An evening in March last year, I posted a photo of a Mum who had just given birth and she was punching the air looking powerful. The photo was posted along with a quote off a pregnant woman called Andrea who was in my Bumps on Lockdown FB group (a group made to support women online through lockdown.)
“When this is all over (and it will be!), you will be the women who were pregnant/gave birth during a global pandemic. You’re the ones who faced the unthinkable and soldiered on because you had to. If you can go through this, you can go through anything. You’ve got this! Super Mum! “
I posted, then sat at my table about to teach a Zoom antenatal class. 2.5hours later, I checked my social media and it had blown up. Women felt connected with the words and the photo. They wanted some reassurance, some positivity, a chunk of empowerment. It was a “HELL YEH” moment of solidarity to women, all in the same boat, across the globe . It was a magic moment.
Who would have though that a social media post would have built such a powerful community based purely upon women supporting women. It ended up reaching over 14 million people!!
But, it wasn’t all holding hands and cheering each other on. There were real worries, and real concerns over what lockdown meant for women giving birth and their partners. But, also for the months after for women who were home looking after their newborns. A time where we say ‘It takes a village’ was swapped to ‘batten down the hatches.’ Motherhood can feel isolating enough, without having to physically isolate.All of those amazing fist in the air photos mean so much to me. It’s an “I made it” photo and it’s a message that I want to shout from the rooftops
BB Power Apparel was born!
The Birth Hero Tee and the Super Hero Tee are a testament to women, they are a memory of what women faced during lockdown but, going forward, a symbol of all that women are. Our tees are a reminder that you can go through anything and still punch the air after, it’s for all of those fist pumping, air punching moments that need championing.
And most importantly, all profits from the tees go to two amazing charities, Tommy’s and Birth Rights, as an appreciation for all that they do for women who birthed in the pandemic
Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Jessica’s 3rd baby, a rainbow baby, who was predicted to be a big baby. She used breathing techniques, hypnobirthing and had a positive water birth.
Being a 3rd time mum (and after having 4 miscarriages) I was super stressed about this birth. My first was 28 hours and an epidural, my second was 4 hours from start to finish on gas and air and I was convinced this one would be much more difficult. This pregnancy I was predicted to have a big baby. From about 28 weeks I started to measure about 3 weeks ahead so started to get sent for growth scans. 3 scans down (our last one was 16th Jan!) they told us that although the baby was on the 95th centile, as it was my 3rd they weren’t going to do anything. Being 5ft 2 and having only had 8lb 2oz babies I was a bit apprehensive.
Felt like I’ve been having intense braxton hicks for weeks now and on Monday night we decided to have a curry and watched a film. Was feeling miserable about going overdue but started to have regular tightenings whilst watching our movie. Tightenings weren’t painful but were every 7 minutes and felt a bit stronger than usual. After about 2 hours they fizzled out and I went to bed.
1.30am I woke suddenly and knew that my waters were about to go – they’ve always been quite dramatic in the past and gushed out so I jumped out of bed just in time and ‘whoosh’. As this was my 3rd baby (and we live about 35 mins away from the hospital) we were called in to the birth unit for assessment. I must’ve sounded so panicked on the phone because there were 4 lovely midwives and a wheelchair waiting to collect me from the maternity unit door when we arrived 🤦🏼♀️
Things started slow – babies head was high and although my cervix was fully effaced I was only 2cm. Had a bath and contractions began at about 3.30am. I used the rectangle breathing method to stay calm and it was a huge help! Didn’t want gas and air yet until I really felt I needed it.
At 4.30 the contractions were picking up and the midwife told me to start timing – every 3 minutes and gradually increasing with intensity.
By 6.15 she examined me again because I was really starting to struggle with the pain and I’d expressed that I’d like to try labouring in a birth pool. Although only 4cm, she gave me a stretch whilst examining and within half an hour I was 6cm any ready for the pool!
By this point I was really starting to lose control and felt I needed something to help whilst the pool was filling but the gas and air made me feel too sick and I had to stop.
From this point on my main control method was finding a position in the pool that I could push my legs against the side and, quite frankly, making a reasonable amount of noise 🤦🏼♀️ By about 7.45 I was starting to beg for somebody to help out and claiming I couldn’t do it and the amazing midwife who was doing the handover asked if I wanted her to examine me. I felt I needed her to because I had to get some indication of whether I was anywhere near to the end!
She confirmed that although I was only 8cm, being my 3rd baby she could help by opening up my cervix for baby to come through during the next contraction.
A few minutes later, some uncomfortable pushing and an outstanding midwife helping me out, our little boy arrived! I didn’t think I wanted to give birth in the pool because I’m frightened of seeing my own blood but it was amazing. Placenta was delivered in the pool about 10 minutes later and amazingly didn’t need stitches this time around!
Thank you Beth and TBTBC for giving me the confidence to believe in myself. Throughout the entire labour I resighted my affirmations and it helped me to stay focussed. Never in a million years did I think I’d have the strength to birth my baby with only a birth pool to help ease pain.
Sorry for the VERY long story – if you made it this far congrats and good luck to all of you mamma’s who are yet to have your babies. Believe in yourself – it’s amazing how much the power of your mind plays in your ability to birth your baby positively.
It hurts. It does. But if I can labour and deliver a 9lb 4oz baby without any drugs, anyone can!
Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.
Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive induction birth story is with Natalie’s first baby, an induction for low fluid around baby. She used breathing techniques, hypnobirthing & encouragement from her husband.
Induction at 38+4.
Labour 5hrs 46min.
Gas & air just for delivery (unintentionally! I wanted pain relief but too late!)
Dad nearly missed it!
It is now my turn to write my positive induction birth story! After growth concerns at 37 weeks I attended a scan at hospital. Growth and weight was on the smaller side but ok. We discovered a lack of fluid which was actually more of a concern. Baby’s movements were reducing so I attended daily CTG monitoring and an induction booked.
The first consultant I saw was awful – he didn’t discuss anything, didn’t give us a chance to ask questions, just instructed that an induction was happening at 38 weeks… Christmas Day!!!! I deafly nodded along in such shock and drove home in silence. Once home, I discussed it with my husband and we both had so many questions to ask! When I went for my checks the following day I had a LOVELY consultant and midwife who happily took the time to chat everything through, I used my EBRAN, felt much more prepared and we made a plan to continue monitoring and if all ok then induction pushed back so I could spend Christmas with my family and instead opted for a sweep first.
A couple of days after Christmas I had another scan and the lack of fluid was too concerning to ignore so I agreed to an induction as by this time I felt my priority was to get my little girl here safe and well. I was induced at 2pm on 29th Dec and by 9pm I had little tightenings. By 10.30pm the ctg showed regular contractions and labour officially marked as started, however, no pain just uncomfortable. I continued watching Netflix and practising my deep breathing ready for the bigger contractions. At 11pm I asked for paracetamol to make myself comfortable enough to doze off and I very lightly snoozed, with my iPod earbuds in, until 1pm when I woke with stronger contractions and very light discomfort. I continued the breathing, music, gently moving around my bay/area.
At 2pm I got in the bath to ease my back. The pessary slipped out when I went to the loo so I figured I must be about 4cm for that to happen. Whilst in the bath the contractions really ramped up, coming closer together and pain level increasing. After about 3 of them I made it back to my bed. I tried to keep mentally strong and calm, deep breaths and moving around but after a few more contractions I was bent forward over the bed and swearing into my pillow. I called for the midwives and asked for strong pain relief as paracetamol had worn off and I needed something stronger than that or gas and air. I phoned my husband (who was at home 20min drive away) and told him to come to the ward and wait outside the doors so we can go to the delivery suite together.
The midwives disappeared to get pain relief but didn’t seem to come back in what felt like ages (probably wasn’t!) so again I pressed the buzzer and cried for help. I was vomiting with the pain, no position was working and I could barely catch my breath. Lead midwife arrived to examine me in order to give me my options for pain relief…. 10cm!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! I’d done most of my labour on my own, without my husband and without more than the two paracetamol which had worn off. I told the midwives I had enormous pressure as if I needed to push or poo. They rolled me onto the bed, threw a sheet over my modesty and RAN the bed down the ward to the delivery room. I looked up only once as we went through the doors, desperate to see my husband and grab his hand… he wasn’t there! A midwife went down the corridor in search of him and calling his name… nothing. I remember screaming “she’s coming now” as they wheeled my bed into the private room and suddenly “loads” of midwives and nurses filled the room all trying to help get me parked, hooked up to the CTG and get some gas and air into me.
My body completely took over and did it’s job… the next contraction came and, before the gas and air was even in my mouth, my body pushed hard without me consciously doing so! I was trying to relax and hold on for my husband! I remember saying to a midwife “I didn’t want to be a screamer! But I am right now! I’m sorry!” To which she replied “darling you’re pushing a baby out without pain relief, you scream as much as you need!” The gas and air was shoved in my mouth and I breathed HARD! Desperate for some relief… it didn’t do much compared to the pain but oh well, too late now!
My husband appeared in the doorway and looked gobsmacked to what he’d just walked in to… a midwife told him he didn’t need all the bags and snacks as he wouldn’t be there long enough, ditch the bags and go hold my hand. Bless his heart, he was like a rabbit in headlights as he had no idea I was in the final stages, he expected to walk in to me bouncing on my ball at 4cm! My husband likes to feel useful so we had planned in advance for him to be the communicator and EBRAN man. Regularly asking what my pain relief options are at each stage and when is the last point I can have certain things. Well he did his job once he put the bags down, I heard him ask…. I just yelled “it’s too bloody late, she’s coming out right now!”
My body felt paralysed to one position on my side, it was so busy working it’s natural magic downstairs that my brain and arms were just along for the ride! I wanted to be on my knees, leaning up and forward over the back of the bed, but I simply couldn’t move! I remember thinking, well on my left side is better than my back! Baby’s heart rate started to drop with each contraction, from 140 to 90 and then disappearing off the monitor. I had to be put on my back which I didn’t want but at this point I said to myself, do what the midwives ask as the priority is the baby and they want you on your back for a reason (I just didn’t compute what they said at the time!)
Baby got stuck right at the last bit. I was bearing down and pushing hard but it felt like she simply wasn’t going to fit. The midwives hit the call button and the room filled with more people, all getting ready to whisk me to theatre to cut and use forceps which I desperately didn’t want, I begged for one more chance and pushed with everything I had. My husband said he could see her and gave me the best encouragement to try harder. Then the contraction disappeared… I couldn’t push! I held the pressure on to keep her right there….. then with the next contraction found the last bit of strength needed to get her out. As soon as her head was out the rest flew like a rocket and the instant relief was bliss! Yes I felt some tearing but as soon as my baby was put on my chest nothing else mattered! I was shaking like mad and utterly exhausted but at the same time completely in awe of what my body can do all on its own!
We had skin to skin and my husband cut the cord. We were given 4 golden hours instead of 1 considering my husband only made it 15minutes prior to the birth. Nice peaceful room with dim lighting and lots of happy tears. Baby even had a first feed before going for skin to skin with my husband whilst I was stitched up. 4 small tears with a couple of stitches each…. amazingly superficial considering how stuck she was, I expected a LOT worse. So for those thinking inductions take longer…. not necessarily! For those who say first timers take longer too…. not necessarily! 🤣
Now although it wasn’t what I wanted, I didn’t use all of my tools, I didn’t get to experience it with my husband properly, it wasn’t how I had in mind…. BUT I have absolutely no doubt that my mental attitude to get to 10cm, the tools I did use, my EBRAN, my breathing etc was all down to TBTBC! I totally bossed it and that was thanks to this course and group! Even the midwives asked what I used for my knowledge, mental power and calmness, and when I said TBTBC they all replied “oh yes! That’s a good course that one!” So a big thank you to Beth (midwife at TBTBC) for this amazing course! You’ve helped so many women and should be mega proud of what you’ve created!
Olivia 30/12/2020 6lbs 0oz
The perfect way to end a year and start a new one!
Want to feel confident, calm and prepared for all types of births? Check out The Bump to Baby Chapter’sHypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Created by midwife Beth, covering how to stack the odds in your favour to get the birth that you want, and also how to feel calm and prepared for every birth journey! Videos, checklists, audios & a support group mto get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth. Knowledge is Power!!
~Waterbirth at MLU using tens and breathing techniques
~Positive transfer for placenta removal
A huge thank you for this course, it taught me everything I needed to know for birth. I wanted to be prepared for the day knowing about what would happen physically and why, this helped me to write up my birth preferences, which led to the labour and birth I imagined. I did need a transfer after the birth but I had a positive experience with this too.
I was 40.2 weeks when my waters slowly went at home in the afternoon, I went to get checked and was sent home to see if things would progress naturally. At around 9pm I started getting contractions at home, so I had a bath, used breathing techniques (in 4 out 7) and leaned on the birthing ball as that felt like a comfy position (also upright and forwards) whilst sniffing lavender on a tissue.
It was around 1am that we decided to go and get checked and I was around 3cm. We were allowed to continue labour at the birth unit as things were progressing. I had a bath, used the tens machine and concentrated on breathing. Around 6am things were getting more intense so I requested to be checked again and was so so happy to be about 6 or 7cm!! I had a burst of energy knowing I could now use water to help so I got in the birth pool.
I tried gas and air but because I was so busy breathing in through my nose I couldn’t use it properly so went without and just carried on focusing on breathing 4&7. The environment was just right too, it was calm and dark helping me to really get in ‘the zone’. At around 8am there was a shift change and I remember noticing the lavender diffuser being topped up.
On my printed birth preferences sheet, I wrote that I wanted Matt to be in the pool with me and if possible to ‘catch’ her, so he got into his swimming trunks and patiently waited behind me in the pool. I was so focused though, so I didn’t talk or want any physical contact. I remember blowing bubbles in the water and counting down on my hand 5 sets of 4&7 breaths to get through each surge.
My body started feeling ‘pushy’ so I went with it. Imogen (Immy) Theia was born at 10.26am into her daddy’s arms weighing 8lb12. Matt told me after that the 12 hour piano playlist I had on throughout had finished by this point and she arrived to Sigur Ros Hoppipolla 🥰
We got to spend time together in the pool before we got out and Matt cut the cord. My placenta didn’t want to be delivered naturally or with the injection so I knew I needed to be transferred to the local hospital for a manual placenta removal.
Learning about each stage on the course helped me remain calm at this point and I remember saying to the midwives ‘I need to go to the hospital now don’t I’ after the attempts to remove it and I knew what was next. During my pregnancy I was worried about giving birth at a stand alone Midwife Led Unit because of the possibility of being transferred during birth and doctors not being near. My antenatal midwife had reassured me that should a transfer be needed at all during birth at a MLU, you are made a priority, this really helped when deciding and I had confidence that it would be okay.
I was in the ambulance (for the first time ever) and Matt brought Immy along in the car. I got to see them both briefly before going into theatre for a spinal, the procedure and a few stitches. I had some blood loss and stayed for two nights being very well looked after.
Although not the ending to my birth that I had visualised, I am grateful to everyone who cared and supported for me so well at both hospitals whilst in full PPE and the birth itself was incredible 💕
Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place…. This positive birth VBAC story is with Georgie’s second baby. She used breathing techniques, hypnobirthing and had a positive water birth.
I won’t go in to detail of my previous pregnancy as it was not a positive one, twins (who are now 4) boys by C-section and I had no say in any decisions…however, this is the complete opposite and want to focus on how amazing it was and you have control over what you want! So, fast forward to this pregnancy and I was determined to fight for my rights and have the positive birth I felt I deserved! I was going for a VBAC. My friend actually recommended Hypnobirthing, I’d not heard of it before so I did my research and found Beth’s ‘The Bump to Baby Chapter’- and I was so pleased I could do it all online and it’s something I can keep forever (even though this will be the last baby).
I completed the course slowly across 6-7 weeks and then once I started mat leave I re-visited the chapters that would suit my birth plan. I also listened to the audios nightly before bed to get me ready for the right frame of mind!
Due date came and went…Was getting a bit fed up and midwife offered a stretch and sweep on the Tues (40+5). Typical that mon night I started to get my bloody show. She said cervix was quite difficult to get to but she managed a successful sweep. I was 1cm and cervix 2cm thick. I had a bit of cramping, but nothing manifested. Until early hours of Wednesday morning I was getting irregular contractions but it was all under my belly button and around my lower back (they were strong enough for me to be gripping the bed) and quite intense pain on my scar so I went in to be checked. They did some monitoring- baby was happy and scar was ok. They agreed they were strong contractions but not regular enough.
I agreed to an examination to find I was still 1cm and 0.5cm thick- so felt really deflated because I thought this was the start. They sent me home with codeine and paracetamol and told me to get some sleep and to just rest. Contractions fizzled out slightly but was still getting the odd contraction so was hopeful and I took this as my body is still doing something so I rested and let it do its thing. I also stopped timing them as I felt I was concentrating too much and almost delaying letting my body do what it needed, another tip from Beth to not over analyse and just go with the flow.
Instead I focused on all the techniques I learnt from Beth and kept on breathing through each, imagining the waves building and reminding myself they’ll wash away within a minute or so and I CAN DO THIS, MY BODY WAS MADE TO DO THIS. I also had the use of the TENS machine to cause distraction. At around 6:30pm things started ramping up but again I didn’t want to focus on timing so I got my husband to do it. I got in the bath and spent a bit of time in there, got out and he made me a hot curry 😂.
I kept my breathing steady and after 2 hours I said I think we need to call MAU.
Then suddenly, I started to get bouts of mooing/roaring 😂 (at my assessment in the morning I did say to my OH I wonder if I will moo as I’d heard someone else at that point!). I got to the MAU assessment just before 10pm and was examined to find I was 4cm but could stretch to 5cm.
She mentioned how controlled my breathing was and I’d do really well with gas and air if I wanted. She said we could go up to delivery suite and I said no, I’ve been accepted to go on MLU and would like to give that a try – I believed that if I’d have accepted then I was giving in and then my mindset would’ve expected intervention. Same with the cannula- I refused because I wanted to keep positive that all would be fine. We got to MLU just after 11, the mood lighting was on, the pool was running, and they had HEART radio on in the background. They let me get in the water, it was like my body was waiting for that first part of my birth plan as then things moved very quickly from there.
Within 20mins my waters went and a few moments after that I said my body was pushing. The midwives were all shocked because they said how well I was breathing they thought it was going to be a long labour. They carried on respecting my wishes to let me do what I felt I needed to and to only start to guide me when I felt I needed it. Before we knew it I was told to reach down and feel his head (a lot of hair- that would be the heartburn) then his face popped out along with a hand up by his face like superman! It was such a surreal experience. Then came the final instruction to push down as hard as I could to birth his body. At this point I was so glad I kept HEART radio on because they were playing club classics and the bass beat of the song played alongside my final contraction and allowed to me to be in complete control.
Then, out he came at 1:04am! I lifted him out of the water and felt that rush and also disbelief of, “Oh my god I did it!”
Having never laboured before I had no clue what I was in for but thanks to Beth and her course I was in complete control the whole time! My husband cut the cord after 15mins, and he had skin to skin whilst I got out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I then had skin to skin and he had his first feed, the midwives sat down next to us and we all had a lovely relaxing time just talking. I was then sutured up. I had a small tear near my labia- they think it was because of how he came out with his hand by his face, and had a small scratch but very fortunate to not tear anywhere else.
I got my successful VBAC! Focus was key and my body took over and knew exactly what to do 💙
It was such a calming experience and one I will never forget so thank you Bump to Baby chapter for equipping me with the tools to do this 🥰
Baby boy Ellis 💙,
Born 8lb 2oz at 1:04am on 15th Oct
Exactly 41 weeks
Click for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited and confident for birth.
My induction was booked on November 3rd at 40+11 after 2 unsuccessful sweeps. The pessary was inserted at 11am and I was told they would check my cervix in 24 hours and see if any progress was made. I started watching some series while bouncing on my ball not expecting anything to happen for a while but I starting feeling tightenings around 3pm. By 6pm I was having constant intense contractions. They were lasting 5 minutes with almost no breaks in-between so I knew my uterus was over-stimulated. I managed to keep control and stay calm with breathing and visualisation (I really didn’t think that visualisation would be a thing that would work for me!). I visualised the sea, door frames, candles, balloons, inhaling calm and exhaling stress… can’t believe I remembered all those from the course and book I read! As it got more and more intense, I started the TENs machine on the lowest setting and it really helped me!
I got examined at 7pm and I was 3cm dilated and was transferred to labour ward at 8pm. They also removed the pessary at that point. As I was keen to keep going with the labour without interventions, I asked if they could wait before breaking my water to see if the contractions would keep going naturally… unfortunately that didn’t work out and they slowed down so my waters were broken at 9pm. I was weirdly anxious about them breaking my water… that’s when the gas and air came to the party! I did not expect gas and air to work so well! I was having a great time in-between contractions, I was singing, talking rubbish and laughing 😂 (and vomiting but let’s not go there, it only happened twice!).
I started having the urge to push by 11pm. I remembered to stay upright and kept using my TENs machine (they were on constant boost mode for the last 2 hours) and gas & air.
In the end, I ended up on my back, which I didn’t want but it was the only way I could cope. Then it all went a bit blurry where baby had his meconium inside me and my contractions slowed down. I knew I had to give everything with each contraction. Doctor was ready to do a ventouse delivery but it wasn’t needed in the end but still had to get an episiotomy (they scared me before but at that point I was just like “yes whatever, I want my baby” so try not to overthink it as it feels so different on the day). And then Léo was born at 1:35am on November 4th. What an amazing experience it was! I really didn’t think I’d be that person, but I did feel so proud of myself, empowered and I would do it again tomorrow!
I think what made the experience less stressful for me is that we were very open minded and were very aware of things not going to plan. We had a birth plan (water birth at a MLU) but I was mentally prepared for a different experience. Fairly early on in the labour, I was actually starting to talk about epidural as I wanted to enjoy the experience… but in the end the gas and air was enough for me. My advice would just be to go with the flow, use EBRAN and breathe… I still can’t believe how powerful breathing techniques are!
Good luck everyone, you’ll smash it 🔥
For more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.