Dads Testimonials

Dads go though their own huge physiological and psychological changes in the birth room, so don’t underestimate the emotional and physical impact of being a birth partner. It is a massive emotional rollercoaster and here’s what some of the Dads have to say.

Justin’s Testimonial

I have to admit, I had my reservations after Jo expressed her desire to hypnobirth our child. My first responses were, “what’s this 70’s hippy dippy stuff she’s on about?”. I suppose I’d identified birth with what I’d seen on television shows and films or heard from others about their bad experiences; the screaming and the pain endured. Like most Dads/birth partners I’m sure this is the case nearly every time. I’m a Science teacher so had further preconceptions about the processes of giving birth. For me, the hypnobirthing course we attended made so much sense of the actual birth process, what the body goes through, how we’d need to adapt if anything changed and the chats with Jo convinced me that this was right for us all. 

I’d like to start my birth story around 30 min from seeing our amazing little girl enter our world. Jo was really close now, the surges (contractions) were really increasing, baby’s heart rate continued to be absolutely ideal, Jo was breathing well but clearly tiring now. How did I know that? Well she was snoring between surges. I hear you, I couldn’t believe it myself. I remember looking around at the birthing team in astonishment, thinking surely snoring isn’t a regular thing. They looked back at me in astonishment too, She didn’t even feel the need for Any of the pain relief  Mind blowing! It literally took me three weeks before I could tell anyone about the birth as the pride I felt for my partner would bring a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.

So let’s rewind; as parents we had the worst of shocks at the 20 weeks scan. Our little girl was diagnosed with major heart issues and any decisions about her birth, I thought, would now need to be addressed and may be hypnobirthing wasn’t going to be our choice after all. Not at all, Jo was so confident about hypnobirthing and the birth team at Evelina Hospital in London were very positive for us. They assured us of what would need to be accommodated and how we could still achieve our birth choices. The only thing we couldn’t do was use a birth pool due to monitoring of our girl’s heart.

Jo needed to be induced 2 weeks early because of the heart issues but it was something we had prepared ourselves for. We spent three days on this incredible but tiring journey. During that time I made sure Jo ate, had plenty of water and I got to deliver my well practiced light touch massage. We even had a kick around with a birthing ball at 3am in a “Quiet Room”, whilst overlooking Big Ben and the Thames.

Over those days I’d like to list three essentials that got us through:

1. Plenty of water. Make sure she takes this regularly.

2. Homemade energy balls & lots of mini snacks

3. Light touch massage. This was one of the things I needed convincing about in our early practices. Wow, what it does for your partner during the surges is incredible.

To be honest, you have no idea if you’ve done a decent job as a birthing partner. You just do the stuff you learn and find out later if you were good or not (trust me, don’t expect honest accounts when it’s all happening). I just knew I didn’t want to let Jo down as she had really thrown herself into all this. 

I learned later that I’d done a great job. I was very chuffed with that.

I could real off a number of stories to attempt to reassure you that it’s a great decision you’re making but I feel I’ve gone on a bit already. I’m definitely a convert, this certainly is not “hippy-dippy” at all, and I would 100% recommend this natural, sensible and logical choice.

Oscar's Testimonial

I was raised by parents who have strong beliefs in Reiki, Feng Shui, Meditation and the power of the universe; so when Linzi, a family friend, mentioned that she knew someone who was looking for a couple to take a hypnobirthing course, I mentioned it to Charlotte, not expecting that she’d go for it. To my surprise, she had been doing some research into hypnobirthing, and so we jumped at the opportunity and booked in with Jo and Becca.

Almost instantly, I recognised a lot in hypnobirthing; techniques and tools that my parents had always instilled in me. But alongside this, I learned so much more; about how the human body works (the balloon analogy video blew my mind!) and how our birth was our choice. I had always assumed, like I’m sure is the case for many people, that the doctor’s word is final, and you must follow a series of laid out steps – do everything by the book.

Turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth, and that book? Out the window.

The classes gave us so much confidence. Charlotte, in particular, gained so much knowledge and power from them. Over the next few weeks and months, Charlotte began believing in herself and her body so much more. It wasn’t just the pregnancy, though. She seemed generally calmer, and more serene – her general wellbeing seemed to sky rocket, and I honestly believe it’s as a result of these classes. Charlotte has a tendency to worry – a symptom of her anxiety disorder – but after hypnobirthing, there was a clear shift in her mindset.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get the picturesque home water birth we hoped for; the kind we saw in some of the videos. But our birth experience is testament to the quality of our classes. The skills we both learned enabled us to stand up for our birth experience – which proved essential, as we were tested time and time again.

We were told Charlotte ‘had’ to be under consultant care before we began these classes. All of these appointments felt sterile, and unnecessary; during the third one, when the consultant once again said ‘I’m not sure if we’ve met’, we made the right decision for us, and politely declined the care.

Then, one night, shortly before our EDD, Charlotte gave me the nod… “Oscar, I think something is happening!’ I was so excited. Charlotte managed to have some time in the birth pool we had set up at home, which was great for her; she is a water baby through and through and it helped her to feel calm.

Rufus had other plans though; six days of community midwives coming out to the house, trips back and forth from hospital, misdiagnosed dilation, difficult decisions… but ultimately, the safe arrival of our beautiful son.

Without practicing hypnobirthing, I truly believe we wouldn’t have been able to make the difficult decisions we had to, in the best way for us and our baby. I witnessed Charlotte overcome and push back against what was dictated to us. She followed her own body and her own intuition and it proved to be right. I found the confidence to stand up to consultants when they made decisions for Charlotte without asking her and told us bare-faced lies (like ‘Oh you’ll still be able to move about if you have an epidural…)

We were supported in our hypnobirthing wishes by the amazing midwifes, in the community and hospital. They backed our choices, informed us throughout and helped bat away forceful consultants. They were so caring and it really felt like they were there for us.

On the morning that Rufus was born, we were faced with the hardest decision we’ve had to make – induction and a further 4-6 hour waiting game, or emergency caesarean. We decided to have an EMCS. While it wasn’t the birth either of us had imagined, it was our choice. We asked our questions (using BRAIN), we made sure we were both happy and we considered what was right for us. We decided that, as Rufus was safe and calm and happy at that point (definitely down to the hypnobirthing!) we decided that 6 days was enough and we were ready to help him along his way.

Witnessing everything Charlotte went through, I believe I did my part and stayed strong in all the decisions and trusted in her understanding of her own body. Often, birth can be an isolating experience both for the mother and the birth partner – but hypnobirthing brought us both together. I felt my role was important, rather than being a spare part – I knew I had to champion Charlotte throughout, keeping her in the right zone, without distraction or stress and helping her to make the right choices. We have ended up with the kindest, happiest little giggler imaginable, so I know we did everything right, and I can only thank Jo and Becca for giving us the tools we needed to achieve it.

James's Testimonial

When my partner Lily and I found out we were expecting our first baby, we wanted to be open minded about different child birth techniques. Our pre conceptions of labour were mostly based on what we had seen on TV and film and we had only ever really heard of parents birth stories that were traumatic.

Luckily for us, Jo is my brothers partner and we naturally started quizzing her about Hypnobirthing and what it actually was. Lily and I figured that we should give it a shot, because at the very least, it would give us more information on (what for us) was a very inexperienced area. I’m not embarrassed to say that I knew very little when it came to birth and babies. I can safely say that the course was a real eye opener and the beginning of our Hypnobirthing journey.

The course itself was fantastic. It equipped us with the knowledge, tools and techniques that we needed to have a positive birth. I felt it was a really good mix of theory and practice. The work books were always a good point of reference and Jo and Becca were excellent in talking us through the different stages and helping us put into practice breathing techniques and learning how to properly benefit from the affirmations.

Jo and Becca were amazing and made us feel at ease from the beginning. They were extremely knowledgeable and supported us throughout. I would say that it is important to keep practising everything the classes teach you, so that on the day you are prepared and ready – Jo would send us friendly reminders that would motivate us if we were slacking from time to time. I’m so glad we took the course, as our birth storey turned out to be a very positive one. Lily only had gas and air throughout the labour and I was able to help with breathing techniques and making Lily feel at ease with light touch massages that I had learnt from Jo and Becca.

Our beautiful baby Ivy was born within 5 hours of arriving at the hospital and I really think that she is as chilled as she is now because the birth was calm and serene and went exactly as we had planned. Thank you so much to the Positive Hypnobirthing team, you are the best!

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