Hypnobirth classes on offer for Oldham and Rochdale parents-to-be to learn about gentle birth techniques
COUPLES from the Oldham and Rochdale areas who are expecting a baby can now learn about a birthing technique which uses self-hypnosis and relaxation.
Seventeen community midwives from The Royal Oldham Hospital have completed a hypnobirth diploma, funded by The Royal College of Midwives, and have now set up evening classes at children’s centres in the community to support couples to use the hypnobirth techniques during labour and birth.
Community midwife Keri Alldritt, said: “The hypnobirth technique is a complete education programme that teaches simple but specific self-hypnosis, relaxation and breathing techniques.
“Couples can be taught how to use self-hypnosis to induce deep relaxation during the labour and birth of their child. The technique is all about the couple supporting each other, using exercises and positive words to enhance the process of birth. Massage is also used on the mum-to-be to release endorphins which are the body’s natural analgesia which help with coping strategies for labour. By using visualisation exercises and positivity, the couples feel more confident, calm and positive as they approach the birth.”
Ten couples have already signed up to the four week course which is led by a midwife. During the sessions which last for two hours each, the couples receive a workbook to read at home, a hypnobirth book and CD.
Keri added: “As midwives, my colleagues and I were interested in supporting couples with natural birth techniques to achieve a positive birth experience. That is why we undertook the diploma which was taught by Katharine Graves who has taught the hypnobirthing antenatal programme in America, Kuwait, Ireland and Sweden. She holds a teacher training certificate, and is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Maternity and Newborn Forum, The Association for the Improvement of Maternity Services (AIMS) and an associate member of the Royal College of Midwives.
“The technique can be used in all environments either at home, the birth centre at The Royal Oldham Hospital or on the labour ward. Working with couples to enhance and empower a drug-free labour, which results in a more gentle birth is a very exciting prospect.”
Louise and Sam Ashworth from Milnrow recently undertook the course with Keri and have since successfully had daughter Rosa at The Royal Oldham Hospital.
Louise said: “I had hoped to have a water birth but because of reduced fetal movement when my baby was 39 weeks I was admitted onto the labour ward at The Royal Oldham Hospital and given a pessary to start the induction process. I was very worried about this as I didn’t want to distress our baby. However after using the hypnobirth techniques that we had been taught by Keri, I was able to birth our baby girl naturally.
“I cannot recommend the hypnobirthing classes at Pennine Acute Trust enough. The techniques we learnt made sure that I remained positive, focused and calm throughout the whole birth, despite the situation not being as we had anticipated. As I was so calm, this meant that baby was also calm and not at all distressed which meant a quicker and natural birth, with a happy and healthy baby at the end.”
New dad Sam said: “As a new and proud father I would recommend hypnobirthing to anyone looking for a calm pregnancy and birth experience. I think that as a Dad, the hypnobirthing technique got me more involved in the labour process and I wasn’t there to just be a hand to squeeze – I was important and relevant to the process. The midwives who attended the birth commented on how well my wife was doing with her contractions which showed us how well the course had prepared us.”
The sessions are suitable for women over 20 weeks pregnant.
Louise, Sam and Rosa Ashworth are pictured with community midwife Keri Alldritt.