Brenda O’ Toole – Practising registered midwife and HypnoBirthing teacher DipHb(KGH)

I have been teaching ante-natal classes since 2007. I have been a midwife for nearly 20 years. I have always aimed towards  a holistic approach in giving care to Mothers, a more integrated medical approach, with the choices of HypnoBirthing techniques in promoting confidence and trust in her own ability to birth (there is a sound science behind this!) also, ‘spinning baby workshop’ techniques for optimum baby positioning before labour, nutrition and with the optional supports of homeopathy in pregnancy. This incorporates the emotional side of a pregnant woman which  can often be neglected in pregnancy. These classes dispel fears and myths, promoting well-being and trust in her ability to give birth comfortably and safely. The classes I teach are evidence based and on best international practice.

Why did I become a HypnoBirthing ® practitioner?

During my years working as a midwife I have noticed increasingly high levels of medical intervention alongside increasingly high levels of fear amongst Mothers and partners. I have always been interested in giving couples the most effective preparation for birth. I have looked at other child birth education programs and chose HypnoBirthing ® ( The Mongan method) and later Katherine Graves (DipHb(KGH) as it empowers women and their partners to embrace birth as a natural, wonderful and a joyful experience. It also gives Partners an integral role thus strengthening families and bonds. Hypnobirthing has a science behind it. It is an education of the mind that allows for a positive birthing experience, whatever path your birth takes you.
Women today are influenced so much by stories, media or Hollywood movies which portray birth as painful and agonizing; We cannot but be affected by these movies or stories. These perceptions unfortunately shape our reality leading us to sometimes disappointing birth experiences. Women sometimes hear it from their friends, their families, in that effort to prepare them for the ‘inevitable’ event. Some people say nothing at all as they are unsure what to say to help. People want to help, they mean well.
There is a way that birthing can be easier, more comfortable and that is the Hypnobirthing way. It can be so different. Severe pain is not always inevitable.
Why are we perpetuating these myths? This way of looking at birth?
Education of the mind is the key.

So how do I know this?

Well ,apart from seeing with my own eyes Mothers in labour smiling and chatting in between their surges (contractions)! Hypnobirthing also has the statistics from thousands of Hypnobirthing couples who have completed and submitted their birth evaluation reports with the Mongan institute. Hypnobirthing teaches you that you do not have to suffer agony when you give birth that it is very possible to have a gentle comfortable birth, but most importantly it gives you permission to let go (outside your comfort zone), to allow you to have the trust in your body to birth your baby allowing you to be in control. It allows you to re-discover the truth that birth should be a calm, natural and even spiritual process, not a tense medicalised event.These classes give women and their birthing companions tools that reach far beyond birth- the techniques learned are found to be invaluable in many other situations in life, in remaining calm and in control. My aim is to provide a supportive nurturing environment for couples to learn, to explore their feelings, hopes and fears around their birth, giving confident rise to their inherent ability to give birth comfortably and gently. Mothers can free themselves of harmful emotions that lead to pain and unyielding muscles. These classes are an amazing journey of growth where women become more aware of the power of the mind, the strength of the body and the importance of family bonding.
I have learned alot about the power of ‘mind and body connection’ in recent years. It is only in the last 10 years that scientists such as Bruce Lipton (see Bruce Lipton.com ‘uncovering the biology of belief’) and Dr. Candence Pert Ph.D ’Biology of emotion’ have been able to explain the scientific background behind HypnoBirthing(It is brain science! sports athletes work on the same premise), Ayurveda (Indian medicine) and Chinese medicine. These are exciting times..empowering todays parents, tomorrows future, one birth at a time….

Would you like to contact me about anything? I’d be delighted to answer your antenatal questions. Call me on (086) 832 8859

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I trained as a staff nurse in Beaumount Hospital, Dublin in 1990. Medical and cultural experience in Khamis Mushadt, Saudi Arabia (1991) I obtained my midwifery qualification in St. Thomas’ and Guys and Lewisham trust in London in 1993. I gained valuable midwifery experience working in St Thomas’ Hospital (community based homebirths and hospital actively managed births) followed by the ‘Women’s hospital’ in Sydney, Australia(1996/1997).

I qualified as a homeopath from the Irish school of Homeopathy, Milltown, Dublin 2002. I obtained my diploma in Reflexology from the Beary-Cull School of Reflexology in All-Hallows, Dromcondra, Dublin, 1998.

I  worked in The National Maternity Hospital, Holles St, 1996-2001 and at the Coombe Womens’ hospital part-time 2007-2012.  I worked part-time at the midwifery unit at the Midland regional hospital in Portlaoise (2001 to 2007).

I attended ‘Leading Ante-Natal classes’ by Judith Schott in March 2007, I.N.O. Headquarters Dublin.

I qualified as a HypnoBirthing Educator (Mongan certified) in September 2009 in Scotland and I am affiliated with the HypnoBirthing institute. In order to stay on their register I have to keep updated with new research, and best practice changes every year. Updated on HypnoBirthing course Dublin May 2013. Updated Hypnobirthing with KGH London DipHb (KGH) JAN 2019. Affiliated with The Royal College of Midwives (RCM).

Since 2013 I work primarily as a Self employed Community  Midwife (SECM) (see HSE.ie/Homebirth) in the midlands. https://youtu.be/Q3Z8Ulp-6w0  See also communitymidwives.ie . I attend regular study days and workshops to support my own on-going personal and professional development plus all the courses recommended on HSEland. These study days all help to shape my practice to support and advocate for my mothers in the best possible way.

I am on the live register for midwives in Ireland governed by the NMBI, the regulatory body for nurses and midwives in Ireland. I am a member of The Midwives Assoc of Ireland, a member of A.I.M.S, (the association of improvements in Maternity services in Ireland), a member of ALCI Ireland (Association of Lactation consultants in Ireland), La Leche breastfeeding community group,  a member of the Homebirth Association of Ireland, a member of the Community Midwives Association (CMA) of Ireland and elected Chairperson of CMA in 2018.

Some workshops I have attended are;

1. ‘Spinning baby workshop’ May 21st 2016 taught by the amazing Jennifer Walker an accredited teacher taught by the infamous Gail Tully. I incorporate the essential learning/ techniques I got from this amazing workshop into my classes. Attended another spinning babies workshop in Maynooth 2018 given by Gail Tully.

2. Sarah Wickham, Midwife consultant UK  ‘JOURNEYING THE BOUNDARIES’  an evidence based workshop on specific areas related to pregnancy and labour. April 2016

3 Foetal surveillance/monitoring in Labour by Dr Edwin Chandraharan from St Georges University hospital, Tooting London. March/April 2016 (lowest Caesarian section rate in the UK due to its innovative foetal monitoring strategy!)

4. ‘Gathering in the knowledge’ workshop facilitated by Dr Sarah Wickham .. an update on research, on what is new and current in all areas of pregnancy. November 2018

And last but not least I am a Mother myself of three young wonderful daughters!

Brenda x