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What I've Learnt About Birth in 2018

2018. You served me well!

At the beginning of the year, I never imaged that I'd be running a successful business, only months away from qualifying as a midwife and having met some of the most incredible women, both clients, colleagues and now friends. I am doing what I absolutely love, surrounded by supportive people, still wondering if it is some sort of dream.

Training as a hypnobirthing teacher was the best thing I could have done, little did I know it at the time. I could not imagine what life would look like if I hadn't have taken the course, and ultimately the leap to set up Reframing Birth.

It hasn't all been about the business though, I have learnt (or rather reframed some stuff myself!) about birth. I wanted to share with you my 4 biggest lessons that my clients have taught me this year.

1. Your body will do things to protect itself in labour, in order to have the best outcome.

I learnt this from a wonderful client, doula and friend Jo, who had a VBAC this year. She had a rather swift active stage of labour, with a super long early phase. She believes her body did this in order to prevent scar rupture. Her active phase was short as her body had already done a lot of work in the weeks leading up. It protected itself and her beautiful baby. Like wow. Clever eh?

2. You really do have the power.

All of my clients have shown me this in 2018! I think that training as a midwife in the NHS really can warp you into a policy following, risk adverse, robot at times. I hate to say it, but it happens. This is mostly due to the insane amounts of litigation, documentation and protection of your own registration. I am not for one second saying this is wrong, afterall we must ensure that you are safe and no harm is coming to you. However, I have really taken a step back and realised that I want to be offering more choices to women. We cover this so much in my hypnobirthing course and I absolutely love nattering away about all your options, supporting you to make choices and ensure you understand your own power. However, when it comes to it in midwifery, the time is not there. So, I have made it my mission to make time. Signpost to helpful organisations and have the discussion about choice. Not only that, but I will make sure I am balancing the evidence in my own head, when I am working out whether to do X or Y. I have loved watching my clients do this in 2018, to have the confidence to question their care and take responsibility. I need to do this too!

3. Your body can birth your baby, if you give it the right environment.

After unpicking what oxytocin really is all about, learning about the correct environment for birth and how caregivers can totally optimise that, I recognise that birth works. I was starting to lose a bit of hope when all I heard were negative stories from the hospital. We weren't giving women the right circumstances to birth their own baby for goodness sake! When women are provided with this information, they know what to do. They realise what is the optimal way and will work with it. Problem is, they don't know it yet! I have loved hearing my clients birth stories this year, from home, to midwifery unit, to hospital. ALL of them had a positive experience. Magical.

4. Support is the gold standard.

Whether it is support from your partner, friend, sister, hypnobirthing teacher, doula, midwife, doctor. Whoever. You will feel 100x more confident and calm if you have their true respect and support. No doubt about it. Be around the people who make you feel good inside. If your midwife just isn't for you, cool. Ask to change. If you want more advice, contact your hypnobirthing teacher. I can't stress this enough! And from a personal point of view, being part of The Little Birth Company has been lifechanging for me. The support of those incredible women is like no other and has enabled me to teach just how I want to and dreamed of.

I am ready for you 2019, if you are wanting to book a course, get in there quick! I can't wait to work with some more incredible people. If you took a course this year, I'd love to hear your birth story and if you could ping a review to my facebook page, it would make my year. Thank you everyone for your support, onto bigger and better things in 2019!

Hannah xxx

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