job regardless, so there was no point in being anxious. I even managed to drift off to sleep during contractions as I used the relaxation techniques. Midwives said I looked very “focused” and relaxed. I also kept my eyes closed almost the whole time to help me concentrate. Thank you for helping me to have the kind of birth experience I was hoping for, I will certainly use it again. At no point did I feel frightened or anxious, in fact I almost enjoyed the final stage! Thanks again.”
“I got to 8cm at home in complete comfort. When at the hospital they would not believe I was in labour as I was so calm. My baby was back to back so they talked about giving me a C section and took me to the theatre. Even though I did not have my birth music as I wanted, I remained calm and kept repeating 321 relax, and thinking of the dial and being on the beach and in control. I felt I wanted to push and took control of the situation of my rights, & had my daughter naturally in just 8 pushes! All your cd’s helped me so much. I was someone who was really scared, but felt so relaxed & in control during my pregnancy & the birth. I took the post natal recovery to the hospital on a MP3 player, which made me feel calm, in control & confident and I am sure my daughter is so good as I am so calm and confident. Thank you so much!”
Blackpool Victoria Hospital
“I was very convinced by the literature that accompanied the CD and was determined to have a natural birth. I had a wonderful birth experience which I believe is solely down to the fact that the birth preparation CD removed all my fear & anxiety. I was in labour for just over 6 hours (this was my 1st baby) and delivered without pain relief. Throughout the labour and birth I felt totally calm and surprisingly I did not feel that I was pushing. Rather, my body seemed to do the work so that I felt my baby being pulled out with each contraction. I felt that the time in between each contraction was indeed longer than the contractions as suggested in the CD and this time was euphoric. The midwife continually commented on, and invited others to come to observe my calm and relaxed demeanor. Thank you for giving me the means to birth my baby in such a positive & memorable way”
Rowe Park Hospital
“I had hypertension on first indication of pregnancy, I was signed off work due to this at 23 weeks, by 25 weeks was having home visits by midwife four times a week due to increased maternal hypertension and told to rest most of the time. After being admitted at 31 weeks over night, I was put on medication and having daily home visits by midwife. At 32 weeks I bought ‘pregnancy relaxation & prep for birth’ after being told I may be induced in a week or two but to the surprise of health professionals I carried to 40 weeks 5 days, which I attribute partly to cd’s. I was induced and had a 3 hour labour with ventouse after epidural they brought it on fast due to high blood pressure so very painful but needed epidural but without cd’s I would not have remained so calm throughout it, the health professionals said that they had never seen anyone so calm before labour. The cd’s helped me remain calms for months before as well and I relished pregnancy due to this.
Thank you so much”
For about a month before my due date of my first baby I listened to the birth preparation cd about three times a week (I listened to the relaxation cd throughout which really helped me wind down after work). I was skeptical about how effective the hypno would be in labour but I knew the breathing would probably come in handy and I found the quiet time with the cd on really beneficial. Boy did I underestimate the usefulness of the techniques on the cd and how much my subconscious had taken the suggestions in!
The night before my due date my waters broke at home at 3am and almost immediately my contractions were 3 or 4 minutes apart. I breathed through them and they were easily bearable as I spoke to the midwife who told me to come in to hospital. In the car and on arrival at St Mary’s the contractions were regularly 3 mins and though painful I found I could manage the pain using the breathing techniques and felt extraordinarily calm and ready for labour. To cut a long story shortish the midwives and doctor didn't think my labour was progressing because I was so calm and dealing with the pain quietly- I heard one say ' her contractions are strong and 3 mins apart but she's not really feeling them'!!!
I would almost say the cd was too effective because they sent my partner home for the night and put me in the ante natal ward out of the way! I laboured with no pain relief until about 9am when the contractions were 1 min apart I was finally examined and the head was emerging! I (Don't get me wrong I did ask for some pain relief. but the midwife wasn't convinced my contractions were strong enough to warrant any...) I don't think I would have managed to stay in control without the visualisation and breathing methods that I had practiced for the month before using your cd. Despite the intense pain I never felt like I could not handle it.
The cd reinforces the natural process of birth and I truly felt that my body was just doing what it was supposed to do and eventually the pain would end with a joyous event. All the time I felt oddly removed from the situation- sort of detached from reality yet completely in control and as if I was working with the pain not against it. Once in the delivery room I had gas and air to help push (again the breathing techniques were so valuable) and Noah arrived about 45 mins later. No stitches. Being my first baby I obviously have nothing to compare my experience to but I feel sure that the cd got me through labour without intervention and therefore probably shortened my labour giving me and my baby a more positive birth experience.
I was open to any pain relief that was necessary- I am no martyr or natural birth evangelist- but like most women I wanted to at least try to do things the way they've always been done It’s a pity that it’s not a more widely discussed form of pain relief and that more midwives don't recognize its effectiveness. Though I am obviously pleased I had a quick intervention free birth I felt that no one took me seriously because I wasn't screaming loudly enough. Noah is now 10 weeks old and in the difficult early days (!) I tried to make time to listen to the recovery cd. I only managed it twice but it immediately helped the overwhelming feelings I was having as a new mum. I would recommend natal hypnotherapy to any one-indeed I tell everyone who will listen about how it helped me get through childbirth. Thank you.
Harold Wood Hospital
“I went into labour at 3pm 5/10, my waters had broken that morning though. I wanted to stay at home as long as possible, so I just sat on a dining room chair, had my tens on and just kept playing the cd over and over again on my cd walkman. I went to hospital at 9pm, when I needed something more and I was 7cm dilated. I reached 9.5cm at 3.15am, I nearly had pethadine but held off, but was given syntocinon to dilate 0.5cm faster. I was 10cm at 3.30am, and started pushing. Josie arrived at 5.27am as she kept coming in and out about 8 times. I was nearly cut or needed ventouse or forceps but I managed a fourth push one the next contraction and out she came. I am gutted that I didn’t video it or have photos of her coming out, as I found it a wonderful experience and so natural, I can’t wait for my 2nd when I’ll be using the cd’s again. Thanks a lot”
“I feel that I had a very positive birth experience and real empowerment by that. I definitely feel that the hypnotherapy tapes helped us to achieve this and that they helped to diminish some of the fear + anxiety and therefore pain of the experience”
“My waters broke 2 ½ weeks early so I did not feel fully prepared. First thing I did was listen to the CD and this immediately made me feel calm + relaxed. I listened to it a second time a few hours later when I had started having contractions and it helped me to relax into them. I had a bath + aromatherapy massage + them went to hospital at 3pm (contractions started 11am) I was very calm on arrival + midwives thought I was in very early labour. When I was finally assessed at 4.45pm I was 8cm dilated I was in some discomfort by now but kept turning down the pain dial + relax. During contractions I was quite distressed but calm in between. I felt ready to push an hour later + she was born at 6.20pm, a 25 minute 2nd stage, no analgesia, no problems, not really painful. A wonderful birth, midwives were very impressed. Thank you”
“I have always looked forward to the birth and I believe that was down to your CD. I can’t tell enough mums about how good the experience was and without any pain relief! I felt everything and it was fantastic – THANK YOU!!!”
“Thank you so much for producing such excellent CDs which are the sole reason I was able to have a quick and totally manageable labour with my first child. I had been recommended your CDs by my friend, but I was skeptical that I would be able to use them in my labour when the pain got bad, as I am such a "control freak" in my life that I struggle to relax, but I gave them a go - on the basis there was nothing to lose. I suffered a miscarriage last year at 13 weeks- my husband and I were devastated. The same friend sent me the preparing to conceive CD - I got pregnant immediately but was then incredibly stressed at the thought of losing another baby. I listened to the relaxation CD every day, and it really helped me calm down and remain positive about the pregnancy, and connect with the tiny baby (now 8lbs 8!!). Thankfully everything went well and I began listening to the birth prep CD from about 33 weeks onwards. It helped me relax, but I never really believed it would be able to take away or help me control the pain of serious labour, as I'm a real wimp. I hoped however it would get me through the initial stages so when I got to hospital for some "proper" pain relief I wouldn't be sent home and told I was only at 1cm, as had happened to friends. When my labour started I remained calm, relaxed and focused on breathing; I relaxed as much as possible during and between contractions and reminded myself of the things on the cd. I thought I would stay at home as long as I felt able to manage the contractions, but as I've said, I always intended to go into hospital for drugs when they became necessary. I listened to the CD constantly for about 4 hrs lying down in a dark room with my husband using the 3,2,1 relax technique, then suddenly decided to go to hospital - I don't know what changed, as the contractions were always bearable if I breathed through them and relaxed, but I just wanted to go in. When I got there I was amazed to be told the baby's head was right there and I was ready to push! The midwives were amazed at how calm and relaxed I was, given this was a first baby, and that I'd managed the contractions and then the pushing without any drugs - I was even fully dressed at this point, having not had time to take off my shoes or jewellery! About 10 mins later my son was born, looking very lively and after a remarkably quick and painless labour. I am sure that none of the above would have been possible without the relaxation CDs taking away the "fear" of labour and pain. As I have said, I never set out to have a natural labour and was convinced I would need pethadine at the very least, but had no problem with that. I also thought I am the least susceptible person to hypnosis as I'm so manic, and never imagined I would be able to entirely manage my pain and the whole labour by concentrating on the breathing, relaxing as much as possible and reminding myself this was nothing to be afraid of and my body would manage this by itself. I cannot recommend these CDs highly enough or thank you Maggie for making the thing I'd spent at least the last trimester worrying about pass amazingly easily and manageably.“
“My contractions started at 7am on the Monday morning and were very mild – much like mild period pains. They continued throughout Monday and only started to get stronger Tuesday evening. I found I could breathe through each one with ease using techniques from the CD and was surprised at how positive, excited, but calm I felt throughout this time. The contractions never came more than 5 minutes apart, but it felt it was time that I should really go to hospital to find out how I was progressing (I had a show and was pretty sure that my waters were breaking as well). The midwife monitored and checked me, but thought I was still in the latent phase as I was so calm & chatty. She finally decided to examine me and we all kept our fingers crossed that I was at least in established labour (3cm or more). We were absolutely stunned to find that I was 91/2cm dilated and would be ready to push at any moment!! The contractions were still only coming at 5min intervals and were easily controllable with focusing and breathing techniques. The midwife said that I was the only second person she had ever seen who had use these techniques and I was dubbed the ‘hypnotherapy lady’ on the labour ward. I put the birth music on at this point, but it was too late, as I needed to be given fluids (as I had such a long latent phase) and a hormone drip to speed/intensify my contractions. When it came to pushing, I didn’t actually know when I was having a contraction and had to look at the monitor, or ask the midwife – I don’t think they believed me!! Our little boy popped out at 11.25 am on Wednesday July 19th and apart from tearing badly, it was a perfect birth. Overall, I had a couple of paracetemol in the early stages, TENS when the contractions became regular and 2 or 3 puffs of gas & air (I just wanted to try it!) through the last few contractions. I have absolutely no doubt that the hypnotherapy was a major factor in keeping the pain under control".
Royal Surrey Guildford
“I kept myself fit throughout my pregnancy. I ate healthily throughout and did not put on any excess weight. I was scared of giving birth or more the unknown really. At one of my anti-natal classes, my midwife spoke about self-hypnosis. We were able to listen to a demo tape and given a leaflet on natal hypnotherapy. That was the best thing I got out of my class. I’d always intended to give birth as naturally as possible. I knew my pain threshold was quite high, my fitness level was good and that in no quitter. However as always when the due date gets closer, people start telling you their stories like it was so painful make sure you take all drugs offered, you feet are so small that means your pelvis is too small to give birth etc.
By the time I found out about natal hypnotherapy it was mid March and my due date was just over 2 weeks later. I was told that if I listened to the birth preparation one for about 10 minutes I would benefit from it. 10 days later – I woke up that morning and had a slight show but wasn’t overly concerned. I’d had a doctors appointment for a check up booked for later that afternoon and was told the baby’s head was not engaged. I headed up to my mums to walk my dogs with her which we did for an hour getting back at 5pm. At 6.30pm I felt a pain like a stomach cramp, then again at 7. I left my mums for the 15 minute drive home via the village shops as my husband had not got his mum a mother’s day card for the day before! The second shop I went to still had some and whilst in there had another cramp. At this stage I still thought nothing of it. I got home and by 9pm they were a bit uncomfortable and about every 15mins now. My husband was still at work so my mum came down as the hospital had advised me that it was probably a false alarm and to try and rest so off I went for a lie down thinking it was Braxton Hicks. By 10.15pm, when my husband walked in expecting a bite to eat and a sit down, he was greeted by my mum saying the baby is on its way, you best get her up the hospital.
We finally make it to the hospital about 50 minutes later. By this time I felt that I count make it to maternity so my husband got a porter to wheel me up there. 2 contractions later I made it to maternity. Still I said to the midwife that I expected to be told it was a false alarm. She checked me over and I was surprised when she said do I want to push. I replied No, had another contraction straight away, said yes and twenty minutes after arriving at the hospital, I was holding my beautiful baby boy in my arms. I believe that the CDs helped me achieve my dream to have a natural birth and going on the speed that I had Jacob I think I will plan a home birth next time.”
Jo Foster Chester Hospital
“I had a very anxious pregnancy – 9th IVF attempt & 1st pregnancy so a very special baby! The relaxation CD ensures that I had a structured & assisted relax session daily. I listened from about 16 weeks until I started listening to the Birth Preparation Cd at 30 weeks. Husband also listened so that he could help me with the visualisations. The music CD was the only one I listened to during me labour & I even used it at home when I came out with baby – it seemed to soothe him when fractious. I use the music CD mow for baby massage. I really enjoyed the tapes & have recommended them to all my pregnant friends since! Thank you – it really helped me & Freddie”
Huddersfield Royal Hospital
“The CDs had a huge big impact on me during the labour and birth itself. I felt very calm and in control – especially my breathing. (The birth music was very relaxing). Before hand I didn’t feel I could relax and be hypnotized but it appeared to work! My labour started on the Wednesday late afternoon and my baby was born at 5pm on the Thursday. I used the TENS machine for approximately 12 hours on Wednesday evening and also kept mobile during contractions. I went into hospital at approximately 5am when contractions were approximately 5 minutes apart. I was 3cm dilated when I arrived but then things slowed down. I then continued with aromatherapy massage from my partner and walking/keeping mobile. I was sent home at midday and my waters broke at 12:30 and it then all started. Back in hospital I managed on gas and air and although I wanted a water birth they decided against it because of my blood pressure. My daughter was born at 4:50pm. I coped mainly by focusing on my breathing - mainly the out-breath. At no point did I feel I needed more pain relief. I’m confident the CDs did help – I was so calm! It was a very positive labour and birth for me.”
Mrs Naren Ashraff
“Had a very relaxed birth, midwives were actually in labour. Have recommended the CD to many people already. Was apprehensive about CD at 1st, but am amazed at how relaxed I was & the drugs I didn’t need. Normally I can’t even have a filing without an injection. Very happy customer”
Mrs Nicola Dean
“I originally wanted a home birth but due to the fact that I have a heart murmur, this was not recommended. I wanted to give birth as naturally as possible and even through I had a ventouse delivery I was pleased with the fact that I only needed gas + air and that I coped with the pain. I way the CD helped me the most was in the lead up to the birth. It made me believe that my body was designed to do this and that I could do it. During labour I worked with my body and the contractions and I felt totally in control. I totally enjoyed giving birth and would certainly recommend the CD’s”
Chelsea and Westminster hospital
“I was induced at 38 weeks and 4 days due to high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia with prostaglandin gel (2 times). I went into labour 12 hours after the second lot. My waters broke at 8:15am and at around midday I went to the labour ward. I stood up for the contractions and lent over the hospital bed, breathed and listened to birth music on mp3 player. When 8cm dilated, baby’s oxygen levels dropped. I was told to lie on my side with an oxygen mask on. The register was concerned by I felt in control and felt that if I breathed deeply, everything would be okay. It was, baby’s oxygen levels went up and I stayed on the bed with the oxygen mask on. I gave birth in a semi-squatting position leaning over the head of the bed at 7:20pm. It wasn’t actually painful at all! The head of the labour ward (midwife) said that I didn’t look like I was in labour and that they should give your CDs free to everyone!”
QE11 Hospital Herts
“I started with cramps on Sunday evening which developed into contractions on Monday lunch time. I was having 20-30 second contractions every 2 minutes. The hospital told me to call back when they were really painful, at least 60 seconds long and 3-4 minutes apart. I was told my baby was trying to get into labour. At 6pm my waters broke and the hospital asked me to come I saying they would probably send me home but needed to check me. I arrived at hospital at 7pm and was told the water birth expert would arrive in 1 ½ hours which wasn’t a problem unless I was a miracle case. A while later the midwife confirmed I was fully dilated! Officially active labour was 2 hours and 27 minutes. A very positive experience. Pain – what pain??!!!”
I was one of those women who was totally terrified of the thought of birth from the age of seven. My sister who is a midwife was present and couldn’t believe her sister was being so calm, relaxed and in control throughout the whole labour. I went into a totally hypnotic world of peace and calm – I closed my eyes throughout, breathed deeply at each contraction and was sprayed with water to cool and a flannel on my forehead. My sister and I have been praising and verbally selling the amazing attributes of the tape to produce a most wonderful birth experience. I can honestly say I enjoyed yes enjoyed the birth with the aid of the CD. I cannot thank you enough – 28 years of worry (worry is wasted energy).
Edgware Birth Centre
My labour became established within 3-4 hours, then the birth itself happened quickly. If we had left home half an hour later the baby would probably have been born in the car! I knew things were happening quickly when I got to the birth centre and the midwives filled the pool with buckets as well as the hose! I listened to the relaxing birth music CD, I think this had a soothing effect and so did the water (I had no other pain relief other than two paracetemol in early labour, and thought I was using a TENS machine for a while before I got in the pool but found my husband forgot to put the batteries in! No wonder it wasn’t working!) The water was wonderful and so was the midwife, so the whole experience was positive especially as my baby boy was born, and floated straight up into my arms.
Queen Charlottes, London
My waters broke at 11:30pm and we stayed at home until 2:30. At my first contraction, I asked my husband not to mention the word ‘pain’ – instead to say ‘power’ and ‘golden light’. So as the contractions got stronger I visualised the beautiful light coming forth and I welcomed all the sensations – indeed I found it all very exciting! We got to the birth centre at 2:50 and the midwife thought we were so relaxed she nearly sent us home! After 45 minutes she examined me and told me “not to be disappointed if I was only 2 or 3 centimeters dilated”. To her amazement (and my surprise) I was already 10cm dilated! Hoorah! Lucas (meaning golden light after the visualization on your CD!) was born naturally with no stitches required at 6:08. It was a wonderful experience. Thank you!
Gave birth in hospital (unknown)
"I was nearly two weeks overdue. Early labour began on Saturday night and remained with me on Sunday. I managed to stay at home using my TENS machine until Monday at 5 pm. I remained standing for each contraction and hung around my partner’s neck. I felt relaxed and in control of the situation. I was moved in to the delivery room where I laboured through the night only using gas and air and my TENS. Even though I had been booked in for induction, the midwives did not need to induce me or interfere as I was progressing naturally. The only thing they did was break my waters when I had the urge to push. I stayed calm and even fell asleep between contractions when I was pushing! After my baby was born I did not need any stitches and still felt in control of the situation. I think this has continued with me during the first few weeks at home. The health visitor has said how calm and happy I seem. I would say to any other woman that labour is mind over matter. Your body was built for this purpose and the pain is very manageable if you train your mind to cope with it. I want another baby and will definitely use the CD again.
Whittingdon Hospital, London
"When I first went to do a tour of the labour ward I felt very negative about it. But after listening to the CD I felt more positive. I had to have an ECV done and felt calm when I was in the ward. My contractions started a 5 am. I had a bath and listened to the CD again. We went into hospital around 10.30 am. The midwife examined me and I was. 9 cm dilated! I had wanted a water birth but the midwife said it wouldn’t be full in time. The second stage only lasted 20 minutes, and 4 pushes and he was out! Luke was born at 12.40. Throughout the experience the midwife kept commenting on how calm and relaxed I was. She said I could came again and she wished all women were so relaxed. The CD definitely helped me 100% to have a better attitude towards the hospital and to feel relaxed, confident and in control during the birth. Thank you so much for helping me to have a positive birth experience"
St Johns Chelmsford
"I started contractions at 1pm, by 2.30 pm. I was at the hospital and 3 and half hours later, my little boy, Robert was born. The midwives were amazed as I was 5 cm dilated on arrival, which they say is not very common as I am a first time mum. The image of the comfort dial that I could control with my mind really helped. I put the fact that I had a short labour down to the CD. It helped me prepare mentally for giving birth, and took away my apprehension, and sheer terror. I had a very positive birth experience and my GP, health visitor have suggested that should I become pregnant again, I should seriously consider a home birth."
“I found keeping my eyes closed, counting through the pain and listening to my supporters got me through the hardest challenge of my life. I got the birth situation I wanted with no intervention, no stitches and an excellent APGAR score for my baby”
St Mary’s hospital in Portsmouth
“The first time I listened it made me cry with happiness at how close I felt to my baby. Even though the birth was not as planned, I felt surprisingly calm and relaxed and never once felt panicked”
“The CD really helped with sleep and relaxation, which I found virtually impossible in late pregnancy. The CD helped me contemplate birth and the baby in calm, no pressure way - mostly preparation is either medical or what to buy.”
“Towards the end of my pregnancy I would "cling" onto the CD, playing it repeatedly to banish negative thoughts. The CD was useful in reminding me about what women were intended for and to encourage a positive expectation of the birth experience. The CD was good value and helped to ensure I stayed on track and remained positive when overwhelmed with anxiety. I therefore believe it could work for most women. My friend commented on how calm I reminded throughout the birth and I attribute a great deal to the hypnosis CD & would highly recommend it to anyone.”