Molly O'Brien RM, BSc, AHBM
Midwife, antenatal educator and hypnobirthing practitioner, Molly O'Brien has practised as a midwife for 20 years in both hospital and community settings, witnessing over 1500 births. She is also been an associate lecturer at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Her area of expertise is physiological birth, hypnobirth and waterbirth, but she also has a wealth of experience in complex birth. She recently retired from full time clinical midwifery in an NHS midwife-led birth unit to focus on teaching and deepening her understanding of the biomechanics of birth. She is an expert in normal, straightforward birth, and how to keep it that way.
Molly chose to switch from nursing to midwifery after giving birth to her own children ignited a passion for the powerful and unforgettable experience of becoming a mother. In twenty years of clinical practice little has delighted her more than witnessing the calm, confident births of women who trust in their bodies and birth instinctively. A key element of such births has been a lack of fear. Molly understands through her work how fear interferes with normal physiology, and how various factors, increased medicalisation, media sensationalism, and a less closely socially connected world have all helped bring fear into the birthing room.
In her practice she always took a "salutogenic" view of birth and throughout her career has studied and trained in techniques to help "keep birth normal". The techniques she learned and developed worked so well she started teaching them to students and staff in her hospital - this has evolved into her current "Biomechanics for Birth training day for midwives and other birth workers that she regularly takes to Spain and has gone as far afield as Chile as well as venues across the UK.
Molly writes: "Being a birth junkie, I'm an avid researcher and have immersed myself in articles and books that add to this knowledge,The Labour Progress Handbook by Penny Simkin and Ruth Ancheta is falling apart with use and my obsessive pursuit of evidence occasionally drives my poor husband round the bend!
The tools and strategies I have learned and developed, especially during my last 7 years working in a MLBU, helped me revolutionise my practice. I have witnessed rapid and dramatic progress during the birthing process after applying the techniques I teach, so have other midwives and obstetricians in my hospital! I’ve had to stop people saying “Molly, I see you’ve worked your magic again”. It's science not magic!
I thought the best way of doing that was to start teaching the techniques and skills I’ve helped develop and refine and have been running “Moving for an Easier Birth” courses for a couple of years now, teaching in my own hospital, at Treat Clinic in Norwich , in London and surprisingly, in multiple locations in Spain and in Chile! I stepped back from clinical midwifery in April 2018 to concentrate on teaching and researching biomechanics full time. I run regular 'Biomechanics for Birth' for professionals courses and Hypnobirthing and a basics of birth biomechanics class 'Moving for an Easier Birth' for pregnant couples,