Birth Stories No. 9: Natalie’s Active Water Birth

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I wanted to thank you [Janet] for being such an amazing source of inspiration and insight over the last few months.

Coming to your Tuesday evening pregnancy yoga class has been a complete treat and I am going to sorely miss you, your pelvis and woollen baby and placenta – and of course the girls.

Having seen you on Tuesday for a class and feeling very good about being over 41 weeks, we went to our 42 week appointment on Friday and found ourselves being booked in for an induction later that day.

This came as quite a shock to my husband and me as we’d spent the pregnancy being classed as low-risk, and practising
hypnobirthing, and aiming for an active birth in the hospital’s birth centre. We hadn’t realised that going past 42 weeks automatically reclassified you as high-risk.

natalie2Luckily they said we could go home and get our stuff before coming in for the prostaglandin pessary induction. I had a Priming for Labour Reflexology session with Sophia Smith already booked for that afternoon so I went and had a blissful 90 minutes with her before heading back to the hospital.

We then had the pessary and the lovely midwife advised walking up and down the stairs sideways, both feet on each step, to tilt the pelvis and encourage the baby to descend. I must have done the 8 storeys at UCLH 15 times but it worked.

In the early stages of labour we used lots of your cat poses, partner supported squats and the surges built swiftly enough within the first 24 hour period of the pessary induction to be transferred to the Labour Ward as Low Risk and so we got our gas and air active waterbirth just as we had always hoped.

And for that we thank you ever so much.

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Janet Balaskas Founder of Active Birth Director of the Active Birth Centre
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