Hypnobirth expert aims to bring fear-free labour to Stortford mums
A Bishop’s Stortford mum is using her own experiences of giving birth to deliver a fear-free labour to other women.
Georgia Mathieu, 34, and husband Felicien, 36, a technical consultant are parents to Lex, who is three, and one-year-old Sonny.
Both were born at The Rosie maternity hospital in Cambridge. Georgia, a former journalist, said: “I trained to become a hypnobirthing instructor following the birth my own big babies via hypnobirthing myself. My first was born at The Rosie weighing 9lbs 4oz. And my second son was a vaginal breech birth at the same hospital - something their staff had never seen.
“I really enjoyed my births and feel very passionate about the skills learnt on my relaxation courses.”
She is passing on her knowledge through her Birth Easy with Georgia classes, with taster sessions this month and a full roll-out of courses from May.
She used Wise Hippo Programme relaxation methods during the birth of both her children, but Sonny’s arrival really tested the technique.
“At 34 weeks the baby was diagnosed breech, not ideal for a hypnobirthing mama, but worse things could happen.
“My first son was breech at this time and I managed to turn him with moxibustion and have a lovely natural water birth.”
Breech means that a baby settles in a bottom-first position instead of the more normal head-first position. After 35 weeks of pregnancy, only about 3 to 4% of babies have not turned. If so a doctor may offer external cephalic version (ECV) or a Caesarean section.
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy, which burns dried mugwort at specific points on the body, and is offered as a remedy for breech babies.
Sonny was not so easy to persuade: “However, following attempts via moxibustion, hypnosis, spinning babies techniques, headstands not to mention a clinical ECV, this bubba was having none of it and wanted to stay bum down with legs around his head.”
Doctors were insistent her son should be born by Caesarean but Georgia refused and eventually won their support for a natural vaginal birth, but Sonny was staying put.
Georgia said: “Just as things went to my favour, with support for the birth I wanted, bubba played a waiting game. My due date came and went, days went past, a week went past and then a fortnight passed. I found myself 42 weeks pregnant with a frank breech baby.”
Babies like Sonny cannot be induced, so the family’s options were limited. As time ticked by, Georgia accepted that her son might need surgical intervention, after all, to arrive safely.
However, the day before she was due to be operated on, labour began and Georgia took control.
“And that's how I did it - just me, my baby and some good hypnobirthing techniques. It took four contractions to get him out, first his bum, then a leg flopped with it, the following contraction came his other leg and arms, and then I really went for it and pushed him out with all my mama might. I pushed with such force that his cord snapped and the midwife didn't catch him. Instead, he landed on a pillow on the floor and pretty much bungee jumped out of me.”
She said: “I want to help other women find strength, feel positive and have an empowering experience. If I can do it, anyone can. It's just a state of mind. You wouldn't run a marathon without training and going into labour is much the same. We are all wonder women. If you train your mind and practise hypnobirthing techniques, your body is capable of wonderful things.”
To find out more and join a course, see www.birtheasywithgeorgia.co.uk
More by this authorSinead Corr