Victoria Telfer-Smith BSc (Hons). Counselling & Hypnobirthing
in Loughborough, near Leicester

The possible effects of not using hypnosis for childbirth

On your Body:

Fight/flight or freeze: blood taken away from uterus to parts of the body involved in defence (uterus can literally turn white with loss of blood supply)
Stressor hormone, cortisol, triggered (oxytocin production hampered, inefficient labour is common reason for caesarean)
Cervix taut
Arteries to the uterus tense and constrict
Restricted flow of blood and oxygen
Slowed or stopped labour
Pain, behavioural symptoms of pain-swearing, aggression, screaming
Increased incidence of requiring C-section
Fertility difficulties in future

On your Baby:

Emotional state (anxiety in late pregnancy has been linked to higher cortisol levels in children aged 10) They are currently investigating a possible link with attention disorders
Supply of oxygen to the baby is compromised
Resistant birth path
Receiving end of PND
Lower APGAR score this is the general wellbeing of the baby post-birth, we will explain more about this later

On your Partner:

Tense and anxious
Negative experience
Reluctant for more children-conscious choice or infertility
Inhibit bonding
Strained relationship with partner
Feelings of helplessness, inadequacy, resentment, anger, disempowerment, disconnect

Potential effects of anxiety for the baby antenatally and postnatally
•Reduced birth rate
•Preterm incidence
•Risk of miscarriage
•Attention deficit & cognitive development
•Attachment & bonding difficulties-can be further influenced by mum’s energy post-birth and mum’s subjective experience of birth
•From the relatively new science of epigenetics, we know that sometimes certain genes are switched on or off dependent on our environment. In 1998 there was a freak icestorm in Quebec. As a result, there were 176 pregnant women who were under extreme stress, 22 days without electricity. Dr Susan King took swabs at age 3 and 15 from these 176 children-a test on DNA showed that crucial genes had been switched on and others off as a result of their stressful experience as a foetus in the uterus. Cortisol release was greater, lower IQ, language development was affected. It was clear evidence that a stressful environment does affect even our genes.

A useful excerpt from Childbirth Without Fear by Grantly Dick Reid 1942

It is, in a way, an advertisement and if some women are persuaded by happy experience that they must give all women an opportunity of similar childbirth they have every right to use what methods they find most efficient for their purpose.


Natural childbirth is
FEARLESS childbirth
TRAINED childbirth
RELAXED childbirth
EASIER childbirth
SATISFYING childbirth

especially if a mother is helped to GIVE birth to her baby consciously without too much discomfort, instead of 'being delivered' while unconscious.


Natural childbirth is NOT necessarily painless childbirth.
Natural childbirth is NOT an endurance test. Anesthetic is used if needed or wanted.
Natural childbirth is NOT a failure if Anesthetic is used.
Natural childbirth is NOT a denial of the achievements of modern obstetrics.
Natural childbirth is NOT a step backwards.
Natural childbirth is NOT a denial of the importance of the doctor for physical care during pregnancy and labour, but a belief that psychological care is also important.
Natural childbirth is NOT hypnosis.
Natural childbirth is NOT connected with 'birth control' or 'planned parenthood'.
Natural childbirth is NOT a cult, nor does it have any religious, political, or racial affiliation or bias.

The explanation of natural childbirth as herein expressed was prepared by the National Childbirth Association of Milwaukee and is reprinted with their kind permission.

**To avoid any confusion ensuing, hypnosis and hypnobirthing are different, hypnobirthing uses hypnosis techniques and I have been trained in both.

Hypnobirthing and courses. meandmary

My birth stories

I have two children and gave birth to them naturally. I had pain relief in the form of paracetamol and gas and air, aka Entonox, which is an odourless gas made up of half oxygen and half nitrous oxide. It's also known as laughing gas. I also liked the nozzel you suck this through because you can clench down on it, if you want!
I had read Hypnobirthing books by Marie Mongan and did a course with a Hypno-Psychotherapist and Counsellor. I was ready to give birth and did not want any other drugs or c-section!
My first labour was 21 hours, I got tired, as did my baby and I got help in the form of Syntocinon, the synthetic Oxytocin. This gave my body the extra umph, to birth my baby and a visit from my trusted Consultant Obstetrician! I stayed in Hospital overnight and got instructions on feeding and a health check of my baby.
My second labour was 4 hours with no overnight stay in hospital! I had a wonderfully empowering time on the big ball, forgot to get into the birthing pool and felt like I ruled the world afterwards! I used the gas and air, or laughing gas!, again and went with every contraction/surge that my body and baby had. When my baby boy arrived, the first thing he did was have a feed and do a pooh! I was told afterwards that he got his arm stuck and as I delivered him, it dislodged. I felt no pain and he was fine too!
It really is the best thing in a woman's life, to give birth as she wants to.

Hypnobirthing and courses. Library Image: Happy Baby

New Hypnobirthing Classes/Training

Email or call with questions, if I am not able to get to the phone send an email.

Payments are accepted by BACS and Paypal. A £50 deposit is required to secure your place and pay the remainder 48 hours before the course starts, or pay full price now.

What is it? Hypnobirthing......

Here is a useful excerpt from my course about what Hypnobirthing is;

Hypnobirthing isn't teaching your body how to give birth. You don't need to attend a course of any k,ind for that; your body and your baby already know how to bring that baby forth. What you are learning through hypnobirthing is how to gracefully step out of the way and let them get on with it.
That requires a few things:
Trust that your body and baby can do this
Confidence that you have the right people around you and you feel safe and comfortable enough to let go
Familiarity with that no-higher brain, no thinking, relaxed state that you can easily slip into and tune out distractions.

Hypnosis for childbirth uses self hypnosis, relaxation, visualisation and breathing methods to prepare mind and body for birth.

Hypnobirthing and courses. baby mary


Would you like to have your baby as relaxed as you can. The possibility to not have drugs? To learn what is happening to you body, gaining confidence so you give birth easily and bond with your baby happily as you both feel good about your experience.

Maybe you feel frightened of giving birth. (Most women do feel frightened, even a little, about giving birth.) Whenever we see it on tv or hear stories about it, it always involves fear and mothers in dreadful pain. Well meaning friends and relatives can tell their own stories about that involved pain and suffering. Sometimes, our own mothers may have experience of pain, suffering and embarrassment at birth. You do not need to feel this way, with the use of hypnobirthing I can help with the suffering in childbirth.

If you are planning a Cesarean, you can also come to the classes, no labour is in vain. Hypnobirthing will help you feel calm and relaxed about what you are facing.

I will be running Hypnobirthing Training sessions at John Storer House. You will receive handouts on the day and a set of 5 mp3's that will be emailed to you. These will be of the hypnosis we have used in the class, so you can practice at home and to use when you give birth and post-natally.

Light refreshments will be provided. The course will start at 9am and finish at 12pm each Saturday. You and your partner can attend or you can come alone.

I provide bespoke hypnobirthing classes on a one to one basis in my counselling room. These include treatment for a planned c-section, turning your baby to optimum position, any pregnancy related sickness. There is also provided a mp3 of the hypnosis used.

Relaxing and calm, using your natural energy to birth.

Prices for 8 hours training;

Mother and partner/birth partner £250

Mother £150

Hypnobirthing and courses. mums helper

How the course will run

Week 1
Introduction to hypnobirthing, Birth Partners Involvement, Course Aims and Objectives, Fears and Expectations of Birth, Fear Tension Cycle, Breathing and Relaxation including Diaphragmatic Breathing.

Part 2
Anxiety Management and Mental Preparation, What is hypnosis, Visualisation, The hormones of birth and hypnosis, Conditions for birth, The ideal mental state, De-hypnotising and Re-framing,

Week 2
Active Stage 1 Labour and Managing Discomfort, The location of birth, Naturally starting labour, Latent and active stages of labour, Discomfort Management, Anchoring,

Part 2
Transition Stage of Labour & Stage 2 Labour, Baby's experience of Birth, Transitional Stage, Stage 2 Labour, Positions for birthing and labour, Birth Partners Involvement.

Week 3
Stage 3 and Adjustment to Parenthood, Believing you can do it, When it doesn't go according to plan, Birthrights, Post-Natal benefits of hypnosis, Stage 3 - birthing the placenta, Breastfeeding.

Affirmation Cards are provided.

MP3s are provided of the hypnosis used, this is for home practice and can be played on your mobile phone.

Vomiting and sickness when pregnant

I provide hypnotherapy treatment for this.

While most women feel Nausea and Vomiting (NVP) in pregnancy, it usually clears up between 12 - 14 weeks. It is also known as Morning Sickness. This is misleading because you can feel sick at any time of the day. It doe not put the baby in any risk.

Some women get a severe form of nausea called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG), sometimes called extreme morning sickness. This is severe and requires specialist treatment, sometimes in hospital.

Pian and Labour

Most of us when we think about giving birth we think of pain, many a joke is made out of it. And like most jokes, it is a cover for fear, like gallows humour!

There is a lot of evidence about how fear effects us and our bodies, muscles start to tense and adrenaline starts to be produced. Why is this, well, our primitive brain kicks in when we start to feel frightened, this happens without our knowledge, it is involuntary! Then it is all systems go and we start to prepare for danger, hence muscles tension and adrenaline! Lots of other stuff happens, but the focus today is on this.

Ok, so you go in to labour and feel frightened, your brain thinks it is danger so prepares.........This is where the situation can become painful. During labour you need muscles in the Uterus to be working at there optimum, full of blood and ready for action! If you feel frightened, the brain has focused blood etc to vital 'keep you alive' muscles like the heart! The Uterus is deprived and becomes tense, starting the pain cycle that Grantly Dick-Reid identified:


Take away the fear, with information, relaxations, videos, affirmations and you can birth with less intense pain. The muscles working feels intense, but once that contraction has gone, it will not be back!

Hypnobirthing and courses. redlady

Is childbirth a feminist issue.........?

When you put it like that who wants to give birth as a feminist, they are big butch man haters, ok that's a cliche, but they do hate men! Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Let’s not stereotype the issue and people!
Feminism is about empowering women through equality, and yes, sometimes men get in the way of this, so feminists could get angry with men! And let’s face it, sometimes men want all the power!
Childbirth is a feminist issue because it has been dominated by men for some thousands of years, but here is the thing, without men women were doing ok! Mostly, they had another woman along and got on with it, and eventually a baby came! Women are not equal in their own childbirth, they have often had their decisions made for them and left feeling like a bystander at the birth.
Then women were seen differently, and rather then worshipped for bringing life into the world, they were cast out as sinners who had sex and had to pay the price, which was a painful labour. Women were often left alone to birth, even if complications arose and then perished. This led to fear surrounding childbirth, of course, women died!
Long ago, misguided Christians, suggested women were expected to groan in pain for their carnal sins at childbirth, which they did, because they felt they had done something wrong! This is known as “Eves Curse”. They wanted to do the right thing and feel supported.
However, when giving birth women need support to feel confident and relaxed so the pain is eased into an intense bodily function.
This feeling has prevailed today, we still see it as a painful ordeal. Some women feel a badge of honour if they have pain and become part of the labour survivors’ gang. There are notions that women are shamed for having pain relief, not that they may want to give it a go without pain! Often, the drugs require further doses to counteract the effects of the first drug!
Most of these misguided Christians were men, if not all, they may have wanted power and felt they could get it by treating life givers unfairly (pregnant women) and therefore having the attention of the community.
Childbirth is a natural event, if a woman gets pregnant, and that is what a woman’s body is born for(!) she wants the best for herself and her baby. Not so long-ago women frequently died at childbirth from bed fever, which causes fear and in turn immense fear about giving birth, which could increase pain. Yes, of course there are other things a woman can do, if she wants to, I think fear drives a gut reaction to feminism not being about childbirth. A childless feminist is a stereotype!
Women died because of a disease called Bed fever or Puerperal fever, which is an infection of the Uterus and birth organs, that then can cause sepsis and organ failure. In the UK and USA it killed a lot of mothers and was becoming an epidemic. Doctors were floundering, what was happening! Eventually a Doctor found out, put two and two together and suggested people clean up! Seriously, hygiene was a BIG problem! Doctors would go from the morgue to a pregnant woman for an examination. The Doctor would be with the detritus of death on his hands, and without washing go to the purity of life and do an examination on a pregnant woman vaginally, no gloves or no hand washing! Eurghhh! The transfer of germs is obvious, but not to them, and women had been judged as sinful, so they were already considered wrong and worthless. But it killed women. Of course, the men were shame faced but wanted to cover it up, so they looked for other reasons, mostly blaming mothers! Tales of hysteria and mania.
Then along came Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-65) Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian physician whose work demonstrated that hand-washing could drastically reduce the number of women dying after childbirth. ... We all now know how important it is to wash our hands.
Semmelweis discovered that puerperal sepsis (a type of septicemia), commonly known as Childbed Fever, in new mothers could be prevented if doctors washed their hands.
Really, is it that easy to save lives…….new mothers lives……
So, this is when we knew what was happening, unfortunately history has a way of hanging around to make us feel confused and frightened. Remember when your mate said “move on”, well humans sometimes don’t, at least not until they have all the facts and have worked out an understanding.
The understanding goes like, first we could do it, then we were told we were bad, then we died, then we became a medical procedure and we come to now. So, now what…….
Hypnobirthing, that is what, it is the way to get back the body’s natural ability, gain control over your humanness! If you really desire drugs, find out what you are so frightened of, and if after the facts you still feel frightened, have the drugs if you want.
After all, feminism is about empowering women, positive childbirth is a woman’s right, choice and information are part of empowering humans!

Demonstration of misguided belief-Hospital v’s Home debate

Dr. Rosenthal, a US obstetrician, has famously said “The first intervention in birth, that a healthy woman takes, is when she walks out the front door of her home, in labour. From that first intervention, all others will follow.”
The large Birthplace study conducted in 2011 in England revealed that giving birth in a non-obstetric unit setting significantly and substantially reduces the chance of having a caesarean section, instrumental delivery or episiotomy. 88% of planned home births are ‘normal births’ compared to just under 60% of planned obstetric unit births.
With the exception of genuine medical conditions, the place that is right for you is the place where, psychologically most comfortable.
Throughout history, until relatively recent times, most babies were born at home. Maternity hospitals were first started for homeless women and were extensions of the poor-houses. Many babies born in these hospitals were put in foundling institutions. Due to poor hygiene practises, they were the most dangerous places to give birth. Of course, this is no longer the case!
Queen Victoria inadvertently moved births into hospital across all social classes by demanding chloroform-a pain relief previously not made available to women in childbirth. It was too dangerous a drug to administer outside of hospital so women were moved into hospital for its supervised administration.
Home birth in this country has been unfashionable for years, mainly because in the 1950s it was actively discouraged by the health service which ran campaigns to persuade mothers to go into hospital to give birth. In post-war Britain, just as the NHS was being created, our housing conditions and general health were quite poor. For many poorer women at that time, it probably was safer to be in hospital. However, those campaigns convinced many people that home birth itself was unsafe and that hospital was always safer. This has been perpetuated by the media so that many, particularly older, people still believe that hospital is safer than home. This is an urban myth. Today, if you are a low risk mother having a straightforward pregnancy, the evidence is clear that you and your baby are as safe at home as in hospital and if you add in the reduced risks of infection, ventouse, forceps, tearing and caesarean section, you are arguably safer at home.
This has never been a time when birth has been less safe at home.
Your blood pressure is less likely to be raised when you are happy and relaxed.

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