Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘hypnosis’ Category

I guess this may be more useful if you are planning to hire an Independent Midwife as with the NHS there is less choice, but you still do have a choice of midwife and should remember that if you don’t get on with your midwife you can ask the local Supervisor of Midwives (at the local maternity unit) to help you to find a new midwife.

If looking for an Independent Midwife, I would suggest that you start by looking at www.independentmidwives.org.uk where you can enter your postcode to find the midwives who live closest to you.  This website will then lead you to look at the midwives own websites and you should get a “feel” of the midwives from their websites.  The next step is to email or telephone your favourite midwife(s) to have a chat with them, again this should help you to gauge whether they might be the right midwife for you.

The midwife will want to know where you live (to ensure that she is able to travel to you), she will also want to know when your baby is due (to ensure that she is free at that time) and whether it is your first baby.  If you have had a baby/babies before I would expect her to ask about your experience.  She will also be keen to know where you plan to give birth.

Questions you may like to ask of the midwife include:

How long have you been a midwife? / An Independent Midwife?
Do you like homebirths/waterbirths?
Do you have additional skills (hypnosis training etc)?
What would happen if my baby is breech/I am expecting twins?
What is your normal birth rate?
What is your caesarean rate?
What is your breastfeeding rate?
What is your homebirth rate?
What is your transfer rate?
How much do you charge?
What can I expect from you?
Antenatal care? Labour and birth care? Postnatal care?

I would expect an Independent Midwife to outline the issue of the lack of professional indemnity insurance to you.

If you enjoy speaking to the midwife, I would suggest that the next course of action might be to arrange a consultation.  The midwife will usually be happy to come to your home to meet you and your partner to discuss things in more detail.  Many midwives make a small charge for this meeting to cover their time and petrol costs (this meeting make last a couple of hours) and will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions of the midwife and again to enable you to decide whether she is the right midwife for you.  Most midwives will deduct this fee from the final balance if you decide to book with them.

Some women do “interview” a couple of midwives, and this is perfectly acceptable and perhaps a sensible approach as it will be an important relationship.

An Independent Midwife’s fee may seem expensive, particularly when you can get a similar service for free on the NHS, but I always say to clients that you won’t have many babies and it is important to get things right!  It may be better to employ a midwife and wait a bit longer for the new car or foreign holiday!  An Independent Midwife will usually give you a lot more time than an NHS midwife is able to; she will see you more frequently and give you longer appointments.  The other main benefit is that you will see the same midwife throughout your pregnancy, birth and postnatal period.

I wish you well in your decision-making whether you choose an NHS or Independent Midwife, and if I can be of any help to you please feel free to email info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

Introduction to Homoeopathy – Ursula Kraus-Harper

Thursday 17th June 8 – 9.30 pm

Talk at NCT event Medbourne Community Sports Pavilion, Pascale Drive, Medbourne

Milton Keynes Antenatal Exhibition

Sunday 20th June,

2-4.30 pm FREE entry,

Christ the Cornerstone Church, CMK opp M&S bit.ly/dBsLmL 300 Saxon Gate West, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2ES.

FREE entry, refreshment and goody bags. An opportunity for expectant parents to gather information on all aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenting. Exhibitors include: midwives, breastfeeding, waterbirth, cloth nappies, complementary therapies, ultrasound scan, baby massage, aquanatal and much more!

Please contact me info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk for more details.

Fertility issues or preconceptual guidance is part of the midwife’s role and is something I am often asked about.  Apart from the usual information for someone planning a baby, actually getting pregnant can sometimes be an issue.  The medical profession often do not consider it a potential problem unless you have been trying for a baby for around 18 months, and indeed it can often take longer – this must seem like forever when you aren’t getting pregnant.  I do know that stress (including trying for a baby) and sub-optimal health can lead to difficulty in conceiving, so bear this in mind.

To get yourself into optimal health obviously you need to eat well, be rested.  There are some very good websites, particularly the Foresight website and I suggest you work through this list. 

www.haveababy.com

www.womantomother.co.uk

http://www.foresight-preconception.org.uk

http://www.marilynglenville.com

http://www.zitawest.com

http://www.eatwell.gov.uk/agesandstages/pregnancy/whenyrpregnant/

Also, complementary therapists may help and I have listed some that I am aware of in the Milton Keynes area:

Acupuncture –

Sandra Ah-Peng – Acupuncturist
Milton Keynes 01908 505883

www.mkacupuncture.co.uk

Gabi Stutz – Acupuncturist
Milton Keynes 01908 225051

Homoeopathy –

Gwynne Grayson – Homeopath
Milton Keynes 01908 520546

Jacky Swanepoel – Homeopath
Milton Keynes 01908 585385

Reflexology –

Kelly Holman – Reflexology
Milton Keynes 01908 54266

www.thesunflowerhouse.co.uk

Kinesiology –

Lesley Stephenson – Kinesiologist
Northampton 01604 871225

www.sanctumclinic.co.uk

Hypnotherapy –

Denise Marleyn
Leighton Buzzard 01525 850334

www.persephone-therapy.co.uk

Emotional Freedom Techniques

https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/emotional-freedom-technique-eft-and-fertility/

Sejual Shah

http://www.healthyinmind.com/

Nutrition:

Kim Crundall

http://www.balancenutrition.co.uk/index.htm

How aware you are of your fertile period?  It is usually 14 days before a period, so if you have a 28 day cycle it is day 14, but on a longer cycle it may well be later, and just to confuse things women do not always ovulate on day 14!  There are various things you can use, like predictor and charting your temperature etc, but also by looking at your normal vaginal discharge (!) at your fertile period the discharge will change from a thicker creamier discharge moving towards a clear, stretch discharge like egg white.  To help with conception it is best if you have sex on alternate days around this period.   

Hope that something here will be helpful to you.

Having spoken previously about “pharmacological” methods of pain relief, I thought I would mention the whole host of “natural” methods of pain relief:

Movement – Walking, pacing

Changing position – squatting, kneeling

Using a chair/birth stool/birthing ball

Having a bath or shower

Using a birthing pool

Massage – oils, talc, ball

Music

Chanting, singing, nursery rhyme

Breathing, relaxation, visualisation techniques

Encouragement

Homoeopathy

Acupuncture

Hypnotherapy

TENS – Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation

Distraction – go for a walk, bake a cake

Having a midwife you know and trust!

Having a homebirth, or at least staying at home for as long as possible!

So you can see there are many more “natural” things to help than pharmacological, so try these first!

Send me your ideas if you have more!

What is the definition of Natural Childbirth?  A hospital might say that a woman whose labour was induced and who had an epidural was a normal birth; others might say that induction, augmentation, analgesia, episiotomies etc do not constitute a normal birth!

A more radical definition of a natural birth might be a labour that starts spontaneously between 37 and 42 weeks gestation, and progresses to a vaginal birth without any intervention or pharmacological drugs.

Natural childbirth has been given a bad press – women choosing natural childbirth have been described as “hippy types” and indeed there has been an item in the press this week about a midwife who suggested that women would do better to avoid epidurals that has caused considerable outrage!

Pregnancy and childbirth are normal life events, not medical condition; a woman’s body is perfectly designed to give birth.

Of course some pregnancies and labours will need medical help – but the vast majority of women will go through their pregnancy and birth without problems and this process works best when interference is kept to a minimum.

For example anything we do to interfere with this natural processes has consequences – if mother and baby are well I am suggesting that we (the medical profession) should not interfere!

One example of this is the huge number of women whose labours are induced – why?  In some areas women are induced at 41 weeks (interestingly in France a normal pregnancy is defined as 41 weeks!).

Induction is not an easy option.  It is usually quite a lengthy process which makes the mother tired.  It is also usually more painful and the mother is therefore more likely to need pain relief, possibly an epidural … the mother is then less mobile … making it harder for the baby to find a way through the pelvis and consequently she is more likely to need the help of a ventouse or forceps, or even a caesarean section.

We all know that although caesareans are very safe in this country, it is still far safer for both mother and baby if the baby is born vaginally.  A caesarean section is major abdominal surgery which will take weeks and months to fully recover from – and the mother will have a demanding baby to care for too!  Babies born by caesarean also have many more problems, and are far more likely to need to receive Special Care.  There are also implications for future pregnancies – so, although fantastic if needed, caesarean sections are far from ideal.  The World Health Organisation recommends a 5 – 10% caesarean section rate, but our rate is approaching 30%, and I believe 90% at The Portland private maternity hospital!

This interference in birth has been called a “cascade of intervention”, because we do a) we have to do b) and because we do c) d) is also necessary this is also described as “iatrogenic” or hospital induced.  Whatever we do has consequences, for example a woman with an epidural will need more careful monitoring, she will need an IV drip and also a catheter – so you can see this spiral effect, because we do this, we have to do that and so on …

I believe there are several factors that lead to this escalation of intervention in childbirth:

Our cultural conditioning, fear, poor health habits and medical intervention in normal birth (perhaps because of fear of litigation) that make birth difficult often requiring more intervention, including surgery.

With good preparation, much intervention can be avoided – women who have a midwife they know and trust are less likely to need analgesia.  With good preparation they should be in optimal health for the birth – complementary therapies they may have experienced acupuncture, homoepathy, osteopathy or any number of helpful treatments during their pregnancy which will help align their body and prepare them for birth.  They may also have practised relaxation or hypnosis techniques all of which can be hugely beneficial.  There is also much a woman can do to help herself: mobilization, relaxation, support, the use of water …

The satisfaction that a woman feels when she has successfully given birth is amazing – it is empowering and is a fantastic start to the parenting journey, and of course breastfeeding is so much easier when you haven’t got a caesarean section wound on your abdomen.

If things didn’t work out this way for you, remember that you did the very best you could at the time.  Some labours do need help and some mothers and babies wouldn’t survive without the help of our medical colleagues.  If this has raised questions or distress for you I am more than happy to speak to you please do feel free to email me info@3shiresmidwife.co.uk

A difficult or traumatic birth experience has long-lasting implications for both the mother and sometimes her child.  We don’t have many babies in our lifetime and it is important to get things as right as we possibly can!

This item has been written by Hypnotherapist Emily Heale who practices in Milton Keynes.  Emily has worked with some of my clients to teach them self-hypnosis techniques which are hugely beneficial during pregnancy, birth and beyond.

Having a baby dramatically changes a parent’s life in many positive ways.  Often relatives and friends are there for support whether it is for advice or just for babysitting!  But there are other people who you don’t know personally who are eager to support parents through these special although sometimes stressful times.

As a Hypnotherapist Emily Heale works with expectant mums who want that extra support – she builds up strong, albeit temporary, rapport and trust with them and help them discover how powerful they and their minds truly are.  Along with treating children, working with mums-to-be gives her an enormous amount of satisfaction because you know at the end of it all there will be beautiful bundle of joy to look forward to.

She will of course not be there to support the mum at the actual moment of childbirth so her job is to make sure they can support themselves with the help of self-hypnosis.  Self-hypnosis is very easy to learn and the techniques she teaches can be used at any time in the future to help with situations other than childbirth.  Incorporated into the sessions with this is Suggestion Therapy – positively phrased suggestions which take root in the subconscious mind.  Being out of control is often the biggest fear a pregnant woman has – possibly with regards to the sensations in her own body or not being able to make their own choices when they need to.  Other less obvious concerns can be doubts about how they will cope.

Fears often have 9 months to build (from previous experiences, media stories etc) so by helping expectant mums overcome their fears it helps them feel so much more in control and reassured.  Prior to or during childbirth often a woman will expect pain on a subconscious level so their body produces certain hormones during labour and the outcome is a restricted flow of blood and oxygen to her uterus and tightening of muscles in the cervix – the areas which needs the most help at this stage!  On the other hand if a woman is relaxed and looking forward to the birth, there will be more synergy between her mind and her body.  When a woman feels no fear during childbirth there is little or no discomfort – the contractions come regularly and rhythmically and the baby is born more easily (and often faster).

It is important not to forget that partners often need support.  They can sometimes feel a bit left out or useless when it comes to helping support the mother and they may even have their own fears or doubts.  By being able to assess and deal with the likely weaknesses of the other person present at the birth, we can ensure the mother has the greatest possible support and that the partner feels both a part of the process and able to enjoy the experience.

So if you would like extra support from someone like Emily, all you have to do is ASK for it!

Written by Emily Heale IAPH Professional Hypnotherapist

The Hypnotherapy Practice in Milton Keynes. Free consultations available.

Phone: 07990 521266

Email: emily@thehypnopractice.com

Website: www.thehypnopractice.com

Last year I watched a viewing of the film “Orgasmic Birth” www.orgasmicbirth.com which may be called “Joyous Birth” for the British audience.

The film documents the beautiful, calm and sensuous births of eleven women.  Made by filmmaker Debra Pascali-Bonaro it reveals a revolutionary approach to birth that is statistically safer for both mother and child than the birthing and delivery methods that are standard in many parts of the world today.

The phenomenon of birth being a sexual experience is not new; anthropologist and author Sheila Kitzinger www.sheilakitzinger.com has written about this and describes how the pressure of the baby’s head against the walls of the vagina and the fanning out of the tissues as the head descends bring for some women an unexpected sensation of sexual arousal, even of ecstasy.  I have written of the power of hypnosis and have witnessed some beautiful calm and peaceful births however it has to be said that the birth journey for most women is long, hard and painful.  This said, I very much agree with Dr Grantley Dick-Read www.pregnancytoday.com/articles/birth-methods-and-philosophies/childbirth-without-fear-1924 who in the 1920s came to the realisation that birth need not be painful, and described that Fear creates Tension which creates Pain.  Women who are able to somehow rise above the waves and surges of energy and power of the labour contractions can and do have easier and shorter labours.

If you are pregnant I would very much recommend that you consider learning the art of relaxation, perhaps with the aid of a Natal Hypnotherapy CD www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk or by attending Hypnobirthing classes www.hypnobirthing.co.uk and perhaps that you consider watching the beautiful births on this film, perhaps together with the unassisted births https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/05/03/freebirthing-unassisted-birth as they powerfully show the variety of births, but at the same time show that childbirth is a normal event and that babies will be born – naturally and often without too much assistance from the medical profession!


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