When I found out I was pregnant for the second time around I instantly thought about birth, and how I could avoid the same kind of birth experience (I won’t delve into it but it was traumatic and as a result I suffered postnatal depression) *only positive vibes from here on*
Throughout my pregnancy I think I read, watched and listen to any positive birth story I could get my hands on, I lived and breathed positive! Can’t believe its my turn! At 34 weeks pregnant I decided I wanted a home birth. I listened to birth affirmations every night and practiced up breathing.
So fast forward due date well and truly come and gone 40+12 (5 sweeps later) I’d declined induction until 40+14.Hospital bag all re packed the evening before full with snacks and all the tools I needed for labour set to go. Sitting on the sofa excited to get the ball rolling the next morning I felt like we were going on holiday! Suddenly had 2 intense tightenings (which I had most evenings, especially after sweeps) walked out the kitchen, my Knickers suddenly felt wet I thought it was alot of show.. Nope, my waters had broken! 20:30 (5/8/20) Yay. Excitedly shouted to my husband, I noticed it was thin meconium stained but not to worry. After tidying myself up, I called the home birth team and they sent me a Midwife to check in.
Midwife arrived roughly 22:00 checks all good, I had a few tightenings but irregular nothing to shout about. 23:30 tightenings started to get a little closer but I decided best to go to bed and try to rest because like most evenings it’ll probably fizzle out. I dozed between surges, laying on my left or right with a pillow between my knees, listening to birth affirmations with earphones and concentrating on up breathing. I went to the toilet alot to wee, and change my pads, but by 5am I thought things were getting intense and closer together, that we’d need to arrange childcare for our 3yr old daughter, I popped my TENS machine on. I called my mother and said we would be calling for a midwife soon and could she collect our daughter for 7am (whilst on the phone had an intense surge, threw my phone and got very tearful) . 6am I called for the midwife, 6:10 my husband rings my mother to come now (he could see things hotting up) 6:20 midwife arrives, surges are so close together I don’t have time to switch off the Boost mode on the TENS! I couldn’t lay down long enough for the midwife to listen to baby’s heartbeat she had to do it standing up, she said “I don’t see the need to examine you really if your not in labour I’ll eat my hat” I said “but I think I need the gas and air” she said “of course I’ll just go and get it from my car” out she pops to get the gas and air! Throughout most of this my comfort was standing, and leaning on my mantle peice, I couldn’t move! So I finally have the gas and air, then I can feel the pressure! I shout to my husband, “take off my shorts!” (at some point my mother arrives, wakes up and takes my daughter – later to be told that was 6:45)The next surge seems like a blur, but I remember mooing and involuntary pushing. The next surge was the same and then I actually felt her head nudge forward then retreat as I relaxed at the end of the surge. The next surge, in a controlled breath I slowly edged her head out (I hadn’t practiced this but all I could envisage was a balloon expanding and that’s exactly how it felt pressure building until her head was born) swiftly followed by her body at 06:50 am, I couldn’t quite believe it!
Baby was a bit shocked at her sudden entrance into the world but soon came around, next thing I’m sat on my sofa having skin to skin breastfeeding, I opted for the injection for the third stage, placenta was delivered pretty soon after that, I had a small second degree tear which was sutured whilst baby had skin to skin with dad. Everything was all cleared up and midwives had gone by 9:30am there we were all in our own home, eating toast in awe of what just happened! It was magic!
Hollie May Chandler 6/08/20 weight 8lb
If you want to know about ways to keep calm during your birth, ways that you can stack the odds in your favour to have a great birth and techniques that you can start practising now in your pregnancy to prep for birth, then you can get all the information from the convenience of your own home on your own time, by accessing our online course.
An online course put together by UK midwife, Beth offering both hypnobirthing and antenatal education, which has helped women across the globe feel confident and calm during their birth.
Coronavirus In Pregnancy
As this is a new virus there is very limited research on how the Coronavirus will effect pregnant mothers and newborns.
However, in China a piece of research was done on 9 pregnant mothers who had the Coronavirus and here is what they found…
💥 None of the 9 pregnant women developed severe pneumonia or became seriously ill.
💥 None of the babies that were tested, tested positive for the virus (the researchers tested the amniotic fluid, the blood from the cord)
💥The virus wasn’t present in breast milk.
What this research has shown us is that it appears that pregnant women are having the same reaction to Coronavirus as non-pregnant adults. It’s also suggested that currently there is no evidence to suggest that the baby, whilst inside, is at any risk of infection from the virus.
This is very reassuring for pregnant mamas! But, this is a very small amount of pregnant women to make full generalisations and generally we know that pregnant women are vunerable when it comes to catching viruses like the flu and more specifically respiratory viruses. So it’s important that if you’re pregnant you do what you can to avoid viruses and infections. These are…
⚡️Wash hands regularly and properly with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
⚡️Avoid people who are sick
Be at least 1 metre from
anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small droplets which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has it.
⚡️Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands.
Why? Hands can pick up viruses from things we touch. The eyes, nose and mouth is an entry for the virus to get into your body.
It’s important that, if you suspect that you have the Coronavirus that you call 111 for further instructions.
All our antenatal classes and hypnobirthing classes are continuing as normal.
I don’t know if this was the result of too much gas and air at this point or one of Robs cracking jokes but either way it looks like we’re having a grand old time! Anyone who’s been through labour knows that it’s not all shits and giggles, but a solid birth partner that can bring the funnies goes a long way for those oxytocin levels.
So to all the birth partners out there, who don’t just want to be sat in the corner with their popcorn, remember you’ll be the biggest source of oxytocin in that birth room. Never underestimate your role 💪🏻✨
You may be surprised to know that this is all part of hypnobirthing. It’s not all relaxation and breathing, it’s about learning ways to make you feel great during labour. For me that was this man right there ❤️ some gas and air 👌🏼 and I was on to a winner.
Did you have an awesome birth partner at your birth? What did you find most helpful?
Join the conversation here.
Chui King Li Photography 📸
#Hypnobirthing #BirthLikeABoss #LaughterIsTheBestMedicine
THE most challenging thing that I find as a parent are the expectations. Every new mother expects the “feeds every 3-4 hours, long napping, 12 hour night time sleeping, loves the tummy time, happy in the buggy, will go to anyone, doesn’t really cry, good” baby. That is the dream ☁️ right?
But where do we get these expectations from? Why do we think that our baby is going to be born and just start ticking the boxes that we’ve created. Where are these baby’s that have read the How to be a Dream Baby Manual?
Here’s a few different expectations that may make your time as a new parent a little easier.
1. Expect your baby to want to be cuddled with you for lots of the time. They’ve been carried by you for 9months and they’d like it to stay that way! Think 4th trimester for the first 3 months.
2. Expect your baby to not want to sleep in the cot/crib. This world is massive to them.
3. Expect them to want to sleep on you and open their eyes wide EVERY time you put them down.
4. Expect your baby to feed irregularly. Sometimes they cluster feed. Sometimes they snack. Sometimes they have days where they want less.
5. Expect to bounce, rock, sway, walk, feed, cuddle your baby to sleep.
6. Expect your baby to wake lots in the night. Expect them to wake and not want to go back to sleep. 🦉
7. Expect them to cat nap in the day.
8. Expect to ask for help. That’s ok – family/friends like to help too!
9. Expect the unexpected when it comes to bed sharing. When you’re dealing with all the above, bed sharing is easily done. It’s better to plan for this safely than accidentally. (See Lullaby Trust for safe bed sharing tips)
10. Expect to do nothing but care for your baby in the first few months.
11. If your baby is currently the dream baby- expect it to change.
Instead of trying to manage your baby. Manage your expectations ✨
How are sleep deprived, over whelmed mothers able to distinguish between what’s actual, normal baby behaviour and what’s just society’s unrealistic, expectation of a good baby 🤷🏼♀️.
⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️ This very reason is why I’ve pulled in the cavalry that is Helen, the sleep pro and Olivia, the colic and reflux pro- (titles I think they deserve!) to give all TBTBC couples free sessions on baby sleep and colic/reflux when their baby’s arrived to help with the good baby expectation vs. reality of baby behaviours.
You are so much more than your baby’s ability to sleep or be settled. You are so much more than your baby’s ability to “be a good baby.”
Expect little from them and give them lots of love ❤️
Photo creds Monet Nicole – Birthing Stories
We live in an extremely risk adverse society and lots of the advice you’ll be given in pregnancy is “to reduce the risk of….”
To reduce the risk of infection.
To reduce the risk of listeria.
To reduce the risk of bleeding.
To reduce the risk of uterine rupture.
To reduce the chance of cesarean etc. etc.
You can finish this sentence in many ways and if you’re pregnant, it’s a sentence you’ve more than likely heard once, if not more times, recently.
But what does it actually mean when you’re told that you’re at an increased risk of something?
Clever Megan over from Positively Birthing used the analogy of a black car and a risk of having an accident. I’m going to use the same example as it makes so much sense. Here goes…
You’re at an increased risk of having a car accident driving in a black car. You’re actually TWICE as likely to have an accident if you drive a black car.
Sounds a lot right? Makes you want to avoid driving a black car.
This is a relative risk and not the best way to understand the actual risk.
Try it this way…
0.5% of people have a car accident when driving a black car, compared to 0.25% of those driving any other colour.
This is an absolute risk and may make you reconsider buying the black car.
When you look at the actual facts and figures to the so called risk, it may not seem much of a risk at all.
Actual figures should be how all of your information is given to you when pregnant as it means that you can decide what is best for you with actual figures. Being told that your risk has increased always sounds a lot more scary than it usually is.
Another useful thing to know is who were those people driving the black car. Was it their first car accident? Did they have a raised BMI? Did they have drugs whilst driving the car? What was their age? If this description isn’t similar to you then your risk of driving the black car will be different again.
Lastly, it’s also good to know what were the outcomes of these car accidents and how would these outcomes effect YOU and your life? Risk is subjective from person to person. One persons risk of a caesarean is another persons first choice.
So even though you may fall into a category that may increase your chances of an intervention happening, you still can’t really say that the risk of that intervention for you is HIGH. It may be higher than others but for lots of things it’s still more than likely going to be a very small risk.
Risk is not just about statistics and numbers it’s about a women’s experiences, her perceptions, thoughts and beliefs. Risk is subjective. Sticking to the car example. If someone has had a family member who has had a car accident in a black car. That risk is going to be perceived a lot higher than someone who has maybe never seen a black car before. One woman’s risk of a cesarean is another woman’s first choice.
So next time you are given a choice during your pregnancy to avoid a certain risk. This could be having a booked caesarean to avoid the risk of something. Ask why? Ask for your absolute risks so that you can make a fully informed choice.
I’m a big believer in that what you think about most you are more likely to get. Jim Carey famously did this to achieve greatness. When new to his career he wrote himself a cheque out for one million dollars with a 10 year date on it. He kept this cheque in his wallet and focused on it daily. Then 10years on he made this goal a reality and landed himself a role in Me, Myself and Irene and also landed himself a 10 million dollar pay cheque.
Visualisations work for anything in life, including pregnancy and birth. If you visualise how you want your birth to be you are more likely to get what you want.
If you have a specific focus then you are more likely to align yourself with this goal.
For example if you think positively about birth and think about yourself having a vaginal birth then you may…
✨Choose to be more active in labour
✨Think more about your positioning of baby
✨You’ll be less fearful of birth as you’d have “practised” what you’re going to do when getting contractions. You would ha e visualised your music, your coping strategies etc.
✨You’re more likely to have researched all your options, how to achieve a calm birth, booked onto an antenatal class or done hypnobirthing as a way to arm yourself with all the knowledge to get what you want.
✨You would have visualised the moment you meet your baby and how it makes you feel. This releases all the good hormones so when labour comes you know that the time has come to meet your baby and that this is an exciting time…
Compared to someone who has done no visualisations and thinks …. I don’t want to think about birth as, “I can’t control what happens” … “Whatever happens, will happen” … “It’s going to hurt no matter what”
✨When you go into labour it’s a new thing for your conscious mind to deal with. You may be feeling scared or fearful which releases adrenaline in your body. This can effect your birth in a negative way.
✨You may be more likely to choose things that might slow your labour down such as lying on the bed due to not knowing what else to do.
✨You may be more likely to choose stronger drugs from feeling scared of what’s happening.
(By the way it’s always ok to choose stronger drugs and/or lie on a bed but it’s just fairer to yourself if it’s done from a place of knowledge rather than fear)
This is a technique that’s used in hypnobirthing. You can come and prepare yourself for birth with TBTBC midwife Oli, with your partner on April 24th or by yourself on May 18th.
Start thinking about what you want your birth to look like… ❤️