“I knew I wanted to have an amazing birth experience. I spent my entire pregnancy preparing my mind & body for a positive birth”

First time parents Shandi & Joel recently welcomed their gorgeous girl Kalea to the world. Here’s how they prepared for her birth and the wonderful support Joel gave to the amazing mum Shandi…

“I knew I wanted to have an amazing birth experience. I spent my entire pregnancy preparing my mind & body for a positive birth which included attending Kerry’s Hypnobirthing course.

I wanted my partner Joel to understand what kind of birth I envisioned & more importantly, I wanted him to be confident in supporting me. We walked away from Kerry’s course feeling educated & so excited to meet our baby.

We set time aside to practice as often as possible leading up to birth. I loved when we practiced because it was a chance for us to have some quiet time, to focus & connect as a couple before baby arrived. Joel was the most amazing support during birth. He did an amazing job setting up the room. He played my affirmations & music on the speaker & diffused the essential oils. He created a great environment for us. He reassured me, encouraged me & continued with the light touch for the entire 18hrs. When my birth was met with complications, he used BRAIN technique & always asked the Dr for time to discuss the decision with me in between surges.

 

My water broke at 3am & I laboured for 13hrs & then I was induced at 4pm & laboured for another 5hrs naturally but had a placental abruption & they took me into theatre for an emergency caesarean. Baby was born 9:15pm on the 9th of Nov. I wouldn’t have been able to get thru the 18hrs without Joel. He was the most amazing support & knew exactly what to do.

I’m so grateful we did Kerry’s course because regardless of the complications, I still had the most amazing & positive experience. So grateful our child arrived safely in our arms.

We’re so in love with our little baby girl, Kalea”.

Proud new parents Shandi & Joel

And here is a gorgeous video of those first few magical hours and days!!!

“All in all I had a really positive birth experience and 2 days later I was already talking about when we do this again!”

Proud new parents Felicity and Charl share the news of their little boy Axel joining us…

“I found so much joy and reassurance reading other people’s positive birth stories during my pregnancy so I’m happy to share mine and give the same back….

On Tuesday the 17th of November I went into my routine midwife appointment. On arrival she checked my blood pressure which was slightly high, she said because of this she was going to check for protein in my urine but was sure everything would be ok and also retake my blood pressure. She also checked my cervix at this appointment and to my delight I was already 1.5 cm dilated.

At the end of my appointment she took my blood pressure again and it was normal (this sometimes happens to me as I get anxious going into appointments) anyway she still checked my urine and there was a slight reading of protein. She said she was going to talk to the Dr’s about it when she got back to the hospital and let me know what they said, it was no big deal. Left the appointment and 2 hours later she called me and told me that she had a chat to the Dr’s and they wanted me to come in for monitoring. I had some lunch and headed up to the hospital. When I got there they got me to do another urine sample and they hooked me up to a machine to monitor bubs heart rate and every 20 min took my blood pressure and every time it was perfect. They also took a sample of my blood to send off for good measure too. I was there for a few hours and bloods came back perfect BUT I still was slightly above the ‘ok’ mark with the protein in my urine (think cut off is 30% and I was 33%) the Dr’s and my midwife came around and talked to me about having an induction as it would be safer for baby to be here with me as I was 39 + 4. I was in shock as this is not the way I had planned my birth to go. The Dr’s wanted to start my induction that night and I asked if I went home to have a sleep in my own bed that night and instead came in tomorrow to start my induction if I would be putting baby at risk. This Dr went and called the head Dr in charge and they agreed it would be ok if I went home that night to have a good sleep and came in the next day at 7am.

I went home and cried and cried and cried as it’s just not the way I had planned my bubs birth to go. Anyway I eventually got myself together and had a few hours sleep and made sure all my hypnobirthing things were packed and I was as prepared as I could be.

Went into the hospital with Charl the next day and mentally woke up in a MUCH better head space and ready to tackle what ever obstacles I had to face that day.

We were taken up to our room by my midwife and it was such a lovely room. We set up our music and our oils diffuser and made the room feel like a really peaceful happy place. I had loads of snacks packed and Charl went to get us coffees .

When he came back my midwife broke my waters and then I leaked every where, Charl and I were laughing at all the liquid coming out as I was walking around the room.

The Dr’s who were on duty came around and talked to me about what was going to happen that day and I felt really comfortable after talking to them.

At 10am we started the Oxytocin drip, which started off really low. I got changed into my little comfortable black dress and Charl and my midwife and I chatted away about lots of different stuff.

About an hour in I felt the contractions start and they were very mild. My midwife went and got me an exercise ball so I could start rolling around on that and Charl attached me to my TENS machine. The TENS machine was AMAZING by the way and it really worked well for me.

Contractions started to come on hard and fast, because it wasn’t a natural labour the contractions ramp up pretty quickly.

By about 12-ish I said to my midwife that I needed something more and could I have the gas, I started on the gas and that helped for about 2 hours. In this time Charl and I really used all of our hypnobirthing techniques. Different positions, breathing and touching. Charl was AMAZING and I honestly wouldn’t have been able to get through those hours without him. He controlled my TENS machine too.

About 2pm I was having no break with the contractions, it was pretty intense and I was feeling like I needed something more. I asked my midwife if I could have some morphine as I presumed I wouldn’t be having Bub any time soon. She gave me the morphine which unfortunately didn’t even touch the sides for me.

At 3pm I requested the epidural, I had enough. Charl asked me if I was sure and I was definitely sure by this stage. The anaesthetist came in a little while later and gave me the epidural which was a game changer for me. I told him that he was an angel (haha) we all laughed and then the mood in the room turned really chilled and zen again. The epidural I got I was able to control myself so every 20 min, I decided when I wanted to give myself more. I could still feel the contractions and my feet the whole time which was a really nice feeling as I still felt in control.

My midwife checked to see how dilated I was and asked if I wanted to know, I said yes. I was 4cm at this stage. I was ok with that. From 3:00pm to 7:30pm I chilled out and we all chatted again and laughed about silly things while listening to my baby play-list. Every midwife and Dr who came into the room would say ‘ I love the vibe in this room’. It was really chilled and I even got a nap in here and there.

At 7:30pm my other midwife took over from my first midwife. She was going to do my second check of my cervix to see how dilated I was. I said if I was 6cm I would be a happy girl. She checked and guess what I was 10CM – yay it’s GO time!!!

I was so happy.

We had an hour before I was going to start pushing so Charl went and got something quickly to eat. Charl walked back in the door at 8:23pm and I started pushing at 8:30pm. I could feel my contractions coming so I knew when to push.

At about 8:45pm my midwife told me I need some more ‘pumping’ music to get me in the pushing mood and we all laughed and I agreed and changed my music to ‘90’s workout beats’……seemed appropriate.

At 9pm bub’s heart rate was a little stressed and we needed to get the little one out soonish, so they talked to me about using a vacuum and then forceps and what was involved in each of them.

The Dr who I had met earlier came in and had a look and we did a few more pushes before he decided to try the vacuum, he informed me of the risks and also told me he would need to do an episiotomy too, which I agreed to both.

3 big pushes and then 2 little pushes and my Bub was out. The Dr said that I pretty much did all the work but the vacuum just gave me a little bit of help.

They held Bub up to Charl and Charl turned to me and said ‘it’s a boy’ what an absolutely beautiful surprise, a healthy boy with a great set of lungs on him. They put my little man on my chest and started with the stitching up of my lady parts, which I wasn’t very focused on because I was staring at my little human on my chest.

Charl and I noticed that our little guy was moving down my chest and we were trying to work out what he was doing, the midwife said he was searching for my boob – how AMAZING. Half an hour on the outside world and he knew what to do.

 

About an hour later they sat me up and my blood pressure dropped dramatically, my temperature had gone way too high and I was vomiting and felt like I was about to pass out. They called a special ‘code something’ and my midwife said to me in a very calm voice ‘a lot of people are going to rush into the room now but I don’t want you to stress because it’s just what we have to do when your blood pressure drops this low’ 2 min later an army of people rushed into the room. I felt really really off. I’m not sure what they did in that time but there was a lot of people around touching me but I felt really calm because my midwife was next to me the whole time, Charl took the baby and about 10 minutes later I felt a lot better. Apparently later on I was informed that I may have gotten some sort of infection (which isn’t uncommon for women who have an induction).

Hours later everyone had left and it was just my midwife, Charl, our new Bub and me and my midwife and I were talking and she said she was so impressed with how long I went without an epidural and she thinks it was definitely because I was in my zone and Charl and I were able to use our hypnobirthing techniques.

All in all I had a really positive birth experience and 2 days later I was already talking to Charl ‘about when we do this again’ (hahaha poor Charl). What a magical experience and my end goal was ALWAYS just to have my healthy baby here safe and sound and that’s exactly what I go plus a few laughs and happy tears in between xxx

 

Thank you again Kerry for everything, I didn’t feel scared going into this birth because of everything I learnt at the course so from the bottom of my heart thank you.”

 

Felicity – Mummy to baby Axel

xxx

“It was honestly the most wonderful experience”.

When I teach the Hypnobirthing Australia program I tell all my clients the tag line – “we are all about a positive birth!”. A positive experience looks and feels like different things to different people. Here new mama Alyssa tells us about how she used her hypnobirthing techniques to have the most peaceful caesarean birth…

“Hi Kerry!!
We had a great birth. We ended up having a scheduled c-section as baby was measuring big and my anxiety of delivering her was becoming a bit too overwhelming. In the lead up I used all my hypnobirthing techniques and affirmations and we ended up having the most peaceful birthing experience.
It was honestly the most wonderful experience. We felt so calm and safe and little Florence came out so calmly as well. I was worried it wouldn’t feel as beautiful as a natural/vaginal delivery, but when we made sure to have our affirmations with us, our lavender scents and make the environment feel like our own, we soon realized that we could have just as beautiful and peaceful an experience. Even our anchor points and colours (for me it was yellow), really helped to make the birth so beautiful. Recovery has been tough but I would do it all again for our little girl.
Alex was amazing – he was so calm and took me to my happy place (Disneyland) during the whole operation. He also felt really involved in the whole birth and his face lit up cutting the cord – the hospital put a screen near my head so I could see her being measured and the cord being cut. It was amazing! He has taken to fatherhood so naturally. He acted all tough before bubs was born – and now she has him absolutely wrapped around her little finger!!!!
Thank you so much for prepping us for the best day of our lives.”
Alyssa & Alex – parents to the beautiful baby Florence
xx

I’m so pleased to have had such a different experience than the first time.

Second time parents Jade and Francesco came to my course to prepare for their second birth. They were seeking a different experience to their first, their gorgeous daughter Penny, and were keen to know more about hypnobirthing.

 

Here mum Jade tells us about their baby boys speedy entrance into the world…

Hi lovely Kerry, how are you?

I wanted to drop you a line and introduce the newest member of the gang – Julian David Bertolasi.

Born 21 Oct in a speedy 3.5 hour labour, he was a big boy at 4.3kg and the spitting image of Francesco. The birthing Centre was so great and it was all pretty quick and intense – we quickly got Penny sorted out, raced to the hospital and the midwives met me in the foyer of the hospital with a wheelchair saying “don’t push! Wait until we get upstairs!”

I’m definitely not going to lie and say it was pain free or that I was as calm and quiet as the ladies on the videos… but the hypno techniques really helped and it was a natural, drug free birth and overall a really positive experience which I’m just delighted about.

And I got my water birth… well sort of! His head was birthed in the water, but then his giant shoulders got stuck so there was a bit of commotion with all these medical staff running into the room trying to get me out of the bath…one of the midwifes did some fancy shoulder unhooking manouvre and out he came me straddling the bath, one leg in, one leg out.

 

Thank you for such a beautiful Hypnobirthing course Kerry, and I’m so pleased to have had such a different experience than the first time.

I hope you are happy and well,
Jade x

The course was the best investment we made, even though it didn’t go to our original plan, it was perfect in every way!

“Dear Kerry,
We were pretty happy with the birth experience, we were mentally prepared for it thanks to you, even though it didn’t quite go to plan.
As I mentioned to you, I was being induced at 41 weeks. I had tried all the tips and tricks to naturally induce labour for the weeks leading up to that point but he just wasn’t keen to get out of his cosy place in there. We also had a doula, and due to COVID-19 she was unable to join us at the birth, so had planned to spend as much time at home as we could, but due to the induction, that also didn’t happen.
I first had the gel in the early afternoon of Wednesday 3 June with not much happening after that, so again at 6pm that evening. Around 10pm I felt a pop and a drop (is the best way I can describe it), which I was happy that something happened without further intervention…yay! Things were slow with not a lot of progress overnight, I was using the breathing techniques, affirmations and gentle massage from Jesse to get through the contractions to that point, and in the morning after discussions with the midwives and doctors we made a well informed decision to move forward with the syntocinon drip.
Things then started to progress much quicker, however unfortunately as I was on the drip, I was unable to use the bath at that point, which was a little disappointing as I had hoped to spend some time in there, and perhaps even deliver there. I spent some time on the exercise ball and wandering around, but I felt most comfortable lying down and focusing on my breathing and as the surges became more intense, Jesse pushing into the points in my lower back was really comforting.
I think it was around 1pm when, in hindsight, I was in the transition phase, as I just burst into tears and felt like I couldn’t go on anymore. The doctor examined me at this point, and I had gone from 2cm dilated to 8cm in a very short amount of time and it was now time to bear down and bring my baby boy out into the world! As physically exhausting as it was, I found this part the most easy and enjoyable and before I knew it, at 3:50pm I was holding my little baby in my arms. Jesse was able to pull him out at the very end, so I was really thrilled he was able to get involved in that way.
The midwives and other medical staff were amazing and all really surprised I was able to have a vaginal birth so easily and not end up going for c-section. Without the breathing techniques and focus I was taught with Hynpobirthing, I think it might have been a different outcome, so I am grateful to you and the program for that. We delayed cord clamping and spent a blissful hour just the 3 of us in our little bubble of love enjoying our new little bundle before joining the rest of the world once again.
So I wanted to thank you for your ongoing support and advice and for teaching the program, it was the best investment we made. And even though it didn’t go to our original plan, it was perfect in every way 🙂 I will definitely be recommending people to Hypnobirthing, and to you Kerry, for those in Sydney, you’re an amazing teacher of the program.
Lots of love to you and your family.
Renee, Jesse and Kiaan xx”

We got there in the end! My husband was amazing & so grateful he had learnt so much in the course to help me during labour.

First time parents to the beautiful baby Matilda share their experience of welcoming their girl into the world…

“I was getting a little concerned when the midwife starting talking about inductions so was really lucky to go spontaneous and got my natural water birth. I was also a little worried she may turn posterior as she was staying put on my right side and my chiro mentioned she may corkscrew her way down via posterior, but… she didn’t, yay!
I laboured for about 8hrs active (gas and TENS machine) and there’s a new rule at Randwick where you have to push out within 1hr or Doctors need to be involved so that was hard, needed stitches as had to get her out before I felt like she was ready but overall happy with how it went.
Hypno I must admit worked up until about 5-6cm then I resorted to my own music &….vocalisation! I had read juju sundins birth skills so had some of those in my toolkit too, & never thought I’d use my voice like that in labour but it became quite primal to let it out, combined with a combo of hot water bath & cold shower head on my back.
But we got there in the end! My husband was amazing & so grateful he had learnt so much in the course to help me during labour.
I’m really good otherwise, baby blues are due tomorrow so am going to try and watch feel-good films & bunker at home with babe. Getting my head (and nipples!) around breastfeeding but she’s feeding well!
Thanks for the well wishes & support☺ xxx”

“We both feel so empowered by the birth and have no regrets about any of our decisions. All thanks to hypnobirthing!”

Mums Megan & Melissa attended the course with me in the lead up to the birth of their baby and below is their account of how helpful hypnobirthing is when circumstances change and decisions need to be made. This is a wonderful account of how achieving a POSITIVE birth is so possible with the right tools, support and mindset, regardless of the circumstances you get on the day!!

“Hi Kerry ! What a wild ride it’s been….
So I lost my mucous plug over Monday and Tuesday last week and my membranes ruptured/ leaking really started Thursday around lunch. I was induced with Oxytocin 1:30pm Sunday and went into labour.
I dilated to 10cm using a TENS machine, visualisation, Mel’s support only having her talk to me, and essentials oils. Transition was hard – heaps of vomiting. But I knew it would end and I knew it was a functional discomfort. I actually enjoyed labour up until then and even then I wouldn’t say it was terrible.
I pushed for about 2 hours and had to be checked – I was fully dilated but Stevie was high and not moving down as she was back to back (my back pain had been intense throughout labour) and she was trying to come out with her head not tucked. Option of high forceps delivery with associated risks to pelvic floor and Stevie or c-section.
Stevie was sooooo happy the whole birth – I allowed monitoring and she was so comfy in there. So I decided to do a c-section while she was still happy and with Mel’s support. I had been given a light epidural so I could stop pushing and discuss my options. The team around me were amazing.
Stevie was born at 4:43am Monday 31st weighing 3.39kgs and 52cm long! We stayed in hospital until yesterday. She had been cluster feeding most of the week so I am tired and still really sore and having ups and downs which are to be expected.
We both feel so empowered by the birth and have no regrets about any of our decisions. All thanks to hypnobirthing!”
Meg and Mel – proud mamas to Stevie!

“Our bodies are amazing, you will find an inner strength you never knew you had during birth!” The VBAC birth of baby Isla.

Susan and David attended my hypnobirthing course with me in the third trimester of pregnancy. They had previously had a caesarean for the birth of their twin boys and were now planning a VBAC for baby #3. This is the story of their baby girl Isla…

 

“I got my VBAC! No intervention, completely natural. Private hospital and private OB. My little girl Isla was born on 8/8/20, 3.79kg, 53cm long, 35.5cm head circumference. 2017: Twins born via elective-c due to twin 2 breech early on and size differences.

 

This birth: I did so much research and decided from 30 weeks that I wanted a VBAC. Mainly because my boys being 3.5yrs old and the recovery would be better. I also wanted to give my body the chance to do what Mother Nature intended!

 

The plan was to go into spontaneous labour, as OB wouldn’t induce without breaking waters. I was fine with that and decided I didn’t want AROM and synthetics. Based on reading everyone’s experience, it was either spontaneous or I would tap out and elect for c section, so it would still be my calm gentle birth I wanted (and not end up in emergency c-section).

At 40+1, early on a Saturday morning at 4am, I started feeling intense cramping. By 4:30am, I felt a small gush of liquid and went to check, it was my waters but a small volume. I changed my pants and went back to bed. Contractions started after that and I started timing them on the app. It was intense but sporadic. I then had another gush after 5am, more volume this time and it was ON after that. Surges came hard, so I woke up hubby and we called the hospital. They advised to start making our way in. At this point, I had the TENs machine on to manage the surges and took it off to go in the shower. I called mum to come over and look after the boys and hubby got our bag ready.
We got to hospital just after 7am at which point I was doubled over in pain with intense surges. I was listening to my hypnobirthing affirmations in the car and had TENs on. The midwife checked me once admitted, she didn’t tell me how dilated I was, just looked over at hubby and gave him double thumbs up! She put monitoring tape on and dimmed the room as per my birth preferences.

image1
I asked for gas pretty much straight away and stayed on my side on the bed.
By 8/830’ish, I moved from the bed to the bath and laboured in there until I was no longer comfortable.
I can’t remember what time my OB arrived, I was in the bath. He was very hands off until it was time to push, which I went on the bed for and leaned up against the head of the bed on my knees.
After an intense 40 minutes of active pushing, which I wasn’t even sure I would make it through, our baby arrived at 11:03am. My OB helped coached me through it with supportive language throughout (telling me slow down when needed to protect my pelvic floor), and the midwife used a hot flannel on my perineum to prevent tearing.


The Dr said “look down, and pick up your baby” and I collapsed down and held her. My hubby checked the gender and announced it was a girl! She came straight up on my chest, and I had two hours of skin on skin.
Once the placenta was out and my OB gave me a few stitches, they left us alone just the three of us. Midwife came back and did checks with bub on me.

 

It was the most incredible birth, and I was so relieved I got the calm and gentle VBAC I wanted.

My prep: RRLT, dates, epi-no, acupuncture, chiro, hypnobirthing course with Kerry Sutcliffe from The Hypnobirthing Mum.

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I want to thank everyone for all their inspiring stories, advice and knowledge sharing in this group! It gave me so much confidence and positivity!

 

Finally, I had my VBAC at North Shore Private Hospital (NSP), with a private OB. We kept the same Dr who delivered my twins 3 years ago, as I trusted him and we had a great relationship.

Choosing your caregiver and where you give birth is a personal decision and I want to let people know that it IS possible to get your VBAC or have your preferences respected going private, and not just home births or public system – I later found out that my OB was reading my hypnobirthing notebook, while I was in the bath, and also joked he had memorised all my affirmations as I had it playing through the speaker on repeat.
Not once was I offered a canula, no mention of episiotomy, no distressing negative language was used. I was truly grateful!

 

For those still on their journey, know that you’ve got this! If I can (and I’m seriously the biggest CHICKEN in the world), then anyone can!

 

Our bodies are amazing, you will find an inner strength you never knew you had during birth!
Best of luck

Susan & David

Proud parents to Isla, Sonny & Felix

Xx”

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What advice to hypnobirthing parents have for pregnant women?

What words of wisdom do hypnobirthing parents have for pregnant women and their partners?

Afterall, they have now been through the journey to meet their baby.

These are all couples who have done the program with myself and what they want you to know on your own pregnancy journey.

Here are their little golden nuggets of advice for other birthing women…

 

Click the below links to also hear what some of my hypnobirthing clients have to say about:

How did you hear about hypnobirthing?

How were you feeling about birth BEFORE you did the course?

What were the main things you took away from the course?

How did you use hypnobirthing to prepare for birth?

What giving birth like hypnobirthing style?

What’s the biggest lesson birth taught you?

How did hypnobirthing help your partner support you during birth?

What advice would you offer to other pregnant women?

 

Kerry Sutcliffe is an award winning hypnobirthing practitioner based in Sydney. She provides group and private hypnobirthing and childbirth education courses to pregnant women and their birth partner, and can also offer online programs. She has a background in counselling and psychology and currently works as a researcher in the school of medicine at a Sydney based university researching how antenatal education impacts birthing outcomes for mothers and babies.

You can find out more about Kerry and the courses she offers at:

Who is The Hypnobirthing Mum? 

Hypnobirthing and childbirth education courses

How did your birth partner support you during birth?

When it comes to birth, does your partner know how to support you?

What emotional, practical and physical support to offer you?

The Hypnobirthing Australia program is designed to help partners feel a real part of the birthing process – no longer on the sidelines, but providing invaluable support to the birthing mother.

Here some of my clients tell us how their partners were able to provide support after completing this program…

 

Click the below links to also hear what some of my hypnobirthing clients have to say about:

How did you hear about hypnobirthing?

How were you feeling about birth BEFORE you did the course?

What were the main things you took away from the course?

How did you use hypnobirthing to prepare for birth?

What giving birth like hypnobirthing style?

What’s the biggest lesson birth taught you?

How did hypnobirthing help your partner support you during birth?

What advice would you offer to other pregnant women?

 

Kerry Sutcliffe is an award winning hypnobirthing practitioner based in Sydney. She provides group and private hypnobirthing and childbirth education courses to pregnant women and their birth partner, and can also offer online programs. She has a background in counselling and psychology and currently works as a researcher in the school of medicine at a Sydney based university researching how antenatal education impacts birthing outcomes for mothers and babies.

You can find out more about Kerry and the courses she offers at:

Who is The Hypnobirthing Mum? 

Hypnobirthing and childbirth education courses

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