Hello welcome to Best Birth and thank you for taking the time to look at my website. My name is Anna and I live in Aberdeen with my hubby Simon and our three children. I have two at university and the youngest in senior phase at secondary school - not sure where the time went! Having qualified as a midwife in 1995 I have a lot of professional experience around childbirth and have supported numerous couples throughout their childbirth journey. I also have a teaching qualification and I am a Nurse Teacher with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). This experience is invaluable of course but what I have learnt over the years is that it's not so much about the professional it's about the personal. Every parent experiences pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood in their own unique way. Obviously there are common themes, hopes, excitement and fears that are felt by lots of people, but everyone experiences them differently. Personally I have known the heartbreak of pregnancy loss, the stress of delayed conception and the overwhelming joy of birth. At each point I have experienced a wide range of different and often conflicting emotions and I’m sure my hubby would say the same.
I now realise that my own positive birth experiences (all three of my babies were born at home in a birthing pool) were dependent on so many different factors all coming together at the right time. I was a midwife before I had my children so I knew all the physiology, tips and tricks that I had been teaching in antenatal classes. I felt well informed and excited about childbirth, although I was also extremely anxious about certain aspects too. There was an element of “luck” about my birth experiences. I had well grown babies, no underlying pregnancy health issues, began labour within 1-2 days of my expected date. I could also afford to hire a birthing pool and was surrounded by people I trusted including my best friend who was an independent midwife, my husband and my mum. The home birth midwives were available to come out to me (one only just arrived in time with my third!). The pool was fantastic, it was amazing to be at home and I felt I coped well and, even though I did find birth overwhelming and painful, I could honestly describe it afterwards as a wonderful experience.
This of course was great for me but I began to wonder how my experience would have changed if I’d have had to deal with different circumstances - what if the midwives couldn’t come or if I’d been advised to have an induction? What if Simon had been ill and not able to be there to support me - so many variables, so many what ifs! This is many women’s experience and the current Covid-19 pandemic has thrown even more uncertainty into the mix. What I know to be true for every woman preparing for childbirth is, regardless of how they birth their babies and the circumstances surrounding the birth, being emotionally in control is the key to how they experience it. Having the tools to remain calm, relaxed enables women to have a positive birth experience regardless of any change or deviation from their ideal. Imagine being able to step into a birthing pool in your mind even if the actual pool isn’t available. Imagine being able to listen to your partner's voice even if they weren’t in the room with you. Imagine you and your birth partner being completely in sync as you work together in your unique birth experience. This is why I became a Wise Hippo Instructor and founded Best Birth. It is the only antenatal preparation and hypnobirthing course that I found could truly give couples the tools to achieve a positive birth experience whatever their circumstance. Tools for birth and tools for life - and at the moment we need that more than ever!