A day in the life of Mary McCallan

Mary McCallan
Mary McCallan

Registered Midwife Mary McCallan is Northern Ireland’s only Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner who has been bringing her pregnancy relaxation class to Hillsborough during May.

Mary - a practising midwife at Altnagelvin Hospital, saw the calming effect of this approach in action in her labour ward, and decided to try it for herself with the delivery of her first child, Minnie (now aged four). Having had a very positive experience she not only used it for the arrival of two sons (Arthur, three and Mattie, eight months), she also became Ireland’s first fully qualified practitioner in the technique.

Mary’s classes at Azora Health and Wholefoods in Hillsborough will finish on Saturday May 31 at 3 - 4 pm.

During a typical class I will arrive at the venue early so I can set up and get ready for the clients arriving. The pregnant ladies bring yoga mats with them and get themselves into a comfortable position while I discuss the class and what will be happening.

Natal Hypnotherapy is an approach which helps women to prepare mentally, emotionally and physically for giving birth, resulting in less medical intervention, lower levels of pain and an increased satisfaction with the birth experience.

Through this approach, women learn a range of tools and techniques including visualisation, deep breathing exercises and hypnotherapy to help them prepare for giving birth. These tools help them overcome fears of giving birth. It has been proven that fear can significantly increase the amount of pain people feel, so feeling relaxed and calm in the delivery room reduces the need for interventions and drugs, helping with the delivery of a calm baby.

The ladies will lie on their mats and I will play calm music which I talk over to help the ladies let go of their fears. Approaching the end of the hour session I will help the ladies reflect on the class and then get some feedback from them when the class has finished.

I also run two day workshops covering natural pain relief and positive birth preparation which have proven very popular across the west, with dozens of new mums and their birthing partners reporting great satisfaction with the approach.

I just love seeing mums to be relaxing during labour and because I have used it myself and experienced labour I understand what they are going through and how much I valued the hypnotherapy. For more details visit www.marymccallanbirthingmatters.com