Why I became a Natal Hypnotherapy Practitioner
I have always believed that the best way to prepare for the birth of your baby is calmly and positively. Having worked in antenatal education as an NCT Teacher since 1990 in the Bath area and also as a NCT Tutor since 2000, my core beliefs are still stronger than ever. Reflecting back on how I prepared for the birth of my own children together with the honour and privilege of supporting parents as a doula, I know that the philosophy of Natal Hypnotherapy works brilliantly and is one of the best ways you can prepare for the birth of your baby. By supporting women who have used Natal Hypnotherapy to prepare for the birth of their baby and witnessing how calm, confident and relaxed they have been throughout their labour and birth. I decided I wanted to train as a Natal Hypnotherapy Practitioner because it really does make a difference. When I read Maggie’s book Effective Birth Preparation, every page echoed my own beliefs and experience of what enables women and their partners to have a calm and positive birth. It has been one of the best decisions I have made and the joy of seeing the difference it makes to parents as they approach birth and experience their labour, is truly wonderful to witness.
My core beliefs surrounding Pregnancy and Birth
There is far too much fear around childbirth at the moment and I see and hear this in my role as an antenatal practitioner and doula. NH really does enable women and their partners to let go of the negative media images and give them the freedom to embrace the power of the birth process. Hormones play a key role in labour and NH enables you to keep adrenalin at bay and encourages the free flowing hormone oyxtocin, which bathes your baby, keeping you both calm and beautifully relaxed. I truly believe this increases positive and empowering birth outcomes. There is overwhelming evidence to support the benefits to labouring women if they have loving, calm and relaxed birth support. On NH workshops Birth partners learn how to support their partner in labour with a variety of techniques and strategies. Calm and loving support can greatly reduce the need for pharmacological pain management and other interventions that can invariably follow on.
All my work over the last 25 years has been around childbirth and supporting women to give birth feeling calm and confident and with loving support from their birth partner/s. I do believe that the sooner we prepare for the birth of our babies the better. Working with other parents and enabling them to practice and embrace the benefits of NH regularly will promote a far more positive and empowering birth experience for mother, partner and baby.
I believe strongly in women’s innate ability to give birth and feel that they can be inspired by how wonderfully their bodies are designed. They can begin to build up a belief system to increase their confidence in giving birth without fear and embrace the whole experience. The use of language is powerful and can impact hugely on a woman’s approach to birth. If the birth process can be understood, embraced and affirmed then women can approach their births with greater confidence. I believe women need to feel loved, nourished and nurtured if we are to create an ideal environment for her to labour freely. After all, the birth of your baby will be etched on your hearts forever.
I am currently an NCT Antenatal Practitioner and Assessor and have been for over 20 years. I was an NCT Tutor for 13 years until earlier this year. As a Visiting lecturer at the University of the West of England I facilitate some of the sessions on user involvement and the power of language in promoting normality in antenatal education. I am also involved in interviewing prospective midwife students and Supervisors of Midwives. As a member and one of the judges on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity Service Awards I have loved seeing these well deserved awards handed out at the Houses of Parliament to innovative midwives and service users each summer.
My role as a birth supporter/doula for the last 25 years has enabled me to keep my passion for birth alight whilst also keeping it real and grounded. This role has made me aware of how our ever-changing maternity system can impact on a woman’s experience of birth.
Having had an empowering first birth myself in the West London in Hammersmith in 1982, I was inspired to change careers and work with woman and their partners in preparing holistically for a positive birth and parenting experience. I work with parents and midwives in trying to counteract the fear and risk laden approach to birth, trying to reawaken the belief and power we have to birth our babies instinctively and intuitively. My hope is that I can pass on my passion and experience to others.
My first pregnancy was unplanned and I had just signed a contract with Granada Television for a job that I have been coveting for some time. Once I got over the initial shock of being pregnant I read widely and devoured anything I could get hold of on childbirth. I became inspired by people like Janet and Arthur Balaskas, Sheila Kitzinger, Yehudi Gordon, Michel Odent. I became one of their groupies, attending conferences and hanging out at the Active Birth Centre in North London and generally immersing myself in the whole world of birth. There was a new wave of Birth advocates in 1982 with marches and conferences and I enthusiastically joined in. It was a whole new world that I felt drawn towards very quickly. With Michel Odent’s support I was able to arrange an ‘active’ drug free birth at the West London in Hammersmith with the much respected and forward thinking obstetrician Faith Haddad in 1982 and from that moment on my life changed. I was so blessed to have had a wonderful calm hospital birth in a supportive environment using my breathing and visualizations, as well as loving support from my partner and midwives. I went on to have three more fantastically positive births.
I trained with NCT and began attending births as a birth supporter. I strongly believe in the power and benefits of relaxation in pregnancy and labour and the impact this has, not only on the mother and her partner, but their baby too. When I discovered the Natal Hypnotherapy CD’s I began using them in my antenatal and relaxation sessions and could see the benefits of repeated affirmations with the familiarity of the music, voices and techniques. Having the honour of being present at many births where parents have used Natal Hypnotherapy as part of their preparation, I am in no doubt of the huge benefits this has on how they experienced labour. I have been blessed in being present at the births of my three adorable grandchildren.
Please visit www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk for more information on the wonderful benefits of Natal Hypnotherapy