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.
During one of our prenatal appointments, you asked me what my favourite part about giving birth was. I remember thinking, the only thing I like about giving birth is when it’s over. You changed my opinion entirely. Now if I had to answer that same question, I would say there are many wonderful things about giving birth. With the right care, giving birth naturally is one of the most empowering experiences a woman will have. Giving birth is nothing to fear. Over the 9 months you cared for us, my fear evaporated. During labour I felt totally in control. What a difference to my previous births where I was frightened of the pain, focused on the pain and asking for direction. In fact, I don’t even remember the pain. I just remember feeling all the good things our body gives us to make us feel euphoric and awesome. I loved how you sat there quietly and watched and marveled. No need for touching me at all, just silently reassuring me that everything was perfect and amazing. Plus, if intervention was required, I knew there was not anyone more capable. You have the wisdom of a woman who she herself has labored 100 times. This wisdom along with your amazing education, experience and ongoing desire to learn make you very special! I believe that any woman, no matter how she decides to birth will be better off with you by her side. Jethro could not have had a better start to his precious little life. We love you and all you do for woman and their babies!
I liked the way Red presented the concept that pain during birth is OK, and even beneficial! The hypnobirthing book seems to give the impression that all hypnobirths ‘should’ be painless.
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
Refresher class: I liked most that I was able to ‘debrief’ our previous birth experience. It also gave me confidence to hear what we can do better (differently) next time, and that perhaps once the little hiccups (logistics) are resolved, we have what it takes to make the next time much smoother. Our two biggest discoveries in our refresher class with Red was the vocalization techniques and that the doula’s role is to support the decisions of the parents and (not make decision for them) thus they cannot speak on behalf of the parents. So we need to be more active and vocal in our participation of all the decision-making! The refresher was very useful as there were a lot of details that we had forgotten, so it was very useful to have those blanks filled in. We could ask plenty of questions that were specific to our situation, which was especially helpful because we already had a good idea of what we wanted to achieve for this birth. This helps us obtain more targeted information. Red is very open and gives a lot of down to earth advice based on real life experiences, so we benefit from that and not simply a theoretical or textbook view of Hypnobirthing. Simple things like putting up reminders for the people entering the birthing ward are practical and useful tips. How little touches and reminders can ‘hold the space’ to ensure that people entering the birthing ward can be a quiet, calm, and respectful. Red is very polite and soft spoken. She uses a gentle approach to communicate her opinions and empathizes with our views.
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.
I did Craniosacral therapy with Red at a time when emotionally I felt very shaken from my birth experience. The session definitely helped me to feel calmer and mentally helped me to resolve some issues; my baby also seemed calmer after the session and would sleep better.
We loved Reds charisma and personality... she talks about pregnancy and giving birth with such an enthusiasm that you can feel how much she cares about the mommies and the babies – and also about the daddies!!! For the mommy ~ she makes you feel that you are going to experience something extraordinary and that you can do it all by yourself! That your body is a temple that is designed for giving birth and that there is nothing to fear! And I was surprised to discover about myself in labor that I wasn’t afraid! For the daddies ~ she made my hubby feel that he is an active part of labour – not just in the audience! She reassured him to be my advocate – to speak to doctors and nurses on my behalf – so that I can totally concentrate on birthing our baby! Because of Reds knowledge, expertise and strong feel about the PRO’s of NATURAL BIRTH we had a good contrast to the medical point of view of our doctor, so that we could make well-informed decisions about what we wanted and what we didn´t.