Hypnobirthing classes for Dads

Is Labour Painful?

Is labour painful?

The question that so many women have around labour and birth. Is labour painful? We’re surrounded with many stories that allude to this. Most women have been surrounded by this belief from a very young age. TV, films, books, peoples birth stories contribute to this belief. Its such an awful notion to believe that to have a family women have to endure hours of pain whilst in labour. We need to reframe this belief. We can’t hang on to negative thoughts or comments they aren’t helpful whatsoever. Don’t underestimate that ‘where the mind leads, the body follows’. Positive thinking is what you need not a belief that it has to be the painful way or no way!

I’m here to share with you that it doesn’t have to be this way.

But we all have different pain thresholds I hear you say

I would tell you that i’m a wimp! Had you asked me many years ago before i became a Mum – is labour painful? I’d have said of course it is! Having not even experienced it I’d have confidently told you of course it would be. A paper cut hurts me, I’m often asked by beauticians does that hurt because my legs have gone bright red during waxing. Yes it does hurt even though I’ve been having it done for 18 years! But ask me is labour painful? I’ll tell you no. I had a great labour. I often say I’ve had harder days at work! The reason I strongly believe it was this way? Because i was relaxed. I was looking forward to birth and meeting my baby. I was never alarmed when labour started. You can read more about my birth story here.

By being relaxed it really helps you manage any sensations that you are experiencing. If you’re able to manage these sensations early on then you’re conserving your energy stores.

Don’t underestimate your body and don’t look to birth to be painful. Take any association of pain away from your believe of what labour is. Yes labour is a very different sensation to any you may have experience before. Although some women liken it to premenstrual cramp. Its a hard sensation to describe I find personally but its certainly not one I described as painful.

Managing labour effectively

As a hypnobirthing teacher and having experienced childbirth there are many ways that we can manage labour. Firstly understanding our bodies. Many women aren’t aware of how amazing their bodies are. They are designed to give birth. Of course, there are circumstances where women can’t give birth naturally due to medical reasons. For those women, who are in the majority, that can give birth naturally we need to understand our bodies.

Breath is King

To appreciate that breath is KING is a good start. Don’t ever underestimate how powerful breathing techniques are. Not only during labour but in all walks of life. When we’re stressed, taking deep breaths help to calm us down. I teach a breath work called the up breath which is used in the first stage of labour. This breath is used as a relaxing breath and it produces a hormone that the body needs on the out breath, Oxytocin.

Birthing hormones

Understanding the hormones we need to keep our bodies relaxed. By doing this the uterus which is the muscle that births our baby is relaxed. If this muscle is tense it won’t work effectively and like any other muscle will start to produce lactic acid. This is not effective during labour. We keep our uterus relaxed by our bodies producing oxytocin. Oxytocin is also know as the love hormone. The same hormone your body produces when we’re kissed, hugged, have sex.

If your body is producing oxytocin you’re going to be in a happy state not tense or anxious. It’s when the stress hormone adrenaline kicks in that labour will begin to stall. The body will be tense, stressed and anxious. This is not conducive for labour. This is when women can be branded with ‘failure to progress’. When actually if they were in the right environment they could begin to relax.

Oxytocin breeds. So if you’re producing it those around you will start to as well and vice-versa. So the more calm and relaxed anybody involved in the birth can be the better.

Oxytocin works in harmony with fellow hormones endorphins and melatonin. Melatonin is encouraged in dark and quiet settings and inhibited by interruption and observation. Endorphins are natures natural pain relief. Promoted by oxytocin, laughter, love and stimulated by light touch and massage.

It’s amazing how the body can naturally produce all of these things to naturally promote a manageable labour – if we work with it.

How can hypnobirthing help?

Hypnobirthing can help you achieve a better birth. One that you feel in control of by learning how the body works. Understanding how if we’re stressed where it can lead to and how it uses energy levels we should be conserving. Using techniques that help stimulate endorphins through gentle stroking and massage. Listening to relaxations and believing in the power of the mind.

We don’t want to hold on to negative thoughts and with hypnobirthing we encourage you to let go of those. Release any of the fear and tension you may hold on to in the subconscious mind.

Hypnobirthing isn’t pain relief but it teaches you to understand how you can be in control of your birth and remain calm. Being calm is key because as soon as you become stressed the adrenaline will kick in. This is then when we start to see intervention, women’s contractions slowing down.

Learning the tools of hypnobirthing will mean you’re not left asking is labour painful? You’ll feel confident that you will be able to have a birth that you feel in control of and can manage. This isn’t just for a natural birth but any route your birth takes.

Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more?

I offer hypnobirthing classes across Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

Follow me via my blog,  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

FAQs is labour painful

My Favourite Baby Items For My Hypnobaby

What baby items should I buy? Where do I start?

As a Mum to be it can be completely overwhelming with all of the decisions that need to be made. What course do I do? What is hypnobirthing? Which hospital will I have my baby at? Do I want a homebirth? Do I need to go to NCT? Then there’s the amount of baby items to choose from! Many friends shared their recommendations with me. I bought many items that I barely used much to the frustration of my other half! What I did find out though were the baby items that served me well. So here are my favourite buys that I bought for my very own hypnobaby.

Medela Breast Pump

Unfortunately I really struggled with breastfeeding. Therefore the breastfeeding counsellor advised to get an electric breast pump to express. As although we struggled to feed I still wanted to give Oliver the chance to have breast milk. Expressing was the perfect solution for us. It was really easy to use and not uncomfortable. The electric pump made it so much easier and quicker than a hand pump. Women really give themselves a hard time with breastfeeding. I’m a strong believer in as long as baby is fed and happy then you are doing your best. You’ve created a miracle – don’t forget you’re amazing! So if you’re struggling to feed, or wanting to express so that Dad or those around you can help with the feeds i’d highly recommend Medela.

Doctor Brown’s Bottles

I had so many recommendations for these bottles and I understand why. They are fantastic bottles. Oliver fortunately never suffered with colic whilst we used them. They were long lasting and I never had to replace the bottles. Well I did but only the ones I lost when I left them in various places!! They come with various teat sizes so I was able to keep Oliver on them until he gave up the bottle when he turned 1. If you’re bottle feeding my tip with bottles is to buy the full size bottles to start with. They move up so quickly to needing more milk that the smaller bottles become redundant quickly.

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep

I bought this once I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to breast feed solely. This machine is brilliant! Especially at 3am allowing you to make an optimum temperature bottle in under 2 minutes. This made our lives so much easier. It’s really easy to use and maintain. Changing the filter is like changing any water filer and it alerts you when this is necessary. Considering the usage the filters last a good length of time – so don’t be put off by needing to change the filters.

Phil & Teds Travel Cot

This travel cot is fantastic! This baby item has gone on in to a toddler item as Oliver still sleeps in it now! It is more pricey than some others on the market but its well worth the money. It so compact it fits in a suitcase, is super light and the mattress is inflatable. An inflatable mattress might not sound that comfortable for your little bundle of joy but when the cover is on you’d know no different. Not bulky or heavy and very easy to put together. We have taken ours on many holidays and for overnight stays. Personally i’d always rather have my own travel cot than a hotel one but some may say i’m just being fussy. It doubles up as a play pen and they also sell a sun shade for it so it can be used outside. This was definitely money well spent.

Babyway Newborn Bath Seat

We had a flat folding bath seat we had never got used as I found the Babyway bath seat was so easy to use. Oliver was really secure and comfortable. It grips to the bath and allows the baby to sit in a comfortable position. Oliver never slipped in this seat he sat comfortably allowing us to play and wash him. The only downside its an awkward shape to store so ours took up residence in the bath!

Muslins

We went through so many muslins so I tried a fair few! Oliver still loves a muslin know to him as his ‘raggy’! I think raggy appears in our wedding pictures more than us! So as you can imagine they get washed copious amounts of time. 2.5 years on these are the ones I loved the most, kept their softness and wash up so well. Aden & Anais my heart still pangs every time i see a newborn with these – so sparkly white with the cute animal design. Given to us as a gift and because I know how well they have served us I now often buy them as a gift too.

Another excellent set that are great value are from Aldi by Kirkton House. These too were part of a newborn gift and I hunted them down once I realised how great they were. I signed up to the Aldi special buys emails so i knew when they were having a baby event and stocking them. 2.5 years on the original set are still going strong.

A couple of baby items I didn’t buy and in hindsight I would have…

So hindsight is a great thing and there are a couple of things I look back and think I would have bought that. Not that what I had didn’t serve me well but these would have been better buys.

Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair

At the time i looked at these highchairs and thought i’m not spending that much. Yes they are pricey but the lifespan of them is fantastic. Oliver now uses one with his childminder and they are the ideal size for dinner tables. Once they move out of the baby seat you can use this as a chair that a child can sit comfortably on. The height is adjustable and they come in a super range of modern and contemporary colours. This will definitely be one of my baby items purchase should we be lucky to have another baby in the future.

Uppababy Buggy

When we were looking at buggies I didn’t want to have a buggy with a carrycot. I wanted a buggy that could lie flat and also be a three wheeler. I was able to find a nice design that I liked and met these requirements. Unfortunately what I didn’t take into consideration was the amount of basket space. Why would I?! I wasn’t used to having to juggle shopping, a handbag, baby changing bag and a buggy! So this was a bug bearer for me that I had a pretty impractically sized, flimsy basket. The handle was adjustable but my back continued to ache as not being high enough. I often look at mothers with the Uppababy buggies and envy the basket space they have and how high the handles go. So if I was purchasing another buggy it would certainly be an Uppababy.

Hopefully these suggestions are helpful and don’t overwhelm or confuse you even further. They are just a few items that personally I think are good buys on the market. There are loads out there and it can becoming confusing. Just give yourself time to browse the stores and find the best items for you.

What I do when i’m not recommending baby items!

I’m busy helping expectant parents achieve the best birth for them. I offer hypnobirthing classes in Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

Keep in touch

Follow me via my blog,  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with my courses and workshops taking place.

Ali x

FAQs footer image Hypnobirthing taster sessions richmond What is hypnobirthing NCT baby items

Birth Preparation Workshops

What is a Birth Preparation Workshop?

I host birth preparation workshops in conjunction with YogaBellies Richmond to help women and couples prepare for the birth of their baby. It is a nurturing, fun and informative 3 hours. We commence with an hours pregnancy yoga followed by two hour hypnobirthing workshop. Our intention is for people to feel relaxed and leave the workshop feeling more empowered and less anxious about birth.

A birth preparation workshop allows you to take time for relaxation. Allowing you to let go of any apprehensions and sharing your experiences with other new parents to be. It’s a nurturing workshop that allows you to relax, and take time for you and your baby. Allowing you the space to connect with the miracle growing inside you.

I enlighten attendees about the benefits of hypnobirthing. Educating on how if in the right environment we can encourage the birthing hormones. These hormones are so vital to encourage birth naturally and many of us are unaware of this. Inviting everybody to join in on relaxation and breathing techniques. We discuss any fears individuals may have and how hypnobirthing can help overcome those fears or anxieties.

Yoga compliments hypnobirthing as many of the beautiful poses are fantastic birthing positions. Opening up the pelvis so much more than lying on your back. They are open positions enabling a woman’s body to birth a baby more effectively and naturally. When a woman becomes more familiar with these positions during pregnancy hopefully they will come more naturally to take them up during labour.

Feedback received

The intention with the birth preparation workshop is for expectant parents to feel nourished and informed. I always encourage parents that even if they don’t go on to book a full KG hypnobirthing course to take away nuggets of info. Hopefully so that they are remembered when they go on to birth their baby. Be it how to encourage your birthing hormones, the breathing, keeping your jaw and face relaxed. If I can help somebody have the best birth for them then I’ve achieved what I set out to do.

A taste of the lovely feedback received from expectant Mum’s at the last workshop on the 10 June 2017 in Richmond, Surrey….

‘I thought the workshop was great and it has really inspired me not to be afraid or listen to negative stories!’

‘I really enjoyed it. Very informative.’

‘We’d both like to thank you for the workshop on Saturday – we both enjoyed it but more importantly found it positive and reassuring.’

‘Thanks again for such a great session.’

Many parents leave the session feeling inspired and do go on to book a full private or group course.

How often are the Birth Preparation Workshops held?

We aim to hold Birth Preparation Workshops every 2 months. We will be announcing a date very soon for a workshop for August 2017 in Richmond.

Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more?

I offer hypnobirthing classes across Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

Follow me via my blog,  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

hypno baby - Birth Preparation workshop blog

Should I do Hypnobirthing or NCT classes?

Hypnobirthing VS NCT Classes

When i was pregnant I was lucky enough to be able to attend Hynobirthing and NCT courses. Some of us may not have that luxury be it due to money or time. I’m often asked what are the differences so luckily i’m able to give my views. What one would you suggest if i can only do one? Do they overlap in content? From experience they are both great but for different reasons.

I am firm believer in knowledge is power.  So to be as educated as  I could be would mean more control during labour. My hypnobirthing course was really interesting and opened my eyes up to how amazing the birthing body is. Both my partner, Jamie and I learnt so much. Jamie who was sceptical at first was an advocate by the time our course had ended. Hypnobirthing made him a great birth partner – I fundamentally believe this. Jamie gained a great understanding of birth. He knew what we needed to do to help achieve the birth i’d set out for. He also became very interested when he was able to liken it to sport!

Hypnobirthing Course

We did a private hypnobirthing course as I wanted that 1-2-1 experience. For me the 1-2-1 course would be in the comfort of my own home at times that suited me. I offer this 1-2-1 option for expectant parents. Many couples like the idea of a group hypnobirthing course. Therefore I offer this option too as they are able to meet other expectant parents. Perhaps discuss elements of pregnancy and birth they’d not considered.

My hypnobirthing course sets out to make the expectant parents as relaxed as possible. I work with the parents to understand what they want to get out of the course. I am then able to run the course taking their needs into consideration. If there are any fears what they are and how we can work through them. Hypnobirthing is an holistic approach to birth. With this in mind I don’t focus on pain relief in great detail. Most of my clients are hoping to achieve a natural birth. My teaching is around educating people how they can try to achieve this. How working with your breath is a natural pain relief.

For me its very important that we cover how birth sometimes can takes a different journey. If this happens how you can apply hypnobirthing techniques to that birth. Understand why it may have taken that course and be happy with the outcome. Hypnobirthing isn’t just about birthing naturally its for all types of birth and the best birth for you.

NCT Courses

The NCT class was a great opportunity to meet local expectant Mums in the area. Our teacher was great asking us what we wanted to get out of NCT and what we wanted to learn. You felt like you had ownership over your course. We covered things like what happens if you have a c-section. Preparing you for what would happen, how many people would be in theatre. The breastfeeding class was great and left me feeling very positive.

I think with group courses where you could have different views on birth it can be quite daunting. Some Mums are adamant they are having an epidural as they are convinced that birth will be a painful ordeal. Its understandable its what we’ve been lead to believe through gruesome stories, media, TV, films. This experience can be quite a negative one within a group environment. That’s where hypnobirthing steps in to help you overcome these fears and anxieties. To break down what can happen if you have an epidural. Expectant Mum’s need all the info to enable them to make an informed decision.

The main difference for me was that i found NCT a very functional approach. It felt like I was in a classroom learning but in a relaxed environment. With hypnobirthing I felt like I had left in a meditative state feeling so relaxed and excited about birth. NCT didn’t leave me feeling excited as it was quite matter of fact. Not in a negative way whatsoever but just a different approach.

The key things I learnt through hypnobirthing

With Hypnobirthing we break down the elements of birthing and the implications of procedures. For example epidurals and how they can lead to intervention. How an induction works and what the body does when its pumped with artificial Oxytocin. The body can’t break it down as it does with natural Oxytocin. For me these are key facts that women should be educated on as so they can understand what can happen.

Having a good understanding of this enabled me to know what i’d like to try and achieve during labour. I would never discourage anybody from having pain relief as sometimes its needed and birth doesn’t always go as planned. But having an understanding of the birthing hormones – oxytocin, melatonin and endorphins, this helps enormously with keeping you calm. Understanding why you need to keep your stress levels down to enable the body to birth more effectively. Keeping the stress hormone, adrenaline, at bay. Many women don’t have an understanding of these and by educating people about these we can help achieve better births.

For me hypnobirthing is far more than just downloading an app and listening to relaxations. A course is in depth and teaches you the importance of relaxation, practice, understanding how the body works. Most importantly it ensures the expectant Father or birthing partner is a fundamental part of hypnobirthing. They understand what is happening. What you want and can act as your voice when you are in labour and take control of situations. Most expectant fathers I teach are often really impressed. By the end of a hypnobirthing course they’ve have had their eyes well and truly opened. Left feeling like they have a true role to play during labour and how they can help in pregnancy. Hypnobithing isn’t only about Mum it’s about the Father and/or Birthing partner and baby too.

The choice is yours…

We’re all different so I never deter expectant parents from doing either course. Its all down to personal choice. There are elements in both courses that I found really interesting. For myself, who tries to take an holistic, natural approach to life I loved the hypnobirthing course. I found learning about how we can work with our bodies amazing. Understanding how a water birth can be a natural pain relief. How successfully women birth at home and why. How we can continue to use those birthing hormones after labour to encourage successful breastfeeding. NCT educated me on other aspects of birth i’d not considered – labour wards, c-sections, vaccinations. An in depth class on breastfeeding.

If you can’t do both understand what both courses can offer you. What is important to you and what you want to get out of a course. Have conversations with your local NCT teachers and hypnobirthing teachers to understand what they offer. Do you get support after the course? I offer all my Mums to be continuing support once the course has finished. I think this is vital in your role as a hypnobirthing teacher. We’re there to support expectant parents and beyond.

Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more?

I offer hypnobirthing classes across Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

Follow me via my blog,  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

FAQs footer image Hypnobirthing taster sessions richmond What is hypnobirthing NCT

Do expectant Dad’s need to attend hypnobirthing classes?

Do Expectant Dad’s Need to Attend Hypnobirthing Classes?

When women enquire about hypnobirthing classes it is often the case that they’ve heard about the hypnobirthing option. Expectant Dad’s may have never heard of it and will often think that their pregnant parter is going to be hypnotised! A question regularly asked is ‘does my partner need to attend hypnobirthing classes?’. Dad’s may be reluctant to attend another ‘pregnancy’ course or a course that appears to be around hypnotism.

I would always encourage Dad’s to attend as well as Mum or of course your birthing partner if this isn’t Dad. Hypobirthing isn’t only beneficial to Mum to be in a relaxed, fearless mindset. It’s amazing for Dad’s as they feel they have a key role. Hypnobirthing teaches fathers about the workings of the female body when its birthing. They then understand how it can work so much more effectively if we work with it. Teaching them how fundamental their role is during the labour process. Working with Mum during those early stages of labour right through to the end.

Dad’s are filled with horror stories just like women are. Their thoughts around labour can be very negative. Its wonderful when I work with expectant parents and Dad’s feels so much more enlightened after the first session. During taster sessions that I host it’s refreshing at the end of the session when i then hear Dad’s talk about birth in a far more natural way. Understanding that as well as the medicinal pain relief there are other options to aid a more natural birth if Mum wants that. Water birth is a very typical one that Dad’s often feel is a great option.

How is hypnobirthing beneficial for Dad’s to be?

Hypnobirthing isn’t just about Mum the benefits are for all involved – Mum, Dad and baby. Some of the key elements for Dad’s are:

  • Understanding they play a key role and aren’t a spare part during labour as they don’t know what is going on
  • A natural instinct to protect and understanding that a man’s hormones adapt to this role during birth
  • They can be the protector of space and the voice for Mum during labour
  • Asking questions and being able to make informed decisions having the knowledge from hypnobirthing
  • Understanding how the vital hormone, Oxytocin can be encouraged to birth a baby
  • Keeping Mum calm and relaxed to encourage the Oxytocin hormone to work effectively
  • Able to use the massage and stroking techniques to keep Mum relaxed
  • Ensuring Mum is hydrated and keep her energy levels up
  • Learning about the golden hour and how important that hour is for them too

Many Dad’s instantly find a connection with hypnobirthing when I liken it to sports. If they play sports themselves they understand the training that takes place for example to run a marathon. How we train our bodies to perform, work with the necessary hormones and respond to our bodies needs really resonates with them. Understanding the mental ability of the mind and body connection that you need in sport. Hypnobirthing works on the same principles. Its about practice, training the body for the ‘marathon’ it will undertake when birthing a baby and trusting where the mind leads the body will follow. I’ve worked with many Dad’s who do or have participated in team sports and this comparison helps them to understand the principles of hypnobirthing. They often also become very engaged at this stage when they have a good understanding.

Looking to book a hypnobirthing course?

I offer hypnobirthing classes in Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

Follow me via my blog,  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

Alison Hypnobirthing page Do expectant Dad’s need to attend hypnobirthing classes?

 

What is hypnobirthing?

What is hypnobirthing?

Although hypnobirthing has become more widely known about in recent years ‘what is hypnobirthing‘ it is still a widely asked question.  People can be mislead by the hypno part and confuse it with being in a hypnotic state which it isn’t.  Hypnobirthing enables a woman to work with her body which is designed to give birth. It allows a woman to release any fear and negativity associated with birth. Many women have been programmed to believe birth is painful due to the negativity surrounding us from a young age. Negativity can come from birth stories, TV shows, films etc. Hypnobirthing replaces this with a calm confidence about birth.

Women who use hypnobirthing technique often go on to say what a wonderful experience birth was for them. They can’t wait to do it again. These are words been used by women who associated birth with being painful. I am one of these women!

How can Hypnobirthing Mumma help you?

I run workshops with Triona who runs YogaBellies Richmond to help women have the best birth for them. The workshop consists of a one hour relaxing pregnacy yoga session followed by a two hour hypnobirthing taster. The feedback we receive around these sessions is extremely positive. Often empowering women with the alternative options they do have around birth. It doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience and you can feel empowered to have the birth you want. It’s a great learning tool for Dad’s too who are often only aware of the birthing stories or options expectant Mum has told them.

The workshop allows people to ask all the questions around what is hypnobirthing? Which then allows them to feel more informed and as to whether they would then like to do the full hypnobirthing course.

When is the next workshop?

The next workshop is being held on Saturday 10 June from 10.00 – 14.00. We encourage Dad’s and birthing partners to join us too. Often Dads really enjoy both sessions especially if they’ve never experienced yoga or have no knowledge of hypnobirthing.

This workshop takes place at Hamptons International Richmond in a private room on the first floor. We provide refreshments, a light lunch and a goodie bag. The cost of the session is £75 per couple.

Hypnobirthing course discounts

As a thank you parents who go on to book a private hypnobirthing course having attended the workshop I give a 10% discount of the course price.

Ready to book a hypnobirthing course? I’d would love hear from you so please do get in touch.

Follow me via my blog,  Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

FAQs footer image Hypnobirthing taster sessions richmond What is hypnobirthing