We absolutely loved our sessions with Maddy. I really appreciated her logical approach to hypnobirthing without being too "flowery" which may have put me off. The relaxation exercises were lovely in late pregnancy and after some practice would send me off to sleep in minutes. On the day, I managed to pass most of my labour at home with just the breathing exercises and staying up on my feet or ball and was 5cm dilated by the time we reached hospital. Etta arrived less than 3 hour later! My labour became slightly panicked at the end as it was realised she was breech when I was fully dilated. Even so I delivered her naturally and the midwives commented how relaxed and calm I had seemed. I truly thank hypnobirthing for that as I was able to stay focussed on the task in hand and didn't let my mind panic or think about what could have happened. Within an hour of her birth we were relaxing in our room eating sandwiches and were home 12 hours after she was born, ready to start our new journey!
I hadn't heard of hypnobirthing until Madeleine mentioned it to me when I was over 30 weeks.. I didn't at first believe anything like this could help. I found the sessions which were in my own home helped me to have a more relaxed time in my pregnancy and the birth. I managed to stay in my home for over 12 hours in early labour and
surprised the midwife at the hospital when she discovered I was 6 cm dilated. I gave birth 90 minutes later using just a touch of gas and air. Hypnobirthing really made me to stay relaxed and calm and although I felt pain, was able to tell myself I was able to stay in control and manage it and that my body is built to have a baby.
I had practiced the techniques Madeleine taught me and we are able to use them in everyday life. my husband who had been involved in the practice was able to support me massively at the birth. I will definitely do it in my next pregnancy and would recommend it to anyone.
I'm currently waiting for the arrival of my first (3 days overdue.......) But I wanted to write some sort of "before" review, as despite everything, we all know labour can go in any direction and I feel that even if everything goes to pot, which I'm fairly confident it wont, my antenatal journey to this point has been so greatly benefited by my training with Maddy that its important to say something now. I perhaps come from a different background to most. I am actually a women's health doctor, working on a labour ward. My job is to help women whose labour is NOT going to plan. Whilst many women have beautiful normal births, unfortunately my job means I only see the rarer cases where women need help from doctors. So, understandably, my experience of birth is very different to the hypnobirthing ideal. My anxiety around my impending labour reflected this... hence why I considered hypnobirthing,. Unlike the big group classes elsewhere Maddy was able to tailor the course to fit me and my husband, i.e skip the things I knew already or some of the stuff we knew I wouldn't be on board with given my medical background in labour and birth. And she as able to focus on the things I DID need such as retraining my brain to believe birth can be a totally natural and empowering process. This personal touch was very beneficial to me as I probably wouldn't have taken a group class seriously.... but Maddy was able to challenge me and my ingrained beliefs. I may even be able to call them surges without rolling my eyes! I feel like whilst at work in the labour ward my HB training has helped to separate what I see on a daily basis from "my birth" and have been a lot calmer because of this throughout the pregnancy than expected. I've slept better thanks to listening to the tracks on a night which has been an added bonus. I am actually pretty excited about labour and feel like I will know exactly what to do to get my baby out safely and calmly. My husband, a typical northern man, who hates hospitals and was totally freaked by the whole labour thing now knows what to expect and has "jobs" to do when we are in giving birth. He also knows how to keep me calm and help me which will be invaluable I am sure. Who knows what will happen when this baby finally decides to make a break for it, but even if I don't get my ideal birth, I feel my journey up to this point has been totally worth the investment in hypnobirth training with Maddy so can highly recommend.
Madeleine introduced me to hypnobirthing a few months into my pregnancy and it really helped me manage the symptoms I experienced during this time as well as the apprehension around the delivery. As it was my first baby I was open minded about the process and was happy to see how it went.
The reading material she recommended supported my understanding of labour and contributed to my calm and controlled approach when the time came.
I also attended a class focussed on relaxation and breathing taught by a hypnobirthing midwife at my local hospital which was really helpful.
The strategies I found the most useful were the use of calm music, reminding myself the feelings were a natural process and breathing techniques.
The meditation scripts got me to relax and to be in control of the tensions I was experiencing, not just in labour but when pregnancy became more tiring too.
On the day, I went into labour at 38 weeks. My husband managed to travel 300 miles to get home in time. The use of hypnobirthing meant I could stay at home longer and resulted in me arriving at the birthing centre fully dilated. I had my daughter within an hour. My mum who had been helping support me at home was really surprised and said she couldn’t believe how well I managed and had never seen anyone be so calm in labour before.
Lucy was born on the 17th of September 2018 by natural delivery and we couldn’t be happier with our new best friend!
Claire and Phil first time parents
Amy and Dave with baby Summer
During our Hypnobirthing course with Maddy at home, Maddy presented us with the question "Where will you be having your baby?". A question we had been asked many times before previously but felt it was usually worded as "Which hospital are you going to?". Each time that question was asked, I felt uneasy about going to any hospital, particularly after hearing negative birth stories from friends and family about hospital intervention and the induction process. When Maddy asked, she mentioned the option of home birth and it was as if a light had gone on in my head and I knew it was something I'd want to to. My partner Dave and I discussed it more and more and after researching watching home birth videos and plenty of discussion with Maddy we decided it was
definitely for us and our baby.
At my midwife appointment I told her we would like a home birth and she was very encouraging and positive throughout. Dave and I wrote our birth plan and we began setting up our birth space. The positive affirmation bunting which I had been staring at for weeks in our bedroom, was now put across the living room. We bought mats for the floor, some clary sage oil, LED candles and I picked our a colourful bikini top, got babies towel and clothes ready and we did a trial run of blowing and filling up the pool. We were ready. After 10 days or so of frequent and random Braxton Hicks I woke up the day after my due date at 2am with 5-6 minutes apart tightenings. I had declined the prospect of induction previously as I am a total believer that baby would come when he or she was ready. I saw my midwife that morning who didn't feel at that time the baby was on their way as yet. I went about my normal day and did the food shop. The cramps and tightenings continued stopping me in mytracks in the cereal aisle and entertaining the people in Tesco as i went.
When I got home we tested out the TENS machine and breathing exercises as if this were the real thing whilst my partner massaged me and lit some incense. I used the TENS, bounced on my ball and stayed active doing the housework to my 90's playlist. I went in the bath where they pain eased and I totally relaxed listening to hypnobirthing tracks and breathing through it. After a while of chatting with my partner topping up the water and having a good giggle, the cramping became stronger and the tightenings were quite suddenly 90 second apart. It then hit me that our baby might be on its way after all! at 6pm I phoned the hospital and after a quick chat, interrupted by strong surges they confirmed the midwife was on her way. When she arrived around 30 minutes later, we were so happy to se it was my usual midwife who we knew well. On examination the midwife excitedly confirmed I was 5cm dilated. my partner set about filling the pool, turning on the LED candles and covering our snuggle chair with a flower print shower curtain and fluffy towels. I then got into the pool. The midwives made themselves at home on our sofa with a cuppa and some biscuits with our black Labrador cuddled in between them all evening. They both totally respected our wishes to be a allowed to labour with minimal interaction. My partner put on our playlists and read the hypnobirthing scripts to me and held me as I breathed our baby down and read my affirmation bunting which dangled above
me. Hours which felt like minutes passed and around 4am my waters broke and I felt baby head moving down. At that point I got out of the pool as it had begun to cool a little and I got comfortable on all fours on the chair. With Dave holding me tight I felt my body pushing down and baby's head arriving. The midwives assisted as I managed my breathing and after baby decided which way to turn, a final push was her pop out onto the snuggle chair at 4:40am. The midwife and Dave confirmed we had a little girl and she was passed up to me through my legs. I held her skin to skin whilst the midwives waited until the cord was white and Dave could cut it. As I delivered the placenta, which I then opted for the aid of the injection, Dave had skin to skin for around 30 mins too. She was then passed to me and latched immediately feeding fora n hour. A great start for my successful breastfeeding baby. I sat there as the midwives tidied up and the house returned to its usual state (as if there had never been a baby born there this morning!). Dave the baby and I watched the sun rise through the window and a woodpecker looking back at us in the pine tree a the bottom of the garden. it was surreal and the best, most magical day of our lives. Summer weighed 8lbs exactly and after we were both checked over and given the thumbs up from the midwives we were left to start our journey as a family of 3.