Effective Birth Preparation
Read how the Effective Birth Preparation CD/MP3 has helped women.
Birthing naturallly in Portugal
I knew from the start of my pregnancy that I wanted a natural birth, but I live in Portugal where birthing options are more limited than in the UK. It seemed my only viable option was a hospital, with no water pool facilities, or gas air, but at least they didn't try to stop women moving around or giving birth in the position they wanted (as the first hospital I'd visited did.)
I listened to the Natal Hypnotherapy MP3s everyday from about week 30. Hypnobirthing helped me enormously with dealing with anxiety during pregnancy. It also helped me to stay calm and stick to my guns when I went overdue and the hospital was insisting on an induction. Eventually, I had a completely non-medicalised birth, during which I played the relaxing birth music while my birth partner talked me through visualisations and repeated 3,2,1 relax! And it worked!
My plan was to labour as long as possible at home before heading to the hospital, which I did with the help of my birth partner, doula and beloved yoga ball! Eventually at near midnight I was admitted to the hospital, 5cm dilated. I listened to the hypnotherapy track on my way to the hospital and even while being admitted, to be able to stay in the zone. 12 hours later our daughter was born. At no point had I felt fear or anxiety. The experience was intense, but at no point did I doubt my ability to birth my daughter and I'm sure this was because of the hours I spent listening to Maggie in the run up to the birth.
Thank you so much Maggie for helping me have the natural birth I so much wanted to have!
Giving birth to Gabriel T. Mazars Romero By Pilar Romero-Ardoy
Giving birth to Gabriel T. Mazars Romero
On the 21st March around 8pm I started having regular but quite apart contractions, I was 9 days past my due date and had a really big pointing forward belly that made me feel like I was about to tip over all the time. My body and mind were really ready for my son to be born, but baby Gaby was taking his time to do so. From the 7th month my gynecologist took to saying that according to the ultrasound my baby was macrosomic (the scientific term to a humongous baby). I changed Drs because she was being very negative and talked regularly about having to have a C-section or induced labour if the baby kept growing at that rate. The new gynecologists (this time through the NHS equivalent here in Spain) were more restrained but equally adamant about the size of the baby. The effective preparation for Birth CD was invaluable here as it kept me calm and tuned to my instinct keeping all negativity about giving birth to a big baby at bay.
At midnight on 22nd March the contractions were very regular (every 15 minutes). I tried to relax on the couch, took a long hot shower and went to bed at around 3ish am. I managed to get some sleep between contractions, but by 6 am I was too excited to be in bed, I called my best friend (who had prepared with me from week 36 when Django disappeard and I was left without a birth partner) and told her to take her time as the contractions were still 10 to 12 minutes apart. Laura arrived at 8am, by this time I felt that my body was in motion and the contractions had started to be more serious although still 10 minutes apart, I was happy to be at home with my best friend, my pilates ball and my Effective Preparation for Birth and Music for giving birth CDs, time went fast very quickly. I was doing very well, the contractions were intense but as long as I could walk them out and Laura kept saying 3, 2, 1 Relax Pilar I felt in total control. I had not told my parents about my intentions to stay at home for as long as possible, or even about Natal Hypnotherapy, unfortunately we needed to use their car to go to the hospital, and so they had to be informed that I was in labour. They could not understand why I did not go to the hospital and kept insisting that I'd go asap (piece of advice, tell everyone around you about the method you are using and your reasons so that closest to you do not make things difficult by worrying through lack of understanding)
By 2pm my contractions were 5 minutes apart for over an hour and quite intense; I decided it was time to go to the hospital. I remember dreading the ride to the hospital as one important aspect of my pain control was that I could walk through the contractions, I thought the time in the car, unable to stand up and move would be more difficult and painful, but it wasn't. I managed those 15 minutes very well through deep breathing and as I came out of the car at 14h45 my waters broke with a short gush. I felt like I was in a movie and so empowered by what I thought would only take 4-5 hours maximum. When the midwife explored me she was quite surprised to see that I was 3-4 cm dilated, I thought I'd be more than that but I was so happy to be closer to meeting my son that I did not delve on that thought at all. Laura and I worked really hard through the day, we used the CDs, the pilates ball (the hospital had one), the invaluable 3, 2, 1 relax and going to my special place many times, towards the end when I entered the self-doubt phase she helped so much by counting aloud through the contractions so that I could focus on how quickly they came and went. We had glued my Mind Plan on the wall and Laura had all the different techniques that we had prepared written for each phase of labour, this too was so helpful. At first all midwives were skeptical, one of them seemed even insulted with my birth plan and particularly at my insistence that I did not want an epidural. This same midwife made the following unpleasant remark: "Of course it is taking you long to dilate, it is not the same to give birth when you are 26 than when you're 40 years old" Now looking back I figured the unknown methodology plus our peaceful manner and sense of control were too threatening for her and she felt obliged to diminish me somehow. However thanks to the different hypnotherapy techniques my mind did not register such comments until after the birth, so as to not react to them and waste precious energy I guess. Another midwife said she had heard of the methodology but I think she was just saying so as not to look stupid, nevertheless they all left us alone in a room for ourselves with a toilet (but no shower) and the hours went by quite fast, without interruptions by the midwives or Drs. I had a wireless device to monitor the baby's heart so I could move at will around the room, which was very helpful as the intensity of the contractions kept gradually increasing, and the time between them decreasing. By 22h my contractions were 2 minutes apart and they were very intense I could no longer stay in bed for longer than 2 minutes and the constant getting up exhausted me. At 10pm the midwife explored me again and said I was 7cm dilated. I became quite disillusioned and entered the self-doubt phase full on at that point. I had spent 22 hours with contractions to only dilate 7 cm.
The midwives said that they would give me until 1am to check on my progress. At 2am the slow progress and the increased intensity of the contractions made me reach my limit. The contractions stopped altogether. After 26 of active labour, insufficient sleep and high levels of concentration I was exhausted, it felt like hitting the wall when running a marathon. When the midwife came in to explore me at 2am and said that after 4 hours I had only dilated 0.5-1cm I must admit my world crumbled down around me. For the last 30 minutes the contractions had nearly stopped altogether, and I knew that something had to be done. I did not want to hear the word C-section but it started to look like the only option, the gynecologist was also called in because there was now meconium in my waters and the baby's heart rate was starting to slow down dangerously. They proposed to inject me oxytocin to have the contractions restarted and hopefully avoid a C-section. They could not promise this could work, they suggested having an epidural so as to avoid the increased pain with the oxytocin. I accepted as I knew my body had reached its limit and it was now about getting the baby out in the fastest and safest way possible. The anesthetist did not take long to come and in 10 minutes she had injected me the epidural, when she finished she said it would take 15-30 min for me to feel the effects, but I am hyper sensitive to drugs and immediately after she said this I stopped feeling contractions or tension and I laid down to fall into a deep sleep that lasted 2 hours, the midwife woke me up to explore me quickly as the baby's heart was slowing down again, I remembered feeling so rested, full of energy again, I put my hands on my belly and spoke to Gabriel gently, telling him to relax and trust mummy, that we were going to see each other soon. Immediately his heart rate rose again to a normal level, the gynecologist came in and the midwife said it had worked, my cervix was ready and I was the full 10 cm dilated!!! They could not believe it, it had worked!! They tested the baby's blood to see if his ph levels were ok, the explored some more, asked me to push to see if I could do it and when they saw that everything was to their liking they decided that the birth would be vaginal. They got the room ready in 3 minutes, a Pediatrician also came in, I was so happy again my baby was to be born in a matter of minutes. I pushed 3 times and the Pediatrician helped by leaning on top of my belly to push the baby down. After 2 pushes the gynecologist informed me that there was a need for forceps and so after 3 pushes Gabriel was born at 8h37 am on 23rd March 2014. Because of the meconium present in the womb Gabriel could not breathe without having his nose and throat cleared. The Drs were blocking my view as they worked on Gabriel, but Django had a full view, I asked 3 times if he was breathing and 3 times Django said not yet, when I was about to really worry Gabriel cried loud and clear and immediately they put him on my chest. He was a healthy 3.4Kg boy and the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
After the birth my body and mind started slowly realizing all the damage that Django had done to my baby and me, Gabriel found it hard to latch on to feed and he had a whole month of constant crying and not gaining enough weight, during this difficult period the fast recovery and breastfeeding CDs were invaluable. Thank you so much Maggie.
Today Gabriel is 3 months old, he is a thriving, happy baby and he is now exclusively breast fed. Our relationship is strong, healthy and the most beautiful thing that is ever happened to me. I know that I could not have coped with all the difficulties during the last stages of pregnancies and the first 2 months of my baby's life without the help of your wonderful method. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Mil gracias
My midwife was amazed how calm I was without pain relief
"My midwife was amazed how calm I was without pain relief. One of the doctors was sure I had an epidural based on my calm demeanour."
Without natal hypnotherapy i couldnt have coped
I had to be induced as my waters broke but my body was not contracting strongly and there was a risk of infection to me and my baby. I was 5 days overdue. It was not the best start as I had my hopes on a natural water birth in the midwife led unit, but as I was induced it meant I stayed on triage until I was in strong labour and then taken to the delivery suite. I was induced using the gel and not the drip thank goodness and after 3 and half hours I was in established labour.
When the contractions were strong and fast, I used what I had learnt from natal hypnotherapy to focus on my breathing to get through each one, this meant that I was more relaxed and focused and I didn't feel the need for any pain relief. I was sent onto the delivery suite when I was 8cm dilated and was put on a bed to push, which I really didn't like but I was at the point that my body was telling me to get my baby out, which I did eventually. My birth partner and midwife helped me to focus and dig deep to find the strength to do it, only at this point did I have any gas and air.
When I was self-doubting my birth partner repeated the affirmations to me that we agreed on and that I could do it because my body was designed to do it. This did work as I found the strength from somewhere to push harder but the contractions seemed to be dropping off and my baby's heart rate was dropping, at which point I agreed to be cut to get him out. However, my midwife did this in such a way that I didn't feel anything as she did it when I was giving a big push and so I only felt my own pain, once this was done he was immediately out....I was in utter shock, I couldn't believe I had done it, especially under the conditions that I really didn't want.
I think without the natal hypnotherapy I don't think I would have been able to get through it. It really helped my mind to focus on my body and manage the pain.
A far cry from my last birth
Having had a very medicalised traumatic forceps delivery with unsuccessful epidural with my first child I was keen to explore all my options an utilise all methods available to avoid intervention and achieve a calm natural home birth with my second baby. Natal Hypnotherapy was the best investment I could have ever made and when I embarked on my hypnobirthing journey (with the wonderful Instructor Katy Coles-White) I was unaware f exactly how empowering and life changing it was going to be.
Suffering from post traumatic stress from my first delivery, the relaxation tapes and techniques helped me to overcome my anxieties and fears antenatally surrounding my previous experiences and my hopes for this pregnancy and delivery. I was able to confidently choose and book for home delivery and write out a birth plan empowering both me and my husband requesting minimal intervention during the birthing process. My husband was fantastic birth support and with me every single contraction keeping me calm and focused!
A far cry from the panicky unprepared mess he'll admit to being for the first birth. The midwives were fantastic and respected all my wishes and facilitated the quiet, dark all environment I'd requested in my birth plan. I laboured through the night quietly whilst my toddler slept upstairs, called for a midwife once I was ready to use the birthing pool at 8 cm. I delivered my beautiful 8lb 8oz son in the birthing pool at home and have only positive memories from this beautiful life changing day. The techniques used in hypnobirthing to stay calm and in control will stay with me forever and still help me even now when stressful situations arise. I've even used them on my toddler to calm a tantrum! Natal Hypnotherapy really is the gift that keeps on giving!
Confident and in control during the birth
"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 come 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"
Home breech birth
I believe the tools with which Natal Hypnotherapy equipped me allowed us to have the home birth we desired. I wanted to write to you to directly to thank you as I will always be grateful for the incredible benefits of Natal Hypnotherapy.
There was a slight nuisance to my daughter's birth which I thought it may be worth explaining briefly - my daughter was a breech presentation. Breech was not diagnosed until 40 weeks + 2. I had planned a home birth and therefore this potentially jeopardised this. However, after a failed ECV I spent time researching the area of breech presentation, having been told by the NHS that the only option was a C section.
I came across Ruth Atkinson from a google search (and Sandra separately also recommended I speak to Ruth). Ruth had given birth to a breech baby vaginally and she kindly took the time to speak to me and discuss her experience. Ruth put me in contact with Maya midwives who I subsequently engaged to assist with the birth.
Firstly, I believe I would not have had the confidence to commit to a vaginal breech birth if it wasn't for the skills with which natal hypo equipped me. I truly believe my body knew how to give birth and trusted my instincts. Second, I was able to relax with the benefit of the CDs during the stressful period from the breech diagnosis which I believe allowed me to go into spontaneous labour (at 42 weeks). Third, I was able to have a beautiful home birth with no pain relief, other than a TENs machine and massage. It was an incredible experience."
I had the best birth experience...I kept control during the birth
"I had the best birth experience. I was the one who kept control and made decisions during the birth I was able to use the breathing techniques during the birth when I needed it the most. Everything developed so quickly and I was so calm. Again the CDs help immensely during the pregnancy in terms of getting proper sleep and loosing anxiety that I had. I wish everyone a same experience"
I was extremely calm throughout the induction
"At 38 weeks I was diagnosed with Choloystasis and had to be induced. I was extremely calm throughout the induction and went for a walk - had some pain but did not really dwell on it. My husband did not think anything was happening so went to have dinner in the canteen. When he came back my waters had already broken and I was sitting on the edge of the bed ready to go to the delivery suite. It was very quick.
While I was waiting for the birthing pool I dealt with the pain by concentrating on my breathing and by visualising nice places. After being in the pool I was soon fully dilated and my son was soon born. I only had 2 puffs of gas and air as I did not really want it. I cant say it did not hurt, but I managed my pain. I found this birth much easier than my first birth and my son is extremely happy and peaceful - he rarely cries and is a delight!"
The CD gave me confidence and helped me look forward to the birth rather than dread it
"I found the CD a great help both during my pregnancy and through the birth. It particularly helped when I had panicky moments near the end of my pregnancy. The CD gave me confidence and helped me look forward to the birth rather than dread it."
The midwives could not believe how calm I was
"I must be honest, when I first listened to the CD I thought it would do nothing, but something just kicked in once I was in labour. The midwives could not believe how calm I was and in tune with my body. I was so pleased I did not need any more pain relief as normally I take something with the first sign of pain."
I had an extremely pleasant birth experience - nothing like I was told to expect
"Thank you for your wonderful CD! They were threatening induction in the morning so I spent the night visualising my cervix opening and by morning I was 2 cm.I pushed like mad and he came out in one go after 12 minutes of pushing. I had an extremely pleasant birth experience - nothing like I was told to expect. I would do it all again tomorrow."
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