”The wisdom and compassion a woman can intuitively experience in childbirth can make her a source of healing and understanding for other women.”
A home water Hypnobirth told by mum & dad
Mum Saturday morning. 41+1. Induction discussion & scheduled for Monday, This weekend we’re trying every trick in the book to coax Luca out naturally into the world. We walk in the woods, computer games, reflexology - once home I bath and Leo cooks Pad Thai. A day of love and laughter ends at midnight, as we climb into bed and fall asleep. At 12.20 I wake up with a curious tightening across my belly I’m intrigued by the sensation and silently observe the feeling - turning to google to confirm that I really am in labour. I try to sleep but excitement scuppers my plans. Relocating to the lounge, I pile duvets and pillows onto the sofa, creating a nest to watch trashy TV from. As the sensations intensify I call my brother (who’s awake in Japan) to share my excitement that this is really it. We lose ourselves in the moment, before he reminds me that it’s probably time to start getting into my zone. Meditation, yoga and essential oils pass the time in between surges. At 3am I wake Leo. Together we eat and prepare the birth space. We labour together, with Leo encouraging me to relax in the pauses waves. Eventually we decide to call the midwife. By Sunday afternoon there is a clipboard clutching Midwife observing me from the kitchen table. Her cold, clinical stare makes me feel like an experiment. My labour slows. Leo puts me to bed and shows the midwife the door. He lays with me in bed and suggests I sleep. After a few moments sleep we relocate to the sofa. We watch Wall-e and Monty Python as my labour progresses again. The sensation increases. We shower as Leo presses on my back as I lean against the wall - the hot water calms me as I focus on maintaining my breathing and tell myself to breathe, relax and release. By Sunday evening my surges become more frequent, but I manage to sleep in the gaps in between them. My quest for comfort is like a treasure hunt around the house - I labour over my ball, against the bed, over the desk and against the fridge. Leo runs me a bath. It offers incredible relief. I labour on my knees during surges, before collapsing into the water to rest and sleep in between. Inwardly focused I didn't realise a midwife had joined us until I heard her refer to me as a goddess. She asked if she could join me in the bathroom, offering aromatherapy to relax me - clary sage to open, lavender to calm, black pepper for my back. As three we sat in a low lit bathroom. I felt respected, held and able to let go. Following the midwife’s suggestion Leo filled the pool. Together they guided me into the water - the feeling of the warm water, space and soft inflated floor under my knees was overwhelming, numbing all other sensation momentarily. As my waves ebbed and flowed, I allowed my whole body to surrender to each feeling. Although aware of my body, my conscious mind had gone. I was birth. I laboured for hours in the pool before asking for an exam. My midwife conducted it in the pool, telling me I was 7cm. Her and Leo suggested I move into the shower to try and help progress it further. By 1am on Monday I am beyond exhausted, I struggled standing in the shower. Laura stays with me, I cry and catch Leo’s eye in the hall. I am scared I can’t do this. I wanted to return to the pool, so did. I caught a glimpse of our clock and saw I’d been labouring for 22 hours - I felt myself not using my surges and decided to ask for gas and air. I had the energy I needed to get into active labour positions. Leo held my hands outside the pool as I squatted, lunged and breathed my baby down. I visualised my body opening as I roared my baby into the world, listening to my body’s cues on when to push. I heard my midwife telling us that she could see the head and that he was in caul. A few moments later I was lifting him out of the water and onto my chest. Leo holding us both over the side of the pool.
Dad I pick Lydia up from her session at 6pm and she is looking so relaxed and happy. She gets in the car and says ‘apparently we’re having a baby tonight’. We have dinner, play scrabble and go to bed smiling and serene. Sometime after 2am I go to the toilet and on the way back step over a piece of paper by the bedroom door - too sleepy to check it but it seems strange. Lydia comes into the bedroom shortly after and gently says ‘Hey baby - I think I’m going to need you soon’. I stretch and slowly get up, bleary eyed and trying to remember who I am, and where my list is. It feels amazing. I feel like I’m getting up to get a really early flight to a long, hot holiday. It’s all full of unknowns and butterflies. I wander out and Lydia is waiting in the kitchen looking bright eyed and particularly beautiful. It’s all very calm and silent. She hands me a list of her latest surge times, and recommends a couple of good apps if I wanted to start tracking them. I am still staring blankly, though happily and thinking about apps and babies and night time and some phone calls I need to make. I make two waters, and hand one to Lydia. Then say “right, great.. let’s do this”. I soon start putting together the pool, and discover the tap attachment is broken so instead fills the bathroom. (I later improvise a filling system involving using a pump in reverse - an innovation which makes me feel like I can do anything!) Early Sunday morning I follow Lydia around the house, labouring in different positions while I stroke or massage her back or arms, feeding her snacks and tea. It’s 5am and she is labouring steadily, 45 seconds thrice in 10 minutes. On paper it seems we’re in active labour, so I call triage to get in touch with a midwife. On the phone I give them all my accumulated data and observations, which they gratefully accept. It slowly dawns on me that it’s me who needs to tell them when to come, they are not going to be telling me. The next few hours are hard. I time every single contraction, I have done hundreds now. Lydia asks me regularly if we’re progressing and I am starting to think we are not. In most cases I can massage and support her, but sometimes she is in too much discomfort for me to touch her. At some point I find myself rubbing a hot water bottle because I couldn’t massage her. As daybreak comes around 8am on Sunday, labour slows down even more- but the surges are too frequent for her to get useful sleep. At 1pm on Sunday we ask a midwife to come and advise. She arrives within an hour, and carries herself formally. She lays out the kitchen table like an office desk, pulls out a clipboard from her bag, holds a pen and silently stares at us over her glasses in a way that feels less than friendly. “What do you want me to do?” she asks. It feels like we are wasting her time. Labour pretty much stops at that very moment, and in the end we go to bed leaving her in the kitchen with her stern energy because we can’t be around her anymore. It’s early evening now, she has had a few bits of sleep and we agree to try to push forward with showers and nipple tweaking. Things suddenly pick up quite quickly which is scary but very much appreciated. “I don’t need to keep it or anything do I?” she calls from the bathroom after her mucus plug has come out. I begin to realise that the incredibly well researched woman I knew yesterday is becoming noticeably more impressionable and vulnerable than her usual self. Around 8pm things are really getting into the swing - I can’t really time her surges anymore as I don’t know when one ends and another starts. I talk to the new midwife on duty who I had spoken to the previous day when things started. We agree she will come at 9:30pm. When she arrives I brief her and we discuss our hopes for the birth - as I look out the window a family of foxes stare back at us and we are stunned into silence for a moment. I leave Laura to read our birth plan and decide she’ll join us in the bathroom after Lydia’s next big surge. Lydia is labouring in the bath and I go to check on her - she asks me if I’m happy. I find this incredibly selfless and let her know I am happy - she corrects me “no, with the midwife”. I say I’m very happy - and Lydia looks so relieved. Laura joins us and is massaging Lydia’s back - she silently shows me the rhombus at the base of Lydia’s spine (Rhombus of Michaelis) which means the baby’s head is pressing against it and we are entering the later stage of active labour. I leave them for a moment to gather my thoughts as things feel like they are changing and I need to think about next steps. As soon as I leave the room I burst into tears - and find I’m unable to stop without putting a fist in my mouth. It makes sense - I haven’t had a minute out from the situation in 24 straight hours - I had no idea how much tension I was carrying. To have a third person in our clan, and someone that feels so warm and familiar, is an incredible relief. It’s been a privilege to do everything together so far, but I am exhausted and I am so glad that we are no longer alone. The internet went down earlier in the evening, stranding all our birth playlists in the cloud. Considering that was 6 months of work I am pretty disheartened. As the night progresses it begins to feel like the hardest DJ set I’ve ever played - graveyard shift doesn’t cover how tired and emotional everyone is. By 10pm on Sunday the midwife and I talk and decide it’s time to get in the pool - the surges have been almost continuous for 3 hours now. I turn our living room into a womb, with warm low light, deep sounds and some aromatherapy blends Lydia made in the months preceding. Over the course of the coming 5 hours, Lydia, myself and Laura settle into a continual flowing routine - during surges I lock arms with Lydia and we breathe together, between the surges I replace towels around the edges of the pool, top it up with hot water, get sugary snacks and waters. The midwife is supporting me in all these efforts, and intermittently checking Luca’s heartbeat and Lydia’s blood pressure - and occasionally writing notes if there’s any progress or dilation. I feel like part of a well-oiled machine. It’s 3am on Monday now - when we lock arms and press our foreheads together I can’t tell which one of us is shaking, the vibrations between us are one. We are both delirious and between surges it’s harder to get her to rest and I am having to be quite bossy to try to prevent her exhausting herself. It feels like we’re crowning and so nearly there - it’s 3:30am and Lydia is creating human life, but due to the ongoing music shortage we are now listening to disco jazz funk which feels deeply inappropriate but it seems to be doing the job for her. Luca’s head is now visible, I catch a glimpse of the sac in the mirror Laura holds which is confusing since Lydia’s waters still haven’t broken. Suddenly a tray of candles erupts in a small but brief fireball on the kitchen table and I pounce on it like our lives are in grave danger. We are back to the final push. Lydia is looking behind her a lot, with an almost childlike gaze - she seems a little panicked but thankfully I seem to be able to soothe her. You are safe, our baby is coming. You are safe, you are doing everything right. At around 4am on Monday morning Luca emerges - Laura offers Lydia to take the baby - Lydia catches him in her arms, and lifts him to her bosom. His cries make this immediately real - and I suddenly realise that nothing will be the same again. He seems to be crying the words “aware! aware!” which feels profound in my sleep-addled state. I love him.
We have a gorgeous time soaking in what has happened. A second midwife appears at the house in our golden hour, and entirely fails to read the room. She loudly chirps “lets all have a cuppa” and wants to talk about our flat when we are trying to bask in the beauty of this new human. I am given Luca and get lost in him as we have our first skin to skin cuddle. As they check Lydia and birth her placenta I know that everything is just perfect. We tidy and clean for a time, and Lydia and I put him down in his cot and we all fall into a deep slumber.
Lydia & Leo, mum and dad to Luca
An empowering gentle C-Section
My C-Section story back in 2016 I had my first daughter complicated pregnancy that ended up in an emergency c-section after a traumatic 5 days in hospital prior, around 6 months after her birth I was diagnosed with severe anxiety and was given CBT with success- fast forward to 2019 when I found out I was pregnant again- the sheer excitement of having another child soon turned into severe anxiety after finding out I had the same complications as my first pregnancy, then Covid came and all of a sudden I was now attending scary appointments without my rock, my husband. Every appointment every phone call I found very distressing and got myself into a rut I didn’t think I was going to get out of- this is until I found Sofie. The 2 hour zoom call I had with her changed my life the coping mechanisms she taught me gave me the most amazing birth - I had to have an elective c-section which I was terrified about but we worked on breathing exercises, learning to ground myself, even at those high points on anxiety and to overall teach me how to gain back control. I filled the operating theatre with the smell of lavender to remind myself of home and managed to concentrate on one of the most amazing days of my life, the birth of the second baby. Thank you so much Sofie your zoom that night and the pep talks after and just generally being there every step of the way are what I will appreciate for the rest of my life.
Kim, mummy to Francesca
A supportive partner made all the difference - 2nd time mum, home water birth
The birth of our first daughter was a long winded, fairly unpleasant experience. We went into it ill prepared with the attitude of ‘what will be will be, there’s no point worrying about it’. Sadly this did not translate to as casual an approach once in labour! I worked my way through pain relief options and blocked my partner from giving me any support. He sat in silence for many hours! Safe to say I went into panic and pain mode, going in on myself but in an unhelpful way. Fun times! This birth couldn’t have been more different. My partner was integral to it. Him taking charge of the environment and communicating with the midwives allowed me to focus on what I needed to do.... mostly, concentrating on the breathIng I had practiced and staying calm. When he did interact with me it was reassuring and at the times I really needed it - we had spoken fairly extensively and planned in advance how and what he could do to help. He had doubted his ability to do this, but when it came to it, it worked. Just me verbally giving him permission in advance to be assertive, I think made a huge difference. It gave him the confidence to know that, at points, I needed him to calmly remind me that I was doing everything I needed to do and to keep breathing. As impactive, was making the connection that it was purposeful discomfort; it was about our baby. This was a world away from birth one that for me had become all about pain and fearing the labour would never end. This time we knew it was time bound. We knew that even at their most intense, each surge was time limited, and once done, was gone forever.... a step closer to finally meeting this mini person we had waited so long for.
I had wondered if, as with my first birth, the things we bought would prove useful. Birth one ended with unused massage oils and other such props. This time round, having decided following Sofie’s course to have a home birth (having grown in confidence), most of what I gathered really helped. To my surprise, I held two massage balls for every surge, until all of 10 minutes before the end when they served the purpose of me throwing them in anger! - I actually needed that little outlet I think. My Spotify playlist which I had listened to when practicing my breathing in the evenings before the birth, the meditation tracks, the oils, they all had their place. During the transition phase I dramatically barked ‘frankincense, give me frankincense’ between surges - my partner dutifully responding. We had bunting on the walls (put up in advance) with pictures linked to the visualisations for the up and down breathing, with some additional pictures my daughter had drawn. Looking at the picture she had drawn of us together on a boat riding a gigantic wave not only made me smile, but served to remind me there’s a peak (even with the biggies like she’d drawn) that then dissipates.
I had written a birth plan for my partner which he had gone over a number of times in advance - the practical steps for him, the numbers to call, the phases and what to do in each, which oil was for what, and reminders of what ‘might‘ work in supporting me. That gave him a sort of safety net I think, something to look over if he panicked. And the midwife birth plan also proved important. I realised my partner had forgotten to give it to the midwife initially as she kept asking me questions - it was surprising how disruptive I found this. As soon as he gave her the plan she stepped back. The midwives were, however, incredible at providing appropriate coaching at the end when I needed and sought it from them. I did interact with them, but it was far more when I sought it.
Knowing that each surge was time bound and focusing on my rehearsed breathing was imperative for me. I now understand why you often see ‘knowledge is power’ when looking at hypnobirthing literature. It surely is. I hadn’t felt the baby move while in early labour and after some time of nothing, the midwife suggested we ‘pop’ to the hospital to be monitored. I instinctively felt the baby was ok and wanted to avoid the change of environment. Having covered possible strategies when discussing intervention and the possible implications of moving, I asked if there was an alternative and we managed to agree.
Getting in the birth pool felt delightful. Actually the ‘getting in ‘ was quite an effort! (So glad I was advised to buy a step to assist the manoeuvre). But the weight was lifted (literally). I had found sitting and laying down positions very uncomfortable, so had been on my feet for about 6 hours. Though my partner and the midwives were aware I needed a rest, I wasn’t conscious of it prior to getting in the water. I don’t think I’ve ever relied on my partner as much as I did during that last hour. After I threw the massage balls (woops), I gripped his hands, while he kept me focused on breathing etc. With birth one he may as well have not been in the room (from my perspective at least), I was so oblivious to what was happening beyond pain, pain, pain. With this birth, it was 100% a team effort to keep the inevitable discomfort contained or at least keep me doing what I needed to do. I went completely in on myself when I needed to, but he was right there when I needed him. Fetching, gathering, keeping me hydrated and reassuring me. Despite having had one birth experience, this phase was new territory for me, as I had had an epidural with birth one and therefore hadn’t felt much toward the end. Down breathing worked for the most part for me then I got the distinct desire to push. I remembered Sofie saying ‘you do what works for you’. I remember saying to the midwives is feel like I want to push’ and being reassured to do what felt right to me, and I went with it. I suspect the wish to be more forceful related to her being a bit of a giant -she was a hefty 9lb 8oz and also had her shoulder stuck. She was born with me wedged into my partner on the floor, with him squashed up against the washing machine! The not insignificant investment of our time and finances to prepare for this birth was for us 100% worth while, and Sofie’s many many words of wisdom, her real life flexible attitude, humour and her motivational approach made all the difference. After two fairly horrendous pregnancies blighted by health issues, two miscarriages between, a pretty dodgy first birth and luck on our side (given the twists and turns outside anyone’s control with labour), we finally got our missing jigsaw piece, a very smiley happy little girl at that, and it all started with an experience we’ll never forget (for all the right reasons).
Lu & Jake
Magical Home Birth
We Just wanted to let you know the happy news that Harriet Edna Davies arrived on 6/4/20 at 11:37am. (8.6 pounds. 39.6 weeks) The birth was amazing and we wanted to thank you for all of your hypnobirthing inspiration as we absolutely had the birth we’d dreamed of thanks to the techniques you taught us. As you know, the birth of our first child involved every intervention except caesarean due to an induction needed at 42 weeks and we were so keen to have an birth we felt in control of this time. We’d had a wonderful day on the Sunday, spent in the garden with our older son Thomas (3.5) and doing lots of jobs/having a BBQ - we certainly felt ready. That evening I had some feelings which made me wonder if labour might start. Sure enough at 1:30am I felt some very mild surges, against your better advice I DID wake Jonny ;) but because the pool wasn’t up and I was aware it might take a while! He put it all up, set up the kitchen/living room while I got some sleep. I managed to sleep and when I woke at 5am ish the surges were about 3-4 in 10 mins, still mild. We woke our son up and gave him breakfast and his auntie came to pick him up at 06:30am, at this point the surges were starting to progress but v manageable with my up breathing. Midwives arrived at 9:30ish and things were picking up, it felt more intense but the breathing made me feel so confident and that I could absolutely manage and relax into them. It really helped me to remember why the surges were powerful - what the muscles were doing and that it was my body doing its job. At 10:45am I was ready to get in the pool which was wonderful! Jonny had put little submersible lights into it and the kitchen was twinkly and magical. I had a few stronger surges in the pool - again - the breathing gave me such control, and just as I started to think - “this is getting more intense” i felt pressure and realised it was time to breathe her out! Her head came first and we then waited v controlled for the next surge - which was quite delayed - maybe 4 mins or so - and then breathed her out fully. No tearing, and the whole birth felt SO much more straight forward than I had even imagined. I remember everything about it, I felt in control, calm, really engaged and powerful - all the things we hoped for. The course we did with you and the hypnobirthing techniques are so great and we have a lot to thank you for.
Susie, Jonny, Thomas and baby Harriet xx
Natural Breach Birth
We did it! Max was born on Monday 23rd at 20:22. He came a week early and weighed 6.1lb. Natural breach birth with no pain relief! Healthy and very happy! Thank you so much for all the amazing teaching and advice you gave us during the classes. Hypnobirthing definitely helped. For me, it gave me a big role to play and I fully embraced it. Concentrating on breathing and helped provide a relaxed and calm environment for Tessa. It also helped us stick to our plan without intervention. Tessa was amazing. The midwives were amazed with how she pushed through the birth and kept positive throughout.. even when it got tough. Very proud of her! Labour started early in the morning, and Tessa didn't even realise! By the time we left the house the contractions were getting close together.. even though Tessa still didn't think she was in labour. When they checked her in the hospital she was 8cm dilated.. so she did most of the work without realising it! It was an incredible experience, and the staff at Princess Royal were all amazing. The ward was very comfortable and the midwives fully respected our choices and Hypnobirthing. Thank you again. All the best, John and Tessa x
Second time mum gets her wish to birth at home
I have been meaning to get in touch with you but I've been occupied with the demands of a new born. I am pleased to say I had a positive birthing experience on 20th August 2020 when my daughter arrived into the world in the early hours of the morning and it was all thanks to your (Zoom) hypnobirthing course in July.
I got the birth I wanted - a water birth at home with no drugs. After the negative experience I had with my first born, I wasn't going to request a home birth this time round but then I read the story of EastEnders actress, Jacqueline Jossa, where she described her water birth at home as amazing and she said hypnobirthing played a major part in her positive experience. As I did not do hypnobirthing last time (I wish I had) I thought I would try a waterbirth at home one more time.
The up breathing really helped me focus on the visualisations and not the pain so the fear was removed and as a result, my first moments with Isla were incredible. I was only in labour for 2 and a half hours so it was all over very quickly. All I can say is thank you for teaching me to be positive and focused during labour. I was calm and in control and I look back on the whole event as one of the greatest days ever!
Thanks for again for all your help :-) Joanne
Knowing your Birth Rights - a VBAC water birth in hospital When I was 21 weeks pregnant I heard about ‘Hypnobirthing’ through a friend back in the UK. My daughter, who was one and a half at that time had been birthed via emergency c section and I was very keen to do all in my power to avoid having that experience again. After speaking with my friend I organised two FaceTime sessions with Sofie a Hypnobirthing teacher in the UK and this is really where our hypnobirthing journey began. Something that had stuck with me from the birth of our first child was that after being induced, birthing felt like something that was happening ‘to’ me as if the synthetic hormone, syntocinon had literally possessed my body and there was nothing I could do about it or the literal fear I had of dying. After an epidural, all my faith was literally placed into the hands of the doctors as I could not feel my baby moving down, little alone the ‘surges’. This birth was a typical example of once you open the doors to intervention - be prepared that ‘intervention’ will no doubt navigate its way into the whole of your labour and birth. Through these early Facetime sessions I was excited to read about self-empowerment by gathering information, asking questions, talking and dealing with your last experience, if you had one, in order to work through the fears. I learnt through this that it was important for my body to be able to produce oxytocin (our happy hormone) and this cannot happen if the body is in a ‘fear’ response - that we cannot be in a fear response and calm response at the same time. This was all making so much sense to me. I learnt about BRAINS - if the Doctor or midwife was telling you about what they were going to do ‘to’ you, or what would happen ‘to’ you - to be able to ask the right questions so that you could make an informed decision on what was right for you and your baby. To have the confidence to ask the questions, ‘What are the Benefits’, ‘What are the Risks’, ‘What are the Alternatives’, ‘What does my intuition say’, ‘Do nothing at atall’, ‘Smile sweetly and say you will think about it’. This process was priceless when it came to the ‘protocol’ of VEs - Vaginal Examinations. Through my last experience I realised that having what seemed like constant VEs it was not helping stimulate oxytocin in my body but making me more and more uncomfortable with strangers reaching their arm into my vagina and sometimes even with a Medical trainee present to boot! Great for ones’ self-empowerment!!! When I asked questions about this I realised that many VEs are simply ‘the norm’ or ‘normal procedure’, this, in many cases is different to the wants and needs of the individual woman and her baby. This time round I declined all VEs (including a stretch and sweep) up until I got to the hospital fully dilated where I had my second baby in the bath, an hour and a half later without any drugs or intervention. Hypnobirthing gave me the confidence to ask these questions. First time round I was like ‘well they’re the Medical professionals, who am I question them?!’ Second time round I came to realise and understand that, just like in any profession, different Doctors and indeed midwives practice differently. Some are a lot more policy driven than others, some more medicalised - for this reason it was important for me to find Medical professionals that I trusted and who I could see were treating me individually and uniquely as opposed to simply spitting out the ‘usual’ jargon. This new found confidence gave me the confidence to cease contact with our homecare midwife who at 38 weeks was over stating the risks of a VBAC without listening to our wants and needs. For any mum to be I understand the absolute fear of wanting to birth your baby vaginally when you are up against fear installing statements from your healthcare provider if it doesn’t work out - in my case haemorrhaging to death and uterine scar rupture - which incidentally can happen during an induced birth - my midwife didn’t tell me that! I bought Katharine Grave’s Hypnobirthing book and practiced simple techniques such as relaxation methods everyday for 20 minutes - as she suggests - a realistic amount of time per day for anyone to find time to practice. I printed out a number of photographs that had a positive and calming effect on me and had positive affirmations all around the house such as ‘each surge brings my baby closer to me’. With the benefit of hindsight I realised that this book was brilliant preparation for my subconscious. It wasn’t like during labour I suddenly went to chapter 4, paragraph 3, for example but more like, every time I had a surge, to breath with it and not once did my mind entertain asking for drugs or intervention. Not once. In my mind that is testament to the power behind positive thinking and self belief - both of which I was learning through Katharine’s book. Stay focused on where you want to go and you will get there, focus on the potholes and that is where you will end up! Important life strategies! By the time I had my second baby I was also feeling very passionate about empowering the pregnant lady and treating her like an absolute goddess rather than just another slab on the production line! And if we didn’t start getting our power back it was going to be taken from us altogether! Ina May Gaskin’s book was also incredibly influential in this regard! Someone offered it to me during my first pregnancy and I didn’t look at it - deep down I had labeled it as ‘Hippy shit” - what an ignorant decision to make - oh well - this time round I was not going to make the same mistake. The history provided in this book was just so informative. That women only started giving birth on their back due to a French King wanting to watch his mistress give birth and it was considered ‘undignified’ to be squatting or on all fours. After this, on ones back, was considered ‘dignified’ - totally working against gravity, as if giving birth isn’t hard enough, and again the needs and wants of the mother but more convenience for the Medical Professional. All this information gathering was giving me power. Understanding how the uterus actually works - fascinating! When we understand how something works we can utilise it more effectively! Katharine Graves explained everything in so much detail and yet so simply at the same time. Her book was really resonating with me. She also recommended using a doula, which we did and I literally cannot put into words how valuable her input was. By the time I reached 39 weeks I had completed my birth plan. I had worked hard to gain consultant support as a water birth, which was what I wanted, had been against hospital policy at some point and we kept having to revisit what the current ‘policy’ was. I knew that I wanted a physiological third stage - (allowing my placenta to birth naturally) as the homecare midwife had told me that it would have to be induced (Active third stage where they inject syntocinon at the top of your leg as baby’s shoulders emerge) to make the placenta come quicker - made no sense to me if the birth to that point had been ok and safe - why intervene all of a sudden?! My midwife was wrong. At 40 weeks I had an appointment at the hospital where the Doctor said we could go until 41.5 but booked me an appointment at the Maternity Day Unit at 41 weeks on the dot to discuss our options if I was still pregnant then. Between 40 and 41 weeks I started getting very nervous! During that week, particularly the day before my scheduled appointment I tried everything to bring on labour naturally. This included going to see an acupuncturist who was amazing. She gave me homework with acupressure points and breath techniques, told me to stop wearing shorts that were tight around my lower abdomen, and to stay upright and active, although gently, as much as possible. I was climbing upon my poor partner first thing in the morning, dancing, watching lots of Kevin Bridges and Sean Locke (my two favourite stand ups) and eating Japenese curry. My thoughts were, ‘this is your last day before the appointment, give it your best shot’, ‘dont slouch on the couch!’. The night before my appointment, or should I say early morning Friday I woke up to tightenings in my lower stomach at about 2.00am. This had happened at exactly the same time on the Tuesday before. I got up and just started to walk around to see if they would pass. Our daughter was asleep and I was eager not to wake her up. The house was very quiet and still. At about 2.30am I said to my partner that it was feeling a bit different to the other night and he quietly got up and started doing his thing. I text our doula as the surges started getting closer together and most of them bringing me to my knees and asked her to come over. She arrived at about 3.30am, Chris had rung the hospital and shortly after rung our friend to come and pick Kahi (our daughter - who was still asleep) up. I knew I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible and through my hypnobirthing practice had ingrained in my subconscious to stay calm, not to panic try and to keep gently mobile. I remember answering the door to Carmel (our doula - who is also a midwife at the hospital we were going to birth at) and straight away having a strong surge that brought me to my knees. She asked what I needed and I asked her to run the bath with some lavender oil. I spent pretty much the next 2 hours in the bath whilst our friend picked up Kahi and Chris got the car ready whilst Carmel was breathing with me through surges that were getting stronger, longer and closer together. I remember just trying to take each surge one by one, not to wonder how many would there be or think about time. I felt my waters break in the bath and lost my mucus plug on the toilet. At about 5.30am Carmel suggested we should start thinking about getting to the hospital. She was so calm and I could see her eyes were gentle, kind and positive. Even though the surges were very powerful by now I was ultra aware of my environment and could feel if I got anxious or stressed it made the surges much harder to breath through. I knew I had to get to the hospital for safety sake given that I was having a VBAC and as I mentioned earlier I was very very aware of the risks. At about 5.30am I finally got out of the bath (I didn’t want to leave it) managed to grab my dressing gown and moved as fast as I could with Carmel ad Chris (my partner) to the garage. I had about 3 surges in the garage as there was not enough room for me and Carmel on the backseat with the carseats up so Carmel reclined the passenger seat and she squeezed into the back and off we went. With the benefit of hindsight I think I was going through transition in the car (cervix dilating final 8 - 10 centremetres), it was incredibly intense and powerful, my whole body was shaking and I was trying to focus on my out breath and trying not to bite Carmel’s arm off whilst whaking the car door! When we got to the hospital Carmel told to Chris to park in the emergency section (thank goodness!), Chris grabbed me a wheelchair and in we flew to the hospital to the birthing suite. I noticed that the surges were always better to deal with when I was moving, in the car, in the bath, so when we went up in the elevator I asked Chris to just keep me moving, spin me round on the spot if he had to! Must have looked quite funny!!!!! When we arrived at the Birthing Suite we were told I would not be allowed a room with a bath as I was a VBAC woman - my doula promptly said I had consultant support, to check my obstetric notes, coupled with my cry to ‘get me out of this chair’ landed us in a room with a bath - (this may not have happened if I had not prepared the way I had learnt through hypnobirthing). As soon as I entered the room a midwife asked to do a VE - I was expecting this so no shock to the system or concern and she concluded I was fully dilated at which point I got my gown off and straight into the bath, on my knees, with my hands gripping the front of the bath. I felt a wave of relief ripple through my body and knew this is where I would stay. A canula had been placed into my hand (again I knew this would happen so no nasty surprise) and a a belt placed around my lower abdomen for the CTG machine (to monitor baby’s heart rate). As a VBAC women they were hoping to look for continual heart rate monitoring as opposed to intermittent - what they would look for in a natural labour with no previous complications. After about ten minutes one of the midwives was asking me to get out of the bath as the heart rate was intermittent. My body was not moving out of the bath. My doula, student midwife, Chris and the main midwife on shift were down on their knees, with me, telling me the baby was ok as we kept picking the heart rate back up. In my heart I could feel it was ok, I could feel him moving down and I had support and could see the kindness and support in the eyes of those that were closet to me. Somewhere between here and when I felt my baby crowning two seperate doctors asked me to get out of the bath as they wanted to put a fetal cap on the baby’s head to get a continual heart rate. My body worked with them as best as could, every time I had a surge I had to be in the water - there was no question of this. When I heard the male doctor say again ‘You are going to have to get out of the bath’ it was all I needed to breath out as hard as I could with the surge. The front row of my support team said that they could see the baby’s head and then I heard ‘the head is out’ and then I felt the midwife pull my baby out! Both Doctors were behind the midwives watching this natural birth unfold into a success. The photo is of this moment, as soon as Mana was out and placed onto my chest. We had done it, him and I and our team right up until the last minute we had to stay focused and fight for the birth we believed in and in the end, nature prevailed, ‘Baby will come when Baby is Ready’. I remember feeling overwhelmed with love, gratitude and relief. I will never ever forget that moment for the rest of my life. The room was darkened and still, I told Chris I loved him and held little (or not so little - 4.26 kilos) Mana Michael close so I could kiss his head. A little while later Chris cut the cord and I birthed the placenta naturally as we had planned for, no need for an Active third stage as the midwife had told me was ‘policy’. I can honestly say, as a woman who has given birth twice, with two absolute polar opposite experiences for any woman thinking about a VBAC it is possible and not just possible but completely life changing and incredible! Hypnobirthing gave me confidence and empowerment. As I reflect, I find it strange, on my part, that first time round I didn’t think to ask questions etc…., if I purchasing a new car I would shop around, ask questions,, get really informed about the pros and cons of the vehicles before I made a decision. However, yet, with my own body, first time round, I lost all confidence of my self knowledge and put all the control into the hands of others so the birth was completely out of my control on all levels, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Don’t get me wrong I am highly appreciative for the care and attention I received from all Medical Professionals, I am simply sharing my experience for those women, who like me, feel like they want to get their power back, before it is taken from them altogether. You can do it. You and your baby along with your trusted support team can make this happen! Go for it!
Rebecca Aswani Mama to Mana
A healing 3rd birth So Baby ‘Bowen’ arrived on Saturday 12th October I was 39 weeks so much later than expected!. Weighing in at a perfect 7.2 lbs. I was being sent for an induction on the Monday if things hadn’t got going so was really happy he came of his own accord. I’m pleased to say the birth went really well. 😁 Things started slowly from 6am at home, and he arrived at 3pm on the dot, after just 3 hours in hospital of very active labour. My midwife was amazing. No intervention just me leading the way and a bit of gas and air to ease things.
I’m not sure how much of the actual Hypnobirthing techniques I used. However what you gave me was the strength and empowerment that I could do it! I reminded myself of this all morning while I mostly early laboured by myself at home (kids out with their dad).
This birth was able to heal a lot of the traumatic wounds of my last birth. I connected with baby instantly and I am completely in love with him. Thank you so much for helping me to find the strength I needed to get me through a really difficult time. I am here still listening to the relaxing music you had suggested while I’m sat up breastfeeding Bowen. He too likes the music having listened to it for the final few weeks in my tummy!.
Many thanks again Maxine x
Breathing techniques made all the difference
The birth was an incredible and unforgettable experience . Labour lasted 6.5 hours - I progressed really quickly! Spent 3 hours in the birthing pool and gave birth to the little man on dry land .
Our hypnobirthing breathing techniques really made all the difference and Alex was an amazing birth partner.
Thank you for the hypnobirthing training and support, it would have been a completely different experience without it!
All the best Sophie & Alex
Trusting your instincts!
Our baby girl actually surprised us a couple of weeks early - on my birthday of all days!
In a nutshell we had the homebirth we wanted and everything happened really quite quickly and calmly with baby being born in the birthing pool without any pain relief whatsoever. I am so so happy we decided to do the course with you and adopt the hypnobirthing approach, it made such a huge difference throughout the whole pregnancy journey and into parenthood - in terms of our mindset and we still play the relaxing piano music now to calm our daughter down and she loves it.
Thank you for giving us the confidence to go ahead with our homebirth plan and also - the biggest thing for me - was the confidence to trust in my instincts. The midwife was actually going to leave because she didn’t believe I was in labour when she arrived... she had only been here three hours in total before baby was born!
Thanks so much for creating such a welcoming and relaxing environment for the course and sharing all your tips and wisdom with us.
E & A xx
A calm, home birth (baby back to back)
Hiya Sofie - just thought you might like to meet your newest Hypno-Baby!! Our daughter was born at home 8 hours after my first surge, which was 12 hours after my waters spontaneously broke! Only pain relief was 2 paracetamol, TENS machine and the birth pool! 🙌🏼🙌🏼 the Hypnobirthing breathing and affirmations were invaluable and I absolutely would not have coped without them - birthing a baby is hard work!!!!
She wasn’t born in the water as planned as I did end up being “coached” through the last hour or so of pushing as she was not moving down and her heart rate was dipping significantly - it became apparent this had been because she was back to back and struggling to turn on her way down! But with the ambulance waiting outside I managed to muster the energy to get her out in the comfort of our home .... and we couldn’t be happier - she’s perfect!
Thank you for teaching us the skills we needed to be confident through the whole process - we couldn’t have done it without that knowledge! The midwives even commented on how calm we both were and were amazed at how quickly my labour progressed and how I managed the surges with my breathing.
Yay for Hypnobirthing 🙌🏼🙌🏼🥳 Lots of Love Lucy, Conor and Essie 💕
A magical, empowering and quick home birth
Hi Sofie, hope you're well. Garrett and I are both loving our new roles and getting to know little Cassian. I have written down our birth story and wanted to share it with you. Happy for it to be shared publicly if helpful for others as we can't rate you and hypnobirthing enough!
The magical birth of our beautiful son, Cassian in a birthing pool at home. It was the Easter weekend and I was 38 weeks on Easter Sunday and feeling the full effects as expected at the end of pregnancy. Remaining positive and keeping in mind everything that my partner and I had learned from Sofie's Hypnobirthing course, we decided to spend time relaxing together as a couple as my intuition had been telling me that baby was coming early. On that particular weekend, we went on long, gentle walks followed by dinner, mocktails and a flotation pool session.
On Tuesday morning at 04:30am my waters began breaking slowly. I contacted the midwives around 07:30am, who visited us at home mid-morning and confirmed without invasive intervention that the waters had broken. The Midwife booked me in for an induction for 9am Wednesday in case I didn't go into spontaneous labour, but she made it clear that it was my decision and I did not have to be induced. Upon presenting the areas of discomfort I was currently experiencing, the Midwife created a specific aromatherapy blend for me to either diffuse or massage to encourage spontaneous labour and relieve discomfort.
At about 13:00, my partner and I went for a walk, got some lunch and returned home. Gentle period like cramps started about 2pm and I began using the 'up breathing' and visualisation techniques while trying out different positions and massage. Meanwhile, Garrett (my partner) was busy assembling the pool, waterproofing the floor and sofa, putting on his 'out of office message and contacting the Midwife to give them the heads up that induction was not necessary! During early labour, I watched both Paddington Bear films and had a warm shower to relax.
The surges had intensified by about 6:30pm and Garrett managed to prise himself away from me to call the Midwife to come to visit. The Midwife observed me for approximately 20 minutes and advised Garrett that I was still in early labour, to monitor my progress over the following two hours and then call triage if labour progressed. At this point I felt a strong urge that I needed someone with me at all times, as I had started to go 'inward' and became very quiet for the rest of the labour, only speaking in response to questions. At 21:00, the Midwife arrived, and Garrett directed her to our birth plan stuck to the living room door and quickly corrected her to use the words 'pressure' instead of pain and 'surge' instead of contraction. I had all the discomfort in my lower back, but I found it too uncomfortable for the Midwife to check baby's position. I knew the Midwife was thinking that baby was back-to-back, but I could feel him moving and knew instinctively that he wasn't.
At 21:30, I consented to an internal examination but asked for Garrett to be told how far gone I was as I didn't want this to block me mentally. Garrett was told that I was 'only' 3cm and that she will observe the baby and me every 15 minutes for the next hour before deciding whether to stay or leave as the first baby usually has long active labours. As the surges intensified, the Midwife suggested I get into the pool to relax as I was exhausted. In between surges, I managed to get into the pool, and it was heavenly whereby I instantly felt relief. Shortly after getting into the pool, I felt a bubble of pressure and my waters fully broke. I started to feel an uncontrollable urge to bear down and once again consented to being examined. I remember the shocked expression from the Midwife, who exclaimed: "you're 9cm!" The Midwife told me to "accept the pressure and breathe through it” which helped me enormously and I began focusing on 'down breathing', particularly the opening of a pink rose.
Meanwhile, the Midwife quickly ran to call the second Midwife and unlocked the front door to allow quick and easy access. Garrett remembers me falling asleep while hanging over the edge of the pool and thinking "she's in transition". Suddenly, I could feel my son making his swift entrance to the world and was aware that the Midwife wasn’t ready and I declared, "he's coming!" As the living room had low lighting, Garrett grabbed a torch and once again, I astounded the Midwife as she could see my son's head crowning slowly, then retracting and then crowning again. I was solely focused on breathing him out slowly, ignoring pleas to pant, which I knew would make me hyperventilate. Garrett was able to witness his fist, followed by his head being born. I declined to touch his head as I just needed to remain inward and focused. The next surge came, and I lifted my son out of the water and into my arms. He was very calm; no tears and he immediately opened his eyes to look at me. We had done it. All of us. Active labour was just over 2.5 hours and the second Midwife hadn't arrived in time for the birth of our son.
Garrett had remained calm, knowledgeable and in control throughout the whole labour. This encouraged me to do the same and I constantly reminded myself that my body and baby will know what to do. I knew that my job was to stay relaxed and calm. Garrett and I both feel so strongly that hypnobirthing gave us the knowledge and skills to have a gentle birth. We had practised the techniques taught by Sofie every day, which gave us the power and strength to question interventions, be explicit in our wishes and remain positive, focused on our intended birth throughout the pregnancy. Sofie demonstrated genuine care and compassion by responding quickly to messages and offering advice during and after completing the course. This was invaluable as at about 36 weeks, my Midwife began trying to encourage me to have a hospital birth because I was measuring large. I can't recommend Sofie's course enough and have encouraged all of my friends to use hypnobirthing and consider a home birth. The most powerful, intense and rewarding experience of my life. Cassian Dax Murphy 8lb 2oz is born at 23:44.
Thank you for guiding us to the most positive, empowering birth we could have wished for. Best wishes, Charlotte, Garrett & Cassian xxx
A beautiful water birth in our living room...
We did it! A home water birth, drug free and it all happened fairly quickly. She is amazing! What an experience! Tougher than I thought it would be but we got there. It was a beautiful water birth in our living room – very intense but the hypnobirthing definitely helped. The moment I held her for the first time was just indescribable.
She looked up at me and was so calm ad she went for my breast soon after. My milk came in last night and it’s all going so well. She’s such a chilled baby! I never thought I could feel this way Sofie!!
Thank you for all you taught us and your endless support.
Rosy, Mummy to Pearl
They couldn't believe how calm I was!
Our son Rocco was born on Sunday and despite some complications towards the end that led to a transfer it was still an amazing and empowering experience. I was only on gas and air towards the end at home. I used aromatherapy and obviously hypnobirthing techniques.
I don’t remember any pain. All the midwifes and doctors couldn’t believe how calm I was. I was even bossing Orson around when we were getting in the ambulance (if he has my phone, money etc) 😆
We had a cover at the restaurant on Saturday (the busiest day for us!), the very first time Orson wasn’t there for a service! But it went very well.
We are settling at home, Rocco is amazing and I’m so happy and grateful.
Thank you so much for everything! I feel I really benefited from the hypnobirthing course we did with you.
I’m so proud of myself!
Linda, Mummy to Rocco
Planned c-section for breech baby, however labour starts spontaneously leading to a 'natural' c-section...
Hi Sofie! I wanted to just let you know how amazing and how much Hypnobirthing helped us throughout the whole pregnancy, including the birth of our son and beyond. Even though I didn’t have the natural birth we wanted I found what I learnt in our Hypnobirthing session helpful throughout the whole experience and I look back now and think how could I have dealt with what we went through without it.
At 38 weeks pregnant Bob and I were walking around town when we went in to Holland and Barrett to get the Arnica tablets (which you had recommended) ready for my C-Section that was booked for 5 days time. I had a little pain so I stood and swayed my hips from side to side while breathing through it, using the golden thread breathing technique and thinking of my visualisation (butterflies flying up to the sky). The discomfort didn’t last long so I didn’t think it could be a surge. The lady at the till said “you are not going in to labour now are you?” I laughed and said no. The surge didn’t come again for another 10 minutes, I had to sit down and again breathed through it. A lovely lady walked past and said laughing, “you are not going in to labour here are you?” I laughed back and said no! Again thinking this couldn’t be a contraction as there is no pattern to them.
We got home an hour later and I went to bed and slept for 3 hours. I woke up and went to the loo and my waters broke – yes it was totally like the movies, it went everywhere and there was LOTS of it! I was so happy that I experienced it because after being told I had to have a c-section due to the breech position, I thought I wouldn’t ever get to feel it. I had said to my hubby, all I want is for the surges to start early to put the Hypnobirthing in to practice before my C-section, I would be gutted if didn’t feel anything. We called the hospital and they said no rush to come in if you aren’t having contractions, we will prob do the C-section tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on when your contractions come on. I went to run a bath and said to my hubby I have an instinct I have to go in now!
We got a lift in and when we got to the hospital I had what I thought might have been a surge that again I breathed through. When I said to the midwife “I think it might be a contraction” she politely laughed and said no it’s prob not if you are not in that much pain and they aren’t coming in waves. The obstetric came to see me and said they would do the op tonight or tomorrow as I wasn't having any contractions. The obstetric then examined me and looked shocked and a little concerned and said to the other doctor, I can feel a foot, she then turned to me and said “right you are 7cm and there is a foot coming down so I will see you in theatre soon; do you have any questions for me?”. This is when I remember everything we had discussed and said to her my birthplan i.e. want to hold baby straight away, I want skin to skin, no vitamin k and I want a picture of baby as soon as he is born, fortunately she agreed to all of these. I really feel If I hadn’t had done Hypnobirthing I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to give my requirements/wants in such a rushed and overwhelming situation.
The midwife asked if I needed a wheel chair to theatre but I said no I can walk. I walked to theatre, all the midwives looked so shocked that at 7cm I could walk to the theatre with no pain! I kept breathing to calm my nerves and fears and kept doing the visualisations of my butterflies. They then performed the procedure and our son was born. They kept their promise and I got to do my birth-plan wishes with skin to skin etc. Our son was born 1.5 hours after my waters broke and I would say around 6 hours from, which I now know, was my first surge.
After the birth we were taken to a private room where there was a lot going on for the next 3 days which I used my Hypnobirthing skills to get through! I used the Hypnobirthing cd and my birthing songs (the songs we used practicing the Hypnobirthing every night) to create a calm and relaxing environment to meditate. I felt so much better and I was able to sleep for an hour and my anxiety reduced dramatically. I used the Hypnobirthing cd and birth songs for when we got home too. I was sleep deprived and my anxiety heightened again so I used the cd and songs to help me relax, to a point I could sleep for an hour or so between breastfeeding.
I want to just say thank you so much. We both enjoyed our sessions and the bonding my hubby and I had together through the whole experience, while practicing up to the birth. I really believe that I would not have coped as well as I did with the Emergency csection and the pains, without the knowledge what we learnt from our Hypnobirthing session.
We definitely felt more prepared and knowledge about the whole experience. You was so friendly, you always answered our questions and made us feel confident and prepared.
People always used to say to me I was crazy when I said I was “excited to give birth!”
You also gave me and my husband the tools and confidence to use BRAIN (a questioning technique).
One of the best things was, I believe that it helped with my son knowing his daddy’s voice (from all the practicing of the scripts every night!!) – as soon as he was born he turned to my husbands voice from the other side of the room whenever he heard him talk. This really warmed my heart.
Thanks Sofie, I feel empowered and can honestly say even though the birth didn’t go how we had planned I loved every minute of it and would def do it again.
Hannah, Mummy to Lincoln
Home birth in water...
I know how sweet it was when we heard from people who had given birth after their courses with you so thought we would add my perspective as a dad to the mix! Kate gave birth to our beautiful new arrival Aoife on Monday morning. Despite being warned to ignore our due date, it had come and gone by a week and I think we were beginning to worry as we were getting booked in to go for scans at hospital amid mild concerns about baby’s size and we thought that home birth would no longer be an option. I called you and you reminded me if baby healthy, and mummy healthy, there’s no reason for us to not be at home and that we just need to relax... I cooked Kate a rice dice with enough chillis in it to take her face off, and within ten minutes Kate was convinced she was feeling surges so we got her into the bath and then things REALLY started moving!
As we expected, we called our midwife who said it sounded very early, surges were too far apart and to call back when surges were closer together. I honestly don’t think 45 mins passed before Kate’s ‘rest’ periods went from 10-15 minutes to 3 or 4. I think this did unsettle Kate slightly and started to worry her as we still had no ‘bloody show’ or waters breaking and all of a sudden things just taking off!
Midwife comes over and agrees things seem to be moving quickly and says she always has to second guess hypnobirthers as they always take her by surprise! Kate sat in the tub and I whispered to her constantly in her surges, reminding her of her up visualisation and reminding her of nice places and good memories to take her mind away from the discomfort. We agree to a check for dilation just for the midwife to know where she is at as there was another home birth kicking off simultaneously, but we opted not to know the number so we didn’t know how far through she was.
One thing I will say.. with my presence and hypnobirthing techniques really helping Kate calm down through these quickening surges. It became a bit of a ‘situation’ where Kate now really needed me with her for every surge..but meanwhile our Pool-In-A-Box pool is still sat half inflated and empty in the living room (Kate didn’t want it inflated and ready to go in the weeks before labour as it ruined the Chi of living room and a constant reminder of what’s to come) I left Kate with our fantastic midwife who adopted the hypnobirthing techniques and spoke to Kate calmly and softly through her next few surges while I set up the pool. I am SO glad I spent the time and money doing a full test run inflating and buying a spare liner as I managed to work on turbo speed getting that thing up!
Jazz record on, infuser making room smell of lavender, low lights on, Kate musters all her strength in a rest moment to waddle from the bath to the pool which I think she will describe as the best feeling she’s ever had. Kate did start to panic slightly through transition so we eventually opted for some gas and air for the final stages, the irony being that the canister ran out and whilst they were going to replace it Kate had found the technique and managed to breathe our little girl out without it! The reminder of her J breathing and loosening her jaw for cow noises really really helped both improve the technique and limit her anxiety.
We are absolutely thrilled! I am so so glad we did the course with you, knowing what we were going into and having the weeks of practice on staying calm and most importantly thinking positively and reminding Kate that she was in control and that this was a natural, healthy process not to be feared.. it all meant we had the beautiful home birth that Kate dreamed of. If we opted for home birth without hypnobirthing I think we both agree we would have been so much less prepared and more likely to panic and go to hospital. I can’t lie and say the 8 hours of labour were a constant hypnobirthing picture of calm serene breathing like some of the videos we watched, but I think the self belief and lack of anxiety in the build-up to labour is what really benefitted us.
Kate was absolutely incredible and I am still in awe of what she achieved!! Thank you so much once again!
Seán, Daddy to Aoife
Hypnobirthing made us both feel more in control...
It was only when me and my wife reflected a couple of days after the arrival of our first baby boy, did we really begin to measure the impact of hypnobirthing. My wife turned to me said ‘imagine if we didn’t do hypnobirthing!?’ We both agreed that it would have been a very different challenge and a whole lot less manageable event. My wife, autonomously of myself, organised to have a private course. I was pretty nonplussed about hypnobirthing at the start, but certainly the apprehension towards an inevitable occasion which was now under 9 months away, meant that I supported anything that would help Kathryn.
Sofie, came round to our house to deliver the sessions, which started with a catch up and certainly lots of tea. It was always very friendly, relaxed, and without pressure or scrutiny. One of Sofie’s particular talents is that within 20 minutes of meeting her, you feel like you are with a friend you have known for a long time, and this lends itself to a calm and open atmosphere. Very quickly we became very comfortable speaking openly and freely.
What was striking is that the sessions gave us information that made us feel a lot more in control. We spoke about the labour in detail and begun to understand the process much more. We covered the good and the bad which contributed to a shared preparedness between myself and my wife. At different times, we would have different roles to play, but studying birth in this informal way meant we could begin to plan and plot out in our minds how we wanted to approach it, and also how we would approach difficulties also, if they were to arise.
The labour came, and after two days, came to its natural conclusion with the arrival of Frederick. Even at its most intense, we were able to maintain a positive frame of mind. Using the techniques we had used, the visualisations, and breathing my wife was able to better deal with the contractions and comprehend the pain in a different way. She got through the birth having only two paracetamols!
I am an absolute advocate of hynobirthing and an indebted supporter of Sofie! What Sofie taught us was truly valuable and helped us beyond words. Her reassurance, gave my wife an incredible confidence and contentedness that provided the perfect frame of mind to approach the birth. I have since talked to several friends who are fast approaching their own due dates, and every time my ‘top tip’ to them has been, ‘do a hypnobirthing course!
Ben, Daddy to Freddie
I can honestly say it was an amazing birth experience!
I am convinced that my state of mind and confidence from the hypnobirthing sessions helped me enormously, she was a joy to deliver, it all went so fast I just didn’t have time to think about it. It was intense but I was just so pleased at the time about how quickly it was progressing and I think the reason it progressed so well was down to my mental state and the confidence I had in my body’s ability to deliver her.
Thank you so much Sofie I think Jim & I both learnt & benefitted so much from what we learnt with you, it was much more of a team effort this time around especially in the few weeks before the birth, Jim gave me so much space & kept my zone very stress free, I think this support helped so much to get me into the best frame of mind. Thank you so much again for your help at this very special time! Anna, Mummy to Minnie
Hypnobirthing was the best drug I could have been armed with!
Our beautiful baby girl is here! Labour was a genuinely amazing and wonderful experience and I have NO DOUBT it wouldn't have been so great without all of Sofie's wisdom and positivity that she passed onto us during our pregnancy. I went in 100% relaxed, without a shadow of fear or trepidation. I was able to relax and enjoy the miracle of what my body was doing.
All in all, an INCREDIBLE experience which would never have been so incredible without Sofie. Sofie has an amazing gift in what she does - she is so empowering and honest, it was the best drug I could have been armed with. Chloe & Chris, Mummy and Daddy to Imogen
The birth of our baby was peaceful, quick and calm
When I first heard about hypnobirthing I have to admit I was dubious. However, we were determined not to go through another traumatic birth and so were both willing to give it a go!
Sofie was amazing and the hypnobirthing techniques and philosophies that she taught us honestly changed our lives for the better. The birth of our baby was peaceful, quick and calm and people often comment on what a calm baby he is as a result.
Sarah, Mummy to Keir
A calm c-section using Hypnobirthing
Sofie was influential in my entire pregnancy, in teaching new skills of relaxation and the biology of my body through birth. We planned a hypnobirth home birth, and after the course with Sofie we went from feeling anxious to excited about the birth, practicing all the techniques she gave us.
Sofie has a calming and caring nature, she's very passionate about what she does, we felt really at ease and enjoyed every session. My plans suddenly changed when I was booked for a c section at week 38. I was incredibly upset that I no longer could have the home birth I'd wished for.
Even though I had completed the course with Sofie, she was on-hand to give me extra support; she helped me through this difficult time, and I feel that she went the extra mile. Sofie showed how I can still use hypnobirthing techniques through my c section - it definitely helped keep me calm and I had a very healthy baby boy! I have recommended Sofie to my friends and will continue to, she's the best!
Jules, Mummy to Zach
An empowering home birth
I was almost two weeks overdue and was being badgered for monitoring and induction but I trusted my body and my instinct and on the morning I was going to go in for monitoring at exactly 42 weeks my surges started at 4:30am. I practiced my hypnobirthing, had my doula come over and all was well. Surges picked up at about 8am and I got into the birthing pool and just used my breath to ride through the surges. I felt a pressure and my waters went in the water (my plug only went moments before this) and then my body wanted to start pushing. My doula kept telling me to trust my body so I did and it was amazing. It didn’t hurt it was just incredible. Once her head was out she pooped inside but they weren’t worried about that. She was a big baby so midwife wanted me to stand up with my leg on the pool to give her a little more space once her head was out and out she slipped at 9:29am. She was 9lb 11oz and no tear at all and apart from looking a little pale I was absolutely fine. Our bodies are incredible and it was the most wonderful experience as my first birth was a hospital birth with an epidural. You can do it ladies and when you do you will feel amazing! Welcome to our world Martha Lily Ettie Fisher.
My husband and I decided to have a homebirth and try out Hypnobirthing for our first baby. After searching online we found Sofie's website and decided to take the course with her. From the first welcome into Sofie's home for the course we felt at ease. Sofie is a very warm and open person. This was very important at a time where everything was new and there were so many decisions to make. Sofie went through any questions with good depth of knowledge and a calm manner - this in turn gave us much confidence about our chosen birth plan. We can highly recommend Sofie's hypnobirthing course to all Mums and Dads to be. K, Mummy to H
Hypbobirthing was a total game changer for both my pregnancy & labour. It kept me positive throughout both. I felt so very strong and capable. We are so thankful to have stumbled across Sofie who was a wonderful bright light of a guide to us. Sofie offers a safe & tranquil space in which to discuss hopes & fears, a well structured course with a great balance of information, anecdotes & practise and a healthy measure of humour too! I felt so well informed and prepared for what was to come! Thank you Sofie! Léa, Mummy to Anou
At first I thought only hippies contemplate Hypnobirthing, but it is so, so much more powerful and valuable than first perceived. Hypnobirthing provides you with the science of what your body will do, as well as the tools to deal with it. It teaches you a lifelong ability to calm yourself down and most importantly the confidence to handle and keep control of your mind while your body takes over. Sofie is a really fantastic teacher, she has lots of knowledge, a lovely voice and makes you feel very realxed and calm. I had my perfect birth because of Hypnobirthing. I wish with all my heart that all women could experience what I did. Minty, Mummy to Franka
Giving birth was a wonderful experience that reinstated the powerfulness of our minds and bodies. Hypnobirthing taught me to have trust and confidence in my body. When William was born he was so calm, peaceful, just like how he was brought into the world. Stephanie, Mummy to William
The Hypnobirthing exercises of visualisation, relaxation and breathing were invaluable to me during my whole pregnancy. After 2 miscarriages I had natural worries of my body’s ability to carry my baby. But I found that the Hypnobirthing philosophy gave me the confidence and the techniques to trust my body and truly be in touch with my intuition, helping me to stay calm, healthy and anxiety free throughout. Sofie’s positive birth experience with her daughter gave me the confidence to believe in both the Hypnobirthing methods and myself. When I finally went in to labour, all the techniques I had been practicing came in to play. I was incredibly calm and in control throughout my long labour. My son was born calm, drug free and alert. I think that Hypnobirthing is just realigning women to what we already know deep down inside: That we too, like other species, have the ability to give birth without fear and all that fear brings. I hope all pregnant women can one day know that. I’m so glad that it is Sofie who has decided to teach it! Samreen, Mummy to Solomon