Birth can be hard work, it can be intense, it can make you question yourself. But, at the same time, birth doesn’t have to be scary or distressing. It doesn’t have to ruin the joy of your pregnancy.
Labour and birth can be totally AMAZING. It can fill you with joy, make you realise the power and strength of your mind and body.
I teach Hypnobirthing because I want every pregnant woman to feel CONFIDENT, CALM and COURAGEOUS about her forthcoming birth.
I want her to ENJOY her labour and birth and know she has CHOICES and is IN CONTROL every step of the way. I also want her birth partner to know exactly what to do to SUPPORT her in the very best way.
I want her to feel in awe of herself after giving birth - at her accomplishment, at her strength and power.
Labour, birth and motherhood are some of the most transformative moments for us as women. These events have the ability to change us as a person forever. A positive birth experience is the key to starting motherhood in the very best way.
adjective: lionhearted; adjective: lion-hearted
brave and determined.
synonyms: brave, courageous, valiant, fearless, bold, daring, heroic, assertive, undaunted.
My name is Rachel Akehurst. I trained and qualified as midwife during 2006 because I was absolutely fascinated by pregnancy and childbirth.
Sadly, my experiences working within a busy obstetric unit left me disappointed; I didn't have the time to talk to, and - most importantly - listen to women. I was saddened by the medicalisation of birth; with so many unnecessary interventions being offered to women and women not realising they had any choice to say no. I therefore re-trained as a health visitor.
My Pregnancy was plagued with fear about labour and birth....
When it came to having my own baby, I put this off for many years; what I had seen on labour ward had made me extremely anxious and I envisaged my own birth to be very medicalised, painful and distressing. When I found out I was pregnant, my first thought – sadly – was not one of joy but intense anxiety. This was further reinforced by countless birth horror stories which people seem to delight in telling pregnant women.
I was definitely sceptical about Hypnobirthing....But it all started to make sense quite quickly
I researched methods of having a positive birth experience (what did we do before Google?
!) and it was here I found hypnobirthing. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sceptical. I really was.
I really doubted how a course could change something as momentous and unruly as
birth. And I put off booking so...many...times. Eventually, at 37 weeks pregnant (yes, really), I booked a private course out of sheer desperation (that's me being totally honest. Those fears weren't going anywhere and they just got bigger as my "due date" got closer). We had sessions with a local midwife in our home and practised what we were learning most nights. And I can honestly that say from this point onwards, my whole perspective on labour and birth changed; I began to believe in my own ability to give birth naturally and started to feel excited about giving birth. What a relief! I started to feel more and more strong and capable.
My labour and birth were wonderful....
I laboured all through the night at home with my husband by my side. The whole situation was very calm. I used everything I had been learning and practising, I kept putting off going to hospital as I just didn't think I was "ready" (I was incredibly calm and a tiny part of me was still waiting to feel distressed - and that just didn't happen). Eventually, we headed to hospital. The midwives did not feel I was in advanced labour when I first arrived until I had a surge (contraction) and started pushing strongly. Sam was born 20 minutes later. The birth was relaxed, instinctive and drug-free. I felt like a super hero after I had given birth and was amazed by the power and strength of my mind and body! You can read my birth story here.
A bit more on why I do what I do....
It was my own birth that restored my passion and interest in labour and birth and led to my next adventure in teaching hypnobirthing to expectant parents. One thing I am INCREDIBLY passionate about is women having CHOICE and CONTROL in labour. When I was a midwife, there was a misconception that the woman must "give up" her control in labour. That she must do as she is told. So many second time expectant parents tell me they felt unheard, pressurised and feeling like they had no choice during their last birth. In my work as hypnobirthing teacher I will show you just how much choice, control and power you have in labour, and how to use it.
First Class Honours Degree in Midwifery Studies
Edge Hill University
Master of Science Degree in Public Health
University of Bolton
Diploma in Hypnobirthing