During my third trimester I had been doing some research into hypnobirthing and it appealed to me as it was my first pregnancy and I felt it would be beneficial to have as many tools at my disposal during my labour.
I attended Janice’s pregnancy yoga and I enjoyed her approach. Although I felt at 30 weeks pregnant it was ‘too late’ to start hypnobirthing, Janice assured me that this was not the case, so me and my husband decided to sign up. There were 3 couples in attendance which ensured that everyone could get the most out of the classes. I enjoyed the fact that the classes were structured with frequent opportunities to practice the techniques. We explored a range of techniques and I found the breathing and relaxation the most effective so I practiced these daily during the rest of my pregnancy.
I had a great experience of labour, and my healthy baby boy was delivered naturally after a 5 hour labour, during which I had no pain relief or gas and air. We were discharged from the hospital on the same day, and I credit my positive experience of labour to my calmness and ability to focus on myself and my baby. Me and my baby boy now attend Janice’s baby yoga classes, so I feel like I have come full circle! I continue to enjoy Janice’s wealth of knowledge and experience, as well as her professional approach.
GF – Croydon
Hypnobirthing helped me to achieve the birth I wanted. My birth experience with our first-born son was challenging… I was 10 days ‘overdue’ and developing pre-eclampsia so the hospital decided to induce me. I was stuck on the hospital bed with monitors, IV drips and pills, given an epidural and my poor baby ended up getting distressed so we had an emergency c-section. This time I was determined to have a more positive birth experience. I did some research and came across hypnobirthing. I liked the natural, positive approach and wanted to try the techniques for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). I found Janice’s website and liked that she was a midwife, yoga instructor and we had similar philosophies about childbirth. My husband and I instantly felt relaxed with Janice and comfortable to let go and enjoy the full benefits of hypnobirthing. Janice has a very positive outlook and encouraged me to believe I could achieve the calm birth that I so wanted.
My husband was a bit skeptical of hypnobirthing at first, however over time he liked listening to the rainbow relaxation CD and learning different massage and relaxation techniques to support me through the birth. Practicing the techniques bought us closer together after a stressful day and allowed for a moment of calm in the chaos of moving house and chasing after my toddler while heavily pregnant. Personally, I found the hypnobirthing book by Marie Mongan a really good read. I also had a private session with Janice to release any fears relating to my previous birth experience; deal with any anxieties about having a vaginal birth and to visualize the end goal of delivering my healthy baby boy. Writing my VBAC birth plan was really important so that I could talk to the midwives and doctors about my wishes and discuss any special circumstances. Throughout my pregnancy I had been closely monitored for any signs of developing pre-eclampsia. Due to my previous cesarean scar, the obstetrician agreed to let me go over my due date by 11 days (maximum) and I had to deliver on the labour ward but I refused to be induced, as there is a greater risk of your previous scar rupturing during delivery.
On 7th October 2014 I went into spontaneous labour and 8lb 4oz healthy baby Samuel arrived hours before my planned c-section was booked (exactly 11 days over my estimated due date). My pre-labour had been on and off all week so I started practicing my breathing techniques. Once we arrived at hospital, we kept the room dark, quiet, comfortable and spoke to the midwife about our hypnobirthing birth plan. During the early stages of labour, we found that practicing the rainbow relaxation, back massage, kissing, laughing, bouncing on a ball, staying mobile and repeating the positive affirmations really helped. My active labour lasted for 3 hours and I did use gas and air and had a small shot of pethidine but throughout I was practicing my visualizations and breathing techniques. At 6am I started to do my birth breathing, however the midwife asked me to push through the surges to help deliver the baby and at 6.10am baby Samuel arrived pink and healthy. We were both alert and in the moment, and my husband was lost for words. Baby Samuel latched onto my breast straight away and it was such a perfect experience, I immediately turned to the midwife and my husband and said ‘now I’ve had a VBAC we can do this again”?! The whole labour ward was talking about the birth and didn’t believe that we had done it! We were discharged the same day, only 8 hours after delivery.
Overall, I would thoroughly recommend Janice and the hypnobirthing methods. My main goals were to have a VBAC where I was mobile and in more control during the birth, which we achieved. The techniques were great to stay relaxed and positive both during pregnancy and the birth, and allow my body and baby to birth easily.
NOTE FROM LUIS (NC’s husband):
I wasn’t sure what to expect at first but once we arrived Janice created a comfortable atmosphere and explained the hypnobirthing process. The sessions felt more like a way of creating the confidence for a calm birth and some of the techniques helped me relax and be part of the journey to meet my baby boy.
NC & LC – Beckenham
Janice’s calm and knowledgeable approach really helped my husband and I to get the most from our hypnobirthing experience, both during the lead up to the birth and during the birth itself. Her calm manner and personal approach made us feel at ease to ask lots of questions. Our classes were always informative but fun and really relaxing. We definitely achieved the type of birth we had hoped for thanks to Janice’s guidance and support. We would wholeheartedly recommend her to others wishing to achieve a personal and relaxed birthing experience.
LT – Caterham
Hypnobirthing proved to be a valuable part of my labour and birthing experience. I listened to the affirmations and practiced the breathing techniques in the weeks leading to my due date so on the day when I went into labour I felt totally prepared for what was to come. The breathing came naturally when I was labouring and I was relaxed and felt in control. Hypnobirthing not only taught me how to breath properly in labour but also educated me on what exactly was to happen to my body when I was to go into labour, understanding this made me feel that I was in control of my body, I felt calm knowing what to expect. My midwife commented that she had never seen a baby breathed out before in the 14 years of her midwifery experience. The birth of our son was amazing, there was a lovely calm atmosphere when he was born and he is generally a really good relaxed baby. I would strongly recommend hypnobirthing!
NB – Beckenham
Our work together helped me get through those days with grace and calmness. Thank you ever so much for everything Janice. I doubt we would have been able to navigate the labour the way we did and get the outcome (a calm and happy child) without you and Hypnobirthing. Most grateful!
PU – Croydon
I also just wanted to thank you again for the open and supportive way that you offered the course. We felt able and free to ask lots of questions and you were really good at making us feel positive about the birth experience. Despite the fact that our birth did not go the way we planned and hoped, the philosophy of Hypnobirthing and the techniques we learned on the course, helped us to feel prepared and calm in the weeks before our baby arrived.
HK – Beckenham
I first heard about hypnobirthing from one of my patients. She told me about it when she heard I was getting married about 16 months ago. About 3 months into my pregnancy, I looked it up on the internet. At the time, I was quite cynical about the whole idea and couldn’t really understand how it could help labour. There were three hypnobirthing teachers in my area. Actually, Janice was the furthest to my house and so she was the last one I contacted.
I emailed her and asked her lots of questions. What I liked most is that she seemed very relaxed. Because of the email she sent back to me, I decided to call her and talk to her about my concerns. Mainly I thought that hypnobirthing would not would be helpful for my labour as I wouldn’t be able to become relaxed enough to be hypnotised. She was extremely easy to talk to and understood and addressed all of my issues. My husband and I decided to try hypnobirthing sessions with her.
We are about half way through our sessions with Janice. I trust her and value the advice she gives.She is always very supportive and has been very patient with us. She makes it easy to ask her questions and seems to have a special ability to find out any concerns. As a GP, I am used to listening to other people and giving advice but not the other way around. It was strange at first to be in the ‘opposite’ role but she made this really easy. When I speak to her, I feel as if she is really listening. Her advice is extremely helpful and always given in a very kind, non-dictating manner.
Last week we were given a homework exercise. My husband and I had to write down and later discuss any issues we had about our baby. He was really surprised when he looked at my sheet and found that none of them were about the actual labour. They were all to do with after our baby is born. I had been really scared about this before but all these fears have gone since we started hypnobirthing sessions. I am not sure how Janice has done this, but I now feel confident and even a little excited about that day.
Y Patel – W Wickham
So thank you for all your advice and guidance during my pregnancy – we both enjoyed the experience – I would recommend the hypnobirthing technique and yourself of course to others…!!