“We were lucky enough to be blessed with a little girl on February 21st, Isla Belle Roberts was born at RPA at around 12pm.
I love receiving positive birth stories – it’s why I do what I do. To know that other women have experienced really powerful, beautiful and amazing births that leave them feeling like they would give birth again “a million times over” is what it’s all about for me.
Check out the wonderful birth story of baby Ernie and read how his mum and dad have been telling everyone how great his birth was!!
You’ve been on my mind too, it’s been a very full few weeks but I’ve been dying to let you know how we went with the birth.
Little Ernest Dilanchian was born at 2.58am on Sunday the 4th of feb – my birthday!
I’d started having contractions on Thursday evening, they progressed over night, Sevi and I taking turns to time them, then died off during the day on Friday. I kept in contact with my midwives at the birth centre and kept listening to the affirmations and meditation music to get me through the nights. F
riday day came and went, in hindsight now I can see how I could have helped the process progress through the days but TBH I was happy to sit quietly with my husband Sevi and enjoy Netflix, recuperating from no sleep the nights before! Friday night the surges were regular but still 20 mins apart and then on Saturday things started to progress, I spent a lot of time in the shower and on our exercise ball, saying my favourite affirmations over and over in my head – in particular “my body and my baby know how to work together” and “every surge brings me closer to my baby”.
Around 11pm on Saturday night I started feeling like I couldn’t manage the pain on my own so asked if we could come into the birth centre. We went in, I was given a panadeine and a sleeping pill as I was only 3cm dilated and we came back home to see if we could keep riding it out. I was at this stage in the shower constantly, Sevi was napping as we didn’t know how much longer we were in for.
By midnight I had a strong urge to push so we made our way back to the birth centre. My favourite midwife was there and she had the bath ready for me to get straight in, which I did. I was vocalising a lot by this stage, Sevi and my midwife we quietly encouraging but I was in my own zone.
At this point I remember being incredibly aware of everything happening in my body and not feeling pain – just incredible power with each surge. Pretty much within an hour of getting to the birth centre again I was giving birth to my baby boy!
My midwife reminded me to hum so I wouldn’t lose my voice which I am eternally grateful for and I hummed him out in the bath, on my knees. I can remember the crowning being a sharp feeling, but I focussed on my baby and imagined him moving downwards. The affirmations were running through my mind every time I felt myself being overwhelmed.
All of a sudden he was slipping out and I scooped him into my arms. It was the most incredible experience and I would do it a million times over.
Sevi and I both tell everyone how amazing the birth was at every opportunity! I wanted a water birth and I am so thankful that it all went to plan, and honestly I have you and hypnobirthing to thank. Can’t wait to catch up in person and talk it all through, Ernie would love to meet you.
Thank you so so much for your sessions and for staying in contact, I will be forever thankful!”
Victoria – Mummy to baby Ernie!
Below is the birth story of the gorgeous baby Clara who is one of the few babies who actually arrived on her due date!
Here is her hypnobirthing superstar mum Holly writing about Clara’s birth…
The absolutely adorable baby Alfie was born recently and here mum Emily talks about how her planned vaginal breech birth was going so well but ended in a caesarean birth, yet that didn’t stop this hypnobirthing star from having a very positive and inspiring birth….
“Hi Kerry. Sorry for the delay, just thought I’d send some pictures and info on the birth of Alfred (Alfie) last week. I can’t believe he’s already 9 days old.
Thank you so much for your guidance and support with our breech baby. I really think that if I hadn’t done the HypnoBirthing course I’d have rather different feeling about the outcome of the birth. Apologies if I’m repeating myself on what you already know regarding the birth story.
On Friday 19th Jan after our follow up session I’d prepared for a house warming party at ours and thought about the new affirmations we discussed. At the end of the party I felt a small amount of liquid and wondered if it could be my waters. Although the amount was negligible, it definitely wasn’t wee or discharge and it kept coming every time I moved (but like I say, it was a really small amount). I slowly started to move people out of the party and pulled my husband aside, asked him to put down the beer in case we needed to go to the hospital. I remember at first thinking, ‘oh crap, what do I do, there are people in the house, I’m tired, I need to clean up, this isn’t supposed to happen for another week or so!?’
Then I immediately smiled and though, if this is it, this is it, bring it.
After clearing out the house at about 11pm I called the hospital, as we were attempting a natural breech birth they’d asked us to give them a shout as soon as we thought we might be in labour. The hospital staff were really relaxed and said to come in and they’d check me out to see what’s going on. Chris roughly finished packing the bag while I sat and relaxed. I told him not to bother with half the stuff as i felt like I’d be coming home in an hour or so anyway. We took an uber to the hospital and as I got out of the car I took 2 steps when my waters really really broke. There was no question or doubt in my mind then, baby was enroute. Despite having a laminated hospital bag packing list, we of course forgot half the contents. With a natural breech attempt they like to monitor any contractions and bubs heart rate continually on mobile devices to check all is in order. So they had me tucked up in bed with a cup of tea and some monitors. At about 2:30am I think I started to feel some contractions which came about every 10minutes and I managed to sleep in between each one. Having downloaded the HypnoBirthing tracks onto my phone I found it really helpful to have them playing through the night. They really kept me relaxed, especially the affirmations. Relaxing into each contraction I felt in control and content that my body knew what to do.
By 7am they were coming every 5-7mins and felt stronger but in my docile relaxed state I don’t really remember. I let the midwife know things had ramped up since I was admitted and they got me going comfortable in the delivery suite advising that the breech specialist was enroute and there were two breech attempts happening that day.
At 08:30am I was examined and was 4cms. My husband had set up the room into a relaxed environment and was launching into some light tough massage which really helped. However, we’d forgotten the heat packs.
Just when I was getting into my ‘marathon mindset’ things sped up. A lot. Maybe I should have prepared for a sprint? By 11am I was at 10cm and was ready to push. Breathing and vocalising through each surge really helped but I could tell the endorphins had kicked in. Everything else was still and it felt like i was only concentrating on 1 thing which was getting through each surge. Saying to myself, ‘if I got through the last one, I’ll get through this one’ helped although I was surprised how quickly they’d ramped up. At one point I said I couldn’t do it, not recognising that I was in transition. I asked for gas, had one blow and spat it out, I think it was easier with nothing.
Once I’d started to breath the baby down things felt quite different, slower and more time between surges for which I was thankful for. The drs were very hopeful and commented that everything was ‘textbook’. I even felt my baby’s bum with my hand which was encouraging. However, the babies heart rate began to drop and very quickly the specialist advised I was going to be taken in for a cesarean. I don’t remember much else, other than feeling like I totally trusted the team to make the safest decision for my baby. The babies heart rate dropped again and there was no time for an epidural. I was put under general anaesthetic and my baby was delivered at 12:07 without me even being awake or my husband in the room.
None of that mattered, my baby boy was healthy, happy and safe. When I awoke 2hrs later I was united with my baby who immediately fed and settled on my chest.
HypnoBirthing really helped me ‘calmly accept whatever turn my birthing took’. If I’d have known that my first birthing experience would have ended like this I’d have never believed it but it was still a positive experience. Just to have my boy healthy and with me is all that matters. I’m not going to pretend that being rushed into theatre isn’t traumatic. Hearing words fly around like ‘don’t push, no time for epidural, we need to get her under now’, are things that will stay with me but trusting the medical team looking after me I truely feel like birthing was a positive experience. No I didn’t have my dream water birth surrounded by candles, letting the surges pass silently with my husband at my side for the delivery but I got my baby, healthy, bright eyed and hungry. It doesn’t mean that I can’t aim for that next time.
Thanks again for your support. I have been recommending your course for my prospective mums-to-be in Sydney.
Best, Emily & Chris.”
Giving birth at home used to be the norm. Whilst the majority of births today take place in a hospital, with the right support, knowledge and preparation, giving birth at home can be the most amazing and empowering experience. Here mum Azure talks about the home-birth of the gorgeous baby Archie…
“On 4th August 2017 I woke up at 2:30am having Braxton Hicks. As I had experienced this all pregnancy I didn’t think much of it. I’d had a couple by 3am and started thinking to myself I wonder if today is the day. By 3:30am I started pottering around and knew it was the day. My husband Dan came out of my toddler Mia’s room and asked what I was doing. I told him we would have a baby today! He said ‘should we fill the pool?’. I said no and that he should go back to sleep for now. I turned the lights on in that space and listened to my Spotify playlist which included ‘I’m not afraid’ and ‘I feel it coming’. I waited until a decent hour of the morning, 4:30am, to text my midwife Jo Hunter saying it reminded me of 10 hours before my daughter Mia was born. I was scared and in denial of becoming a mother of 2 under 2 all pregnancy! I only accepted that this was actually happening at around 3am!
My next job was to set up the go pro. I had read about having a labour project, that was important – well it sure did take my mind off the surges. It was possibly the most frustrating hour of my life and I was using Wi-Fi so I had to swap over into my downloaded The Hypnobirthing Mum tracks from our private Hypnobirth course. I became quite passive aggressive with the affirmations like “I am calm” because I wasn’t feeling so calm dealing with technology.
Mia, my 23 month old toddler, had been waking upwards of 10 times a night for most of her life, yet this night she didn’t wake up at all until 6 o’clock in the morning calling out for a breastfeed. I lay with her hoping to get another hour out of her. Due to vaspospasm and aversions I usually breastfeed with gritted teeth and curled toes, however the surge of oxytocin amped things up so her painful latch was the least of my worries. I texted Jo letting her know that I was starting to struggle during the contractions. I didn’t want her driving all this way in case it faded out. I was conscious of peak hour traffic prepared in the pregnancy in case she didn’t arrive prior to the birth. We got up and Mia and I played between surges, during which I’d run to the loo, my position of choice. I texted her again asking her to come now, mostly for moral support as my waters hadn’t broken, something they did when I was 3cm 41mins prior to Mia’s birth.
My waters broke at 6:30am. Now, in addition to pressure in my back and belly, they felt like someone was trying to fit a triangle shape through a circle. It was becoming harder to play in between surges and Dan was torn on who to look after so I asked him to text my mum, who moved from Brisbane to three levels above us, to come take Mia. I was a little bit disappointed that she would miss the actual birth, but I think she knew what was happening which was important to me. I guess this is why people have doula’s, to tag team baby sitting and birthing woman’s support with hubby!
At 7:30am I was then able to relax a bit more knowing little Mia would be happy with her grandma and Dan could focus 100% on me. It was clearly transition as I started to get demanding, barking instructions for ice each surge like in Yoni Yoga Birth Couples yoga preparation for childbirth class. ‘How did he not know what I needed’ I thought? ‘I need to push’ I told him, thinking to myself omg Jo isn’t here yet! But I knew I could do this if she didn’t make it! And of course a few surges later she arrived and I had a wave of calm, something I felt every time I met with her, even if I had a rough time with Mia’s sleep or work dramas. I really started to lose control, Jekyll and Hyde style. Why did I choose home birth? I then rationally thought it would be the same pain if not worse in hospital with less oxytocin. Then I had a bit of a reprieve and asked if I had the purple line up my bum, she said ‘yes you do love’…I wanted so badly to ask for a quantitative answer to correlate with dilation but knew to trust the process. I was flipping around the birth pool like a maniac trying to get comfortable in vein, then thought maybe the baby was descending? I should try feel his head! An inch or so away gave me great hope! But moved back up after each push which was cruel and something I hadn’t experienced but had heard of. Jacqui arrived at 8:15am (I never expected her to make it as my daughter’s labour was 41mins) and I again felt so much love and support and simple encouragement from everyone. Once his head was out I felt like I wanted to pull his body out with my hands but just gently guided him. It was much slower than my daughters 3 pushes which makes sense now we know how big he was comparatively. And then he was here! I did it! We had another baby! Oh look its an anterior tongue tie…
One of my favourite things about this birth experience was not being rushed. It was really important for me to birth the placenta naturally using gravity as my wish was denied last time for no medical reason which was the most painful part of her labour and delivery. My husband Dan said seeing my strength through the birth was such a powerful experience he asked, ‘How could we not do this again?’. I thanked him for unlearning societies conditioning on the safest way to bring babies into the world over 9 months and becoming so informed. He watched many videos, read articles and talked to other Dad’s at Homebirth Access Sydney’s Dad’s night out! One of Jo’s other clients said it best, ‘thank you for your unwaivering support, your compassion, your calmness, your involvement, your empathy…just thank you’.”
Azure Rigney is tandem breastfeeding 2yr old Mia and 1mo Archie. She had fertility treatment to fall pregnant with Mia and after finding out about MTHFR midline defects such as ties, diet and life style changes…surprise Archie! Azure is currently on maternity leave from the Army who she’s worked with for 7 years, almost as long as she’s been with her hubby, Dan!
Many women use water either during their labour or for the actual birth of their baby. Here is the beautiful account of baby Maya who was born in the water…
“Welcome to the world Miss Maya Joy Settecasse… born 8.09pm on Monday 16th October 2017.
Your due date was Monday 9th October, and that date passed. Then Friday the 13th rolled around and we thought that you might match your brother and come on that day. Nothing! I guess you were cosy inside. However I did feel like you were very low, and that my body was doing lots of cramping and tightening, so you must be close.
You were such a strong and vigorous little baby the whole pregnancy… then at almost 1 week overdue, you decided to have a bit of a rest and make me worry that you weren’t moving enough.
Monday 16th I headed into RPA’s birth centre for my 41 week appointment and a sweep by the midwife. I mentioned that I had to lie on my side to feel you move on the weekend, and that comment was promptly followed by a half hour heart rate scan (which was all normal) and a full ultrasound (which was also perfect). I headed back to the labour ward obstetrician with the results, thinking they would send me home and all was good, but the young obstetrician and her colleague were not going to let me go home. They wanted this baby delivered today. They threw a few really comforting words out there like ‘risk of a dead baby’ etc, which made me more mad than anything else, because I know how scare tactics are used to get women to comply with doctor ad hospital protocol. It made sense that if the placenta is tired that bub could also be tired, but they didn’t need to be so threatening – after all, I was there on my own and already had that anxious feeling of being overdue. They said because I was already 2-3cm (possibly because the morning’s sweep had already taken effect) they could break my waters and see how we go. They were quick to point out that if I wasn’t in full blown labour within four hours of the membranes releasing that I would be put on a drip, and therefore a waterbirth would be out of the question. Very keen to speed things along, they also wanted to break my waters right there – before I had a chance to call Paul or even contemplate that I was having a baby today. I gathered some strength and asked for ten minutes to call my birth support team and make sure they were on their way. They hesitated and said that yes, call them back to the room when i was ready. Phew! Something is going my way, they listened. I felt a bit of strength coming back and less vulnerable than ten minutes ago when I felt a few tears coming on. It didn’t matter (I comforted myself), we were having our baby so I tried to stay excited and not worried. I called Paul and told him to bring all our stuff in and leave Diego with his parents and explain to him what was going on. I called Astrid my birth support to make sure she was also on her way. After that I felt a little more relaxed, so even if things started to happen really fast at least they knew where to find me.
To my delight, a friendly birth centre midwife appeared to ask how I was and see if I was ok. She said she would break my waters, then hand over to a new birth centre midwife who would stay with me in the labour ward until I delivered. I couldn’t believe my luck – it really didn’t matter to me where I gave birth, but to have someone on my wavelength with the best natural intentions for me in the same room was a great relief. She pulled out the good old crochet hook, stuck it up the ‘vagina pipe’ (as Diego calls it) and broke my waters. Just like wetting the bed really! I padded up and stood up, then was shown to a great big delivery suite with the most amazing view of fig trees outside. I sat down and again took a few breaths to think about getting excited to meet my baby today. I smiled and looked at these beautiful surroundings and was very grateful that the level of care in Australia is the best in the world. Not much later Paul arrived – another relief. He distracted me with stories of what crazy Diego was up to that day. I got back on the bed to have a cannula put in my hand incase I had blood loss like my last birth – something I was told would happen so I was ready for it. They had a few goes at getting a vein, which was gross and painful. One midwife and nurse tried and failed, then they called an anesthetist to do the job properly. At the time I was cursing, but actually this delay was fortunate because the new midwife Michelle arrived, and immediately said ‘um – hang on a sec, can you please put that in her forearm? She will need her hands during labour so I would prefer it was in her arm.’ Yes! I loved Michelle immediately! Assertive but not arrogant.
Michelle, Paul and I chatted about Yorkshire tea bags and Nannas and parts of England, then she suggested we go for a big walk and check back in an hour later. She explained she would be with me the whole time, and that she only had a six hour shift (gees that doesn’t give us much time I was thinking). She also made my day by saying I could give birth in the bath (she must have read my preferences in my file), because the heart rate monitors were waterproof.
Astrid arrived armed with the most amazing almond meal muffins, so I grabbed a few in hand and we all strolled around the oval near the hospital. I was seriously waddling by this stage, like her head was in my undies. The surges had definitely kicked in. No more period pain like the last week, this was quite central inside me and enough to stop me walking A few minutes apart. We stopped, surged, laughed at how ridiculous we probably looked, chatted and walked, until I thought I better head back inside and sit on the loo. Just like all the books say, my body needed to purge itself for the final stages.
We cruised back in past Michelle, and I had a big smile on my face. She didn’t even have to ask me what was happening – she knew I was surging strongly and very excited. We put on the hypnobirth affirmations track and I got changed into a couple of sarongs. This was it! Finally! I’m in it now, listening to the same track I had been practicing and visualising to for so long. MIchelle suggested I bounce on the ball and rub my nipples to fully get my body going strongly, but every time I sat down I needed to get back up again and lean on the bed and sway to get through a surge. I had a sarong over my face and leaned into my hands and breathed through the surges. I had clary sage on the sarong, and a bit of ylang ylang too. Michelle came over and put a few fingers on my belly to feel what was going on. She said to me that her shift finished in five hours, and that she really thinks she will be delivering the baby! Yes! That was such great motivation to keep doing what I was doing and let my body do its thing. Astrid and Paul took turns getting me drinks, holding my sacrum and hips. and applying the heat pack to my lower abdomen. The breaks were so nice – I stood up, smiled, talked to Paul and Astrid about how they felt, then got back in the zone and leaned over again. That worked well for ages – possibly over an hour, but then all of a sudden I had two back to back surges, and the intensity ramped up.
I moved over to the padded floor mat and got on all fours to get some pressure off my legs and feet. I swayed a bit and got my team to again press my back. During each break I just sat back on my heels and sipped water and got back in touch with my surroundings. I drifted in and out of listening to the affirmations, but every now and again I would catch a really good one that settled my mind and brought my tone and breath back down. I was making soft low noises through surges. I had in my mind I might try to be silent, but I thought the sounds were helping me and not taking away too much energy.
The pressure was moving into my bum a bit more, and was again intensifying. I recognised transition when I loudly pleaded for Paul to tell me where he was. Like a really brief moment of panic or something. He assured me he was right here beside me. Paul had the bath all ready, but I was waiting for the right time to get in. I think this was finally it! I also felt a bit cold so was very keen to get in a warm bath. I asked the team to slowly get my socks and other stuff off so I was ready. I waited a couple more surges to kind of psych myself up for the walk over to the bathroom ( a whole 4m!). I think I surged about four times between standing up and making my way to the bath. I never panicked or rushed, I simply paused and let the surge take its course, and continued toward the bath. Rushing was a really big thing for me last labour, and probably the things I had most worked on in preparation for this birth. No matter how long things needed to take, I was going to be relaxed and okay with it.
Gosh it was good to get in the bath. After so many surges one after another, it seemed like eternity for the first one to come on in the bath. Finally it did. I was in a normal bathing position, and Michelle explained the baths were not deep enough to squat or anything, so I would be semi reclined to give birth. I was not that keen to catch my own baby anyway (…for some reason. I know it looks miraculous in all the videos but I couldn’t see myself doing it) and Michelle would be in the best position to catch her anyway since I was reclined.
Astrid was above my head, putting a cold cloth on my forehead, and Paul was by my side next to the bath holding my hand and giving me water.
Michelle was on the other side, gloves on, and every now and again telling me to trust my body. Her low slow voice was exactly what I needed when my breath got a bit shallow. I did trust that my body can do this, and all I needed to do was be patient enough to let it all happen. It was going really really well so far and I had my peeps around me, and the knowledge from the hypnobirth course. I kept thinking about the uterus pulling and stretching up behind my baby. I also knew the heart rate was perfect so I felt very safe. The warm water and walls of the bath made me feel so at home and comfortable. The room was nice and dark and the team were all in good spirits. It was awesome.
Michelle suggested we get the camera rolling, and Paul started to get some clips of the surges. I then heard Paul say ‘shit, it’s telling me there’s no more memory.’ After many conversations about freeing up phone memory last week, I really had to breathe through not killing him at this point. Quick thinking Astrid suggested he delete the deleted folder to make space, and we were back in business.
I asked Paul if he was ready to catch some poo, and Michelle reminded me that this was just the feeling of baby really moving down the birth path now. How frickin exciting! The next few surges were really something else… more stinging around the vagina and cervix and I felt like I needed to move my legs apart more. I didn’t want Paul to hold my hand or touch me anymore. After the next surge Michelle said she could see the baby’s head! The next few breaks in surges I swore a lot under my breath because they really stung. Paul gripped my left ankle really tight through surges (something I heard in an American hypnobirth track), and that was helping take my mind of the burning sensations.
The team saw the head almost out three times in the next three surges. I breathed through them all. Michelle explained that the water makes bub slip back in, so if I wanted the head to fully come out I could bear down or push if I wanted. Yes, I really did want this baby’s head to come out, I was ready. So with the next surge I kept the bearing down going as long as I could and made some noise – finally – the head and chin were out under the water! Astrid and Paul were saying ‘wow’ and well done, and it was so close and so exciting – the last few hours had absolutely flown by. I asked if she had hair and they confirmed she did. She was facing down still. I think I used the next couple of surges to get myself ready for the actual birth and to meet her. Yep – this was it. The next surge I really bore down and used my arms to prop up and bit and move my legs even further apart. I made even more noise and SLIP! Michelle grabbed our baby and brought her up and onto my chest. We heard a few good cries and she was truly born into this world. An extra midwife that Michelle had called at the last minute rubbed her a bit with a towel and put another warm towel over her. Paul was crying, I couldn’t see Astrid. I was catching my breath for the emotion, and kissing her wet slippery head and saying hello. My eyes were all blurry and teary. Her wet little body was just perfect. The feeling of relief was incredible. After the worry of the morning and the awesomeness of the labour, and to have her in my arms was another level of satisfaction.
I was promptly helped out of the bath in case bleeding was bad, but the whole time they held her against my chest which was beautiful. We dried off and lay on the bed while a saline drip was put in. I was still surging, and Michelle helped me deliver the placenta fairly soon after. This was easy – I had heard that this could be quite full on but it was nothing. Almost ten minutes after the birth, Paul cut the cord and Michelle got to work putting a few stitches in some minor grazing. Another huge relief to know my body had done its thing and me staying relaxed had obviously helped the perineum stay in tact.
This next hour was really precious – as Paul Astrid and I admired the little creature and patted each other on the back. And drank shite loads of fluids! She was sucking her thumb vigorously so I helped her over to my nipple and she sucked for ages on the left then on the right. I had been getting some colostrum before the birth so I think she was happy!
Michelle asked me about names, and I said that Maya was on the cards. She said it was a sign, because Maja (one of my favourite midwives) was about to come in and take over! Yes that was the final sign I needed to confirm Maya as her name, but I waited until the next morning to decide anyway.
Maya was weighed and checked, Paul bought me in a huge burrito from Newtown, and I was able to get up and have a shower by myself – which compared to my last birth was an achievement in itself! I felt so healthy and powerful.
I couldn’t sleep that night I was so excited about her arrival and so happy that I had really achieved what I had set out to do, and that was to deliver naturally and all by myself with nothing more than mind power, knowledge, preparation and the right support around me.”
It has just occurred to me that 5 years ago today I was “due” to have our first baby! Little did I know then that (in a further 10 days time) I would be giving birth and it would be the most wonderfully empowering experience of my life!
I am so thankful that I stumbled across hypnobirthing because up until that point I thought birth was an extremely painful and agonising event that I just had to get through if I wanted to have a baby.
But once I found hypnobirthing it made so much sense to me. In every other aspect of my life if I have an important event coming up – a job interview, moving house, starting a business – I put plans in place to make this transition go smoothly. So why hadn’t I been doing anything about preparing to give birth and meet our baby?! I don’t mean preparing for a baby in terms of getting ready by buying all the items they need, I’d done plenty of that and like many first-time mums had got carried away buying lots of cute things that I didn’t actually know if I needed or not. It was the actual physical act of giving birth that I had done nothing about, I was literally going to turn up on the day and hope for the best because I didn’t know there was an alternative.
Hypnobirthing gave me both the practical techniques and strategies to manage the birth that awaited us and also the mental and emotional confidence to go into birth feeling like I was made to do this. And I WAS made to do it! I distinctly remember saying after Hollie’s birth that “I would do that again today”! And that attitude carried through to the births of our other children Bethany and Jack, who by the way were also “overdue” by 12 and 8 days respectively.
Since training as a Hypnobirthing Australia™ practitioner I have become more informed about due dates. The course I initially did to prepare for my baby’s birth wasn’t anywhere near as comprehensive and informative as the Hypnobirthing Australia™ programme. Prior to this I wasn’t even aware that a normal length of pregnancy was anything up to 42 weeks gestation.
So 5 years ago I did find myself feeling a little sad and admittedly a bit nervous about the fact that my baby was going to be “overdue” if she didn’t make an appearance today. Thankfully I had caregivers around me who were happy to mindfully watch and wait for baby to decide when she was ready to make an appearance. Baby was doing well and there were no indications that they needed to intervene at this stage – or at any stage over the next week and half.
And as a result of this approach, our firstborn Hollie decided that on this day 5 years ago, she wasn’t ready to be born yet, John and I would have to wait another 10 days until we were to meet – but her and the birth she gave me were more than worth the wait!
If you’d like to find out more about due dates then some useful articles to start with include:
Kerry – The Hypnobirthing Mum
This weekend will see thousands of people taking part in the Sydney Marathon and it occurred to me this week how often I use the analogy that preparing for birth is like preparing for a marathon.
I won’t lie, giving birth is a physically and mentally demanding event. And like I tell the women and birth partners who attend one of my hypnobirthing and childbirth preparation courses, it is wonderful that they have invested the time and money to come along to the course, but once the course ends the REAL training begins!
Just as if someone who signs up to run a marathon may go to a personal trainer and be provided with a training programme, feel hugely inspired and come away feeling pumped about what lies ahead and their ability to achieve it, if they don’t train in the months leading up to the big race then they aren’t giving themselves the best chance when they line up at the start line.
Woman and birth partners also need to train in the lead up to the day of their baby’s birth – both mentally and physically. Like any other significant life event (and there are arguably none more significant than the birth of your baby) we need to prepare our mind and body for meeting our baby. When you do this using the knowledge, techniques, and support that a Hypnobirthing Australia course offers, you are giving yourself the best possible starting point.
If I continue to use the analogy that giving birth is like running a marathon, I don’t know if your birth experience will be one where you run round the course in a short period of time requiring no support from anyone else and make giving birth look easy, or whether perhaps you will need some assistance from your support-crew, have to stop and walk at times and take a little longer to finish.
But you WILL finish!
You ARE going to cross the finish line!
And whilst there are no medals for giving birth (there should be right??!!) the prize you get when you finish is the BEST PRIZE EVER! When you are holding your beautiful little baby in your arms for the first time I want you to feel like the winner that you are!
So please, please, please use the time leading up to the day of your baby’s birth wisely to train your mind and body so you can enjoy the journey leading up to and across the finish line!
Wishing you a beautiful, calm and empowered birth!
Kerry – The Hypnobirthing Mum
Whilst many people who contact me already know a bit about hypnobirthing and know they want to book a course, I often get enquiries from people who are interested but who question “what are the benefits of it and will it work for me, I’m not sure if it is something I will definitely do but I’d like to know more, I don’t know if it will work alongside my current circumstances, I’m interested but my partner isn’t” etc.
Whilst my immediate thought is that I am SURE these people will benefit from the programme (before, during and after their baby’s birth) I understand that some people are uncertain or even sceptical about this approach. Perhaps they have heard so many horror stories from others that they can’t possibly imagine birth being anything other than terrible. Or maybe they have already had discussions with caregivers who are hinting that this pregnancy will end in a caesarean (which is still giving birth by the way!). Likewise, money may be a deciding factor in whether they choose to do a hypnobirthing course and they want to know more before parting with their hard-earned cash at an already expensive time.
There are many reasons why people may feel unsure about booking a hypnobirthing course but so many MORE for why they should!
So when I think about what a hypnobirthing client looks like to me and why they would benefit from it, I think of the following…
- The woman who feels fearful of the act of giving birth – hypnobirthing reduces the anxiety and worries associated with childbirth as fear has a very negative effect to the process of giving birth.
- The people who want to feel prepared and have proven strategies for how to manage the birth – many people go into labour with no techniques or plan of what they can do to help themselves or their baby. With most other major life events we usually plan and prepare for them – why should giving birth be any different?! Hypnobirthing can give you these.
- The pregnant mum who has a birth partner who wants to know how they can support them – there is a significant element of the course designed to show birth partners what they can do to support the mum-to-be rather than feeling like an onlooker who doesn’t know what to do to help the person they love when they need them.
- The woman who is interested in attending a course but whose partner can’t or doesn’t want to – you are more than enough! What you learn on the course could be the additional support you need and remember, you have all the resources you need within you!
- The women who experience anxiety and are worried about how this will impact on how they will cope with childbirth – you will be given techniques to help remain calm, relaxed and focussed, and these techniques can be used before, during and after birth.
- Women who have previously had a traumatic birth and/or a caesarean birth and desperately want to deliver their baby differently this time – we have lots of VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) clients and women who have had previous negative birth experiences who attend classes in order to feel prepared and know their birthing options better this time round.
- To mums who think/know that they will have a caesarean – whether you choose to have a c-section or if it becomes the path your baby’s birth takes, so much of the course can be transferred to this scenario helping you to manage this type of birth. And Hypnobirthing Australia has also pioneered and developed a ‘Positive Caesarean Birth’ course to ensure that ALL types of birth are supported.
- To those who would like to attend but aren’t sure whether to spend the money on a course – hypnobirthing is an ‘investment’ in your baby’s birth. It is an investment in how you will go on to remember that birth forever. You are no doubt spending lots of money already on all sorts of things for baby, but spending money on hypnobirthing is about investing in how they are welcomed into the world – you won’t get the chance to go back and have another go at it!
- The people who are excited about childbirth and who want to make it the best experience possible – the course provides the skills and techniques to help you achieve this and you will see some amazing birth videos to highlight how wonderful giving birth can be!
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but if you see yourself or your birth partner in some of the above, then perhaps it is time to look into hypnobirthing in more detail.
So what are the benefits of a hypnobirthing approach to birth? A recent study evidenced a range of benefits from this type of approach to birth, which showed advantages to both mother and baby including:
- Significantly reduced rates of epidurals and caesarean births
- Less perineal trauma
- Shorter second stage of labour
- Shorter hospital stay following birth
- Reduced need for pharmacological interventions
- Decreasing the fear associated with childbirth
- Less likelihood of newborn requiring resuscitation
So ultimately, my ideal client is anyone who wishes to prepare for the birth of their baby and experience these benefits, OR who wants to overcome some of the issues I stated previously, OR who is looking forward to the birth of their baby and wants to make it the best experience possible.
So that pretty much covers everyone right!!!
To find out more about hypnobirthing, course options, testimonials, positive birth stories, research, related articles and more, then go to Hypnobirthing Australia or The Hypnobirthing Mum and follow our Facebook pages for lots more useful information!
Today I thought I would write about the topic of writing birth stories!
As soon as I became pregnant I instinctively knew I wanted to keep a record of all the little details associated with the pregnancy and birth and immediately started jotting down notes about what date we found out we were pregnant and how we announced the news to family and friends. I continued this throughout the pregnancy – how we felt when we first saw that little jellybean on the screen at the first scan, our predictions of whether it was a boy or girl, keeping photos of my ever-growing bump, and finding little poems that summed up how we felt about our baby’s impending birth.
And then following the birth I wrote up all the little details including the obvious details such as how long labour lasted, what time our baby was born, how much she weighed, hair and eye colour etc.
But subtly tucked amongst our memoirs were the feelings we had experienced – the elation at meeting our newborn, how amazing the birth had been, how well my husband has supported me throughout, and how empowered I had felt! Feelings that before doing a hypnobirthing course I never thought were associated with birth (I had previously imagined I would look back on the experience as extremely painful, emotionally draining, loooooong, and involving lots of swearing). And if I’m honest, even walking into the hospital (unknowingly 10cm dilated BTW!) I didn’t know how things were going to go, I still hadn’t done this before and lacked some confidence about my ability to do it.
But thankfully, as well as spending hours and hours researching what pram and car seat to buy and getting the nursery ready, I had also invested in myself and my baby’s birth. I had spent time (and yes money) on a hypnobirthing course so that I had skills, techniques and knowledge to use during the birth. Things that ultimately reduced the fear I associated with birth and armed me with strategies of how to manage whatever birth my baby would have. Things that subsequently meant when writing up my birth story meant I wrote positively and passionately about how amazing this experience had been! The experience of having my baby, which I knew I only had one shot at and could never go back and ‘re-do’, was now one that I can always remember with a massive smile on my face and more admiration for what I achieved than I have ever had for anything else I have done in my life! I have had 3 different birthing experiences and hypnobirthing has helped me to have 3 wonderful birth stories!
If any previous clients would like to share their birth story (mums or dads) then please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org