Stina Richardson BSC (Hons), Member of CthA & MHbA
Accredited HypnoBirthing® Teacher of the Original Mongan Method
"Firstly...Congratulations! This is a very special time and I would love to teach
your HypnoBirthing® and/or be your Doula."
Stina trained at the University of Westminster (Complementary Therapies Degree, 2004). She later trained with Elena Tonetti, founder of 'Birth into Being,' (see the link in tabs) a pioneer of waterbirthing promoting trauma-free birthing worldwide. Stina has since worked in health, specialising in HypnoBirthing® and Body-Memory Therapy - see my sister website - www.bodymemorytherapy.co.uk.
Stina also works as a Doula, qualified and recognised by Doula UK, to offer couples the benefits of continuity of support before, during and after birth. Doula/HypnoBirthing® packages are available. (To see my DUK pofile go to: http://doula.org.uk/content/stina-richardson-doula-profile).
Bluey and I the day after he was born at home in a birthing pool
Message from Stina
"I've had the priviage of putting HypnoBirthing® to the test! I experienced a beautiful birth with my little boy Blu at home, in water with two independent midwives.
He took 19 hours to say hello. He was calm, didn't cry, suckled immediately and to our surprise, was 9 1/2 lbs / 4.3kg. Although his head was 14 inches - the second largest the midwives had seen in a newborn - I didn't tear! I still cannot quite comprehend how this was possible but I put this down to the fact that I was relaxed and trusted my body.
I slowed down at the end instead of forced pushing and did the J-breath technique so my muscles were soft and relaxed. I have to say the 'Epi-no' must have also helped (it's like a rubber balloon that you inflate gradually inside you day by day). I started a month or so before the due time and it gently stretched my passage and opening. It was like perineal massage, but taken that stage further. The idea is that you gradually build up daily to 10 inches diameter as this is the size of the average baby's head. I could only get to 8 cm, and became disillusioned, but I realise now that it really must have helped. His head was 14 inches - off the chart! - so the Epi-no, with the endorphins and other hormones flooding the body, I didn't tear. I still to this day can’t believe it. All I can say is give the Epi-no a go, do the perineal massage (supple tissue are more likely to stretch) and when the head is crowning, to breath your baby out - ie let the natural expusive reflex do the work as pushing at this crucial point might add to the risk of tearing. Then again, even if you do its OK, you will have a beautiful baby in your arms and it will heal.
Having independent midwives was invaluable. This meant there was continuity of care which is so rare these days. I got to know them as I was allocated two ladies and they came to the house on ante-natal visits, sparing the tedious hospital visits. Independent midwives also meant that during birth there was less time pressure and unnecessary 'protocol.’ This became evident when I had reached 8 cm dilatation but my contractions became infrequent and at times seemed to almost stop! Instead of sending me off to hospital for induction (to increase regularity of contractions) knowing that I and the baby were OK, said I should sleep. I slept while they drank cups of tea and Blu was born in his own time, peacefully that night.
Hypnobirthing had given me a set of tools. I had practiced most techniques before birth, some more than others and found that depending on how I felt, I chose whatever felt right. Sound became central to my "surge routine". I was saying “Om" repeatedly and it helped me focus on my out breath. It was very calming and Blu would have felt the sound as a soothing vibration inside me also. In the months following the birth he ‘hummed’ himself to sleep.
If you would like to read more, visit the Phoenix Midwives website, where you can read my testimony and see more photos of Blakeny - Blu's birth.
Thank you Marie for founding Hypnobirthing, midwives Tracy and Glenis and Elena Tonetti of 'Birth into Being' for your beautiful film which inspired the birth.