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Category: Hospital birth

  1. Hypnobirthing at Lewisham Hospital Birth Centre (Greenwich): a Positive Waterbirth

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    The Birth Story of Ibraheem


    I was blessed to have a low-risk and pretty healthy pregnancy, despite suffering with vomiting and nausea for the 9 months, along with hip pain during a certain period. 


    Once I reached 37 weeks pregnant, I was experiencing braxton hicks often. They would come at random times and of varying intensity, and by the time my due date arrived I was impatiently waiting to go into labour! 


    At 40+1 weeks, I started to feel braxton hicks at around 6pm as I was preparing dinner, but they were easy to ignore and were happening at random timings (which I was used to) so I thought nothing of them and carried on as normal. 


    After I had my dinner and cleaned up, I went for a nice warm bath then got into bed to watch a movie with my husband. During the movie I noticed a few braxton hicks but again, I just ignored them. It was about 10pm once the movie had finished, and it was at that point I realised the ‘braxton hicks’ had occurred a few times during the movie, so I thought I may be in labour as typically there would be a long period of time between the braxton hicks. I wasn’t 100% sure if I was in labour or not so I just took a couple of paracetamols and headed to bed.  


    At 10.20pm, after going to bed I was woken up by a contraction. I went to get a hot water bottle and again, tried to sleep. I was woken up again 20 minutes later with another contraction. It was at that point I realised it was different to braxton hicks and my labour had started. I felt excited that I was finally going to meet my baby and the anticipation of waiting to go into labour was finally here! I was also aware that as it was my first pregnancy this part could last days, so I wasn’t in a panic of any sort. 


    I realised that I wouldn’t be able to sleep and lying down was not the best position for me to be in. I gave my husband the heads up that I was in labour but told him to sleep as there was no point us both being up and the pain was manageable at that time. I figured it’s better for him to get rest now as I would need him later on. 


    I decided to binge on some Netflix shows which was a great distraction. I wasn’t timing my contractions at this point as I didn’t want to get stressed or worry about if things were progressing, rather just let my body do it’s thing. 


    I was able to breathe through the contractions quite easily and I wasn’t too phased by them, up until about 3am when I felt they were getting more intense. I woke my husband up at this point and asked him to help me attach the tens machine, which helped ease the intensity in my back. My husband stayed awake from that point onwards and started timing the contractions while getting the last bits together and putting them into the car. By 4am I was having contractions every 5 minutes. 


    We called the hospital to let them know I was contracting every 5 minutes. The midwife asked to speak to me and I told her I was managing the pain with my breathing and the tens machine. She told me that it’s better for me to stay home as long as possible, and to come in when I was contracting every 2 minutes. I wanted to delay going into hospital for as long as i could as I didn’t want to be sent home, and I also wanted the least amount of intervention, so I was happy to stay home and wait till the contractions were 2 minutes apart. 


    For the next 2 hours I was sat on the toilet with diarrhoea and was vomiting like crazy! I think I had vomited about 8 times by this point but I knew that meant things were progressing. The intensity had really ramped up by 6am and the contractions were happening every 2 minutes, so we decided to head to the hospital. 


    The drive to the hospital was about 20 minutes, but definitely felt longer! It was snowy and icey outside and my husband decided to park a walk away from the hospital entrance. I was in my pajamas with a blanket wrapped around me and on our walk into the hospital I had 3 contractions.


    Upon arrival to the birth centre the midwives asked me to stay in an examination room while they check my notes. I was just focused on my breathing at this point and kept telling myself I was about to meet my baby soon. 


    Lewisham Hospital birth centre Greenwich hypnobirthing


    It felt like they were checking my notes for a really long period of time, when they finally came into the examination room after checking my notes and asked me to do some standard tests, like checking my blood pressure, doing a urine sample etc. I told them I wasn’t able to do a urine sample at that point as I was feeling uncomfortable and I was having little time to breathe between contractions. I asked how long this would take as I was eager to get into the birthing room and get into the water. The midwife asked if she could do a cervical examination but warned me there was a chance I would be sent home as she didn’t believe I was in active labour. As it was my first baby she had assumed I was not as far along as I may have thought and as I was calm she didn’t believe I would be near 4cm dilated. I remember feeling so deflated when she said there was a chance I would be sent home as that was the last thing I wanted. 


    She did the examination and was shocked that I was nearly 7cm dilated. I was so happy to hear that I was progressing well and I wouldn’t be sent home. 


    We started walking towards the labour room when I had the sudden urge to poop. I told the midwife and she ran to get some paper towels, only to tell me that was actually my baby I was feeling! We headed to the room and I went on all fours on the bed as they prepared the water and also checked baby’s heart rate. At this point the contractions were very intense and I started feeling the urge to push. My husband grabbed some lucozade and started squirting it into my mouth inbetween contractions for an energy boost, which was an absolute lifesaver! At this point I still had the tens machine on and had it on its highest level. 


    The water was finally ready and all the checks had been done. My husband helped me take the tens machine off as I got ready to get into the water. As soon as I got in I instantly felt a relief, and the warm water felt like a massive hot water bottle wrapped around my body. At this point the urge to push was getting stronger and the midwife told me to just listen to my body. 


    I was just following my body, I don’t even remember trying to push as it felt like my body was just doing what it was supposed to. I was having gas and air at this point but I didn’t feel it was working or making a difference to me. My waters then broke as my baby’s head emerged, and with 2 big pushes he was out! I didn’t feel the ‘ring of fire’ or even realise he was out until the midwife told me. I was so shocked as to how easily he came out, and that it only took 2 pushes - Baby Ibraheem was born at 8.09am!


    I was only in the water for about 20 minutes in total but the moment baby was born I was so overwhelmed with love and joy but was also in shock that it had all happened so fast. 


    After some skin to skin with baby my husband cut the cord, and I was then taken out the water to deliver the placenta while my husband had his skin to skin with baby. I had some second degree tears which the midwife stitched up, and once baby had been checked I was told I could head home whenever I was ready! We were the only ones in the birth centre that morning so were lucky to have all the midwives with us. We stayed in the hospital for a few hours while we had some food, I had showered and also enjoyed all the cuddles with baby. We left at around 6pm that evening. 


    They told me I was the most calm first time mum they had ever seen and that I would be welcome back anytime!

    I honestly don’t think that would have been the case had I not completed the hypnobirthing course, as I felt in control of my body, knew what was happening at each stage and was able to breathe through the contractions with my baby in my mind!

    The whole experience was honestly so empowering and I’m proud of my body for what I was able to achieve. 


    - Rumaysa, First-time Mum, Greenwich


    Lewisham Hospital Birth Centre, (London Borough of Greenwich)


    Newborn baby hypnobirthing at lewisham hospital birth centre Greenwich



    Do you want a Positive Birth too? 

    My antenatal Hypnobirthing courses are available both in-person and online, and are designed to be a fun and relaxing experience for you and your birth partner - a real highlight of your pregnancy.

    I offer different formats suitable for every budget as it is important that Hypnobirthing is accessible and affordable for everyone.

    Find the perfect class for you: 



    Not sure which course is for you? Sign up to my next FREE Online Mini-Masterclass to start your journey to a glowing pregnancy, a positive birth, and the best possible start to parenthood!

  2. The Birth of Brodie: a beautiful positive birth story as told by her mum Rebecca

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    happy-hypnobirthing-clients-new-parents-and-newborn-babyI was 37 weeks and 2 days pregnant when labour started on the Saturday morning. I was expecting to have another few weeks before birth, but I’d felt symptoms building over the week prior that gave me an inkling our little girl might make a surprise arrival. Whilst I hadn’t nested in the traditional sense, I had the most intense urge to bake a Victoria sponge cake the night before I went into labour - perhaps it was my body telling me I’d be needing the extra sugar and energy? Regardless it came in handy as a tasty snack over the next couple of days!

    My waters burst at 5:30am on the Saturday morning- I was in bed asleep and I felt a pop and small gush, so immediately jumped out of bed and grabbed a towel. I’d expected to go into a bit of a panic when labour started, but thanks to all of our preparation, I felt really calm and excited that it was actually happening, even if it was earlier than anticipated! We set about calling maternity assessment and they advised we try and get a couple more hours sleep and then come in just after 9am to confirm that it was my waters that had gone. We went back to bed for an hour but at 6:30am my contractions started and I couldn’t sleep through them (mainly due to the excitement!). I decided to let my partner Jordan get a couple more hours (I knew I’d be needing him to be awake later!) and so I went into the living room to bounce on my ball and then had a hot shower. By 7:30am the contractions started coming every 15 minutes, and so I used my breathing exercises to get through each one. They really were like a wave and it helped me to know if I could breathe through the first 20-30 seconds, the intensity would then decrease.

    We went to the hospital at 9:30am where they confirmed it was my waters that had gone and explained that I would need to be booked in for an induction in case my labour didn’t progress naturally. They initially suggested we book in for an induction 24 hours later but we used our BRAIN and discussed options with them, resulted in us agreeing to commence the induction 48 hours later if labour hadn’t progressed. However, during this discussion I had a pretty intense contraction and the midwives response was, “I think we’ll be seeing you before Monday!”.

    We were sent home to labour and so we set about having the best day we could. We first had some of the Victoria sponge and tea, and switched Saturday Kitchen on whilst I bounced on my ball. I love watching cooking shows and so this was a perfect way for me to relax. My partner was there to support me through each contraction, which were now coming every 10 minutes apart. After an hour of being on the ball, the fatigue had started to kick in and so I decided to have a nap on the sofa. Jordan decided this was a good time to build the cot in case we were able to come straight home (we had really been counting on having a few more weeks to get ready!).

    We had a small lunch of pasta and salad - I was told to eat little and often by the midwives so tried to eat enough to give me energy without feeling too full. After lunch the contractions really started to ramp up and so we put our labour playlist on and danced and bounced around the living room. By this point I was using Jordan to help support me through the contractions and count my breaths with me. After some dancing and bouncing, Jordan gave me a foot massage and then ran me a bath. This was exactly what I needed at the time and really helped relax me just as the contractions were really ramping up.
    By 5pm contractions had stepped up another gear, although they were still 5 minutes apart - so not yet at the 3 every 10 minutes stage that they tell you to wait for before calling the hospital. But I was then sick and the intensity ramped up so I told Jordan to call - they said to come in as being sick was a sign things were progressing well.

    We put our labour playlist on in the car and when we arrived at the hospital I found that contractions really ramped up. I was assessed and found to be 5cm dilated which was further ahead than I’d expected so that got us really excited for meeting our little girl. I think I really progressed as we were waiting to be taken up to labour ward as I had a noticeable transition moment where I started to freak out a bit and feel the urge to push. Jordan helped keep me calm with my breathing exercises and by providing positive affirmations and gently massaging my back.

    We were taken to the labour room with a birthing pool and so I got straight in. I’d packed a bikini top for some semblance of dignity but I was so keen to focus on birthing that I completely forgot about it! Jordan placed some LED candles around the pool, got out my handheld fan with essential oils and put on our labour playlist. The midwife read our birth plan and once I’d got settled into the pool left us to do our own thing. I used gas and air to take the edge off the intensity of the contractions which really helped and Jordan held me from outside the pool. The warm water instantly helped sooth the feeling of the contractions and I laboured for an hour or so naturally until I could feel her head. The midwives used the sonocaid monitor to periodically check baby’s heartbeat and that helped give me reassurance that she was doing okay.

    After 1.5hrs, it became obvious that no matter how much I was breathing down and pushing, baby’s head wasn’t coming any further. So I came out of the pool to try some different positions. Another hour passed and baby’s head was still stuck so I agreed for the midwife to make a small incision to help get baby out. Prior to labour an episiotomy would have been the last thing I wanted, however in the moment we used our BRAIN to evaluate our options and decided that a small cut to me was worth the benefit of getting her out safely before she got into distress and whilst I still had a last bit of energy left. This part was actually much better than expected thanks to some local anaesthetic and Jordan holding my hand and breathing with me. The midwives helped coach me to push and after some big pushes, our daughter finally arrived just before midnight. It was such a surreal moment having her placed on my chest but it really was magical. We had immediate skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping to the point where the cord had stopped pulsating before Jordan cut the cord, and we delayed getting her cleaned and weighed for the first couple of hours so we could just keep her on my chest.

    I had an active management for the delivery of the placenta and honestly barely felt birthing it as I was so distracted by our daughter snuggling into my chest. We had a good natter with the midwife as she was stitching me up (again, this was much less unpleasant than I would have anticipated) and then we were brought some sweet tea and left to have more cuddles before being moved up to the ward.

    Overall I can honestly say that labour was an incredible experience and even though it didn’t end exactly how we envisioned, every single moment was a really positive experience and I am so grateful for that. The hypnobirthing techniques that we used help keep me calm and focused throughout the day, and the knowledge gained through the course meant I felt confident and excited at every stage. Most importantly it enabled Jordan to be the best birthing partner I could ask for- he knew exactly what I wanted at each point and I couldn’t have done it without him.






    Do you want a Positive Birth too? 

    My antenatal Hypnobirthing courses are available both in-person and online, and are designed to be a fun and relaxing experience for you and your birth partner - a real highlight of your pregnancy.

    I offer different formats suitable for every budget as it is important that Hypnobirthing is accessible and affordable for everyone.

    Find the perfect class for you: 


    Not sure which course is for you? Sign up to my next FREE Online Mini-Masterclass to start your journey to a glowing pregnancy, a positive birth, and the best possible start to parenthood!