Let's face it, being a parent is absolutely amazing. It is frequently feels as though we just don't have a moment to gather ourselves or take a breather amidst the chaos and demands from our little cherubs... at least not until they are safely tucked up in bed :)! Even then, our heads often feel so full of traffic - thoughts about the day , thoughts about the future, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts just whizzing around making it really difficult to switch off and truly relax.
Do you ever wish you could just turn the dial down on all that internal chatter just for a few moments when you feel that you need it most? I know I often have done - in fact, I always have done - I just didn't realise that there was a really simple way to do it. Then I discovered mindfulness - a practise of just stopping for a few seconds to just notice, just to be in the present moment.... to be curious about my thoughts and feelings without judging them , without acting on them or making decisions..... just noticing what they are, how my body feels and letting the thoughts go. As I do this I focus on one thing, usually my breathing, and as I breathe through the nose and out through the mouth (or nose), I bring my full attention to the sensation of breathing in and out. Every time my thoughts take over, I notice them and bring my focus back to my breathing.
Being mindful for just 3 minutes or just a few seconds several times a day- is so beneficial - it calms the mind and body, reduces stressful emotions, improves sleep quality and helps you get topside of your thoughts. In those moments of calm, it can help you rework any problems or overcome challenges that your mind may have been struggling with previously. Most importantly, these precious moments can help us feel sane again while we are juggling so many different balls in the air as parents and adults.
I'll be doing lots more blogs on mindfulness with plenty of tips on how to start to use it as a daily practise- you only need a few moments anytime.
Suffice to say, I incorporate mindfulness and my experience and learnings of it, as a key component within my Hypnotherapy sessions and during my HypnoBirthing classes - the calm breathing method is a perfect starting point and all the clients and couples I teach agree that it is one of the most beneficial and insightful parts of the course.
If you want to know more, feel free to get in touch on 01709 875521
Welcome to all the new babies who arrived in the last couple of months whose parents I have shared HypnoBirthing with. I look forward to following your progress after the calm, gentle start to life that you received during your time in the womb and during your birth.
I look forward to sharing your stories with other parents, looking to find the best way to birth for themselves and their babies and am sure your experiences of my HypnoBirthing classes and your memorable births will inspire them too
Wishing all couples I have taught, past, present and future every happiness and joy in 2015
All 3 couples in one of my August group classes have given birth to beautiful baby girls within a week of one another and all 3 used HypnoBirthing to welcome their babies, in different circumstances into the world. The first birth was an incredible home water birth that astounded the midwives who witnessed it; the second was a calm, hospital HypnoBirth (the birthing pool was unavailable), the third a caesarean section yesterday due to baby being breech. The fact that all three couples were able to rely on their breathing and relaxation techniques to create the perfect enviroment in which to bring their baby gently and calmly into the world is testament to the flexibility of HypnoBirthing even when birth plans change due to unforeseen circumstances. This is the reason I teach this course - 3 couples brimming with confidence and able to give birth free from fear in an atmosphere of calm joyfulness that so many fail to experience. Come along to one of my free taster session and enjoy finding out how HypnoBirthing can support you in getting the birth experience you deserve.
Last week, I was delighted to receive a birth announcement text message from a couple I had finished teaching the HpnoBirthing course in a group class to only the week before. They were thrilled to let me know that Libby's birth had been, in her mum's words "the most amazing, blissful experience of my life". What was particularly heartwarming about this news was that I knew that between our classes this couple had been striving for the birth they wanted. Having had a very traumatic experience the first time around they decided that they wanted to feel completely in control and planned to give birth in their own home this time around. This choice was almost prevented when they discovered that intravenous antibiotics needed to protect their baby from the Strep B infection had to be administered during labour at the hospital. The hospital advice was that they should therefore birth in hospital for ease of logistics/organisation rather than medical need. My clients were not happy with this and had to repeatedly vocalise their desire to plan to return home post- antibiotics to complete labour and the birthing of their baby at home. Ultimately, they secured the support of both the hospital and community midwifery team at Rotherham hospital. The outcome was that they got the birth experience that they so desired and deserved - a gentle, calm, drug-free waterbirth at home.
So often, as humans conditioned from an early age to believe that saying "No" to what we are asked to do is wrong - do you recall being scolded as a child for saying "No"?- we find it difficult to stand up for what we believe in and so often can ultimately end up feeling so dissappointed that we didn't speak up for what we really wanted at the time. But if, like this couple, we think of it not as saying "No" to what we don't want but as saying "Yes" to what we do believe in and feel is inately right for us, it becomes easier to make ourselves heard.
It is so important that mums feel safe and comfortable with their choice of planned birth place. This is an essential element in our preparation for a calm birth. For my husband and I, our choice was to birth in hospital. For this couple their choice to birth at home was complicated by the need for early medical intervention once labour started. Ultimately they got their wish and the outcome was everything they had hoped and planned for themselves and their baby daughter. Welcome to the world, Libby Bliss.
HypnoBirthing, the Mongan Method is the original, authentic and the UK's foremost Hypnobirthing programme. Grounded in science- anatomy, physiology and psychology, it is the only programme with 25 years of evidence- based outcomes to demonstrate its effectiveness in supporting women and their babies prior to and during labour & birth. It is fully supported and trusted as an effective natural birth method by the Royal College of Midwives and its President, Professor Lesley Page, the accomplished midwife, campaigner and academic.
Established in over 30 countries, its popularity in the UK make it the number one birthing programme available. It is fully accredited and underpinned by the Code of ethics by the HypnoBirthing Institute, whose UK Hypnobirthing Advisory Board ensure all its teachings and course materials are fully UK-oriented to meet the particular needs of UK mums and dads, birthing within the infrastructure of NHS Maternity Services.
For me, the most convincing aspect of this particular programme is the fact that it has spread simply because it works - that is, through primarily word-of-mouth recommendation from one mum to another and from one midwife's experience to another. This is what makes the Mongan Method entirely unique and entitled to its reputation as the leading birth and antenatal preparation programme.
A recent research study identified that the length of each individual pregnancy for each woman can vary by up to 37days. With this finding in mind, one has to question the wisdom of a one size fits all approach by hospital and care providers to mediocal induction if natural birth hasn't started by 40 weeks upto 42 weeks. If every pregnancy is different and there is no medical justification for intervening i.e. no established risk to mum and baby, isn't it better to allow each mum's own body and their baby decide when it is time for labour and birth to commence.
After all, if the Bishop's score is low, suggesting the baby and body are not ready yet for labour to start, it is highly unlikely that a sweep or pessary will succeed in inducing labour anyway. All that happens is that mum's experience of a sweep is ofetn uncomfortable and unfruitful whilst they have their hopes falsely raised that labour may begin as a result.
On the other hand, if the Bishop's score is high i.e. 8 or 9, then this is indicative of natural labour being just around the corner anyway. So, that being the case and in the absence of medical need, why intervene?
Natural labour often starts gradually and gently, enabling mum to utilise her HypnoBirthing relaxation and breathing techniques from the outset and with the support of her partner, get easily connected with her own body's rhythm and the ebb and flow of labour as it progresses. She can assume a state of deeper and more profound relaxation as labour progresses.
Chemical induction always works, even if the cervix isn't ripe and ready, and labour will commence full pelt and intensely with surges in very close proximity from the outset. In this scenario, HypnoBirthing breathing and deepening techniques learned in classes and practised during pergnancy will be an invaluable support. It is essential that mum brings herself into a state of deep relaxation prior to chemical induction commencing in order to remain in control, calm and much more comfortable once labour is induced.
The HypnoBirthing programme that I teach raises and encourages couples to carefully consider the pros and cons of each induction method compared with natural induction. This way, couples feel knowledgeable and able to ask their care providers the right questions regarding any induction method that is suggested. This way, rather than feeling vulnerable and powerless, they are able to make an empowered and informed decision as to whether natural induction or medically induction is the better option in order to safeguard mum's and baby's health and wellbeing.
It has been one of the longstanding bedrocks of the HypnoBirthing philosophy that a woman's due date is not an accurate predictor of when her baby is due. Furthermore, that, in the absence of any need for medical intervention to chemically induce labour, that mum's patience and nature's own timeframe is the best determinent of a baby's birthing date.
Indeed, each woman's gestational period can differ by up to 37 days according to the first study of its kind to accurately measure the length of women's pregnancies.
This appears to be contrary to the one-size-fits-all approach to chemically inducing labour at 42 weeks or before currently used by the NHS.
Use of the HypnoBirthing relaxation and super-effective natural induction techniques, including those that soften and ripen the cervix ready for labour to start when mum's body and her baby are ready, are a highly effective way to maximise the likelihood of achieving a gentle,natural start to labour and birth. Thus, minimising the need for chemical induction at the standard 42 weeks which, if the cervix isn't ready for labour to start at the point it is implemented, may result in a highly intense and often very uncomfortable experience for mum and baby.
To read a related article recently published in the Daily Mail click on the following link:
The press has been buzzing with growing speculation and persistent rumours, in the likes of OK magazine, the Daily Mail, BBC Radio 1 and Loraine Kelly's morning show that Kate, Duchess of Cambridge is believed to be practising hypnobirthing techniques in preparation for the birth of her and Prince William's first baby. As a result of increasing media interest I was asked to demystify hypnobirthing and its positive effects in a press interview for the Healthy Living section of the Sheffield Star newspaper. The interview forms the basis of a double-page spread written and edited by journalist Richard Blackledge which was published today, 15th July 2013.
I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience to make more women aware of how HypnoBirthing- the Mongan Method, works simply and effectively to support women, birth partners and babies to have a much better pregnancy, labour, birth & introduction to parenting.
Here's the article and I hope you enjoy reading it. If you do, please share this blog post and the following link with all your friends and acquaintences on your Facebook pages, Twitter, email, or phone text etc and lets help support UK women & babies in getting the kind of birth they truly deserve; natural, calm, gentle, confident and more comfortable.