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

Uncategorized

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…

Beth

❤️

The Cascade of Intervention- Just a Myth.

PregnancyTop 5 Tips

The cascade of intervention is a term thrown around in lots of pregnancy classes by lots of natural birth advocates, it means…

Having an intervention (an intervention being an induction, an epidural, cesarean etc.) in pregnancy or childbirth will increase your chances of having more interventions as birth progresses.

I myself am a mahoussive natural birth advocate. However, I’m more of a woman’s choice and safe birth advocate. The cascade of intervention is a phrase that I’ve recently begun to question. Let me tell you why…

Firstly, let’s ask ourselves does the phrase in itself do more harm than good? Let’s take induction as a starter. So many pregnant women fear the process of induction because of this cascade concept. If you’re scared of an induction then science tells us that fear makes things more painful anyway. Your body becomes tense so contractions feel worse. Often because of this fear mindset women are more likely to choose an epidural with an induction- this cascade of intervention is one that is supported by research. Let’s flip it on the other side though, if pregnant women weren’t aware of this phrase or the negative stories that surrounded induction and were prepped more on what to expect from an induction then would that cascade be less or non existent from a reduction in fear? I have seen so many women have amazing induction experiences, they’ve hypnobirthed there way through, had waterbirths, stayed active and mobile with the hormone drip. It’s these stories that pregnant women need to be hearing to reduce the fear of being induced. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.. if you tell a pregnant woman that they’re more likely to choose an epidural after induction then they are more likely to make that choice.

Sticking with the theme of induction, a new piece of research this year found that cesareans were less in the group of women who had uncomplicated pregnancies and chose to have an induction at 39 weeks compared to women who waited for labour to start naturally or had an induction using current guidelines (such as at 42weeks for being overdue). This bit of research suppports another theory of why the cascade of intervention isn’t necessarily true. For example, let’s look at pregnancy conditions like pre-eclampsia. If you’re offered an induction due to having this, then during labour have an emergency cesarean, it’s more likely that the cesarean was due to the pre- eclampsia than the induction itself. Similarly, if you’re offered an induction due to being overdue and a similar situation occurs then that’s not necessarily the induction that’s made that happen but placentas work less efficiently past 42weeks which may be the reason. So the cause of further intervention is not the first intervention, but the reason why the intervention was chosen in the first place. 

I feel like we need to change the press of interventions. When women choose not to have an induction because of the worry of the cascade of intervention then their choice they’ve made has been swayed by a concept that’s not entirely true.

My tips for all pregnant mothers when offered an intervention would be…

  1. Always know your options and ask why you’re being offered an intervention. Birth interventions get a lot of unnecessary bad press when actually they are a much needed part of the birth world.
  2. Keep your mindset strong. Choosing one intervention doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to cascade yourself to a negative birth experience. Keep reminding yourself that you’re making positive choices for you and your baby.
  3. You can use this acronym to help you make a choice when given an option of intervention.

E- Is this an Emergency?

B- What are the Benefits?

R- What are the Risks?

A- Are there Alternative options?

N- What happens if I do Nothing?

What are your thoughts on the cascade of intervention?

Photo credits- Instagram @benzalphotography

For more tips and info on anything covered in this blog come to antenatal classes or hypnobirthing!!

A Midwives Top 5 Birth Tips

Ask A MidwifeTop 5 Tips

1. Pelvis and Positions

When your baby is in an OPTIMUM position – baby’s head is down in your pelvis and baby’s back is running alongside your abdomen. If you are standing up baby is looking/facing your back. When a baby is in this position the smallest part of baby’s head enters the pelvis first and your baby can navigate through the pelvis a lot more efficiently- making your labour and birth quicker and less of a chance of needing intervention.

To assist your baby into this position- there are a few things you can do… Think of the back of your baby’s head is its’ heaviest part and you want that to be swinging to the front of your abdomen, this should help you understand the correct positioning.

• When you sit down/ relax in the evening try and ensure that your pelvis (top part) is tilting forward – it’s sort of like your bum will be sticking out.

• Your knees should also be lower than your pelvis too.

• Birthing balls (blown up correctly) and straddling a chair (so backwards and leaning over the back) are great ways of sitting.

• If you do want to lie down or slouch back in a comfy sofa I would always do so on your side.

• If you do a lot of driving then you can pop a small cushion at the base of your spine to again, help you lean more forward.

These are all tips that you can adopt at any time of your pregnancy. However, it is most important from 36 WEEKS as baby will be entering (getting engaged) into your pelvis at this point. You can continue to adopt these positions in labour to keep baby in this optimum position by leaning FORWARD (on your partner, a wall, leaning on a bed- whatever is in sight) with contractions so the strength of your uterus contracting will also be working to get baby into this optimum position.

Another thing that you can do to make sure that your ball is going to come out that maze quickly is by keeping your pelvis UPRIGHT. Imagine dropping a ball through a pelvis, it’s going to come out the bottom. If you lie that pelvis down then put the ball in there- you no longer have gravity on your side. So another top tip for birth is to stay standing or walking as then gravity will be pulling from the bottom whilst your uterus is pushing from the top. Use the forces of nature to lend you a hand!

2. Protect your space

Lights, camera, no action. If anyone here is anything like me and is slighty, Instagram obsessed then I am sure you are partial to a photograph. Any avid photographers amongst us? But, have you ever noticed the most creative photo opportunity of a loved one, with perfect composition and great lighting. Only to get the camera out and they have moved from a chilled out, natural form to an uncomfortable, stiff pose? I always think of Chandler and Monica here too, Friends fan anyone? The minute the photographer goes to take a photo of the newly, engaged couple, Chandler puts on the most awkward of smiles. Anyway you get the idea.. The camera makes people act weird! Similar situations can occur during labour. It is called the ‘Fear Of Being Observed’ and it makes total sense. If you think about being in a new situation, such as birth then put your friend in the corner, or your mother in law or the postman etc. this is going to change the way you react to your tightenings. Birth is instinctual and primitive. Tightenings can make you want to squat to the floor or lean over on all fours, they are going to make you want to breathe rhythmically and sometimes noisily like you do if you are exercising. Sometimes having extra people in the birth room, such as a friend, mother in law or sometimes even your own mother (depending how close you are I suppose) can alter how you behave and this can effect the hormones in your body.

So this tip would be PROTECT your space. If you are feeling overwhelmed with birth and your surroundings, take yourself into your bathroom as it is often the only place where you can guarantee that you will be on your own for. Just until you have got back in your zone again.

3. DIM LIGHTS.

Having bright lights on decreases your production of melatonin (the night time hormone). This hormone directly works on the uterine muscles assisting them in contracting, so we need dim lights for lots of melatonin to be produced. Also, think of mammals, they always go into a dark space- free from distraction to birth. It is again a primitive instinct as in this environment we would have been free from predators, making a safe birthing environment. Also, most likely the reason why women often go into spontaneous labour in the night time, the darkness indicates the environment is free from predators.

Keep the lights dim in labour, either whilst you are at home or in the hospital.

4. Birth Affirmations

A POSITIVE MINDSET, is something that you will always own in all situations and I encourage you to utilise this to your advantage. Use affirmations to strengthen this mindset every day. Your mindset will be using words like CONFIDENCE, STRENGTH, RELAXED.

I make the right choices for me and my baby.

I breathe for calmness.

I feel confident about birth.

I feel relaxed about birth.

Birth is safe.

I relax my mind and my body follows.

I believe in myself.

I am strong.

I birth without fear.

(Note here that birth is ALL modes: Instrumental births, vaginal births and cesareans)

By following a positive mindset- your body will naturally align with this, without you predicting or planning what will happen.

The more you go over these affirmations and follow this positive mindset- the more your body believes that all is well and will naturally align with this. What I mean by this is there is going to be less adrenaline in your body, which is a hormone that can stop / reduce contractions. If you are feeling calm, relaxed and confident about birth then the OXYTOCIN hormone is going to be released-keeping your contractions effective and therefore reducing the need for intervention.

Your feelings surrounding birth you can control, which can influence your birth for the positive. However, to plan a birth journey, not so much.

5. STRAWS

I bet you’re thinking what has this small bit of drinking equipment got to do with birth??

Well let me tell you this drinking tool goes two fold…

Firstly let’s talk about the less obvious one… I’m going to take you back to a time where you felt a bit nervous about something maybe a presentation at work or an impending exam. The things that we notoriously do to our bodies around this time is hold tension in our shoulders, hands and jaw. Even now sitting here, reading this email be aware of your jaw are you holding tension in it?  What about your shoulders? Roll your shoulders back and down and you may notice that they were tense beforehand. Ever noticed how you clench your fists when feeling stressed? Our body is connected all the way down- if we are holding tension in our jaw, hands and shoulders then the rest of our muscles in our body hold tension as our body feels as if it is under stress. If you then apply this to your cervix.. a cervix that is tense will not open as readily as one that is relaxed. Which leads me onto a STRAW… when you drink a drink through a straw your jaw is relaxed. You try drinking through a straw with a tense jaw.. it is impossible!! Therefore, with the same rule applying- if your jaw is relaxed then the rest of your body is going to follow suit, meaning that your cervix will be relaxed enough to open efficiently. You can apply this same method to your palms, ask your birth partner to stroke your palms to encourage them to remain open and relaxed. Also, to your shoulders, having your birth partner pop his hands on your shoulders and reminding you to relax them will have the same effect. An extra bonus of both these too is that TOUCH increases the birth hormone OXYTOCIN, which again will encourage contractions.

This same method can and should be used in all birth situations. If you are having a cesarean, it may not be as important what your cervix is doing, however, you are still going to want to be feeling relaxed and calm during the cesarean and when meeting your baby. Get your partner to pop his hands on your shoulders whilst the spinal anaesthetic is going into your back, ask him to hold your hands and stroke your palms during the cesarean. Get that oxytocin flowing at this point, it helps greatly post birth with breastfeeding and bonding with your baby. PLUS it makes you feel good.

Second point of the straw is HYDRATION. Your uterus is a muscle. Think about going to the gym to body bump or HIIT and not bringing your water bottle… ludicrous!! It’s exactly the same as in labour, your uterus contracting requires fluid to work effectively.

Nb. Get yourself a recyclable straw then you’ll be helping your birth and the environment all at the same time.

So that’s a wrap for your 5 POSITIVE BIRTH tips.

For more tips for pregnancy and birth and the fourth trimester come to antenatal class or hypnobirthing.

I had big plans…

Pregnancy

I had big plans for this pregnancy with it being my last. I was going to spend my days in flouncy dresses, drinking green juices and doing yoga 3 times a week. But, that was far from the reality. I couldn’t bare to cook, the smell of meat would make me vom. The kids lived off anything that could go in the oven for 12 weeks and I went through loaves and jars of buttery, marmite on toast. Nothing veg-like entered my mouth and the only shade of green I saw was the colour of my face after I tried yoga the once. Doing the sun salutation was like being on the worlds windiest rollercoaster (and I’ve never liked rollercoaster.)

It all kicked off about 8 weeks, the week before I booked a scan at Early Life Ultrasound as I felt NOTHING. Not a single pregnancy symptom. Not a tingley nipple, no nausea, no bloodhound nose… Zilch. 8 weeks from the moment you pee on the stick to the NHS scan is a looong ass time to wait to know that all is ok. So off I went to my scan, feeling all the sickness by this point. Nancy played with all the toys in the waiting room whilst I sat and flicked through pregnancy magazines. Moments later we got called in and there was my 4th little nugget on the screen. Heart rate flickering away. It was awesome. This grey little smudge on the screen that was in 9months time going to be part of the Kitt- Holden crew. I got my photos and then went off for lunch. I’m so glad I have these photos because the day of my NHS 12 week scan, turmoil broke out. Rob went to work with the car AND with my wallet in it. I scraped the house to get pennies for the bus then walked the rest of the way to the hospital with 3 kids in tow. Was so dehydrated because of the marathon walk in the heat that there was nothing in my bladder for the scan so had to wait for my bladder to fill drowning myself in water in the waiting room. I then didn’t have enough money for the scan photos either. Was one of those epic fail moments… no not moments, days. So no 12 week photos for this baby.

I’m the worst at keeping secrets, more so my own exciting ones. But the crazy intuition of midwives is second to none in guessing who’s pregnant. I remember telling one midwife at work that I’d managed to sleep all day before a night shift… she immediately thought, pregnant! Plus when you’re heard vomiting in the toilet no one suspects a bug. A baby is far more suspected amongst the midwives.

I would be sick whilst getting in the car, sick when getting out of bed, sick whilst entering the house from a day out. My fave place for those months was in the safety of my own home or better still, bed, where no one could see. It can be a pretty lonely place! I ate what made me feel better, I took a back seat at life and I did not feel guilty about it.

Being now 18weeks, I’m back to my coffee/tea drinking self and feeling a lot more normal. I’m still holding on to my green juice/yoga plans… watch this space. Although, I’m four pregnancies in and I’m still waiting for that glow. Second trimester you owe me…

Pregnancy- The happiest reason to feel like crap.

‘We were meant to go to Birdland..’

Birth StoriesThe Great British Birth Off

11th August 2018. My due date and the date my precious boy arrived into the world. I hadn’t slept much because his movements had changed and I was worrying, so at 8am I rang triage who asked me to come in to be monitored. We very nearly didn’t take the hospital bags as I was so sure I would be sent home, and anyway, we had plans to go to Birdland!

We arrived at Gloucester, I was monitored and told everything was fine so we were just waiting to be told we could go home. The doctor came in to chat and said she wanted to examine me, I was 1-2cm dilated and she could feel baby’s head. So she said we might as well get things moving! We were in complete shock. I immediately needed a nervous poo! I rang my Mum straight away to tell her! I’d been quite chilled towards labour throughout pregnancy, I just think it’s the type of person I am, but this was further backed up from my ante natal classes with Beth at the Bump to Baby Chapter, I started looking forward to labour!

I was wheeled through to delivery suite and was given a pessary. I had a good idea of the induction process because of my ante classes and was fully aware it would probably involve a lot of waiting around, something I wasn’t overly filled with joy about. However, that was not the way it was going to go for me. Within seconds I started contracting. Similar to Braxton Hicks which I had had throughout pregnancy, so I didn’t think too much to begin with. But they didn’t let up, and started getting more frequent and more painful. I remember being told about the pain in labour, and that you needed to concentrate on the breaks between contractions. Well when you’re having seven contractions in ten minutes, there isn’t much of a break! My body didn’t react well to the pain, and I was sick, hot, high heart rate and I had diarrhoea – which I wasn’t too bothered about, better to have a clear out now! Baby wasn’t too much of a fan of the pessary either so they decided to take it out after a while and I had my waters broken. I was given something to slow down the contractions and I was put on fluids for my heart rate. I also had gas and air. Gas and air, for me, really didn’t do much at all, if anything it was something to do and focus on during the contraction and it was also the sign for my husband Rich to start rubbing my back! Once my contractions had slowed down to four every ten minutes, things were great. I knew I could do this! Due to the fluids, I started needing the toilet quite regularly, and the diarrhoea continued. I’ll never forget the image of me on the toilet while my husband was holding my fluid bag! Not once did he ever question it, just gave me love and reassurance. At some point, I decided that I couldn’t be bothered to keep going to the toilet to wee, so I just kept weeing the bed! and to think I was worried about pooing on the bed. When you’re in labour, you just don’t care. I remember apologising to my midwife Louise, but it was a half hearted apology because I knew what I was doing ha!

Anyway, contractions were slower – still painful, but manageable so I asked Rich to put on the gymnastics followed by the athletics. Not what I thought I would be doing during labour at all, but it was great. I loved watching the GB team win the men and women’s 4x100m relays! It was coming up to four hours after my waters had been broken, so I was due to be examined. I asked for more pain relief and said I wanted it no matter how many cm I was dialated. I had diamorphine and again, I don’t think it did much for me, just made my head very woozy! Louise examined me and laughed and said I was 9cm. Both Rich and I laughed, 9cm, how!?? Active labour started at 4cm and I had by passed that without even realising! I knew it wouldn’t be long before I needed to start pushing. I was very fortunate that I had a good friend as my midwife, and then Beth joined us for delivery. I’d been kind of hoping for at least one of them during labour, but to end up with both was amazing! I trusted everything they said, and was able to have a joke and laugh with them. Something I didn’t expect to be doing just as I was about to push!

Pushing, for me, was hard. I’m someone who likes to know exactly what’s what. I think if someone could have said ‘you’ll have 20 contractions then baby will be here’, I would have found it easier. It doesn’t quite work like that though. There were parts when I didn’t think I could do it, when I didn’t think I was getting anywhere. But I was, every contraction meant I was getting closer to meeting my little boy, and Rich, Louise and Beth gave me encouragement throughout. I do remember thinking (I may have even said) that they were lying when they said I was close now. Ha! But they were right, I was getting closer. Rich put on my Disney/Greatest Showman playlist while I was pushing and that definitely helped too! At some point a sanitary towel also appeared on my head too as I was getting hot. Like I said before, you don’t care about anything during labour!

Baby’s heart rate wasn’t very happy and so Louise said we needed to get baby here sooner rather than later, the way she said it, I knew she was being serious but at the same time I didn’t feel panicked at all. She told me that if she cut me she thought there was a 90% chance it would work. I didn’t really care by the point and didn’t hesitate in saying to do it. I wasn’t aware of being cut either. However I still couldn’t get baby’s head out, so they called in a doctor who said they would give me one more contraction on my own before they used a ventouse. I made them promise that there were only three contractions left. One on my own, one with the ventouse and then one for the rest of baby’s body. She promised. It seemed to be exactly what I needed, and that final push on my own was the push that did it! The head was out. It was the weirdest but greatest feeling ever. I waited for my final contraction and started pushing, Louise told me to open my eyes as I pushed and I watched my baby enter the world. Crying before he was even fully out. Sebastian Matthew John was born to Tightrope from Greatest Showman and a song from Moana. After that nothing else mattered apart from my little boy in my arms.

I look back on my birth experience, and I can honestly say I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the seven contractions every ten minutes as I think it made me handle the rest of labour easier. I enjoyed the athletics. I enjoyed the music playlist. I even enjoyed the pain. And I enjoyed the company I had throughout, Ellie my first midwife, Louise my friend and second midwife. Beth, who I’m sure did lots of important things but I only remember her taking some amazing photos! (that sanitary towel was on my head for a long time after birth!!) and of course my husband Rich who was amazing throughout.  I smiled, I laughed and I got to meet my little boy. A pretty perfect day if you ask me!

What you can do to reduce vaginal tears in birth?

Ask A MidwifePregnancyTop 5 Tips

Ok ok I get it.. it’s not the most nicest of subjects to talk about and I’m sure you’re all crossing your legs as you read this 😵. But rather than focusing on how horrid this may be or worse still sticking your head in the sand, start thinking about what YOU are going to do about it!!! Because there’s lots of things that have been shown to lessen the tear, and with around 90% of first time mums having a tear that needs sutures, the more you know the more you can do to help reduce them. Knowledge is power after all. One of the biggest fears expectant mamas have about birth is vaginal tears so I thought I’d do a post on a few things that can be done to lessen the tear (number 6. is one that you can do from 34weeks pregnant.)

1. A warm compress. Having a midwife support the area with a warm compress can reduce tears.

2. Position. Pushing on your left side, all fours or semi- recumbent have been shown to have the lesser tears.

3. Communication- Blow and don’t push when the midwife says. This is so baby’s head can be born SLOWLY.

4. Hands on approach. Having a midwife support your perineum again, especially with a warm compress.

5. Did I mention…

S-L-O-W-L-Y

6. Perineal massage- Massaging the perineum with your thumbs (or getting your partner to do it) from 34 weeks with some olive oil has been shown to lessen any tears in first time mums by 10%.

These tips are all evidence based guidelines from the RCM or from an a midwife Julie Frolich who made a care bundle which has been shown to reduce tears.

If we’re talking about tears then we need to talk about recovery and healing.

1. Change your pads regularly to reduce infection.

2. Stay hydrated. It’s concentrated urine that may sting your stitches.

3. A high fibre diet will help with that first post natal poo. That’s dates, prunes, bran, fruit and veg.

4. Tea tree in the bath can aid healing. Other than that you can wash as normal but don’t use soap on the area. And pat dry.

5. Arnica tablets can help with bruising in that area regardless of if you have a tear. Have a look in your local health shop for arnica tablets to take during labour and post birth.

Any questions…? Please comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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 💩!

Birth at home on the toilet- Not quite the birth planned

Birth StoriesThe Great British Birth Off

After experiencing 2 births, I can safely say that it rarely goes according to our imaginary plan or so we believe when we reflect on it later on. Some plan a free-medical pain relief option and end up with emergency C-section, others elect to have a home birth but have to be rushed to the hospital for health reasons.

With this in mind, I drew a birth plan for my second baby with a few options marked in. My main point was to stay comfortable so all options remained on the table.

I still prepared myself for the birth unit, practising yoga and religiously listening to my hypnobirthing track. I visualised almost to perfection how I would deliver the baby myself in the warmth of the pool surrounded by professional midwives and my husband (OK he was in one corner of the room, just like the first birth).

Little did I know…

In a nutshell, this is how it went: I gave birth to our second daughter in the ensuite bathroom, without any kind of medical pain-relief (no not even a paracetamol). Child number 1 was fast asleep in her bedroom. My husband being downstairs to call 999 (he had the nerve to ask me ‘who should he call?’ while the head was crowning… Ghostbusters maybe?).

When I talk about my unexpected home birth to people I always feel stupid with the following remarks:

‘Did you not notice you were in labour?’ Yes I knew.

’Why didn’t you go sooner to the hospital?’ Contractions every 5-10 minutes, and I live 10 minutes away.

‘Were you not in pain? It only became unbearable 15 minutes before birth, by that time the only reasonable thing to do was to stay home.

I thought that as long as my daughter was in the house, I wouldn’t believe it would actually happen. But my body/mind interpreted it differently: She is in a safe place so bring it on.

I strongly believe hypnobirthing brought me comfortably up to the pushing phase. I’m not gonna lie, when it was game on I was dreaming of an epidural. Weirdly enough, I think my body knew. I installed a maternity mat on the bathroom floor and thoroughly washed my hands an hour prior to fun time.

Tip for any future second time mummy: Get rid of child number 1 after a few contractions in a row (Mum of the Year Award anyone?).

The community midwife who arrived 20 minutes after birth managed to diffuse the touch of drama that was going on in my head. She asked to have a look at my birth plan, I laughed and enquired why as I clearly didn’t follow it. She went through it point by point and made me realise that if you twist things a little bit, you always nail your birth plan.

OK I didn’t plan to stain the carpet with blood. Yes having strangers (paramedics) looking at my fresh-from-birth-vagina is not what I had in my mind. Nor panicking the neighbours (two of them pregnant at the time) in the early morning with the ambulance (thank god to paramedic who prevented anyone to go inside the house…see point about strangers and my vagina). Finally, I certainly didn’t plan that baby’s first trip in the car seat would be in the ambulance going TO the hospital. But I did plan for a calm, comfortable, straight forward birth, which was exactly what it turned out to be.

My husband said that he curiously enjoyed it more than birth 1: It was quick and he was the most useful person in the house, organising ambulance, midwife, babysitter, throwing towels at me to warm the baby, and cleaning the whole room!!

If only I could have photographed his face when he found me sat on the toilet holding a baby, priceless!

So if you ever find yourself in this situation, at home or elsewhere that isn’t a hospital, keep this in mind: If it goes that quick, it means it’s all fine! (That’s not from me, it’s from the pediatrician!)

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

Uncategorized

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

x

  • 1
  • 2
  • 7

Newsletter

Social Media

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 🌟
The Bump to Baby Chapter
The Bump to Baby Chapter
Sports Psychology vs. Hypnobirthing.

Why they are so similar?

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.” He’s basically HypnoSporting- hypnobirthing but for sportsmen! I’ve wrote a blog about it...

https://www.thebumptobabychapter.co.uk/sports-psychology-vs-hypnobirthing-why-are-they-so-similar/
TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100