A revolution in midwifery care is truly underway in the UK and further afield. This change has come about from a grass roots movement, from word of mouth and through the mothers themselves. Their desire to have a natural and comfortable childbirth has led them to KG Hypnobirthing.
And their key supporters, the midwives, once they have witnessed a hypnobirth, want to know more.
Here we chat to a group of midwives about their experience of hypnobirthing and hope this gives you an insight into their reasons for upskilling in this area.
If you are interested in finding out more about training or introducing your own NHS trust to hypnobirthing we are happy to answer any of your questions and can come and chat to you and your team about it. Please either call on 01264 535 002 or contact us here.
We thank the lovely midwives, Nicola, Janet and Vanessa, their full details are shown at the base of this article.
Question: When did you first hear about Hypnobirthing?
“In 2004.” – Nicola
“I first heard about Hypnobirthing when I did my midwifery training in 1997 – 2000. I recall reading about it and thinking “Wow, I wonder if this works?” Watching a film using Hypnobirthing, the only way we knew she was having a surge was because she lifted her index finger up. I found this amazing and wanted to know more.” Vanessa
“I heard of Hypnobirthing about 6 or 7 years ago, which was Marie Mongan method and I first heard about KG about 3 years ago at a One to One study Day in Ormskirk.” Janet
Question: Describe how you felt when you first witnessed a mum using hypnobirthing.
“I was excited that at last there was a name that could encompass all of the strategies I had been using with and teaching women for all these years; at last it had a name!” Nicola
“How is she so comfortable? How is she so relaxed? This is amazing – is it like this for everyone who is Hypnobirthing? I felt privileged to be witnessing something so extraordinary and so calm and beautinful.” Vanessa
“I had seen many women “hypnobirth” many years before I heard of the word “hypnobirthing” as I used hypnosis and many of the tools, now used in “Hypnobirthing” in the 1980’s and 1990’s with my own babies, I came across Michel Odent and Ina May Gaskin etc in 1982…who inspired me greatly…” Janet
Question: Has it effected your career path?
“Not my career path but it has enhanced my enjoyment of my work as a Midwife.” Nicola
“Yes it has. I decided to train soon afterwards to be a KGHypnobirthing Practitioner, in an attempt to bring this calmness to many women. I ran a Hypnobirthing service at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough for just over a year. I invited all women who were due to give birth in the Trust to attend 12 hours of group Hypnobithing classes. I trained 20 couples per month for a year, alone and without assistance. It was an amazing year and I have so many emails from the couples who attended thanking me and telling me their amazing Hypnobirths that I knew it was making a huge difference. I trained all the staff in how to support a Hypnobirthing woman in labour. This included obstetricians and anaesthetists. The whole maternity unit had to buy into Hypnobirthing and this meant it had to be supported on Labour Ward, Birth Centre, Theatre and at home. I then handed the service over to a team of community midwives and it continues. I now work in another Trust who does not have any Hypnobirthing service – I have work to do here!” Vanessa
“It is an extra skill to be used in my private business as a therapist and midwife…” Janet
Question: Why did you choose to study with KG Hypobirthing?
“I found the KG system to be the method most geared towards birth in the UK. It’s more than just having scripts with a UK accent it’s about having a first-hand understanding of the issues that women face in the UK (nowhere else in the world has the NHS with all its attendant blessings, quirks and foibles!).
Katharine made the course very accessible to me, I spoke to a few training providers but Katharine completely understood that it was a big financial outlay for an NHS Midwife and suggested I pay by instalments which worked out brilliantly for me.” Nicola
“I had watched a documentary by another school of Hypnobirthing who made a claim “You will feel no pain!” I thought this was unrealistic and was not giving the correct message to women. When I was given the goahead for booking my training by my Trust – who were paying, I had already done my research and KG Hypnobirthing was the largest provider and the testimonials made and information available on the internet were in line with my understanding of Hypnobirthing and how it works and were very realistic.” Vanessa
“I chose KG, as the after care and support following my MM qualification, was non existent and KG was always available to chat, supportive and always provides a visible presence on forums too. KG understood that courses do not have to be as prescriptive as some of the other brands.” Janet
Question: Describe the challenges you experience using hypnobirthing in your day to day job.
“I can’t think of any challenges; it brings only benefits.” Nicola
“Initially it was disbelief and complete dismissal by the Labour Ward midwives and doctors that they were expected to accommodate this practice on LW. They said to me “once the lady leaves the Birth Centre and is transferred to LW, Hypnobirthing become obsolete!”.
It took some mandatory teaching sessions that they had to attend in order for them to change their views and accept and support women using Hypnobirthing on the LW. But we did get there.” Vanessa
“The only challenges I have in my NHS role, is sometimes justifying a) charging for it, b) dispelling the myths with some health professionals. In my private role, I don’t have those challenges, I am my own boss.” Janet
Question: Describe the benefits of using KG Hypnobirthing in your day to day job.
“In addition to all the obvious benefits for women I have found that it has made me more able to manage my own fears and anxieties. It’s no secret that the NHS is a very stressful place to work and on those days when you don’t so much as get a tea break I have been known to stand in the equipment cupboard and do a few KG Hypnobirthing Up breaths et voila! One calm and centred Midwife re-emerges a few moments later!” Nicola
“I use the simple techniques with women in order for them to have a comfortable vaginal examination eg stretch and sweep. I use breathing and mantras of “softening, melting, releasing, letting go” for all vaginal examinations and teach it to women in labour too. These are all women who are not Hypnobirthing, but it helps them enormously.” Vanessa
“I can use bits of hypnobirthing within my role for all women, eg I have bought copies of River Dawn for our MLU and Consultant units, for any woman to listen to….
The benefits in my private role, are seeing so many parents reduce or eliminate fears and anxieties surrounding birth , watching then grow in confidence, feeling more prepared and then hearing lots if very positive and empowering birth stories.” Janet
Questions: What advice would you give to a midwife who is considering training in Hypnobirthing?
“Take stock of your reasons for wanting to train; do you wish to apply the skills to your NHS role or to work independently or a bit of both? Do your research thoroughly and very importantly speak to the person who would be doing your training; you will know if this is someone you can learn from straight away! Are they respectful towards you as an adult learner etc?
There are some organisations that are aimed solely at training Midwives but maybe think outside the box. One of the big benefits to me has been the ongoing sense of community with the other KG Hypnobirthing teachers. We all vary in our backgrounds from mothers, to Doulas, to hypnotherapists and more, and that variety provides a real opportunity for cross fertilization of ideas and knowledge and offers you a more varied perspective. It’s very healthy.” Nicola
“There are several training courses, but having completed three of them, I use the KG Method because it is so well organised and the course is prepared for you. It is well structured in it’s teaching and is the only one where I had training from a hypnotherapist. This made a huge difference to my understanding of how Hypnobirthing works and gave me a really good grounding for becoming a Hypnobirthing practitioner.” Vanessa
“Midwives should at least have an understanding of what it is, why women do it and how they can, (as health professionals, ) support and facilitate a hypnobirth…to me it is going back to basics, how birth used to be.” Janet
Question: What did you enjoy most about the KG course and what did you find the most useful on the course?
“When I think back to my training it still gives me a big smile. I met some fantastic people on that course, people that I have stayed in touch with all this time. Katharine was so unflappable and made it all feel like the most natural thing in the world. I left each day feeling so amazingly relaxed and confident!”
“I had, for a very long time before I did the course, been supporting women in birth and I would often guide them to use some techniques similar to the ones learnt in the KG Hypnobirthing course but doing the course gave it all a name which somehow made it all that much easier to explain (both to my clients and my employer!). It also provided a brilliant frame work within which to teach the skills etc. in an antenatal class setting (KG Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal education package)
Katharine also has several specialist scripts and other resources which you can access after the course has finished so your development and practice is supported as you move forward.” Nicola
“See above and the convincer scripts. The immovable leg was amazing and convinced me completely that hypnosis works.” Vanessa
“It reinforced all that I had known about birth, it was refreshing to hear others who held a similar philosophy.” Janet
Question: What did you expect when you booked onto a KG course?
“Honestly? I expected it to be a bit more “Woo Woo” but instead it was based in common sense and easily transferrable to NHS practice.” Nicola
“What did I expect? Hmmm. I expected an excellent quality course both in teaching and in material provided. I expected to have to do lots of practice after the course and put the whole course that I was going to teach together myself based on what I would have learned in the course.” Vanessa
“I expected a good support system and aftercare system” Janet
Question: Was the reality different from what you expected and, if so, how?
“Way more down to earth than I expected and all the better for it!” Nicola
“Yes and no. “Yes”, the course was an exceptional quality compared to the others I had attended, was by far the best choice. The “No” is for how well prepared I felt when I left – to go and teach my first course. I did not expect this. I was given a file which contained the plan and content for each class of a four week course. I was amazed! I was ready to go straight out and teach my first course and have not looked back. I have been teaching for 5 years now although now privately not in the NHS.” Vanessa
“No, it was how I expected it to be….thankfully” Janet
Many thanks to the lovely KG Hypnobirthing Practitioners who took part in this interview:
- Vanessa Hodge – Professional Development Midwife at St Mary’s Hospital
- Nicola Nelson – www.wayofthekoi.com
- Janet Naylor – www.callyourmidwife.co.uk
If you would like to find out more about training with KG Hypnobirthing please either call on 0330 111 2292 or contact us here.