The seeds of the natural birth movement were first sown with the work of eminent obstetrician Dr.Grantly Dick-Read. After witnessing a homebirth in the slums of the London Docks in 1913 where the mother refused any pain relief and then proceeded to give birth quickly and with no pain, Grantly Dick-Read was truly amazed.
The mother’s comment after giving birth when he asked why she refused the pain relief was “It didn’t hurt. It wasn’t meant to, was it, Doctor?” This experience was defining, and after a career of working on the battle field in the first world war and subsequently in hospitals as an obstetrician he theorised that fear was the overriding cause that led to the pain in childbirth. At the end of his career he wrote the book “Childbirth Without Fear”. He hypothesised that when you are fearful, you tense up and the natural birth process is inhibited and becomes longer and consequently more painful.
Over the years his theories have been fully vindicated with research into how hormones work during childbirth. His principles have been further developed by a number of natural birth practitioners with hypnobirthing being the most notable and widely practised. Today KGHypnobirthing is known by every midwife in the UK and many have trained in KGHypnobirthing, including professors of midwifery and NHS heads of midwifery. Obstetricians are also beginning to understand the significance of this work and are being trained too. KGHypnobirthing is practised internationally and is rapidly spreading throughout the world.