Claire Middleton Birth Story

Not all mother’s walk into the hospital backwards but this is what Claire did! This lovely story illustrates the importance of partners during labour – as a companion and support and shows how “distracting” the mother is not always what is required!
I was shopping at lunchtime when I had my show and made my way back to the pub by tube – smiling all the way knowing I was about to start my first labour!

I rang round to find Paul to make himself available to take me to the hospital – he was nowhere to be found. It was the first day of August and hot so I took a stroll up the market to buy a flask to fill with fruit juices to take with me. Now a couple of hours after the “show”, I had prepared myself for going into hospital and sat cross-legged on the carpet waiting to hear from Paul. Suddenly my waters broke and I was laughing my head off! What a mess…. I showered and changed and rang the hospital who said I should come in straight way. Fortunately Paul rang soon after and hot-footed it back to pick me up and the rest of my waters leaked all over his leather upholstery on the way!

We arrived both giggling and my dress saturated and I walked into hospital backwards so no one would see. My contractions were mild and about 10-15 minutes apart at around 5.30pm so they let me get on with it and I pottered about. When they got more intense I ran a bath and go in. Paul was still with me and fell asleep leaning against the door. I was practising my self-hypnosis. But I got so relaxed the contractions felt like they had stopped so I got out (of the bath).

After about 15 minutes they were back with a vengeance and Paul had to leave for a couple of hours so I was alone. I tried my hypnosis again but found it was easier to concentrate whilst I was in the bath and not lying on my back in bed as I was then. I’m ashamed to say I got a bit panicky being on my own and submitted to a pethidine injection. The next few hours were a blur, needless to say, but I came round again about 10pm when Paul was back with his sister. I was glad when he took her back about 11.30 pm when I was practically fully dilated. By now I was trying to cope with the contractions and concentrate on blanking everything else out each time. Paul had his own ideas, however! He thought it would be a good thing for me to try and take my mind off the contractions – apparently, so I wouldn’t feel the pain. A great help! What he didn’t realise was that if I could be allowed to concentrate there really wasn’t that much pain at all!

The midwives told me to push, but I ignored them and just pretended like you suggested. This pacified them for a while but in the end they threatened me with forceps, we said “no” and made them wait – luckily I got the “urge”. Lonàn was born at 1.25am with no cuts, tears or stitches – weighing 6 lb, just right!

Claire Middleton

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Rosie Bray – Birth Story

rosie_cRosie wants to highlight the importance of early conditioning using Self-hypnosis and Visualisation. Starting as early as possible in pregnancy gives you more of a chance to become an expert at the technique for labour. Rosie also feels that she did her homework, following the dietary guidelines, having treatments and so on, so that she was ready for labour.

I started seeing Gowri in my fourth month of pregnancy; I had had an easy first three months, not too much morning sickness and I felt pretty healthy but I lead a stressful life (work-wise) and I wanted to give something back to my baby and my body. Gowri had been recommended to me – by a friend who had had a fantastic birth experience using Self Hypnosis and Meditation. On hearing more about it I became more and more fascinated by it and felt it was something that was right for me and my husband. Too much in life is done without thought and giving birth is not something you do every day of the week so I really wanted to focus on it and give it my 100% and The Jeyarani Way seemed a good way to focus on birth and switch off from the worries and stress of work.

We attended a 4-week class in July – which was still three months away from my due date but it was the best thing I could have done, the longer you have to let the information settle into your brain the better.  This is a form of conditioning and the more time you give yourself the better it is for your confidence and your preparation. I firmly believe that you need to give yourself a good amount of time to understand that you are going to have a baby and that you are in control of your labour, and that it is something to look forward too, rather than fear. Too many people go into childbirth with their eyes closed, in some sort of denial. They fear the ‘pain’ that they believe is involved in labour and so before they have started they have already made it a negative rather than a positive experience and this can have a detrimental effect on your labour.

I found Gowri’s classes very beneficial, and went for top ups in September – I was also listening to her self-hypnosis tapes as often as I could. Plus I was having treatments every other week.

Three days before Louis was born I went to see Gowri; it was a Friday and a full moon. Gowri told me that the baby was ready to come out, and that he would be here in the next few days. I was excited and felt confident and ready for his arrival. I went home and my husband and I spent a really happy weekend preparing our home, we went to the supermarket, we saw friends, we went out for dinner and we lay in and enjoyed each other’s company as we knew our baby was coming soon. On the Sunday night my contractions started; faintly and gradually throughout the early hours of the morning; they were not uncomfortable and I managed eventually to sleep. Monday morning I woke, no more contractions and I wondered if I had imagined it, I got out of bed and noticed that I had my show, then I realised that things had definitely started and I was going to be on my way. I telephoned Gowri and told her and she suggested I come in that afternoon and that she could get things moving a little faster.

My husband and I got to Gowri’s about 4 pm; I still felt fine. Gowri examined me and thought I was 2 cms dilated, she then started working on me, she gave me reflexology, some cranial work and by the time she had finished with some Bowen Technique I was contracting lightly. Charlie drove us home and by the time we reached home I was contracting every 5 minutes for about 20 seconds. This was manageable and we packed our bags and made some dinner; things were moving very quickly by this time and I was definitely in full labour. I was on all fours by this stage, using techniques I had learnt in my yoga classes, I found them very useful, combining this with the breathing we had worked on in self-hypnosis. A couple of hours of contractions passed quickly but not pleasantly. There were moments I thought that it would be easier to go straight to hospital and have an epidural. My husband knew how much I wanted to have a natural birth but without his support and encouragement I would have been tempted to go for the easy option.

We arrived at the hospital at about 10 pm, the Birth Centre at Queen Charlotte’s. A male midwife, Willy, examined me and said that I was already 7-8 cms dilated, which was fantastic I had moved very quickly. Gowri had expected this and had said on leaving her practice, that I would probably be 5 cms by the end of the evening, she had also said the baby would be born at 4 am that morning and that the baby would weigh about 8 lbs 5 oz. The midwife hooked me up to some gas and air, unfortunately the birth pool was not available as it was already in use, so Willy, my midwife and my husband decided to run the bath in the en-suite bathroom so that I could get in that. The bath, the warm water was a great pain relief even though I kept getting out and threatening to go home. The contractions were over pretty quickly and the urge to push followed, I suppressed the urge to push for a while but it got stronger and stronger and within minutes the baby was on its way down the birth canal. The most amazing sensation was being able to feel the top of the baby’s head with my fingers, I could feel the amniotic sac he was in and the top of his head I knew he was so close to being born and it felt incredible. I think that after a maximum of six pushes, the baby’s head crowned and I knew that there was only a few left to go. This was probably the hardest part, I knew his head was bigger than the opening; I did fear tearing but the bodies natural instinct to birth the baby was far greater than my fear and with one more huge primal scream and push his head and shoulders were born. This was a tense moment, as I needed to keep my hips under the water so that the baby would not float to the top. I then had to wait for the next contraction for the rest of the baby to be born. He was born and before I knew it he was in my arms and screaming; he was the most amazing thing I had ever seen and I was overjoyed. I remember seeing the umbilical cord round his neck and panicking, but it was fine but the panic had stopped me from looking what sex he was until my husband told me. My husband cut the cord and held him while I then contracted the placenta.

He was born at 12.10 and weighed 8lbs.9ozs Gowri had got it right!

I feel incredibly lucky that I had a fantastic birth experience and that it is an honour to be a mother and to have given birth. I know that I did my homework and that I worked very hard at the diet, the meditation and the yoga. I re-conditioned myself and my way of thinking over the last 9 months, I believe that one needs to change the tape in our heads – childbirth is associated with pain in modern day and we need to change our way of thinking. To focus on pain is negative and childbirth is the most positive thing I have ever experienced.

Rosie Bray

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Uma Birth Story – July 2001

The empowering birth of Abhisheka using self-hypnosis. This story also illustrates the importance of feeling in control of your surroundings and being able to give your complete attention to the birth.

ABHISHEKA born 13 July 2001

It was three weeks before the due date for the arrival of my second baby. At the end of the self-hypnosis class, when Gowri made a comment about being as ‘relaxed and ready for the birth as Uma’, I was a little surprised, because I was about to start maternity leave and felt I needed another three weeks to chill out before the baby arrived, and I didn’t really feel too relaxed at all, because our household had been through a stressful period of conflict between myself and my mother in law.

But in fact Gowri was right about being ‘ready for the baby’ because I immediately felt rather weird on the journey back to Brixton, and the first contractions I pottered about, packing up the recycling and breathing low into my belly – just as we’d been doing in that evening’s class. To tell you the truth, I felt as if I was still in the trance state that I had been in during the class, because as the contractions grew stronger I simply felt more relaxed and easeful. Everything was perfectly fine, and I was easily slipping into a quiet trance state with every contraction for a couple more hours.

At about 1 am my husband called our midwives, just to let them know things had been ticking along nicely since nine that evening, but that I was still relaxed enough to chat to them on the phone. They were soon round, and by about half past two it seemed as if the baby was ready to be born. But just at that time, our older son woke up with teething pain and cried out for his mummy – on reflection I think we should simply have brought him down, but at the time that’s not what we had planned, and so first of all his uncle went into comfort him, and then my husband went up to be with him for about two hours – and downstairs the whole labouring process magically seemed to slow right down. Until four am the contractions continued, but here was no sign of the baby arriving.

By the time my husband came back down and my brother had finally settled our older son, I was feeling tired and a bit bemused about what was going on. Our wonderful Brierly midwives (a team from King’s College Hospital who specialise in home births) were as bemused as we were about how things had slowed up completely. In retrospect, it seems clear that my concerns for my older son, and the residual stress and anxiety over the conflicts with my mother in law were hindering the progress of labour. In fact, although I didn’t speak at all through the labour, and just kept on with quiet yoga breathing and self-hypnosis, the only words I used at all were a single sentence expressing my vehement feelings about my husband’s mother!

I continued to use the self-hypnosis techniques throughout, and rested well between the contractions, always feeling peaceful and quiet. By six am it was clear that we needed a little more rest, and so we settled down quietly – relaxing with the self hypnosis through the contractions, which were still coming regularly.

After a couple of hour’s rest in this way, the midwives felt that labour had slowed so much that it probably was wise for them to leave, but whilst we still discussing this, my brother took my older son out to the park. The sound of the front door closing, together with the sight of the midwives with their jackets on, ready to leave seemed to re-start the labour immediately. I stood up to say goodbye to the midwives, my waters broke quite explosively and gushed out. So the midwives took their jackets off, sat down and I knelt forwards, holding onto my husband. From that point onwards there were only a few contractions as the baby moved down and out.

The birthing stage was rapid – Abhi’s head was born after only a couple of big contractions, and then his body followed straight out ten seconds later. He weighed eight pounds and four ounces and was in fine health. No tears or grazes – I felt completely comfortable afterwards, and still calm and focused as I had been throughout the labour.

So thank you Gowri for the self-hypnosis – the birthing experience was really empowering – a magical time of quiet and and gentle focus.

Uma

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Carol Johnston Birth Story

After an induction, epidural and forceps delivery of her first baby, Carol was amazed to find that she “enjoyed” giving birth to her second child. Although initially sceptical about self-hypnosis she found it invaluable during labour, and realised that her body and baby know what to do, and there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

EAU BABY!!

You probably won’t believe me, because after the induction – pethedine – epidural – forceps of my first baby two years ago I hadn’t thought it possible either, but I enjoyed giving birth to my second child.

Like every other woman, I’ve heard all the stories, read the books, seen the movies. Like them, I couldn’t believe there could be an alternative: of course childbirth hurts, they’re called labour pains, aren’t they? When I first heard about women in labour using a water pool the best I expected was that it might make the pain tolerable, but after the technological nightmare last time, it seemed worth looking into. The hospital put me in touch with Dr. Motha at the Jeyarani Health Centre and I went along for a consultation, expecting to find the doctor behind a desk and a list of technical specifications on temperature maintenance and sub-aqua monitoring. To my dismay,  I was seated on a cushion and told I was to be given a lesson in ‘self hypnosis’, which didn’t appeal to me at all. However, I soon found that this bore no relationship to my somewhat sinister idea of hypnotism, but is a way of teaching conscious relaxation. ‘Relaxation’ classes are held throughout the country, but there you’re taught to pant, grunt and strain every time the famous ‘urge to push’ comes. This is not only unnecessary but counter-productive, Dr Motha tells her (somewhat sceptical) classes. The uterus is a strong muscle specifically designed for this one job – let it work without tension, let the muscles relax, allow the baby to slip through easily, naturally; do not be afraid for fear leads to pain and pain to fear. We learnt to relax our bodies completely and at will, learnt to think positively and joyfully about the birth of our babies. All very well in theory, I thought, and I must admit all this relaxing has cured my bad back, but pain free labour? I still didn’t really believe it.

When my waters broke at four in the afternoon I was having no contractions but went to the hospital. An evening strapped to the monitoring devices hearing the woman in the other cubicle did nothing to help and by eleven o’clock the doctors decided to send me up to the ante-natal ward for the night and maybe induce me next morning – exactly what I’d been fearing all along.

On my own in the ward, I finally decided to stop fretting and do something positive. I sat in a dark corner and relaxed as we’d been taught, shutting off everything around me and concentrating on letting myself open up, welcoming my baby. By midnight I was being hustled back down the stairs by a nurse who refused to wait for the lift – ‘Hold on, dear, we don’t want you having it up here!’ I’d gone to 6cms dilation in less than an hour, and it was only when I realised that I should call a midwife and started trying to cope with the hospital scene again that it began to hurt. Once left on my own in a delivery room I stood leaning on the bed, which immediately helped – sitting or lying down were excruciating – and started to calm myself down again. My husband and Dr Motha arrived together and I relaxed still further, knowing that they would now deal with the outside world for me. Dr Motha turned down the lights and gave my husband directions on how to set up the pool and, I suspect, strict instructions to be a quiet, supportive but non-interfering presence. I was still a little frightened by the pain I’d felt and my body was trembling with the pressure of standing; the relief getting into the pool was immediate, as the warm water took my weight, soothed me and washed away the sweat. I soon found a rhythm, kneeling in the water, leaning my head on my arms on the side, breathing deeply as each contraction did its work. I concentrated on keeping my muscles soft and loose and opening to help my baby; I could feel each contraction and was aware of the effort my body was making and the effect it was having, but felt no pain.

Between contractions, I enjoyed the water, a smile, a drink; when the ‘urge to push’ came Dr Motha quietly reminded me to just breathe deeply. There was no need to set my teeth and strain; I could feel the baby’s head coming down a little further each time, gently opening his way into the world. If I’d tried to force him, I would have torn myself. At that moment I did feel a sudden sharp pain and thought ‘Ow, must be nearly there…’ I put my hand down to feel how much further I had to go and felt the baby’s head! The next contraction came, caught me unready, I yelled, the baby yelled, my husband yelled, ‘You’ve done it!’ and I was standing up turning round to take my baby from Dr Motha, feeling exulted and quite incredulous that it could all be over so soon, so beautifully. My baby nuzzled me, and smiled.

Later, my husband and Dr Motha left and the midwife went to fetch a wheelchair to take me to the postnatal ward – I could have taken the stairs two at a time but she insisted that I sit down; perhaps she felt that she had to do something other than check the heartbeat and write up the notes. That was when I heard the woman in the next room, shrieking and sobbing in the accepted, expected torture of childbirth.

And I wanted to tell her, there is another way, a way so old that after centuries of innovation, research and drugs testing we’re now having to rediscover it and tell each other a truth so simple is seems incredible – your baby knows what to do and there’s nothing to fear but fear itself Effortlessly, naturally, you gave your baby a body, eyes, a brain, life itself; the same way, you can give birth.

Carol Johnston

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Philippa Egertan Birth Story – July 2000

The positive magical birth of baby Otis during a lunar eclipse, using self-hypnosis and visualisation.

Baby Otis (weight 7lbs 15oz) was born on Sunday, 16th July 2000, at 1.14am during a lunar eclipse.

It was an amazing experience for me, a truly spiritual one. My pre-labour was long; it started at 3 am on Friday morning and then I went into full labour at 3 pm on Saturday afternoon. My contractions were painful early on so I couldn’t sleep, so my obstacle was being tired too early on. The birth unit was empty except for one mother and baby, so my partner and I were able to move around and change scene from time to time. I used a tens machine all along and then was in water for a long time. I actually gave birth squatting outside the pool. It was a very magical night and whilst I was lying in the pool the windows were open and I could seen the moon.

The reason that I got through my birth and it was such a positive magical experience is due, I think,  to your Self-Hypnosis and Visualisation techniques you taught me. All along I recalled my safe place and used by breath constantly and was conscious of everything,  but nothing could touch me or harm me. Your teaching helps every mother to reclaim a positive attitude towards birth, which is often fast disappearing in medical intervention. My baby is very lucky to have had such a good start and journey into the world.

Philippa Egertan

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Judith Shutler Birth Story – 1989

This story illustrates how the programme can help a pregnant mother who then goes on to have a caesarean delivery.

During my pregnancy I followed a programme including Self-hypnosis at the Jeyarani Health Centre.

As the birth approached it became more certain that the delivery would be by elective caesarean due to breech presentation. The hypnosis included dealing with this.

I used self-hypnosis to rehearse the delivery and it kept me calm and co-operative. The epidural was difficult (3 attempts) but I did not feel stressed – the same during the operation. The surgeon said later that she had never had a calmer patient.

Afterwards I was prescribed analgesia but needed none whatsoever and although uncomfortable I was in no pain. On the next day I was walking upright as soon as the drip etc, was removed….. The wound healed so well that the clips were removed earlier than expected and I went home on day 6.

Comments from hospital staff were made about how well I had recovered and that I was the “talk of the hospital”.

Judith Shutler,1989

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Katrina Maclaine Birth Story

Katrina had been told that she would never have children so she was a bit surprised to find that she had become pregnant after some Creative healing for abdominal pain! After being induced she had a c-section but does not regret going on the programme. Like other Jeyarani mothers she has found her son, Ben, to be alert but calm – due perhaps to her connecting to him through the treatments and self-hypnosis and visualisation.

First let me explain the miracle of my son. I’d had gynaecological problems since I was a teenager and a number of operations; however, because of these problems I was always told that I would never be able to have kids. I was also in my late 30’s by the time I met “my man”, who already had children and so I decided that that was it, but I would be the best step-mum that I could be. However, I then came across Creative Healing. Really,  I had it to ease the pain of my polycystic ovaries and endometriosis, but after a couple of “female treatments”,  I became pregnant! To say it was a shock would be an understatement – I was going to be a biological Mummy!

Throughout my pregnancy I had the various treatments – Creative Healing, Reflexology and so on and went on the Self-hypnosis and Visualisation course. I really enjoyed these pampering times and connecting with my baby. To see my stomach bulge with his foot as he stretched his leg was amazing. My gorgeous baby in my tummy!

I was fully prepared for birth, however, he was more than comfortable inside and so I had to be induced. Suddenly being in full-scale labour was a shock to me….I’d hoped for a slow build-up at home, not an induction at hospital. Anyway, I ended up having a c/section. Not what I had wanted originally but necessary – and as Gowri says, sometimes intervention is necessary; it was for me.

But am I still glad that I did the programme? – ABSOLUTELY. It made my pregnancy much easier, made me stop and take some much needed “me” time, made me connect with my partner and my baby more and got me prepared for being a mother. What’s more my baby – Ben, is an absolute joy. From the very beginning he has been alert, curious and yet calm. From the start he hardly ever cried, if he falls over it’s just a kind of, “oops a daisy” and he’s ok. I know that I’m a biased Mum but after speaking to other mother’s who have been on the programme I know now that this is very common for Jeyarani babies. They tend to be very calm and have a kind of serenity around them. By having the therapies and by doing the Self-hypnosis and Visualisation I believe that it helps the baby be really nurtured in the womb, they know that they are really wanted and that they are part of a loving family – just like Ben.

Katrina Maclaine

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Molly Isobel Elliott Birth Story – January 2012

Thank you for all your guidance and care over the past months.
I had a fantastic and completely natural birth at home with an active labour of less than 5 hours and a very quick delivery requiring only a few pushes: She flew out with barely a graze and no tearing at all.

I firmly believe the physical and mental preparation of the gentle birth method is what allowed me to achieve this.

Richard and I were so calm, in fact,  that the midwives didn’t think we were very far along whenever we called and so they missed the birth, Molly was being delivered by a very kind paramedic who arrived just 5 minutes after we called and just in time to catch her!

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Melissa Turner Birth Story – August 2010

melissa_turnerI began using the Gentle Birth Method about 3 months into my pregnancy and I believe I had the most amazing birth because of my dedication to this method.

I had a very peaceful water birth at The Family Birth Centre in Subiaco, I was in labour for 8 hours, spending about 3 hours in the bath pushing Owen out though it didn’t seem that long to me, he weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce, which was a massive surprise as I didn’t look that big and having such a good diet didn’t think my baby would be that large, even though he still came out without any intervention (you have to do the pre stretching!).

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Natalie Hudson Birth Story – September 2009

millaI just wanted to share my great birth story with you and also to give great feedback on GB practioner in Australia, Elizabeth Isaac – she was amazing and you need to get more people trained in Australia as so many women need to have the option to have a good birth.

Milla was born 11 weeks ago on 29.7.09.  My waters broke and I had a show around 2.30am I then went and had a shower and the contractions were irregular but got stronger. I rang the hospital who told me to stay home until the contractions got more regular.

Around 5:30am they started to get more regular.  I texted Elizabeth who instinctively knew that I was going to go into labour that morning – just goes to show the bond you share with your GBP….

I then had a bath and it got more intense so called for my partner to come and help, I then sat on the loo and had my contractions…Elizabeth came to the house around 8:30am and helped me refocus as I started to ask to go to the hospital and for drugs….she reminded me of the work we had done and the breathing and visualisations. She really reassured me that I could do it when I slightly lost focus due to the pain.

We then stayed at home for a few more hours before we decided it was time to go to the hospital around 10:00am, in the car on the way I went into my own transition staying silent and going into my zone. Elizabeth and I had worked weeks before saying my labour would be around 8 hours and that this baby would come before lunchtime – planting the mental seed.

When we got to the labour ward I was 8cm dilated!!! Most of the hard work done at home, my obs then checked me again 20 minutes later and said the baby would come in 20 minutes so to get into position to start pushing.

We again worked with the visuals (I am a yoga teacher so I know the power of visuals or bhvana as we call them in yoga) they were really crucial for my focus and management of pain. I was offered gas and by then said no I thought I would be sick.

My obstetrican then walked in and again examined me and said “Get into position,  this baby is coming in the next 20 minutes”….

So I did, leaning against the bed and then he asked me to push, I think I pushed around 8 times unfortunately I tore a bit but we think that was his doing, as I had plenty of energy and could have taken my time in pushing…..the final push she came out and he pulled her through my legs and I looked down and saw this gorgeous face looking up at me in wonder; she didn’t cry and is such a happy little contented bub at 11 weeks old!!

I am just so grateful to have been introduced to the GBM and also that Elizabeth’s help was just amazing, I hope you can help her train more people with the method in other parts of Australia so they too get to experience the wisdom behind this!!

Natalie Hudson
Sydney, Australia

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Bianca Blackman Duffy Birth Story – January 2009

bianca1Oona’s Birth: Bianca Blackman Duffy gave birth to Oona Blackman Duffy on January 23rd, at 5:35am at home in Malibu, CA.
I was due Wednesday Jan. 21st, so, that day I went to Ventura to have a check-up with my midwife, Karni. She hugged me and said “Happy due date!” She said my baby’s heart rate was great, and that my cervix had effaced, but was not dilated at all. She felt around my tummy to see what position the baby was in, and exclaimed, “Wow, that’s a big head!” which wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. I had been following the Gentile Birth Method’s Ayurvedic diet and exercise program throughout my pregnancy to ensure good health and an average size baby. Karni thought the baby was facing my thigh instead of backwards, and encouraged me to spend as much time on all fours as possible.

After my check-up, I went for a wonderful massage with Jaci, whom I had been seeing throughout my pregnancy. She did some special acupressure to try to induce labor. That part was rather uncomfortable. That night, I spent an hour on all fours, and adapted my yoga so I wouldn’t be leaning back at all.

The next day, my husband, Bryce, and I worked at home in the office, and went for a sunset walk on Broad Beach. That night. We watched “Mama Mia”, on all fours for me. It was just before midnight, when we decided to go to bed. I had Abba’s “Super Trooper” stuck in my head, which ended up serving as my anthem. As I got comfy in our bed, I felt a cramp at 12:01 a.m. It was moderately intense but it only lasted about a minute. A few minutes later, I got another one, which lasted a bit longer. By the third cramp, I began to think, “This might be it!”. I tried getting up, but I couldn’t do it during the rush.

When that contraction was over, I hurried to get my rush chart, stopwatch, the phone, Karni’s number, and a labor chart. I timed my next contraction, and it was a minute and 40 seconds, and the contractions were less than two minutes apart. I looked at the labor chart with Bryce, and we were astonished to discover that I was already in active labor!

I called Karni, and she listened to one contraction over the phone. She agreed that I was progressing rather rapidly, so she decided to come over right away. I tried to help Bryce make up the birth bed, and finish fixing up the room, but I had to crawl around in pain. He helped me up onto the bed, and went to set up the birthing tub, put on our special music playlist, and light candles about the house, all while timing and charting my contractions.

Karni arrived about an hour later, and checked my cervix in the birth room at 1:35 a.m. I was 4 cm dilated, and 100% effaced. Bryce had just finished setting the birthing tub set up in the dining room under the Droog chandelier, so I climbed in there. Floating in the warm water took some of the pain away, and it really helped when Bryce squeezed my left ankle during contractions. During my pregnancy, we had gone to a hypno-birthing workshop with Dr. Leclaire in Temescal Park, and I listed to the hypnosis recording almost every day. (Prior to that, I listened to one I had recorded myself with the script from GBM.) When the background music from the Leclaire recording came on during labor, it helped me relax and focus on my breathing instead of the rushes.

Our nurse, Diane, arrived, and took over checking the fetal heart rate. At 1:41 I threw up into a bucket in the birth room. It was quick, and I felt better after. Karni said I was just making room for my baby’s passage. At 2:16, I had my bloody show, which wasn’t much of a show. We never noticed my water breaking, so we assume it happened in the tub.

At 2:36, I was 8 cm dilated and already back in the tub. The fetal heart rate was steady, as it was during the entire delivery. At 2:57, I was 9 ½ cm dilated, and Karni told me I could push whenever I felt the urge to.

An hour later, I was still having a hard time getting the baby down. Karni encouraged me to try the birthing stool to let gravity work in our favor. Bryce wrapped me up in a terry robe, and helped me onto the birthing stool. He sat behind me on the yoga ball, so I could lean against him. I pushed like that for 12 minutes or so, and then moved onto the bed propped up with pillows against the wall in a 45-degree angle. I remember looking at the clock, and thinking my child might be born at the same time as me, 4:24 a.m., but we still had a while to go.

At 4:30, it started raining outside, which sounded wonderful. As I pushed in that position, the head would become visible at the end of each contraction, and then it would go back up during the intervals. We later found out that my daughter didn’t turn, so she was coming down facing my thigh (transverse) instead of my back. After 5 or 6 rushes, I got into a full squat position on the bed, with my arms around Diane and Bryce. We did another handful of contractions like that, and her head finally stayed down.

I was too exhausted to continue in a squat, so I asked to go back in the tub for a water delivery. Karni thought that I would regress in progress, so I was propped up onto the pillows again, this time with Bryce and Diane holding my legs back. I was crowning for at least 14 contractions, where we thought my baby would be born. At 5:35 a.m. on January 23rd, she emerged, all in one final push. She arrived in a transverse position, hence the 2 hour pushing stage. Karni caught her, and quickly handed her to me. I hugged her onto my belly, and she began to cry loudly. The midwives covered her with a warmed towel.

A few minutes later, Bryce asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?” Karni said she didn’t know, so I peaked under the towel. All I could see was her cord, but I answered, “I think it’s a boy!” Bryce took a better look, and we found out she was indeed a beautiful and healthy girl. Her Apgar score was 9.5!

Even though I pushed for a long time, the entire process was under 6 hours.

I delivered the placenta at 5:46 a.m. and Bryce cut the cord at 5:52 a.m. I had a small tear, so Bryce held Oona while I got a few stitches. Just before 7:00 a.m. I nursed her. She latched on easily, but her tiny top lip kept tucking under inside her mouth. She nursed for a good long time, and then Bryce held her while I had a quick shower. The midwives helped me dress, and then gave Oona her check up on our bed. She weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces and measured 20 ½ inches.

Bryce brought me some breakfast, and made his, and the midwives’ coffees. After Oona nursed again, she fell asleep on a sheepskin in our bed, with me beside her. Bryce had to work from home that day, so he didn’t join us in the bed until nighttime. That night, I woke up, and Oona had wiggled over, and snuggled into my chest. That is where she still sleeps today.

So 40 weeks of sacrifice paid off! I followed the diet with about one cheat a week, took the Dhanwantaram pills, Baladi Choornam drink, and a red raspberry leaf and nettle infusion daily. I also did the program’s daily yoga, as well as 20-50 minutes of biking, walking, or hiking 4-5 days a week, meditation, massage, and acupuncture. I gained 28 pounds in 40 weeks and 2 days, and delivered a healthy 7 lb 13 oz baby girl at home in 5 1/2 hours! So thank you!

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Helen James-Moore Birth Story – January 2009

helen-james-mooreLittle Cecilia arrived last Thursday morning at 1.20 am, weighing 8lbs 8oz despite being 2 weeks early.
Once again, following your advice has given me the birth I so longed for with my first baby and got with the second and third.

I have been focusing on the 15th January for 6 months and thus I am sure, combined with reflexology and your advice is,that this is the reason she came on that day.
I went into labour after my yoga class at 9 pm and was in the birthing pools at St Thomas at midnight.
Cecilia was born at 1.20 am without any other pain relief and I did not need stiches for my very tiny tear.

I would like to thank you and your team for providing so much inspiration and positive encouragement throughout my last 2 pregnancies.
I wish that more mothers could benefit from your wise words and avoid the terrible birth experience, the tearing and the consequential despondancy that I went through for my first baby.
I have two of the most uplifting and empowering birth experiences which were all down to following your guidance – thank you so much.

Best wishes for the future
Helen James-Moore

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Karlina’s Birth Story – December 2008

KarlinaTo tell you the truth, I don’t feel like I have a very exciting ‘birth story’ as it flew by so incredibly fast… I feel like I have much more of a ‘Dr. Motha Story’ which means I should probably start with the first time I heard of you.
Several years ago, long before even contemplating having a child, I read an article in W magazine about an Indian doctor based in London who was the absolute birthing guru! Even me, the least ‘clucky’ girl in the world, was impressed! I never gave it another thought until several years down the line, when faced with a completely un-expected pregnancy, I literally googled ‘Indian doctor – pregnancy – London’ and within a few minutes found the article and the contact details for your clinic.

Since I had to wait a while for an appointment with you, I ordered your book to find out what all the hype was about and get a head start. I have to admit that I devoured the book in one day. What a wealth of simple, wholesome, and no-frills information. It did all sound a bit too good to be true, but with nothing to lose I thought I’d give it a try. I immediately started following the dietary guidelines and stuck to them all the way to the very end (except for the odd cappuccino and pastry on the weekends… I do live in Italy after all). The results were instant and unbelievable. Not only did the morning sickness disappear within 12 hours, never to return, but I started to lose weight in all those stubborn trouble spots.

After my first appointment with you,  I was hooked! Armed with my prescribed supplements, yoga dvd, visualisation/relaxation cd, scheduled weekly reflexology appointments and monthly appointments with you, off I went back to Italy to do my homework. The months flew by and I just kept getting fitter and healthier. Rather than feeling like a shapeless, bloated ‘blob’ I was completely toned with a perfect little round bump on the front. Looking back,  I don’t think I’ve ever felt better than in those months!!!! At the beginning of my ninth month I flew to London where I was to give birth and have more frequent visits with you. You had me walking for hours every day right up to the day before giving birth, and I just kept getting stronger and more energetic! My husband still tells people what a hard time he had keeping up with me after walking from a morning at the Tate Modern all the way back to Notting Hill at 38 weeks!!!!!!!

Then comes the part that no-one believes, and when everyone starts begging for your number! At 11:30am on the big day, after spending the morning in bed with your ‘birth rehearsal’ on repeat to keep me focused during my painless yet nauseating contractions, I got up and walked two blocks to the hospital. I was greeted very nonchalantly by a mid-wife who said she’d inspect me, but would most likely send me home as it was obviously too early to admit me. To her absolute surprise, this apparently calm and collected woman in front of her was 8cm dilated! All she could muster was ‘come with me and start getting undressed while you’re  at it!’ I was hurried down the corridor, stripped off, and swiftly plopped into a birthing pool before I could utter a word. Just before 13:00 she pulled me out of the water and 4 pushes later, at 13:02 our little girl was born. Probably the most astonishing thing about my ‘birth experience’ is how calm our little one is! She never even cried while the midwives carried out their tests, and they all said that most babies are bellowing by that point. To this day she remains the most placid and content little girl. I have no idea if it’s thanks to all the reassurance and strength you gave me during pregnancy that was just passed on to her in the womb, or if she’s just an absolute angel by nature. Regardless, EVERYONE who meets her tells me how lucky we are and that we have no idea how good we’ve got it! 

Having been there and done it now, I realise what an unnecessary fuss society makes of pregnancy. Yes,  it is an absolutely joyous and special time, but the majority of pregnant women I’ve ever met face pregnancy as a temporary handicap which serves as an excuse to become lazy, to eat anything and to temporarily put everyday life on pause…the complete opposite of what you advocate for your mothers.

I feel so lucky to have been taken under your wing and so enriched by all the knowledge you’ve shared with me. Thank you for making even the most un-maternal girl’s pregnancy, birth experience and crash landing into parenthood so absolutely amazing. You really are too good to be true!

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Sara Good Birth Story – November 2008

Sara_Good-Lola_GraceI live in Shanghai and am a 33 yr old New Zealander. This was our first pregnancy so along with the normal anticipation and nerves I had the added stress of delivering in a foreign country without family and friends for support. It was at a dinner party I heard great things about your program from another girl in town.

I started following your program at 21 weeks – with the teas, pills, the food diet (it was hard to cut sugar but I allowed myself dark chocolate if I HAD to have something), regular trips to the gym (brisk walking and a light weights programme) and weekly treatments of either a massage, reflexology or accupuncture.

I worked up to 35 weeks, gaining a total of 9 kgs the whole pregnancy and felt fantastic – everyone I spoke to said they wanted to know my secret as I had so much energy and nothing really slowed me down.

I was keen to have a natural birth and avoid using drugs and I explained this to my doctor.

I was due on Fri 31 Oct 2008 and when I arrived for my appointment I was told that I was not one bit dilated and that things did not look like they would happen in the near future. I cried.

The next day at 4pm we went to my husband’s office and I slipped on wet tiles and landed on my bottom.  My waters broke and mucus plug came away. We went to the hospital and they checked the placenta and the baby and monitored me as I was 1cm and having very mild contractions. At 11pm I was allowed to go home and I mananged to sleep fairly well with about 1 contraction per hour that really woke me but I slept again between them.

On Sunday morning I got up and had a shower, washed my hair and packed last minute things as I was having 15min contractions. By 11am,  they were 10 mins apart and regular,  and I was sitting on a ball to get through them as they were quite breathtaking and painful. I felt excited though and was finally going to get to know what this baby was! I wrote down each contraction and focussed on breathing. By 2pm the contractions had been 5mins apart for more than an hour so we rang the doctor and she said to come in. During our taxi ride there I really had to breathe and focus as the contractions went to 2-3 mins apart and it felt like things were moving too fast for me. They checked me at 3pm when we arrived,  and I was still only 1cm and now the contractions were 1-2 mins apart. I was shocked I had not dilated any more and the pain was so strong I did not know how I was going to make it to 10cm! It took me a while to find my groove and get settled but I ended up sitting and leaning into my husband with each contraction. At 5pm they checked me and I had gone from 1cm to 5-6cm in 2hrs which was a huge boost for me. I got in the shower at this stage and within 90mins I was pushing! In the shower I focussed on the opening from the visualisation tape and was standing so felt that gravity played a part in this too. I had the water as hot as it would go and felt this was hugely soothing for the pain. I pushed for 30mins and actually found this part easiest as it was the home run and I knew I was going to see my baby very soon. My husband was cheering me on and telling it had dark hair… our little girl Lola Grace arrived at 7.03pm weighing 7.6lb. I only needed 1 small stitch.

She fed straight away and has been a joy and so easy for these 9 weeks. I recovered so quickly, I lost all the weight except for 2kgs within 3 days and was out walking with her on Day 4. I kept drinking your tea for 6 weeks and felt amazing – in fact I am considering continuing drinking it as I believe it is fantastic.

I now have 3 pregnant friends following your program and cannot speak highly enough about it.

Thank you!
Sarah Good

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Jayne & Darren Gee Birth Story – April 2008

baby_gee_littleDear Gowri,

Just letting you know our little baby boy arrived safely into the world at 22.10 on Thursday 24th April 2008 weighing in at a whopping 9lb 7oz!
In the end I started to have a show in the early hours of the morning on the Thursday (the day I was due to be induced – I was two weeks overdue). I had a show, but no contractions,  hence I was given Prostin at 8am. I began contracting but nothing major, they were about 3 in every 10-15 mins,  not enough to establish labour or much dilation. The registrar decided to let me continue contracting lightly and did not want to give me anymore Prostin. At around 7.30pm,  they were able to break my waters which immediately established labour. 1st stage was 2 hours 30mins, 2nd stage was 5 mins and 3rd stage was 5 mins. I was very lucky as I did not tear just a little bruising.

So it all ended up being quite quick with very little medical intervention, with no time for any pain relief! Your labour kit came in very handy and was administered expertly by Darren,  and as usual he was my rock throughout the whole experience.

I cannot thank you enough for all the support you have given me throughout all my three pregnancies. Your vision for the Gentle Birth Method is truly inspiring and I only wish all women could experience it.

Jayne & Darren Gee xx
Thursday 24th April 2008

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Louise’s Birth Story

louise_cLouise describes her “magical” waterbirth, during which she felt grounded, calm and able to cope. She strongly believes in “The Jeyarani Way” Gentle Birth Method and says that the care that the team gave her helped transform her fears about her own capabilities and gave her the opportunity to realise their dream.

We had an incredibly magical experience. My waters broke at 5.10am and contractions came fast soon after. Laurence drove me to the Hospital…we arrived at 10am contractions coming like tidal waves now, the most intense burning inside but I felt so grounded and calm, able to cope somehow. The sound of the pool filling was so relaxing and after one and a half hours…I was 8cm and so I entered the pool and almost immediately I was pushing holding onto Laurence and floating and Isabella coming so quickly, so fast and there she was after the last explosive volcanic push, gush of energy, she was in my arms. I laughed as Laurence had said, “She’ll fly out” earlier in the pregnancy, but he’d been right. She came into the world calm and clear at 12 noon (7lb 12oz). Thank you.

The following is an extract from a letter that Louise sent to Gowri.

I want to THANK YOU Gowri for everything. You helped me realise my dream and gave me the strength and positivity to deliver Isabella gently and peacefully into the world, with help from the brilliant midwives on the Birth Unit. (Something I was not sure I was capable of.) I strongly believe that the treatments and care you and those who work with you gave, helped transform fears about my own capabilities and cut through and focus on a positive outcome not only for myself but for Isabella and my partner Laurence. (Just to re-cap I had a 5 hour labour without analgesia and delivered Isabella who weighed 7 pounds 12 oz’s in water without tearing. It has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life.)

I felt very nurtured and cared for from the beginning of my pregnancy, which led to a greater sense of peace, well-being and responsibility not only for myself but for the baby growing within. I felt so well and “blooming” as they say, for most of this time, which I really loved and was so special. This was due in part to you.

I can’t thank you enough for your amazing abilities to bring a new awareness to birth, especially when the society we live in is very much geared up to high tech care and monitoring. You inspire and give women like myself the opportunity to realise their dream and in so doing transform fear into light bringing a new joy into the world.

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Pasha Kincai Birth Story

Pasha describes in her own words how her births were “true joy” and totally pain-free using the Jeyarani Method. Pasha had waterbirths.

I have now given birth twice in my life and on both occasions I have felt the most blissful feelings.

Birth for me has been about:

  • Unity with all that is
  • Giving fully
  • Opening, widening
  • Expansion
  • Trusting
  • Transforming fear to love
  • Loving
  • Believing
  • Pushing Out
  • Totality of being
  • Connection with all that is
  • The most wondrous beautiful feelings

“Oh, you must be one of those women that have child-bearing hips or something!” say many women to me.

“No” – I say with absolute conviction. In fact many a practitioner has told me how small my pelvis is and how stiff my sacroiliac and hip joints are having suffered osteoarthritis and various affecting accidents. The other day I was told that I have one of the tightest perineums and vaginal muscles that a very experienced birth practitioner had ever examined.

So what enabled me to have these blissful feelings?

PREPARATION, PREPARATION AND MORE PREPARATION.

With my first child I knew I would have one of those screaming, freaked out, fearful, cursing, laboured births if I did not do something about it.

By chance and pure magic I arrived at the hands of Dr. Gowri Motha and her natural birthing methods.

She prescribed reflexology, massage, swimming, yoga and a series of self-hypnosis classes to prepare for a liberating birth as well as the optional waterbirth, which is known to really aid women in pain relief and to give the baby a much more gentle entry into the world. I went for weekly reflexology, did very little swimming, no yoga and followed the self-hypnosis all the way through along with my partner.

It was a Sunday morning when I awoke with the knowledge that Maya – my firstborn daughter was coming. It was this wonderful sensation of just knowing. Filled with joy I paced around the house beaming, “My baby is coming”. I began to sing, smile and cuddle everybody. I was so happy.

I called Gowri and she came over at about 11am. She examined me – I was 3cm dilated and purring like a fat, happy cat. Gowri talked me through a relaxation process helping me to access the knowledge that I was safe and well, that my body knew exactly what to do, that I would just be opening, slowly and gently ready to give birth at the hospital that afternoon.

Kofi, my husband, went ahead and prepared the birthing pool at the hospital. When I was about 5/6cm dilated, we went in the car to the hospital. I remember pacing around on all fours feeling like a panda in the back of the car – seeing all these mad bring lights and thinking how funny the world was. I felt very primal and instinctively knew that there were not meant to be all of these streetlights around in the world and that there was no real need for me to be going to hospital other than the fact that my birthing pool awaited me there.

Arriving at the hospital, my midwife examined me – “How dilated do you think you are?” she asked. I told her perhaps 6cm or so. She laughed at me and said she would be very surprised – that I looked far too relaxed to be that far dilated!

Well,  to her surprise,  I was 9cm dilated and feeling wonderful. I remember walking across the hall to the toilet and hearing all of these women groaning and shouting as if in agony. I went to Gowri and told her that I must go to them and tell them it’s okay and not to worry.

The hypnosis sessions with Gowri had fully attuned me to the knowledge that women all around the world are able to give birth and intuitively know exactly what to do. That is why birth can be a safe, natural and very joyous experience.

My first daughter was born within eight hours – she was an extremely relaxed baby – only crying when hungry, or on a few occasions she was unwell. Most of her first months were spent arms spread out, palms up, completely relaxed, open and trusting in everything – like an Angel just landed on a fluffy white cloud. No screams, moans, agitation, grizzles, gripes, cramps, fidgets or cries. I feel sure that this was due to such a peaceful entry to the world.

I gave birth to my second child, Joy, five years later. The contractions started at 8am on the day that Maya was due to start school. I stood on the playground smiling and waving at her whilst these powerful waves were pulsing through my body. I got home, went to my bedroom and prowled around the bed and then like a cat I pawed the mattress and rolled around as each contraction came and went. I called Gowri while my husband prepared the pool in the house and the midwives came. Again it was a truly wonderful experience but this time even faster with a precision second stage.

In the birthing pool,  I was rolling around like a dolphin and I had visions of a whale splashing its huge tail into the water. I felt fully energised and yet I totally relaxed between each contraction with Gowri’s gentle encouragement and her wonderful smile. I felt in totally in tune with Gowri and trusted her completely; she was my link, guide and guardian through the birth. Through a mixture of eye contact and telepathy we connected and she would say exactly what I needed to hear at that moment: “Beautiful Pasha, you are doing beautifully – now relax and let go – well done”. “Your baby is coming now”. Gowri’s assistant was sending me Reiki – beaming from a distance like an Angel as Joy arrived. Four women stood over me like a church choir or a flock of Angels just saying, “That’s it,  Pasha,  just two more big pushes now – when you’re ready”. The last two pushes were very focused; one for the head, one for the shoulders. Then I was there relaxing, cuddling my new-born. The birth was full of ease and wonderment. Half an hour later I stood up and coughed and completely let go of the placenta. Wonderful. I was left with the feeling that I can’t wait to have another one!

Gowri held a very understated presence – letting me get on with it. I trusted her and she trusted me.

Pasha Kincai

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Nicky Schinder Birth Story

nicky_childrenAfter a difficult first birth, Nicky came to Gowri and was put on “The Jeyarani Way” Gentle Birth Method programme. This time she felt prepared for birth and went on to have a “wonderful birth experience”. She believes in Gowri and her programme as she is an expert in both conventional and complementary medicine.
Nicky had a difficult first birth; the Birth Unit Manager then referred her to Dr Gowri Motha for her second pregnancy. She received Reflexology, Self-hypnosis and Visualisation classes and she delivered a 10-pound baby in a water pool with no painkillers and with an intact perineum. The total duration of labour was 6 hours.

“This was my second baby. It was the most wonderful birth experience. I felt well prepared this time and it all went according to plan as much as I could have imagined. It was amazing what having your feet massaged can do!”

Nicky went on to have a third child, born in a water birthing pool in her own home. Again, during her third pregnancy, she followed “The Jeyarani Way” Gentle Birth Method.

“Gowri inspires such confidence because she has all round ability and insight. She has crossed the divide between the conventional and the alternative, which makes me feel very secure.”

Nicky Schinder

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Gabby’s Birth Story

gaby_cThis story tells how “The Jeyarani Way” treatments helped during pregnancy. It also shows the effectiveness of the Self-hypnosis and Visualisation audiotape and how it can help during labour. Gabby felt empowered by the birth experience.
My last couple of months of pregnancy were enjoyed and spent looking forward to my weekly sessions of pampering for both me and bump. As expected “Maisy Massey Ritchie” arrived a week late, but when she came she rushed quickly into the world… Contractions came as the text book explained and off we trotted to UCH, only to be disappointingly told I was only 1cm and that I would probably not give birth till the following evening… I hooked myself up to Gowri’s tape (Self-hypnosis and Visualisation audiotape) on my Walkman and 1 bath, 3 hours later, Maisy was ready to “pop” out. My waters broke at about 12.30 and Maisy arrived about 3.30 – 28th August.

Paul would say that my weekly Reflexology/ Creative Healing made me a nicer heavily pregnant person to live with and we would both agree that it made Maisy’s birth exciting and reasonably enjoyable and quick!!

Thank you for all your wise and calming advice – I was surprised at my own body and felt empowered by the whole experience.

I am recommending you to anyone who will listen.

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Dianna Dixon Birth Story

During pregnancy Dianna particularly enjoyed the Self-hypnosis and Visualisation classes and then used the images she had learnt to help her have a pain-relief-free birth. She also acknowledges yoga and the “very reasonable” dietary advice for her successful delivery.

Of my three antenatal classes, I most looked forward to Gowri’s self-hypnosis session for its “relentless positivity”. Each week I’d hear about manageable, joyful labour/delivery and a body fully capable of creating/birthing a child and returning to pre-pregnancy (and better!) form and function. During the actual labour, I often thought of Gowri’s “jelly” image (for internal tissues) or took my mind to its “safe place”, always concentrating on maximum relaxation between contractions. The supplementary yoga and (very reasonable) dietary advice also contributed to a highly successful, pain-relief-free, efficient – and yes, pleasurable, it its way – labour and delivery.

Dianna Dixon

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Christine Harris Birth Story

Christine used Self-hypnosis and Visualisation and found that she dilated quickly and felt in control of the labour. She believes that the Self-hypnosis together with the Reflexology and Creative Healing greatly assisted in the birth process.
On Sunday 12 September, contractions began about 5:OOam. I visualised and meditated until contractions were 5 minutes apart and decided it was time to go to the hospital. The due date was 20th September, so Logan was a week early! At approx. 11:30am we went in to hospital. I was 2cm dilated at midday so I was admitted to the delivery room. We were told it would be early evening before the birth was expected, so we asked to be left alone so Mark could assist me with breathing techniques and visualisation. Also, he massaged my back and big toes for a while, especially during the longer contractions. Suddenly at 2pm, I had an almighty urge to push. Mark dashed off to find the midwife and by then I was, apparently, fully dilated. The midwife was quite surprised at the speed that I dilated, especially as she had predicted an early evening delivery. At 2:10pm, Logan Tyler Harris made his appearance weighing 7lbs 15 ounces (3.6kg). He’s got blue eyes (for now), much brown hair and 55cms long and 36cm head circumference.

I’m proud to say that I took no drugs, had no tears, cuts or stitches and am healing rapidly. I’m blessing my good fortune having heard many ‘horror’ stories of labour and the delivery.

I am writing to say a HUGE THANK YOU for assisting me to cope with labour and to control the whole procedure much easier and much calmer than a conventional birth. The birth happened so quickly (9hrs from realising I was having contractions to birth) that I never went near the pool or any water! I’m ever so grateful for the preparation which I learnt by attending your classes, especially the relaxation and visualisation techniques. I am singing your praises to all those who will listen! Also thank you for the reflexology and massages, I am positive that the removal of blockages around my body also assisted greatly with the whole procedure.

Christine Harris

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Andrea Burnand Birth Story

Andrea wants her birth story to be an inspiration to other expectant mothers. She wants everyone to know that if they stick to the whole programme it will pay dividends in feeling energised and healthy throughout pregnancy and then the birth itself will be quick and pain free. “If you really believe it, it will be the birth you really want and deserve.”
I’m stealing a few minutes between feeds to write my birth story, which I hope will be an inspiration to all your clients. As I said to you, we must spread the word; your help in preparing me for the birth of baby Jade with your programme was fantastic and made the pregnancy and giving birth the most amazing experience of my life. So here is how it was for me!

My due date wasn’t for another five days, so although I had visualised the head of my baby dropping deep into my pelvis, I didn’t recognise the start of my proper contractions. I felt energised at work all day, not bothering to finish at lunchtime as usual. Experiencing what I thought were just Braxton Hicks, I drove an hour through the London traffic to spend an evening with my best friend. We laughed about the curry she cooked sending me into early labour. Little did we know how right we were.

Driving home I still perceived these period like pains as being Braxton Hicks, so I stopped off at a local restaurant for some tea and a chat with my brother in law for an hour or so.

On climbing into bed at midnight I tried to settle but although with the use of ‘my safe place’, I nodded off, the strength of the contractions woke me. By 1.30am I realised this must be the ‘real thing’ and promptly ran a bath. At about 2am I had what must have been a “show” and felt very excited as I realised this was definitely “it”.

From 3am or so, back in bed and going to my safe place, I dozed in and out of sleep, giving my husband’s hand a squeeze every time I experienced a contraction. At 5am, Nigel announced that I now had had six or seven, five minutes apart and we ought to ring the labour ward.

Because I was having a home birth, it was great not to have to get dressed, go out into the cold and drive to the hospital. I’m convinced this would just have slowed me down.

The first midwife arrived at 6am and examined me. She was amazed, (considering this is my first child), as I was already 3cm dilated and exclaimed, “my goodness, your cervix is so thin!” Of course it was; I had spent the last thirteen weeks telling it to be thin by now!!

My contractions were coming at varying intervals; sometimes three to four minutes apart, sometimes seven or eight. After another bath, they speeded up slightly, and when the second midwife arrived at 7.30am I was delighted to hear I was 7cm dilated.

I was not expecting so much discomfort in my back, but Nigel and the midwives continually massaged it as I, positioned on all fours on the bed, buried my head in the pillows in a trance-like state between the contractions, off in my safe place.

When the contractions were every three minutes or so, I asked for the gas and air. It did absolutely nothing to help ease the crescendo that is the height of a contraction, but it did give me something to bite on and squeeze! !

I can’t say I was able to maintain my hypnotic state throughout the contractions, but being in my safe place between them helped to conserve my energy and focus on the next one, telling myself each one brought my baby closer to me and the stronger they were, the better they were doing their Job. Each contraction felt like a wave crashing onto a beach. At the height of the crash there is a tremendous force but the beautiful sensation of the water flowing away back out to sea as it seeps away made it all worthwhile. As each one ebbed away I felt an amazing sense of peace and almost euphoria.

I think it must have been about now my waters finally broke.

At 8.20 am the midwife examined me again. By now I was upright on my knees, leaning on Nigel with him pinned to the headboard facing me. I said I wanted to push. “Go on then, push,” said the midwife. I was fully dilated.

I hadn’t expected this to be such an effort. It took a few contractions to realise I had to hold the push between the contractions to stop the head slipping back in. At one point the midwife positioned a mirror so I could see the baby’s head. I freaked! I didn’t like seeing how much more pushing there was to do. I found myself making some very primal, animal like noises with the effort.

Mirror removed and two or three contractions later, with Nigel and I braced against each other, out she slipped.

I heard someone say, “it’s a girl”, later to be told that was me. She cried a little and just looked cold.

Nigel and I held her close as the midwives set about cleaning up the bed and me. I didn’t want to wait for a natural delivery of the placenta so I had the injection I could now get on with the business of nursing my little girl and enjoying some precious tears of euphoria with my husband.

Baby Jade was born at 8.30am. Just three and a half hours after I started regularly contracting. Weighing 71b 2oz, she was a perfect size to get out through my pelvis. She didn’t need to be any bigger just as long as she was mature.

I am convinced that the ease of the birth of Jade is due to my sticking to all the advice given in the programme. It is essential to stick to the dietary advice. A gluten free diet is restrictive but not prohibitive and is well worth it for the energy it gives and sense of well being. Throughout my pregnancy I was constantly congratulated on looking so well and healthy – I had never felt fitter and healthier.

The visualisation and self-hypnosis classes and tape are excellent and do work. My husband really did believe this the moment the midwife said on first examining me, “My goodness, your cervix is so thin”.

I miss the evening ritual of heating up milk, pounding the herbs and mixing it all into a comforting evening drink. Followed of course by spreading on the anti-stretch mark oil and then, in the last month, using the internal birthing oil. All to be followed by half an hour listening to the tape. No wonder I always slept so well.

The only part of the programme I found really hard to fit in was regular exercise, either swimming or yoga and I guess I should have relaxed more.  I certainly did feel better during the times I did do any of these activities.

I kept to the programme almost religiously, missing it the evenings I was unable to stick to it. And as for the week away on holiday,when it barely happened, on my return to you for some reflexology I felt like I’d gone back to square one.

My advice to anyone therefore is to heed all the instructions given in the programme and follow them. It will pay dividends as you feel so energised and healthy throughout the pregnancy and then the birth itself will be quick and pain free ‑ If you really believe it, it will be the birth you really want and deserve.

I hope my story will be an inspiration to other expectant mums. You can have the pregnancy and birth you want and deserve with just a little determination and by sticking to the whole programme.

Andrea Burnand

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Atsuko Birth Story – December 2011

The day my husband and I had been looking forward to came suddenly.
On 8th December around 5 am,I woke up to go to the bathroom as usual and I realized my waters had broken. At almost the same time I had quite a strong pain in my back and I thought,  “This is not just a tightening, this is it!!”  The next contraction came soon after about 5 minutes later.

No time to do all of the things that we initially planned,  like Harry giving me a massage and feeding me etc,  with having to get ready so quickly. We called the hospital who advised me, being a first time mother, to have a shower and take our time before heading down but I don’t think they realized how close it was.

Getting ready to leave after my quick shower, progress seemed more intense with each contraction and they were coming every 3 minutes. Because it had all came on so quickly there was a point on the way to the hospital, where I thought I was going to panic but I was also aware of myself and I thought “I have to do something with it”,  then Gowri and Debbie’s voice came into my mind when they taught me the relaxation techniques at the Visualisation class. That helped me a lot to breathe properly and relax myself so that I became more calmed and got back in control of myself.

When we arrived at the hospital about 7:30 am, the midwife examined and told me “ Well done, you are ready to give birth!” I was already fully dilated!

While I was trying to find the best position to cope with, the midwife ran water into the pool and my instinct was to choose to get in the water. I was holding my husband’s hands at every surge and able to breath out through the contractions.

My little boy Kensuke was 3420g, born at 9.02 am when he slipped into the water, which was such a beautiful a moment when I look back. It was a very quick, natural birth and I thank Gowri for teaching me as well as Debbie who had given me her warm hands and treated me through my pregnancy. My placenta took a long to come out though so Debbie gave me Reflexology which worked well to bring on good contractions. I believe the Gentle Birth Method I followed prepared my body more thoroughly. Also I thank my husband Harry who supported me throughout the whole pregnancy to the birth. I had no complications and my legs were not swollen at all through to the end of my pregnancy. I think it was because I stuck to the diet and life style Gowri recommended so thank you very much!!!!!!

Since giving birth, baby Kensuke is a very calm and easy-going baby; he is breastfeeding well and sleeping well which I think is partly down to the healthy pregnancy and birth he went through with me.

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Zdravka Birth Story – February 2010

karlinaI love talking about my labour;  it makes me live this moment again. It starts from here.

I went to see Dr Gowri when I was 24 weeks pregnant. I was so upset! The doctors told me I could give birth in 2 weeks, my cervix was shortening. I felt devastated. I needed help and support to get my mental strength back. I already knew of Dr Gowri and her Gentle Birth Method, I was reading her book Gentle Birth Method and a friend of mine was going to her clinic in St John’s Wood. So I strait away made an appointment. I had a hypnotherapy with Dr Gowri, consultation with Dr Seema about my health and diet and a Creative Healing with Sarah. Everybody was so nice, I felt comforted, taken care of, enlightened with hope and most importantly confident and positive that my body and my baby will work together to bring my pregnancy to full term.

I started following The Gentle Birth Method and had beautiful treatments at the clinic in St John’s Wood every week till I gave birth. Going there felt so good, I thanked my baby every time for giving me such a wonderful experience.

My labour started when I was 38 weeks. It was Sunday midday when my partner and I woke up, like we knew we needed a good rest for what was to come. I went to the loo and something strange came out, something jelly like. I phoned the hospital and they told me the labour had started. All I had to do was wait for the contractions. We carried on as normal throughout the day but in anticipation. I was relaxed and kept calm, knew it was important not to get too excited, didn’t want to the adrenalin going so I listened to my Birth rehearsal CD from Dr Gowri, did some breathing exercise and ate well.

We were watching a film when around 11.30pm my waters broke. We looked at each other saying without words “This is it!” and then my boyfriend said to me “Good luck!” which I found hilarious. He was getting nervous, bless him, but didn’t show it with anything else.

The contractions started soon after the waters broke. Around 2.30am they became very regular and strong. The midwife kept saying to call again in the morning. My god, that sounded crazy to me, I knew I was not far from giving birth. At 3.30am I asked my boyfriend to call the midwife and tell her we are coming, I couldn’t even talk. I was concentrating on the contraction to get through them and falling into a deep relaxation in between. Strangely enough it was like meditation, when I thought about it after words I realised that I have never before being so present for such a long time. Anyway, I took may be 3 Arnica pills, I also had the other homeopathic pills that Dr Gowri advises for labour but every time I was reaching for them the contractions started and I couldn’t take them.

We got to the hospital just before 4am. I wanted a completely natural birth. Lucky for me there was a free pool!!! I always wanted to give birth in a pool. The room was very nice; it felt very intimate. The only light was coming only from the bottom of the pool. As soon as I went in it I felt relief all over my body and not long after that I started giving birth. With the guidance of the midwife and the great support of my boyfriend, gently but quickly, our baby came into the world. We didn’t know the gender in advance. So captured and charmed by our new arrival, full of admiration and curiosity, it took us more than 5 minutes to realize we hadn’t seen if it was a boy or a girl.

Our beautiful baby girl Kalina was born at 5.04am on the 22 of February 2010. The placenta followed half an hour later with few pushes and no bleeding. I had first degree tearing because Kalina came out with her right hand on her cheek, but needed no stitches. Contractions were painful, no kidding, but I managed to “ride” them. I Didn’t have any pain killers. If I had gone for gas and air I would have lost my concentration.

This is my story. It is a happy one and I really had the perfect labour. Following The Gentle Birth Method was a real blessing for me, my baby and my partner.

Countless thanks to Dr Gowri and her team.

Love from all of us

Zdravka

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Melinda Stevens Birth Story – July 2006

I write to tell you about the birth of my daughter Nell Bang on her due date of the 2nd July. Three hours from start to Finish! I was crying out for an Epidural, it has to be said, because the contractions came thick and fast but the anathetist was otherwise engaged! Out she came at top speed in 3 pushes -lots of dark hair and simply gorgeous.

Thank you Gowri for all your help & support – no episitomy, no tears, no stiches. I was thrilled. Please thank Kasia & Debbie for me too.

Lots of love
Melinda Stevens

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