My name is Steph, mum to three boys aged 16, 14 & 10 and I am a Birth & Post Natal Doula and Hypnobirthing teacher.
I first learned of the benefits of Hypnobirthing when I attended a birth as a Doula in early 2011. My client was having her third baby and was using HB during the birth process, as she had done with the last two births also. She delivered her baby at home, in a calm and quiet atmosphere with no pain relief. She had achieved the birth SHE wanted. It was an empowering experience to be part of and I just knew that this was something I had to learn more about, it truly inspired me.
I decided to investigate further and I decided to train to teach HB with Katharine Graves in May 2011 and haven’t looked back since!
I have been very lucky to have taught many couples and also witness some of their birth experiences as their doula; all have been magical in a very personal way to them.
Unfortunately none of my births were Hypnobirths, as HB was not as commonly known whilst I was pregnant, and I really wish it had been! The only childbirth ante natal groups I attended was the hospital Parent craft ones at around 34 weeks of pregnancy and whilst they were very informative, a lot of the focus was on pain relief and what my options were on that score.
HB is the complete opposite to that! We never focus on the ‘pain’ aspect of childbirth; in fact Mothers that use HB are far less likely to describe the birth of their baby as painful or traumatic and are less likely to request an epidural or other medical pain relief.
In the past, before following my path into Doulaing I would disregard positive, empowered birth stories I heard, believing it to be luck, or that maybe she had a higher pain threshold than me, thinking how an earth can you believe childbirth to be wonderful! Of course now I realise I was completely jealous as my birth experiences were not at all as was being described to me!
From learning to teach HB I am able to use many of the tools in my daily life, I guess you can say it has changed my life!
It has enabled me to see life from a more positive angle, I avoid letting negativity creep in by protecting myself from it or recognising things that make me feel negative, I use daily affirmations and always take time out to just breathe!
Hypnobirthing gives you many skills to use during your pregnancy, birth and afterwards but it also leaves you with many life skills that can be used well after your birth and early days with your new baby.
HB is just like any new skill, the more practice you get the better the results. If you was to learn to play the piano for example and only played during the time you was being taught, you would gradually get better but if you took time out in between classes to practice you would get a lot better and grow in confidence much quicker. It doesn’t guarantee you a pain free, perfect birth, but what it does guarantee is you will feel more in control of your birth, you will feel confident to make choices that are right for you and your family throughout your pregnancy and birth, come what may!
HB can be learnt with your birth partner, be that your husband, wife, mother, doula, friend..... whoever will be supporting you during your birth. It enables your birth partner to play an active, supportive and confident presence during the birth experience; leaving them feeling they have played a part in the birth of their baby too. In fact birth partners usually become the biggest advocates for HB and usually tell anyone that will listen afterwards, because it really leaves them feeling informed, empowered and euphoric! (Below is a recent testimonial from a Dad I taught, he is now known as Hypnoman by me and his wife as he always talks about HB to anyone he meets that is pregnant!)
'When my wife said she was interested in Hypnobirthing I didn't have a clue what it was and even when she explained what she knew of it I still was sceptical of it, but was happy to go along with it as my wife was scared and I wanted to help and support her. Then we met Steph and after just one session I was confident that we would be able to get through this together. I looked forward to each week and finding out more about breathing techniques and how clever the body is. The more we learnt the more I believed we could do this together and have a pleasant, peaceful birth. Everything about giving birth the Hypnobirthing way is common sense and just allowing your body do what it naturally wants to do. I highly recommend Hypnobirthing as every family deserves a stress free natural birth, especially your baby!'
There are so many benefits to HB and it isn’t just for natural birth, I have taught couples that are planning a C-Section birth too. It will not only bring relaxation to the birth experience itself but also in the run up to it. Ante natally you’ll be more relaxed, prepared and in control leading to a calm and confident birth and postnatal experience. Techniques taught will also benefit your stay in hospital, aid bonding and help with feeding choices.
HB gives you an emotional toolkit to enable you to birth confidently and calmly, in any birth scenario.
Our classes are taught over five sessions in a group setting, four on a One to One basis with each class lasting 2 ½ hours. Our group classes are located in Chelmsford and Ongar and we are happy to offer One to One sessions from the comfort of your own home throughout Essex.
The Hypnobirthing sessions include;
- Powerful relaxations, visualisations and breathing techniques
- Confident and active involvement of birth partner
- Learn to avoid negative situations, and surround yourself with positivity
- Eliminating fear and looking forward to your birth
- Open discussions and options for birth preferences
- What to expect in early stages, established labour and the hours after birth
- Understanding your newborn, feeding choices and ways to soothe in the early days
And for our group classes we also offer;
- Nutrition in pregnancy, feeding yourself is feeding your baby
- Foods to avoid & foods to increase
Weaning (Introducing Solid foods to your baby
- When, Why and How?
- Baby-Led Weaning
- Traditional spoon-fed weaning
- What’s right for you and your baby?
- Foods to avoid at different stages
- Ideal first foods BLW or traditional spoon-fed
(Meal plans – Sample menus and tasting all included)
So as you can see what you get from our classes is a full antenatal training which is simple, logical and profound. It is designed to meet the needs of every mother to have a gentle, natural birth for herself and for her baby. It also leaves you feeling confident about the first few weeks, months with your baby and ignites your natural maternal intuition.
For further details please visit our website www.consciousbirth.co.uk or email