Am I normal?

I recently worked with a lovely couple who were preparing for the birth of their second child after a traumatic first birth experience. At our last session they told me how confident that felt about their upcoming birth, that they had enjoyed our HypnoBirthing Sessions and that they had enjoyed specifically working with me. The father said that one of the best things about me is that I am ‘normal’. How we laughed! Perhaps my new tag line should be ‘Helen Redfern – She’s Normal’. However, I knew what he was getting at and I understood his preconceptions about what I might be like. This got me thinking how we Certified HypnoBirthing Practitioners are perceived.

So, am I normal? Well, I’m pretty average. I’m a thirty-something mother of two who discovered HypnoBirthing during my first pregnancy. I had feared birth and assumed that I would partake of any pain-relief on offer. However, my research (I’m perhaps not average in my need to research anything and everything) showed me that almost all the pain-relief options available had a downside either for me, my baby or both of us; well that was no use! It was then that I discovered HypnoBirthing, had two great births and decided that I really wanted to add teaching HypnoBirthing to my portfolio of skills. Really, I am pretty ‘normal’.

So, am I an unusually ‘normal’ person compared to my HypnoBirthing cohorts? I don’t think so. Yes, we come in all shapes and sizes; yes we come from a diverse range of backgrounds but we all want the parents we work with to look forward to their birth experiences, for their babies to be born safely and we are not prescriptive about how/where that birth should be.

So, if you and your partner are considering HypnoBirthing don’t worry about what the Practitioner will be like. However, I would say that it is worth speaking to a few practitioners first before booking your course so that you can find the one that you particularly gel with.

In the meantime, I’m teaching tonight so I’d better get my ‘normal’ clothes ready…


So, how do you know you’re pregnant? Many women claim to have known on the day of conception that they had become pregnant, others spot clues around the time their period is due and of course there are a few that don’t know until childbirth starts! If you can’t wait to take a pregnancy test, here are a few signs that you may already be experiencing:

  • A strange, ‘metallic’ taste in your mouth
  • Tender, enlarged breasts
  • The small bump on your nipples become more pronounced
  • Lower abdominal pains
  • Needing to urinate more often
  • Going off certain things, such as coffee and fatty foods
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Some women experience very light bleeding, called ‘spotting’, that they mistake for their period

Do any of these symptoms ring bells for you?

After you’ve celebrated your happy news you can try to reduce some of the above discomforts. Try to eat regularly to keep your energy levels up and ensure you get sufficient sleep and rest. You may need to start wearing a more supportive bra by day and a sleep-bra by night. However, during these early weeks, you can pretty much carry on as usual.

If you can think of any further early-pregnancy symptoms or have any top-tips, let me know or leave a comment.

Gold Standard

HypnoBirthing® in the UK has had some great news in the past month. The Federation of Antenatal Educators “FEDANT” has formally recognised HypnoBirthing® by granting National Register admission to Certified HypnoBirthing® Practitioners – that’s people like me!

FEDANT’s primary purpose is to protect the public by providing a National Register of validated professionals and HypnoBirthing’s admission to FEDANT’s Register gives us a Gold Standard at a time when is a bewildering array of independent qualifications in Antenatal Education.

I’m so pleased that the HypnoBirthing® community has been recognised in this way.

 “Many parents are choosing to use HypnoBirthing as part of their birth preparation and it is a testament to the skill and dedication of those in the sector that awards have been developed which fulfil the requirements of both education and safety” – Angela Stone, Secretary. FEDANT