By Rebecca Slater

There is a saying “Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear”. When I found out I was pregnant in March 2015 I was over the moon but having had a lifetime of hearing people’s birth horror stories and seeing the media portraying pregnancy and birth as something to be feared I have to admit I felt more like I was about to face my greatest fear rather than my greatest achievement.

At the time if somebody had told me that I would feel so empowered by my pregnancy and birth experience that I would become a hypnobirthing practitioner I would have laughed, but that’s exactly what happened.

My fear of pregnancy and birth was pretty intense so I knew I was going to need some help if I was going to be able to enjoy my pregnancy. I did my research and came across Mindful Mamma hypnobirthing, a one day mindful hypnobirthing course that I hoped would help me feel more confident and in control.

At 32 weeks pregnant my husband and I attended the Mindful Mamma course, prior to which I had read the book and had been listening to the hypnobirthing track every day from about 24 weeks. I was really impressed with what I learnt and felt totally chilled throughout the pregnancy and was just looking forward to my babies’ arrival. It also really helped my husband know what his role would be during the birth as I think sometimes birth partners can feel a bit out of it and not fully confident in knowing how they can help and how important they are.

What I loved about the course was that it wasn’t at all how hypnobirthing is often portrayed. A lot of people think hypnobirthing is only for those who want a home birth or that those who do it are all hippies, this wasn’t the case at all. The tools and skills I acquired from Mindful Mamma can be utilised at any type of birth, it didn’t just promote undisturbed birth it also encouraged the use of hypnosis for birth alongside mindfulness techniques for medicalised births, such as inductions and caesareans.

By utilising the tools that Mindful Mamma had furnished me with I sailed through pregnancy and although I didn’t end up having the birth that I had planned I felt totally in control throughout the whole experience and when my baby made his very chilled arrival into the world on Wednesday 25th November I knew that I definitely experienced my greatest achievement.

From day one people have commented about what a calm, contented baby he is and nearly six months on that hasn’t changed. I think Mindful Mama played a huge part in this as it helped me relax and stay calm not only during the birth but also throughout the pregnancy, which I believe my baby picked up on.

I think that many people feel that they have had a negative birth experience because they see birth as something that has happened to them rather than something that they have had a say in and control over. I became a Mindful Mamma practitioner as I want more women and their birth partners to feel empowered by birth and this can be achieved by helping with creating positive mind-set through a variety of hypnobirthing and mindfulness techniques and also by giving them the tools they need to feel confident enough to ask questions that will help them make the decisions that are right for them and their baby.

I will be holding classes once a month at Acorn Natural Health Centre to find out more visit