Course feedback / HypnoBirth stories ..............
Feedback about the course.....
I just wanted to say thank you for all you have taught us. I feel nothing but calm and excited about birth now. And that surely was not the case on day 1.
AJ, Rose Bay, NSW
'Helen creates a sacred space for pregnant women and their partners who want to reconnect with their inner knowledge and wisdom around the beauty of childbirth. It is through Helen's unique ability and energy that this empowering and liberating experience can take place, something which will last beyond labour and into conscious parenting.'
Claire M, Neutral Bay, NSW
Willow, born 36 weeks gestation:
Saturday the day before the birth we had a midwife appointment. Until then Melissa’s pregnancy went well and we thought to have another routine check-up.
It was good to hear the baby had started to descend and was engaged. 2/5. Our midwife was concerned that Melissa’s belly was small and according to the fundal measurement at least 2-4 weeks behind the week 36 calculated. She suggested a scan to check the baby’s growth.
Another concern was Melissa’s itchy hands and feet which could be an indication for Cholestasis, a liver condition which put the baby at risk. Immediately a blood test was booked for the following morning after a necessary fast. If the test was positive then baby should be induced soon.
We were very distressed due to the unexpected developments and could not believe the bad news.
We arrived teary and upset at the HypnoBirthing course which was immediately after the check-up at the birthing centre. Helen’s reassuring words and positive attitude calmed us down.
After the course Helen offered Reiki to Melissa. During this session she got messages from the baby. Helen referred to her as a girl, even though we didn’t know yet what we would have. The first message was: ‘She has a pressure above her eyes‘ - that is well possible I reasoned as she is 2/5 engaged which is around eye level.
Then she said: ’She goes back and forth’ and ‘She is deciding to come’. These two messages I could not explain as it was way to early for the baby to arrive. She also said the baby wanted us to go for a walk and go for a big lunch. We did as suggested and we talked through all the events of the day. By the time we were back home we had regained our calm and confidence that all will be good. Melissa even found the energy and motivation to finish her reports for school.
Finally in bed, Melissa could not find a comfortable spot to sleep. At 2am she went to the toilet and said ’Alex, I think my waters broke’
I remember that I did not panic and only thought ‘Helen was right, She is coming’.
It felt normal, but in hine sight we should have gone straight to the hospital.
The contractions were not strong so we decided to go back to sleep. We put the Hypnobirthing cd on and went to bed. By 5 o‘clock we started to pack our bags. Close to six the contractions were so strong Melissa wanted to lay in a warm bath. Here Melissa entered in her Hypno-trance and breathed through her growing surges one by one.
By seven Melissa called the birthing centre to tell we were coming. Fifteen minutes later she said ‘I feel the urge to push we should go now‘. She came out the bath to have a shower, but instead called out: ‘Alex, it’s coming!’. I was just in time to see Melissa grabbing her baby. ‘Here you are beautiful, I so wanted to meet you!’ she said to the little bundle in her arms.
The placenta fell out and I could see that the cord attached was around the neck. Quickly we untangled her and she responded with opening her eyes and a tiny cry. Melissa cleaned her face and told me to call triple zero. While I gave directions for the ambulance, Melissa checked what it was: ‘it’s a girl!’ she said.
I was still holding the phone and heard the operator asking to make the baby cry. Melissa rubbed her chest and Willow just gave her beautiful smile. ‘she is smiling’ I answered excited. ‘She is ok, I have to put the phone down, I want to hold her’.
It took the ambulance 16minutes to arrive. They clamped the cord and let me cut it. Melissa was put on a special chair and carried into the waiting ambulance. Melissa called her mum while breastfeeding on the ride to the hospital. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday and Willow’s second name was easily agreed. Willow was on top of the list and her big eyes made it a sure choice.
In the Hospital they checked Mum and Daughter and decided that all was good. We knew, but it was still a relief to hear after all the worries from the previous day.
As we had learned during HypnoBirthing, Willow decided when and how she would be born. By coming the way she did, she made a perfect entrance in the world.
Thank you for your vital role in Willow’s birthing. We are extremely grateful to have found you on our path.
Melissa & Alex, Dee Why, NSW
Jack second child, first hypnobirth
After going through what can only be described as a traumatic first birthing experience a year before (30 hrs plus, failed suction, forceps, an episiotomy and dozens (and dozens) of stitches), I approached my 2nd birthing opportunity with quite a bit of trepidation - until I met Helen.
Helen introduced me to a completely different approach to childbirth that I am truly grateful for - one where I remained in control at all times, and ultimately calm. Jack was born in 3 hours, completely naturally, without any of the interventions that I'd required for my first. Amazing.
I can't recommend Helen highly enough. She is a wonderful, loving, caring and calming practitioner who I'd definitely see again for a hypno-birthing 'top up' if ever we decide to go for a 3rd bub.
Sarah R, Roseville Chase, NSW
Hypnobirthing was so much more than just learning how to have a painfree birth ... it's a skill that changed my life forever!
It taught me about COMMUNICATION .. with my body, my partner and of course my baby 'Honey'.
Birthing her was the most amazing experience I ever thought possible and am looking forward to doing it again, which is is not the impression i get from many of my friends who also have children. I often feel guilty when i'm sharing my experience because it's so different from many of the horror stories I hear.
Honey decided she'd like to come into this world early on Sunday the 10th of April ... 10 days earlier than expected, but i felt totally calm because i was prepared physically and mentally.
I spent the next few hours cruising around the house painting my nails and making sure i had my bag packed and the way to the hospital we even stopped at McDonalds ... i figured hubby would be a better support partner with a full stomach!
On arrival ... i had to convince staff i was actually in labour ... their comments were "you can't be in labour, you don't look like you're in pain" ... but that's simply because i wasn't! They suggested i should go home for a while and when i refused two midwives and a doctor tried to convince me to be induced. Again i refused ... saying "she's coming today .... and get that damn bath ready!"
After it was established i was actually in labour, "Team Honey" was able to set up the room for our Hypnobirthing experience. My mum and husband dimmed the lights, put on relaxing music and made sure all interrruptions were kept to a minimum so i could birth our baby girl in the water in peace.
Using the Hypnobirthing techniques I put myself into a "dream-like" state ... i felt extremely relaxed and could have gone to sleep a few times if i wasn't so excited. It was an amazing feeling to literally push any pain away by simply tapping into my bodies natural resources ... I felt very strong and empowered.
During the final stages of my labour I had to really concentrate, because i was so eager to birth her ... i was getting dissapointed when the surges (contractions) would stop because it meant i had to wait, and because they didn't hurt i was actually looking forward to the next one! And then ... she arrived! ... shooting out like a fish in the water. The midwife scooped her up and held her out to me, but for a minute i just stared almost forgetting that after the whole experience of labour, i actually got a prize at the end. And what a prize!!!!
Honey is amazing! ... My husband and I believe she is so calm because she's a Hypnobaby! And we are better parents because of Hypnobirthing!
TC, Manly, NSW.
I had gestational diabetes and was on insulin so the consultant explained to me how I would be required to come into hospital on a certain date and have two IV cannulas put in and probably need IV infusion to control blood sugars and fluid. Absolutely no choice of birthing centre so no water birth and be started off on gel then infusion if nothing happened. I on the other hand had other plans going on in my head (that I had conveyed to Lewis my then unborn son and reminded him of this daily for 2 months during meditaion). I also chatted about this to my fun, relaxed midwives who agreed its best to just see what happens you just never know!
I had succumbed to the fact that I would go in on a certain date but I chose the date and managed to talk them into holding off for another week. I believe that something was on my side as the consultant didn't put up much of a fight after I reminded him that I was healthy and still walking 45minutes a day, the baby was healthy and didn't seem too big, I had expressed plenty of milk/clostrum incase the baby dropped sugar levels at birth, plus that was going to be nearer my real due date. He couldn't really argue with that and had no real case to question my confidence.
Funny enough the day before I was booked to go into hospital both Simon and I unexpectedly slept in till 11:30am (very unusual for us). I believe it was our bodies getting ready for all the excitement to come. On Sunday 24th August we went to the hospital. I had gel inserted around 3pm and put on monitoring every hour or so. I had a great game of Scrabble with Simon and Suzie that I won. We all just hungout for a few hours and had a good catch up. Around 8pm I had a second round of gel and at this time had started to feel some pressure in my abdomen. Midwife on the antenatal ward whom I had never met said even though I was showing movement on the monitor that I wasnt having the baby tonight as I was too comfortable, only minimally dilated and continued to explain that the drip would go up early in the morning. I knew we were never going near fully induced. I nodded and said yes sure.
By 9pm the pressure and tightness in my tummy was increasing and I had started to notice the readings on the contraction (sorry bad word I know) monitor increasing with them but kept it to myself. The midwife came by around 10pm and asked how I was feeling so I said I was feeling tightness but still she was insistant that I was not birthing till the morning as I was only 1cm dilated. She asked if I wanted analgesia to help me sleep I said 'no' but then had 2 paracetamol as I thought well if I am not labouring tonight it may take the edge off whatever it was that I was feeling! I knew Lewis and I were ready as I had been having signs such as a few very low blood sugars over a course of a few days plus while I was in hospital that day. Something was changing in my body.
Simon got all snuggled up on a foldout bed and I continued to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics on silent with beautiful music playing we had brought with us (you know meditation stuff! ha!). By 11pm I realised I had started rocking while sitting on my side and the tightening came more often and more intensely. Then I started hopping in and out of bed to the bathroom as I couldnt quite decide where I wanted to be but realise now that I was moving around and helping the birthing process. I was like a jack in the box in and out like a yoyo but started taking bedding with me to make the toilet area more comfortable plus I was a bit hot and cold (nesting like an animal). By 11.30pm I was really feeling it but never called anyone (especially the midwife who said I wasn't going to give birth tonight). I didnt want any unnecessary cannulas etc so just kept focused on what I was feeling.
Si woke up and realised I was sweating and had locked myself in the bathroom. He did some hypno excercises with me but never once asked if he should get someone. After a while I realised I wanted to be alone (with all my blankets on the toilet ha!). He went back to bed and pretty sure he fell right back to sleep. At 12:30 I was sweating and regularily feeling tightening and pressure. Strange thoughts started popping into my head of how if this wasnt labour and I had to wait till the morning to really feel labour then I might just have a caesarian while Simon sleeps so he cant talk me out of it. Just as that terrible thought popped into my head I felt a relieving snap and my waters had broken. I was elated (even though some wouldnt be) but I was so excited to be birthing and having my baby. I woke Simon and said he should tell the midwife just incase.
She came in asked me to get on the bed and examined me. "You are, 8cm...no 9cm...no 10...you are going to give birth but can you hang on as you cant do it here you need to go to the delivery suite" she said. I was very excited although 100% focused on listening to my body and thinking of my seeing my little baby.
They rushed me up to the labour ward but I was calm and focused, my midwife was called to come in but I was so relieved to be greated by my stand in midwife till she arrived who said "just do what your body feels like doing and needs". She didnt say anything else at all from there and just helped me get comfortable kneeling on the floor at the end of the bed with Simon holding both my hands.
I remained very focussed and although not completely quite I was focused on every tightening and continuously going over the meditation and imagining the rose bud opening. One distraction was when Simon tried to prize his hands away and when I puffed "please dont go" he replied "but I thought you may need some sweets from the vending machine for strength plus your blood sugar has been low" ha! ha! I gave a very convincing "no thanks".
So Lewis was born at 2am just as Suzy arrived to support Simon and I. She said it was a beautiful sight and could not believe it was all pretty much over as she hurried to get there.
It was great and my midwife was chuckling to herself as she knew that Lewis and I got the birth we wanted (apart from a water birth oh and a few stitches for me but at least nothing else). Jane our midwife was sure I would not tear but at the last minute Lewis's little finger nail caught me as he was happily sucking his thumb on the way out! I think that means he was very relaxed throughout the evening.
It was a great experience and I believe that was because I had taken control of my thoughts and feelings towards birthing before the event. I felt calm and do not remember any anxiety even when I was told about cannulas and no water birth etc. I just knew it would all be fine and happen how it should.
I never dreaded any of the tightenings that were coming or thought that I was dying. I was calm, focused and excited throughtout my pregnancy and birth. I use the mediation techniques and philosphy you enlightened us to everyday.
Thank you so much Helen and Hypnobirthing!
Love Sam, Simon and Lewis xxx
We are pleased to tell you that our daughter, was born at 9.35 am on Saturday 23rd August. She weighed 4.16 kilos (big baby!)
We also wanted to tell you our Hypnobirthing story...I started feeling 'twinges' around noon on Friday. Nothing major-managed to go to lunch and shopping with mum and had a quiet night in. We had made the Eggplant Parmesan recipe (Yum!) the night before and had the leftovers for dinner on Friday. I went off to bed, and was woken by stronger surges around midnight. We had done the Rainbow Relaxation just before going to sleep, so I woke already feeling very relaxed. I woke my husband up after 4 or 5 surges, and then the two of us spent the next few hours quietly working through the surges together. I even managed to fall asleep in between surges. The only slight downside was that I started to feel quite nauseous during the surges-and that's what I remember - not the surges themselves, but the nausea. Surges were coming at variable intervals-5 minutes, 3 minutes, then right on top of each other, and lasted at least one minute each time. Although we were instructed to wait until surges were 5 minutes apart and regular, our instincts told us that perhaps 'the main event' wasn't too far away and we called the hospital. They, as anticipated, told me that I sounded like I was coping very well at home (I managed to carry on a conversation through two contractions, and then breathed my way through a third) and that since my surges were variable, it was probably early labour. And then she said 'Are you sure they are lasting longer than a minute?' we knew that they were, and that was when I knew that this was the real deal. So off to the hospital we went at about 4.30. When we arrived, the midwife that greeted us was very informed and supportive of our birthing choice. We were shown to a room with low lights and offered the option of going directly to the bath or getting checked. I wanted to be certain that I was in labour so I opted for the check. I was so relieved to find that I was 5-6 cm dilated. My husband prepared the bath and had a bit of a laugh when he poured my shampoo into the bath instead of the aromatherapy oils I had purchased for the occasion!! The bath itself was heaven and when I was checked an hour later, I was 8 cm dilated! Things continued to progress through the early morning. There was a small hiccup when our obstetrician arrived announcing that I was not yet fully dilated and that the baby was posterior presented. My choices: epidural (as it was felt that we were in for a long haul) or continue with what we were doing and hope that baby decided to turn on her own. We opted for the latter choice, and low and behold our baby decided to turn of her own accord! The rest, they say, is history...
And as a new mum, I was able to hit the ground running. I felt wonderful after the birth, very energetic and just totally blissful...Actually come to think of it, I'm still pretty energetic and thoroughly, completely blissed out.
Our daughter is beautiful, as you can see from the photo I've attached. She's a very contented baby-no troubles feeding, a great sleeper and very interactive.
Thank you very, very much for helping us to achieve our goal of a relaxing, low-intervention birth for our baby girl. We feel very lucky (and not just a little smug!) that we were able to achieve this for our baby!
K & M, Neutral Bay, NSW.
First & Second Hypno-baby stories:
Just a note to say our beautiful baby has finally arrived – we’re madly in love! We were blessed enough to have the natural, drug free labour that we so profoundly wanted and even had a waterbirth which we’d hoped for, then topped it all off when Benjamin was born with his amniotic sac still intact – very rare and considered lucky from what I understand, so he’s off to a great start!
Pre/early labour lasted for around 24 hours. The hypnobirthing techniques and visualizations worked fantastically throughout that protracted period, keeping calm and focused and breathing. We finally went in to the birth centre at 8pm Sunday to discover I was 5cm and not yet fully effaced, I managed to remain focused on ‘letting go’ and not fearing the pain. My husband was a complete superstar and tremendous support, reminding me constantly of my breathing, ‘lucy limp’ and the blue ribbons and red balloon.
Benjamin was born at 10.34 pm with the second stage lasting only 24 minutes. My body and baby did indeed know exactly what to do!
Thank you so much for everything you taught us, we do feel it helped tremendously in achieving the birth we wanted and has equipped us with some great life skills. We’re both convinced of the power of positive thoughts and affirmations and the advantages of self-hypnosis so we’ll be continuing to practice these techniques to help us through the more challenging aspects of parenting in the weeks, months and years ahead!
Very best wishes to you and all your future hyno-birthers! - L & E, Redfern.
and then their second baby arrived in 2009 ~ a home birth
Don’t know if you’ll remember us – we did your hypnobirthing course back in Aug 2007 before the arrival of our son. We just wanted to let you know of the equally wonderful arrival of our little girl, who was born on 14 May at home! We had intended to go to the birth centre at Randwick, where Ben was born, but she came so quickly – 2 hour labour and 2nd stage lasted all of 4 minutes! I broke my own waters as she was still in her amniotic sac, then I caught her head and Eric delivered her body. Again, I firmly believe Hypnobirthing helped enormously in remaining calm and letting nature take its course. I’d been doing my relaxation and affirmations daily for the preceeding months. All went beautifully and the birth was a dream! Just wanted to say thanks again for the invaluable skills you taught us – we are so thankful that both our children have had the most perfect start in life. - With love and best wishes, L & E, Redfern
It's Rachael here one of your old Hypnobirthing students from I think it was around Oct 2009. Just wanted to say a big thankyou for all your teachings, and how it has also helped with the smooth arrival of our second little girl.
We birthed our first little girl Cassidy, December 28th 2009. Very calm and happy baby & now a very switched on, cute & curious 20 months old.
We have recently welcomed another beautiful little baby girl, Estelle born 14th May 2011, now 4 months old now.
I practiced all the wonderful hypnobirthing techniques that you taught us the first time round. Visualised another short, calm and peaceful birth on a weekend & early in the morning and all of that happened!
Thankyou so much for all your teachings, which worked wonders again & I am lettting lots of people know about you & the classes.x
R & O, Northern Beaches, NSW.
Here are a couple of pics & hope to join some of your other classes soon x
I went to my pre-natal yoga class in the morning and during this class I felt some sensation, I wasn’t sure if it was just another Braxton Hicks or contractions. This went on pretty much all day, but I didn’t mention anything because I thought it was nothing. I woke up at around 1am and had the urge to go to the toilet; I went back to bed but soon after had a funny feeling again that I have to go to the toilet again. This time there was a bit of blood on the toilet paper, so we called the hospital and they advised us to come in just to make sure.
I arrived at the hospital at around 2:30am and we settled into our room. We played some relaxing music and I was able to use the slow breathing. After a while the midwife came in and was surprised when I told her that I couldn’t sleep between the contractions because they came too often. So she examined me again and told me that I was 5 cm dilated already and that she was surprised because I was so calm. From then on it seemed to all go really quickly. My obstetrician was stuck in in peak hour traffic so I only had two midwifes in the room with me.
Shortly after that 2 midwives started setting up loads of things around me, so I knew it wasn’t long to go. The midwife examined me again and said that I am 9cm already and that I’m ready for the last bit, so I wouldn’t need the gas. I am very thankful to this midwife, because without her I would have used the gas and would have been disappointed afterwards. After the head and the shoulders were out I picked my baby son up myself and pulled him straight on my chest which was very special. All together my labour was calculated by the hospital as 6hrs 20min. .I didn’t have to get cut neither did I require any stitches.
It was a great morning with sunshine and after my husband cut the umbilical cord and my placenta was delivered the three of us had time to bond for a couple of hours which was great. He did need a bit of help to get the breastfeeding started, but since then he got a taste of it we can hardly stop him! Apparently I was the talk of the floor between all the staff, everybody said they were amazed how calm and in control I was. - BH, Sydney.
Siena was born 2 weeks before my estimated date of delivery on October 12th at 8pm. The birthing took about 4 hours in total and we couldn't be happier with how it went! We almost didn't make it to the hospital - after spending a bit of time in the bath at home I knew it was time to go. When I got in the car I couldn't even sit up - I had to lie on the backseat telling my husband to please hurry :)
When we got there I was fully dilated and Siena was born without incident in a calm and peaceful environment a short time after. We were so impressed with the hospital - they followed our preferences to the letter (despite the fact that our obstetrician was on holidays!). We are absolutely in love with our little girl and are happier than we have ever been even though enough sleep is somewhat of a distant memory.
I tell my story to anyone who will listen. I am convinced that the reason it was so quick and went so incredibly well is because of Hypnobirthing. I loved your classes - it was like a synthesis of everything I believe in. The only thing I would probably add to my story is that I birthed Siena without any drugs and that in the days following I was constantly offered painkillers "for the pain" - I kept telling them I wasn't in any pain and was told not to be a hero!
D&B, Balgowlah, NSW.
Kathyrn's birth story for her third child:
VBAC? What's that?
When the midwife said, "so you're decided on a VBAC delivery" I wasn't sure what she meant. I soon found out that it stands for Vaginal Birth After Caesarian.
My first birth of my baby boy was vaginal, long but no complications.
My second labour ended in an emergency caesarian. My baby boy got stuck at the top of the cervix. He was big; 4.1kg and his head was in an awkward position.
It was quite a shock as I was expecting another vaginal birth, however my baby & I were both happy & healthy and that was the main thing. Although I found the recovery from a caesarian section to be long & painful, after all it is major abdominal surgery. I felt a bit helpless as it is a struggle to even pick up your own baby, let alone not driving for 4-6 weeks & the usual sleepless routine of a new born doesn't help recovery.
So when it came to deciding which way to go for my third birth I was at a loss.
A caesar was a straight forward planned procedure & I think most of the medical staff thought I would go that way. I also didn't want to go through labour again to end up having another caesar. But the recovery was an issue with two other children to consider.
On the other side I really yearned to have a natural birth. That is the way the female body is designed to have babies and it is the most amazing and challenging experience I have ever undergone.
Still in a quandary, I then met Helen at Yoga classes & she introduced me to hypnobirthing. She steered me right in the direction I wanted to go and I thank her for it. She is a genuinely caring and very capable person. She gave me the confidence to choose vaginal birth & believe that I could do it naturally. The hypnobirthing techniques kept me calm and enabled me to go within myself to endure the labour. My husband supported me in this decision and during the birth using touch to help release endorphins. I was so relieved that we made the right decision for us and I gave birth to a baby girl vaginally & without medical pain relief. It was a wonderful thing!
KC, Frenchs Forest
A Birth Companion's experience of HypnoBirthing:
thankyou for asking for my hypnobirthing experience from a 'birth companion' perspective. Although I ended up arriving in the delivery suite as baby entered the world ( I arrived before we were aware of the sex of baby), I think the hypnobirthing preparation impacted on my behaviour throughout the birthing experience. Having birthed 2 babies, hypnobirthing provided me with a totally different insight into childbirth. Although I had one positive birthing experience to relate to, I could have had more ownership of it. I think the main thing was the concept of childbirth being 'natural' and 'non medical'. That the birth should be how Sam & Simon want it to be, and not how others want or suggest it should be. Sam was in full labour without the midwifes being aware, this being as a result of how well she 'hypnobirthed', it was not until her membranes released that the midwives realised she should proceed to the delivery suite. Lewis arrived into the world 20 minutes later.
Attending the hypnobirthing course as a companion provided me with the opportunity to bond further with Sam & Simon in this role. We had a close relationship beforehand but the value came from the sessions allowing us to focus on hypnobirthing as a team . I was able to gain an idea of their birthing ideals. The aim was to enable Sam & Simon to have a 'happy birthing day' and I felt a sense of belonging as a companion and responsibility, having attended the course. I had an insight into how to provide Sam with support and how she needed to prepare using the techniques. I experienced the techniques and have learnt that I can use these personally also.
I would recommend hypnobirthing without any hesitation, I only wish I had been aware of the opportunity before my 2 pregnancies and births.
It was a pleasure to be part of such a 'happy birthing day'.
Suzy, Coogee, NSW.
Press Releases about HypnoBirthing ......please visit the MEDIA page.