Something about early labour that every parent needs to know..

I don’t know about you, but I always imagined that as soon as I went into labour, I’d need to quickly make that trip to the hospital to birth my baby.

Relying on things like one of my favourite TV shows Friends or other programmes, hearing other peoples stories – I just assumed that this is how it worked during labour. Get yourself to a hospital quick.

Even whilst teaching, a lot of the families that I work with are really keen to understand their timings – possibly think about when to make that phone call either to ask their midwives to come to their homebirth or head over to the labour ward or birth centre.

Whilst this is important – it really is impossible to say how long your labour will be.. everyone can be so different.

One of the most important things I share with the families that I work with is when it comes to spontaneous labour (this is labour which starts without any form of intervention such as an induction) one of the biggest secrets is to continue doing things that you would do in day to day life for as long as possible.

Make a plan for early labour

Just having a few ideas of things that you can do to keep yourself busy in early labour can really help you to focus your mind on something that you enjoy instead of… woahhh What do we do now? Here are just a few ideas of things that you can do –

  • Bake a cake to enjoy for once your baby has arrived!
  • Go for a walk
  • Grab a coffee… and even more cake!
  • Write a love note to your baby about how excited you are to meet them
  • Yoga
  • A hobby – so many of my clients have done knitting or crochet during early labour
What about using hypnobirthing techniques up in early labour?

When it comes to using your techniques in early labour – its entirely up to you what you do, however, I do tend to say that its best keeping most of your techniques for when labour becomes more established so that you can continue in day to day activities until you no longer feel like you can.

That’s the biggest secret to early labour – keep going until you feel the need to slow down, close the curtains and really let go and focus on birthing your baby.

A First Time Mum Home Birth Story – The Birth of Eloise Grace

Eloise Grace
Known girl
7lbs13
FTM
41+2
EDD 9.2.21
Born 18.2.21

I was feeling so fed up of being pregnant in the final couple of weeks. Everybody had been telling me that they were convinced Eloise would arrive early and so for the final few weeks, I was waking every day expecting that day to be the day.
Just like her mum, she was keeping her own schedule, though and it wasn’t until I was 8 days past my EDD that my waters finally started to break.

I had sought reassurance from my hypnobirthing teacher (Laura) and the Leeds Home Birthing group about how safe I was to decline a sweep and induction after having my 41 week appointment on Wednesday 17th Feb. My confidence in standing my ground had started to waiver, but Laura and the group’s support renewed it and I felt happy to continue to refuse both. That evening, at about 10.30pm, as I was bouncing about on my birthing ball and watching Kingdom with my husband, I felt a little trickle. I went to the toilet and saw a very pale pinkish liquid in my pad and went downstairs to tell my husband that I thought my waters had started to go. The trickling kept coming for ten minutes and we called the home birth phone. They dispatched a midwife to come and check if it was my waters and she recommended I have a speculum VE to check as the majority of the trickle had soaked away into my pad. I accepted this and she confirmed it. She then told me that if I had not gone into labour naturally within 24 hours, my infection risk would be increased and they would recommend I come into hospital for induction. She then went on to do my observations, but didn’t have a BP cuff to fit my (incredibly swollen and already substantial) arm and she was concerned about my BP, so advised me to go to MAC to have my BP taken on one of their machines. In hindsight, I don’t think I needed to do this. I had had my BP taken earlier that day at my midwife appt and it was fine. Plus, I knew I was fine. My temp was normal and I felt perfectly alright. The powerful thing about taking Laura’s hypnobirthing course was feeling confident in trusting my own instincts. My husband and I got into the car with all of my things (just in case) and drove to MAC, where it turned out they had no idea I was coming and didn’t understand why I had been asked to come for no reason other than to have my BP taken. Anyway, all was fine and I was sent home and at 2.30am, I was finally able to climb into bed.

During the night, I slept through continuous period sort pains. I have never been the type to have back ache period pains, it’s always been lower abdominal pain for me and that is what this was. They were perfectly manageable and I slept well. When I did wake, I practised hypnobirthing up breathing, whilst squeezing the lavender bag I was given in my hypnobirthing pack to settle me again. In the morning, I woke up and got dressed and decided to keep myself as calm and relaxed as possible to try and encourage my body to go into labour. I drew on what I had learned throughout my hypnobirthing course so often and it kept me really calm. I sought further reassurance from Laura and the Leeds Home Birthing group on Facebook that I was OK to monitor myself for signs of infection rather than following the recommendation to go into hospital if I hadn’t gone into labour naturally in 24 hours. They were amazing again and I felt confident that as long as I felt ok and had no temperature and baby’s movements were still normal, I would be fine. I didn’t realise that labour had already started. I pottered about doing little jobs as my husband worked from home and in between jobs, I bounced on my ball with my AirPods in listening to Shagged Married Annoyed and my labour playlist (which mostly consisted of 50 Cent, Drake and old school Twista and Kanye rather than relaxations because that’s just my jam 

). As I bounced, I lent on the back of the sofa and rode the waves of the surges (which I still didn’t realise were actually contractions and that labour was progressing) by breathing, keeping my eyes shut and thinking happy thoughts. I danced about a lot on my ball and I felt so happy and calm and relaxed all day with my husband working behind me. He kept bringing me tea, juice and chocolate and rubbing my back and shoulders.

At 5pm, my husband went to take the dog out and as he was out, I felt the surges ramp up a notch. They became significantly more intense and that’s when I realised I should probably start timing my contractions to see if there was a chance I was actually in labour after all. Clueless FTM and all that. I realised pretty quickly that I was in fact having contractions that were about 2 minutes apart lasting for around 45-50 seconds each. I cracked on with folding the washing, breathing through them until Dale (husband) got home again. When he did (at about 6pm), he called the midwives and they said they would be with us ASAP.

Dale went upstairs and ran me a bath at this point and I tried to focus on keeping my breathing controlled and slow. I remember having a few panicked moments thinking ‘how long is this going to go on?’ And ‘how much can I take?’. Dale was so reassuring, though, and he got me through all the wobbles by reminding me to practise my up-breathing and think of meeting our baby girl. I got into the bath and what I thought was my plug came away. It was floating about and I had a bit of a laugh watching Dale try to fish it out. It was sliding all over the place and reminded me of Flubber. I had to get out of the bath after 15 minutes or so because even though the water felt lovely, I couldn’t get comfortable in it. I’m not a small person and the bath is not a big bath. The only position I could be in and be submerged was by laying on my back and it wasn’t nice. Dale helped me out and got me wrapped up in a dressing gown and I decided I wanted to go to bed. I climbed in, covered in lots of fleecy blankets and it was absolute bliss for about 2 minutes, until a surge hit. I couldn’t stay laying down and I had to get up. I did struggle to remember my breathing a bit at this stage and Dale had to keep bringing me back to the Freya app to count me through the surges, especially as they intensified. I wanted to move about. I think I was trying to get away from the intensity of it. Dale got me set up with the TENS machine to help with the discomfort and I found it such a relief. I started on a relatively low setting, but turned it up with pretty much every surge.

I went downstairs and decided to get back on my birthing ball. We had the living room covered in fairy lights and Dale had lit all of the candles. When I had my home birth assessment, the midwife I spoke to said I wouldn’t be able to have candles once they arrived because they carry canisters of gas, but they never ended up being blown out, which is nice. I kept switching between bouncing, rocking, standing, pacing and leaning on the back of the sofa for the next while, until the midwife and a student arrived at around 7.30pm. I remember telling them I didn’t think I was coping very well and I think it was at that point that Dale went to get me 2 codeine from the prescription he had collected for me a few weeks beforehand. The midwife also asked if I would like her to order me some gas and air to be delivered by the hospital, which I accepted. She took my birth plan and offered me a VE, which I declined. I wasn’t interested in knowing how dilated I was and I didn’t want to increase infection risk. Again, thanks to Laura, I felt confident and happy to decline as I knew it was the right thing for me. I remember the midwife saying something about it being quite possible that I wasn’t yet in established labour and that they might leave for a few hours and come back later. I remember thinking ‘Jesus Christ, if this isn’t established labour, I do not know how much more I can take’. It was, though. Very much so. I think the midwife quickly realised that from my behaviour and without the need for a VE because they never left and they got everything set up in the corner as I carried on bouncing on my ball and pacing.

My husband went off and decided to make himself something to eat and even though I can laugh about this now, I wanted to kill him in the moment! He made himself the quickest meal he could find, which just happened to be crab and prawn ravioli (!!?!?) with a garlicky tomato sauce. I was labouring right next to the kitchen and it absolutely STANK. He was flapping about trying to shovel it in as quickly as possible and keep the smell away from me and I was heaving into a washing up bowl. Luckily I wasn’t actually sick, I just felt it. As soon as he had finished, he ran upstairs to brush his teeth so that I could stand to have him near me again.

The next part is blurry and I can’t remember which bit happened first; the bloody show, or being encouraged to go to the toilet. I know that I stood up and was pacing at one point and that the midwife looked at me and said she needed to check me. I looked down and saw that I had soaked right through my pad and into my knickers with blood. She helped me to take down my knickers and there was what looked to me like a huge amount of blood. It was mucus like and clotty. I panicked and asked if we needed an ambulance. The midwife was definitely hedging her bets a bit as she checked it because it really was a lot, but she confirmed pretty quickly that she was happy that it was just my bloody show. I hadn’t expected it to be as much, or as bloody as it was and I did take some reassuring. When she encouraged me to go to the toilet to try and have a wee, I remember feeling irrationally furious that we had moved house just before Christmas from a house with a downstairs loo to a renovation project with just the one toilet upstairs. I huffed and stomped upstairs whilst also still trying to breathe my way through the surges and hanging onto Dale.

Afterwards, I came downstairs and started to feel the uncontrollable need to push at around 10.15pm. I was really baring down. The urge just completely took over me with each surge. This was definitely transition and it made my surges much more bearable as the break in between them was an actual break, whereas the surges I had been experiencing beforehand had been pretty much constant, with no break. The midwife recognised the change in me and sent my husband upstairs to get the shower curtain and all of the towels we had stored for the birth. They set about covering the floor below where I was standing and once they had done that, I felt my legs beginning to buckle. I asked for help to get down onto my knees and I found myself leaning with my arms on the seat of one of the dining chairs and hanging onto the leg of the dining table as I kept breathing my way through. It wasn’t until this point that the gas and air arrived in a taxi. They set it up for me immediately and I was so grateful for it. It really helped me to refocus and calm my breathing and I loved chewing on the mouth piece. I struggled with the midwife being around me and trying to put the Doppler on me to check baby’s heartbeat because it made me really anxious if she didn’t find it straight away. I just wanted to get on with it. I kept asking for reassurance during this final hour that baby would arrive soon and the midwife told me quite confidently at about 10.50pm that she was sure the baby would be born within the next half an hour.

Around this time, the second midwife arrived along with another student. They asked if I minded and I genuinely didn’t. I found it quite amusing that there were 6 of us and a dog in my tiny living room. I felt a lot of relief with the urge to push. I didn’t feel much of a ring of fire. One thing I did find quite painful (no other word for it) was when baby moved back up the birth canal after a surge and then the initial moment when she moved back down at the start of the next surge. That made a sharp ache in my lower abdomen that I didn’t enjoy. Eventually, she stopped moving back up and down again and I could feel her properly descending. The midwife and Dale kept chatting about how much hair she had and it felt exciting that she was so close to being with us. As I was pushing, I was making very loud and guttural noises. In my haze between surges, I kept thinking about our next door neighbours and what it must sound like to them. They knew I was having a home birth, so it won’t have been a surprise, but I chatted to one of them the next day and she said her young teenage daughter was ‘quite surprised’, which made me laugh. The poor girl! After I had pushed out the head and the surge had subsided, the midwife asked me to spread my knees more to open my pelvis and allow for the body to be born in the next surge, but before she could properly finish her sentence, the body was born. She just slid out, almost cartwheeling with her hand over her face and I bent down and caught her. That moment was totally surreal. It was 11.17pm.

I sat back on my heels holding her and I declined the placenta injection, opting to wait for it to come naturally. We did delayed cord clamping and I was having my placenta encapsulated. Around 10 minutes after, my placenta came away painlessly and the midwives took care of it after the cord had turned white. I moved onto the sofa for the midwife to check for any damage and to have skin to skin and try to feed for the first time. I remember being quite shocked by the sensation of suckling at first. I had a minor tear that required a couple of stitches. The midwife handed me the gas and air again and stitched me up on the sofa and my dog Joey didn’t leave my side. He was fascinated by our little girl and his new little sister, Eloise Grace.

Scales were sent in another taxi and the midwives weighed Eloise. She was 7lbs 13 and perfect. The second midwife and student left after I had been stitched up and they were happy all was ok. Before leaving, both told me it was the first home birth they had attended and that it had been a privilege to see and the kind of birth that made them really remember why they did the job, which I found so touching. The first midwife and student stayed for another hour or so to do observations and sat chatting, having biscuits and tea with us as I ate toast. They did say that as it had been almost 25 hours from my waters breaking to Eloise’s birth, they would recommend we both be transferred to hospital for monitoring. I declined because I felt fine and both Dale and I agreed that Eloise seemed perfectly fine, too. When they left, Dale and I made our way upstairs and I showered, whilst Dale settled Eloise. We got into bed and stayed in our little baby bubble till morning.

Do midwives love hypnobirthing? My hypnobirthing lectures with Leeds University

Are midwives into hypnobirthing?

A question I constantly get asked in my classes! And the answer is yes!

As well as my role as a hypnobirthing teacher and doula, I can add hypnobirthing lecturer to the list.

I’ve been working with student midwives at Leeds University for the last two years after they approached me to learn more about hypnobirthing and how they could use it to support people like you.

As part of the lectures I’ve done, I’ve talked about how hypnobirthing works, what I’ve discovered about how it works for the families I’ve supported, how to use it in a variety of settings and some of the techniques which I teach during the classes.

These incredible midwives have a such a passion to support not only people right now but future generations and it’s just really good to see how hypnobirthing is really being encouraged and incorporated in more settings.

I am now offering Hypnobirthing for professional’s for face to face and online lectures as well as publications – please feel free to get in touch for further information.

Has your midwife talked to you about hypnobirthing? How did your midwife support you during labour to incorporate your hypnobirthing techniques?

What can I do if my birth plan changes during pregnancy or labour?

How often is this something that goes through your mind? During pregnancy, feeling really passionate about a specific type of birth and then thinking the words.. What if? 

Early on in my pregnancy with Charlotte, I was really passionate about one specific type of birth.. A water birth. 

Yet I always had this niggle in the back of my mind thinking.. What if my plan needed to change? I just didn’t want to be disappointed if I couldn’t have that birth I knew I really wanted. 

I wanted to feel mentally prepared if things needed to change, protecting my mind was crucial to me.. The more I could protect my mind, the more confident I would feel… so I came up with a plan.. The what if’s plan, one that I would use to stay focused and positive, a plan that my hubby could refer back to and I would be confident that he would remember my givens – some form of optimal cord clamping, skin to skin as soon as possible and finding out the sex of our baby ourselves (best moment of my birth btw..!) 

When my waters broke just before 36 weeks, I felt that it might impact a few of my preferences which it did.. Yet I still felt really content and positive, I believed that my baby was ready, I trusted myself that I could do this.. And I knew that Craig and I were on the exact same page on how to help me feel safe and protected should I need intervention. 

One of the most important things that I teach in my sessions is around having a plan if things need to change.. We talk about what intervention actually is.. Sometimes why its used and how to listen to your gut when choosing what to do next.

We talk about elements of baby care so that you feel confident in what you absolutely want and we talk to our birth partners about creating a plan – a plan that is created and then left at the bottom of the bag and is only pulled of IF needed.

In a nutshell.. It’s one of my favourite affirmations, ‘I take control of what I can and I let go of what I can’t’. We continue to focus on that birth experience you want, focus on how you’re going to feel when you meet your baby for the first time.. All the time knowing that if it’s needed, you’ll feel confident and in control if your birth journey changes.

If you’d like to learn more about my hypnobirthing classes, head to the class page or feel free to secure a space on a session for just a £50 deposit.

Julie’s Positive C Section Birth

On the morning of 5th October 2019 my partner & I found out that we were expecting our first child. Almost immediately, I began to research vaccination options, water births and hypnobirthing.

With the pregnancy becoming a reality, I was unexpectantly scared of the pregnancy, and more understandably, the birth & of not being ready for the big arrival.

Before we met Laura I had it all sorted in my head – I’m having a water birth, hopefully no more than gas & air (but open to all pain relief if needed) and my hypnobirthing.

Simple!!

I was amazed at the stuff Laura was telling us – who knew that you have a right to say “no” to a stretch & sweep? Who knew you could request preferred birth positions?

Who knew that the “traditional”, Hollywood movie type of delivery on your back is less helpful than others? The one that really got me though was this – you can have birth preferences when having a C-Section. I thought she was mad when she said you can still have birth preferences with a C-Section – how much say do you have when you’re
numb from your toes to your chest & in my mind, at their mercy; but she was absolutely right & due to how things panned out, I was even more grateful for having spent the time and money on the course.

My pregnancy was fairly straightforward, however, my baby decided at week 38 during a positional scan she was absolutely not ready to be engaging. She was having too much fun freely floating around in all that lovely excess amniotic fluid; apart from that, her favourite position was transverse – lying across the top of my stomach.

My baby was officially an “unstable lie” due to her constant moving around. The hospital admitted me immediately and booked me in for a C-Section in just over a week’s time. I reached for my hypnobirthing toolbag & for Laura. I used my affirmation cards, lavender pouch, visualisations, breathing techniques etc during peaks of anxiety & Laura held my hand via WhatsApp & calls all the way.

When the doctors were attempting to make decisions on my & my baby’s behalf about how we would move forward if baby did decide to engage, I had the knowledge & strength to say “no” and “I would appreciate it if you would discuss the options with me, rather than decide for me”. Additionally, I had faith in my gut instinct. All of this was thanks to doing Laura’s hypnobirthing course.

I gained further confidence in my approach when I found out a senior midwife was also fighting my corner in the background as she agreed with me.

I wrote down my birth preferences, discussed them with my partner & ensured there was a copy in my file & a spare for me. My partner was prepared and ready to create a bubble for me & him & he knew that I didn’t want anyone else speaking to me or telling us what was going on.

On the morning of my C-Section I asked if my birth preferences had been noted & was told that the team would read it before I went down to the Labour Ward. I was advised that this had been done when I arrived in the theatre. I won’t lie – I was really scared of the spinal but I was able to get into a zone of calm with the help of a hypnobirthing track & breathing with my partner. The spinal was effective very quickly & once all checks had been made my partner created our bubble. This was the last time it would be just us & he reminisced & breathed with me. He helped me to move the focus away from the room, the noises, the knowledge of what was happening to me.

I have little memory of the birth as I was so focused on our bubble which is how I wanted it. I can honestly say that my birth experience was really positive & that was due to what we learned with Laura. I can also report that our daughter’s birth was a positive experience for my partner as he felt he had a role to play.

Not only was he able to create and maintain a safe space for me, he told me the sex of our baby & gave our daughter her first cuddle.

We did it together.

Georgie’s Positive Birth Story – Birthing in a lockdown

I went into hospital to be induced at 41+2 which was really daunting going on my own due to birth partners not being allowed. 

At the point of induction, my waters were accidentally broken which meant I was then admitted onto the antenatal ward, as my surges began to come and I was facing the unknown with the birth of my first baby, listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and focusing my mind really helped, including spraying my favourite calming perfume, to help me relax into it. 

Later that evening I was taken into the labour suite and told I was unable to give birth in the pool, so a change to my original plan, but with the lights dimmed and music playing I created a calming environment, made even better when my boyfriend was finally able to come in. I delivered Indie Sophia Eileen Newman 7 hours later with just gas and air, without medical intervention despite the Midwives and doctors saying I would need assisted delivery as we got to the later stages. 

In my birth plan, assisted delivery really worried me and something I really didn’t want, so I gave everything I’d got by taking myself out of that room, letting my partner speak to the medical team and taking myself to my calming place, repeating affirmations over and over again, and had a natural birth xx

How can hypnobirthing help with the fear of pain in childbirth?

Is this something that keeps going round in your head? ⠀

It’s definitely something that I thought about A LOT when I fell pregnant.. for many years before too to be honest.

If this is something that worries you, I know how it feels. Family and friends trying to be helpful, yet scaring you and telling you that birth was one of the most painful experiences of their lives. Feeling like you can’t turn off the birth programmes – it’s a way of getting prepared right?! Even watching your favourite tv shows, all the mamas are clearly in pain giving birth – it’s just something to endure to get the baby you so desperately want.⠀

Over time, the idea of the pain build-up to the point where you feel like you won’t be able to cope. But I’m here to tell you that it really doesn’t need to be that way.⠀

Most of the pain that women feel in labour is down to tension building up in the body. If you think about it, when your muscles are really tense it makes it really hard for them to work – you need to be the complete opposite, yes, relaxed – in labour!⠀

That way, your muscles can work properly meaning that your working with your contractions instead of against them. ⠀

If you think about a time where you’ve been in pain – it’s worse if you focus on it, isn’t it? So that’s what we have to do, come up with things to focus on.⠀

This is what we do in a hypnobirthing class, work out where the pain comes from and how to create techniques FOR YOU on how to stay focused and in control. Sound good?

I’m on zoom and running private and group classes, drop me a line if you are interested or book onto one of my free hypnobirthing taster sessions. You can have a good birth ?

How did I end up becoming a hypnobirthing teacher after years of fearing birth?

So how did a woman who was absolutely petrified of pregnancy & birth go on to become a hypnobirthing teacher?⠀

Well, the answer is simple really.. I did hypnobirthing and it changed my life.⠀

For those of you who might be new around here, I’m Laura. I’m a 32-year-old mama to Charlotte, I’m from Leeds & a proud Yorkshire mama ?⠀

I’m the LAST person on earth who thought I would become a hypnobirthing teacher. Before being pregnant I couldn’t even say the word vagina without getting shy.. since being a kid I have been terrified of doctors, taking days off work for blood tests because I needed some time to mentally prepare myself.⠀

When I first became pregnant I suffered a lot of pains that doctors initially diagnosed as IBS, after collapsing on the floor in A & E after a blood test a scan revealed I had a 9cm cyst on my ovary – the only way I could focus was by focusing my mind & breathing as well as I could. I knew there was something to be said for focusing your mind. ⠀


When I announced my pregnancy, I was UNWINGLY told a birth story that scared me so much that I feared birth in a way no woman should fear it… my protective instincts had already kicked in & I knew that the way I was feeling DEFINITELY wasn’t helping my baby. That’s when hypnobirthing came along.⠀

By my third trimester, I was a changed woman. I had the confidence to say what I needed, I was excited about Charlotte’s birth & I was determined to prove everyone wrong who thought I couldn’t do it – those people who kept telling me to go with the flow & do as I was told.⠀

With Charlotte’s birth, my waters went before 36 weeks, I was transferred from one hospital to another via ambulance WITHOUT Craig & I had a little tear which resulted in stitches. I’m really not exaggerating when I say that none of these things bothered me, it was ALL thanks to hypnobirthing.⠀

I’ve recently started doing videos on my Facebook and Instagram pages, if you’re not already following me – check them, they are a great way to get more tips about hypnobirthing and get to know me a bit better too!

I’m currently running all of my hypnobirthing classes online via zoom with me offering private classes and group classes. The next online group hypnobirthing class is due to start in July – if your interested in booking go to the course page!

This is a great way to meet other parents to be and particularly if you’re looking for an antenatal class in Leeds or the Yorkshire way – this class is great! That said, you are MORE than welcome to join even if your not local to Yorkshire, that’s one of the benefits of taking the classes online!

My classes will take you from feeling anxious & unprepared to feeling like your superwoman ??

Birthing in a pandemic – The Birth of Wren – A positive hypnobirthing story

There really has to be something said for hypnobirthing and then some more! When I found out I was pregnant I was massively excited but equally just as anxious and petrified. I knew I needed to find something to help me cope mentally and train my brain into a more positive state about birth and labour, as this was something I thought would genuinely be the end of me. Pretty dramatic, but true.

I found Laura’s hypnobirthing classes in Otley at 15 weeks pregnant and joined instantly, and WOW!

I gave birth exactly on my baby girls due date and through these weird and troubling times, I can easily say I had the best birth. All my plans for a home birth / pool birth were no longer an option to me towards the end which threw me a little emotionally, but with daily hypnobirthing practice throughout my pregnancy, I was able to labour in complete control…

Hypnobirthing really does provide women with extremely valuable tools not just for pregnancy but for everyday life and one thing I cannot stress enough is NEVER underestimate the power of breathing!!!!! With using the specific breathing techniques I was shown for different stages of my labour I was able to gain all the control, stay in the right frame of mind, stay focused and in the zone.

If anything, my breathing worked a little too well. So we’ll, that I had been dilated for longer than I thought because I had calmly breathed through my strongest contractions for a long time. In the end, no pain relief or medication was needed and the amazing midwives worked with me, my body and my choices to help deliver my baby safely.

If there’s one thing I can take away from hypnobirthing, it’s how much practicing a variety of simple techniques can give you the positive and controlled birth every woman deserves, wherever you end up giving birth. It also allows you and your partner to work

together affectively as a team. I can’t thank my partner, Joe enough for his encouragement, guidance and the ability to know what I needed when I needed it.

Overall, I cannot thank Laura enough for not only providing ongoing support during my pregnancy and afterwards, but also having the passion and knowledge in hypnobirthing to help encourage woman to take control and be the boss of there own births!!!!

Things may have panned out a little differently but using my hypnobirthing tools helped me to regain the control and positive outcome we all deserve!

Bonny x

The Birth of Alfie – Amy’s Birth Story – A transfer from home to hospital in birth

My first birth was an induction and although not a negative experience I knew I wanted to take back some control over the way I birthed the second time. 

I’d heard a lot of amazing things about hypnobirthing and with amazing timing my lovely friend set up a company teaching and invited us to join. I also downloaded the yesmummum MP3s before attending the course so I could start listening and practising. I did this from 30 weeks. 

At my 8 week booking appt one of the first questions I had for my midwife was a home birth request. She was a bit surprised to say the least and although I didn’t actually get a home birth in the end it was amazing.

I had a full 8 days of contractions every other night for 2 hours. More than once I thought I was going into labour but because I was planning a homebirth we just got back in bed when the contractions died down and didn’t need to travel anywhere.

The hypnobirthing tracks and training from the course were amazing to get through this time which was understandably both frustrating and exhausting! 

FINALLY 3 days overdue the contractions started around midday and didn’t taper off after two hours. I got in the bath where my little girl pretended to rub cream on my bump and tell me baby was going to arrive today.

At 4:30pm I told Gary to take her to grandmas as the contractions were starting to increase and become more regular. At 5:30 I forewarned the homebirth team and 30 mins later asked for a midwife. She came out and did the observations to find both protein in my urine and my blood pressure much higher than normal. 

Despite not having ANY problems previously and being low risk my entire pregnancy I needed to go to the hospital to get checked out. I was worried that my contractions might stop but they carried on regularly on the car journey and we got checked out at the assessment centre.

Whilst waiting on my bloods to come back I was checked to be 2cm dilated, this must’ve been around 9pm and therefore not even in active labour. After all that!!

The contractions were getting stronger and I started vocalising during them. Gary’s hypnobirthing training kicked in and he kept reminding me to breathe through them. 

At 10pm we were told we needed to move to the labour ward as even though my checks came back fine my blood pressure was still high. I used my BRAIN and decided I didn’t want to challenge this, I knew I couldn’t face another 20 min car journey home and if my blood pressure remained high I would just get sent back in again.

At 11pm we got on the labour ward, I immediately turned the lights off and put my tracks on. I calmed down immediately. I sat on the birth ball, used my TENS machine and breathed through the contractions. Gary was an amazing birth partner and kept reminding me to breathe instead of “mooing” through them!

At one point I broke down crying because they were getting more intense and the last time I’d been checked I was 2cm and couldn’t cope with the thought that it was going to get worse than this!

When I was induced the contractions came back to back but this time they remained every 2-3 minutes and just increased in intensity so I thought I was still a long way off giving birth. Again his hypnobirthing training kicked in and he reminded me I could do it, to be positive and keep breathing. He quickly calmed me down and the midwife offered to break my waters and do an examination. This never happened as at 1am I suddenly felt the urge to bear down and I told Gary I had the urge to push!?

The midwife ran back in and announced she could see the baby’s head??? I was in shock, a few hours ago I was 2cm and all of a sudden he was crowning. I asked for gas and air and got on the bed. I immediately said I didn’t want to be laid down and she suggested I turn around and hold on to the back of the bed. My waters broke as he was crowning!

With just a few pushes he was out! 

The adrenaline and shock kicked in, I actually couldn’t believe he was here when a few short hours ago I wasn’t even in active labour?! I cried from the shock and Gary had to hold him as I was shaking so much.  

All in all a MUCH better experience and I really feel hypnobirthing made a massive difference to our mindset and birth. Gary in particular felt a lot more confident in knowing how to help me and he was an amazing birth partner.