Ellie, Mum :
Our first baby, Lucy Anne, arrived on 6th April & we had such an amazing experience. I was sceptical about Hypnobirthing but so anxious & scared about the prospect of labour (even to the point of considering an elective caesarean at one stage), that I decided to give it a try. I had also heard very positive things from friends & colleagues. We found the relaxations & breathing techniques to be very effective and I practised these lots, together with perineal massage & positive thinking. On the day my surges came strong and regular from the outset. I had planned a hospital birth at Chelsea & Westminster but we stayed at home for as long as possible as we felt calm using the breathing and massage/light touch you taught us. By the time we got to the hospital I was 5cm dilated. The midwife paid close attention to my birth plan and was wonderful at letting us get on with things ourselves with minimal input from her. We used the birthing pool which I found wonderfully relaxing and that's where Lucy was born. In all, my labour was 4 hours long, we used no pain relief other than the warm water of the pool and I felt calm and in control throughout.
Now when I look back on the whole experience I feel such joy and elation, it really was amazing and I can't believe we had the labour we wished for. I'm still not sure how Hypnobirthing worked, but I'm certain it made a big difference!
Since then, we have been advocating hypnobirthing methods very enthusiastically to all our friends & family & will continue to do so!
Aidan, Dad :
Our first daughter, Mary, was born in a large NHS hospital in Hampstead. The antenatal classes had been very reassuring, we'd been to the lovely new birth centre where all appeared to be calm and relaxation. In the event when my wife, Ruby, was first admitted we were directed to the usual maternity unit, I think due to the baby lying spine to spine. I now realise that an experienced midwife could probably have done some simple manipulation to move her into a less painful position, and perhaps we could have used the birth centre after all.
It felt a little as if the rug had been pulled from beneath us, as the antenatal classes had emphasised the birth centre and the feeling that "you are in control". Once we were in the maternity unit it seemed that things proceeded according to the convenience of the staff, which is understandable since due to their numbers the midwives had to split their time between mothers. I think they did a reasonable job in the circumstances, but having a midwife appearing and vanishing from time to time promoted a sense of anxiety rather than calm and relaxation.
In contrast, our second daughter, Kirsty, was born 4 years later at home in Oxford. We weren't quite as prepared as we might have been, as she arrived 9 days early. But we had completed our Hypnobirthing course and practiced beforehand. We had initially planned for my sister to take Mary for the day, but we never quite got around to making the phone call, everything proceeded so smoothly. Mary was playing quietly in her room for the first couple of hours, and eventually came downstairs to find out what was going on, just as the midwives arrived. I think we briefly had four midwives in the room due to a shift change, which was a little chaotic, but things quickly settled down.
Everything about the second experience promoted a sense of calm. We were able to use the Hypnobirthing techniques and play relaxing music, Ruby was in familiar comfortable surroundings, with her family around her. Apart from the initial flurry of activity due to the shift change, we had the same midwives in the room for the entire time. There were no sudden transitions from home, to car, to hospital, to assessment room, to maternity unit, to postnatal unit with overnight stay, to taxi, to home as in the first birth.
The funny thing is, my first daughter was there for the whole thing - she's under no illusions as to where her baby sister came from - and she took it all in her stride. I think she saw it as more of a mild inconvenience interrupting her playtime. It simply didn't feel like "a big production", but instead the most natural event imaginable thanks to Hypnobirthing.
Sarah, Midwife :
KGHypnobirthing mothers never ask you what is happening to them. They know what is happening to them.
Clare, Mum (C-section) :
I had an induced labour (waters being broke and then an artificial drip) and for 12 hours it was marvellous. No need for pain killers (and I wasn't being heroic). My dad was my birth partner and our practice together made us the perfect team. I totally zoned out, and felt very empowered and happy. The positive birth statements were always in my head.
The most important thing for me was not knowing how much I was dilated. This was proven at 11 hours when the doctor (who completely supported hynoborthing as his wife had carried it out) had to tell me that I was still only 4 cm dilated and they were concerned for the baby's health.
Eventually I had an emergency c section and although a few tears when I found out and I then had some gas and air as my zone collapsed. But it was still perfect. As soon as I accepted that a c section was our way and it was best for my daughter, dad and I went into hynobirthing again and did breathing and calm positive thoughts. It was totally perfect and I am awe of its power.
Mark, Father :
We have been graced with the most beautifully relaxed and contented daughter which we are so thankful for. Her calm personality 'we are sure' is a direct result of the techniques and guidance we received from the course.
As the husband (and birth partner!!) I felt in complete control of the room and discussed with the midwife our exact ideas for the day and how WE wanted it to progress. This allowed my wife to concentrate fully on the act of birthing our child, which as you would have expected went perfectly to plan, 2 hours from arrival at the birth centre Liz was born in the pool to 2 ecstatic parents.
We are now just about to celebrate 1 month with her and each day brings more surprises, but with such a contented baby these are in the most part completely stress free. Such is the relaxed atmosphere being enjoyed at our house we have been asked by our health visitor to attend and talk to a group of first time parents.
June, Midwife :
Nothing I have ever come across matches HypnoBirthing.