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Hypnobirthing for Dads

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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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

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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

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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

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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

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