HypnoBirthing TestimonialsFind out what some of the people that I've taught thought of our HypnoBirthing classes
Positive birth and Sophie go hand in hand. Her bespoke teaching style creates a safe and warm environment where you are able to fully access the benefits of Hypnobirthing.
Sophie is giving and open, which meant my husband and I felt supported throughout our pregnancy and beyond. We felt enabled and empowered to make choices we wouldn’t have otherwise considered, putting us in full control of our birthing journey.
Even though my daughter’s arrival didn’t go exactly as we had planned, Sophie’s teaching gave my husband the tools he needed to fully support me throughout the birth and the whole process was extremely positive for both of us.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sophie to anyone and we are excited to work with her again this pregnancy.Selga
Sophie and her calm hynobirthing course were a breath of fresh air to me. I came across them when I found out I was pregnant and signed up, as I wanted to break away from the negative connotations associated with birth.
Sophie helped me prep and was also there for me in my birth, sending me positive affirmations and emotional support. It made a tremendous difference and gave me strength, and kept me calm.
I feel the course was a real turning point in my life now. By setting the path for the sort of birth I wanted I’d already begun to carve out my role as a mother, I cant recommend Sophie enough.Alice
I just wanted to let you know that hypnobirthing works and is incredible! Ha ha Nick and I had our baby on Monday 2nd November and we had an absolutely wonderful birth in spite of a change in the circumstances!
My waters broke on Saturday 31st Oct at 1 in the afternoon and so I called the birthing centre who told me to call back in an hour and report any changes. Nothing had changed and water was still treakling slowly out so I presumed labour would start when it was ready and was warned that if baby didn’t come in 24 hours I’d need to be induced in order to avoid infection (protocol that’s not necessarily accurately used as a one size fits all).
Low and behold 24 hours later I arrive at the hospital with Nick, my aunt (family doula lol) and my cousin. I knew that induced labour could make surges more intense and wanted to hold off induction for as long as possible but by 9pm (after arriving at 12) the nurses insisted that it would be the best course of action so I went through my birthing plan with the amazing midwife who literally supported me with so much freedom in spite of the circumstances, Sheila her name was. I talked with her and everyone in the room (nick, aunt and cousin) and expressed that I wanted this to be a pleasant experience and as natural as now humanly possible, I asked my aunt to encourage me when surges get more powerful, not to take drugs and to continue to support my breathing through each surge with a smile, this was supported by the midwife. I asked for it to be a gradual process and not a sped up birth and for us to play magic fm whilst surging through.
They all respected my wishes and the birthing process began, Ulga was our second midwife alongside Sheila and Judith came in the final stages of labour and all midwives spoke to each other and knew exactly what I wanted for our birth. Ulga noticed that not all my waters were broken so she broke the additional membranes and birthing progresses beautifully from there. I was breathing and visualising through each surge, there were points when we danced to magic fm and I stood through the surges swaying to the music and smiling with my out breath. Induction started at 9pm Sunday, at 5.30am Monday morning we were still surging through labour and with surges intensifying Ulga asks me ‘ Tara are you sure you don’t want any pain relief like epidural or something’ I looked at my aunt and she says ‘ now Tara remember what you said at the beginning remember your breathing you can do this, its 5.30am baby will be here by half 10’ to which I responded ‘yes, I am fine we can breath through’. And so we continued, at this point, around 8am or 9 your body starts to almost expel the baby and you are relaxing your body and stopping it from expelling in order to ensure you are fully open before bearing baby down. So I asked for some gas and air at this point to help me through and I literally breathed through with the gas and air as each surge came for about four surged, then I stopped and continued to breathe without it as it can make you feel a little dizzy.
At 10.15am I was more than 10cm dilated and bear baby down in 9/10 minutes with breathing and bearing down. I was squatting on the bed at this point with arms over the top of the upright bed head moving up and down with each surge as I bear down. With the third surge baby was out.
10.24am Jordy Elijah Van Gastel was born! with no perineal tearing too! And its truly been a beautiful experience. I just want to leave you with the knowledge that no matter what the circumstances you will have an awesome and calm hypnobirthing experience and Sophie I couldn’t have done it without you! thank youuuu xxxxxx
Your body goes through alot in birth without the hassle of having perineal damage as well so do the massage ladies!!
Tara, Nick and Jordy xxxTara, Nick and Jordy xxx
Happy New Year! Apologies for the delay in contacting you but our darling little girl – Alice Clara was born on 23rd December. Just under 8lbs and perfectly healthy she was a pool birth and arrived very calmly into the world and has remained so ever since! (Except perhaps when she is hungry).
We found out after the birth that I had been fully dilated when we arrived, the midwife in the birth centre didn’t want to freak me out so said I was only 6 cms. They were quite impressed that I had made it that far and that calmly with nothing other than the HypnoBirthing. Birth was great, I did have gas and air towards the end but am still delighted with the whole experience. I had every faith in being able to cope with the birth come what may and was relaxed throughout.
I hope all is well with you – apparently after the birth I said, wow that was great lets do it again, lets make another one, so far I have put this down the gas and air, but in truth I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
Wishing you every success and happiness in 2013.
With very best wishes
I would strongly recommend Sophie’s calm HypnoBirthing courses. I am currently 3 months pregnant with my first child and sought Sophie’s expertise in some relaxation exercises. She adapted these for me and was brilliantly reassuring.
I will be booked onto a full course a bit later on in my pregnancy as I believe the calm HypnoBirthing course will really help me relax and enjoy my labour. Sophie’s gentle and kind manner goes hand in hand with the ideas that HypnoBirthing promote so I would recommend this course 100%Chloe, Orpington
It was back in late 2008 when I discovered HypnoBirthing. I was terrified about birth, I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to birth my baby. My whole life long I’d been told stories about how ‘dangerous’ birth was and how ‘painful’.
I’d never heard a positive birth story; never seen natural birth – apart from those of other mammals which seem to happen spontaneously; you never see a farmer stood next to a birthing cow telling it to ‘push!’.
One day I was talking to my friend on the phone about how frightened I was and she mentioned hypnosis and suggested I look into it for childbirth. That evening, after work, I went to Waterstones and bought ‘HypnoBirthing’ by Marie Mongan. Well, after reading the first couple of chapters I was convinced that my body could birth my baby without a problem.
So, we booked our course of HypnoBirthing and practiced the techniques together and I practiced my affirmations every day. And on 6 July 2009 I birthed my son, without a single push. It was the most wonderful and empowering experience. My baby came out like a little buddha, he was calm and didn’t cry, I breast fed him; we bonded and now I am immensely proud to be blessed with such a beautiful little person to mother.
Without HypnoBirthing I reckon it could have been a very different story.
I completed a HypnoBirthing course with Sophie a few months ago and it was great. I had a wonderful birth with no pain relief needed and now have a happy and healthy boy who is already sleeping through the night at 10 weeks! I was just sad the deep relaxation sessions had to end as they were amazing. I’d definitely recommend calm HypnoBirthing.
My husband and I had a private HypnoBirthing course with Sophie in the lead up to the birth of our second baby. Sophie was extremely informative, understanding and warm. The relaxation techniques and the general education equipped us with the tools and confidence to have the birthing experience that we wanted. I went into the birth feeling confident and calm, able to trust in my instincts as a mother. The education also enabled my husband to feel confident in his ability to support me and communicate my needs to our medical support. Would highly recommend.Jo, Lee
I just wanted to let you know we had a baby girl on Wednesday at home in water using hypnobirth techniques and it was the most amazing experience of my life.
Labour started Tuesday morning and continued until 3.35pm Wednesday 5th December when our baby girl Evalyn Patricia Logan was born into the world weighing 7 pounds 4, quiet serene and absolutely perfect.
Jamie was there with me every step of the way through the 34 hour labour. It was completely drug free and just using visualisation, music playing softly, dimmed lighting, light touch massage & breathing techniques and a birth pool.
There were 2 midwifes + 1 student attending the birth who were all fantastic and just left us to be alone together except for monitoring baby and me when necessary.
The midwives said they were amazed how I coped, and said the whole experience was so quiet relaxed and serene and I apparently didn’t make a noise till a little groan when I was breathing her down. They were also in awe of Jamie who never left my side, counting each surge down with me, massaging my back and just sharing the whole experience with me. He didn’t sleep for the entire labour and didn’t manage to eat anything or even get a toilet break for the last 12 hours as the surges were so close together.
We are so absolutely in love with our little girl and are just resting and recuperating together with lots of skin to skin cuddles in our new born cocoon.
I am a firm believer in HypnoBirthing and would highly recommend to anyone who was considering and if we were lucky enough to be blessed with another child in the future wouldn’t want to do it any other way, well maybe a bit shorter time would be nice ;-). Am still astounded I was able to cope with 34 hours of labour without any pain relief and still found the energy to breath her down at the end.
Best Regards to you and thank you for all the skills, help and advise you gave us – you changed an experience I was so scared of into the most amazing experience of our life’s.Sue, Chislehurst
Calm HypnoBirthing is wonderful. Sophie is the go-to person for all your antenatal and postnatal wellbeing. I am so happy I learned HypnoBirthing from her. Many people teach it but not everyone is as right for the job as Sophie.
Her voice is perfectly suited, her energy and charm just make for a wonderful and lush birth experience. Plus, Sophie has a wealth of knowledge and passion for babies- it’s certainly infectious.Evelyne, Clapham
I would highly recommend Sophie’s hypnobirthing classes to any prospective parents.
As an upcoming father I found Sophie’s classes were great at helping us find calm within ourselves and, for me, confidence in stepping into the role of being a dad.Iain
With my 1st pregnancy at 28 weeks I freaked out & suddenly thought how on earth am I going to give birth to a baby? I need to make a plan!
I’d heard about hypnobirthing through friends & had also had some hypnotherapy sessions to deal with anxiety, I loved the idea of keeping things natural, having my husband involved, being at home, having a water birth, there being another way to birth other than all the horror stories people seemed to love to tell me as soon as I got pregnant.
So I researched & found Sophie’s details & contacted her to arrange a 4 week course. It was on a Friday evening at Sophie’s home & the other couple we were meant to be learning with cancelled at the last minute so we were very lucky to have 1 to 1 lessons. Sophie has a way of making you instantly relaxed & calm, she explained everything in a clear, calm & peaceful way that put us at ease & helped give us confidence in our decisions. Quite a few midwives at my check-ups laughed when I said I wanted a homebirth as if I was dreaming, Sophie gave me the strength & confidence to stick to my wishes.
Sophie went through everything thoroughly in a clear & easy to understand way, she set us ‘homework’ practicing scripts, light touch massage & good positions to be in for an easier birth. She also taught my husband a lot about what was going to happen & gave him the knowledge so he was able to be my ‘brain’ & follow my wishes/make my decisions when I was busy labouring.
My first birth was just as we all hoped it would be, maybe a little bit too long at 36 hours at home, in water, absolutely no pain relief & me & my husband were just left alone to labour together with the Midwives just coming to do their routine checks. Sophie had helped us come up with a birth plan which suited us & the midwives followed it to the letter – they were also wonderful.
My 2nd pregnancy was 4 years later & we knew we’d want to see Sophie again for a refresher course. Sophie came to our home this time for our sessions which was brilliant & meant we didn’t have to find childcare for our daughter, she again put us at ease, reminded us of everything we’d learnt first time around & had new things to teach including squirges (squat/surges) to help deal with my surges & also facetimed & stayed in contact with us up until the birth.
My 2nd birth was again the most wonderful experience, again at home although a bit quicker at 12 hours & a bit more tricky only because I’d managed to break my foot a few days before. Hypnobirthing helped keep me calm & in control, it gave my husband the confidence to help me through the surges & support me fully & it’s also helped me after my births just giving me the tools to calm myself down in stressful situations (which being a parent can quite often cause).
Sophie is a wonderful hypnobirthing teacher & I can honestly say my births wouldn’t have been the same without her help & guidance, I would highly recommend her to anyone wanting a natural birth.Sue
Overall an intense but amazing experience
We’ve had our baby!
Lacey. Born on Sunday 25th February weighing 7.6lbs. She’s a sweet, gentle little thing and we adore her!!
The birth was lovely apart from a little hiccup during pre-labour where I was struggling with the long contractions (3days)- hence my early morning text to you- sorry! I had become so tired and was overwhelmed after 2 sleepless nights. The midwife was also very abrupt and unloving on our arrival at the Barkentine and the room didn’t have curtains. Note: I later used my HypnoBirthing power to say “I want different midwife; I want a room with curtains!” and was given a lovely room and a different, kind, midwife. Woop!
So, the birth…
We returned home after being told by the midwife I was only 1cm dilated and spent what turned out to be a truly magical day listening to the affirmation and rainbow CD, eating, connecting with each other and laughing lots. It was wonderful. I was totally in the zone and felt wonderfully calm and focused. I felt empowered by Aarons love and the HypnoBirthing affirmations. By 8pm my surges were 3 minutes apart and strong. On our return to the Barkentine we were given a (curtained!) room and I soon got in the birthing pool. Aaron read me the deepening exercises and everyone was commenting on how calm and focused I was. Things were progressing quickly and transition started at 11pm (despite the midwife telling me I wasn’t close!- I knew otherwise!). I felt so connected to my body and my unborn baby- it was an incredibly powerful experience. Lacey was born at 12.20am. I held her in the water with me skin to skin for a while, they wanted to take her off me while I got out of the pool and I flatly refused! We delayed cord clamping and I was later told by the doula who encapsulated my placenta that my cord was totally empty of blood which is apparently rare and means baby got all of the blood.
Overall an intense but amazing experience. Thank you so much for your part in helping us to have a smooth and calm birth.
I hope you can come and meet her one day soon.
Love Amy and AaronAmy and Aaron
I was terrified of labour and would not have had such a calm 36 hours if it wasn’t for Sophie’s HypnoBirthing course. I started the course at 36 weeks and the relaxation practice really helped keep me calm in the weeks before the birth. I know I would have been a nervous wreck without having these to focus on and saying the daily affirmations really changed the way I perceived labour.
They say that hypnobabies are calm and chilled…my baby girl has been calm since day one and still is at 8 weeks. She rarely cries and is happy either sleeping or just watching what is going on. I really think this is because of all the relaxation I practiced before and during labour. I recommend starting the course as soon as you can and making it part of your daily life!Christine
Sophie’s HypnoBirthing course totally prepared us for the birth of our little boy. Her knowledge and experience were invaluable and she filled us with confidence in preparing for the birth. It was great that my husband could take an active role both throughout the pregnancy and birth, and he was a rock of support throughout my labour, using the HypnoBirthing techniques we had learnt with Sophie.
My labour was really fast (only 6hrs with first baby) and completely natural, and I put this all down to the affirmations and visualisations we practised throughout the pregnancy that helped to realise the birth we had hoped for. I have recommended HypnoBirthing with Sophie to all my local friends…. It will help to make your pregnancy and birthing so calm!!Natalie
Before our first HypnoBirthing class we were nervous, first time parents. During ante-natal and NCT classes we were recommended HypnoBirthing and we thought its not too expensive, let’s try it out. We called a few HypnoBirthing teachers but found Sophie the most knowledgeable and welcoming on the phone.
Pre HypnoBirthing we had watched one born every minute and heard horror stories from all our friends (believed epidural was the best we could hope for). Sophie helped us reassess this image with informative information that proved we can (with the right tools) have a relaxing and natural birth. We both found the sessions brilliant and certainly made us think what we wanted from the birth and how we would get there.
So the birth, we were both relaxed throughout, the labour started with breakfast in bed and a long bath. The most stressful part was my husband choosing which car parking space he wanted! I had no pain relief, a straight forward relaxing birth and we have had a very content and happy young boy (people cannot stop telling us how brilliant he is and we forget until we meet others of his age!). The only downside to HypnoBirthing was that we had to constantly reassure midwifes I was in labour and just because I was relaxed, breathing well and joking with my husband didn’t mean I wasn’t in labour.
We will definitely have a refresher course when need be for the next one and recommend her to everyone we know!Ed and Nic
After a traumatic birth of my first child and a long and painful labour, I wanted to try HypnoBirthing as I had read a lot about how hypnotherapy can help with many things including controlling pain. I found Sophie to be kind, professional and very knowledgeable on hypnosis, birth and pregnancy, and felt the sessions we had and the practice I did by myself afterwards helped me bond with my unborn child and feel much more confident about giving birth second time around.
Although sadly, as I had gestational diabetes – only diagnosed at week 35 – I was induced and then ended up having an emergency c-section when things didn’t go as planned. However, I still feel the HypnoBirthing was invaluable and I would definitely do it again if I have another child.Mary, Brixton
We hope you’re well. Just wanted to write and tell you that we gave birth to a lovely, healthy baby boy last Monday. We’ve named him Eli. I’d like to tell you about the birth as HypnoBirthing had a really positive impact for us. Feel free to share this with other hypno students if it’s helpful – I found other people’s positive stories very encouraging.
Late in pregnancy we had a few challenges in arranging the birth we had planned. As you know, our baby measured as ‘large for dates’ on the scans and the consultant was initially reluctant to agree to us using the birth center on this basis, saying that we would be ‘safer’ on the labour ward. We sought advice from AIMS and felt confident to challenge this view. The consultant was coming round when I unfortunately got diagnosed (during an ultrasound) with polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid), at 36 weeks.This was very mild, only just meeting the threshold for diagnosis and only noticed because I was having extra scans as arranged by the consultant. I had no symptoms and my midwife said she wouldn’t have picked up on it – my bump was measuring normally.
I was seen by a fairly junior doctor who told me she thought I should be admitted to hospital for at least four nights, to be monitored, because with polyhydramnios there is a risk of the waters releasing early and if this happens, there is a risk of cord prolapse. She wasn’t able to tell me how likely either of these events were. I was on my own (Phil was away) and the doctor was using fairly alarming language but I felt confident to ask questions and come to my own, informed decision that I did not need or want to stay in hospital. We agreed on a follow up in a few days instead, and the more senior doctor that I saw then seemed surprised that I’d been asked to stay in. I’m so glad I resisted this pressure – becoming an inpatient at 36 weeks might have led to interventions that I didn’t need.
So, at 37 weeks we met with the consultant again and two supervisors of midwives at the birth center. We had to really push to be allowed to use the birth center. They do not usually accept women with polyhydramnios but the midwives acknowledged mine was mild. They were very supportive of us but seemed not to want to undermine the consultant. In the end, we made an agreement that when I was in labour I would be assessed on the labour ward, but only to establish whether the baby’s head was engaged. If it was engaged, risk of cord prolapse would be removed and I would be acceptable for the birth center.
I had some acupuncture from 38 weeks. At 39+3 I had some lower back pain and the next night (Saturday) surges started. We spent Sunday morning at home as the surges became stronger; I used the up visualizations, we played our hypno playlist and I had a nice bath. Phil cooked a roast chicken and potatoes and put it into Tupperware. I crawled around on all fours during surges – they felt increasingly powerful but this gave me confidence and the feeling was completely manageable. The up breathing helped a lot.
Phil phoned the labour ward when my surges were around two-three in ten. The midwife he spoke to said not to come yet as we were only in the ‘latent phase’ and that she would need to speak to me next time we called. I felt that things were progressing more than this so after another half hour we called a cab. When we got to hospital Phil had to be quite assertive to ensure our prior agreement was honored. Staff wanted to put me on a fetal monitor, which we declined. After some negotiation by phil, which I was oblivious to, we were seen by a very kind senior midwife. I agreed to an internal exam because it was clearly the only way we’d get down to the birth center. I was at least 9cm dilated and baby’s head was fully engaged. The midwife was surprised because she said women are normally ‘thrashing around the room’ at this stage, but we were calm. We went down to the birth center at last!
The birth centre environment was so peaceful and comfortable and I’d recommend it to anyone. The staff were lovely and very much used to supporting hypnobirths. I got in the pool and felt immediate comfort and was able to relax more. I think I spent many hours in the water – can’t really remember doing much but I know Phil was right by my side and took care of everything – speaking to the midwives, playing our music, encouraging me to sip water and trying to tempt me to eat. He also took an active role in shining a torch to check for the baby’s head at each surge!
By late evening (around 7 or 8 hours since we’d got to hospital), the midwife suggested I get out of the pool because we hadn’t made much progress in bringing the baby’s head further down. I was happy to try a different position as was feeling quite tired and felt the surges were losing their power a bit. I’m not sure if I wasn’t using the down breathing properly or our baby (with his quite large head) just needed something bit more. Our clever midwife encouraged me into a great position on the birthing stool and I gave a few big pushes and Eli popped out. He weighed 9lbs 9oz. I was so proud of myself! The midwife said she thought with our next baby I won’t have difficulty breathing the head down and she suggested a home birth next time. She also said we’d been one of the best examples of HypnoBirthing she had seen.
Eli is so far a very calm and relaxed newborn. I am so happy that we achieved the birth we wanted, for him and for ourselves. There were many chances for us to be given interventions that I felt we didn’t need and I’m proud that we had the confidence to question and resist these. Had we not learned HypnoBirthing I think things might have turned out quite differently.
So, thank you so much for your teaching and support.Naomi and Phil
I feel that the HypnoBirthing classes and techniques I learned drew me closer in my mind to the kind of birth that could be possible for me, and gave me the confidence it could happen. My labour was accompanied by accupressure and homeopathy, and my baby’s birth was in water.
Throughout it all, the dulcit tones of my HypnoBirthing teacher Sophie kept returning periodically to reassure me that I could trust my body and my baby. And it is true. She slipped through me so peacefully that she didn’t even cry. My baby and my body were in harmony and, even now that no visible umbilical cord joins them, she still fits my body perfectly.Dawn, Herne Hill