Hypnobirthing Classes in Twickenham

My Doula Journey

Becoming a Doula

I’d been thinking about being a Doula for quite a while. I’d had clients ask me if I was a doula. Told how they’d like to have had me at the birth. It felt like a very natural progression to the hypnobirthing teaching. I get to build lovely relationships with my clients. To then be present during one of the most wonderful moments of a woman’s excites me.

Since having had my first son birth has fascinated me. I’m far too squeamish to be a midwife. How could I ever take bloods at a woman’s booking in appointment?! But a Doula I could certainly do that.

What does a Doula do?

A doula isn’t medically trained. That’s not to say you don’t get midwifes, doctors, nurses training to be doulas. A Doula’s role is to give continuous support to a birthing woman. To Mother the Mother as women can get forgotten about during birth. Support physically and emotionally. Nurture, encourage but not to make decisions for. Not to give advice but to signpost so a woman can be as informed and knowledgeable about her birth. To be unbiased, listen, support.

A Doula doesn’t replace the birth partner, the midwife, obstetrician but there as part of that woman’s team.

It’s a big role for a birth partner sometimes being the only person in the room with a birthing mother. Some birth partners want support in that room as they worry will they be enough for that woman. Will they be able to cope with this new role that they will need to take on. For birth partners where a Doula is present they worry less about what they need to do which therefore relaxes the mother and birth partner.

My Doula Training

I undertook my doula training with Birth Bliss Academy and loved every moment of it. The long intense days don’t feel that way when its something you are so passionate about. Being in a room with 12 other women who all want to help women achieve the most positive and empowering birth experience.

Women from all different walks of lives. Some of us mothers others not but all with the same end goal to support pregnant women. It was a truly amazing environment to be in. It also shows how there is a doula for every woman you just have to find the right one for you.

Once completing the course and the post-module coursework this has allowed me to go on to find a doula mentor so that I can offer my services as a mentored doula to pregnant women under Doula UK.

Why have a doula?

Research supports that by having a doula at your birth it can:

  • Shorten labour by up to 25%
  • Reduce caesareans by 45%
  • Use of pain relief reduced by 30%
  • The use of forceps reduced by 34%
  • Fewer signs of postnatal depression
  • Reduce anxiety in new mothers
  • Improve the breastfeeding journey

‘If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it’Dr. John H. Kennell

Looking at the stats above it really does reinforce this quote. To be able to potentially reduce many of the stress factors that often worry women during pregnancy surely seems sensible doesn’t it?

Interested in having a Birth Doula or just want to know more?

As a Birth Doula I cover most areas I can get to within an hour from Twickenham including Ascot, Barnes, Chelsea, Clapham, Cobham, Esher, Fulham, Guildford, Isleworth, Kingston, Putney, Richmond, St Margarets, Staines, Surbiton, Sunningdale, Teddington, Twickenham, Virginia Water, Wandsworth, Weybridge and Windsor.

I offer my Doula services on their own or coupled with my hypnobirthing courses.

To find out more about having a doula, learning about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing course get in touch – I’d love to hear from you.

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

Ali x

My Doula Journey

I have to give birth again? To a Placenta?! What’s that?

What is the placenta?

I think we take it as a given that everybody knows what a placenta is. Its not true. I know many women who had no idea what it was until they were pregnant let alone that they they had to ‘birth’ it.

The placenta is an organ that is created when pregnant. It attaches itself to the uterus wall during your pregnancy. Its function is to keep mother and babies blood supply separate and to create a link between the two.

So exactly what does a placenta do?

For the functions that your unborn baby can’t do itself it does this for them passing oxygen and nutrients to the baby. The placenta passes waste back into the mother bloodstream to dispose of such as carbon dioxide.

Hormones are produced by the placenta that help your baby develop. It also helps baby be protected against most bacterias protecting against infection.

Any antibodies that a mother already has will be passed on to the baby towards the end of a pregnancy via the placenta. This gives baby immunity for around the first 3 months of their lives.

During pregnancy we are warned about the risks of drinking, taking drugs, not taking certain medication, avoiding too much caffeine. The reason for this is because these are all passed via the placenta to the baby.

So just how does the placenta make its entrance into the world?

During birth education you’ll often hear about the stages of labour. The third stage is when birthing the placenta takes place. Unlike birthing your baby the placenta tends to slide out in most cases but this doesn’t happened immediately. Being in an upright position should enable an easier delivery. Yep just like birth we don’t want to be lying flat on our back!

For a vaginal delivery the placenta can either be delivered physiological or managed (also known as active management). So of course if you haven’t birthed before this may mean nothing! So let me explain.

Physiological third stage

A physiological third stage is where we rely upon the body to birth our placenta. Just as it has the baby. The uterus contracts to birth the placenta when it has come away from the uterus wall. Like birth we need our oxytocin levels to be high for the uterus to work effectively to do this. So Mum & baby having lots of skin to skin & initiating feeding will really help.

The time a physiological third stage can take can vary but you can normally expect for it to take up to an hour. My personal experience with my second son was it took 50 minutes.

If a woman is low risk and has had a straightforward delivery with no intervention there wishes for this type of third stage should be supported.

Managed third stage

This is where your midwife will give you an injection in your thigh quite soon after birth. The drug administered will either be syntocinon or syntometrine. This encourages one big surge to encourage the placenta to come away quickly. With my first son I had this and it took 2 minutes after the injection was administered.

This type of delivery can be given even for the most straightforward birth if this is your wish. It is also encouraged if you’ve needed the hormone drip to speed up labour, have had a forceps or ventouse delivery. These types of interventions could mean your oxytocin levels aren’t as high as they need to be for the uterus to contract effectively.

How is the placenta delivered when you have a caesarean ?

Similar to a managed third stage for a vaginal delivery an injection will be administered to help the placenta come away. The Doctor performing the caesarean will gently tug on the umbilical cord to ensure its come away from the uterus wall before removing it.

What happens to the placenta after?

So once this amazing organ has been birthed the midwife will check that it is intact. This is to ensure it has all come out and the body hasn’t retained any.

If for any reason it has suffered any damage during the delivery or appears to have any abnormalities it will be send away for testing. This is to ensure that your baby isn’t at any risk. Its amazing what they can tell from the placenta.

If there are no concerns you can take your placenta away with you although you should refrigerate within 30 minutes of birth.

10 interesting facts about these amazing placentas…

  • They are an organ
  • The only organ created to be disposable
  • Identical twins may or may not share a placenta
  • Deliver the nutrition that babies need when in the womb
  • They are an unborn babies oxygen supply acting as their lungs
  • Made up of both Mum & Dad as the sperm is responsible for creating the placenta and umbilical cord
  • Develops and functions without being connected to the brain as not connected to the nervous system
  • Has its own endocrine system providing all the hormones for both Mum and baby throughout pregnancy.
  • When the placenta separates after birth it triggers the prolcatin hormone which is the hormone needed for milk production
  • They can be digested

Do you learn more about placentas with hypnobirthing?

Absolutely! As part of my hypnobirthing courses we talk about the third stage of labour. So that you can make an informed decision on how you birth your placenta. If how you choose to birth the placenta then has any affected on other choices you may wish to make such as delayed cord clamping.

Interested in Hypnobirthing and all that is included in a course?

I offer group courses in Twickenham and I teach private hypnobirthing courses in and around London. Including Barnes, Cobham, Hampton, Isleworth, Kew, Kingston, Richmond, St Margaret’s, Surbiton, Sunbury, Teddington, Twickenham, Walton, Whitton and surrounding areas.

Do you have a Pregnant Pal? I offer the £325 group course price for 2 or more couples but in the comfort of your own home.

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,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

I have to give birth again? To a Placenta?! What’s that??

A Traumatic Birth to a Triumphant Experience

Laura’s traumatic birth to triumphant birth

I’ve had the pleasure of teaching quite a few of my friends over the past 6 months. Out of my friendship group Laura, who I met through my husband back in 2010, was the first that I taught in summer 2018. Laura was expecting her second baby in August. After a traumatic birth first time round I was keen to help Laura as much as I could.

Laura is an amazing family & newborn photographer so we struck up a deal. I was pregnant with my second son Jack when Laura announced her pregnancy. So Laura offered to do my maternity shoot in return for the hypnobirthing course. Who was I to argue with that.

By the time I started teaching Laura my son Jack was then 4 months old. So each week Laura & I would try to time it with our little ones afternoon naps. At the time we lived about 100 yards from one another so I’d wait for Laura’s call that her daughter was sleeping. We didn’t do too bad on the whole. Admittedly Jack did gurgle through a few relaxations!

Reflecting on Laura’s first birth

I knew a lot about Laura’s first birth and it saddened me that she’d had such a traumatic birth experience. One that stuck with not only her but her husband, Jack and her Mum, Barbara too as they’d both been present. I wanted to help Laura work through this as much as I could. I asked to read her birth reflections notes. West Middlesex Hospital had set a birth reflections up for Laura to help her understand what had happened first time round.

Laura had suffered high blood loss first time round resulting in a blood transfusion. The main cause unknown but probably a combination of trauma and uterine. Ultimately this was a concern for her second birth.

Continuity of care

Laura had amazing support from West Middlesex Hospital. Understandably Laura was anxious so she was put under the Daisy Team. This meant she could have continuity of care also known as caseloading. This is shown to have a massive impact of a woman’s birth. Due to my planned home birth i’d be lucky enough to experience this with my second pregnancy so speaking from experience it’s fantastic.

Between the Daisy Team and the Consultant Midwife they worked with Laura to write a birth proposal. Laura had expressed her wish to have a home birth but after closely looking at Laura’s case they advised against this. They did work with Laura to try and have her on the Natural Birth centre but the risk was considered to high. This was due to the previous blood loss. It was advised the safest place to be was the Labour Delivery Suite.

Once Laura knew the reasons behind the teams advice she was happy with the decision. Laura and Jack were given the facts. Resulting in a feeling that they had been made part of the decision making process. They were aware she was going to use hypnobirthing techniques and were fully supportive of this. After suffering a traumatic birth first time round everybody wanted to work with Laura to avoid this happening again so plans were put in place.

The Main event

The day came when everything started for Laura. She’d had a midwife appointment at home that day but was asked to go to the hospital as there were concerns over the heart rate. Once at the hospital everything had returned to normal. Thankfully Laura and Jack were sent on their merry way but not before Jack had tucked into the hospital bag snacks to which Laura told him they weren’t there for a picnic!

Once Laura was back home that afternoon she started to experience tightenings that were becoming more regular. Her waters hadn’t broken which was the same as her previous birth. She took a lie down and used her diffuser with lavender oil. Laura had attended the Essential Oils for Pregnancy & Birth workshop that I host alongside Happy Baby, Happy Me so was putting into practice what she’d learnt. Using her association of the scent of lavender with relaxation.

Laura messaged me to say she didn’t know if it was really it but her surges had become more regular that afternoon. I was due to go to the Chiswick Positive Birth Meeting that evening and as fate would have it it got cancelled at the last minute. I let Laura know I was around if she needed me. Also asking if she had the frankincense oil ready to use in a jar as she wished. Laura had the oil but no jar so I offered to pop down with one and to keep her company whilst Jack briefly popped out.

A little chat sometimes helps

Laura was so relaxed when I saw her. We had a chat. I encouraged her and reminded her of her techniques to use. Unbeknown to me this pep talk – which wasn’t meant to be a pep talk was what she needed. To keep her calm and confident.

Laura spoke to her Mum, Barbara whilst I was there who was on their annual family holiday in Southwold. Laura wanted her Mum with her at the birth again. So Barbara jumped in the car to be with her daughter. It was roughly a 3 hour journey. I kept my finger crossed on this beautiful summers day the roads would be kind and she wouldn’t get held up. Laura’s words to her Mum were its nowhere near as painful as it was last time so I think I’ve got a while yet. To myself I thought it won’t get to that stage that it did before it’ll be different this time round. I could just tell my Laura’s demeanour.

When Jack came back Laura was leaning over supporting her weight against the fireplace working with her body through the surge. She looked really peaceful I was confident she had this. I said to Jack right before I go let me show you some massage techniques. There was laughter and smiles. Nobody in the room seemed afraid of birth. There appeared to be no demons from the previous birth hanging around the room. I left around 19.30 confident that this wouldn’t be another traumatic birth for them. We had a few more texts that evening but I didn’t hear from Laura again after 9pm when her contractions had been roughly 5 minutes apart.

I can’t sleep!

That night I slept so lightly. Every time I woke I’d look at my phone hoping my friend was okay. I got up the next morning and I was completely disheartened. Laura & Jack’s car had been parked outside our house and it hadn’t moved. I thought surely not. Laura’s gone through the night potentially still labouring after everything seemed to be going in the right direction.

At about 8am I heard voices outside – my husband, Jamie was chatting to Jack outside. I rushed outside to see Jack doing a thumbs up sign. In delight he said Laura’s had the baby. It’s another girl Al. I cried. I said but your car hadn’t moved. Jack said Laura had the baby early hours this morning so I’ve been home since then! I was so happy. Jack said he’ll never forget my face when I started crying.

To hear Jack, who had been affected by Laura’s traumatic birth tell me ‘I never knew birth could be so beautiful’ will stay with me forever. He thanked me for what I’d done and how the pep talk had helped Laura. I said it wasn’t me who did that Laura did it. They’d had the experience I’d wanted them to have. Jack told me how amazing Laura was. How she remained active the whole time. Not being phased by being in a more medicalised room but had used it to her advantage.

Welcome Home!

Laura gave birth at 01.31 and was discharged that same day. A completely different story to that previously traumatic birth. Laura messaged me to say.

“Thanks so much for your help, it went so well. Couldn’t have hoped for better. All the hypnobirthing work was amazing and helped so much. The last minute pep talk was just what I needed! I used the pot of frankincense throughout too and that really helped. Thank you so much for all your help and advice!”

Less than 48 hours after Laura had given birth I walked into her garden to see this radiant and glowing Mum. Laura wasn’t the only one beaming, Jack was too. There eldest daughter was running around playing on her scooter. It was such a lovely scene.

Laura’s Mum, Barbara commented about the atmosphere when she arrived at Laura’s house. The candles were going, the music was playing, the lights were dimmed. This was music to my ears. Just what Laura needed to feel relaxed, in her safe place being at home for as long as possible to encourage those high Oxytocin levels.

A women births at her best unobserved in a darkened safe space. Laura had a supportive birth partner ensuring all these things were in place for her. I often use this setting as an example when I’m teaching expectant parents.

Both Jack and Barbara couldn’t believe how different this birth had been. I felt like they had all healed from the trauma they’d experienced first time.

A perfect family of four

This really was a special birth as their baby girl had been born in the amniotic sac. This is so very rare it occurs in less than 1 in 80,000 births. In that birth room there were now 2 females who had been born in the sac as Barbara was too!

I’ve included a few pics of Laura and her great birth team shortly after birth and the days that followed. Laura looking amazing after just giving birth. Laura sent me so many gorgeous pictures i just couldn’t decide what ones to use so i used them all!

Laura’s midwife said ‘she could have birthed in a barn’. Less than a week after giving birth Laura headed down to Southwold to join in on the annual family holiday. So chilled and relaxed with another baby girl in tow to join in the fun that summer. I’m sure you’d agree a complete triumph after a traumatic first birth.

Have you previously suffered a traumatic birth? Or just want to hypnobirth?

I offer group courses in Twickenham and I teach private hypnobirthing courses in and around London. Including Barnes, Cobham, Hampton, Isleworth, Kew, Kingston, Richmond, St Margaret’s, Surbiton, Sunbury, Teddington, Twickenham, Walton, Whitton and surrounding areas.

Do you have a Pregnant Pal? I offer the £325 group course price for 2 or more couples but in the comfort of your own home.

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,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

Laura's traumatic birth to triumphant birth

Laura's traumatic birth to triumphant birth

Laura's traumatic birth to triumphant birth

Laura's traumatic birth to triumphant birth

Laura's traumatic birth to triumphant birth

 

A Traumatic Birth to a Triumphant Experience

Laura's traumatic birth to triumphant birth

Summer Promotion for Group Hypnobirthing Course in Twickenham

Looking for a weekend group hypnobirthing course in Twickenham?

Hypnobirthing Mumma is delighted to offer a weekend group hypnobirthing course in Twickenham this summer. Held within the tranquil space that is The Heart. Regularly the cost of a group course is £295. As a summer promotion this course is priced at £200 per couple.

My reasons for using the Heart is that I’ve had the pleasure of spending time here myself whilst undertaking the British Wheel of Yoga Foundation Course at The Heart. I found it a truly relaxing space away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Course dates and times

August course – Sunday 5th & 19th August from 10.00 – 15.00 at The Heart

I don’t overfill courses as I want everybody to be able to ask questions and fully immerse themselves in hypnobirthing. To ensure this is the case I only teach a maximum of five couples per course. This group size allows me to get to know you all individually.

What would I get out of a group Hypnobirthing class?

This group hypnobirthing course in Twickenham is a 10 hour modern approach to antenatal education. A great way to learn all about hypnobirthing and also to meet other local expectant parents in the area. I often meet expectant parents who may be new to the area wanting to meet local parents in the area. A group course offers you the opportunity to meet friendly faces who share the same outlook on birth as you do.

An environment where I encourage you to share your thoughts around birth with like-minded people. Many of which have heard about the benefits of hypnobirthing for Mum, Dad and baby and want to learn as much as possible.

As a class I encourage us all to meet up once all the babies have arrived for a Postnatal Reunion.  This is held during the daytime in the week. An opportunity for mum, baby and of course Dad if he is free to meet and talk about your experiences of birth and early parenting.

The benefits of Hypnobirthing

  • You are likely to experience a more comfortable and sometimes women refer to their birth being pain free.
  • Length of labour is often much shorter with hypnobirthing births.
  • The need for drugs and intervention is reduced, which allows your baby to develop naturally and easily after they arrive.
  • Your baby will arrive to a serene and relaxed environment, alert and ready to bond with you as nature intended.
  • Mums often bounce back quicker after a Hypnobirthing birth as the physical impact of giving birth is reduced.
  • Hypnobirthing babies tend to show less distress during birth, are often very alert after birth and calmer babies.
  • Your birth partner will learn how to support you and have a central and active role in the birth. A truly shared and loving experience.
  • Hypnobirthing gives you a voice to ensure you are an active part of any decision that need to be made during labour.

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

I offer weekday group hypnobirthing course at Gymboree, St Margaret’s as well as weekend courses at The Heart, Twickenham.

I teach private hypnobirthing courses in Hampton, Isleworth, Kew, Kingston, Richmond, St Margaret’s, Surbiton, Sunbury, Teddington, Twickenham, Whitton and surrounding areas.

Pregnant at the same time as a good friend? I offer the regular group course price of £295 for 2 or more couples but in the comfort of your own home.

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,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

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20% Discount on Hypnobirthing Courses

Would you like a 20% discount on Hypnobirthing courses?

Looking to do a hypnobirthing course? Maybe you have flexibility around the hours you can do? Would really like to do the course but looking to reduce the cost of one?  I offer a 20% discount on hypnobirthing courses –  Essentials, Full Hypnobirthing & Refresher courses that are taken between the hours of 10.00 – 16.00 on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. To be eligible for the discount all sessions have to be taken around these hours and on the specific days.

Sometimes its a struggle trying to fit everything in when you’re pregnant and time starts to speed up! Before you know it those first 12 weeks that took more like 6 months to pass are a distant memory and you’re in your third trimester. But did you know that even if you work on a Tuesday – Thursday during the hours of 10.00 – 16.00 you’re entitled to take antenatal classes during work hours? Hypnobirthing qualifies for this as its an antenatal course in the same way you’re able to take midwife and hospital appointments during work hours.

Where are the courses held?

The Essentials, Full & Refresher hypnobirthing courses are held in the comfort of your own home. So no need to travel anywhere you can just remain in a relaxed environment at home whilst I travel to you.

How can hypnobirthing prepare me for a better birth experience?

When it comes to our birth experience we aren’t aren’t always encouraged to treat it in the same way as any other memorable occasion in our life. Such as engagement, marriage, buying a house.  Why are we put off investing in educating and preparing ourselves for birth? We can’t just hope for a good birth experience we have to prepare for one.

Some people are put off by the cost of a hypnobirthing course. I often have parents say to me I’d like to do it but there is so much more to pay out for when you’re having a baby. This of course is very true. They are weighing up is hypnobirthing worth it. Preparing for a new arrival can become very costly. But what we can’t put a price on is an woman’s birth experience. A bad birth experience can haunt women for life. It can lead to post natal depression and consequently put a woman off having another baby. Even women who had planned to have more than one child stop at one after a negative experience.

Hypnobirthing prepares expectant parents for a birth they can feel in control of and approach in a calm manner. Understanding how the body works during the birthing process is a vital part of a calm birth. The more we understand the birthing body the easier it is to work with it. The more educated we are on birth the better prepared we are. Knowledge is power after all.

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

I teach private hypnobirthing courses in Barnes, Hampton, Isleworth, Kingston, Richmond, St Margarets, Sunbury, Surbiton, Teddington, Twickenham and surrounding areas. All of which are eligible for a 20% discount on Hypnobirthing courses.

I also offer group courses and I’m taking bookings for my November course in Hampton Hill in and the January course in St Margarets. 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,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

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Can I Use Aromatherapy Oils in Labour?

Aromatherapy Oils in Labour

The use of aromatherapy oils in pregnancy and labour can be very beneficial to women. I was lucky enough to experience the use of aromatherapy treatment through my hospital trust at West Middlesex Hospital when i was pregnant with my first child. Oils can have key benefits for pregnant or labouring women. In some cases used as an alternative to pain relief. When I reached 40 weeks i was offered aromatherapy and reflexology treatment to encourage spontaneous labour. This was the first thing suggested to me rather than a medical induction.

Aromatherapy in Childbirth

I recently had the pleasure of achieving a qualification through the Aromatherapy for Childbirth. This course is accredited by the Royal College of Midwives. Run by the extremely knowledgeable Lindsay Woodman, a International Federation of Aromatherapy (IFA) trained aromatherapist and registered and practicing midwife Jude Davis. We learnt about 5 key oils that can be used during labour – Clary Sage, Frankincense, Lavender, Mandarin & Peppermint. Simple massage techniques were demonstrated that can be used by birth partners again incorporating the oils. It was so refreshing to learn how a responsibly sourced organic oil can really help with many elements of childbirth including:

  • Fear
  • Calming mental chatter
  • Nausea
  • Relief for strong surges (contractions)
  • Increase strength and frequency of surges
  • Creating a dream space
  • Relax
  • Helping a birthing mother to let go

Using oils in labour

There are many ways oils can be used in labour without being applied directly to the skin such as:

  • In a diffuser – a lovely way to get the oil into the birthing environment
  • In a bath during the first stage of labour but not a birthing pool
  • A few drops of oil on a hand held fan
  • Placing a flannel in a cold or warm water bath and placing this on the birthing mother
  • Placing cotton wool in a jar sprinkled with a few drops of oil and opened when a mother wants to smell the oil. Ideal if suffering from nausea.
  • To calm and cool use a lavender water spritz

Aromatherapy & Hypnobirthing

Aromatherapy compliments the hypnobirthing course I offer so well. It’s an holistic approach rather than using traditional pain relief options and many of the ladies I teach are looking for this. The massage techniques we learnt were simple techniques to give gentle relief to pressure a labouring woman may be experiencing. Alongside techniques that could help relax a woman in the first stages of labour.

Aromatherapy is a great alternative for women who may be allergic to pain relief options such as pethidine or other opioids, such as diamorphine and less frequently used Meptid. Oils can offer an alternative to these women who would like to have pain relief options available other than an epidural.

I so pleased to be able to incorporate my learning’s from this qualification into my hypnobirthing courses. It compliments my session around induction and informs women on how we can try to encourage spontaneous labour or use oils to aid through an induction.

Purchasing aromatherapy oils

Its so important that aromatherapy oils are sourced responsibly when being purchased. Using 100% organic oils a necessity for pregnant women. Don’t be tempted to buy cheaper oils that aren’t organic or sourced responsibly.

Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more about aromatherapy oils?

I teach private hypnobirthing courses in Hampton, Kingston, Isleworth, Richmond, Teddington, Twickenham, St Margarets, Sunbury, Surbiton and surrounding areas.

I also offer group courses and I’m taking bookings for my next course in Hampton Hill in November. 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,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

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Is Hypnobirthing Worth It?

What price do we put on our birth experiences? Is hypnobirthing worth it?

As women we often put investment into our daily life routine. Be it our hair being cut and coloured, having regular blow drys, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing appointments. These appointments become part of our routine even though they are costly and take a chunk of our disposable income.

When it comes to weddings there’s often no expense spared. On average, a wedding in the UK now costs £27,000 with the figure in London reaching £38,000! But when it comes to what is said to be one of the most memorable days of your life we can become complacent about how much is being spent. We want to have the best experience on our wedding day.

I know as a bride to be I spent an eye watering amount on beauty treatments leading up to the big day. Changing my gym routine. Being more conscious of my diet. A lot of preparation went into my big day. My budget for my dress doubled when I saw ‘the dress’.

So why when it comes to our birth experience why aren’t we encouraged to treat it in the same way as any other memorable occasion in our life? Why are we put off investing in educating and preparing ourselves for birth? We can’t just hope for a good birth experience we have to prepare for one.

How can hypnobirthing prepare me for a better birth experience?

Some people are put off by the cost of a hypnobirthing course. I often have parents say to me i’d like to do it but there is so much more to pay out for when you’re having a baby. This of course is very true. They are weighing up is hypnobirthing worth it. Preparing for a new arrival can become very costly. But what we can’t put a price on is an woman’s birth experience. A bad birth experience can haunt women for life. It can lead to post natal depression and consequently put a woman off having another baby. Even women who had planned to have more than one child stop at one after a negative experience.

Hypnobirthing prepares expectant parents for a birth they can feel in control of and approach in a calm manner. Understanding how the body works during the birthing process is a vital part of a calm birth. The more we understand the birthing body the easier it is to work with it. The more educated we are on birth the better prepared we are. Knowledge is power after all.

A pain free birth?

Hypnobirthing doesn’t promise you a pain free birth but what it does do is allow you to reframe birth. Lets not talk about pain lets talk about sensations. Those sensations you will experience will be far more manageable if you’re calm and relaxed. The reason for this is because the body won’t be producing adrenaline – we don’t need this during birth. We need the body to be be producing oxytocin – the feel good hormone and endorphins as these will ensure your uterus works effectively and efficiently.

All this being said many hypnobirthing mums will say their birth was relatively ‘pain’ free. I for one describe my birth experience as and enjoyable experience and i’d had harder days at work. Some would say I was just ‘lucky’. I wouldn’t I would say my husband and I educated ourselves in the lead up. We prepared as best as we could so when that day arrived we would feel prepared and we did.

Own your birth experience

My advice to all expectant Mum’s would be to own your birth experience. Don’t expect anybody else to take control of it for you. At the end of the day a busy London hospital will see 1000’s of women come through their doors on a monthly basis. They are there to facilitate your birth but you need to have the voice and communicate with your caregivers. Don’t allow choices to be taken away from you by not educating yourself. Unfortunately many women will say about their birth experience ‘I wasn’t allowed to do that’. ‘The hospital said I had to do that’. As birthing women we always have a choice. We have to consent to anything that happens to us. Hypnobirthing educates us on this.

Hypnobirthing gave me a voice when I was in labour. Being transferred to the labour ward after having had a nice experience on the natural birthing centre. It was hospital protocol i’d be in second stage too long to remain there. I had a voice when they started to prep me for theatre for an epidural. Asking what the alternative was. What happened? The alternative meant my baby was delivered promptly without me having an epidural.

So is hypnobirthing worth it?

In my eyes its worth every penny. It was the best investment I made during my pregnancy. The course left me feeling prepared and confident. A feeling I now love hearing that my clients have experienced also when we finish a course together.

I’d advise any pregnant lady give up a couple of those things that we have in our monthly routines. Get your other half to forgo a few nights out with friends. Those sports or gig tickets. By the time you forgo a few you’ve paid for a hypnobirthing course. A course that will leave you feeling prepared. So what your nails and hair may not look as preened but having a birth experience that you look back on as a positive and happy day is worth it.

Every woman deserves a birth that she felt in control of. One that may have been textbook or one that took a different route. Regardless of that it needs to be one that you were in control of and was the best birth for you. It’s your birth – own your birth and your body.

So is hypnobirthing worth it? I strongly believe so. Treat your birth in the same way you’d treat buying a house, getting married. Let it be a memorable experience. Investing in it as you would any other significant life event.

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

I teach private hypnobirthing courses in Teddington, St Margarets, Richmond, Twickenham, Isleworth, Hampton, Kingston and surrounding areas. I also offer group courses in St Margarets. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

I offer Twick Mum and YogaBellies Richmond ladies a 10% discount on all my courses.

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

Ali x

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Group Hypnobirthing Course in St Margarets

Looking for a group hypnobirthing course in St Margarets?

Hypnobirthing Mumma is delighted to be offering a group Hypnobirthing course in St Margarets, Twickenham. The course will be held in the heart of St Margarets at Gymboree. I spent many great mornings here whilst on maternity leave at Gymboree which my very own Hypnobaby loved!

Course dates and times

The course will be held over 7.5 hours from 19.00 – 21.30 on Thursday evenings.

April Course – Thursday 12th, 19th & 26th April 2018.

June Course – Thursday 7th, 14th & 21st June 2018.

I don’t overfill courses as I want everybody to be able to ask questions and fully immerse themselves in hypnobirthing. To ensure this is the case I only teach a maximum of five couples per course. This group size allows me to get to know you all individually.

The cost is £295 per couple.

What would I get out of a group Hypnobirthing class?

Joining this group hypnobirthing course in St Margarets is a great way to not only to learn all about hypnobirthing but also to meet other local expectant parents in the area. I often meet expectant parents who may be new to the area who want to meet other parents to be in the area. A group course offers you the opportunity to meet friendly faces who share the same outlook on birth as you do.

An environment where I encourage you to share your thoughts around birth with like-minded people. Many of which have heard about the benefits of hypnobirthing for Mum, Dad and baby and want to learn as much as possible.

As a class I encourage us all to meet up once all the babies have arrived for a Postnatal Reunion.  This is held during the daytime in the week. An opportunity for mum, baby and of course Dad if he is free to meet and talk about your experiences of birth and early parenting.

The benefits of Hypnobirthing

  • You are likely to experience a more comfortable and sometimes women refer to their birth being pain free.
  • Length of labour is often much shorter with hypnobirthing births.
  • The need for drugs and intervention is reduced, which allows your baby to develop naturally and easily after they arrive.
  • Your baby will arrive to a serene and relaxed environment, alert and ready to bond with you as nature intended.
  • Mums often bounce back quicker after a Hypnobirthing birth as the physical impact of giving birth is reduced.
  • Hypnobirthing babies tend to show less distress during birth, are often very alert after birth and calmer babies.
  • Your birth partner will learn how to support you and have a central and active role in the birth. A truly shared and loving experience.

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

I offer the group hypnobirthing course in St Margarets, Twickenham. I also teach private hypnobirthing courses in St Margarets, Richmond, Twickenham, Isleworth, Hampton, Kingston and surrounding areas. 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,  FacebookInstagram or Twitter to keep up to date with all workshops and events taking place.

Ali x

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Top Five Tips for Labour

Hypnobirthing Mumma’s top five tips for labour

As a hypnobirthing practitioner I truly believe in the benefits of hypnobirthing to give women the best birth for them. It empowers woman to make them feel in control and to trust their bodies. As a mother who had a hypnobirth these are my five tips that I always share with my clients in addition to hypnobirthing.

ONE · DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE

Breath is king! Breathe throughout your labour – from the initial first stage through to the moment you meet your baby. It is such a powerful part of labour but can be underrated and overlooked. Breathing is a natural pain relief for the body. It allows you to re-oxygenate your muscles and don’t forget your uterus is a muscle. It encourages oxytocin which is the vital hormone that needs to be flowing around the body to encourage labour. With the breathing technique I teach called ‘Up Breath’ it is on the out breath where the body produces the most oxytocin. Its a relaxing form of breath work to keep any stress or anxiety at a minimum.

TWO · KEEP HYDRATED

Keeping yourself hydrated is very important during pregnancy and it’s equally important when in labour. Keep the body fuelled with liquids to encourage your energy levels. I encourage women to drink water or coconut water if you’re looking for sweetness. Coconut water is low in calories, rich in potassium, fat and cholesterol free. Compared to an average sports drink too that many people drink for energy it has fewer calories, less sodium, but higher amounts of potassium.  It also has much less sugar than regular sodas or fruit juices.

For those expectant mothers during the summer months I encourage them to freeze bottles of water. That way you can take them to the hospital and they’ll begin to defrost leaving you with cool water.

Don’t forgot to keep emptying your bladder though with all this drinking! The baby needs to pass the bladder to come down the birth canal so a full bladder can prevent this.

THREE · RELAX YOUR JAW SHOULDERS & NECK

Keep your jaw, shoulders and neck relaxed and resist clenching them during labour.  Clenching in the jaw and neck is directly linked to tension in the stomach. Therefore focusing on letting go of your facial muscles will bring relaxation to your uterus and cervix. Conserve your energy don’t waste it on bringing tension into the body.

Look at a runner during a race and you’ll normally notice that their jaw is completely relaxed and obviously moves when they are sprinting. The principle is the same here for them they are trying to keep their abdominal muscles and pelvic region as relaxed as possible. The nerves in the body are intricately intertwined, and releasing tension in one area can relax muscles in another part of the body

FOUR · FEED YOUR BODY

Birthing is like running a marathon you need to fuel the body. Try to eat a meal during your first stage or labour. It doesn’t have to be a massive meal but a balanced plate of food will give you energy you need. If you can’t face a meal have small snacks regularly. Nuts, avocados, a piece of fruit are all great snacks that will give you an energy boost. Eating foods with a low GI means they have a low score on the glycaemic index and can keep blood sugar levels steady during labour. Low-GI foods provide natural, slowly released energy which is beneficial during labour. Foods such as:

  • Porridge
  • Natural muesli
  • Wholegrain bread, pasta and crackers
  • Hummus
  • Avocados
  • Dried apricots
  • Peanuts, walnuts, cashew nuts
  • Grapes, strawberries, kiwis
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lentils
  • Beans – kidney, black-eyed, butter beans

A homemade smoothie is also a great way to fuel the body as you can load it full of wonderful healthy and beneficial foods. Its quickly made and easy to digest.

FIVE · BE ACTIVE

I encourage expectant mums to be as active as they can be during pregnancy. Keeping up fitness that is safe for you and baby that you’ve always practised. Going to yoga and pilates. Swimming – anything that keeps you strong will help you during labour.

Being active then continues during labour and enhances comfort by stimulating the receptors in the brain that decrease the perception of discomfort. Any active movement in response to your contractions decreases pain and facilitates labour. Movement helps the baby move through the pelvis and there are many positions that enlarge pelvic diameters. I always try to discourage women from lying on their back as this narrows the pelvic diameter to birth the baby. If you need to rest I encourage women to lie on their side although this still prevents the effects of gravity.

Being upright really helps the body birth more effectively. There are many active birthing positions that can be used:

  • Walking around
  • Standing
  • Rocking back and forth on all fours
  • Supported standing squat
  • Squatting
  • Sitting on a toilet
  • Sitting astride a chair
  • Kneeling on one knee and the other leg at a 90 degrees angle

These five tips combined with hypnobirthing really helped me achieve a birth I look back on as an amazing experience. If you can just remember a couple during your labour i’m sure they will help you achieve a better birth.

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 my five tips, hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – I’d love to hear from you.

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

Ali x

FAQs is labour painful top five tips for labour

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

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