About - Jennifer Hautman
In my 20's, I found a copy of the book: Ina May Gaskin's 'Spriritual Midwifery' in a local health food shop. I didn't have the guts to buy it at first. I had no intention of having a child any time soon, and none of my friends had children yet either, but I was fascinated by that book, and eventually plucked up the courage to buy it. I read it like a secret guilty pleasure, and LOVED it.
A decade or so later, having qualified as a homeopath in 2007, I was pregnant when I found Ina May's all new and updated version, 'Guide to Childbirth'. I read it like a bible in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and even though I never met her, I considered her to be my lead midwife.
What I loved most about Ina May's books, is that she gives the TRUE story of so many births, told in the mothers (and other carers) own words. The first half of both books is just REAL birth stories, and the second half of each book covers the basics of midwifery in laypersons terms that is easy to understand and hugely empowering.
These books taught me not be afraid of my own body, but to be in awe of what it can do, if we can just let it get on with it. They also taught me not be afraid of 'normal' symptoms of pregnancy, and what to look out for that might suggest something might not be right, and most importantly, to know what to do about it.
They also taught me what the 'gold standard' for birth statistics can be when midwifery is at it's best:
- Home Births 94.7%
- Hospital Transfers 5.2%
- C-Sections 1.7%
- VBACs (Vaginal birth after caesarian) 96.8% success rate
Although the midwives in the UCLH homebirth team were wonderful, they just didn't have the time to tell me all that I wanted to know. Plus, in the event, I had never met before any of the midwives in attendance. Ina May Gaskin however, even though I'd never met her, made me feel prepared, like no one else had prepared me, and gave me the confidence, even as a first time mother, to have my son at home, in a birth pool, with no drugs or pain relief, and only homeopathy and ujjayi (yogic) breathing. And my Doula, also familiar with these books, and with my wishes, was ready to answer for me and defend my wishes, when I was too tired or too blissed out be able to speak for myself. This experience, together with 5 years of training as a homeopath and a decade of experience in practice, is what I now bring to my clients, to support them through their births.
Within a year, of my son's birth, I started practising as a homeopath, and one of the first patients I saw was a woman who came to me for anxiety and depression. The birth of her first child had been very traumatic, and she had suffered from post natal depression. Now, she was pregnant with her second child, and the depression was coming back. With treatment however, the depression soon lifted, her general health improved, and she went on to have a wonderfully cathartic home birth in a pool, and had an 'angel' of a baby. Since then, although I have treated men and women of all ages and for all manner of conditions, I specialise in supporting women to prepare for birth, find solutions to any fears and anxieties they might have, and help them to have the best possible birth experience.