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.
We took the full series again even though we had taken it for our first baby also I loved simply taking the time, at least 2-3 hours a week, to tune in to the baby, together with my husband (without my little boy around 🙂 ). Becoming aware of what is happening inside, seeing it from the perspective of the baby. Since it was a refresher, most of the topics were familiar to me. The humming/sounds were new and very helpful! The tips and awareness regarding diet and eating well and diverse (and how that affects the unborn child) were very helpful and influenced my eating and drinking habits.
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.
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.
I’m very grateful that I met Red and I enjoyed and appreciated her visits a lot! She helped and supported me during the first months; I don’t know what I would have done without her! She has a great personality and an excellent knowledge about babies, breastfeeding and all other related topics. I love her nature-based approach and I can fully recommend her to all other mums-to-be! I love your personality, you are always calm and relaxed, friendly and open, not stressed or under time pressure. I love that you have a natural-based approach and that you have a great knowledge of health in general. I appreciate a lot all the advice you gave me, may it be a recommendation for breastfeeding, coconut oil, craniosacral therapy or baby massage.
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.
Initially I came to see Red during my pregnancy for (Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy) CST to help my body release tension and promote inner strength during the pregnancy. I’ve received so much benefit that I’ve continued post-natal sessions too! During our sessions I have a profound experience of deep peace and connection to self. Afterwards I feel renewed, alive, and less tension in my bodymind. Red has a wonderful, intuitive healing touch.
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.
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.
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.