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March 2019

World Hypnobirthing Day – 21 March 2019

It’s World Hypnobirthing Day!

Happy World Hypnobirthing day to those of you who know what it is!

For those of you who are unsure 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.

Hypnobirthing can help expectant mothers achieve a birth that they are happy with. One that makes them feel in control of the situation and the choices that they make. It helps fathers and birthing partners be part of the labour. Learning how to support you and a have an active role in the birth – sound good so far?

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!

Can hypnobirthing only be used for a natural pain relief free birth?

It can help women not only through a natural birth but all types of labours. C-section, an induction or other forms of intervention mentioned or given. It gives women the ability to understand their choices. To have a voice and ask what their alternatives are. Having knowledge empowers you to do this.

I’ve taught a range of women who had breech babies, planned caesarean, emergency caesarean, premature labours, induction, gestational diabetes, low-risk to high-risk pregnancies. All going on to have very positive experiences, many of which i’ve shared as blog posts.

World Hypnobirthing Day can encourage woman who have used hypnobirthing for births other than straightforward natural deliveries that these tools and techniques can really help for all labours.

How does hypnobirthing work?

Hypnobirthing works as it educates women on the birthing body. I’m often asked why doesn’t everybody get taught this. The answer is I don’t know. Why are we taught that birth is a physiological process. The same way the body digests food, breathes, gets rid of waste. There all physiological processes as is birth. By understanding how we can work with the birthing body, eliminating fear and building confidence birth in turn results in a calmer experience.

Fear causes stress and which you don’t want in labour. The stress hormone adrenaline discourages the love hormone, oxytocin. Which we want the body to be producing as a natural pain relief. It enables our muscles to work as they should to birth your baby. It teaches us to be able to go into deep relaxation and to use visualisation as a tool.  My visualisation was lying on a beach during both my labours….it was bliss! I wasn’t aware of all of these important hormones before I got pregnant. I was only introduced to them during my hypnobirthing course and I was totally enlightened. What are bodies actually work with us to birth a baby?!

How did I find hypnobirthing?

I’m an advocate of hypnobirthing as I was that terrified girl from a very young age who thought childbirth was totally unnatural. As soon as I conceived I knew educating myself on everything to do with pregnancy and labour would stand me in good stead once that day arrived.

I believe knowledge is power and hypnobirthing enabled me to have the tools to have a relaxed, calm and focused birth.  

Even when I had to be moved from the lovely natural birth centre into the labour ward I wasn’t fazed or concerned. I was confident in myself and my amazing midwife not to mention the support I had from my partner and my Mum.  When the labour ward team started to prep me for an epidural my hypnobirthing course had given me the tools to question my caregivers. I was able to tell the team I didn’t want to go to theatre and ask what my alternative was. Why would I when I’d done all the hard work?

I was able to ask what did I need to do for my baby to be delivered naturally, which he was albeit with a little bit of help very shortly after. My baby wasn’t in distress and nor was I so why would I be rushed to theatre unnecessarily? My baby boy was born in a calm environment and was very calm himself. I trusted my body and had been confident in delivering my baby successfully.

Since becoming a hypnobirthing practitioner I’ve gone on to have a second baby at home which was an amazing experience. It’s great that hypnobirthing is getting out there and having the word spread through celebrating it on World Hypnobirthing Day.

Let’s change the perception on birth

Unfortunately on the whole we do have a negative view of childbirth. It’s associated with being the most painful experience a woman can go through.

We only ever talk about the bad experiences. We don’t celebrate the good as who wants to hear a straightforward story? I do that’s who! I like to share my happy birth story with expectant mums who want to hear it. Since having a baby a new bug bearer of mine is others parents not only like to tell you how awful birth is they also like to tell you all the negatives of parenting. From how breastfeeding is so hard, the lack of sleep, tantrums, you’ll life will never be the same again need I go on?! Not how amazing it is becoming a parent and all the wonderful new things you get to experience.

So lets spread the word on World Hypnobirthing Day that hypnobirthing can work and celebrate the wondrous thing that birth is.

Happy World Hypnobirthing Day!

Ali x

World Hypnobirthing Day

My Babies First Year

Baby Jack’s first year

So in a flash my second baby, Jack, turned one. It has gone so much faster than I ever anticipated. He changes before my eyes on a daily basis. I find myself thinking how did he suddenly just start doing that? In this past week Jack has decided he will eat ‘proper’ food he’s moved on from purees – thank goodness I thought he was never going to get there! He is interested in feeding himself and so over bottles and milk. Oh and he’s decided that he wants to try and totter around.

Looking back what would I tell me pre Jack?

The laid back me might not be so laid back. I can quite confidently say first time round I wasn’t a stressed Mum. I’d describe myself as very chilled and didn’t worry – which I know is quite unusual first time round. I didn’t follow a guide as to what Oliver should be doing I just trusted my instinct and chatted to friends. Fast forward to second baby even though I was as laid back I was stressed not about Jack but about this new found life that was a juggling act.

Savour the moments. They go by so much faster than they do first time round. I put it down to not having as much time as I did as a first time Mum. I’ve not been able to savour them as much I find that quite sad.

It’s normal to feel out of control! For a normally pretty organised person I can honestly say I felt so unorganised for around 10 months. I’d get myself in a tizz over silly things but to me they were big deals. Like I couldn’t get on top of an ironing pile. To some this wouldn’t even be on the list of things to do but to me it was a big deal!

You can have as much love for more than one child. I can remember after having Oliver saying to my husband I can’t imagine loving another child as much as I love Oliver. Of course as soon as Jack was born I loved him as much as I do Oliver. They’re both amazing little boys.

Don’t lose your temper easily with your first child. I’m so guilty of this! It’s been a long day, you’re tired and have little patience. Poor Oliver bears the brunt of this. I had to have a word with myself. He was a 3 year old little boy who’s world imploded when this baby arrived. It’s okay that he probably doesn’t understand that you’re shattered when he used to have your undivided attention.

Accept that when you feel a bit stressed it affects your happy life. Don’t just accept that’s how life has to be now. It’s okay not to be okay but you have to ask for help. Share how you’re feeling I guarantee things will feel better immediately.

Feeling a little resentful

You can start to feel feelings you never have – it’s okay you’re not a monster for feeling like that. Finding yourself quite resentful that your other half gets to go to work everyday. I have said many times since having Jack that going to work full time five days a week would be easier. Admittedly not for all jobs working in the NHS, Emergency Services for example. But for my previous job in marketing that would be a walk in the park.

In a probably slightly aggressive tone I’ve been known to say at least you get a pay rise, you get a bonus, you get recognition! Motherhood can feel overwhelming and even more so when you’re having a bad day. You don’t get to close the front door behind you have some time on the commute to work, drink a hot drink, have breakfast and lunch. You can start to feel resentful for that even though they are going to work too. Cut them some slack.

Don’t wish the time away

I’ve found second time around that there’s not the element of surprise like first time round. You’ve never done it before. Suddenly your baby moves on to the next stage and you’re delighted. Its a whole new world.

Unlike second time around for me. Poor Baby Jack Jack I’m constantly preempting the next stage. I’m sure that’s why the time has gone even faster. I can’t believe that 6 months ago I’d started weaning him and now he’s tucking into a range of foods.

Even leading up to his first birthday it whizzed by and I was left thinking the night before. Have I done enough? Created enough memories? Of course I have but you can’t help but worry. I strongly believe it’s not about spending money on a child unnecessarily it’s about creating fun memories and capturing them.

Admittedly I can’t deny I can’t wait for the nappies to be done though!

Would I change anything?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I love my little family. Once I started to have some acceptance and things didn’t seem so foggy life became easier. Sleep, regular exercise, not rushing around every day has massively helped. I’m lucky I have a great husband who is definitely 50% of this team. He helps me see the light and get some perspective even in my meltdown moments!

I have some great friends and we are able to have very honest conversations. That helps when you’re having a bad day because guess what many Mums are going through the same thing.

I love the conversations at the school gate after I’ve dropped my 4 year old Oliver at nursery with some lovely Mums I’ve met there. Mums with one child, others with multiple. One Mum turned to me the other day and said I’m so happy you said that I thought I was the only one feeling like that with two children. Being honest can really help another Mum out.

The lovely conversations I have with one of my best friends Kelly when we’re wandering through the streets of Twickenham and Richmond. How we just both get where we’re coming from. A problem shared is a problem halved.

When I’m not being a Mum of 2 juggling life….

I’m busy helping expectant parents achieve the best birth for them. I offer group and private hypnobirthing classes in Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London, Surrey & Middlesex.

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

My Babies First Year