Hypnobirth – 19-July-2012

Birth Story from Saz C ….

I was really disorganized throughout most of my pregnancy! Our little girl was planned, but as with all major events in life, she decided to come into existence when our lives were very busy. I think my mum was so worried that we weren’t preparing for our little arrival that she almost moved in and decorated the nursery herself at one point.

My lack of preparation extended to being too late to attend any of the NHS classes. At 37 weeks I booked two sessions with a local, private midwife from a personal recommendation. She was absolutely fantastic and my first introduction to hypno-birthing. She lent me a CD to listen to and explained that rather than getting too stressed about the finer points of the ‘technique’, the core idea was to relax and let your body do what it has been naturally designed to do.

The principle of going through labour as naturally as possible really appealed to me as I really don’t seem to react well to any drug, even Paracetamol makes me feel strange! So, while being open to the fact that I may change my mind mid-labour and in the ‘throws’ of contractions, I decided to give the hypno-birthing a go.

I didn’t get on very well with the CD in the end, but downloaded the Andrew Johnson app for my ipod. All you had to do was listen to the audio every day. I felt a little skeptical about attempting to do labour naturally but realized I had nothing to lose by listening and giving it a go.

As the days went by I felt more and more relaxed and convinced that whatever labour faced me with I was going to be able to handle it, the audio seemed to give me an inner confidence in myself to deal with the unknown I was about to face and the pain that I was certain to face.

Anyway, this all happened over the short space of one week. I woke early one morning with (what I thought) was awful Braxton Hicks. These continued all day and seemed to be getting worse. They started getting more regular and more painful, which is when I rang the hospital. Being 38 weeks and still with fairly spaced contractions they told me to hold off coming in and give them another call in a couple of hours. By 6pm I was sure I needed to go and get checked, which is what we did, but was still not entirely convinced I was in labour.

The nurse examined me, confirmed I was definitely in labour and tried to get me to guess how dilated I was. I reckoned only a couple of centimetres…she laughed and said 8cm!

The birthing pool was prepared, I got in and within 3 hours our little one joined us.

I had gas and air in the pool, which definitely help take the edge off. But what truly amazed me throughout the entire process of labour, was that all of the little phrases I had listened to in the hypno-birthing audio were strongly repeating themselves to me in my mind.

Every time I felt a state of panic at the pain, or started feeling scared at what was happening to me, or out of control – the thought that the more I relaxed, the more quickly my body would be able to get on with the labour. I literally felt like I’d gone into a zone of relaxation that my mind was in full control of.

Previously sceptical that ‘hypno-birthing’ was just nonsense, I now really truly believe that everyone should give it a go. It helped me more than I ever thought possible. I felt in control of my pain rather than letting it take over and as a result I was more relaxed and labour happened quickly and smoothly.

Onika was born weighing a perfect 8oz 5lb

Hypnobirth – 21-Sept-12

Inspiring birth story from Clair J …..

I was 38 weeks pregnant and had only been on maternity leave for one week when I was in the living room tidying up and looked down and found my feet in a pool of water!   I instantly thought it was my waters and luckily the midwife was due to come and see me later that morning.  She advised to go for a walk and labour might start in a couple of days.  Nothing had happend overnight or the next day and so I went to Good Hope Hospital to get checked out.  I was advised that it wasn’t my waters and so went home.  The two days that followed that visit to the hospital I had started to loose the “plug” and so was positive labour was going to happen in the next few days – which it did roughly around 7pm Thursday 20th September.  My surges had no pattern to them initially until much later that night.  When by 5am they were every 15- 20 mins.  During that night I tried to get as much rest as possible.  By 9am the next morning I felt I needed to go to the hospital just to get checked out really and to make sure this was really labour!  They told me I was 2-3cm and to go home.  Once home I drank water/lucazade and ate toast only.  I walked around alot, used the gym ball (which was great because it took the pressure off my back) and concentrated on breathing techniques.  My husband was very supportive and we used the techniques we had learned during the hypnobirthing class.  We were both relaxed at home in our own environment and so my labour progressed and my surges were coming every 6-7 mins by 8pm.

We were back at Good Hope by 8.30-8.45 where I was assessed and was 5-6cm and considered to be in established labour and so was admitted.   I was put on a heart monitor because they were a bit concerned about baby’s heartrate being a little high but I was only on there for 40 mins and everying seemed fine.  I planned on a waterbirth and so the midwife then went off to prepare the pool for me.  Before getting into the pool the midwife examined me and found she could feel baby’s head and asked if I wanted her to break my waters which she did, the surges then became alot stronger.  Unfortunately my waters were green and so she advised baby had a bowel movement and so I was not able to get into the pool.  Around 10.30 I was using gas and air through my surges which were every minute and lasting one minute.  My body took over and I started breathing the baby out.  Before I knew it baby’s head was out and was told one last good push would do it …and so baby Toby Elliot was born Friday 21 September at 11.24 weighing 7Ibs 12 oz.

I would strongly recommend moms-to-be to explore hypnobirthing and take classes.  As a first time mom I had watched birthing programmes such as ‘One Born Every Minute’ and attended the NHS anenatal classes which gave me alot of information but hypnobirthing gave me so much more knowledge and power in order for me to cope with my birth which was invaluable and a positive experience!

Celebrities who have used Hypnobirthing

The premise of The Rose Diaries is about the real life stories of real people, not glamorous celebrities. However when it comes to Hypnobirthing, it is all about mindset and that is the centre of any hypnobirth, whether it be a “normal” or “celebrity” mum.

We were delighted to find that Jesscia Alba is a huge Hypnobirthing fan, “The labor was more like meditation,” she says. “I did yoga breathing. I was focused.” She was openly talking about Hypnobirthing on the Ellen Degeneres show and its fantastic that a popular actress is prepared to share the benefits of Hynobirthing with a wider audience. Other celebrity Hypnobirthing mums include Demi Moore, Jade Jagger and Ricki Lake.

There are lots of people that still believe hypnosis is all about waving a clock in front of your face but the Monghan method simply teaches about breathing and relaxation. Celebrities love to endorse products, perfume and clothing lines but if having a celebrity endorse the benefits of Hypnobirthing, then thats the kind of endorsement we like.

One Born Every Minute – Birth Choices

2013 has seen the start of the fourth series of One Born Every Minute on Channel 4. For those that haven’t seen it, the series records the highs, the lows and new lives beginning on two busy labour wards in Leeds: Leeds General Infirmary and St. James’s Hospital.

There is no doubt that it is compelling television but I suspect that a lot of the birth stories selected are chosen based on the background story, rather than the actual birth. So when did giving birth become more about gratuitous viewing than a gorgeous gift?

One Born Every Minute looks at the drama and emotion of a maternity unit, from the perspective of the parents-to-be and the maternity ward staff. There is absolutely no question that the staff are excellent (and at times, highly amusing) but demonstrating medical intervention and simply quite graphic imagery isn’t always the best way to relax and prepare mums to be.

I know a lot of parents who choose not to watch the programme for that very reason.

Having had both a hospital and home birth, I can honestly see the benefits of both choices but ultimately that is what it is. Modern medicine is amazing and we are truly grateful for the advances made but women have been giving birth since the beginning of time. The Rose Diaries are definitely not suggesting that people who choose or indeed need medical intervention are in anyway wrong, we are merely stating that prime time television choose to demonstrate the more dramatic side of birth.

We are here to even the balance. Its all about choice isn’t it?