A new mum recently came along to our monthly meet up and afterwards she thanked me for helping to set up a safe space for women to share their positive experiences about childbirth. She was close to tears when she expressed how healing it had been to talk about her own experience, without being made to feel like an outcast.
When I was preparing for the birth of my first baby, the horror stories kept coming thick and fast: I was told in no uncertain terms how painful childbirth was going to be; how brutal; how difficult; how damaging.... My own dear mum even told me that giving birth to me was an horrific experience from which she's never truly recovered.
When I told people that I was preparing for my baby's birth using hypnobirthing, people actually laughed in my face! "Ha!" They scorned, "What a load of bollocks! Get an epidural and be done with it!"
This reaction was fairly typical *sigh* but I was determined to listen to my gut, recalling the one positive birth story I had been told by my good friend: the story which had led me to practise hypnobirthing in the first place, and to follow my teacher's advice by trying to block out the unhelpful chatter. I drew strength from my hypnobirthing toolkit, such as using positive birth affirmations and searching out positive stories in books such as Ina May Gaskin's 'Guide to Childbirth' and watching awe inspiring birth videos kindly shared online. I also did my research, thought carefully about the possible forks in the road and made plans for every eventuality.
As I approached my baby's birth-day, I was super focused on having a calm and gentle birth. However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't scarred by the myriad horror stories I'd been told. Despite how hard I'd worked, I couldn't shift that tiny bit of doubt: what if they are right? What if I can't do this? What if it hurts? What if I fail?
Well, that day came and guess what? I did it! I overcame that fear, channelled it and gave birth to a 9lb bouncing baby boy, at the Barkantine Birth Centre, without ever needing to ask for pain relief and feeling extremely BADASS!
And then I did it all again 20 months later, completely free from fear and 100% in control - to a fist bumping 10lb mermaid, in a birth pool set up in my living room.
Birth doesn't have to be like all the horror stories.
This knowledge completely transformed, not only my own birth experiences but, my entire life. I am now dedicated to teaching this truth to women all over the world.
I support women, just like you, to take control of their pregnancy, labour, birth, postnatal recovery and indeed, their parenting choices. I share with them the knowledge, skills and tools they need to successfully navigate the system in which they find themselves, in order to make decisions which are right for them and their babies. This is your body, your baby and your birth: only you decide how that will be.
Hypnobirthing can and will work for everyone, no matter where or how you choose to give birth to your baby. The full hypnobirthing course I teach is a complete antenatal training programme, designed to fully prepare couples to have the best possible birth experiences for them and their babies.
Yes, you will learn the transformational art of self-hypnosis, which will help you to feel calm by teaching you to let go of fear; yes, you will learn how to harness the power of positive thinking; yes, you will learn special breathing techniques to support you through labour, birth and beyond; and yes, you will learn about different positions, tools and techniques you might try to help you give birth more comfortably. You will also learn about the tough choices you will be asked to make and be given the tools to build your confidence and to question the care you are offered, in order to make your own, informed decisions and feel in control at all times.
Birth doesn't have to be like all the horror stories. Birth can and should be a positive experience for every woman and proudly shouted about from the roof tops for all to hear and celebrate.
If this sounds intriguing and you'd like to give it a go, why not join me on Sunday 21st July, for our Pregnancy Pop Up Retreat Day at Poplar Union. I will be running a Hypnobirthing Masterclass, where we will explore the art of hypnobirthing. You will learn breathing techniques to keep you relaxed and focused during pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond and experience a powerful, guided meditation to help you release any fears you may have around giving birth. *If you enjoy the experience and you'd like to learn more, I'll give you £50 off the price of my full private hypnobirthing course. These sessions will take place in the comfort of your own home, at a time and date to suit, and the price includes specialist support from me until your baby is born.
Our fabulously unique Pregnancy Pop Up is an all day event, designed especially for expectant mums and their birth partners, to help you feel relaxed, prepared and excited for the arrival of your new baby. I will be joined by a host of trusted birth and baby professionals, who will each share the tricks of their trades with you.
During the day you can have a go at belly-wrapping; learn how to get your home baby-ready - with top tips to beat the overwhelm from Hannah Ashwell-Dickinson, our professional organiser; discover how to make life easy for yourself and your baby, by learning the transformational art of baby-wearing with Mel Pinet; explore how to use aromatherapy to support you during labour and birth and end the day feeling completely relaxed and restored, as you experience the blissful benefits of pregnancy yoga with Liz Higginbottom.
We will also be joined by our favourite natural and organic skincare brand: Skin to Skin, designed especially for mums and babies, as well as the fabulous sustainable maternity project: Bundle n' Joy, who will be showcasing their unique rental wardrobe for mums-to-be.
I'm super excited to announce that tickets for this event are on sale now and a complimentary luxury goody bag is up for grabs, for the 1st 10 tickets sold! Your ticket includes light refreshments throughout the day and if you'd like to pre-order a pizza and a drink from E5 Roasthouse, you can do so for just £10.
We cannot wait to share this special day with you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. In the meantime, click here to bag your ticket and we'll see you in a couple of weeks!
More about Helen: Helen Wright, the Founder of BirthWright, lives in Wapping, East London, with her partner and their two hypno-babies. In her life BC (Before Children), Helen was a primary school Assistant Headteacher, specialising in the Early Years. Since becoming a mum, Helen has also become a massive advocate for positive birth. She has made it her mission to support women, all over the world, to have the best birth experiences for them and their babies. In addition to her work as a Positive Birth Coach and Hypnobirthing Teacher; Helen is also the creative genius behind BirthWright Affirmation Cards; she cohosts a monthly Family Meet Up group and further supports women, postnatally, in her role as a Placenta Remedies Specialist and Breastfeeding Advocate. If you're a birth-worker and you are interested in becoming a specialist yourself, Helen is also the London-based IPEN Placenta Remedies Instructor.