This week we have a wonderful addition for our Midweek Midwife- the lovely Megan Rossiter- Hypnobirthing Teacher At Positively Birthing, Mama and Student Midwife.
What was it that drove you towards being a midwife?
I’m always useless at answering this question, because the real answer is ‘I don’t actually know’. So many people seem to have some sort of ‘calling’ or have a baby and fall in love with the profession. I was working as an actress and it was always the answer to the ‘if you could do anything else what would you do?’ question. And one day I decided to apply, just to see! I’ve always loved people, and care a lot about the way people are treated and equality, so I feel like the qualities were always in me, But it definitely wasn’t the ‘typical’ way into it! I fall more and more in love with it every day though! Women, their bodies and babies blow my mind!
What’s your favourite thing about being a student midwife?
Seeing what women are capable of and being allowed to be a part of that. Whether that’s helping them create a safe place and seeing them bring their babies into the world, or visiting them in their homes with a 10 day old baby who they’ve loved and nurtured and raised with no manual except their instinct!
In general, what ways do you see hypnobirthing helping mums when you’re working as a midwife? (This can be in any way, not necessarily just during the birth itself)
There’s a sense of peace during the birth that you don’t always see. Not just in mum, but in the whole room. (It’s a lovely way to work!). Time slows down, decisions are make more calmly, and there’s very rarely any moments of panic. Partners always seem quietly prepared too, and there’s a connection between a hypnobirthing mum and partner, which you see far less often in other circumstances.
The best thing we found about using hypnobirthing at our own birth, was that the principles are applicable to parenting and day to day life too!
What’s the biggest misconception you hear when it comes to hypnobirthing?
Probably that ‘it’s ALL about natural birth and no drugs.’’ And though, that’s a wonderful aim and often the actual outcome, in some situations it’s perfectly right for baby to be born with some help, or for mum to use some pain relief. Hypnobirthing prepares you for every eventuality and gives you tools that mean you are involved in decision making, can cope wonderfully in these sort of situations and still have an incredibly positive birth experience.
If a mum was asking you about whether or not to do a hypnobirthing class, what would you say to her?
Yes yes yes! I only wish it was compulsory!!
Do you find your colleagues are supportive of hypnobirthing techniques?
Yes. It’s extremely rare for a Midwife to be unsupportive of hypnobirthing, they are the guardians of ‘normal’ birth after all! There’s a small group of families who have practiced hypnobirthing who may feel ‘ready for battle’ when meeting health care professionals, thinking they are going to be met with barriers and regulations at every step, but in my experience that’s just not the reality. As long as you are asking the right questions and pulling out the right information from your healthcare professionals, they are on your side. The best thing you can do as hypnobirthing parents is recruit your midwife or Doctors to your little team and work together for a positive and safe birth!
Did you use any hypnobirthing techniques for your own birth?
Yes we did! I had my son in 2016, midway through my training. I had an incredibly difficult and complex pregnancy, so hypnobirthing brought a welcome calm! It would take me hours to tell my story in its entirety, but in the end we had an amazing birth- an induction on a very busy obstetric unit (Not the Trust that I work in) where we felt fully supported throughout and involved in every decision.
What’s your number one tip for a mum when it comes to giving birth? Do you have a tip for birth partners too?
Other than doing a hypnobirthing course you mean?!
Mums don’t need tips, they were MADE to give birth!! (The human race wouldn’t exist if they weren’t!). Follow their body, it knows EXACTLY what to do.
Birth partners, you need to love her and protect her, that is all.
How can a mum get the best out of her midwife when she gives birth?
Get your Midwife on your team. Midwives have an innate skill of reading a situation and moulding into the ‘sort’ of Midwife you need them to be, be that holding your hand and rubbing you back or remaining quiet in the background, holding the space, and letting mum do her thing. Let her know (this might be a partners job) what you want, ask her to keep you involved and trust her. If you really don’t trust her (or him), ask for someone else.
What’s your biggest frustration when it comes to working within the maternity ‘system’?
Time. In many senses of the word! Women being put ‘on the clock’, short antenatal appointments, not being able to spend enough time with women on the postnatal ward, computer working taking too much time and taking it away from face to face interaction!
You can find the lovely Megan in all the usual places and you’re anywhere near Surrey and pregnant- you know what to do-
Facebook: Positively Birthing