A lot has been written about pregnancy and birth, much of it contradictory, but one thing all the books agree on it the importance of preparation. We tend to focus a lot on the outcome of the birth (and you will often hear people say “the most important thing is a healthy baby, regardless of now it came out). But the process of ‘giving birth’ for the mother, and of ‘being born’ for the baby, are nonetheless very important events. The way you enter the world has more bearing on the rest of your life than you might think, as I discovered when I looked into the circumstances of my own birth.

You might have heard about the concept of rebirthing – in a nutshell, it is all about how what happens during those hours of labour and entry into the world is repeated during our later life. I found it quite astonishing to see how I was repeating the patterns set from my birth. So, for example, I tend to prefer working in isolation, am comfortable in my own company and find it hard to accept help or work well in partnership. How interesting to draw a link, then, with the circumstances of my birth, where I was separated from my mother for long periods and only given back for sporadic feeding. I learnt from the very first days that I had only myself to rely on, and over 30 years later I am teaching myself about accepting help and working as part of a team.