After a traumatic first birth experience, a friend recommended Michelle and HypnoBirthing for our second pregnancy.
I am so pleased that we did it! Thanks to Michelle and her course, our son’s arrival was an incredibly positive experience. I felt calm and in control all throughout the labour and birth and had the confidence to just let my body get on with doing its job without trying to second guess or panic about things. I am sure that having a drug-free birth enabled immediate and intense bonding with our baby.
The whole ethos of positivity that surrounded our son’s birth was carried over into our early days as parents, and we would not hesitate to recommend the course to anyone. In fact, I look forward to drawing on our Hypno Birthing experience with our next baby due in a few weeks’ time!
Elena – 2nd baby
I decided to do HypnoBirthing on the advice of people for whom it had worked. Also my dad is a Doctor and had told me that any relaxation techniques I had under my belt during the birth could really help.
Me and my husband Louis hooked up with another couple, good friends of ours and shared the HypnoBirthing classes at Michelle’s. It was a lovely, calm environment and Michelle was always really kind and listened to all our many worries and fears.
At first, some of the exercises felt ridiculous and it took a while for me not to feel self conscious and to be able to really slip into a deep state of relaxation in the class, but when it did happen, I realised I had really sunk into something deep, and I saw how easy and quick it could be to release yourself from your body.
The combination of the videos she showed us, which were incredible, the ritual of going there, and the homework, really built up a confidence. We practised a lot. I almost studied for the birth like it was an exam. I found Marie Mongan’s book that Michelle gave us really useful. If you can get your head round the concept of fear, equalling tension, equalling pain, you’ll work hard to not be scared as you know it works against you.
My husband and I would practice regularly. That is super important as at the beginning he spoke too fast, or slow, or tried to put on a sort of hypnotist’s voice which just made me laugh. Finding the speed and tone to speak in is vital in order to give yourself over to someone and place your trust in them. Some of the exercises just didn’t work for us and it was a sometimes-frustrating process of trial and error, to find out what I responded the best to. Louis could see how I best relaxed and he built up a sort of order of exercises. I seem to remember the thermometer and the balloon, and some of the rainbow exercises worked well. The breathing helped me so much as well as I’m prone to panicky chest breathing, and if you give and take all your breath from your stomach you don’t end up panicky!
I found that propping myself up on pillows, half sitting up was the best position to relax and concentrate.
As soon as I started having contractions, during the Thursday night, I started to practice my relaxation techniques and tried to rest as much as possible. On the Friday day I seemed to have very mild contractions all day. I just breathed through and I thought it was a false alarm, but things got going early evening. I was planning a homebirth so the house was all candlelit, with rugs and towels and biscuits and music galore, with an enormous birth pool in the centre (that we’d already had a practise filling up). I spent the early moments of the contractions watching some old films with my mum and husband but as they got more intense I felt I needed the comfort zone music and more concentrated silence. Every single time I had a contraction I used the HypnoBirthing. I just imagined my body, everything except my stomach, switching off completely. I thought about the muscles that are doing their job, opening up a drawstring bag, and I just breathed them the tools they needed, oxygen, and closed my mind. It took strength of mind but I never let one go without me doing that and they didn’t hurt because of it.
In between, I wondered around the house, chatting to my mum, having tea, ignoring it completely. At around 7pm I started to feel a bit emotionally exhausted and I had a long bath and chat to my father. I could feel my strength going due to tiredness. He urged me to stay focussed. I got dressed and my mum and Louis suggested we go out for a walk! I couldn’t think of anything worse. Leaving my little cosy nest and going out into the cold dark night did not appeal. But we did it. We all needed a change of scene. We walked round to my brothers. It usually takes 15 minutes but it took about 45 as I was constantly stopping to have a contraction. Louis and my mum would hold me on either side as I had them, or I’d lean on a wall. The walk was obviously speeding things up.
When I got to my brothers I had a glass of wine and some fish pie. I was in good spirits and they were very supportive and sweet. I fiddled about trying to put the tens machine on but it seemed to only annoy me. Looking back I can’t believe I had gone on that walk! After being there around an hour and having contractions every three or four minutes, I suddenly felt I wanted to be at home. It was quite a walk back. Things had sped up.
Back home Louis and I lay on the bed and decided we wanted to do some practice routines. We had intermittently been doing that all day. We thought we needed to practise for the big event. In fact, by going so deeply into a trance, during which Louis said I lifted my hand and did things he told me to do – but I don’t remember it at all as I was so deep and I think this moved things on even further; he said I had about three contractions while in a sort of trance but barely noticed. At home, it’s worth mentioning I did spend a lot of time sitting on the loo. It just felt safe to be there. My mum sat by me staring saying ‘I’m just making sure you aren’t going to have the baby in the loo!’
At 11pm I decided to call the midwife. I was still very calm, and I was aware of how calm I sounded but how close I felt I was and how much I needed them to come. They told me that judging from the sound of my voice I probably wasn’t very far dilated, so they would pop in but not bring any equipment etc. I said I was doing HypnoBirthing and joked that I am actually not as calm as I sound but I’m pretending to be calm. I had never really had a vaginal examination during the whole of the pregnancy so I was pretty nervous. I was so worried they’d say I was only dilated 3cm and go way, or that it would hurt, and every time they tried to do it I’d have another contraction so I felt I couldn’t lie on my back. I was shaky and cold. So we stopped and made some tea and did a relaxation routine and I calmed down.
When they finally checked me they were utterly amazed. I was dilated 7cm. They said they hadn’t seen anything like it and apologised for not believing me. Suddenly it was all stations go. The midwives went and got their equipment, Louis got the water temperature right in the pool and I prepared to get in. It took a while. Moving from one place to another required a focus, and felt hard. But getting in the pool was utterly amazing. I had a whole new sense of warmth and comfort. Things remained the same with regular contractions, stronger, harder ones during which I would cling to Louis’s hands and he would repeat some of the HypnoBirthing affirmations, and in-between I’d be chatting and laughing.
At around 3.30am I could feel everything getting very intense. The head was pushing and I felt I needed some extra help. I didn’t feel like shouting but I think I did shout, just to sort of make everyone realise how I needed something. I tried to drag on gas and air but it confused my breathing. I wouldn’t, couldn’t let Louis leave me for one second. I clutched onto him for dear life and started to realise I needed to push. My waters then broke. The midwives told me to move towards the middle of the pool. I sort of squatted and my body beared down. I didn’t really need to push my body seemed to be pushing for me. The second time I did push, trying to J breathe but my body really took over. With three pushes the head popped out. It was an incredible moment, I was being supported on either side, from my mum and husband and the head was out and we were laughing saying how ridiculous it was that we were waiting. One more push and the baby was out. Into the water, and I caught him. Otto.
The placenta came out easily and I had no tearing. The worst bit was being sick when I stood up and saw the blood in the pool (I also think the gas and air didn’t help!).
It really was such a good birth experience I would recommend HypnoBirthing to anyone who is about to have a baby, whether or not you are planning a homebirth. It’s a wonderful tool to have in your life to also help you sleep and relax as things get harder later on with a young baby in tow.
I highly recommend Michelle. She is calm and kind and a great listener!
Lucy & Louis – 1st baby
One of my friends recommended I speak to Michelle after having two quite traumatic births. Personally I felt every time I went into hospital to have a baby things went wrong but I knew that I was capable of having a drug free birth. So when I got pregnant for the third time I felt I needed help with my confidence and management of the dreaded people at the hospital.
Michelle helped me and my husband to relax and really understand how birth is actually meant to be. She took us through the physiological understanding of birth and relaxation techniques to get you from labour to birth. She was kind and always understanding especially when me and my hubby would burst into hysterics.
Ultimately she gave me the techniques and confidence to have an amazing drug free birth. And my husband had the coaching needed to be a great birth partner.
Reena & Anton – 3rd baby
Just wanted to let you know that our baby boy Louis was born on Wednesday 23 November at 8.30pm. My waters broke at 4.30am and we spent the day pottering around at home with Eva (and, in Rob’s case, pumping up the birthing pool and searching for towels…). Things started to get serious at around 4pm when Eva went out with her grandma.
The midwife arrived at 5pm, Eva was back home and in bed by 8pm and half an hour later out came her baby brother! It all went amazingly well and Rob had his wish of catching his son as he was born in the water.
I feel very proud of all of us, but especially me!! Will never forget reaching down and feeling his little soft head coming out. Amazing. He weighed seven pounds, six ounces and according to the midwife managed to sleep through most of the birth, which I guess shows how calm it all was.
I wanted to thank you for all the work you put in to get us to this point. I don’t think we would have considered a home birth or had such an amazing experience if it wasn’t for you and HypnoBirthing.
We are three months in! Life has changed a great deal, as I’m sure you can imagine, but I still think often of the magical night little Louis was born in our living room and wanted to thank you again for helping us to have the experience we so wanted. Your warm and calm and sensible guidance made it feel possible to do what so many see as impossible and I will always be grateful.
Laura & Rob – 2nd Baby
“Thank you for a wonderful course. We really appreciate your time and expertise. You
have made us very excited about the birth, at a time when it would be easy to get
anxious instead. We’ll let you know how it goes and send some pics of the little chap
when he is here.”
Becci and Matthew, Zoom clients April 2020
Thanks so much for your excellent coaching! Tughela and I had a great experience, all at home, no drugs,no noise and this little guy at the end! It couldn’t have been any better, and a great deal thanks to you!
Gabby & Tughela – 1st baby
It was such a pleasure to have Michelle teach me HypnoBirthing. She obviously knew her subject well and has such a calm manner that you can’t help but feel positive and relaxed. I would absolutely recommend her to any mum-to-be. My son was born at home without any other form of pain relief – I even managed to fall asleep in labour! In fact I was so relaxed that the midwife thought I wouldn’t give birth for hours, left and immediately had to be summoned back urgently to see the baby’s head appearing!
Kate – 3rd baby
Initially both my husband and I were doubtful about the effectiveness of this form of childbirth. After reading the literature and watching various video clips we began to open up to the concept.
I met Michelle in 2009 when I was expecting my first baby. She attended my home regularly for one on one HypnoBirthing classes. In very little time Michelle managed to help me connect with my unborn baby and help me understand my body and it’s changes during childbirth. She helped to relax me and prepare me for the wonderfully natural process of bringing a baby into the world with minimal fuss and strain.
So when I felt my first surge, I knew what to do. I went on for almost 12 hours in peace whilst practicing the techniques Michelle had taught me. I didn’t even tell my husband that I was in labour until much later.
When the time came for me to attend the birthing unit, my midwife was surprised at my composure and control. I was left to practice my learned techniques. With the support of my husband and midwives I delivered my baby relatively comfortably and naturally a few hours later.
I would highly recommend Michelle to anyone who is interested in engaging with the hypnoBirthing technique
Greeshma – 1st baby
Thanks so much for helping us have a wonderfully calm and joyful birthing experience. Our beautiful daughter was born 4 1/2 hours after my waters broke. Through working with you I was able to find the confidence and strength of belief to tap into the power of my labouring body and give birth instinctively, naturally, and pain-free. My partner got a lot out of it too and we both still use the relaxation breathing sometimes! So much of the HypnoBirthing course you taught us, was inspirational, in particular the visualisations, fear release scripts, and of course learning how to relax deeply to create the right environment for a truly empowering and blissful birth experience rather than the ordeal that I’d heard so much about.
Marie & Tim – 1st baby
Thanks for all your help – I would definitely recommend HypnoBirthing – although birth was still painful I felt able to cope without the need for drugs, which for me is a massive achievement.
Charlotte – 2nd baby
I wanted to thank you for all your help in preparing us for Ada’s birth – it was truly phenomenal in the end, everything I wanted it to be. It was so swift – I was in Ikea at 5.30 (last minute nesting crisis), in established labour by 7.00 (a few strong surges on the way home!) and she was here at 10.07 after a race to inflate and fill the pool. I feel you were instrumental in helping create one of the happiest moments of my life. Thank you.
Vicky – 2nd baby
I was well into my second pregnancy when I heard about Michelle. I had a traumatic emergency c-section with my first child and was desperate not to repeat the experience. Having a natural birth after a c-section is known as a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) and I had met another VBAC mother who recommended Michelle and Hypnobirthing.
Michelle was the best thing that could have happened to us. She encouraged us to visualise the birth as a joyful, natural process, and to help me to release my fears about a medicalised birth.
When my son was 10 days past due-date, Michelle gave us both the strength to resist the doctor’s pressure to have a c-section. Obi was born naturally two days later.
Thanks to the visualisation and breathing practice, I had no need for any intervention or drugs. I felt no pressure to ‘do’ the birth in any other way than the way my body and the baby wanted it.
Michelle also really helped my husband, too. His role as my supporter and advocate took all the external stresses out of my consciousness. In the hospital, he made sure the lights were dimmed, asked everyone to speak in low voices and ensured that all medical discussions about my ‘condition’ were held outside the room, so I could focus on relaxing and feeling what my body and our son was doing.
I have recommended Michelle to all of my friends who are pregnant, and everyone who has done her HypnoBirthing course is completely evangelical about her!
Fiona & Daiman – 2nd baby
Thank you so much for the HypnoBirthing sessions, we had an extraordinarily good birth experience, everything just happened as we had planned and visualised (even the birth pool at Homerton was available!). We couldn’t have done it without you, your excercises kept Jenny in a relaxed state throughout, and she didn’t need any pain relief!
As for myself I felt much more involved this time round and used the breathing exercises to keep calm too. I also felt much more informed and understood what was going on.
I don’t think Jen would describe it as pain-free, but look at the expression on her face just half an hour after the baby was born!! I think you will agree she looks pretty relaxed…and the baby has been very calm so far.
The midwife was great and stuck to our birth plan almost to the letter, and our Doula was amazing.