5 years ago today I was ready and “due” to meet our first baby – but she hadn’t received the memo!

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:

https://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/induction-of-labour-to-induce-or-not-induce/

https://midwifethinking.com/2016/07/13/induction-of-labour-balancing-risks/

Kerry – The Hypnobirthing Mum

Giving birth is like preparing for a marathon!

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

xx

Please follow The Hypnobirthing Mum Facebook page and see the courses on offer, read positive birth stories and more at Hypnobirthing Australia.

Related articles:

https://hypnobirthingaustralia.com.au/news-release-a-new-breed-of-champions/

http://www.somabirth.com.au/physiological-birth/there-are-no-medals-for-childbirth/

 

 

Who is the ideal hypnobirthing client?

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!

Kerry xx

Birth Stories

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 kerry@thehypnobirthingmum.com.au

You can also view birth stories and testimonials on The Hypnobirthing Mum website and Facebook pages.

Kerry xx

Why I giveaway a hypnobirthing course on each of my children’s birthdays!

I began teaching hypnobirthing and childbirth preparation courses in 2016 and when my eldest daughter’s birthday approached I made a decision to giveaway a course to one lucky woman and her birth partner. At the time I thought it would just be a nice thing to do, after all, it was through doing hypnobirthing whilst pregnant with Hollie that had ultimately set me off on the path to teaching it to others several years later.

However, I’ve realised that giving a course away means more to me than this.

Yes there were advantages from a business point of view in terms of the giveaway gaining exposure to potential clients and increasing views to my website and Facebook page, but actually the real driving force behind me doing it was that I want as many women as possible to see that birth can be a very positive, empowering and calm experience!

·        I want birth partners to know that there are many ways in which they can be actively involved in the birth and that their input can have a powerful and calming effect on the mum. However, I also want mums to know that they are more than enough and that they have everything they need within themselves!

·        I want parents to know their rights and options available to them.

·        I want to equip parents with the knowledge, skills and techniques for a fabulous birth.

·        I want women and partners to look back on their birth experience as one in which they have researched their birth preferences and made conscious decisions about what they wanted for their baby and themselves – regardless of what choices they then go on to make.

·        I want those little bundles of joy to have as calm and relaxed welcome to the world as possible.

And I want others to have the wonderful birth experiences I had! And so each year on the day we as a family celebrate the births of our gorgeous children Hollie, Bethany and Jack, I will continue to giveaway a hypnobirthing and childbirth preparation course for these reasons.

If you would like to read my birthing experiences you can view them here:

Hollie“I would have given birth again the same day” – born 31st October.

Bethany“I felt confident, excited and was looking forward to giving birth!” – born 3rd March.

Jack“I wouldn’t change anything about the three births I have experienced … each one taught me something about how amazing the female body is” – born 2nd August.

And don’t forget to check back in the lead up to their birthdays to be in with the chance of winning a hypnobirthing and childbirth preparation course from The Hypnobirthing Mum!

Kerry xxx

Why I Teach Hypnobirthing?

I feel passionately about teaching Hypnobirthing to expectant mothers and birth partners because I was once in their situation and I know how much value this technique can add to making it a wonderful experience for mother, baby and partner. Leading up to the birth of my daughter Hollie I felt a mixture of emotions that swayed between excitement at meeting my baby and fear of the unknown. When I thought about the impending birth I tried to dismiss negative thoughts that had built up in my mind due to stories people had told me or from what I had seen on TV or movies with the belief that “it would be fine, woman have been doing this for centuries, it’s the most natural thing in the world!” Yet I had nothing other than these few simple thoughts to help me get through it. In all other aspects of my life if I was about to do something for the first time I would prepare for it, educate myself and formulate a plan – this was what I needed for giving birth!

Hypnobirthing provided me with the knowledge, techniques and strategy that made me feel prepared and confident about going into labour and giving birth to my daughter. And what a wonderfully empowering experience it was! Hollie was born into a calm, positive and joyful environment. The skills I gained from hypnobirthing were useful not just during the birth but also during pregnancy and in motherhood and I used them with great success in having two more beautiful births with my children Bethany and Jack!

Before embarking on a hypnobirthing course I never would have dreamt that giving birth could be so empowering and enjoyable – women everywhere need to be given the opportunity to experience this truly magnificent experience!!!

Kerry – ‘The Hypnobirthing Mum’

xx

Happy Father’s Day!

I wanted to take this opportunity to wish all the dads and dads-to-be a very happy Father’s day!!!

Dad’s (or any birth partner a women chooses to support her) can play a very significant part in a woman’s pregnancy and labour…

Gone are the days when men would stand outside the delivery room and wait to hear about the birth of their baby and then dash off as soon as they could to the nearest pub to ‘wet the baby’s head’! Men, more than ever before, are now taking a hands-on approach to fatherhood and this starts during pregnancy – well, sooner if we want to include conception but that’s a whole other blog!

Hypnobirthing courses highlight the many ways in which a dad can help support, encourage and reassure the mum-to-be before, during and after birth. Men are given practical, realistic and tangible skills and techniques that they can use to help calm their partner and help focus on her hypnobirthing techniques.

At a time when men can often feel pushed aside, after all, the pregnant women is so often the focus of people’s thoughts and questions – “how are you”, “how’s the pregnancy going”, “are you managing to put your feet up”, “make sure you take some time to relax and enjoy your pregnancy” – hypnobirthing courses that include birth partner involvement can reverse this. Throughout our courses we constantly emphasise what the dad can be doing too to feel a more significant part of the journey towards parenthood. Dads don’t have to feel like they are useless, lacking in control or a spare part when they have done one of our courses.

Involving dads in our courses also helps them to travel through the pregnancy and birthing experience in a more united way with their partner, with many couples saying how it helped them to bond not just with their baby but also as a couple.

Dads will learn how to help the mum to go into a deeper state of relaxation and self-hypnosis, be able to confidently and easily give the right prompts during birth to support their partner, act as an advocate for the parents’ birthing preferences, and every mum’s favourite – become the master of light-touch massage!

A recent blog on “Hypnobirthing – a dad’s perspective” can also be viewed here.

So happy Father’s day to all the amazing dads and soon-to-be dads – enjoy your day and keep doing a wonderful job!!

Kerry

xxx

Courses run by The Hypnobirthing Mum in conjunction with Hypnobirthing Australia™ provide both the pregnant women and her birth partner with the skills and knowledge to achieve a calm, positive and empowering birth. Further details can be found at The Hypnobirthing Mum classes and Hypnobirthing Australia.

 

Who is ‘The Hypnobirthing Mum’?

Hi, my name is Kerry and I run ‘The HypnoBirthing Mum’. I feel passionately about teaching hypnobirthing to expectant mothers and birth partners because I was once in your situation and I know how much value this technique can add to making birth a wonderful experience for mother, baby and partner.

Choosing someone to work with to support you in preparing for the birth of your baby is a decision that should be based on trust, confidence and respect, and ultimately you should feel safe working with that person. In order to tell you a bit more about myself, below I have highlighted some of the experience and qualifications I have so you can feel confident in my ability to help prepare you for your baby’s arrival.

HypnoBirthing

I have been there and done it – 3 times!

When I first heard about hypnobirthing I admit I was a bit sceptical although it didn’t take me long to sign up as if there was even a small chance of having a calm, positive and empowering birth then I didn’t want to risk missing out on this! I have had three wonderful births with my children – Hollie, Bethany and Jack – but also found the hypnobirthing techniques extremely useful during pregnancy and following birth. Hypnobirthing provided me with the knowledge, techniques and strategy that made me feel prepared and confident about going into labour and giving birth.

The hypnobirthing courses that I run are certified through Hypnobirthing Australia™ which offers a modern, uniquely Australian hypnobirthing experience to parents and childbirth professionals. Hypnobirthing Australia™ is recognised both nationally and internationally and possesses one of the most comprehensive and inspiring range of birth videos available in Australia. I provide clients with a folio of hypnobirthing resources along with two hypnobirthing albums, an eBook and a practice video.

The programme I run is 12 hours in total and is the most comprehensive, realistic and supportive programme available to mothers and their birth partners that I have ever found. When delivering this course I present the content in an understanding and reassuring manner and feel privileged to support mothers and their birth partners towards a calm and positive birthing experience.

Experience & Qualifications

With a background in Psychology, Counselling and Mental Health, I have worked extensively with people living with a range of psychological concerns.

I have provided high-volume, low-intensity mental health interventions to people experiencing common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety using evidence-based principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I have been lead coordinator at a GP surgery’s counselling team and providing integrative counselling to patients experiencing a diverse range of problems including relationship issues, self-esteem and confidence, mental health issues and bereavement. Within these roles I have experience of liaising and working with GPs, primary healthcare teams, voluntary organisations and have amassed 100’s of hours working directly with clients in either a group or individual setting.

The psychological and physical health of new and expectant mums is now the primary focus of my work.

The most relevant qualifications I have obtained include:

  • Bsc (Hons) Psychology – undergraduate degree, University of Manchester, UK.
  • MPhil Psychology – postgraduate degree, University of Manchester, UK.
  • PgCert APIMH – Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Practice Interventions in Mental Health, University of Manchester, UK.
  • DipCouns – Diploma of Counselling (Integrative counselling), Bolton College, UK.
  • DipNLP – Diploma in Neuro Linguistic Programming, NLP Centre of Excellence, UK.
  • HPCE – HypnoBirthing Practitioner & Childbirth Educator, Hypnobirthing Australia™.

If you would like an informal chat about either the hypnobirthing programme or any other aspect of coming on a course then please contact me.

Kerry

0451 771 723

kerry@thehypnobirthingmum.com.au

IMG_9871

 

What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a holistic approach to birth that prepares the mother, baby and birth partners towards a positive and empowering birthing experience.

The hypnotherapy aspect of hypnobirthing concentrates on eliminating any fears we associate with birth in order to break the fear-tension-pain syndrome.  Alongside the self-hypnosis skills that hypnotherapy teaches, techniques including relaxation, breathing and visualisation are also incorporated so that both the psychological and physical elements of birth are covered. Further to this, people who undertake hypnobirthing are also provided with information regarding the choices they have during birth. Together this provides you with the comprehensive knowledge needed to make informed decisions about your birthing experience.

When a mother and her birth partner can approach childbirth feeling prepared with the right knowledge, information and tools this results in a positive and confident mindset that can lead to the beautiful births that so many women hope for.

Other benefits of hypnobirthing include its ability to create an atmosphere that supports a calm and positive birth with a reduced need for medical interventions. Importantly, the HypnoBirthing Australia™ programme takes a realistic view about birth though and the fact that sometimes medical intervention is needed or even chosen. Whilst many of us may wish for a natural, drug-free birth, if your birthing experience does not happen to follow this route then the hypnobirthing course and its content will greatly assist you in these scenarios too. It prepares the right mindset for a positive birth and the skills it develops can be used before, during and after in order to benefit mum, baby and people around them.

You can attend hypnobirthing classes at any point during your pregnancy. The ideal time is between 20-30 weeks so that you have time to practice the techniques and alter your mindset towards one that views birth in a more confident manner, however with the right level of determination and enthusiasm a mother can attend anytime up to 37 weeks.

All expectant mothers deserve the opportunity to birth their babies in the most empowering way possible and hypnobirthing can help mothers and birth partners achieve that.

Hypnobirthing – a Dad’s perspective

Most things related to pregnancy and childbirth revolve around the mums and babies, but Dad’s shouldn’t be forgotten about – they did play a fairly significant part in kick-starting this journey after all!

Below is an account from an initially sceptical Dad and his experience of using hypnobirthing to support his wife during the births of their three children.

 

“The excitement I had as a first-time dad about meeting my baby was matched only by the fear I had for how they would arrive and the unknown event that is ‘giving birth’. I felt completely out of control and had no idea of what to expect. I was worried about how to respond if things didn’t go according to plan and didn’t really know what I could do to help and support my wife. This was unknown territory for me as in both my personal and professional life I was used to being the person who made decisions, took ownership of situations and generally had things in control.

My wife signed us up for a hypnobirthing course which I was initially very sceptical of and to be honest I would have rather spent my weekend in the pub watching sport.  After a couple of hours on the first day however, I started to buy into this approach. We covered some relaxation techniques and discussed the event of giving birth and I was already more relaxed about the whole thing.

At 37 weeks our baby remained in the breach position so we were offered to either have the baby turned (an External Cephalic Version procedure) or have a planned caesarean. Despite now feeling more prepared about birth my immediate choice was to have the c-section as it took all the pressure off me and would be a medically planned procedure – the easy option for me! My wife however, completely calm about the whole thing and un-phased about the thought of giving birth, opted for the baby to be turned so she could still have the chance to experience a natural birth.

During the ECV my wife used the hypnobirthing techniques she had been taught to relax throughout the (often rough and physically demanding) procedure, meaning our baby also remained calm throughout and was successfully turned.

After I had seen my wife use the hypnobirthing techniques in a real situation my level of nervousness about the big day reduced significantly. When we did go into labour the hypnobirthing techniques were a massive help, with my wife remaining at home until she was fully dilated using only the methods we had learnt on our course and a TENS machine. Her calmness and total control of the situation made me feel completely at ease.  We didn’t have a completely straight-forward birth but the whole experience was still perfect due to my wife’s ability to remain calm and focussed regardless of what twists we experienced along the way.

We have since had two more children and I was genuinely excited for both births as I knew my wife had the skills and techniques needed to help her through the pregnancy and labour.  Without doubt, hypnobirthing allowed us to have three stress-free, calm and perfect birth experiences.

It is for this reason that I would highly recommend the course to both mums and dads as I can assure you that it is time well spent – even if you do have to miss an afternoon or two in the pub!” – John, a hypnobirthing convert and dad to 3!