Category: Complementary Therapies

The Lazy Girl Guide to Kick Starting Labour

Complementary TherapiesPregnancyTop 5 Tips

 

I started writing this blog at 38 weeks pregnant. Sooo pregnant that this baby needs to be born soon but far too pregnant to get up off my lazy arse and do something about it! So I have compiled a list on things that can be done that doesn’t involve hiking hills.

1. Raspberry leaf tea– This is something that can be drank from about 34 weeks pregnant. Lots of women say that it helps with avoiding going over due, raspberry leaf tea is something that tones the uterus. What the research shows is that it makes your pushing stage shorter, I’m guessing because your uterus is so toned from drinking all that tea that your contractions may be stronger. Either way this one is always worth a try as you can drink a cuppa whilst sat down scrolling Instagram. Plus you don’t even have to leave your house for it, I got mine on Amazon Prime 👌🏼.

2. Dates- Another one that can be taken from 34 weeks. So 6 dates a day for 6 weeks prior to your due date and some research has shown that this means that you are less likely to have an induction and also less likely to have a hormone drip in labour. Again, for this one you can just sit down, chill out and eat dates. To make this one really lazy you could even send out hubby to the supermarket to get them.
3. Clary Sage- Mix a couple of drops in some oil and you can rub this one on your bump, or you can put some drops in a cup of milk then mix it in the bath. Clary sage is a utero tonic, which means that it can stimulate the uterus to contract. This one should only be used from term and shouldn’t be used if you’re having a VBAC.
4. Bouncing on a birth ball- In front of the TV (as this is a lazy girls guide after all!) This will get baby into an optimum position to navigate through your pelvis. Also, remember U.F.O- being Upright and Forward means your pelvis is Open an extra 28%. it also means that gravity is lending a helping hand encouraging baby’s head to put extra pressure on your cervix.
5. Nipple stimulation – One of the most effective ways to kick start labour. Stimulating your nipples makes your body produce oxytocin, which is the hormone that causes contractions.
6. Hot curry- Order this by take out if you can’t be bothered to cook. There is some truth in this old wives tale. A curry may irritate your bowel, which may then have a knock on effect to your uterus. If you like curry, then you have nothing to lose.
7. Pineapple- There’s thought to be hormones in a pineapple that act on the cervix to soften it. Yet, you would have to eat a truck load of this to get to an amount that it would have effect… and then it’s probably going to give you a jippy tummy so would work in the same way as a curry. Again, if you like eating pineapple you have nothing to lose.
8. Sex- They say that these induction methods were invented by a man… Sex and a hot curry.. hang on a minute?! But sex is the most effective way to induce labour as it releases oxytocin in your body, sperm also has prostaglandins in which softens the cervix. Prostaglandins and then oxytocin are the drugs used in a medical induction, but the artificial forms.
9. Reflexology- I had a wonderful reflexologist who would come to my house to do my treatments. So I could sit in my PJS in the middle of the day and she would come over and do her thing.
10. A bath- anything that you do to feel relaxed will tell your body that you are ready to give birth. It’s a primal thing, if we are feeling too stressed the message we are giving to our body is that we are not in a safe place to give birth. So do something that keeps you calm, whether that be a bath, massage or listening to a mediatation audio.

After trying all of the above, the day I went in to labour was the day I left the house. I though to myself, I am not going to spend another day at home waiting for this baby to arrive. I met a friend at Wagamamas and felt great for getting out the house and not wishing myself into labour. That evening it all started.

Good luck to all those waiting for your baby to come!

Beth

For other ways to induce labour and to learn about a medical induction then come along to antenatal class.

Photo creds Little Cheltenham

Childbirth- The prefect time for a date night

Complementary TherapiesPregnancyTop 5 Tips

 

I will set a scene for you…. A gentle walk across the countryside holding hands admiring the wonderful views, followed by your favourite curry, maybe some candle light, your favourite songs playing in the background. You may then watch a funny film followed by a massage with some essential oils and then an ‘early night’ hem hem.

Lots of you may see the scene as a relaxing and chilled date night, where as mothers approaching their due dates will be sure to recognise these umm..  activities as ways to induce birth. All fun ways to try when you are term to encourage those first contractions.

But have you ever considered using some of the ways to induce labour for coping strategies. Now I am certainly not recommending a spicy curry as a way to deal with tightenings, as that will surely not end well. But how about using the same date night theme for coping strategies for early labour? If there is any a time where we deserve that date night it would be in early labour… It makes total sense…

 

The hormone oxytocin is produced from anything that makes us feel loved, happy and relaxed. Which would be everything mentioned above in our date night setting. Just as a reminder, oxytocin is the hormone that will encourage our uterus to tighten in labour. It also encourages our bodies to release endorphins, which is our own naturual morphine. So anything that means we will have more oxytocin in our body is a good thing, right?

 

A night in with the other half is the perfect way to do this… Oh and did I mention that practice is the key to perfecting this strategy for coping with early labour. Yes that’s right? Tell your partners that weekly date nights have been prescribed to you… Midwifes orders. In our busy lives we forget how to relax, yet when we start labour we want our minds to relax to allow our bodies to get on with what it knows.

 

So let us look at planning those date nights in. When you plan your date night appeal to all of your sense:

Smell – Light a nice pregnancy candle, or use a pillow spray or your favourite (pregnancy safe) essential oils. You won’t be able to take a candle (other than LED ones) into hospital but a pregnancy candle will be a great help to your birth environment at home. In hospital there are essential oils for your use.

 

Sight- Look at your environment. Turn the lights to dim. Dim lighting always makes us feel more romantic, whilst in labour dim lights encourage melatonin which again acts up on our uterine muscles to cause tightenings. When you go into your hospital setting take some home, familiar comforts with you. Your own pillow or a nice photo/picture.

 

Feel- Massage and touch are great ways that directly encourage oxytocin. I am sure you will agree that this is ESSENTIAL to practice this with your partner in pregnancy.. maybe once a week, actually twice a week…. Every day…?

 

Sound- ‘If music be the sound of love, play on’ Music is incredibly powerful for our emotions. Who else plays Beyonce loud in their headphones when you want to feel like you are a strong, powerful woman… guilty! Likewise who puts on Ray LaMontague when you’re feeling nostalgic. Yes my music choices may not be on point but you get the idea. It’s amazing how many people discover their birth soundtrack months after birth and are left in floods of emotional, happy tears whilst sitting on the kitchen floor. Get yourself soundtrack, there are docking stations at the hospital or if in doubt get your own device and some headphones ready to go when the time comes.

 

Lastly taste… Food again can hold us so emotionally. Who reaches for the biggest bar of Galaxy when needing a little pick me up? I’m not saying during childbirth you will be able to scoff your favourite takeaway and the largest bar of chocolate but having some of your favourite snacks with you will help keep your energy levels up. Your uterus is a muscle and needs energy to contract. Most importantly keep hydrated.

 

As you would have used these date nights in as a way of relaxing. Your body will then began to associate all the smells, sights, tastes and sounds with those feelings of calm and relaxed. Therefore just playing that soundtrack or smelling that smell in labour will be enough for your body to start to release the oxytocin and give you effective tightenings and lots of endorphins. The more you put into this the more you get out so try and get in as much as possible. Although many of you will already have a favourite soundtrack (maybe your wedding song) or a favourite smell (your go to bath bomb, or candle) that you can just tap in to.

 

So for all those who are partial to a ‘to-do’ list here is a short one I have put together for you…

 

  • Get together with your partner and schedule in some regular night-in date nights.
  • Find your favourite smell/ essential oil.
  • Find a good picture/photo. Holiday picture, happy place, family.
  • Create a soundtrack.
  • Get some massage oil (again a nice smelling one.)
  • Compile a list of your favourite snacks for the hospital bag
  • Keep the format the same and appeal to all (or as many) of your senses.
  • Schedule in some more regular relaxing time on your own. Using a similar routine (ie. Bath, dim lighting, smell, music, hypnobirthing cd)
  • Most importantly… Enjoy it!

 

Reflexology- Pregnancy & Fertility

Complementary TherapiesPregnancy
Reflexology is a non intrusive complementary therapy based on the theory that all our organs, structures and glands in the body have a corresponding reflex in the feet. Pressure is applied to these area which encourages and triggers the body own healing mechanisms, boosting the immune system, improving circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system to release the bodies toxins. It also encourages homeostasis particularly in relation to the nervous and endocrine system.

The benefits of reflexology may also improve your sleep pattern, energy levels and sense of wellbeing. It gives you some “me time” which we all need in our hectic lives!

 

Reflexology in Pregnancy

Maternity reflexology is a specific form of reflexology aimed at women during any part of their pregnancy journey. It works by supporting the body (and its hormones) to maintain a state of balance, reducing stress levels and targeting any niggling symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, muscular aches and pains, changes in posture or heartburn.

Studies completed in Denmark and UK have shown that reflexology can be associated with drastically speeding up labour and reducing pain.

 

Fertility

Getting pregnant is not as easy for some couples as it is for others and they can find themselves in a very stressful and emotive situation which in turn may create a vicious cycle. Reproductive reflexology is very helpful in supporting fertility. It can be used as a stand alone treatment to enhance your natural fertility or alongside various IVF treatments.
Members of the Association of Reproductive Reflexology Association are specially trained to work alongside medicated cycles using treatment protocols that we believe works to enhance the medications efficacy.
Kathy is a member of the Association of Reproductive Reflexologist, Association of Reflexologists & CHNC. She has been a registered Reflexologist for 10 years, specialising in fertility. She works from the comfort of your own home. Kathy has two daughters, Emily and Charlotte. She likes cooking, going to the gym and holidays in Greece.
If you would like to know more about reflexology with Kathy then please contact her on 07731445394 or kathryn.woods1@btopenworld.com

Cranial Osteopathy

Complementary TherapiesNewborn

 

So what how does cranial work with children, what is it we actually do? 

 

The cranial bones of the head are designed to be soft and mobile so that the circumference of the skull can be reduced for a safer and ‘easier’ pathway through the birth canal.  During this process these bones can become twisted and compressed causing obstruction to their normal intended growth and development as well as impacting the passage of vital nerves and blood vessels to and from the head to the rest of the body, the gut for example, and above all this can be painful leading to upset and unnecessary crying. Other twists and compressions can happen in the whole of the body particularly the spine and pelvis either from the birth or else in a lot on instances from being cramped upside mummy during pregnancy.

 

It is important to also remember the emotional elements too.  Remember that before the cord is cut (and in my opinion for a long while thereafter), the baby feels what you feel, so stress whilst pregnant and certainly during long and difficult labours can all add to a heightened level of adrenaline and urgency in children, this is also the case in caesarean section babies where the transition from lovely snug, warm, wet and dark environment to bright lights and noise can leave the child startled and distressed – how did you feel when you were last really stressed, did you sleep well, eat well, feel like smiling for the world?

 

So in both cases of physical or emotional traumas, cranial osteopathy looks to restore a balance in the tissues, to gentle support and correct any strain patterns and to inhibit the side of the nervous system that has got caught up in all the stresses mentioned above.  Like a plant that naturally reaches for the light, the inherent health within your children is amazing, they want to be healthy and well, sometimes though they just need a little support and guidance to get there.

 

Cranial Osteopathy, whether treating new born babies or children (adults too) has a lot to offer the natural pursuit of health by treating traumas in a non-traumatic way.

 

BCOP (Baby & Children’s Osteopathy Practice) in Cheltenham provides help for many issues on a daily basis from colic & reflux, fractious and unsettled behaviours, feeding issues, sleep disturbances and achievement of developmental milestones in babies, to glue ear, speech difficulties, growing pains, again behavioural issues, tummy pains and more in older children.

 

Cranial osteopathy had its foundations set in 1902 and our understanding of how the physical traumas of pregnancy, birth and life’s knocks/illnesses, combined with the emotional upset of these events, helps us to help our patients reach and maintain their health.

 

Treatment is extremely light and non-invasive and time is spent to explain how ill health has arrived and how we can stop and prevent it happening again.

 

More information on the free baby sessions can be found here – http://www.thefamilyosteopath.co.uk/treatments/bcop/

 

I’m always happy to help answer any questions or queries so please feel free to contact me, Ben and I’ll help where I can either care@thefamilyosteopath.co.uk or call/text 07894 707745.

 

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Winner of 🌟The Best Pregnancy Support Service in Gloucestershire 2017🌟, The Bump to Baby Chapter has something for everyone. 🌟For expectant couple wanting to know all you need to know about labour, baby and those early days we have midwife led antenatal courses. 🌟For a second or third time mother wanting to birth without fear after a negative birth experience. There’s hypnobirthing one day classes for the busy Mum. 🌟Free blogs with tips on birth and baby for all 🌟Buggy walks in Cheltenham for new mothers to bring the sisterhood in motherhood. So whatever stage of pregnancy and whatever number baby have a look at the page, website and get involved 🌟
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Hospital Bag Items.

Here is a few of my faves ....

💡Lip balm- Gas and air can make your lips really dry. So can hospitals with their dry air.
💡 Earplugs/Eye mask- This one is useful if you need to spend any time on the antenatal maternity ward eg. induction of labour. Ear plugs are definitely not for after you’ve had the baby!!
💡Flannel/water spray/mini fan - You can get HOT in labour. Also hospitals 🥵
💡Socks- if you have an epidural or spinal. When it wears off your feet can feel cold!

💡 Always pack an extra bag to keep at home for a relative to bring in if you unexpectedly need to stay in for longer

💡 Dads/Partners- Pack yourself a bag too. Think change of clothes, food, toothbrush, food, drinks, food. Paracetamol is also a good one for you to have, hospitals can’t dish out the drugs to Dads and lack of sleep and hospital air can mean headaches.

What were your most used items in labour/birth? Midwife buddy’s - what’s your tips?? Or any pregnant mothers have any hospital bag Qs...

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