Ultimately less stressed midwives will lead to better care for women and their babies
In a recent survey of Midwives , a staggering 82% have considered leaving the profession in the last two years. When asked for the reason why 81% cited “stress” as a contributing factor. The Royal College of Midwives recognise that “stress is one of the most common reasons cited by employees for sickness absence. It is a health and safety issue that affects the workplace. Team working may break down and client care may suffer. Accidents and injuries may increase”
Ironically, even whilst considering leaving, the majority of midwives taking part in the survey also cited the need to increase the number of Midwives as a way to alleviate the stresses and to improve the situation for women. In addition to stress, other reasons for wanting to leave the profession included the Medicalisation for birth (63%), the lack of individual care (56%), the level of paperwork (48%) and the level of Protocols (41%).
In order to improve the situation on a personal as well as professional level for UK Midwives, Intuition UN ltd will be launching the “Midwife’s Companion CD” at the Royal College of Midwives conference in Brighton this week. Intuition UN ltd is best known for the award winning Natal Hypnotherapy range of CDs; the UK's leading provider of hypnosis CDs, books and workshops for pregnant women.
Maggie Howell, Founder of Natal Hypnotherapy and creator of the “Midwife’s Companion CD”, has personally trained over 500 midwives and has seen first hand how stress can impact the role of the midwife and subsequently the effect on labouring women. Maggie says “The situation in the UK maternity services is reaching crisis point. Hardly a week goes by without some negative headline appearing our newspapers. As we see an increase in the caseload for midwives, the level of paper work and the rate of mediatisation, the toll this is taking on midwives is phenomenal. Whilst there are guidelines and protocols for helping Midwives manage stress, not enough is being done to ensure midwives are supported and cared for on a personal level”.
Maggie has produced this CD in conjunction with Midwife colleagues. The easy to use CD is specifically designed to help midwives’ reduce their personal levels of stress by taking 30 minutes a couple of times a week to experience deep levels of relaxation. Once relaxed the CD continues with a series of positive suggestions for midwives to help them manage their own emotional as well as physical well being, to remain calm in stressful situations, to ensure they stay well hydrated, to feel more in control of how they deal with situations and to help them feel more motivated in their chosen profession. Research on using hypnosis to reduce stress carried out at the Marquette University Nurse-Midwifery Program concluded that “Hypnosis is an innovative, low-technology, self-modulated approach that may contribute to stress reduction and health promotion
The use of the CD may not directly change the maternity services, however by helping one midwife at a time be more relaxed and motivated; it will result in one less midwife wishing to leave the profession. In addition less stressed midwives will lead to reduce absenteeism, reduced stress related illness, a more positive working environment. Ultimately less stressed midwives will lead to better care for women and their babies.
The Midwife’s Companion CD retails at £11.99 and will be available at the RCM conference and online from Tuesday 15th November at www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk
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Notes to Editors
1. To receive a preview copy of the ‘The Midwife’s Companion’, to arrange an interview with Maggie Howell or for midwife’s testimonials, case studies and Natal Hypnotherapy research, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Call 07710 019068 or 01428 712615 and/or visit
2. Intuition UN ltd survey of 33 midwives in the UK carried out via an anonymous email poll
3. Hypnotherapy has been an accepted therapeutic practice recognised by the British Medical Association since 1955.
4. Natal Hypnotherapy was founded in 2001 by Clinical Hypnotherapist and doula, Maggie Howell (d. Hyp. C. Hyp, LHA,UK HypReg), following the birth of her first child in which she used hypnotherapy techniques which she then went on to develop into the Natal Hypnotherapy product range following further research with mothers and antenatal groups. Maggie has since gone on to have four more children. The CDs have helped over 100,000 women in the UK.
5. Natal Hypnotherapy was awarded the Practical Parenting ‘Pregnancy Product of the Year’ award for its CDs and the Practical Parenting ‘Editors’ award in 2006, awarded Gold in this years “lovedbyparents” awards and were finalists in the Practical Parenting Pregnancy Product awards in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
6. Impact of self-hypnosis in women on select physiologic and psychological parameters, Marquette University Nurse-Midwifery Program, P. O. Box 1881, Clark Hall, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881, USA. email@example.com - Participants listened to a 30-minute recording of relaxing, affirming hypnotic suggestions while sitting comfortably in a recliner. Hypnotizability and trait anxiety were measured at baseline. Tension-anxiety was measured at baseline and following the hypnotic induction. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and heart rate variability were collected before, during, and following the hypnotic experience. Paired t tests revealed significantly reduced heart rate (p<.001), respiratory rate (p<.001), low-to-high frequency heart rate variability ratio (p<.001), and tension-anxiety (p<.001), whereas high frequency heart rate variability was increased (p<.001) after the 30-minute hypnotic session. CONCLUSIONS: Hypnosis is an innovative, low-technology, self-modulated approach that may contribute to stress reduction and health promotion. Parameters demonstrated increased parasympathetic nervous system activity associated with relaxation during and immediately after the hypnosis experience. Findings from this study suggest that nurses can include hypnosis information when advising healthy women about available stress reduction approaches, as well as tailor their nursing care for women who present using this alternative approach.
7. Over 2,300 midwives and birth professionals across the UK are now recommending Natal Hypnotherapy techniques.
8. Other CDs in the Natal Hypnotherapy range include:
The IVF Companion Home birth preparation* Fast post natal recovery*
Prepare to conceive Prepare for a Caesarean* Hospital birth preparation* Pregnancy Relaxation*
Breastfeeding companion Overcoming Morning Sickness
Labour Companion CD VBAC preparation Relaxation & Stress Management
*denotes twins version available
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