Stina Richardson BSC (Hons), Member of CthA & MHbA
Accredited HypnoBirthing® Teacher - Original Mongan Method
"Firstly...Congratulations! This is a very special time.
I would love to teach you HypnoBirthing® and/or be your Doula."
I trained at the University of Westminster (BSC (Hons) Complementary Therapies Degree, 2004), so my background is scientific. A few years later I was inspired by Elena Tonetti’s* film “Birth as We Know it.” Its amazing. The film shows women having peaceful, empowered births, at home, in birthing pools and even the sea! This changed my idea of what birth could be. People were having births that were far from traumatic - they were beautiful!
I then trained with Elena. It was when I was pregnant I became a Hypnobirthing teacher and then a doula.
I am a recognised doula (as opposed to a mentored doula who is still ‘in training’), certified by Doula UK. To read more about what a doula is, click on the DOULA tab or my profile on the Doula UK website: http://doula.org.uk/content/stina-richardson-doula-profile.
*Elena Tonetti - founder of 'Birth into Being,’ director of the inspiring film “Birth as We Know it". She actively promotes trauma-free birthing worldwide. For more - click on Elena Tonetti tab.
Bluey and I the day after he was born at home in a birthing pool
Message from Stina
"I put HypnoBirthing® to the test! The birth took a while (19hrs) with lots of stopping and starting, but eventually Bluey was born peacefully at home, in water with the help of two independent midwives.
My sursges were stronger and more regular at night. My surge routine was to repeatly say - “oooohm.” Women have been “mooing” during birth since the beginning of time, and “”OM” is “MOO” backwards! Making these sounds and spiralling my hips helped to move the pressure through. I also rubbed my lower back. It was squatting on the birthing stool brought his head down and start crowning. I felt a sting as the head stretched my tissues and getting into the pool soothed this profoundly. I used the J- breath to bring him down and when his head was out (a very bizarre but magical moment, staring at the back of his bead between my legs!) I waited (with the guidance of the midwives beacuse all I wanted to do was push!) til the next surge and with another push he was out!
I obviously had an hit of oxytocin - it was comical - I was saying “I love him I love him!” and everyone was laughing. I looked into his blue eyes and he was so calm. He didn't cry and suckled immediately. It was such a funny feeling but it was then that I realised what my boobs were for!
He weighed 9 1/2 lbs / 4.3kg and had a masive head! The second largest the midwives had seen and I firmly believed it was the Epi-No and perineal massage that help prevent me from tearing. The 'Epi-no’ is a rubber balloon that you start using around 37 weeks. Each day you gently inflate it inside you and it helps to gently stretch the tissues and reduce the risk of tearing. Try it!
Having independent midwives made me feel like I was holding someones hand through the experience. It was all the unknown to me, but I knew they would guide me. Having supportive, informed people with you duing birth is crucial. Continuity of care is so rare these days. The birthing room is typically filled with strangers! These were some of reasons why I became a doula.
Independent midwives also spared me the time pressures and unnecessary 'protocol.’ This became evident when I had reached 8 cm dilatation but my contractions became infrequent and at times almost seemed to stop! Instead of taking me to hospital for induction (to increase regularity of contractions) knowing that the baby was in the ‘happy heart beat range’ and that I was fine, they instead had a cup of tea while I slept and Blu was born peacefully that night. Every body has its own natural birth rhythm and it makes sense to listen to it.
Hypnobirthing had given me a set of tools. I had practiced most techniques before birth and found that depending on how I felt, I chose whatever felt right at the time. Listening to the body, and just ‘going with it’ is everything.
Sound helped me focus on my out breath. It felt soothing to the body and helped move the pressure through. Bluey would have heard it too. He would have probably felt the sound as a vibration and in the months following the birth he ‘hummed’ himself to sleep!
My testimony with photos is on the Phoenix Midwives website: