In response to the success of the award winning "Natal Hypnotherapy CDs" and courses, founder Maggie Howell has published a complete guide to birth preparation. This informative, down to earth and inspiring guide takes the reader step by step through mental, emotional and physical preparation for birth. Based on her ground breaking work with thousands of women and birth professionals, the book explains why birth has become such a traumatic affair in our culture and how an individual woman can break out of this fear based birth culture and prepare for the birth in a positively and confidently. As world renowned Michel Odent states, 'This book is more than a guide book. It is a book about human nature with the Natal Hypnotherapy techniques helping to undo thousands of years of cultural conditioning. Unlike many of the books on pregnancy which are currently available, the guide focuses on emotional, mental as well as physical preparation, explaining what a woman can do to help herself such as relaxation, visualisation, self hypnosis and breathing'. As midwife Caroline Baddily says, 'How wonderfully refreshing to have a Birth Preparation book that focuses on feelings and emotions rather than on the technicalities of birth'. This is a complete how-to-deal-with fear toolkit for all pregnant women. In addition the book gives women and their partner's step by step practical guidance, tips and tools on how to practice and perfect these techniques for themselves. The reader is encouraged to practise each exercise, to complete the work book section of the book and to take ownership of, and personalise her own birth preparation. As one reviewer, Shona Kitchener said, 'This book is a pocket sized course & therapy session in one! I felt as if someone was sat with me talking through each chapter. This was a life changing read and should be on every pregnant mum's essential purchases list!'. The clear, easy to follow style of the book takes the reader by the hand and supports her in her journey to follow and complete the five steps to a better birth: overcome fear; learn how to manage pain; know you can do it; prepare your birth partner; and, acquire practical skills. Author and anthropologist Sheila Kitzinger feels, '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'. The book is also full of inspiring and heart warming birth stories by mums who have used the tools and techniques, plus interesting facts about childbirth through the ages, which help reinforce the key messages in this book - trust, confidence and belief that your body already knows how to birth your baby.
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!