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Caryl, first time mum to baby Ianto, Greenwich


Caryl's positive birth story is below in pink. Here's a testimonial from her husband Alex...

I did a hypnobirthing course with my wife over the phone with Zoe and I'd strongly recommend the course, and Zoe in particular, to anyone considering it.

As a first-time father, it was really informative about the birth overall as well as really helping me to feel empowered about the positive role I could play - both in preparation for, and during the birth.

And Zoe was brilliant - open, knowledgeable and happy to laugh with us when some of the exercises initially drove us to giggles rather than transcendence! I approached the experience with a relatively open mind, but it confirmed for me that you don't have to be a certain 'type' of person to get or benefit from hypnobirthing.

It's a practical, effective way to give anyone some basic knowledge and techniques that will help improve your experience of childbirth, however and wherever you choose to do so.



Caryl's beautiful positive birth story

We did our first hypnobirthing session over the phone with Zoe just before we went on a lovely holiday in Wales where we had plenty of time to practise our hypnobirthing and to find good upward visualisations. The hypnobirthing positive affirmations and my general sense of calm + yoga meant that I never got to the stage where I wanted my baby to come out because I felt big or uncomfortable - only because I wanted to meet him.

On moving the due date

One thing that made me feel stressed before the birth was the fact that my due date was bought forward based on a scan. I felt it was inevitable that I would go overdue or at least be put under pressure to have sweeps etc. I had tried to discuss this with various midwives throughout the pregnancy and as the time neared I instinctively felt that Ianto wasn't ready to come out. So I made a much more pro-active effort. With advice and support from Zoe I gathered all of my evidence and made an appointment with the consultant midwife at the Birth Centre. The effort paid off and my due date was moved back by 5 days. Hooray!

This made me feel more confident and trusting of the midwives for being so understanding and rational; it also made me feel in control and able to exercise choice for what was right for baby and I.

My surges started a couple of days after my new, later due date. After a day and a half of regular surges at home, and a long walk along the canal, we were checked in to one of the big birthing rooms at the birth centre in St Mary's at about 8.30pm on Wednesday the 12th. Alex was about to have a cup of tea and check to see if we could catch the end of Great British Bake off on the telly when my waters broke, the surges got more intense and the midwife suggested I get into the birth pool.

Staying calm and relaxed

Once I was in the pool we listened to calming music and I used the hypnobirthing breathing and visualization that I’d been practicing to breath out tension (and my baby, called Ianto!) during surges.

The midwife was very calm, quiet and supportive, commenting that she could see that we had been practising hypnobirthing. Even in the pushing phase and when Ianto came out in superman pose, we were all quite relaxed, with his strong heart beat reassuring us that we were all doing well.

Ianto was born about 5 hours after we got into the pool.

The first weeks that we have spent with him have been truly amazing and very positive.