After finding out she was pregnant, Lisa Nicholson often found herself wondering how she would get through her labour and it’s safe to say, she was a little worried.
“I’m not very good at coping with pain and even my parents were concerned with how I would cope with childbirth,” she said.
Prior to the birth of her first child, Toby, the 34-year-old already had an image of what childbirth was going to be like, after speaking to many friends.
“My friend’s birthing experiences just sounded so panicked and generally chaotic,” said Lisa.
With this stuck in her mind, Lisa and her long-term partner, Stewart Constable, were determined to do everything they could to ensure that the birth of their first child was going to be stress-free.
“I first heard about Walsall’s Midwifery Led Unit after my midwife mentioned in to me at the start of my pregnancy - we immediately booked on for a tour!”
“The unit felt so calm and I knew straight away that I wanted to give birth there. I had my heart set on it throughout my pregnancy. It didn't have the clinical feel of a hospital and I had complete faith in the midwives to foresee any problems and knowing the hospital is only a few minutes away was reassuring.”
When the couple found out about hypnobirthing classes that were running at the MLU, they thought the techniques could be another boost to their hopes of a stress-free birth.
“Prior to attending the MLU hypnobirthing classes, Stewart and I would read the hypnobirthing books and listen to the MP3’s,” explained Lisa, who has worked at the Chamber of Commerce for six years.
The course which was first introduced to the Walsall MLU last August, teaches deep breathing, relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques and aims to help women remain calm and in control during labour and to achieve a gentle and natural birth experience.
“We started the hypnobirthing course quite late into the pregnancy – roughly about two months before Toby was born, but the techniques we were taught definitely helped us achieve the birth we wanted,” said Lisa.
Stewart was also given a part to play so he could help support Lisa through her labour by learning certain techniques from the sessions.
“The class was so helpful,” said Stewart. “It taught me multiple relaxation and massage techniques so that I could help Lisa feel more at ease during her labour.”
As her due date crept closer, Lisa’s initial feelings of nervousness subsided.
“I went from being quite stressed out for the first six months of my pregnancy, thinking ‘how am I going to get through this?’, ‘it’s going to be horrendous’, to suddenly feeling in control,” said Lisa.
On 26th October 2015, Lisa and Stewart welcomed their baby boy Toby into the world. The proud parents have vowed to use the MLU again if they decide to add to their family.
“The staff were really welcoming and the whole unit just felt like a hotel,” said Lisa.
“The pool was one of my favourite things. I wasn’t planning on using the pool, but strangely I ended up giving birth in it. It was so lovely, I didn’t want to get out.”
“I would one hundred per cent recommend a friend or family member to give birth in the MLU. The more relaxed you can be, the less painful it is and the MLU adds to that.”