I am Lillian. My husband and I wanted natural birth so we took HypnoBirthing course and hire a Doula to prepare for our first birth. During my first pregnancy in 2017, my baby was found in a transverse position around 34 weeks. With my Doula’s guidance, we embarked on breech tilt, forward leaning inversion, side lying release and various other exercises and baby successfully turned head down at 36 weeks. We were relieved. However, by 38 weeks, my baby decided to go back to head up but this time, she was in breech position! My doctor suggested c-section but we were very reluctant to go with that option. We asked if vaginal breech birth was possible. My doctor mentioned that it was possible but he would not recommend due to the risks involved – he mentioned that it was more difficult for first time mom and there may be risk of baby’s head get stuck.
I was worried and confused but at same time, I knew breech tilt was one of the ways to turn baby head down and we continued with the exercises we did when we help YuHui rotate to head down position earlier. This time, I also had a Breech Turn Hypnosis session on 4th March 2017 with my HypnoBirthing Instructor cum Doula. On 6th March, I had chiropractic adjustment just before doctor’s visit, ultrasound scan confirmed baby had successfully turned back to head down position at 39 weeks! I went on to birth Baby Yuhui at 40 weeks 6 days. We were very happy!
During my second pregnancy, my baby was in transverse position again at 36 weeks much like the first pregnancy. This time I was not panic as I had experience in helping my baby to turn head down. I continued the forward leaning inversion and side lying release exercises again and baby indeed turn to head down at 38 weeks. I birthed my second baby past 40 weeks again on 25 October 2018.
The time I heard from my wife about HypnoBirthing. The first thought which came to my mind was- are you out of your mind? She is a Mother of 3 boys already and all were natural birth as to what I understood then. I thought she had nothing else better to do or had too much free time to go and pay someone to hypnotize her so she could give birth to our 4th child. I eventually agreed to accompany her as she shared that it was 6 sessions and I was too lazy to read the books and I also wanted my Wife to be happy. Remember guys: happy Wife, happy life!
I always had this thought in my head that hypnosis is usually done by witches but I went with an open mind to hear and see what this was about. My advise to future parents or first-time parents is to have a really open mind and learn and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have any doubts at any time.
After the first two sessions, Yen shared real life stories from her experience with countless deliveries and the group we had was very curious as we had mostly mothers who had given birth before attending the sessions. It seems that for first time parents-to-be wouldn’t ask so much as ignorance is bliss and they are there to learn. I was very curious as to why would mothers with experience be wanting to pay for this course so that thought made me want to continue attending to see what all these scam was all about. Yes- it was not a scam and to be honest, I never knew there was such a thing as a Doula.
I am Glad that I didn’t miss any of the sessions as my perception of Hospitals, Doctors, Nurses, parents old wives tales and especially the concept of natural birth totally changed! I felt that I was enlighten and to be made more fully aware of all the medical procedures being practiced. She practically educated us to be more aware of the how, when and the what to do and can be done in any circumstance from the gynae visits to the delivery. By the 3rd or 4th session, I was like a rebellion against the society (something like the Star Wars or Matrix movie)
My main take-away’s post the sessions are as below:
I was shocked to learn that my earlier 3 boys so-called natural birth was nowhere near natural. I was sad to be made aware of the practices followed by Doctors and Nurses today whereby they follow blindly as to what technology has made them what they are and practice today. I am Glad to know that BOTH parents have a right and a space to express your requirements. (This is depending on the doctor you choose) I urge all future parents or parents to educate themselves on HypnoBirthing and not let society and the norm to take over your basic rights as a parent for your own child. My hope is to have this embedded into the system to overhaul the existing birth methods/practices and to bring humanity back to its beautiful natural way. My advise to future parents is to stay strong and focus and not let the blind lead the blind. This is your own flesh and blood so this is the least a parent can do for them to start right as this is only the beginning of your parenting journey so I hope you make the best decision.
Fast forwarding to the delivery date. I must comment that we really liked Thomson medical and our Gynae Dr Pamela Tan who was calm and supported us fully in our requests to go for fully natural birth. Whatever I learnt from Yen all came naturally at that moment and I think it’s best for my dear Wife to comment on this. One important point for the Husband during labor is to keep on encouraging and relaxing her so she doesn’t give up especially when the contractions are stronger.
From a realistic point of view, this saved me money, unwanted stress of the unknown and all 3 of us; me, my wife and baby were well prepared. Our 4th baby boy was welcomed into this world fully natural and he is now 4 months old weighing 8kg, smiling and the journey continues…… Christopher Toh Father of 4 Boys 😜 written in October 2018
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Disclaimer: This is the view of individual and not represent HypnoBirthing Institute or Childbirth Odyssey. It is purely husband/father sharing his thought that’s why it is called Birth Story.
Yvonne wanted a natural birth despite having certain pre-existing health conditions. Even three of her doctors strongly suggested a cesarean birth. She never gave up and continued to search for a doctor who was pro-natural birth, and she found one who agreed to monitor her condition and gave her the positive affirmation and support she needed to satisfy a natural birth.
Yvonne Tan’s Birth Story
I just have to keep finding someone who aligns with what I want.
When I first received news of my pregnancy, I must admit it was daunting. I was not prepared psychologically or physically to have a baby. My first thought was to associate the entire pregnancy journey and childbirth with pain and suffering. Having dealt with an autoimmune condition for many years, the fear of my child living the same pain as me was immense. I consulted a total of four Gynaecologists who suggested a cesarean option to reduce the risks to mother and child. I was frustrated to think that I was unable to bring my baby to this world in a natural way. Having gone through many doctor’s visits for my condition and suffering from the medicine side effects, I was determined to give the best for my baby. For that reason, I just had to keep looking for someone who felt as strongly as I did about natural birth.
I was sceptical about HypnoBirthing
Through a referral, I met Yen and found out more about pro-natural birth approaches such as HypnoBirthing, one of the best ways to bring a baby to this world safely with little or no intervention. I am a sceptical person at heart. My husband and I, however, went with an open mind and attended Yen’s HypnoBirthing classes diligently. We found the material refreshing and inspiring. It was especially inspiring to hear accounts of beautiful births being made possible by relaxation and self-hypnosis, breathing exercises, rebozo techniques and a host of helpful tips on understanding how we could connect with our mind and body and work towards a natural pain-free birth.
I seek the right people to help me stay at my optimal health
Yen was a most inspiring, authentic and caring coach. My husband and I decided that she would be the perfect doula for us. She showed huge empathy, patience, and reassurance. Yen was there with me throughout this amazing journey, and never for a minute was she upset with 1000 never-ending questions from me as a first time nervous mommy. She was able to direct me to the right people to help me stay at my optimal level. I visited an Ayurvedic doctor as recommended by her, took a healthier diet, had prenatal yoga, and on a daily basis, did my rebozo and prepared myself mentally with nightly meditation tracks from the CD she gave us.
Surprisingly short labour without chemical drugs used
When I approached my critical period of “breathing down” the baby at 39 weeks and 2 days, Yen rushed to my side in the wee hours of the morning. She kept reinforcing the techniques learned in class, continued to encourage me and her advice led to a surprisingly short labour period without interruption or chemical intervention. It was a magical labour, almost perfect, in fact! I owe a great debt to Yen who was there at my side with her constant reassuring voice when our angel Charlotte was born.
Charlotte was able to recognise Yen’s voice even in my tummy with her excited kicks and always happy to see Yen since her arrival on Earth.
Yen is not just any doula, but a superb, dedicated, resourceful and deeply passionate family friend. She became very dear to us. Thanks Yen, you are truly a gift from heaven!
As a first-time dad, I had no idea of the enormous body of knowledge out there on birthing. Like Yvonne, I greeted the news of her pregnancy with profound happiness. At the same time, however, I knew the journey would be daunting. My first instinct was to provide Yvonne with all the support necessary. I was committed to doing what she had wanted. She was focused on having a natural birth. Based on my knowledge back then, I thought that this decision meant having to endure pain. Like Yvonne, I attended Yen’s HypnoBirthing classes with an open mind and I was determined to be the A+ student and to learn whatever I could despite a small voice of doubt which said that there could never be a pain-free delivery. I took the lessons seriously, and every night before we went to sleep, I encouraged Yvonne to practice what we learned in class. My favourite time of the night was when we held hands listening to the calm and soothing HypnoBirthing CD and connecting with our unborn baby. When the time came, Yen was there at the wee hours encouraging Yvonne and reinforcing the positive messages we learned at HypnoBirthing class. It was nothing short of a miracle when I witnessed my wife giving birth to our beautiful daughter, Charlotte, naturally. Yen never stopped whispering the words of encouragement throughout the entire process with genuine love and care. I am grateful for Yen’s guidance and patience, and most of all, her dedication to mothers and fathers everywhere that birthing should be natural and painless.
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This is Charmaine’s inspiring birth story in May 2017. After 2 years, Charmaine decided to share her birth experience of transferring of the hospital and a change of OBGYN on the day of her labour. Below is her inspiring birth story.
Taking up a HypnoBirthing course with Childbirth Odyssey was definitely one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I have never thought going through drug-free natural childbirth could be so calm and fulfilling, which is totally opposite of what my gynaecologist (not a pro-natural gynaecologist) had described. Till today, I’m very thankful to have met Yen, who made natural birth a possible dream for me.
Attending a HypnoBirthing course was not something that I knew I wanted at the beginning. The only thing I had in my mind was my determination to avoid getting an epidural shot. However, having no experience, I was not confident if I could do so as a first-time mum. Also, I felt that getting an epidural shot isn’t truly experiencing childbirth and that was when I felt I needed to arm myself with information. I started off with looking at antenatal courses available online and read up reviews. That was when I came to realise most antenatal courses tend to sell you pain relieve options using drugs and they don’t help you appreciate the process of childbirth. This was when I learn about the HypnoBirthing course offered by Childbirth Odyssey and I decided to give it a try.
Finally, the day arrived when my baby is ready to come to the world (one week before EDD). My water bag broke (membrane released) at 4:30 am. Having learnt the signs of labour from the course, I knew that it was still early and certainly no rush to get to the hospital. Coincidentally, I had an appointment with the gynaecologist on the same day at 9:00 am and decided to get to Gleneagles hospital based on the scheduled time (we were monitoring the timings between the cramps and knew there was no point going earlier). My gynaecologist checked me around 9:30 am and said that I have not dilated. This was when he immediately strongly advised me to induce labour as he said there will be a concern with infection since my water bag had burst. Sensing the urgency from his tone, I naturally asked the question: “How long are you willing to wait? By what time should I give birth as you advised that the birth needs to be speed up?” He replied that he will proceed with a c-section if my baby doesn’t come out by evening.
I refused to accept his advice as I knew that I had no risk of infection as I was tested negative for group strep infection at the 37th week of my pregnancy. Moreover, if there are no repeated unnecessary checks by nurses during labour, there will not be any risks of infections. To my disappointment, the gynaecologist had totally disregarded my birth plan (which he had insisted not to sign) and threatened not to take my case if I didn’t follow his instructions (blindly). Luckily I had my research done and I knew where to find a pro-natural gynaecologist (Dr Paul Tseng), which at that time I had some regrets not having transferred to one earlier on. During this period of time, I was also fortunate to have Yen supporting me and also a friend who had gone through a natural birth process, which played a huge role in affirming my decision to rush to seek a second opinion from a pro-natural gynaecologist.
Getting confirmation from Dr Paul Tseng’s clinic took more than an hour. It was such great relief that they could take my case, but I was referred to Dr Pamela Tan instead as Dr Paul Tseng had been fully booked. By the time we saw Dr Pamela Tan at Thomson Medical, it was 11:45 am. She checked me and I had dilated by 4cm. She also confirmed that my water bag burst was no threat to my baby as our body replenishes the ammonitic fluid three times a day (we just need to keep ourselves hydrated). Also, Dr Pamela Tan was very professional and went through every item in my birth plan. She ensured a natural birth and would only advise for any medical intervention if necessary (that is life and death situation). I checked into the labour ward immediately and nurses were surprised by my bold decision as such last-minute transfers had never happened before.
During the period of time when I was in the labour ward, I was allowed to move freely with a mobile heart rate monitor. I used techniques learned at the course to help me gain comfortable positions to manage the sensations that I was experiencing. No nurses came in to disrupt and there were no vaginal checks conducted. Yen came shortly after and that was when I start to feel stronger surges at closer intervals. I began to experiment different birthing positions and I found squatting on the floor with half of my body lying on the bed as the most comfortable. I breathed and followed the surges, and sync with my child to help him out of the birth passage. At 2:50 pm, my baby arrived.
Thinking back, I am still in awe at what had happened. Without having met Yen from the course, I would not have the faith that I am making the right decisions to make natural birth possible. Also, from this experience, I came to realized having a pro-natural gynaecologist (advice from Yen which I should have taken seriously on the onset) makes a lot of difference. Thank you Yen once again for your efforts!
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