Below is a testimonial from one of my recent clients Rosemary, from her Facebook feed:
"I would like to recommend Renee Elliott as a birth doula and hypnobirthing teacher and also mention the incredible contribution that a good doula has for any childbirth - as a doula is often an unknown or misunderstood part of the birth process.
My husband and I both come from a scientific/mathematical background, so our initial bias towards maternity care was that the 'doctors know best' as I expected that they would use an evidence-based approach at the center of their decision making. However the more that I have learned about maternity care, the more I discovered that much of it is based on little or no evidence.
I had never heard of a doula or the concept of a 'positive birth' until I happened to meet a doula before I gave birth to my first child. I realised that I had a lot of misconceptions about birth and I started obsessively reading articles and watching positive birth videos. I saw the pure joy and elation on the countless mum's faces when their baby was placed on their chest and I knew that I wanted to experience that too!
Although, I chose not to use a doula at that time because I thought I could use the learning I made to make informed decisions for myself. I greatly underestimated how difficult it is to go against hospital protocols especially when you are 9 months pregnant and a doctor tells you that your child is at risk!
Long story short, the birth of my daughter was a very fearful event. It started with an induction that I didn't really want and ended up with a c-section that quite probably could have been avoided. After the birth, both my husband and I were traumatised and my daughter had a very rocky start to breastfeeding, which put a lot of unnecessary stress on us during the early weeks/months of our daughter's life.
I decided then that the next time, I would have a doula and after becoming pregnant with baby #2, I met Renee. We got on straight away and I was impressed that she was a fully licensed hypnotherapist, as I had already decided that hypnobirthing would be a great option for both me and my husband. I also knew from my experience that I would not labour well in the labour ward and as a VBAC mum, any alternative to the labour ward would require a battle against the hospital's protocols. I could tell that Renee was just the sort person needed in my corner to get the kind of birth I wanted.
I am so glad that I chose Renee. She helped me negotiate a bespoke birth plan with my consultant (which hadn't been done before in Edinburgh) and helped me prepare for the birth with a 1-2-1 hypnobirthing course and being on-hand to provide support when needed.
The birth of my son was a completely different experience. I labored at home for 24 hours and then transferred to the hospital for the final few hours/delivery. Most people seem sympathetic towards me when they hear that I labored for so long, but honestly I really enjoyed the time at home. It was like a little party in my house where I was the guest of honour! During that time I was massaged, fed sandwiches, listened to music, sat in a warm pool... etc. And the hypnobirthing really did help. It made me relax and bond with my husband and baby during the birth. Even though the gas and air canister was their the whole time, I rarely felt the need to use it.
When I finally did transfer to the labour ward, I was advanced enough in my labor that the transfer didn't have a negative impact. My experience in the labour ward was very different to my previous experience. The midwives and doctors really went out of their way to give me as gentle a birth as possible.
A few hours later, I was able to complete my VBAC journey with only needing an episiotomy to make space for my large baby. I did choose to have an epidural so that I could rest before pushing (as at that point I had been awake for nearly 40 hours!!). Although, the epidural was not topped up, so I could still feel the urge to push myself.
The feeling of my son sliding out of my body and being placed on my chest was the single most incredible experience of my life! The start of my son's life has been so much more enjoyable and has helped give a sense of closure from my daughter's traumatic birth. Also, since my son wasn't groggy from morphine, starting breastfeeding has been so much easier and the initial checks confirm that my son is feeding well.
I honestly don't think I could have done it without the help and support of Renee. I wouldn't have thought to negotiate the birth plan that I had and I know that laboring at the hospital would not have been as productive for me. Also, the hypnobirthing course and practice was a big help and made the day so much more enjoyable.
I feel really thankful to have had a positive birth experience. A week on and I still think on the events of the day and smile to myself. I cannot thank Renee enough and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a positive birth experience."
#doula #hypnobirthing #mindandbodyscotland #vbac #reneemcbride #birth