Category: Uncategorized

My Bump to Baby Chapter


So you know how over here we like to keep it social both on and off line… We love to see how much fun you have at antenatal classes and with your group after. We also love keeping tabs on your story, finding out how you’re getting on on your Bump to Baby Chapter. We thought that it would be nice to treat those who share these moments with us by running a little photo competition. Here are some ideas from photos that we’ve received from our Bump to Baby Chapter Family in the past.

So EVERY month we will be giving away an amazing gift box from the champion of gifts, Don’t Buy Her Flowers. (Contents of the box will vary)

All you have to do to enter is post your photo on Instagram or Facebook, tag us in it and #MyBumpToBabyChapter so that we can see that you’ve entered. If you’re entering on Instagram and your page is set to private you will need to message us your entry too as otherwise we won’t see it. You can also post the photo on our Facebook page or send it us via email to

We will keep you posted with all the entries by posting all the photos below….

The only terms and conditions are that the competition is only open to those who have been or booked on to a Bump to Baby Chapter antenatal course or hypnobirthing. Anyone who’s been to a course of ours can enter, this can be past, present or even future (ie. when you’ve booked a course and are looking forward to starting it!) By entering the competition you are giving permission to us to share your photo and caption on our social media channels and website. Competition winners will be announced on the 1st of every month so keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram. This competition currently doesn’t have a closing date, and all photos will be considered every month. You can enter as many photos as you like to be in with a chance. This competition is not affiliated with Don’t Buy Her Flowers (we just think they’re awesome gifts!)

Here are your entries so far… #MyBumpToBabyChapter

From a 4lb tiny baby to this handsome strong chap 🥺

Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel- Sam

Jez and Charlotte from November’s antenatal class. How life changes in a few months.

From bump to baby! Thrilled little Albert is here 🙂

At eight months pregnant, I (naturally) had a head full of questions, and not many answers. That’s where these guys stepped in… The Bump to Baby Chapter gave me practical advice for what to expect before, during and after labour. So, when they contacted me wanting some new visuals for their company, I jumped at the chance to help them create a new look for their brand. #mybumptobabychapter

8 days in and finally got 5 minutes…. Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Beth and her amazing @thebumptobabychapter classes! Both myself and Alex thoroughly enjoyed every session; for Beth’s never ending knowledge on everything labour and baby related, her total honesty that made the scary bits weirdly not seem so scary anymore; and her general funny and welcoming attitude 🥰 we were genuinely sad when our sessions came to an end as they had been the highlight of our week! We learnt so much during our classes that really prepared us both for the birth and aftercare of our little Archie 😍 even during my brief moments of panic where I stopped using my breathing effectively, Alex was right by my side to remind me and to breath through it with me to get me back on track, honestly couldn’t have done it without his support and encouragement!! Beth was also completely respectful of our decision not to post anything pregnancy related until after the safe arrival of our little boy, strategically putting us on the end of our group photo so we could be cropped out!! Might seem a daft thing to say, but for anyone that wishes to do the same, please don’t be put off attending these sessions as your wishes will absolutely be respected ☺️ It also gave us the opportunity to meet the loveliest couples, which has been great to share experiences both pre and post baby at all hours of the day…. and night 🕢😴!! So excited to get a date in the diary for a reunion with all our beautiful bundles 😍 #mybumptobabychapter

Sports Psychology vs. Hypnobirthing. Why are they so similar?


Sports Psychology vs. Hypnobirthing.

Why they are so similar.

If I said to you names such as Wayne Rooney, Andy Murray, Johnny Wilkinson and Jessica Ennis. What would you say they have in common? They are all sportsmen/women, yes. All great achievers in their chosen sport, yes. But did you know they all attribute a lot of their super sports powers to visualisation? They basically HypnoSport. 

Wayne Rooney- Before a match he visualises his game right down to the colour of his socks and pants. Being specific in your visualisation – thinking of all your 5 senses- is associated with enhanced sport performance. Rooney has said to have visualised everything from the sound of the crowd to his full kit. 

Hypnobirthing- If you imagine yourself in birth and think about those 5 senses. Just like Wayne it will help with your visualisation, it will also mean that when you are in birth and you smell that lavender smell or are in that birth room that you’ve imagined- it’s not going to be an alien thing to you – your body has already learnt to associate those 5 senses with calmness and birth, reducing your anxiety.

Jonny Wilkinson – Renowned for visualising the perfect kick, from the line that the ball will follow to the feel of a great kick on his boot. The match before that perfect drop kick in the World Cup wouldn’t have been the first time he’d been in that situation. Having visualised that kick or others similar many a times that week before. This is positive visualisation. In Wilkinson’s words, “If you have realistically imagined situations, you feel better prepared and less fearful of the unexpected.”

Hypnobirthing- Again, putting yourself in lots of situations and feeling positive about it and in control means that if you have a cesarean you will feel confident during that birth. If you have an induction you would have imagined exactly what you will be doing whilst coping with those early, induction contractions. Prepare yourself by putting yourself in these situations so you feel less fearful of the unexpected, just like Jonny.

Jessica Ennis-Hill Olympic Gold medalist “I used visualisation to think about the perfect technique,” she says. “If I could get that perfect image in my head, it helped me channel my physical performance.” Researchers have shown that practising things in your head fires off the same neurons as if you were doing it in real life. Sort of like your mind doesn’t know the difference between practising in real life or imagined.

Hypnobirthing- You can’t practise birth, you can’t go training like the athletes do. But you can put yourself in the situation in your mind. This will increase your confidence in yourself and your body’s ability when the day comes. All of these tricks to reduce fear means that your body will have less adrenaline in your body. Adrenaline in birth is responsible for feeling tense, panicky and therefore pain. It can also reduce your contractions. Meaning that imagining things going positive in your birth means your channeling your physical reaction by controlling your hormones so that they’re not firing off the stressful adrenaline. 

I find it odd that visualisation in sports performance is so supported and recognised and massive in the media in such a positive way. Yet if you do this for birth it can still be seen as hippy and maybe even naive.  People are wary of visualising in birth due to worrying that their actual experience will differ from what they’ve imagined- as we know that birth has lots of other factors involved that are often beyond our control. Yet again this is the same for sports. Jonny and Wayne would have both relied heavily on their other team players and you can never control how well the opposing team are playing too. But they know that if you are feeling confident and prepared, you’re stacking the odds in your favour- that applies for both sports and birth. 

Maybe if we called it birth psychology these techniques would be more mainstream, maybe if we called sports psychology “Hypno sporting” the term hypnobirthing would be more acceptable! Either way the powerful technique of visualisations shouldn’t just be limited to use in sport. Exactly the same techniques can be used for business, organising your home life, an important presentation, your wedding or an important dinner party. And of course, as a technique to be able to birth like a boss.


photo creds Monet Nicole

Top 10 Photos to capture in your birth room

Birth StoriesNewbornUncategorized

Moments in the birth room are moments to be remembered. Here are just a sample of 10 of my favourite captures.

1. The support given from your partner.

(Beautiful photos from Luna Palm Photography Cheltenham)

2. The Lion King moment- During a cesarean when the drapes are dropped and you first set eyes on your baby.

(📸 Monet Nicole)

3. The Moment you catch your baby.

4. Your partners face when you catch your baby. This Dads face is priceless.

(📸 Monet Nicole Births)

5. The cord being cut. This is one being trimmed after a cesarean birth.

6. Baby’s first checks such as weight and head circumference.

7. The first family photo.

(Sam and Rich ❤️ when 2 became 3)

8. Those tiny fingers and tiny toes.

(📸 Chui King Li Photography) Cheltenham

9. Midwife and Baby- If you’ve had a good relationship with your midwife, one of your baby and your midwife is a popular one to take.

(📸 This is myself with gorgeous Casia. Her Mama Lucy’s blog is a good one to read.)

10. The going home photo-

(A Bump to Baby Chapter papa taking his new baby home ❤️)

These are my Top 10. Have I missed any special captures out? I’d love to see yours in the comments…



Suzy’s Cesarean Birth

Birth StoriesUncategorized

So having been told early on in pregnancy that I would need a c section as I had Placenta Previa (placenta blocking cervix) to then be told at 30wks my placenta had moved and you can have a normal delivery… left me absolutely crapping myself as it isn’t what I had been preparing for and all the uncertainties that came with it!

Then I was told about Hypnobirthing… decided to book on a course that was relaxed, informative and empowering… I came away with more confidence that I can handle labour. Not to mention meeting some lovely people to share the journey with.

Turns out on the last scan they found unusually large fetal blood vessels all over my placenta (Vasa Previa) that could tear during labour meaning you and your baby could lose a lot of blood and would end up being rushed to have an emergency c section, where neither I nor my partner would witness the birth of our first child (as in this situation a general anaesthetic would be necessary).

So I took control and requested a planned c section. I had an amazing little boy through a calm and magical experience 😍 … someone said, so you didn’t need the hypnobirthing skills after all?

Wrong, very wrong!

I used them several times:

• When being made to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom, lowering myself on to the toilet, getting myself off the toilet and back into bed – not at all easy the day after major surgery!

• Then I also needed them again after having far too many pain killer tablets over a week (too much information coming up!) which basically blocks you up badly… I felt like I’d given birth 3 times before it all returned to normal! 💩😬😱

• Throughout my recovery after coming off the blocking pills! I used them, getting in and out of bed and on and off the floor when you are sore… you need to breathe through all of that.

I also made a lovely group of friends and now meet up regularly with all our little ones, as well as having that all important out reach text group – when your baby is going through something like constipation or colic or you want to compare explosive poops 💩!

Happy Mothers Day to you Mothers and Mothers-to-be…


Today is a day where I always reflect on my own childhood and my own Mum. I was really lucky that my Mum was always around, always at home, always there to pick me up from school. This is something that she continues to do for me as a Mother myself. If I’m having a tiring day with my 3 she’s always there with a box full of toys and a hot brew and some cake for me. She’s reliable, always present and always there.

Before I had children I use to think of how I would be with my family, although my life now is not exactly how I had imagined being a Mum. I work long days in the hospital so can be away from my children from 7 am in the morning till 8pm at night, often missing them wake up and go to bed all in one day.  I’m also not half as glamorous as I’d always imagined when picturing myself with my brood! A far cry from the kind of Mother that I had whilst growing up. I think one thing that all mothers have in common is that GUILT (something that you don’t prepare for from antenatal class!) That awful feeling that creeps up from your stomach when you feel torn between breast and bottle, a night out with friends, leaving for work. That feeling of not quite being enough or giving enough to your family.

What I find most interesting from looking back on my own childhood is how oblivious I was to my mother feeling like this. Never once did I think.. I wish my Mummy spent more time with me… I wish my Mummy had more more money or worked more or gave me more organic vegetables! etc. Yet, I know for sure now that my Mum, like the rest of us had that guilt feeling creeping into her days. I look back to my Mum with the upmost respect and admiration that she gave, and continues to, give so much of her life to her children. The point I am trying to make is that the way we see our days with our babies, toddlers and children is so different to the way they see it. When I am at work, my children spend time with their grandparents, something that I know they love. They are accepting of the fact that I work and have never questioned my working hours, something that I fail to remember when I check on them in the morning, tucked up in bed before I walk out the door.

Today of all days, us mothers and mums-to-be need to remember that we are enough and most importantly to the world we are Mothers, but to our family we are the world.

Happy Mothers Day 🙂

Love Beth


The big Q… How do I get my baby to sleep?


Top 5 Tips for guiding baby into good sleep habits:

• 1: My first tip would be swaddling! Sometimes, we try swaddling and baby gets cross and we think “My baby hates to be swaddled!”- For a few, this will be true. Actually it’s what you do after you swaddle, that all add up to help baby feel comforted. I’m a fan of Dr. Harvey Karp’s Five S’s:
1. Swaddle (safely)
2. Side (Hold baby in you arms so they are on their sides)
3. Shush (Shushing Noises)
4. Swing (I kind of do this controlled jiggly motion, key here is motion!)
5. Suck (If baby has a dummy)

((Nb. Never put your baby down to sleep on his/her side. Baby always led on back to comply with safe sleep guidelines)

I find following these helps get that swaddle hater, loving it! It only takes a few minutes following these steps (you may need to play around with how you find your personal approach) before you can lay them down and the security of the swaddle stops that startle reflex from waking them up and getting themselves all upset!

• 2: I love white noise. Ewan can be great but has a timed limit of around 20 minutes which no doubt turns itself off at the crucial moment! You can get some fairly cheap little gadgets on Amazon, they are portable and great from encouraging a ‘positive sleep association’ helping baby nap on the go.

• 3: Schedules. I know this seems a CRAZY notion when you are in the thick of the early days- and that’s okay. We absolutely do not need to be instilling strict schedules and getting panicked when things inevitably veer off track. Practicing little bits of routine as early as possible will help you feel a little more in control of the craziness, and be great practise for when baby is getting a little older and you are ready to start following a more firm schedule. Keeping an eye on how naps and feeds are going will help you identify if there’s anything at play later down the line. When I talk about schedules, we must remember to be flexible and relaxed with the idea… we are talking babies after all!

• 4: Remember that your baby is NOT a bad sleeper. They are a baby- and they are sleeping like one! Don’t get caught up with the implications that your baby should be sleeping through the night by week 8 or some such nonsense- Some babes are just naturally awesome sleepers who will do, and that’s okay so long as its baby led. And that’s the true key here, being baby led. We can tweak and guide but getting good sleep is not about withholding feeds from a hungry baby, ignoring them when they are communicating with you, or comparing them to your friend’s children etc. Each baby is so different and will reach that milestone in their own time. They all end up in the same place- sleeping through eventually! They just all get there on slightly different paths… and sometimes that path is super wiggly and exhausting, but is temporary and it will pass! Surround yourself with a good support network so you aren’t facing this tough bit of parenting alone.

• 5: Dream feeds. I wanted to use no.5 to talk about the importance of enjoying your tiny baby and how you being relaxed and connected with them will be conducive to helping them feel safe and secure to sleep well, but I think you guys will know this and so I’ll quickly touch on dream feeds. It has long been ‘standard practise’ to introduce dream feeds in the earlier half of the night, but we know that babies sleep best during this time and whilst offering milk might seem like a logical way to have them sleeping longer overnight actually we are interrupting their natural sleep cycle by doing so and setting of their digestive system (same goes for the myth of ‘feeding them up’ before bed- sleeping on a stretched fully tummy won’t give you a good night’s sleep) You may also find it is hard getting any milk into them at this dream feed, that they keep falling asleep or they are then irritable afterwards and hard to put down. Letting them wake naturally- I stop waking newborns and allow them to self-regulate night feedings once they have regained their birth weight and maintained (or gained) for two weeks after.

These top tips were written my Mother, Fern who is also a Maternity Night Nanny at Smooth Start Nanny Services. She provides care and support to tired parents across Gloucestershire.

Snowed in in labour


I’m sitting here looking outside to the blizzard that surrounds my house. With the trouble that many of the midwives are having getting into hospital to work it makes you think what about the ladies in labour?? Being snowed in in labour is something we failed to cover in antenatal class!

The question on any full term mothers lips right now is….

What happens if I go into labour in the snow???

Here’s a basic run down…

Ask around now for friends or family who own a 4×4 if they will be on stand by to take you in. And ask them to be prepared for a night call.

If you think it’s safe to drive, park your car at the bottom of the drive or on the main road where it will be easier to get out.

If you think your going into labour then call your place of birth/triage or in Gloucester the maternity advice line.

Pack extra towels and blankets in the car, have a full tank of petrol for the heater, and keep both phones charged. If baby is going to be born in the car then pull over and call for help. When baby is born, dry baby put baby against your skin with a baby hat on and cover you both with towels and blankets until the paramedics arrive.

But ultimately…

If it’s not deemed safe to drive due to the weather then phone an ambulance to come to you at home. It would be safer to have a baby at home than stuck in the snow in the car on a country road somewhere.

Who would have thought this would be on the agenda for Spring babies!

Stay safe and keep warm!


How exercise taught me to get through childbirth


“You can do this, keep pushing on. You’ve been through childbirth.” This is the mantra I repeated in my head over and over again when I pushed my body to its physical limits climbing three of the highest mountains in the UK in 24 hours.

My mind and body were both at the point of total fatigue on the second mountain. I felt slightly delirious with exhaustion but through it all I reminded myself of the amazing things my body is capable of.

Before I had children, and when I had the benefit of an abundance of free time, I took part in a few half-marathons. I also climbed the highest mountains in Wales, Ireland and England. The breathing techniques I had always used during intensive exercise I took with me into the delivery room when I gave birth naturally to my two children.

After a long labour with my first child, staying focussed on my breathing and keeping in my mind that I was only moments away from meeting my baby was the best way for me to deal with the pain. Every hour that went by I would tell myself that it was almost over. I’d try to imagine that I was doing the last few miles of a long run and coming to the home stretch.

It is such an incredible moment when you can feel your baby’s head. To know that you’re so close to meeting your tiny human being who, from this moment, will be the most precious person in your life. Every push after the head finally crowned felt all the more worth it. I suddenly felt reenergised and ready to have my baby in my arms.

My first baby was born into water and was lifted from the birth pool in front of us to reveal that I’d given birth to a gorgeous baby boy. I felt beyond exhausted, but elated and so proud of this new life that my body had delivered into the world.

My second birth experience was quicker and for that reason I wasn’t as exhausted going into ‘active’ labour as I was the first time round – I’m sure the first baby pathes the way for the next. But again I felt like what helped most was really tuning in and focussing on my breathing until eventually my little girl shot out into the world. Interestingly, like in birth, my son is always the slowest to get ready to leave the house, whereas my two-year-old daughter is a little firecracker.

This year I finally felt ready to once again, take on some endurance type challenges. I lost my dad to suicide when I was pregnant with my son. He had competed in the Three Peaks Challenge and in the spring of this year a friend had said she was going to do the Three Peaks (the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in 24 hours) on the 25 June. A shiver went down my spine, the 25 June is the anniversary of my dad’s death. I decided I had to take part and raise money for the mental health charity Heads Together.

The challenge is gruelling and extremely draining on your mind and body, but I truly believe that having been through the intensity of natural childbirth I can take on anything. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we think. Just as the techniques I learnt through exercise got me through labour, childbirth has most certainly helped me to dig deeper and talk my body into pushing itself that little bit further when I feel like I’m running on empty. You have to mentally prepare yourself that you’re going to be physically uncomfortable for a while, but that you can do it!

On the 1 October I did my first half marathon since having my children and once again, the mantra of “You can do this, keep breathing, keep pushing on” came into my head as I battled with the final two miles of the race.

It’s important to me to continue to do more challenges to raise awareness of mental health issues and to also support the pregnancy charity my clothing company donates to, Kicks Count. Kicks Count aims to improve people’s understanding of baby movements during pregnancy and help save lives.

I recently launched my website Mama Life London, which aims to tackle subjects on mental wellbeing and offer guidance and support. If you or anyone you know suffers from depression or anxiety, there are some useful blogs on that give advice and tips for coping, as well as links to organisations that can help.

I feel extremely proud of what I have achieved this year. Having been through childbirth, the loss of my dad, and these two challenges I feel like I can achieve what I set my mind to. My dad always taught me to have self-belief and stay positive. Whatever you want to do, give it your best shot! If you really believe you can, then you will.

By Beth Campagna

Mama Life London

@mamalifelondon on social media.

Sleepyhead Giveaway


Get your hands on a Sleepyhead 🌟😴 🌟

Over here at The Bump to Baby Chapter we know how important it is to limit the robbery of the sleep thief. So we’ve got for you one shiny new Sleepyhead of Sweden to give one lucky, tired mama or papa.

If you have a sleep thief or are expecting an arrival of a sleep thief in the not too distant future then…

You can enter on all three of our social media sites… Just find the post with the same picture as above and follow the instructions. Remember to follow or like our page whilst your there.

🌟 Facebook Instagram Twitter  🌟

T&C – Closes on Saturday 30th September. There is one Sleepyhead to win and the competition is held across Facebook Instagram and Twitter. UK entries only.

The ‘new me’ can stick it.


This time of year we go a bit ‘brand new’ crazy. Like ‘batshit’ crazy but a lot more harder on the purse strings. The hopes and prospects of what the new year brings, coupled with the Christmas extravaganza of new things that now fill our homes (and underwear drawers) new pants, new socks, new slippers, new toothbrush (Santa treated me well this year) seems to not be enough for us… We Brits like to have it all. We extend this obsession with new ness to ourselves.


The ‘new me’.


Oooh the new me will be 2 stone lighter, be organised, spend more time with the children. Throw in a new hobby and a new career and you’ve got yourself a checklist for everything that you feel shit about in your life. What a crappy way to pop open the bottle of 2017.


We go from the festive, Christmas season where everyone is so merry and over indulgent on food and presents, (it’s this jolly, mulled wine and prosecco filled season that makes September on the labour ward so busy!) to feelings of motivation ready to start the new year to… the end of January, which apparently is the most depressing day of the year. Nobody wants that kind of emotional turmoil in their life.


I blame New Years resolutions.


Us mothers and mothers-to- be already have enough self-doubt and guilt. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a ‘we got this’ salute and tell the resolutions to go stick it. This year I will not be promising myself change. I will appreciate what I already have from 2016. The Danish have been known to be one of the happiest nations. They have a way called ‘Hugge’ finding comforts and cosiness in moments of everyday life, shared with friends and family.


Going into 2017, highlight the moments of 2016 that gave you comfort. The things that are most important to us are hidden as they are simple and familiar. The smell of coffee brewing in the morning. The kiss goodbye from the children before they go into school. Lighting a candle at the end of the day. Here are a few of mine…


A comforting moment…

Mums together, warmth of hot chocolate, frosty tables, fresh air, watching new relationships grow at the buggy walks and hearing mums bond over feeling crazy and knowing we feel the same.


A comforting love my family moment…

I could have picked many but… bedtime. It’s wild, it’s messy, it’s noisy, we laugh, there are tears, tantrums, we share a story, a conversation about the day.

It may not be peace, and certainly not everyone’s comfort. But this is my familiar, my anchor, my belonging and my hugge.



It’s these cherished moments of love and friendship that I want to take with me into the New Year. When we find comforts in our everyday lives and the people that fill it, we stop looking for the ‘new’. How we spend each day, will of course be how we spend our year. So on this New Years Eve, may your everyday comforts be as full as your glass of Prosecco. For the pregnant mamas who won’t be toasting with fizz this year… You rock too. The mark of 2017 is a pregnancy milestone, this year your ‘brand new’ baby will be born. This is the only kind of ‘brand new’ that really matters.

Happy New Year from The Bump to Baby Chapter.

Beth and Kate




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The Bump to Baby Chapter

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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#MyBumptoBabyChapter and an AWESOME review from Rachel and Alex who had their baby boy just over a week ago... isn’t he scrummy ❤️ Congratulations to you both!!!

“8 days in and finally got 5 minutes....

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to Beth and her amazing @thebumptobabychapter classes! Both myself and Alex thoroughly enjoyed every session; for Beth’s never ending knowledge on everything labour and baby related, her total honesty that made the scary bits weirdly not seem so scary anymore; and her general funny and welcoming attitude 🥰 we were genuinely sad when our sessions came to an end as they had been the highlight of our week!

We learnt so much during our classes that really prepared us both for the birth and aftercare of our little Archie 😍 even during my brief moments of panic where I stopped using my breathing effectively, Alex was right by my side to remind me and to breath through it with me to get me back on track, honestly couldn’t have done it without his support and encouragement!!

Beth was also completely respectful of our decision not to post anything pregnancy related until after the safe arrival of our little boy, strategically putting us on the end of our group photo so we could be cropped out!! Might seem a daft thing to say, but for anyone that wishes to do the same, please don’t be put off attending these sessions as your wishes will absolutely be respected ☺️

It also gave us the opportunity to meet the loveliest couples, which has been great to share experiences both pre and post baby at all hours of the day.... and night 🕢😴!! So excited to get a date in the diary for a reunion with all our beautiful bundles 😍”
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