Episode 5: Interview With Maggie Howell
Maggie Chats About…
What natal hypnotherapy is and how it originated
Why hypnosis isn’t “hippy dippy” nonsense.
The merits of inoculating ourselves against negative influences.
Why avoiding the use of negative words can be counter productive.
The importance of change taking place at the right time and in the right context.
Maggie is fighting the culture of fear that surrounds pregnancy and birth. The founder of Natal Hypnotherapy™, Maggie’s work has helped over 100,000 women around the world to have a better birth.
Maggie didn’t set out to be a birth expert – in fact, she’s an unlikely convert. She was a busy international sales executive who only reluctantly attended a hypnotherapy course to help her with her first birth. But she was blown away by the mind’s ability to control the body’s response to pain and 3 months later, she had a peaceful, manageable birth at home without so much as a paracetemol – to the surprise of her and her NHS midwife who said: “Maggie appeared to be ‘sleeping’ during most of her contractions, breathing slightly more deeply as they peaked. She used no pharmacological methods of pain relief and conducted her labour and delivery entirely under self-hypnosis. She appeared to experience no pain and very little discomfort.”
It was the turning point in her life. Inspired by her experiences, she trained to become a clinical hypnotherapist and left her job to pursue her new life goal: to teach other women the techniques which help them have a positive birth.
The result was Natal Hypnotherapy™, the UK’s leading provider of hypnosis for childbirth. The philosophy is simple: to help women have a better pregnancy and birth. Maggie’s work is revolutionising women’s birth experiences by teaching them to overcome fear and work with their bodies during birth.
Maggie says: “In our society, fear has become the overriding emotion pregnant women feel about childbirth – something fuelled by TV depictions and horror stories other mums love to tell. We have not been brought up to see birth as a positive thing, so we’ve lost confidence in our own ability to give birth naturally and so go into it fearful and anxious – feelings which cause much of the pain and complications in birth.”
The facts speak for themselves: Natal Hypnotherapy users have an average caesarean rate up to half the national average and are recommended by 97% of users. Medical research has repeatedly found that hypnosis reduces surgical intervention, use of pain medication, mum’s pain perception, and labour times.
Maggie says: “This could revolutionise the way women give birth. If we could give every pregnant woman in the UK a Natal Hypnotherapy download to listen to we could save the NHS a fortune and change birthing culture!” The NHS is already responding with hospitals including Chelsea and Westminster and Queen’s in Romford contracting Natal Hypnotherapy to run antenatal workshops. In addition the Practitioner training programme was accredited by the Royal College of Midwives in 2013.
It may not be on prescription yet, but Maggie’s work is already changing the birthing world. Thanks to Maggie, effective birth preparation is no longer only available for those with the luxury of money and time. Her range of self-hypnosis downloads for pregnancy and birth, and book “Effective birth preparation – your practical guide to a better birth” are accessible for everyone, and designed to fit into a hectic life. From terrified teenage mums to women planning their sixth home birth, the techniques have helped women from all walks of life have a more positive birth.
Today, Maggie has personaly trained over 1000 midwives, has a network of over 100 practitioners who teach the techniques in comprehensives courses all over the country, regularly appears as a birth expert acorss the media, and has used the techniques for the births of each of her five sons plus helping in excess of 100,000 women have a better pregnancy and birth experience!
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