Why I became a practitioner
When I was pregnant with my two daughters, Natal Hypnotherapy did not exist. However, thinking back, I fell in love with a relaxation cassette tape that I had been given. On afternoons when I rested, I would listen to the tape. As well as helping me unwind at the time, I am sure that the repetition of relaxation and positive suggestions helped me remain calm and focused during labour, both in hospital for my first daughter's birth, and at home, where my second daughter was born.
When teaching antenatal classes, I enjoy the times when parents-to-be have the opportunity to practice relaxation and breathing techniques for use in labour. These are life skills, which can be used at any time for stress management. Natal Hypnotherapy offers parents the opportunity to explore these techniques further, and discover self-hypnosis skills, and importantly, to develop their own personal techniques and scripts.
I chose Natal Hypnotherapy, after being privileged to observe classes and workshops in a number of approaches to self-hypnosis. Natal Hypnotherapy techniques are valid for each woman, and the unique pathway that unfolds for her, through the choices she makes during pregnancy labour & birth, and after her baby/babies are born. The focus on calmness applies to a woman planning to birth in a birth centre or at home, and equally to a woman planning a hospital birth, and even for a woman where a high-tech approach may be needed. Even if complications arise, a woman practicing Natal Hypnotherapy techniques can contribute to the well being of her baby, through calm breathing, and her partner has tools to provide support in the way that is best for her. As a midwife, I appreciate the fact that no special language is required by carers around the woman, and there are no words to avoid. The wide range of Natal Hypnotherapy CDs support a woman's journey from pre-conception and IVF, through morning sickness, pregnancy and planning for birth. When labour begins, the Natal Hypnotherapy birth music reminds the woman to put into practice the skills that she has been developing when listening to the CDs. Natal Hypnotherapy is relevant for first, second and subsequent babies; there are CDs for a woman expecting twins, and for planning birth after a previous caesarean birth.My core beliefs surrounding pregnancy and birth
A woman's body was designed to nurture and protect her baby in the womb, and at the appropriate time, to birth her baby. If birth was consistently difficult, for either a mother or her baby, then our species would not survive! However nowadays society seems to revel in drama and emergency stories. These seem to drown out the "calm birth" stories where "nothing happens"! In fact a great deal is happening as labour and birth unfolds; the woman and baby are doing it for themselves!
Of course there are situations where mothers and babies need medical help. We are fortunate living where assistance can be sought quickly if needed. But if a woman can labour calmly and confidently, and labour can be allowed to progress calmly and naturally then the "cascade of intervention" - where one intervention in the labour process, can cause the need for further interventions - can be avoided.My experience of working with pregnant women and my personal experience of Natal Hypnotherapy
I have been developing and facilitating antenatal classes for women and their partners for 10 years in Hampshire and Dorset, for groups and as one-to-one sessions; for first timers and refreshers; women only workshops, and one-to one sessions for one woman or a couple. I have a DipHE in Antenatal Education awarded by the University of Bedfordshire. I have held a Licence to Practice as an antenatal teacher for the National Childbirth Trust continuously since 2003. As a registered midwife I have provided NHS midwifery care in hospital and community settings. I have used Natal Hypnotherapy CDs regularly, and I have developed my own hypnosis scripts for personal use, overcoming long-standing anxiety about dental treatment - my dentist is amazed at how calm I have become!Feedback from my classes
"This course should be on the NHS. All expectant parents can benefit."
"A must for all couples. A very bonding experience - empowering for both the mother and the father - better than any NCT or postnatal class I have ever attended. My little girl was born in 58 minutes! (from 3cm dilated to her being placed on my tummy). Her arrival was an amazing experience - I tell her she was born with love. I felt in control throughout the whole of my labour and much more knowledgeable about my body and what stage I was act. My little girl and I acted as a team - and it is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
"As a worried expectant father, I learned so many ways to help my wife - as well as building my confidence to deal effectively with the medical team at the hospital
"Fantastic course, so pleased we came, I would recommend it to everyone, it should be compulsory for all pregnant women, their partners and midwives. There was a wealth of information that was really useful especially the tools for birth. "
"It was very well structured and very informative to someone who was very sceptical at the beginning. The key parts for me were the breathing control and giving me the confidence to support my partner. The trainer was very good, very clear, was not judgmental and encouraged questions - the delivery of course was excellent."
"Thanks for a great 2 days. It was really useful for me to understand about the phases of birth and how to deal with the medical team and being given an important role in the whole process. I particularly enjoyed the hypnosis sessions and felt very comfortable asking any questions and talking about my fears"
"Understanding the physiology in plain English was great - it made me realize how natural it is and that relaxing is going to be far more beneficial than panicking"My related qualifications & Associations
From Jan 2014 Hypnotherapist, Diploma in Hypnotherapy (GSC)
BSc Midwifery (First Class)
Dip HE Antenatal Education
NCT Licence to Practise as an Antenatal Teacher
Registered as midwife with Nursing and Midwifery Council
Member of the Royal College of Midwives and ARM (Association of Radical Midwives)
Journal subscriptions to MIDIRS and The Practising Midwife
Member of National Childbirth Trust
Registered with FEDANT