Pregnancy Journeys

Journey one

Post Natal Depression

Four years ago, when I first began working in private practice, with an obstetric colleague, I met Jane (not her real name). Jane had been booked to see the private OB, but as he was held up at birth, I introduced myself and offered to see her and check her wellbeing. Initially, Jane was hesitant, asking why I was seeing her and that she wasn’t sure she wanted to see me. Throughout the course of Jane’s pregnancy, I saw her for a number of antenatal appointments and we later laughed about her initial reaction to my involvement. We developed a  strong rapport and by the time she had her baby, she requested home visits to help with breastfeeding difficulties.

During the six weeks postbirth, Jane developed signs of postnatal depression (PND). Her baby also developed gastroesophageal reflux. When Jane was interviewed 3 months later, she attributed our regular follow-up as being integral to early diagnosis and management of both her PND and baby’s reflux.

Two years later Jane contacted me for advice about her desire to have another baby and to ask what pre-conceptual checks she should attend to. She has since given birth to another baby and through regular postnatal followup with her known midwife, we were able to identify PND a second time and ensure she received timely support with her GP and psychologist.

Does this sound like you?

Journey two

Achieve your VBAC dreams with Hypnobirthing

Suzanne, a second-time mum attended my hypnobirthing classes last year wanting to know how she could achieve her goal for a vaginal birth after caesarian. With her first birth, Suzanne had been induced at 38 weeks before her body and baby was ready.

Suzanne had been restricted on her back due to the need for constant monitoring (required when women are induced), which resulted in more discomfort and so chose an epidural early on in her labour.

With this labour Suzanne chose to attend my hypnobirthing classes, which empowered her and her partner with knowledge about the importance of relaxation breathing, positioning, and avoiding induction (unless medically indicated) and she achieved her goal for a vaginal birth.

Does this sound like you?

Journey three

Breastfeeding Problems

Amy (not her real name) was a second-time mum, she had experienced breastfeeding problems with her first baby 2 years previously.

She wanted to engage a private midwife before her second baby arrived.

She was seeing a private obstetrician. During antenatal sessions, we analysed some aspects of her breastfeeding experience which could be improved this time around.

We wrote out her birth preferences to take to the hospital and planned for regular 1-2  weekly home visits after discharge from the hospital.

After six weeks of regular, Suzanne was fully breastfeeding and her baby was thriving with weight gains well over expected.

Suzanne reported that her emotional health was significantly better this time around, attributing this to the regular support from a known midwife.

Does this sound like you?

Journey four

Mixed Messages About Child Birth

Mary (not her real name) attended my private midwife after feeling confused about the mixed messages she was receiving about her ability to give birth naturally. Everything Mary had read, led her to believe that she should have the opportunity to give birth naturally and that it was beneficial for mums and babies to try to give birth vaginally.

Despite her instincts telling her, that normal birth was in her best interests, Mary was being told from very early in her pregnancy that she would need a Caesarian. The reason she had been given was that her baby was going to be too big for her and that due to her anxiety, she would probably request one.

Mary asked for more information about normal birth but her doctor’s stories scared her into a planned caesarian, telling her she now had low fluid levels around the baby.

Mary’s waters broke the night before her planned caesarian, but as luck would have it, another OB was covering for Mary’s doctor that night and he reviewed her case and agreed she could labour. She gave birth to a healthy, average-sized baby.

Mary benefitted from unbiased education about her options.

Mary’s case is not unusual, I have had numerous women asking about valid reasons for Caesarian when their gut instinct is causing them to question their management.

Many women who attend my hypnobirthing classes have been confident enough to question their care provider’s suggestions or encouragement for early induction of labour or caesarian section. Through the course, they begin to identify that induction of labour should only be used when mum or baby are at risk.

Does this sound like you?

Journey five

Emotional Issues

Julie (not her real name) was a first-time mum, she was attending the practice I work in seeing the OB and myself at alternating visits.

After a while, Julie felt so comfortable seeing me and discussing some emotional issues that she chose to see me mostly (which is perfectly acceptable).

At 41 weeks she chose to be induced at a hospital where I was in the casual pool.

Unbeknown to Julie I requested to work a shift at the hospital and I looked after Julie for her birth. Julie then came back to see me for postnatal care and I was able to support her with breastfeeding.

Does this sound like you?

Journey six

Continuity in Care

Lilly (not her real name) was a young healthy first-time mum. She wanted to book into midwifery group practice at WCH, but wouldn’t find out if she had a place until approximately 20 weeks of pregnancy.

She wanted some sort of continuity model of care but was sure she didn’t need to have obstetric care. Lilly saw me for her antenatal care until she found out whether she had gained a place at WCH continuity of care model.

Lilly also attended my hypnobirthing classes supporting her and her partner’s desire for a natural drug drug-free birth.

Does this sound like you?

Journey seven

Hypno Baby Leon

Mat and Chantelle attended my hypnobirthing classes in April.  They were keen to avoid an induction of labour and after finishing their course felt confident to discuss their preferences with their OB

Chantelle  utilised some natural method to bring on labour & here is her wonderful story —-

I didn’t have any Braxton Hicks, felt like period cramps that just got worse and closer together. I went to hospital at about 10.30pm, cause I was vomiting with long intense surges and was worried I wouldn’t manage in the car after. I got the bath which I used straight away to help me regulate.

I took an oral tablet for the vomiting but it didn’t work so got the needle version which helped. Managed with breath work till about 1.30am, then started using nitrous to help me time my breathing. By 3.30am I was 9mm dilated and Leon was born shortly after! Everyone was very impressed how I managed and the staff was very supportive and did everything we asked.

Skin to skin straight away, delayed cord clamp and the placenta literally came within 10 minutes.  The OB only just made it in time.

Journey eight

Emily’s Amazing Hypnobirthing Story

We welcomed Lyla Rose to the world on Monday 24/10 weighing 3.74kg.

I went into labour at 41 weeks and 1 day at 6.30am and by this stage, I was already 6 minutes apart.  Only a few hours later they had gotten down to 2-3 minutes apart and I was starting to lose myself.

I had an appointment at 11:00am with the midwives anyway so I went along and found out I was only 2cm dilated. I didn’t allow this to break me, I new I needed to re-evaluate and quickly worked out it was going to be a long day and I needed to calm myself

I turned everything off, diffuser, playlists, TENS machine to allow myself to think and reassess my head space and jump in the bath. This is where I stayed until we left for the hospital, I felt completely calm here, drifting in and out of what felt like a light sleep.

At 2:50ish my waters broke in the bath, but due to being in a very calm headspace, I struggled to verbally tell Joel my waters had broken. It took 2-3 contractions before I was able to tell him.

At this point, I started to experience some light pressure in my rectum and we called the hospital to let them know we were coming. It took an hour and a half to get to the hospital which is only a few minutes away. I was completely gone by this point in my own world and all I kept repeating was “I am soft” I said nothing else this time. I felt as if I was tensing everything, but apparently, I wasn’t.

We made it to the hospital Car park and took me a little bit to get inside, where I had a massive surge in the outpatients’ waiting room.

I was walked straight to an examination room. when we got in there within minutes I let out an involuntary moan and flopped onto Joel forcing him to hold all my weight. As soon as the surge was over I had an urge to feel between my legs. I gently said “I can feel something” which turned out to be her little head. And within moments I had the urge to push and I directed all this energy down to her and the rest of her was born, being caught by the midwife whilst pressing the emergency button.

the midwife continually said after how calm I was, how in control and that all I was saying was “i am soft”

My records say I pushed for 2 minutes and I’ve taken the prize for the first mum to ever birth in the outpatient clinic in Mount Barker.

Journey nine

Trudy’s Second Hypnobirthing Experience

I should have shared this sooner but I have been very exhausted & so busy and basically healing and trying to get through the baby blues.  But I’m out the other side and am excited to introduce my beautiful little Paige Victoria.

Born 13.10.2022 at 2:15pm
I went into hospital with blood pressure hypertension (160/100)
After 4 days of monitoring and it not going below 150/95, I accepted induction at 37+2.

Cervidil was inserted on Wednesday night about 8:30pm
And my waters broken around 8:30am on Thursday morning and the drip started.

10:30am active labour commenced and by 2:15pm with the last hour on the gas& a few light grazes, little Paige entered the world.

2810 grams and 48cm long.

Shaun was an awesome Hypnobirthing partner and the hip squeezes we learnt with you worked a treat! They were the most amazing!
This time (unlike last time) I ensured I got off the bed, I was standing or sitting on the ball for most of labour.

The student midwife (3rd year) we allowed in the room had never experienced Hypnobirthing nor seen a ‘natural vaginal birth’ without interventions. And really enjoyed the experience with us.

Paige has mastered breastfeeding like a little milk champion and gaining weight perfectly.

Thank you for all your support yet again throughout pregnancy and for helping to make our birthing experience a positive enjoyable one to remember forever more.

Paige now completed a family of 6!

Thank you for everything you do for us Kate. Helping to spread empowerment and positive pregnancy and birthing experiences.  I’ll always recommend u and I will actually miss you!  You empowered me and made me know I am able to north my children and I will be in control of my family entering this world!

As I waited in my shared room on the 2nd night in the women’s health ward, another woman came in. She started having contractions and the midwives didn’t believe she was too far along so left the room.

Sure enough, Over the next hour and a half her contractions were becoming much stronger.
She let me time her contractions and I played my Hypnobirthing tracks for her and reminded her that her baby is coming on it’s perfect birthday, and her body was made to birth her child! With my speech, her breathing calmed and she was getting through each minute of each contraction.

We have swapped numbers and stayed in contact. And it was so nice to wake the following morning to some beautiful photos of her and her new little baby girl Sophie who arrived safely.
She has been forever grateful I was in the room with her that night, I was her angel who got her through what she thought she couldn’t anymore.

Journey ten

Should hypnobirthing come with a warning?

If there’s one warning that should come with Hypnobirthing it’s that you might be so relaxed you or others don’t believe you’re in active labour yet!

Just take my beautiful client Bec for example – what a story!

“I started feeling what I thought were surges around 8am, and soon realised they were coming in 6 minute waves! I called my husband Matt around lunchtime but we left him at work assuming things would be a while. 

We called the hospital when he got home at 3ish and they said to come in just to see. When we got there they said they could see that yes the contractions were coming but that they would be sending us home as they thought I looked too comfortable. That was until they realised I was 6cm dilated!

Our OB got called in at about 12.30am. I spent over two hours pushing due to Jasper facing sideways. Eventually, I was exhausted and bub started to get tired too and have a slow heart rate. So we finished up with the suction cup as a bit of help! 

He was born at 3.11am weighing 3.11kg!

I used only the bath and a tens machine. I didn’t have any pain meds the whole way through so recovery was quite good. I’m so stoked with how we all went!”

Birthing your baby doesn’t have to be the dramatic, expletive-laden event you see in the movies… you can be calm, you can surrender and tune into your body, and it can be sooo positive.