I would highly recommend attending the Kent Hypnobirthday sessions if you are a first time mum. I was unsure whether it was something I could afford to do but I am so pleased that I did. Sophie was extremely knowledgeable about birth and hypnobirthing and was very open and honest about her experiences with her two children. I attended on my own as my partner works Saturdays when the course ran, but the subject matter was so accessible and made such sense to me, that it was easy to relay the information to him at home. I was in attendance with 2 couples and it didn’t feel awkward to be on my own at all.
I was slightly sceptical about hypnobirthing, not having been successful at meditation or other ‘self care’ activities (I usually get bored and think about my dinner). However, Sophie’s course makes you realise that there is nothing ‘mystical’ or ‘accidental’ about labour or hypnobirthing – there is a reason why the body does what it does, and there are reasons why the medicalisation of birth has changed the way we see labouring women.
I found the history of birth in the first session one of the most useful aspects of the course. I was able to understand what I was fearful about and why, and this meant I was able to think of myself as a mammal whose body was designed for what it was about to do. Being able to let go of society’s idea of what should happen when I give birth (One Born Every Minute, anyone?) meant that I was able to go into the experience understanding that I didn’t have to give birth on my back, or deny myself an epidural, or feel I’d failed if I didn’t give birth vaginally. Understanding what had happened in history to get to where we are now, meant that I was able to apply logic to situation I feared was illogical!
Hypnobirthing – despite its name – isn’t a hippy dippy approach that means you will have a painless experience with joss sticks but a scientific process instead. It allows you to understand that stress hormones and your own mind (filled with horror stories from the media or still bearing influence from the French Monarchy, believe it or not) are barriers to your body trying to do what it needs to. Sophie’s sessions allow you to understand the science behind birthing, and it gives you the confidence to decide on your mindset and later, your birth plan. The affirmations and visualisation – things I would have once scoffed at as wishful thinking – were given to us in the context of sports men and women. Venus Williams and Djokovic don’t just rock up to a tennis match hoping to be successful, they spend hour and hours visualising themselves on the court, knowing that they have prepared to win; by the time they have stepped onto the court, they have played the match already in their heads hundreds of times. Sophie empowers us to do the same with birth and the course is designed to you realise how possible birth is and to let go of anxiety.
There’s nothing I’d change about the course – it was a real eye opener for me – and there was nothing that I wished had been included that wasn’t or anything that I didn’t think was useful. The short animation clip of the baby turning and twisting through the birth canal was particularly useful to me during labour as I knew I could trust my body and baby to know what to do.
Sophie sends lots of resources during and after the course, and it was great to be able to include my partner in reading the articles and watching the videos. Some of the best preparation I did was watching home births by women practising hypnobirthing. - Nikki
"Thank you so much for educating us on the wonder of birth and the power of my body. I am now looking forward to the experience rather than dreading it! The course has brought my husband and I closer together and I am so glad that hypnobirthing will allow him to have an active role in the birth. Thanks to Sophie for being such a wonderful and inspiring teacher." Caroline
"Brilliant course which my husband and I felt we really benefitted from so it was very worthwhile for us. Sophie was an excellent teacher and a lovely person and we know we can contact her if we have any questions in the future or feel that we need support. Thank you very much" Charlotte and Graham
"I learnt more about pregnancy and labour than I ever thought possible. It was brilliant...I could not recommend Hypnobirthing more highly to any couple. Even if you are having your baby in a hospital. Hypnobirthing helps you learn that even if your birth does not follow your birth plan, it is still the outcome that is important and reaching that outcome is the goal no matter what hoops you end up jumping through to get there. If there is a hypnobirthing course near you and you can afford to do it. Don’t hesitate, you won’t be disappointed. And at the very least, get in contact with the person who runs the course as they may be able to at the very least give you some advice. The best thing about the course was that it made Sarah and I closer. We now talk and touch more than we used to. Which is really helpful to Sarah and makes me feel like a better Husband which is really empowering." Sarah and Will
"My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Ray totally makes it, she's friendly, easy going and we felt comfortable to open up to her about our previous experience of a difficult birth. We did wonder how the course would fill four 3 hour sessions but the time just flew by. This course has completely altered for the better how I'm approaching the birth of my second child and I've gone from feeling fearful and frankly in denial to eager and excited for the labour! This course was well prepared, with great additional material and information. I am so pleased and thankful that I took this course, it was worth its weight in gold. Ray is an inspiration and a constant support for us in this journey. Thank you!" Christy and Jon
"Sophie was brilliant from the get go. She came into our house friendly, calm and informatative. Our whole experience with the hypnobirthing course was extremely calming, reassuring and positive. I would definitely recommend to a friend. Thanks Sophie you rock! X" Louise
'" I had the perfect home birth that I wanted and doing the hypnobirthing course with Ray was instrumental in this. It helped me with birth prep, the labour itself and postnatally. It helped me and my partner to remain calm, knowledgeable and in control throughout the whole process. Ray helped us grow in confidence and dispel all fears that we retained from the intervention filled birth of our first child. Thank you so much!'" Sophie
"One thing I would definitely recommend if you are pregnant is Hypnobirthing. I was so afraid of giving birth, as the thought of having no control over the situation terrified me. Ray really helped me through the whole process, from tackling my fears and negative beliefs and equipping me with the skills to feel calm and confident. By the end of the course I had gone through a complete transformation and my whole perception of giving birth had changed; I actually looked forward to it! Thank you Ray " Arzu
"Hypnobirthing was a fantastic way for Ed and I to embark on our journey as parents-to-be. The course was wonderfully executed, and we were able to fully engage with the Hypnobirthing techniques in the comfort of our own home. We had a lot of fun learning the techniques and felt very relaxed and prepared as our birth day drew closer. Hypnobirthing not only prepared me for labour and birth, but it has also enabled me to take on motherhood, energised, calm and with a confidence and trust in my ability as a new parent. Our labour and birth came with some tests and challenges, but we were able to face them in a calm and relaxed manner thanks to the tools we acquired through Hypnobirthing. We are a very happy mummy and daddy to baby Ava, and have a happy, calm and healthy baby."
“Hypnobirthing is a wonderful thing… good for both mum and baby and really gets the partners involved. Even though I had to be transferred in the end and the final stage wasn’t completely as I planned, using the tools given to me meant I was able to cope a lot better and I was up walking about within 10 minutes. I only have positives about my experience as I was originally told I wouldn’t have a natural birth.”
"After my first child having a second should have been simpler. I knew what to expect I had the birth I wanted just got to do it all again right! Well it wasn't like that for me. I was going through the motions of pregnancy same struggles and attending all my appointments but for some reason I felt alone. The midwives were there less, I didn't see her for months on end when I did see her I spoke about how I was feeling I was almost referred to crisis support. I contacted the Kent Hypnobirthing team who worked really hard to fit me in as they were really busy and it was near Christmas. One visit was all it took. Ray listened to me and we did a fear release and I was back to believing in my body. From that one visit I was confident again and gave birth to a 6lb 7oz baby boy in a pool at home. Thank you so much for giving me 2 beautiful natural births and baby boys." Gemma, mum of two hypnobabies
"He is a completely hypnobirthed baby and I'm so pleased I did it. Scott was absolutely brilliant- this was a total team effort. Despite the change of birth location at the crucial last minute, I faced whatever turn my birthing took. At no point did I feel that I had lost my stake in my birthing experience. Admittedly it was peculiar to be breathing a baby out on a trolley as I was whisked up to the delivery suite- but it's an anecdote I can embellish over the years! The midwives who'd been with me at home said the baby was right there I just needed to do the last bit to get him out. It felt like ages, but in no time at all he was born, I was feeding skin-to-skin and enjoying tea and toast. I have been making sure everyone knows that I did it with hypnobirthing- and have pleasantly surprised friends and family (including those who have gory trauma birth stories) who had privately expected me to "cave in" and "demand the drugs". I hope that they'll soon feel that they can genuinely ask for a bit more info on hypnobirthing- and am becoming increasingly positive that they will. I would like them to be able to write a new birth story for themselves. Everyone should feel this good about having a baby. Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for all your teaching, guidance and support. I'm delighted Huw is a part of the Kent Hypnobirthing family.”
"Despite an intense second stage lasting nearly two hours, our darling daughter was birthed healthy, with an Apgar of 9, then 10. I put this down to HypnoBirthing breathing techniques which ensured a good supply of oxygen and a calm mother…"
"We owned our birth experience in a way that we didn’t with our first child. Thank you!"