Making waves is so relaxing

Yellow Advertiser, 11 August 1989

Water baby relief for Carol

A happy Carol relaxes with her two children

A happy Carol relaxes with her two children

Young mum Carol Johnston really enjoyed having her “water baby” second child, an experience that she contrasts to the painful trauma of her first induced, forceps delivery.

Carol, who lives in High Road, South Woodford, told the Yellow Advertiser: “When I first heard about women in labour using a water pool, the best I expected was it might make the pain tolerable and it seemed worth looking into. The hospital put me in touch with Dr Motha at the Jeyrani Health Centre and I went along for a consultation.”

Doctor Motha’s views on relaxation were a revelation to Carol. Out were the traditional “urges to push”.

Says Dr Motha: “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 to fear.”

Gowri Motha... "There are so many manchines around now, poeple believe they cannot give birth without them."

Gowri Motha… “There are so many manchines around now, poeple believe they cannot give birth without them.”

When Carol went into labour and was admitted to hospital, she was much comforted by the presence of her husband and Dr Motha – who gave instructions about setting up the pool in a darkened atmosphere.

Carol continued: “The relief of getting into the pool was immediate as the warm water rook my weight, soothed me and washed away the perspiration. “I soon found a rhythm, kneeling in the water, leaning my head on my arms and breathing deeply.

“I could feel each contraction and was aware of the effort my body was making and the effect it was having, but I felt none of the pain I remembered from the last time. When the ‘urge to push’ came, Dr Motha quietly reminded me to just breathe deeply. “Then a contraction caught me off guard. I yelled, the baby yelled, my husband yelled: ‘You’ve done it!’

“I stood up and took my baby from Dr Motha feeling exulted and quite incredulous that it could all be over quite soon, so beautifully.

“I was taken to the postnatal ward by wheelchair, bit I could have taken the stairs two at a time.

“When I heard a woman shrieking and sobbing in the accepted agony of childbirth, I wanted to tell her there was another way.”

“We tell women to believe in their bodies”

Carol is one of 40 women who has given birth in the pool since Dr Gowri Motha set up the service last August.

She resigned as a registrar at Whipps Cross Hospital, Leytonstone two years ago to set up her Jeyrani Health Centre in Glebelands Road, South Woodford, where she offers reflexology, aromatherapy and osteopathy.

“ I wanted to give more individual care, not treat people as if they are going to the cattle market,” she said.

Doctor Motha teaches self-hypnosis to help relaxation and seeks to take away the fear of childbirth which, she says, is instilled in women from an early age.

She went on: “We tell women to believe in their bodies. There are so many machines around now, people believe they cannot give birth without them.

“Modern technology is needed in some cases but it has taken over to such an extent, the needs of the pregnant woman come second.

“Women are mammals. They need quiet, dark and comfortable places to give birth. Maternity wards are bright and noisy and the beds are hard.”

A fee is charged to attend the classes but the water birth is free. However, if Dr Motha attends, she asks for a donation to help fund the centre. For more information, telephone 0208 530 1146.

Yellow Advertiser, 11 August 1989

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