I have always been committed towards helping women and their families achieve a good experience of pregnancy and birth and successfully completed my Bsc(Hons) degree in Midwifery Studies in 1998.
My core beliefs are that pregnancy and birth are normal life events taking place with the loving support of family and friends and that women's amazing intuition and ability to know how to birth their babies instinctively should be protected and respected. As part of my NHS career, I have worked in all areas of pregnancy and birth, including community caseload holder and senior midwife on labour ward. Consequently, I have had a wide range of experience caring for women and families with healthy straightforward pregnancies as well as those with more complex issues.
As my practice has developed I have become increasingly convinced that the way a birth is experienced has an impact reaching far beyond the first few days of sleepless nights and nappies - families and women whose experience has been positive appear more confident in their parenting abilities and better able to deal with the challenges that lie ahead, proudly recalling how they managed to achieve a wonderful birth for their child. My personal challenge is how to help women and families achieve these positive outcomes.
During my first pregnancy, I became aware of Natal Hypnotherapy and began using the techniques early on. I was keen to have a natural birthing experience and planned to have a water birth at home. I experienced a little negativity from my obstetrician who wanted to induce my baby at term, particularly as I did not appear to be carrying a very large baby. However, I felt instinctively that my baby was the right size for me and was confident in my natural ability to birth my baby safely and calmly – all of which was reinforced by the regular self hypnosis sessions I was doing. It was as if I had a protective cocoon around me to ward off any negative opinions or comments. When I started to labour, I was not conscious of choosing to use Natal Hypnotherapy techniques during the birth - it was something that just happened naturally and subconsciously.
I am absolutely certain that the techniques enabled me to achieve the birth I had dreamed of. I laboured at home with the loving support of my husband and my midwife, never feeling the need for any “pain relief” and finding contractions manageable at all times. I was completely aware of what was happening, although I am told I appeared to be sleeping, and felt in control and relaxed. The birth itself was euphoric – I birthed my baby in the pool with no need for any additional help, and he breastfed almost immediately. It was the most incredible experience. I had a natural third stage, birthing the placenta about an hour later.
My second son was also born at home using Natal Hypnotherapy and again the birth was a completely natural, calm and peaceful experience.
My personal experiences of using Natal Hypnotherapy totally convinced me that this was something that all Mums could benefit from. I was also delighted that the research supports the beneficial effects Natal Hypnotherapy can have. Clearly, becoming a Natal Hypnotherapy Practitioner was a natural continuation in my ambition to help families have birth experiences that they can recall with pleasure and pride and I am delighted to now be able to offer these courses in Hertfordshire.