For mums-to-be in Bristol: New Hypnobirthing course starting in May


Today on Bristol Mum is my interview with Wendy proctor, a Bristol mum and trained midwife who runs The Essential Treatment, offering complimentary therapies for mums and mums-to-be.

When Wendy gave birth to her daughter Niamh eleven years ago, she had a Hypnobirth which helped her hugely both during labour and after and which inspired her to undertake a hypnobirthing course and qualification.

In May, Wendy will be running a hypnobirthing course for local parents-to-be in Bristol. In this interview, Wendy explains more about this hypnobirthing course and about the benefits of hypnobirthing during labour and after, plus the long-term benefits to the baby as well as more about Wendy, herself and about the other treatments which she offers mums and mums-to-be.

Please can you tell readers a bit about yourself.

I moved to Bristol 22 years ago, where I meet my husband Greg. I was born in the West Midlands and have two older sisters and a younger brother. Since living in Bristol I have managed to move my dad to Bristol after he suffered some poor health and my brother who I helped bring up from the age of 11, we are extremely close.

I became interested in Complementary therapies, and did my first course in Holistic and Aromatherapy massage in Kingswood and qualified in 1999. I only wanted to massage women so initially started massaging friends and family. We have an 11-year-old daughter called Niamh, she is my biggest and best achievement and I am extremely proud of her.

I really enjoy travelling and we were lucky enough to travel around the world last year for 5 months taking Niamh with us. We had a fabulous time, learnt so much about the countries we visited and the people. I also enjoy reading and socialising with family and friends.


Please tell us more about The Essential Treatment and the treatments that you offer mums?

The Essential Treatment is my small business which has grown throughout the years. One of my clients became pregnant and I did another diploma course in Pregnancy and Postnatal Massage however, I didn’t complete the course but it did inspire me to become a midwife.

Greg supported me both financially and emotionally through the arduous training for four years. It’s a job that I love, and working part-time enables me to offer massage therapies which I do in my spare time, both during the day and evenings.

I’ve built up the list of therapies over the years, the majority of them for both pregnant and non-pregnant women. The most popular is still aromatherapy massage and women can feel the benefit of having regular massages. Thai Foot massage is great for women on their feet all day and is similar to reflexology, but uses massage rather than pressure it has a whole body effect as I work on areas of the foot relating to different parts of the body.

Indian Head massage is wonderfully relaxing and particularly great for people who suffer with headaches, migraine and upper body tension. In these cold months Hot Stone Massage the only therapy that is contraindicated in pregnancy, has a deeply relaxing effect on all the muscles. I use placement stones on the sacrum and upper back and use the hot stones, massaging deep into the muscles, wonderful.

A relatively new therapy is Bellabaci Soft cupping Massage which is like having a deep sports massage but without the intense discomfort! I’m getting great feedback from women who have had this treatment.

Please tell me about the Antenatal Hypnobirthing course starting in May?

Being a Hypnobirthing mum myself I felt that I had a skill to help me in labour which kept me both calm and focused. In my job as a midwife I have also supported many women who used hypnobirthing in their labour to great effect. So I decided to undertake an Antenatal Hypnobirthing course which I starts this month, it is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives, a great endorsement.

I already teach antenatal classes for the NHS but women doing this course will be able to gain more information and learn the art of self-hypnosis during their labour. The course is over 5 x 2.5 hours session on Thursday evenings in May and I have two stand-alone days for 7 hours per day, visit my website for more information and if you click “Like” for my Hypnobirthing Facebook page you will get £15 discount off my courses.

When I researched other businesses offering hypnobirthing I felt that I had something else to offer, my massage skills which I can teach their partners but also working for the NHS I’m always up-to-date on evidence based research, so couples can make an informed choices, and feel that my price is affordable.

I feel that it is important to have a quality course and having only a maximum of 3 couples for each course enables me to ensure that everyone is given the time they need to master this skill.


What are the benefits of hypnobirthing in labour?

There are many benefits of using hypnobirthing, you are more likely to experience a more comfortable and sometimes pain-free birth. Your baby will arrive to a serene and relaxed environment, alert and ready to bond with you as nature intended.

The length of labour is often much shorter with Hypnobirthing births. Women who use hypnobirthing often use less drugs and medical intervention, and mums often bounce back quicker after using hypnobirthing as the physical impact of giving birth is reduced. Your birth partner will learn how to support you and have a central and active role in the birth therefore sharing this loving experience.

I repeatedly get wonderful birth stories of Hypnobirthing babies being calm, content and sleeping really well. They seem to thrive better. It may seem miraculous but this is how Hypnobirthing is designed to be.

The benefits to you are obvious, but the long-term benefits to your baby cannot be over-estimated.


When does the course start and where will it be held?

My courses start on the Thursday 5th May at 7 – 9.30pm for the 5 sessions, every consecutive Thursday, and the 19th and 20th May for the 2 day session 10 – 5pm. The venue is my comfortable home in Montpelier and refreshments will be available, in fact I ask you to let me know your favourite beverage so that I have it ready for you. Women have informed me that they feel more relaxed coming to my home, rather than going to a clinic type setting or hall.

How much will the course cost?

My course is £250 which I feel is competitive and you will gain so much more information as I’m a practising Midwife who has a passion for low intervention and the normality of birth. You get the added benefit of learning some key massage skills which your partner can use to help and support you.

How can readers contact you?

I would suggest that you first visit my website for complementary therapies or hypnobirthing then contact me or send a text message on 07940 885436, or email me on

Is there anything else which you would like to add?

If you “like” my Facebook pages, this will enable you to see special offers throughout the year. This month, March, I’m offering Thai Foot Massage for only £25.

I have a comfortable treatment room in my house in Montpelier and visiting permits for women who would like day time treatments, no requirement for permits for evening treatments. I look forward to hearing from you.