KG Hypnobirthing is a complete in-depth antenatal training programme designed to release fear and build confidence during pregnancy and birth.

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Rachel & Theo

I attended K’s course when pregnant with my second child, and after having a really traumatic first birth - despite the fact I thought I was prepared (had done another hypnobirthing course which was lovely - but sadly in no way practical given hospital protocols etc)

The course was AMAZING. And the midwife (Kemi) was more than amazing.

The evidence- based teaching and especially Kemi’s support (she ended up doing a phone call debriefing me on the awful first birth and my options for birth #2) led to me deciding to have a home birth and hiring a doula.

Long story short: I ended up having the most truly incredible birth experience, in utter calm, in my own home, without a midwife as it happened so smoothly (they didn’t get to me quickly enough as I didn’t think I was very far progressed, as the pain was so manageable and I  was so calm!)

I delivered my son by myself in a birth pool in my sitting room, accompanied by my partner and doula. By the time the midwives got to us I’d also had a natural 2nd stage and was sitting on the sofa with Theo happily latched on (and placenta in a mixing bowl I subsequently had to throw out as it was too weird to mix cakes in anymore!)

My whole labour went like this:

7pm older child went to bed

8pm sitting in garden drinking glass of prosecco - waters broke

8.10 had shower and changed clothes, called doula and midwife, told  midwife not to bother coming at the moment as wasn’t in labour

9pm decided twinges might be labour and told my partner to blow up and fill birth pool

9.30 doula arrives and we breathe together

10 get into birth pool but everything very low key, practising my breathing and visualisations

10.45 chat to doula about whether we should phone midwife, decide still a way to go and we will leave it another half hour or so

11ish suddenly realise baby’s head is here and have massive panic attack - nooooo! Midwife isn’t here! Who will deliver the baby? I can’t do this!Doula tells me to calm down and stop saying ‘no’, but say ‘yes’ instead. Also tells me I’m perfectly capable of catching my own baby. Midwife gets emergency call to get over quickly.

11.19 Theo born after 3 pushes. Cuddle and relax in pool.

11.40sh still in pool and placenta delivered (was intending to get out but it all happened quite quickly!) Comedy DIY exit from pool with placenta in aforementioned mixing bowl carried by partner, all 4 of us troop over to sofa. Theo latches on.

Just before midnight midwives arrive.

The whole event was amazingly, fantastically brilliant - but even more so after such an awful first birth experience.

Oh also, have to tell you, my best/worst hospital moment was when I went in to see the supervisor of midwives at the RFH, who told me I should be induced at 38 weeks because I was so old and therefore my placenta would pack up early.

I had talked to Kemi about this, and read up on it as they also tried this tack with my first child (who I had at 43).

I said: there’s no evidence that placentas degrade any faster in older mums.

My placenta is as old as my baby (in fact, slightly younger). It’s not 43 years old, it’s 8 months old, and I’m looking after it.

He said, ah that’s a really sweet way of thinking about it, if you really want to tell yourself that. And he PATTED MY KNEE.

He subsequently emailed me the paper by the RCOG about induction in older mothers... which does actually state there’s no real evidence for placenta degradation in older mums, but that it’s a theory & further research needed.

Honestly, what the hell?

Other than that he was a really nice man and did end up fully supporting the home birth, possibly as I wrote him an 8 page birth plan with multiple footnotes citing NICE guidelines.

But the knee pat and the use of the word ‘sweet’ I don’t forgive!

Please can you pass on my utmost thanks to Katherine for her amazing course. In particular, the focus on arming people with the knowledge to argue back when protocol says you ‘should’ or ‘must’ do certain things. I was 45 when I had Theo, via IVF, and my goodness the hospital didn’t want me to have a natural home birth!!! I used all the evidence (AIMS, evidence based birth, Cochrane reviews etc) and I did it the way I wanted to. And it was so easy!!

And most of all, could you forward this email to Kemi? She utterly changed my beliefs about the system and how I could do things my own way, and believe in my body knowing best. I would never have had a home birth without her. She took my first birth trauma by just listening to me and hearing my story, and she made me feel I was strong enough and able enough to take a different approach second time round. Thank you Kemi from the bottom of my heart - you are a truly amazing woman and I will always remember what you did for me, to the day I die.

Massive thanks to you all. Amazing course - you have created real joy for me where there was such pain and anguish and fear before meeting you.

Rachel 2017

I felt so empowered, completely unlike the first time

Sam, 44, is a mother to four children aged 13, 8, 5 and 16 months old. 

After a traumatic first delivery, Sam vowed never to conceive again, until she had a chat with Katharine Graves about hypnobirthing and she changed her mind..

‘I had always wanted four children, but following the birth of my first son at home I didn’t think I could go through it again. Back then, I had an unsupportive midwife in a home delivery and felt frightened by the pain. For the following year I fell into a black hole of postnatal depression and told my husband we could never have another baby.

But after a couple of years I decided to explore other ways of giving birth and came across the idea of hypnobirthing. I was sceptical at first so decided to have a chat with Katharine from KG hypnobirthing informally. She was so informative and reassuring, advising me that with preparation I could have a different experience and I didn’t have to go through that trauma again.
It was following this conversation I felt confident enough about hypnobirthing and decided to try and conceive again.

When I fell pregnant, I signed up to the KG hypnobirthing course and by practising the techniques found myself in a place of deep calm when it came to thinking of the impending labour. For months I’d prepared as best I could, and organised another home birth, this time using Katharine’s techniques and listening to her on the CD.

When I went into labour with my second son at home, it was a completely different experience. I felt so empowered, completely unlike the first time and consequently felt happier afterwards.

I went on to have two more sons, born at home, using the KG method of hypnobirthing. All of them were wonderful experiences and I felt completely in control. I feel so strongly all women could benefit from hypnobirthing as a way to manage their births. For me, it helped me create the family I’d always wanted and gave me the chance to be a mother again.’

It was an intense, animalistic feeling

After a somewhat medicalized hospital birth with my daughter 18 months ago, I approached the birth of my son with an open mind. I was super keen to get my home birth this time but instead of being fixated on it, I reminded myself that birth can often change path along the way and that if I needed to go to hospital again, that was ok.

I also was way more relaxed and 'go with the flow' this time around in pregnancy. My daughter's pregnancy went to 42+3 weeks, so instead of doing all the labour inducing clichés, I reminded myself that my body was likely to carry this baby a little longer too, so didn't even pack my hospital bag until I reached 39 weeks 😂

Fast forward to the early hours of New Year's Eve and I started to feel some cramping at about 2am. This coincided with my toddler waking up crying (which is quite unlike her) so I went in and gave her a cuddle with her resting on my bump as I was having light surges. She went back to sleep and I started to take a note of the time between each surge as I wasn't certain if it was the onset of early labour or if I just needed to go to the toilet! I was 40+3 days into my pregnancy and convinced I'd go past 41 weeks so was very surprised. I went back to bed and tried to get some sleep.

By 7.30am my surges were pretty strong and relatively close together, my waters hadn't broken and I hadn't had a show yet so I was pretty relaxed in the knowledge things could take a while. I stayed in bed whilst diffusing some lavender and tried to sleep some more. My husband called the midwife and she popped over at about lunchtime. As soon as I saw her my surges stopped! She decided to make herself scarce and this pattern of stop start surges continued another 3 times as the midwife came and went. I said to my husband that we'd have to do it without the midwife and he just went along with me, whilst quietly keeping in touch with her without me knowing. I was sniffing furiously on a potent and heady mix of Clary sage oil and lavender from a handkerchief in an attempt to get things moving.

We decided to carb load with some pizza at about 5pm - a fab idea as I was in desperate need of some fuel in my tank in preparation for the evening ahead. We watched In the Night Garden with my daughter and my surges were back with a vengeance. My mum had arrived to help with Maggie and I was busy practising my calm and up breathing techniques so felt quite in control. I also found that sitting in my daughter's room and leaning over her changing table with each surge was hugely helpful, as I felt really safe and Zen in her room. We used some of the light touch massage which offered some relief at this point. Whilst running Maggie's bath at 6.30pm I said to my husband that I absolutely needed to get into the bath right at that moment so ended up sharing a bath with my daughter, whilst having very strong surges. Maggie kept kissing my bump and looking down at the baby's 'exit route' saying 'herro babba', which, needless to say sent me into Oxytocin overload!!

Chris had kept in contact with the midwife who arrived just in time to get me down to the birthing pool which we had set up in the living room earlier in the day. By this time I was in active labour, with my Relaxation MP3 playing on constant loop and breathing like a Hypnobirthing goddess! I felt euphoric as I set myself into a rhythm, and the warm water of the pool was a massive pain reliever - I hadn't had the benefit of water for my first birth and it was amazing.

As transition set in I had a wobble as I was convinced I wasn't in established labour yet. I asked my midwife to examine me, who had, at our request, been very hands off to this point, leaving me to it. As I stood up, I had my show. I was convinced this meant I was 2 days away from having my baby as I knew the show was often only an early sign of labour starting. The midwife examined me and when she told me I was 8cm dilated I could hardly believe how far I had come with just water, breathing and listening to my affirmations! I got back in the pool and continued on my birthing journey. I had some gas and air on hand when things got a little too much, but to be honest I seemed to do better at the breathing without it. We also had a birthing playlist but at that point all I wanted to hear was my relaxation MP3.

I kept changing positions in the pool and suddenly felt a huge pop as my waters broke and I felt the urge to breath down. It was an intense, animalistic feeling as i leaned over the side of pool looking up at my husband feeling the baby crowning. 13 minutes later, my son shot out of me all at once, arm first like superman into the pool and I reached down and brought him up to my chest. My son, Jasper was born at 11.35pm just in time to hear the NYE fireworks, weighing a healthy 8lbs 11oz. I will never forget that feeling of laying with him on my chest in the water waiting for his cord to stop pulsating, which my husband later cut. He was so perfect and latched as soon as I offered him my breast.

I contemplated whether or not to share the next bit but think it is important as it may help those of you in two minds over planning a home birth for worry of the 'what if something goes wrong'. Well, shortly after I birthed Jasper, I had a feeling this wasn't going to be the end of it as I waited to feel surges to deliver my placenta. Unfortunately, we waited and waited, but nothing happened. My placenta wasn't going to budge despite trying everything to get it moving. I was gutted but knew there was only a short window before I would need to be transferred to hospital for manual removal. I could hear the midwives calling for an ambulance and even though it was a busy NYE, with ambulances taken up by drunken revelers, the medics arrived at about 1am to take me to hospital. I remember the cold air hitting my face as I was stretchered out of the door, but looked up to see the full moon looking down on me and I knew everything was going to be ok. I continued my calm breathing and there was another midwife who arrived in the ambulance who held my hand the entire way. I was in the hospital within a matter of minutes and my placenta was removed in a very straightforward manner by a consultant. I also had to have some stitches either because if the placenta removal or the way Jasper entered the world arm first! This part of the story just goes to show that even if you need to be transferred during a home birth, it doesn't have to be an emergency, terrifying nightmare, and that with the right mindset, can be dealt with seamlessly without having a negative impact on your birth experience. All I remember is birthing my beautiful boy calmly into the water at home and the rest is just white noise!

We had to stay overnight in the hospital but to be honest it turned out to be a godsend as Chris was able to stay with me so we got to spend some quality time bonding with our son over endless cups of tea and rounds of toast before heading home the next day to introduce Jasper to his big sister. I still cannot believe that I got to give birth to our son in my front room, just using the skills and techniques learnt from my Hypnobirthing course.

I can honestly say that Hypnobirthing has changed my life. I use the breathing techniques daily to overcome any anxiety and am in awe of what my body can do by tuning in to the skills I have learnt. Whilst I was pregnant I also qualified as a KGHypnobirthing teacher, which further helped to compound my knowledge and understanding of its power, and, once I am ready, hope to teach other couples in the future. 

Katy

0 - 10 cm dilated in an hour!

My fiancé and I attended a weekend course at Guys and St. Thomas in November, and whilst we weren’t the most vocal members of the group (probably passing through relatively unnoticed) we came away hugely affected by what we had learnt and the power we now felt we had.  So much so that we decided there and then to have a home birth for our first baby and I was transferred into that midwifery team by Wednesday that week.

I just wanted to follow up and let you know we had our baby boy, Tyler, on Saturday 3rd Feb at exactly 39 weeks. It was a home birth as planned and it was everything we had wanted. My waters broke on the Friday night and instead of worrying I went to bed and thought how thankful I was to get a whole nights sleep before it might kick off. I woke up at 4am with mild contractions so stayed in bed for another hour before they got a bit more intense then went downstairs, had some breakfast, lit my special labour eucalyptus and lavender candle I had put aside and watched a comedy series I had been saving. The midwife arrived at 11 and I was 0cm but having steady contractions. We discussed their 24 hour policy on going to hospital after waters breaking and both myself and my fiancé dug our feet in the sand and told them we wouldn’t go in before 48 hours for definite (I had my Aims induction bible tucked safely under one arm at this point with all the necessary stats making me feel empowered and in control). She left and said she would return later to check and we should call her when I am getting 3 contractions every 10 mins. I went up and got in the shower then ran myself a bath and relaxed. The contractions were getting intense but I was so focused that I was falling asleep in between them. After about 50 mins I went back downstairs and my fiancé started timing the contractions as they had gone up a notch and I was struggling to get through them without using my voice to release some pressure. They were very frequent so the midwife was called four times consecutively to make sure she was on her way as I was starting to feel like I wanted to push. We had a birthing pool and all the equipment set up but by the time the midwife arrived there was no time to fill it or use the tens machine etc.. I was ready to push and Tyler was born shortly after wards.

After de-briefing a few days later with the midwife we realised I went from 0-10cm in about an hour and only pushed for 14 mins. He was born in our living room, didn’t cry and was totally calm and we curled up on the sofa together that evening as a new family of three.

We put the time and effort into all the visualisations and guided meditations and I totally believe Hypnobirthing helped me achieve the birth I had wanted, albeit a little quicker than planned! I just wanted to get in touch and thank you for giving me the knowledge and power to know my rights and make informed decisions about the birth of my son. I know we would have had a very different experience should we have chosen a different route.

Best

Sally

It Was Incredible

I've been meaning to write something like this for ages. This is the story of me and my wife Anna and our experience of Hypnobirthing. Not only was it incredible for my wife but also life changing for me...

In 2008 my wife gave birth to Max in a "traditional" hospital birth. It was everything you'd expect- a very traumatising experience for the 3 of us. A long drawn out, painful birth, on her back with a monitor on her bump being told she couldn't move. It ended with an epidural and forceps delivery. It was very difficult for me because I'm a doer- I like to get involved and help with things.

I hated just standing by and watching while my wife was in so much pain and I was doing nothing. My son, Max was a very scared and nervous baby with a strange shaped head cut and bruised from the delivery. He then started to refuse milk aged 4 months and was fed by a tube until he was 4.

When my wife got pregnant again in 2012 she was not surprisingly very scared about the birth. She started to have panic attacks almost every night so we had to do something. We had looked into hypnobirth and even though my wife was sceptical she was ready to try anything. When my wife was about 5 months pregnant we went to Katherine's weekend course and started doing the breathing and visualisation practice together every night at home. Anna was still sceptical but the practice seemed to stop the panic attacks at least so we carried on. Despite the doctors telling Anna she couldn't have a home birth we decided to go against their advice and have one anyway. We got a douler on Katherine's recommendation and organised for an NHS midwife to come to our house. Anna went into labour and we did the breathing/ visualisation as we had practiced. It was amazing! After 2 hours the douler came round- Anna had been quiet and in the "zone" pretty much the whole time. We called the midwife to let her know a couple of times. The second time the midwife asked if she was in the final stages. I asked her how can I tell- the midwife told me that she would be screaming in pain. As she had been on her hands and knees, completely quiet the whole time I told her probably not then. After the call a few minutes later Anna made a strange kind of groaning sound. She still had her pyjamas on so I took them off and the baby's head was there! I quickly called the midwife back and asked her to come. There were two more contractions then Anna's waters broke and my daughter came flying out in one easy motion! I technically delivered my own daughter with the douler's help! My daughter never cried and was very calm- she looked me right in the eyes and looked around the room, calm and alert! She didnt cry until a few hours later when she got hungry. My wife was so shocked that she had given birth so easily she couldn't speak for almost an hour. She had given birth in under 3 hours with no painkillers and most importantly no fear or stress. It was incredible and nobody was more surprised than my originally sceptical wife! I felt amazing too because I actually had an active role in the birth. Our hypno-baby Ruby has kept her calm, chilled personality. She was amazing at sleeping through the night and she's never had a single jab and hardly ever gets ill.

This was amazing in of itself but there was another story after that was also amazing. The strange thing was that I went through a transformative period with my work. 2011/ 2012 I was just going into film-making having worked as a photographer for some time. I wrote some ideas/ scripts in 2012 that really changed my career (they resulted in this film  and this one). Also in the same year I wrote the seeds of several other ideas which I developed into films/ scripts over the following year. It was when this creative streak dried up I began to reflect. I came to realise that all the ideas were written over a two month period. I was racking my brains trying to work out what was so special about that time. It was then that I realised. The 2 months were exactly the time when my wife was pregnant- every night I was practicing with her the breathing and the visualisations. This had a profound effect on my creative output and this realisation also triggered a spiritual change that has continued to this day. I have since taken up tai chi and meditation which I now practice on a daily basis, I've given up drinking and workaholic tendencies that I had and I now spend more time with my family and working on projects that matter to others with my work. This second story is not particularly birth related but I think shows how powerful this stuff is. I just want to thank Katherine from the bottom of my heart and from my wife Anna too who is eternally grateful

Love Josh xxxx

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