Page last updated at 23:35 GMT, Monday, 30 May 2005 00:35 UK

'I taught myself pain management'

By Catherine Lyst
For BBC Scotland's news website

Baby scan
Alison said good preparation for childbirth is essential

Alison Gean Davis had two difficult births with her oldest children Caitlin and Arwen.

When five-year-old Caitlin came into the world at Stirling Royal Infirmary she was a hefty 10lbs 5oz and had to be delivered using forceps.

"She had a very large head and the feelings I went through went beyond pain," the 35-year-old said.

"It was so bad I would say that I experienced a whiteout."

Two years later, the massage therapist planned to have her daughter Arwen at home in Dunblane but complications meant she had to go into hospital.

Mental preparation

In comparison to Caitlin's birth, she said having 8lbs, 8oz Arwen was a "piece of cake" but described her labour as "hard work", with the pain measuring six to seven on a scale of 10.

Alison then learned about HypnoBirthing and used the technique when she had her third child David four months ago.

"It made so much sense to me," she said. "It's about how you mentally prepare and getting your head in the right space."

It would make things so much easier for hospitals to be dealing with people who are calm.
Alison Gean Davis
Mother-of-three

Alison and her partner Mark, 37, attended five HypnoBirthing sessions over five weeks, each lasting two-and-a-half hours.

"You do relaxation exercises and learn some self-hypnosis techniques," she said.

"You also talk about previous experiences so you're not carrying fears into the birth which make you tense and therefore create more pain.

"A lot of fears are about being out of control and not knowing if you will cope.

"Using the HypnoBirthing techniques puts you in a relaxed state, changes the rate of your heart beat, keeps your blood pressure down and makes sure the body is not producing stress chemicals."

Alison had David in a birthing pool at home, using the techniques, and said her pain level on a scale of 10 was lower than four.

"I would not describe the feelings as painful, just intense," she said.

"I had used some of the techniques before but it was wonderful to have all the support and back-up.

"HypnoBirthing did make a difference and I would recommend it to all women who are having babies.

"I don't know why it's not available to more women. It would make things so much easier for hospitals to be dealing with people who are calm.

"I think it's fantastic that midwives are doing the course. I'm surprised that midwives and doctors don't learn more about pain management instead of just offering drugs."

SEE ALSO
Hypnotherapy plan for childbirth
30 May 05 |  Scotland

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