Greater choice for mums as new technique introduced

Carol French, midwife at Alnwick's Hillcrest Maternity Unit (right), with Janice McNichol, head of midwifery at Northumbria Healthcare (centre), and hypnobirthing teacher Katharine Graves (left).
Carol French, midwife at Alnwick's Hillcrest Maternity Unit (right), with Janice McNichol, head of midwifery at Northumbria Healthcare (centre), and hypnobirthing teacher Katharine Graves (left).

Women choosing to have their baby in Northumberland are set to benefit from techniques that promote a more natural birthing experience.

Midwives from across Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been trained in hypnobirthing, an in-depth antenatal training programme designed to release fear and build confidence during birth.

This means that women will be able to access local courses to support them to practise the techniques during pregnancy, labour and birth at the Northumbria Birthing Centre at Cramlington and midwifery-led units at Alnwick, Berwick and Hexham hospitals.

Leading hypnobirthing teacher Katharine Graves facilitated the training to Northumbria midwives at North Tyneside General Hospital, the first trust in the North East where she has delivered this.

Janice McNichol, head of midwifery at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome Katharine to our trust, who is widely seen as the national lead for hypnobirthing, and see her train so many of our midwives from all four of our maternity units.

“Here at Northumbria, our aim is always to give women choosing to have their baby with us greater choice and for our midwives to be able to offer hypnobirthing techniques further complements what we provide.

“Hypnobirthing promotes a natural, more comfortable, birthing experience often with fewer medical interventions, less pain relief and shorter labours and we hope that women will welcome this development and benefit from the enhanced skills of our midwives.”

Katharine, founder of KG hypnobirthing, said: “There is lots of good information about babies and birth in many place, but hypnobirthing is the only thing I know that actually makes a difference to the experience of giving birth.

“We’ve had countless positive reports from women whose birthing experience have been improved by using these techniques and now that Northumbria midwives have been trained, I look forward to receiving many more from this part of the country.”

The highly-experienced midwifery team at Northumbria Healthcare is on hand 24/7 to offer expert care to women, with more than 3,000 babies born last year.