M2: Miracle of Childbirth; Why Leo Was a Special Delivery for His Pain-Free Mum

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Byline: DIANE PARKES

PPAIN-FREE childbirth without drugs? This maysound like some far-fetched dream but one Birmingham family believes it can become reality. With the help of his grandma Sheila BarrattSmith, baby Leo Nock was delivered into the world without medical intervention.

And the answer lies in Sheila's training in hypnobirthing.

By teaching her daughter Alice methods of relaxation, self-hypnosis and deep breathing, Sheila helped her to experience the special birth of baby Leo.

Alice Nock has twice been through pregnancy and giving birth --Harrison was born three years ago and Leo is a month old.

When Alice gave birth to Harrison she was surrounded by the best of modern technology, yet with Leo she chose a home birth with no drugs whatsoever. And the two births were totally different experiences.

'When Leo was born it was a really wonderful experience,' says 24-year-old Alice. 'I was totally relaxed. I know it will sound strange to people but I was actually looking forward to going into labour.

'Giving birth is such a wonderful experience and I wanted to remember everything about it.

'I had Harrison in hospital and it was not at all relaxing. It wasn't a horrendous experience but I did have all the drugs. I couldn't have done it without them because I didn't know anything about how relaxation could prevent you feeling pain 'But so much of a hospital birth makes you feel tense. When you do parentcraft classes they show you all this equipment which may be used and everything builds up to make you believe that labour will be hard. …