The Hypnobirthing classes made me discover that it’s possible to have really calm, positive births. I know that sounds weird but the only person I knew before that who had had a positive birth experience was (luckily for me,) my Mum. But other than that, I’d only ever heard horror stories and I’d never seen any positive birth footage or discussion, it always seemed to be something to be endured/ feared. Also that you can ‘train’ for a positive birth. I can’t think of another way to put it. But once I started viewing it in the same terms as say preparing for a big run that really helped because it framed it as something positive, but also you wouldn’t just do a marathon from scratch, you’d train for it. So we viewed all of my diet, prenatal yoga and crucially all the visualisations as part of that preparation which I did every day. That really helped because it made us feel positive and empowered, rather than nervous and disempowered. Prior to that it just seemed like whether or not you had a good birth was completely random.
For me as a dad the best thing was that the class and Hypnobirthing generally really gave me a key and important role. I felt I was an active and useful member of ‘team birth’ rather than a bystander who was just in the way. Everything from the light-touch massage and supporting visualisations, to being the gatekeeper gave me a role that was really important, making me feel I was helping my wife, rather than not knowing what to do or feeling in the way.
Midwife led care for us was absolutely the right decision, we loved it and it made the whole pregnancy, birth and postnatal period so enjoyable because we had total confidence in you. We both found you so supportive and genuinely caring, much more so than we experienced at hospitals. There are loads of things that we loved about it all, so it’s hard to pin down some specifics but some of the things we loved best about it were: – That it was always very positive and we had total confidence in your expertise to pick-up quickly if there was anything a bit amiss, but that it wasn’t so invasive as hospital-based care. Every time I went to the hospital (before we met you,) I seemed to have endless scans and they would then use lots of jargon that I didn’t understand, which made me uneasy and feel that there could be things wrong, when the reality was that I was doing great in pregnancy! – That midwife led care always gave us options, and that the care was tailored to us. When we were deciding on things, you would give us our options in simple English and then let us decide. That wasn’t our experience in hospitals as we often felt that we were being ‘pushed’ to take a particular ‘package’ and that it was quite confusing. – The birth well, that was just completely awesome! Definitely one of the most euphoric and extraordinary experiences of our lives. It was everything we hoped it would be. And more. For us having a home birth with midwife-led care was just wonderful as we could do all the postnatal checks etc in the warm and familiar comfort of our home. You were just brilliant at doing all the checks and work so quickly and competently, but also calmly to keep the atmosphere we wanted – brilliant 😉 The postnatal care was invaluable!! Those first few days were a whirlwind getting to grips with breastfeeding etc and having you be able to come to the house and talk through any issues was just such a help! – We loved how you talked to Jake in the womb too 😉 Lots of love, N xx
I had already done prenatal classes with another organization, although I still felt unprepared about the process of giving birth. With Red the one-to-one sessions helped me to prepare mentally. The sessions were educational (not overwhelming) and the most important thing was her approach to giving birth naturally. By speaking with her, I felt empowered about the choices I had made. She was also very helpful in making my husband feel included and coached him on how he could offer help during the birthing process.
As a dad I liked Red’s upfront teaching style-honest, direct, with humor which further increased my awareness of my role in the process. Most books or programs do not really address the role of the dad in a meaningful way. Energetic, upfront, and frank in her views about the birthing process while remaining respectful and diplomatic.
My birth experience in the hospital was very traumatic so naturally when I came home with my baby I felt very shaken and my nerves were all over the place. I remember the first night was tough and Red came over the next day. Having her visit me at home was a Godsend! She is a very kind and compassionate human being and I really needed to be able to discuss my birthing experience with her. It was very cathartic for me. As a firth time mom it can be a very stressful time and knowing that I could reach out to Red was extremely reassuring. Not only did she help me with the initial things like how to burp a baby and helping me with improving my latch when breastfeeding. I also loved her massage and bathing technique for my baby, such a repository of knowledge. I love Red’s approach — she is very gentle and supportive and helped me to feel confident about my mothering skills.
Craniosacral therapy was a wonderful way to relax ~ to have time just for myself. I became aware of the self healing ability of my body. Each time when I left Reds healing hands I could feel my body working more smoothly.
Having a private midwife for my 5th pregnancy was a great experience. The antenatal appointments at home were so much more convenient for the whole family than going for hospital check-ups with 4 children. Red was great at involving the kids too. They would even try to feel where their little brother’s head was! Having longer appointments gave me time to ask all my questions and address any concerns in details. So different to a doctor’s room where I would only spend 5-10 minutes. During the pregnancy, I felt generally better than the previous times because more attention was given to my iron level and general diet. During the home birth, Red was very patient, even though I had a really long pre-labour. She gave me all the time I needed to labour as I wanted to. There was absolutely no rush and she ended up spending about 9 hours (!) with me to make sure I was completely well before she left. This was the first time that I could labour and birth a baby exactly as I wanted to. I had the most restful day at home after the delivery. Not being woken up all the time by hospital staff was a big bonus.:) I’m really thankful for the wonderful midwifery care I received!
During my pregnancy Red was my midwife for prenatal visits and helped me to plan for our birth. She was thorough, gentle, and caring. She always goes the extra mile to provide support in whatever area is needed – whether that’s emotional, diet and exercise, or natural remedies to help with pregnancy symptoms. She highly respects what each woman and family wants for their birth, and supports them in that. While providing the knowledge she has to support a healthy mother and baby. I loved working with her, as the care she gives, as a midwife is so much more than what I got from my obstetrician. I highly recommend her care!
What we liked most about the classes was that there was active discussion and videos of positive, beautiful births to really counter all of the negative, screaming images that we see and can easily become hard-wired into our sub-conscious. I also really liked that it wasn’t a really dogmatic approach, and you kept stressing that Hynobirthing can be done in hospitals, even if you end up getting a c-section or whatever, you can keep the principles in your mind, but crucially you haven’t FAILED if that’s what happens. I think that’s really important because a lot of the natural birth rhetoric I found actually quite dogmatic and daunting for expectant mums. It was also great that Red would mention about really beautiful births she’s been at over the weekend before the class or whatever, because it really made it seem possible, not just in the videos. We also found it hugely helpful to have your experience as a midwife brought to bear on the class to as often you would add extra medical and research dimensions that weren’t in the book.