Founder of Birthgently - Clinical and Psychodynamic Hypnotherapist, Hypnobirthing Specialist and Certified Infant Massage Instructor - BA hons, MA,
Dip CAHS, Dip AHP
Thank you for your interest in Birthgently. I'd like to tell you a bit more about myself so you can get a better feel for who I am and what led me to create Birthgently. Having previously enjoyed a successful career over many years as a Paediatric Nurse and Complementary Therapist, my passion has always been people's emotional health and well-being. I was privileged during my Nursing career to work with some very special children and their parents and this included attending several births. In fact, when I began my training as a Paediatric Nurse, many years ago, one of the first placements I had was on a labour ward.
That experience has remained carved in my memory as a determining event in my life. I was just eighteen and I was allowed to attend the birth of a couple delivering their fourth child. I have always remembered that unique and very special atmosphere, how calm and strong the mother was, how beautifully she laboured, trusting in the physiological process and beaming with the confidence of someone who knew exactly what to do. I also remember how emotional I felt, almost overwhelmed, deeply moved and incredibly humbled to have been allowed to witness this. It was an amazing and unforgettable experience.
Over the years as a Paediatric Nurse, I attended several other births, not always in hospital. I once helped a woman who had delivered her baby on a bus. It was a powerful experience which really made me appreciate what an exquisite natural physiological process birth really is.
I enjoyed lots of things about being a Nurse and even considered training as a Midwife. However, as time went by I was left feeling increasingly aware of and frustrated by the limitations of modern medicine. I also felt uncomfortable working in a system that didn't support a more holistic approach. Especially with regards to people's emotional health and wellbeing. So, seeking a bridge between my Nursing background and a more holistic approach, I eventually left Nursing to explore Complementary Therapies and to integrate my knowledge with an understanding of people's emotions and how the mind works.
I undertook an MA in Creative Writing as a Therapeutic Tool and studied various psychodynamic approaches and principles. I also trained as an Aromatherapist with Neal's Yard Remedies. During this time, I underwent extensive personal analysis using Analytical Hypnotherapy. This type of therapy was unlike any other approach I had tried as it integrated a psychodynamic approach with hypnosis. Analytical Hypnotherapy was able to cut through the levels of intellect and resistance and reach the subconscious and root cause. I had finally found the therapeutic tools I had been looking for personally and professionally. I went on to train as an Analytical Hypnotherapist and I now teach trainees and CPD to qualified Hypnotherapist.
It was this powerful, natural and very effective approach to resolving emotional and psychological issues, my study of the limbic system and my own experience of birth that led me to create Birthgently. We know that it is so important for women and birth partners to prepare for labour not just physically, but also emotionally and psychologically. The limbic system, which plays such a crucial role in the physiological process of childbirth, is also the emotional seat of the brain. It has a great deal to do with the formation of memories, as it records all our experiences and stores them to help protect us in future situations. It is responsible for our sense of instinct, which is heightened during labour for the safety and wellbeing of the mother and baby. A woman’s altered state and increased intuitive awareness during labour will also be inherently linked to her emotional self, making her not only particularly open and vulnerable to impressions from her immediate environment, but also to events from her past. Thus difficult emotions re-emerging up from the past, as well as the birthing environment and the people around the labouring woman can all negatively affect labour.
I knew that I had something to add to hypnobirthing that would help women to prepare for birth in a deeper, more personal way. It was this desire to incorporate my understanding of the emotional aspect of birth that led me to develop and write a rich and multifaceted course to help women and their partners prepare for the birth of their child and help women resolve pregnancy related issues with one-to-one Hypnobirthing Therapy.
In 2017, we introduced Baby Massage Courses to our services. I decided to train with the International Association of Infant Massage because everything I know and have learnt about human emotional health and child development points to the importance of positive nurturing touch. Baby Massage is such a beautiful way to continue to support parents in those challenging early days and it is a parenting tool that supports babies emotional and physical health and development.
I am passionate about empowering people through sharing knowledge and experience and I hope this is evident in the way I teach the Birthgently courses and classes and work with people individually. I strive to ensure that Birthgently is a compassionate, professional, pragmatic and heartfelt organisation. I believe that this is what makes us such a popular choice for women and partners looking for a more gentle, intelligent and positive experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting. I really look forward to working with you and helping you on your journey.