Paula, who played Kylie Platt on the soap, welcomed her second child in July last year, and opted to have a hypnobirth – a technique that teaches expectant mums relaxation and breathing exercises to self-hypnose during labour and delivery.
Now the mum-of-two, who’s married to actor Tom Shaw, has been talking about her experience with the technique, saying it was ‘magical’.
Speaking to Katharine Graves, the hypnobirthing expert who helped Paula throughout her pregnancy, the 30-year-old said: ‘I didn’t have any concept of time and I didn’t allow myself to be worried about that, so Penny arrived in her own time with no interventions.
‘It was a week past my due date, but that didn’t even matter, in the early hours of the morning I had a little trickle with my waters and I just kept calm. I even lay down with Arthur in his bedroom smiling to myself, would you believe, through these surges’, Paula said.
‘I was quietly smiling to myself and thinking this is bizarre but it was obviously because of all the KG hypnobirthing training – I knew everything and I just trusted my body and that really came into play.’
Giving birth to Penny was a completely different experience for Paula, who had a frantic birth when delivering her first son Arthur, who’s now two years old.
‘Our birth couldn’t have been any more opposite to my first birth with Arthur, I can only describe it as a magical experience.
‘I’m willing to tell the world about all the time because it was just phenomenal. I just really felt in control.’
As well as using the hypnobirthing training, Paula also opted to have a water birth at her living room, using a pool at her family home in West Yorkshire.
Talking about the midwives who were involved in the delivery, Paula said they didn’t have to provide much help.
‘The midwives were absolutely fantastic, they didn’t have to do much and they were astounded, there was a student there who had never witnessed anything like it before, she was used to being on a ward where people purposely go for inductions and intervention, so she was quite taken back by the whole experience.’
To train for her hypnobirth, Paula said she listened to the KG Hypnobirthing CD for 10 minutes every night during her pregnancy, and used visualizations while giving birth.
Speaking about Penny, Paula says she’s ‘the most calm’ baby: ‘When she was born in the water she had her eyes open and it was just out of this world. From them on she never really cried, she’s super calm, she just wanted lots of cuddles.
‘She is the most calm, placid baby, apart from when it’s nap times and possibly feeding times but that’s babies.’
Would you try a hypnobirth? Let us know in the comments!