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


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.


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



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