It’s not long until this year’s MaMa conference and we are busy preparing to go to Scotland to meet NHS and independent birth professionals. The conference is being held in Glasgow on 3-4 May and is the largest independent annual midwifery and maternity healthcare conference in the UK. We are looking forward to discussing various aspects of pregnancy, birth and hypnobirthing with the people who visit our stand, giving away copies of The Hypnobirthing Book and encouraging them to enter the MaMa raffle to receive a free place on the KGHypnobirthing teacher training course.
Katharine's Hypnobirthing Blog
As I look back at how hypnobirthing has grown over the past decade or so, it’s rather like the three trimesters in pregnancy – waiting for the big event, the culmination of a vast amount of work, growing a baby or for me, KGHypnobirthing. Of course, it doesn’t happen all at once, but in stages.
Informative & Interactive Hypnobirthing Content
In the build up to World Hypnobirthing Day we are going to share some fabulous and interactive content for all mums-to-be to support them on their journey. Our first article is all about the initial stages, The First Trimester of Pregnancy.
Your report on induction shared inaccurate statistics and is unnecessary scaremongering.
I was very interested to hear that you were going to discuss induction of labour on your show. This is an area that has such a huge impact on women and their birth outcomes and something we look at in detail on a KGHypnobirthing course: looking at the facts so women can make informed decisions.
However it was with a sinking heart that I listened to Sarah Jarvis share outdated and inaccurate statistics for the stillbirth rate.
Induction of Labour for Medical Reasons
Dr Jarvis ran through a number of medical reasons why induction should be performed for medical reasons. This can be a very valuable part of the care for mums-to-be who need that support, and we are very lucky to have the skilled medical professionals providing this care.
Induction of Labour for Post Due Dates
This is the area I wish to contest your report.
Attending the recent Royal College of Midwives (RCM) conference was a good opportunity for us to highlight the KGH teacher training courses and raise the profile of KGHypnobirthing in hospitals. It is vital that midwives have up-to-date knowledge about all areas of their practice and the programme this year had an emphasis on challenges and how to overcome them – whether in leadership, quality assurance, addressing inequalities or supporting those most in need and the importance of multi-disciplinary teamwork in all aspects of maternal care.
An evening with Lord Robert Winston
Last week I spent an enjoyable evening listening to Lord Robert Winston speak at Marlborough College. It was interesting to hear about his role in setting up the IVF service at Hammersmith Hospital in the 1980s and his work on fertility around the world, as well as his more recent appearances in the media.
Ahead of the lecture, I decided to take another look at the current research and found some insightful articles about the role of hypnosis in improving outcomes for IVF. We have saved them in our Hypnobirthing library for reference which can be found here.
Our conference was a huge success and many thanks to all who attended and to our speakers for their fascinating talks.
At our conference we heard from eminent leaders in their fields:
- Amanda Burleigh - Leading campaigner against early cord clamping and Midwife of the Year shared her fascinating knowledge in this area.
- Paul Golden - Do you know your rights in childbirth? As a future mother or birth professional; would you know when to say yes or no?’
- Selina Wallis – A practical session on Rebozo and the latest evidence on fetal and maternal position in pregnancy and birth.
- Mary Stewart - Presented her fascinating qualitative research into vaginal examinations and how to best support mothers in this area.
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Google trends is a fascinating place to view changes in interest for different search terms over a period of time. For our area of interest; 'hypnobirthing' it shows a healthy growth shown in the graphs below. Click on the link or the image to see the most up to date statistics.
These growth charts are a result of all the good work done by the different hypnobirthing groups. Word of mouth plays an important part in this as well as the many prominent PR stories we have seen recently. View some of these stories here.
The Mama Conference is always an inspiring event and KGHypnobirthing is delighted to support it. This year I had the privilege of being invited to speak on ‘Midwives Tuning in to Hypnobirthing with Mothers.’
It is a very heart warming to see the snowball effect that hypnobirthing is having with so many midwives now having first hand experience of a hypnobirthing mum and seeing how transforming it can be for women during childbirth. I discussed this alongside the common misconceptions about hypnobirthing.
One is that it is a method of pain relief in labour and the other is that it is a load of techniques that you learn to use in labour. Neither of this is true.
I was delighted to be invited to take part today in a discussion on Woman’s Hour about hypnobirthing. Jenni Murray was also speaking with Professor Soo Downe who is well known in the field of midwifery and birth, and Michelle who has recently given birth using hypnobirthing at Colchester Hospital.
Sometimes radio or television will allocate a couple of minutes for someone to fire questions at you about hypnobirthing. On Woman’s Hour we had 10 minutes to discuss hypnobirthing not exactly in depth, but at least with time to give a better impression of what hypnobirthing is and how much it can help women and, possibly even more importantly, their babies. You can listen to the interview again here.
One area we touched upon was a trial conducted by childbirth expert Professor Soo Downe who led the largest controlled trial on the use of hypnosis during labour in the UK.
This trial had 680 first time mums who were birthing out of 3 different NHS hospitals. The results for the women who were randomised to self-hypnosis during their pregnancy had a reduced rate of epidural (27.9% in comparison to 30.3%) and post birth had a reduced anxiety and fear about childbirth. Read the full report here.
Why did the trial statistics not demonstrate how effect hypnobirthing actually is?
As a teacher of hypnobirthing and of hypnobirthing practitioners I know how effective hypnobirthing is. I have overwhelming daily feedback from many women and teachers about the positive effect it has on their childbirth. Yet the trial statistics do not demonstrate how effective hypnobirthing actually is. Why is this?
What has my holiday in Italy got to do with hypnobirthing?
Last year I was invited to Italy by Alice Parkinson to train a group of KGHypnobirthing teachers. One of the joys of the course was Giorgio, Alice’s baby son, who held out has arms and insisted on a hug every time I saw him.
Alice and her husband Gavin have restored a beautiful stone farmhouse in the hills of Tuscany and they let out self-catering accommodation http://cavalenzano.com/ and they are now expecting their second baby. At very short notice I had an invitation to stay with them for a week and rather jokingly said, ‘If the baby arrives when I am there I will doula for you.’
As I arrived Gavin came out to the car with the news: ‘She’s in labour!’ Perfect timing.
Birth stories are one of the highlights of this job, but even more so when the baby arrives upside down!
Many breach babies are now routinely delivered in hospital with a caesarean as this is deemed the safest option. However this should not always be the case. I know many hypnobirthing mothers who have delivered breech babies naturally and safely and strongly believe that this over medicalized stance on delivering breech babies is wrong.
I will not launch into this debate now, but just share this heart-warming story of the baby who was not going to wait for a caesarean.
Tracey had been advised that with her babies bottom was fully engaged in a breech position and therefore she had no option but to book in for a caesarean. This she did reluctantly as she had wanted a natural birth.
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