Newsletter – September 2014
As the holidays are past and we are looking forward to the autumn, now is the time to book on the Hypnobirthing Association study days. There are two Study Days, one in London on 25th October and one in York on 15th November. We have excellent programmes at both Study Days, and we are very excited to have one in the north for the first time, so it is easy for everyone to reach one of the events.
Southern Study Day – 25th October
The Abbey Conference Centre, 34 Great Smith Street, Westminster, London SW1P3BU
Time: 10am – 5pm
You will all have heard of the research that Dr Amali Lokugamage, Consultant Obstetrician at the Whittington Hospital, published recently which found that only 9–12% of the RCOG guidelines were based on the best quality (Grade A) evidence. Her presentation to us at the Study Day will be called ‘Evidence, Risk and Autonomy in Obstetrics’ and it will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from her and expand our knowledge.
Northern Study Day – 15th November
The Friargate Quaker Centre, Friargate, York, YO1 9RL
Time: 10am – 5pm
Mary Nolan is Professor of Perinatal Education at Worcester University. Her presentation at the Mama Conference in Glasgow was one of the highlights of the conference; fascinating, controversial and evidence based. You will love hearing her speak.
Northern and Southern Study Days
We propose to give our speakers longer than the usual 40 minute time slot. I always find it frustrating when you skate over an interesting subject without exploring it in more depth, when a slightly longer talk would be much more satisfying:
When Dr Sarah Buckley visited us last September, she gave an extremely well-informed (as she always is) talk on Ultrasound Safety, a subject which is much under-discussed. Unfortunately there were not many people there to hear her (we’ll never organise a study day in September again!) so we videoed her presentation and have her permission to use it at future events. We should all be better informed on this, and I’m sure it is a subject that will come to the fore in the future, so we will be showing the DVD at the Study Days.
Mark Harris is wonderful. There’s no other word for it. As a nurse, midwife, father and grandfather his view of birth is wide ranging – and very funny. He founded the organisation Birthing For Blokes and when he spoke at the Doula UK conference he had the room in fits of laughter. He is also very knowledgeable and has worked closely with Denis Walsh. To have entertainment and education in one time slot is efficient multi-tasking and must be worth a visit.
At the end of each of our study days, people have always asked for more time for discussion. So this time we have included this in the programme. In the past we have had such interesting speakers, Michel Odent, Sheila Kitzinger, Mary Cronk, etc., that there hasn’t been time for anything else, but communication between hypnbirthing teachers is very important and we are much looking forward to hearing what you have to say.
Some of the most important contacts and discussions at a conference take place over Lunch, which is why it is provided at both Study Days to give everyone the opportunity for these friendly informal contacts.
We have a tradition of top quality Study Days, and it will be great to see you there.
We have a new CD - Breech Baby. This is designed to help mothers understand that they have a choice about how they give birth to their breech baby. I am very much against ‘trying to make a breech baby turn’ because it is in the ‘wrong position’. But this CD helps a mother suggest to her breech baby that it might like to turn, and gives her positive statements and relaxations if she finds herself in this situation. It is available on the Hypnobirthing Association if you need it. The CD also talks about a 'natural cesarean' if there is a reason why surgery is the best option. It has proved to be very effective, so it might be useful to mothers you teach who find that they have a breech baby.
Watch this space for news of more CDs to help you provide the best service to the mothers you teach.
Hypnobirthing Facebook Group
The facebook groups are growing apace and are a wonderful form of communication, but a trend has developed which is worrying, and it seems to be increasing. Some members have been distressed by uninvited PMs. To send a PM is useful if you have, for example, an article which could help someone, or if they have asked you for information. But if you are saying something to a colleague that could be construed as critical which is why you didn’t want to say it in public, please ask yourself if it should be said at all. If you want to say something that could be embarrassing or that the person to whom you are communicating would not want it known in public, that is a perfectly good reason for PMing them. Criticism is not.
We welcome and learn from the views of different people. That is our strength. Inevitably they will not always be the same as ours.
I often remember Mary Cronk’s humility when a mother to whom she had just taught the phrase, ‘Stop that at once’ used it against her when she was doing a difficult vaginal examination. She said, ‘I stopped at once, and learnt a lesson.’ Perhaps we could emulate that humility and willingness to listen and learn.
It doesn’t mean that we always have to agree, and we almost certainly won’t. But it might be more appropriate to ask questions to find out what they mean, rather than telling them they are wrong. Just suppose they are right?!!!
The purpose of the public Hypnobirthing facebook group is for discussion and information about hypnobirthing and birth. When we first set up the group it quickly degenerated into a rather boring list of advertisements for hypnobirthing classes, so we decided – when I say ‘we’ it was as a result of a consensus of opinion among teachers on the Hypnobirthing Association facebook group - that there should be no promotion of personal business interests, or anything that relates to self- promotion. There will always be a slightly grey area, but we do our best to administer this as you, the members, decided. Please respect this.
As you give the book and CD to the couples you teach we have made it easier and cheaper for you by providing these in the members’ shop as a single item. Members’ prices for the course materials are:
Colour and Calmness CD £5.00
The new documentary, ‘Microbirth’ will be released on 20th September, and there will be screenings throughout the country. This is a very important documentary as it gathers together research into the long-term effects that establishing the microbiome at birth has on the health of the child and the potential consequences for the human race.
Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford have done a huge amount of research for this documentary. I saw the trailer at the Mama Conference in March, and the work that has been drawn together is very significant. It is well worth going to a screening if you possibly can. Go to the website www.microbirth.com to find a screening near you.
Happy Hypnobirthing and warmest regards
Katharine and Archie