HypnoBirthing UK Birth Stories

This is where you'll find birth stories from other mothers and couples who have already experienced the joy of using HypnoBirthing.

Read on to discover the power of using self hypnosis for childbirth...

Twelve hours of contractions - and no pain

"Using the breathing and relaxation techniques we were taught, I was able to get through twelve hours of contractions with absolutely no pain at all. All I could feel was pressure.

The final part, where I was pushing Mia out, stung a little bit but that was all, and I didn't need any pain relief - not even gas and air.

What's more, my sister saw me soon afterwards and said I looked as if I'd just come back from a health farm, not just given birth!"

Catherine Jackson, Jersey

Catherine's husband Mark was equally enthusiastic about HypnoBirthing.

Delighted Dad

"Several of my friends have had babies recently, and many of them told me it was a traumatic and stressful experience.

They said they felt powerless to ease the pain their partner was going through, and didn't know what they were supposed to do.

Thanks to the techniques that Jenny taught us, I was able to help Catherine right the way through, and we both thoroughly enjoyed the birth - it was fantastic!"

Mark Jackson, Jersey

And here are even more positive experiences of using HypnoBirthing.

Can't rave about it enough

Marie Cooksey, Steve Bowerman and son Fintan - click for full size picture

I gave birth to Fintan Joseph on Mon 10th May at 20.04. My surges started irregularly about 1pm, I then started timing them about 2pm.

Called Steve home from work at 3pm, because I wanted to relax more. Had a long deep bath, and they seemed to kick in fully then.

Midwife arrived at 7pm (when I was 7cm) and Fintan was born at 8.04pm. Pretty swift really. Oh and I had him at home as planned - which was lovely.

Midwives were well impressed at how calm and serene I looked.

I found that sleep breathing was excellent. It really did make the discomfort go away and is empowering as you know what your body is doing so you work with, instead of against it.

Steve was a fantastic birthing partner, calming me and talking me through my breathing - I wouldn't have been able to do it without him. I played the CD constantly as well, and kept saying the affirmations in my head to make me focus on the job-in-hand.

As for the J breath, I loved it - it made the actual delivery easy-peasy.

I can't rave about it enough. Plus one push and the placenta was out - who needs drugs?

Believe in the power that is HypnoBirthing and you too will be talked about at midwife meetings.

Our community midwives actually said it was one of the easiest first time-mother births that they had seen in 20 years - now that is some recommendation!!

Marie Cooksey, Northamptonshire

(This was the HypnoBirthing couple featured on "Richard and Judy")

HypnoBirthing for a breech birth

HypnoBirthing has given me one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

Early in my pregnancy, I was convinced that I needed an epidural since all expectant mothers around me were doing that. I heard about HypnoBirthing and loved the idea of following a technique to lose fear and allow a natural painless birth, which is what the miraculous female body is destined to do naturally.

My husband and I took the course and were convinced how beautiful and peaceful the natural birth can be.

Since I was having a breech baby, our doula recommended a chiropractor to perform the Webster Technique to help me turn our baby. In addition, I practiced a relaxation CD for turning our baby in my daily practice.

Even though our baby did not turn at the end, our doula introduced us to a midwife that empowered us to switch to a doctor skilled at natural vaginal breech births since my doctor wanted to schedule me for a C-section. Our meeting with our doula and the midwife happened the night before my membranes released.

Because we followed our instinct and based on our knowledge gained from the HypnoBirthing classes, we felt confident to switch our doctor at the very last minute and, thankfully, he accepted us! Our doula was amazing during my birth and helped me go through the surges in a totally relaxed and empowered manner thanks to the relaxation practices I had been doing for a couple of months prior to that moment.

My mother and husband were also present and they were quickly believers when they witnessed a totally relaxed birth experience in spite of the complication of having a breech birth. As it turned out, my labor went unusually fast mainly due to the fact the doctor administered Pitocin, which I had no option out of under the circumstances, but mainly that I was very relaxed through the surges.

From the time they administered Pitocin to the time I gave birth, it had only been less than 3 hours, which even the doctor and attending nurses were surprised to see for a first birth. I remember feeling our baby wanting to come into the world and after that surge, one foot came out. Shortly after that, the other came out.

At that time, the doctor and nurses arrived and realized that I was fully dilated and it was time for our baby to be born. After two slight pushes to get the head out, Lili was born!

Our experience is special and one that I will never forget in my life. HypnoBirthing and our doula were very instrumental in helping and supporting me to believe it could be this way in spite of a breech presentation. The experience helped me realize and believe that you should trust yourself and your body and allow it to do what it is naturally meant to do.

(Jackie took her classes from an American HypnoBirthing practitioner, and you can watch a news video about her child birth here)

Jackie Gadret, France

Sent to the pub during full blown labour

Just to let you know that I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy last week - he arrived at 2.27am on Thursday 13th May.

The labour was about 11 hours, but I was so relaxed that the midwives didn't really believe I was in full blown labour until we had about 5 hours left to go! They were amazed when they checked me out and I was 5 cm dilated.

In fact, they said I should just keep on relaxing and sent Ben and I to the pub next to the hospital for an hour!

I had no pain relief at all, although I did jump into the pool, more because it seemed a shame not to when it was there for use!

The slow breathing was what got me through it - it's a godsend.

Ben did a rainbow relaxation when the surges were becoming very intense, which helped - and the arm stroking was a real rock, as was the background CD music.

Elaine Millard, Bicester

Another raver

I can't rave enough about HypnoBirthing. My husband and I decided to do the course as I was interested in what it involved.

Don't be sceptical until you have tried it.

We started off with the intention of having our baby in hospital but by the end of our course decided to try and have it at home and hired a birthing pool which was lovely.

As the labour progressed, Andy took me into relaxation which enabled me to relax and even sleep while in the birthing pool.

I did go into hospital as a precaution as I wasn't dilating enough [and] on entry to the hospital they wanted to give me a c-section straight away, believe it or not. However, I had a fantastic midwife who new what we wanted to do for the birth of our baby and gave us a chance to continue with that as the baby wasn't distressed.

Andy took me into deep relaxation at this point and I actually fell asleep for about 1/2 an hour in the peak of my surges...it was at this point I believe my body had rested and relaxed enough to allow my baby to move ready to be delivered.

I do genuinely believe that if I had not had the hypnobirth experience I would not have realised the potential of my own body and how it needs to be able to 'get on with the job in hand' without the addition of stress which fights it all the way.

When in relaxation I would describe it as that Sunday afternoon sleep that you contently drift in and out of. I could feel the surges and would describe them as the ache you get during your period.

Happy HypnoBirthing!

Heather and Andy Goram, Northampton

Calm labour

"I casually wandered into hospital with my husband, not even sure I was in labour, only to discover that I was already 6cm dilated, and progressing fast! The midwives were astonished at how calm I was, especially for a first time mum!"

Katy Johnson, Thrapston

It wasn't scary

"I didn't have any pain relief not even gas and air...I just laid there and listen to my hypo-birthing CD...I felt all the contractions but it wasn't scary I was just relaxed and concentrated on the breathing that I had been taught.

It was really strange when the contractions got really strong and close towards the end I just slipped in and out of a really deep state of relaxation, they said I didn't make a sound. Once it was time for the baby to be born I automatically changed my breathing patterns and breathed him down to be born.

I was supposed to breathe him out as well but the midwife told me to push instead, so I did (wish I hadn't as I ended up with stitches even though I did the massage, baby came out too quick head shoulders and arms)

It was definitely worth having the HypnoBirthing lessons, a girl that had her baby on Tuesday said the midwives were all talking about it on the labour ward.

Baby Tom was born at 6.40pm on Tuesday 13th October and weighed 7lb 3oz.

Thanks for your lessons, we will spread the word for you!"

Lindsey & Tony Lloyd, Northampton

Recommend it to anyone

"My husband and I found the HypnoBirthing sessions informative in explaining how the female body works during the birth and how to maximise the effectiveness of it. The positive nature of HypnoBirthing helped me to look forward to the birth and to believe that a pain free birth is possible.

We both felt very relaxed leading up to the birth. Unlike others in my NHS antenatal class, I never complained of sleep problems. The relaxation techniques didn't just benefit me; my husband, who frequently suffers from insomnia, experienced the best sleep of his life!

My waters broke at 5:30am. My husband and I prepared to go into hospital and were there for 7:30. What I now know to have been the beginnings of my surges started at about 7:00.

At 9:00, the hospital sent me home and told me to go ahead with my obstetrician's appointment the next day. I should have been more assertive in insisting that I believed I would have my baby that day. My lack of pain appeared to lead the midwives to think that labour had not started.

While I relaxed in the bath, at home, my husband timed my surges - 60 seconds long and 2 minutes apart - so back to the hospital we went. On returning there, at 12:30, I was 5cm dilated.

I cannot explain very well what happened during the first stage of labour. I continued to practise the breathing with each surge whenever I felt a tightening. At some point, my body seemed to take over. My uterus seemed to convulse, pushing downwards. This was totally involuntary on my part! The midwife felt that my body was taking over and knew exactly what to do.

During this time, my husband took over all discussions with the midwives and I was able to use the self-hypnosis techniques to totally relax, shut out the outside world and focus on my surges.

The midwives and doctors were incredibly supportive of our wishes to use the HypnoBirthing techniques. My husband and I both enjoyed the birthing experience.

We felt relaxed throughout and so did Amie as it appears to have transpired. The techniques taught to us certainly helped me to relax my body, which I believe enabled me to be pain free.

I had been anxious at times during the pregnancy because of my medical condition, which could have created problems during the birth. However, the HypnoBirthing sessions gave me the confidence to take greater control of the birth while respecting the need, in my case, for considerable monitoring and potentially for medical intervention.

I would certainly use the techniques again, should we have more children, and would recommend it to anyone."

Clare Sparks, Northampton

Can't imagine how anyone gives birth without it

"I can't imagine how anyone gives birth without it! HypnoBirthing kept me feeling calm and in control throughout labour. The contractions were no problem at all.

I knew what to do and what to think. It gave me a better understanding of the physical and psychological aspects of childbirth. It also gave me greater confidence in myself and in my partner to work as a team, as I knew that we had the tools to ensure a safe and calm birth.

This meant that I avoided the use of pain-killing chemicals. I believe in myself (mind and body) a lot more now, and feel that perhaps there's even more I can achieve if I only put my mind to it.

I would advise every mother-to-be and her partner to try HypnoBirthing even if they intend to use drugs."

Kerry Woodcock, London

Totally fearless

"I've never felt so well prepared for anything in my life! I went into labour, totally fearless. HypnoBirthing was a huge, huge, huge help.

It was amazing and the birth would not have been half as fulfilling without it. I now have a new understanding of what my mind and body is capable of and know that childbirth can be a very, very positive experience.

It was phenomenal. Even the midwife said: "I've never seen anyone deliver like that!"

I'm so pleased that I was able to have the birth I wanted, and do it my way. People have commented that they've never seen me looking so well.

I have let go of a lot of anxieties and the baby is so relaxed too because my response is much calmer. I'm so pleased I found you. Thank you!"

Mary, London

Much better than previous births

"This birth was much easier than the last four - I was quite detached from any pain and I felt much more alert by the time she was born.

The slow breathing and the balloon were the things that helped me most. Luis was great - he kept talking and stroking my back throughout.

I feel that I have recovered much more quickly this time - I was not wiped out by the birth like I was with the others, and our baby is feeding well and is very alert.

We did not have much time to practice for our Hypnobirth and it still made a big difference..."

Abigail, London

Hardly felt like I'd been through labour

I hope our story will inspire people to know that labour is such a natural process that it is possible to have a wonderful experience. It was brilliant and without the HypnoBirthing course I would never have considered a home birth.

My baby is so calm and contented and I feel this was because the birth was so relaxed and easy. Also the recovery time after this birth was considerably reduced, within a few days it hardly felt like I'd just been through labour at all.

I had no tears or wounds that needed stitching, as my body naturally took over at the pushing stage and stopped several pushes to make it a gentle passage for my baby to enter the world.

It has been the catalyst for a relaxed and loving start to my baby's life, which I can't thank you enough for, as without you and your course we would never have had such a wonderful experience.

Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement that has given us the best experience of our lives."

Mandi, London

Mandi had her second baby at home using HypnoBirthing after a difficult first birth in hospital

Labour is a beautiful, beautiful thing

As soon as we knew the signs that our baby was coming to us, we were very excited, we talked about what the baby would look like.

We were very positive and both extremely relaxed. We knew this was going to be a great day.

I was feeling only tightenings in my stomach, I visualized the muscles stretching up then pushing down to open the cervix. I felt very happy to have this feeling as I knew the baby was coming to me.

I was never uncomfortable and it was very peaceful as I listened to music and the colours of the rainbow tape. With each wave it was if my body went into a totally automatic relaxed but focused state. Between the waves I felt so relaxed, I felt sleepy.

Soon I felt the urge to push, Our little "Lucy Maree" was handed to us after 3 pushes of non interference labour.

The HypnoBirthing programme and Peter had shown me how to enjoy my labour. With each surge I felt very happy and confident. Labour is a beautiful, beautiful thing and I wish everyone could experience the peace and calmness that I did whilst birthing our baby.

My recovery was very quick as I had not used my energy in fighting fear of my birth. The HypnoBirthing technique has become a very special gift in my life. I feel totally privileged to have this knowledge to have given me the ultimate birth experience.

I remember at one session with Peter watching a video of this total in control mother giving birth and I thought, wow. But no I still don't think I'll be like that. .... Well from the first wave to the last I was like that lady, but I wasn't even trying to be.

It's exactly like I learned, "Turn your labour over to your body". I was so proud of myself, and my husband couldn't believe what I was like. Due to work commitments my husband was unable to come to all the classes, he was happy for me to do the programme.

The point I would like to make to all the mothers is, "It is possible to do this on your own". Geoff my husband was extremely supportive throughout the pregnancy and the birth and was so proud of me. He is now so positive of the HypnoBirthing Programme.

Thank you so much for helping me to enjoy birthing as it should be enjoyed, also enjoying life as it should be enjoyed.

Tania, Geoff, Samuel and Lucy Sharman

An unplanned home birth - with fantastic success

We wanted to let you know how well my labour went and what a fantastic success the hypnobirthing technique was.

To start with, the Rainbow Relaxation & affirmations helped so much in the build-up to the birth - I had high blood pressure and was advised to finish work a little earlier than planned.

After 1 week of doing the Rainbow Relaxation twice a day my blood pressure was back to normal & I was able to continue working for an extra couple of weeks. This gave me a lot of confidence that the birth would be manageable at home for as long as I was able to stay there for - which turned out to be for the whole birth, much to Scott & my surprise!!

I woke at 02:30 on Thursday 24th Feb to an uncomfortable feeling that could not be dismissed as anything other than the start of labour, so I settled down & did some sleep breathing to relax myself - once the surges got a little stronger at around 4am I had a 4 hour bath, listened to the music CD & went well and truly into deep relaxation.

Scott played the CD's for me & said that he tried to talk to me but I was so deeply relaxed that I just looked at him with a 'tranced' look on my face & continued to focus entirely on my breathing & rocking my hips back and forth - I stayed mobile throughout the entire birth experience.

When my waters broke at 11:30 I felt my breathing change quite naturally - I'd phoned the hospital & my midwife before my waters went & they both assured me I had 'hours' to go - so when the midwife phoned at 12:40 she told us to take a slow drive into hospital.......Nade was born 15 minutes later.

As soon as Scott got off the phone to the midwife I had a strong urge to push & breathe very deeply, I felt the head & got Scott to phone for an ambulance at that point. Poor Scott thought he was going to deliver his son on the bathroom floor & I'm not sure who was more relieved when we heard the ambulance coming down the street. Dave the paramedic was up the stairs & was just in time to catch Nade as he made his entrance.

We were taken into hospital for a check up but I was completely aware of everything, able to walk & not tired at all.

I had about 8 people come & see me specifically to ask about the hypnobirthing & I couldn't endorse it enough - looking back I can see how well I handled the situation & my friends who've had babies can't believe how well I coped (I think they were all very sceptical even though they didn't say anything). The next one will definitely be a planned home birth though.

The CD's are invaluable even after the birth, Nade sleeps well at night with the music playing in the background & I have been able to do some deep relaxation at the same time which has helped me cope no end with the major changes that have happened since his birth.

Zara & Scott Peasland, Northamptonshire

So quick and calm, the carpet got wet!

I was 39+1 on 20th April (2005) and the day was the same as any other. I picked my eldest daughter up from school at 3pm & drove home.

Hubby started making tea at 4.00 but I really didn't want anything. He insisted I had something & I was just sitting down to eat it at 5pm when I felt quite 'wet' down below. There was no gush of waters, and both my other labours had started with contractions not the waters going, so I was quite dubious at this point that it was my waters.

I ended up changing my knickers & trousers 3 times in the space of 10 mins before thinking that maybe this was it. I told my hubby "I think my waters have gone" and sat back down to eat some food, figuring that it'd probably be hours before anything would happen, but just hoping that something did start, because I really didn't want to have to go in to be induced.

At that point my waters went with a gush. I wasn't going to phone the midwife at this point but hubby wanted me to, and I decided it'd be a good idea to get in first, as another one of her mums-to-be was booked for a home-birth at the same time, so just in case she also went into labour I thought I'd let her know.

I phoned her at 5.15 & she said to phone her back when I needed her to come, and if nothing happened I would probably have to go in at 5pm the next day.

I ran a bath & started playing one of my HypnoBirthing CDs that my trainer had given me for when I was in labour, and phoned my mum to let her know (she lives in Kent, I'm in Wales, and she wanted to try & make it down in time for the birth).

While I was in the bath I started getting contractions, and I knew this was it. I got out of the bath at 5.55 & the midwife was knocking on the door - she'd been passing the house & decided to call in to listen in on the baby. I told her the contractions had started, so she said she'd examine me as well.

By this time hubby was frantically trying to get the kids off to bed so that he could start to set up the room for me, and I decided I wanted to put my TENS machine on. I gathered all my relaxation CDs & went downstairs to be examined.

At 6.15 I was told that I was 4cms & my cervix was very thin, [and] the midwife said I'd deliver between 3-6 hrs, which I was very pleased with. She said she'd go home & I was to phone her when I felt I needed her here. Hubby was still putting the kids to bed so she said she'd put my TENS machine on for me before she went.

By the time that was on (6.25) I felt very tired I said I wanted to lie down on the sofa. I started my relaxation & breathing & the midwife actually asked if the contractions had stopped, as I was making no noise & was so relaxed. No, I said, they're getting a lot stronger. They were also coming every 2 minutes.

Luckily, at this point she decided that she'd stay as she thought I was progressing quickly. I say luckily because at this point, it was 6.35 & I could feel the baby coming down.

It was the oddest feeling, because my body was telling me this baby was coming, but my head is telling me "you're being silly, you were only 4cms a couple of minutes ago". Thank goodness the midwife realised what was happening & managed to get my trousers & knickers off while phoning the other midwife to tell her to come.

I admit I did lose some of my composure at this point. I couldn't believe what was happening & that it was all so quick. The second midwife arrived within minutes, and was here just in time to help me get onto my knees to deliver.

Tamina Rose was born at 6.50pm to a very shocked mum & dad. We hadn't managed to get my music on, or anything set out in the room, so the carpet got a bit wet.

I was in shock for a few hours & needless to say my mum didn't get here in time, although she arrived at around 10.30/11pm that night.

The girls had fallen asleep by the time we'd cleaned up the mess & we went to get them, so we waited until the next morning to show them their baby sister.

I have nothing but good things to say for the HypnoBirthing course that I did. I am convinced it contributed to my quick labour & until the point where I had a little panic when I realised how quickly she was coming, I was very comfortable the whole time. I only wish I'd had a longer labour in a way so that I could have put more of the techniques I'd learned into practice.

Tamina is an angel so far. I think the quick & calm birth really shows in her, as she's slept & fed well right from the word go, and only cries when she wakes for a feed - which is totally different to the way her sisters were, who both cried for hours on end, especially in the nights.

I was also delighted to get back into my jeans exactly a week after the birth & I'm now 9lbs lighter than when I got my BFP so I'm very pleased with that. And Tamina is absolutely arored by her sisters, so I think she's going to be a very spoiled little girl with all these women fussing over her.

Gemma Silcox, Wales

The following two testimonials are from midwives with experience of HypnoBirthing.

Women sail through the birth of their babies

I would have to say that HypnoBirthing is the most amazing phenomenon to observe in action. Women seem to sail through the birthing of their babies, working as a team with their birth partner who is the essential anchor for her.

There is nothing for the midwife to do except sit quietly and watch and wait. The entire experience seems to bring the couple closer together as they share in the achievement and benefit from the enhanced trust in one another that they have developed.

I also think from an educational point of view couples seem to really take on board the physiological process and how a positive environment is essential to a normal outcome.

And finally, I think the real success story for HypnoBirthing is its benefit to men. Men have the hardest job really, being supportive to their partners but not really having a defined role.

Men's role as HypnoBirthing partners is clearly key to the whole success story and being actively involved in the birth of their children allows men to bond easily and immediately with them.

Jacqui , independent midwife UK

Invaluable in increasing the likelihood of a natural birth

As a midwife, I feel it is unethical for me not to inform my clients of the benefits of HypnoBirthing.

I strongly support HypnoBirthing, having attended a workshop and supporting several women who have employed HypnoBirthing and shown immense coping strategies and strength.

HypnoBirthing is not only invaluable in increasing the likelihood of having a natural birth, but also supporting women through antenatal discomfort and when births do not go according to plan.

HypnoBirthing is also beneficial for birth partners, in particular fathers, as it provides them with a practical role during the labour and birth and enables them to remain calm, informed and in tune with the birth process.

Natalie, independent midwife

If you want to talk to other people who have used, or are considering, HypnoBirthing, check out the HypnoBirthing UK discussion forum.

If you're ready to experience HypnoBirthing yourself then find your nearest HypnoBirthing UK classes.

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