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Effective Birth Preparation: Your Practical Guide to a Better Birth Paperback – 15 Dec 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Intuition UN Ltd (15 Dec. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905220596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905220595
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 15 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Maggie didn't set out to become a birth expert - in fact, she's an unlikely convert. She was a busy international sales executive who only reluctantly attended a self hypnosis course to help her with her first birth. But she was blown away by the mind's ability to control the body's response to pain and 3 months later, she had a peaceful, manageable birth at home without so much as a paracetemol - to the surprise of her and her NHS midwife who said: "Maggie appeared to be 'sleeping' during most of her contractions, breathing slightly more deeply as they peaked. She used no pharmacological methods of pain relief and conducted her labour and delivery entirely under self-hypnosis. She appeared to experience no pain and very little discomfort."

It was the turning point in her life. Inspired by her experiences, she trained to become a clinical hypnotherapist and left her job to pursue her new life goal: to teach other women the techniques which help them have a positive birth.

The result was Natal Hypnotherapy™, the UK's leading provider of hypnosis for childbirth. The philosophy is simple: to help women have a better birth. Maggie's work is revolutionising women's birth experiences by teaching them to overcome fear and work with their bodies during birth.

Maggie says: "In our society, fear has become the overriding emotion pregnant women feel about childbirth - something fuelled by TV depictions and horror stories other mums love to tell. We have not been brought up to see birth as a positive thing, so we've lost confidence in our own ability to give birth naturally and so go into it fearful and anxious - feelings which cause much of the pain and complications in birth."

The facts speak for themselves: Natal Hypnotherapy™ users have an average caesarean rate up to half the national average and are recommended by 97% of users. Medical research has repeatedly found that hypnosis reduces surgical intervention, use of pain medication, mum's pain perception, and labour times.

Maggie says: "This could revolutionise the way women give birth. If we could give every pregnant woman in the UK a Natal Hypnotherapy™ CD to listen to we could save the NHS a fortune and change birthing culture!"

It may not be on prescription yet, but Maggie's work is already changing the birthing world. Thanks to Maggie, effective birth preparation is no longer only available for those with the luxury of money and time. Her range of self-hypnosis CDs for pregnancy and birth, and new book "effective birth preparation - your practical guide to a better birth" are accessible for everyone, and designed to fit into a hectic life. From terrified teenage mums to women planning their sixth home birth, the techniques have helped women from all walks of life have a more positive birth.

Today, Maggie has personaly trained over 500 midwives, has a network of practitioners who teach the techniques in comprehensive workshops all over the country, regularly appears as a birth expert acorss the media, and has used the techniques for the births of each of her five sons plus helping in excess of 100,000 women have a better pregnancy and birth experience!

Product Description


Sheila Kitzinger, MBE - Author, honorary professor teaching an MA in midwifery, Anthropologist, campaigner for natural birth Here is a fascinating and impressive book that empowers a woman to prepare for birth drawing on her own inner resources - She doesn't have to depend on others to discipline and train her, but through insight and understanding, and using skills of relaxation, rhythmic breathing, and the art of creative imagination, she can focus on the birth energy released in her body. She learns to manage pain and face the challenge of labour, whether it is fast or slow, and she is under her own control, nobody else's. The material is well researched and vividly presented, and any woman who studies and rehearses the author's practical suggestions helps herself towards a positive - even exultant - birth experience.A" Khim Lee - Midwife, antenatal teacher, mother How empowering and rewarding it is for me as a Midwife, to see how effective the techniques in this book are. They have made a tremendous contribution to women, enabling them to have better birth experiences. Midwifery is becoming too medicalised and often contradicting what NICE Guidelines recommend in Normalising Maternity care. I feel that all Midwives should really be trained in Natal Hypnotherapy, as the techniques are effective, simple tools which will also help make midwives better, more sensitive and caring so helping women have a calmer birth experiences.A" Ellie Hughes - Editor, Pregnancy & Birth Magazine, mother of two Whatever your views on the kind of birth you think you would like, you will find plenty here to help you work with your body, and feel confident and in control during this life -changing, life-giving event. A huge help in combating the fears many women will feel as they approach labour.A" Shona Kitchener - mother, champion of natural parenting, animal behavioural scientist 'A"This book is a pocket sized course & therapy session in one. I found reading the book cleansing, inspiring, encouraging and empowering. It has left me filled with a deep sense of power and pride when reflecting on the birth of my daughter and with a sense of urgency when considering doing it all again! The most beautiful part for me was that rather than talking about replacing negative images and thoughts with positive ones (a near impossible task for most mums of my generation as there are so few to replace them with!) this book provides what all the others have missed by offering wonderful stories and experiences, as told by mothers who have used Natal Hypnotherapy. Each story is told with perfect timing in the book and many so memorable and moving that I found that they went straight into my subconscious as if to cleanse the old ones away. It is written so naturally and from the heart that everything sounds instantly familiar and right'. 'This book is a life changing read and should be on every pregnant mums essential purchases list!' Julie Green - Midwifery lecturer, Supervisor of Midwives - LSA Midwife, Director - Birth and Beyond Consultancy Ltd. "A"Maggie describes the tools required for instinctive birthing so well, this book will help women to reduce any fear they may have before the phenomenal life changing event of birth. The non-technical explanations and use of women's stories reflect the body's natural ability to give birth so positively, giving control back to the woman herself - excellent" Danielle Diosi - NCT teacher, twins antenatal teacher, mother to twins The thing that stuck out for me when reading this wonderful book, was how much sense it made. It makes everything very clear and really emphasises the point that birth is not rocket science, it is just a normal physiological process. A definite must for any pregnant woman's reading listA" Dot Parry - Midwife, NCT teacher, mother "This modern day manual is packed with old fashioned wisdom and common sense techniques to help 21st century women give birth confidently, safely and peacefully." Emma Rhodes - Natal HypnotherapyA' mother 'Reading this book is like having an enormous weight lifted. It's so refreshing, encouraging and full of good sense; convincing you that not only is a calm, relaxed, positive birth experience entirely possible, it should be expected!' Caroline Baddiley - Independent Midwife How wonderfully refreshing to have a Birth Preparation book that focuses on feelings and emotions rather than on the technicalities of birth. A complete how-to-deal-with -fear- toolkit for all pregnant women.A" Michel Odent MD - Author, surgeon obstetrician, founder of the Primal Health Research Centre, present at over 15,000 births The book by Maggie Howell is much more than a practical guide for birth preparation. It is a book about human nature. It includes several dominant themes. One of them is the negative effect, in certain situations, of the knowledge that human adults have acquired, compared in particular with the knowledge transmitted from generation to generation among non human animals. Obviously, Maggie has digested the contents of the first pages of the bestseller written several thousand years ago. She has been able to interpret 'the sin of consuming the fruit of the tree of knowledge', and she has noticed the significant association, in the first pages of this famous ancient book, between knowing too much and being condemned to have difficult birth. In modern scientific language we can explain this association by introducing the concept of neocortical inhibition, and by claiming that the huge development of the neocortex - the brain of the intellect - is the main reason for difficult births in our species. The solution to cope with this human handicap is to put the neocortex at rest. This is why 'Natal Hypnotherapy' can be presented as a set of tools to overcome powerful neocortical inhibitions and the effects of thousands of years of cultural conditioning.A"

About the Author

Maggie Howell * An experienced, articulate broadcaster and media spokesperson available for interview and expert opinion * Qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist d.Hyp, c.Hyp, LHA, UKHypReg (specialising in natal hypnotherapy) * Experienced Doula (trained birth partner) * Mother of 4 * Founder of Natal Hypnotherapy * Pregnancy & Birth Magazine Expert to 2008 * Birthing Expert on Greatvine Areas of expertise: * Conception * Pregnancy * Birth - preparation, labour and post-natal * Breastfeeding and Co-sleeping * Baby sign language and communication skills * Attachment and Instinctive Parenting * Communication with children Maggie's Story Maggie learnt self-hypnosis for the birth of her first child in 2000 and gave birth at home in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Maggie's NHS midwife said: Maggie appeared to be 'sleeping' during most of her contractions, breathing slightly more deeply as they peaked. She used no pharmacological methods of pain relief and conducted her labour and delivery entirely under self-hypnosis. She appeared to experience no pain and very little discomfort.A" Maggie went on to speak at local antenatal clinics about her experience and decided to train to be a Clinical Hypnotherapist. The aim being to use the power of hypnosis to help women overcome their fear of birth and enable them to be more in control and manage the physical sensations involved in child birth. In addition Maggie became a birth Doula in 2003 and has gone on to help and support women during their births. In 2003 Maggie developed the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs and courses following research and hypnotherapy work with individual mothers and antenatal groups. She has since used the techniques herself for the births of her three subsequent sons. She is expecting her 5th child in January 2010. Maggie and her team of 35 Natal Hypnotherapists work with midwives, antenatal groups and hospitals running workshops and classes. The team run 'effective birth preparation' workshops for couples teaching them how to use hypnosis for an instinctive birth as well as training workshops for birth professionals. She has trained over 300 birth professionals around the UK on how they can use their language and relaxation tools to help women during pregnancy and birth. Maggie has recently completed her first book Effective birth preparation - a practical guide to a better birthA". This practical, inspirational and easy to read guide takes women and their partners through 5 easy steps. Women learn how to overcome their fears, how to reduce pain naturally, how to become more trusting and instinctive, practical comfort measures and specific tools and techniques for their birth partner to use during the labour. The book is full of interesting facts, inspirational quotes and dozens of up lifting, and empowering birth stories by women who have followed her method.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By EMD on 15 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
What an empowering read! This book is written as if its being spoken to you. Every chapter has penny dropping moments - it makes complete sense! I would be sitting reading this, and repeating out sections to my husband, mum, friend, sister - anyone who was around! I just couldn't wait to share the knowledge! Why are we so frightened of something that is so natural?! It makes so much sense to turn your analytical mind off and let your primal body do what it instinctively knows is best to birth you baby.

All the positive birth stories throughout the book where such confidence builders - by the end of it, I was so excited about the birth of our first baby - I knew that no matter how or where I gave birth, I could be calm and in control. I refer all my pregnant friends to this book as the one they need over all others.

A wonderful read, which lead to a wonderful birthing partner, and a wonderful fearfree pregnancy, and a wonderful calm controlled birth.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By DoYouHaveItInGreen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 29 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I came across the UK Natal Hypnotherapy system after going on a Hypnobirthing (The USA version, Marie Mongan Method) course run by my local NHS Birth Centre. The midwives there are SO impressed with the positive outcomes that relaxation hypnonosis brings for mothers and babies (and fathers too!) that they actually offer the course for free as part of the birth preparation. I really enjoyed the Hypnobirthing course but if I'm honest, I found the language in the book and the American drawl on the accompanying CD a little bit...I dont know...alien, annoying...not really sure how to put it. The last thing I wanted during my birth was to be listening to the CD and thinking "god, that voice is annoying"!!!! So, I was recommended UK Natal Hypnotherapy instead of Hypnobirthing by a friend and having done both, I actually wished I had followed this from the start, however the two systems are entirely complimentary, so if you want to do both and see which works for you, go for it. Its probably a very personal thing but I just found this one was more up my street and straight forward. With Natal Hypnotherapy, there is just one, easy breathing relaxation technique to learn rather than whole load of different breathing techniques for use at different stages of labour as there is with Hypnobirthing. For me, the Natal Hypnotherapy technique was great, because in the throws of labour, I didnt remember to do my "J-breathing" at this point or my "birth breathing" at that stage and anyway, because this was my first baby, I had no idea what stage of labour was what! Looking back at the time scales, I was well into established labour and half way there when I decided it might be best to go and feed all my animals as I might not be able to later!Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tabbypops on 2 May 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book, it REALLY worked for me and I can't recommend it highly enough! On discovering I was pregnant for the 2nd time, I knew that I had to do 'something' to ensure that my experience of childbirth had at least a chance of being different (ie better) the 2nd time round. I desperately wanted to avoid the feelings of helplessness, panic and horific, unmanageable pain that had haunted me since my first daughter's birth. I decided that my husband needed to be on side too (his view was firmly that i'd done it once and would do it again) and so I searched for a book about being a supportive birthing partner, it lead me to natal hypnotherapy...
I bought and read the book, listened to the cd 2 or 3 times a week (from 28-38 wks) and went on the first half of the course with the brilliantly inspirational georgie ruthven in Burford.
I didn't know if it was going to work but felt comfort from the fact that I had something to focus on when the contractions started. And early one Monday morning, my waters broke and I knew that it was time to put the relaxation techniques into practice. It worked! I took myself off to my special place when i felt a contraction building and soon came out the other side. As things intensified, my husband repeated the 321 relax chant and firmly held my arms during each contraction. I rang the hospital at 6.30 am on my husband's insistance (I was perfectly happy) who told me to go in immeadiately, we arrived at 7am and my daughter was born at 9am with no fuss, no pain relief, infact no intervention of any kind, we were left to our own devices, my body did it brilliantly, i felt in control throughout. It was the most empowering experience of my life!
I know that natal hypnotherapy and my effective birth preparation played a huge role in me achieving my ideal birth. I also recommend acupuncture for childbirth. I would describe myself as fairly sceptical of alternative therapies or at least i was...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Babymurray on 8 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
What can I say about Maggie Howell's natal hypnotherapy range. I bought all of the CDs and the workbook and listened to the CDs most days and completed the workbook. At a fraction of the price of hypnobirthing, I found these to be very effective and delivered my first baby, a healthy boy scoring 9 on the apgar scale listening to the labour CD without any pain relief. When I arrived at hospital, the midwife was going to send me home as I looked so calm however I persuaded her to examine me and she found that I was fully dilated and took me to the labour ward. She said that she hadn't seen a case like that in all her years of being a midwife. I didnt get the pool birth that I wanted however the birthing process was very enjoyable and amazingly I felt no pain. The NHS classes that I attended were very focused on pain relief during labour however I truly believe that most women can deliver naturally without pain relief if they prepare mentally and physically and Maggie's CD and workbook can help. The NHS would do well to promote natal hypnotherapy and perhaps save some money on pain relieving drugs. Thanks Maggie for an enjoyable birthing experience and I will continue to tell everyone who listens how fantastic your products are. The success stories throughout the workbook are inspiring.Effective Birth Preparation: Your Practical Guide to a Better Birth Effective Birth Preparation (Hospital or Birth Centre): A Self Hypnosis CD Programme (Natal Hypnotherapy Programme)
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