Best Christmas ever – a peaceful birth under the xmas tree!

Using hypnosis for pain management
Using hypnosis to anesthetize arm

With Christmas around the corner, I thought I would focus on lovely Christmas birth stories.  Here George tells of her journey using and developing her Natal Hypnotherapy skills to help her have the best Christmas ever! After listening to the Natal Hypnotherapy tracks and attending a weekend course, she wrote her own script to really personalise her birth preparation.

“Having used hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis for a number of years and experienced the sometimes life-changing results (including sticking a nappy pin through my arm!), it wasn’t a question of if I would use it during my pregnancy and the birth of Danuta, but rather how I could use it.  Not only had I never given birth before but we also had our hearts set on a home birth, which if we were to listen too carefully to conventional current medical opinion, was a crazy plan fraught with issues – what if it goes wrong?  You will only have gas and air – what if you need an epidural/c-section – think about the transfer times to hospital – you don’t know your own body, being a first-timer – you are putting yourself and your baby at great risk – what you are considering is very selfish.  All of these words had come from my doctor and pretty much every mainstream birthing text-book backed her up.  Any basic birthing instinct to bring your baby into this world in a safe, comfortable and loving environment is dangerous and selfish.  And she’s a doctor, so she must be right…

In my experience, a Natal Hypnotherapy approach turns the whole what-if-it-goes-wrong starting point on its head and focuses instead on the perfect and unique birthing experience for the individual woman or couple.  If you dare to allow yourself to visualise it, what factors would feature in your perfect birthing experience?  For me, Christmas is a very special time of year that holds with it feelings of childhood excitement and happiness – just the smell of a mince-pie or the sound of carols being sung makes me glow inside, so the fact that our baby was due around this time had all the makings of the best Christmas ever.

Throughout my pregnancy I had spent time listening to a Natal hypnotherapy relaxation tracks (you can get a free download by clicking here) which, whilst increasing my bond with our growing baby inside, also helped me tune into my natural instincts as a mother-to-be.  In the third trimester Adam and I attended a Natal Hypnotherapy weekend and this is when we really began to focus our minds on the actual birth and the writing of our own birthing programme.  Using emotive language that was very specific to our own personalities we developed a script that described the perfect birthing experience – how we would feel, how we would react to certain phases or situations, images, sounds and smells that would trigger positive emotional responses.  For example:

The sounds of the music, which are now familiar to me, reinforce my natural feelings of relaxation and calm, allowing me to fall deeper and deeper into a comfortable, peaceful feeling of complete relaxation…

an extract from the birthing programme – earlier stages of labour

…with each contraction I visualise my cervix softening and opening slowly softening and opening gently, smoothly and easily…

george adam and danuta after birth
The best Christmas ever

an extract from the birthing programme – final stages of labour

I would read the birthing programme often, really soaking up the words that meant so much to us and once in a relaxed state of self-hypnosis I would then recall these words, images and feelings to the sounds of music that would accompany us in the birthing experience.  The more often I listened, the deeper into my subconscious these associations were going.  The Christmas tree bauble I knew so well, the stocking hung by the fireplace ready for baby’s presents, the smell of Christmas spices – all of these factors meant excitement, comfort, happiness and deeper and deeper confidence to birth our baby safely and naturally.

The due date came and went and as the days ticked by, talk was turning to induction – this is when I felt my most sacred.  Not because of the dangers of letting me go over, but because I just felt baby wasn’t ready yet and that he or she would decide when it was time to meet us.  Things were happening – we’d had a show and, having had contractions for 2 weeks now, I was already 3 cms dilated.  14 days after her official due date and on the day we were due to go into hospital, baby Danuta decided it was time to join us and she wasn’t hanging about either.

George and Danuta
George and Danuta

The experience certainly wasn’t without pain and there was no time for birthing music CDs or Christmas spice oils, but I wouldn’t change a single moment.   Focusing on each contraction took me deep down into the experience and during the later stages the visualisation of my cervix softening and opening was intensely powerful and effective.  Adam was fully involved at all times and helped communicate my feelings to the midwife during contractions as well as somehow knowing what to say at right time.  We birthed our daughter in our front room next to the Christmas tree and in front of the open fire and Christmas stockings – four and a half hours after waking with strong contractions I was holding Danuta in my arms, crying at the beauty of our perfect baby girl who truly made this the best Christmas ever!

With the support and confidence of an amazing partner, an experienced and trusted doula and our very special birthing programme, I was never in any doubt we were doing the right thing.  I was frightened then angered by the words of my doctor, I was upset by the reaction of some friends, but I never once doubted my instincts to birth Danuta at home using hypnosis.  I can’t wait to give her a brother or sister.”

A wonderful story of a couple taking their birth preparation into their own hands for the best christmas ever!
Click to download your FREE track

Julia’s home birth story

Julie and her familyMy pregnancy was totally normal and low risk from the start. I was born at home and when I mentioned this to the midwife at our booking in appointment at 12 weeks, she asked if I had considered a home birth. I said I hadn’t as it was my first time and I didn’t think they would advise it. She said it was totally up to us and gave me the details of the dedicated home birth (Eden) team in Poole.

After discussing it with family, we decided to go for it at 14 weeks. At 16 weeks I found Natal Hypnotherapy and started listening to the 15 minute home birth relaxation track a few times a week.

To begin with I never got to the end of the 15 minutes as I was fast asleep! It was brilliant to no longer spend hours worrying about work or other things before falling asleep at night.

At around 28 weeks, I started listening to the effective birth preparation track a few times a week, moving up to every night from about 34 weeks. I did make a conscious effort to listen to it in different positions, not just in bed but kneeling over my ball and sitting on the sofa, as I wanted to know it worked not just when I was tired! I also made an effort to listen to it without falling asleep so I could fully visualise the birth process. I only did this twice but I feel that those two sessions where I actively ‘felt’ what was happening made all the difference. From listening to the sessions, I created my own “5 Cs” – calm, capable, confident, comfortable and in control. These trigger words reminded me of different parts of the track.

Five days after my due date, I woke up at 2.30am to do my normal middle of the night toilet trip when I experienced what I thought was my waters breaking. My contractions started immediately and were lasting 30-45 seconds every 3 minutes!

Four hours later, we called the midwife out and I was 3cm. She gave me a mix of lavender and bergamot oils, reminded me to eat to keep my energy levels up and I put on my TENS machine.

We spent much of the day watching comedy DVDs, Disney DVDs and listening to the relaxing music tracks. My contractions stayed at 3 minutes apart but increased to 1-1.30 minutes in duration.

At 2.30pm (after 12 hours), the midwife checked me again and I was still 3cm and said that this stage could last for two to three days. I was NOT going to let this last a whole weekend and focused all my energy into opening my cervix. It was at this point my husband put the birth preparation track on repeat and I got ‘in the zone’, commenting at times that I felt like I’d just woken up!

At 5pm my husband called the midwife to say I was wanting to push, she said it was probably my waters bulging (they hadn’t gone in the middle of the night!) and that she’d think about coming round in an hour or so. Ten minutes later he rang her back and said she needed to come now!

What Natal Hypnotherapy did for my husband was phenomenal. He was always supportive of having a home birth as he hates hospitals even more than I do! And having read the book and listening to the track with me every night, it normalised the whole process and taught him what would happen when and the signs to look out for.

If he hadn’t have read and heard the sessions I’m certain he would have panicked when I entered transition!

The midwife turned up almost immediately and called the second midwife to attend as I was 8cm and definitely pushing! It was from this point that my second stage was recorded and I spent 43 minutes pushing before Alex entered the world at 6.45pm.Julie and Alex after their home birth

My placenta followed just 15 minutes later, physiologically. My plan had always been give it an hour, if it’s not coming then I’ll have the injection. We never had to worry about that!!

The whole birth experience was truly pain free and wonderful. At one point my husband said he offered me paracetamol and I just ignored him! I didn’t need anything but to be in my own world, feeling every sensation. The midwives commented that I showed no fear and was totally in control, knowing exactly what was happening and how to respond to my body’s cues.

When I first started looking into hypnotherapy and hypnobirthing, I thought it was a lovely idea but I wasn’t convinced. I loved reading the book and the science and history of birth but I didn’t really think I would get the birth I wanted!
Turns out it was the best decision I have ever made!

Incidentally, when Alex was 5 days old, we were admitted to hospital as he had lost too much weight. I had believed we had been breastfeeding successfully, as had the midwives who had checked on me as I was so confident, however he had not been able to feed efficiently due to having a severe tongue tie and tightness in his jaw. I instantly downloaded the breastfeeding companion and it got me and my husband through one of the most uncomfortable and challenging nights of our lives as everything became very medicalised and out of our control.

Thank you so much for supporting our little family! Couldn’t have done it without Natal Hypnotherapy!

Footling breech birth with Natal Hypnotherapy

You probably get loads of these emails but I wanted to share my birth experience with you and to say thank you!

In short, we didn’t have the experience we planned but my partner and I know that Natal Hypnotherapy played a very important role.

I know Natal Hypnokate peppereltherapy encourages you to distance yourself from negative birth stories so firstly I want to say that this isn’t a negative experience it just didn’t go as planned. Also, Natal Hypnotherapy works. In the height of panic I did have a thought that it was all for nothing but then my mind seemed to click into a different gear and I was able to focus and reassuring thoughts kept coming to me. I didn’t get the chance to go to my beach or think of the other visualisations I had been practising but the thoughts around trusting my body, being safe and focussed all came to the surface.

My labour started just after I had finished listening to the Effective Birth Preparation CD. My waters broke and contractions started immediately. I rang my partner who left work. I was calm and took my time getting last-minute bits ready and had a shower. My partner arrived and we set off to the midwife-led unit at our local hospital where we planned to deliver. On the journey my contractions were 2 mins apart and intense. I listened to the ‘serious-phase’ track from the Labour Companion CD on repeat.

Arriving at the hospital I was examined and was initially told that we might get sent home! I then went into the toilet where a strong urge came over me and panic set in. I called for the midwife who was able to see that our baby was breach, his toes were visible! At this point it really all went a bit haywire as the midwife-led unit needed to transfer me by ambulance to the hospital 25 minutes away. My partner wasn’t able to come in the ambulance so we were separated. My contractions were massive and all I wanted to do is push but I was being told not too. The midwife looking after us was fab, she had experience of natal hypnotherapy and although it was no longer a calm environment she took on the role of my partner, staying close to me, holding me etc. We were transferred to an ambulance and set off, blue lighting to the big hospital.Alan and Eddie pepperell (2)

5 minutes into the journey I delivered our baby weighing 8lb 9oz, feet first. In all it was 25 minute of chaos but I was able to tune out. I wasn’t quiet but I felt focussed, the ambulance actually made me feel very safe as it was small and quiet (once we had stopped). I also remember a strong feeling to trust in my body which I know was the hypnotherapy working. Also, throughout
all of this our baby’s heart rate never increased, it was perfect throughout and again I like to think that was due to the hypnotherapy. We carried on to the hospital where my partner was waiting and he met his son. We were home later that evening.

A lot of friends keep describing the birth as traumatic as a footling breech birth is so rare – especially in an ambulance!

It was definitely dramatic but I do not feel it was traumatic.

I feel proud of my body and very empowered by the whole event just like hypnotherapy prepared me for.

Although my partner wasn’t there for the birth he feels strongly that my calmness up to the point of discovering baby was breach was down to all my preparation.

I really wanted to share our story as it’s a bit different, and I realise it’s quite extreme but Natal Hypnotherapy played a significant role in keeping me calm initially and triggering empowering thoughts when I was in the midst of chaos helping me do what I needed to do.

So, thank you for this programme. I would definitely recommend it as even if birth doesn’t quite go to plan, it really doesn’t matter it will help, a lot.

Kate, Allan and Eddie Pepperell

My amazing birth – The birth of my baby boy will always be an amazing memory!

By Ludivine, Brussels, Belgium

I wanted to tell you about my amazing birth story.

I started having contractions at 5pm on Sunday 13th. I told my boyfriend I thought it was a labour contraction and waited for the next one which came about a few minutes later. From then, we tried to calculate how often they happened and if they were truly frequent.

Since, the contractions was already quite strong, I went to my bedroom, put my preparation for birth CD on and repeated to myself to remain calm and relax and to welcome the sensations as they were a sign that my body was getting ready for the birth. The were soon coming every 7 minutes which surprised me as I had thought I would have had a longer rest time between each one. After about one hour, they were coming every 4 minutes and were getting stronger. At this point I started listening to the labour companion CD. I was still pretty calm even though the pain was getting more intense but I remember feeling really excited between each contraction.

My boyfriend was supposed to work that night so he called to let them know he would not be there. After 2 and a half hours, the contractions were coming every 2 minutes so we decided to leave for the hospital. I found it quite hard to remain focused during the journey which took us 20 minutes so I was pretty relieved to arrive.  When the midwife checked at 9pm I was so happy that I was already 6 cm since . I told her I didn’t want an epidural and I wanted to go to the “Salle Nature”. My mistake was not to tell her about my hypnotherapy preparation and that I would prefer that she address my boyfriend instead of me but in my mind, I had not expected the contractions to be so close and I had imagined I would have more time to exchange with the staff before I really tried to get into a hypnotic state.

Consequently, I can’t say I was able to use the visualisations and I don’t think I was as calm as some mothers can be, but I was definitely able to repeat to myself that I had to let my body work for the best and that I didn’t want an epidural that would block the natural hormones and make labour last longer. The midwife took my blood and left. I was a bit cold and the intensity of the contractions was making my body shake.  My boyfriend went to get a coffee and I didn’t really like to be left alone in the room however, when he came back and I couldn’t stand his hand on my back or even to see him look at me. Poor Will! He had to hide behind the birth chair. I had two monitors which I really hated. As I was twisting during the contractions, the part that was measuring the baby’s heart was moving too and the student midwife had to back several times to put it back in place. I couldn’t move freely and that annoyed me a bit.

When, the midwife said she would do a second examination (it was about 10.45pm) I was almost fully dilated and the midwife said that if I felt the urge to push I could! I was so happy to hear that! I then knew that it would soon be over and I felt so strong that I had managed labour without asking for an epidural. I remember thinking I would not be able to get on much longer with the same sensations but I remembered reading about the self-doubt phase and told myself that it probably meant that it would soon be time to push and that I was about to meet my baby. And I was right!

Even though it took me about 45 minutes to let my baby out, it didn’t feel that long and what I enjoyed the most was the fact that my boyfriend was right behind me as I was squatting in front of the bed and he was lifting me up with his arms under mine as I was pushing the baby down. I was eventually sitting on his lap when Yhoni came out. Just amazing! It would not have been possible if I had had an epidural which might have been the case if labour had lasted longer.

Now I am convinced that if things went that fast, it is thanks to Maggie’s great advice which I heard on the CD and read in the book. It was very important to me to understand how the body works when it comes to giving birth and the role of hormones and to learn what hypnosis really is. I listened to the birth preparation CD so many times that the suggestions and phrases definitely triggered positive responses in my body. The birth of my baby boy will always be an amazing memory! I have told all my friends about the Natal Hypnotherapy programme and I really hope some of them will use it!