Hospital hippo course offers birth support to new mums

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Giving birth can be a daunting prospect for some expectant mothers, but a new initiative at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital is hoping to change that.

A team of midwives has launched a course to help mums-to-be and their birth partners to help address any concerns they may have.

The programme, called Wild Hippo, offers a series of four sessions on hypnobirthing techniques, and how they can help prepare them for their birth.

The courses are open to women between 28 and 34 weeks into their pregnancies and leaders say they can help to reduce the levels of pain relief that mothers need while they are in labour.

Midwife Louise Langham said: “Some women are naturally relaxed and calm about birth while others have concerns about the pain or have had a bad experience in the past. Hypnobirthing can impact on how a woman feels pain but also allows them to feel more in control.

“If you can help someone to achieve that feeling of control you know they are going to have a more comfortable experience.

“It is really rewarding to see them lose their anxieties and become strong, confident and empowered women, who are looking forward to the birth and know what they want.”

Officials say the course can help mothers whether they choose to give birth in hospital or at home.

Caroline Dougen, who attended the course, said it had been “invaluable” to her.

She said: “If I had not done this course then I would be like millions of other women who expect labour to be this painful experience that you essentially have to go through alone with your birth partner on the side line trying to give words of comfort and encouragement.

“The course changed that and made me realise that although no one can guarantee a pain free experience there are things that can be done to reduce the pain and make it easier to cope with whilst at the same time making labour a more positive experience.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the courses, which cost £100 a place, should email louise.langham@nhs.net or rosie.hucklesby@qehkl.nhs.uk or phone 01553 214903 for more details.