5 Simple Self-Care Tips for Expecting Mothers

When you’re pregnant, self-care is of the utmost importance. Taking good care of yourself during this time is essential for your well-being. After your baby is born, you’ll have much less time to relax, so pampering yourself now is key! Right now, you might be interested in learning more about natural childbirth methods by taking hypnobirthing classes with InspiringBirths, starting a pregnancy journal, or taking a break from social media. Here are a few self-care ideas that will help you feel your best throughout your pregnancy!

Create a Healthy Home Environment

Many pregnant women feel the urge to “nest” as their due date approaches. When you’re about to bring your baby into the world, it’s only natural that you want to create a clean, cozy environment where you can care for them. Throughout your pregnancy, you can focus on decluttering your home by getting rid of items you no longer need and tidying up each room regularly. You can also spruce up your space by adding brighter lighting or picking up a few houseplants. Your kitchen is an important part of your home environment, so make sure to keep your pantry and refrigerator stocked with everything you need, like healthy foods and filtered water.

Write in a Journal

Keeping a pregnancy journal is a great way to reflect on your changing emotions. You might be excited and nervous all at once, and each day, you probably think about what your day-to-day life will look like once you become a mother. By writing in a journal, you’ll be able to process your feelings and record all of your experiences so that you can look back on them one day. Perhaps you could even read entries from your journal to your child a few years from now! Alex Cerball recommends writing about the moment you found out you were pregnant, big milestones you’ve experienced, and what your pregnancy has taught you.

Get Plenty of Rest

Pregnancy can leave you feeling exhausted – after all, you’re growing a human being! Allow yourself to go to bed earlier, sleep late, and take naps when you need to. Some pregnant women have difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position. If this is a challenge for you, What to Expect recommends sleeping on your side. And if you need a little more downtime, talk to your partner about changing the way you divide household responsibilities.

Move Gently

Although it is important to give yourself lots of time to rest during your pregnancy, you generally don’t want to be completely sedentary. Unless your doctor has recommended restricting your activity due to complications, it’s a good idea to incorporate some gentle movement in your day. You might want to sign up for a prenatal yoga class that you can follow along with online, or go for short walks around your neighborhood.

Take Time to Unplug

Do you spend a lot of time on social media? Being on social media can expose you to countless conflicting opinions on what pregnant women and mothers “should” do, which can raise your stress levels and make you question your own decisions. This is why it can be a good idea to take a break from social media during your pregnancy. The Zoe Report recommends removing tempting apps from your phone and asking one of your friends to be your accountability partner – maybe you can both commit to taking a social media break together!

Pregnancy is the perfect time to put self-care first. Throughout these nine months, you need to prioritize your mental and physical health. With these self-care tips, you’ll be able to get the rest and relaxation you need during your pregnancy.
Are you interested in hypnobirthing? Take a class with InspiringBirths! Email us today at [email protected] to learn more about our classes and services.

Photo via Pexels

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Hypnobirthing inspirational birth story at East surrey Hospital Redhill

Hypnobirthing inspirational birth at East surrey Hospital Redhill

*Dads Birth Story – Regina & Jon & Baby Lucas Haydon, October 2019*

*With permission to share *

From a well and truly converted hypnobirthing and doula fan, Jon

Jon’s incredible account

“3 weeks on from the birth of our beautiful baby boy, we’ve finally found some time to put our story together of an amazing journey we’ve been on since we started working with Leila back in August.

Lucas is our first and Regina came to the pregnancy determined to find a doula to support our birth but also attend a course of hypnobirthing in order to have the calm and easy birth her mother had years before. As dad, I came to this not knowing anything about doulas or hypnobirthing, and also quite fearful of being useless in the birth and more of an annoyance…! What we found in Leila, was not only a caring, funny and deeply supportive doula but also the best hypnobirthing coach we could have dreamed of. She helped us through the whole process and will be forever thankful for this.

Our birth plan was carefully organised and thought through, we wanted to use the birthing pool at East Surrey, in a dimly lit room, with our own room sprays and using the breathing with little interference from medical staff. We were realistic that this may not happen in reality but was a great target for us to work towards and visualise in the months leading up to the big day.

The birth itself started very calmly, with Regina waking me up in the middle of the night saying ‘it’s happening’, and we nervously and excitedly thought about what we needed to do next, which unsurprisingly was ‘breathe’ and relax – we slept through the night and woke up the next morning where we were then sure it was starting with her waters breaking fully at 9am that morning, and the waves getting more regular.

We headed to the hospital at 4pm later that day to get checked out, and while sat in the waiting room in East Surrey hospital surrounded by other pregnant ladies they were breathtaken by how calm Regina was breathing through the waves and saying what an inspiration she was for their own birth.

Once we were finally seen we were told that there was no dilation at all and to head home and relax. We settled down for dinner of pizza and the contractions were coming thick and fast, by the time we went to bed, Regina was really struggling and trying to breathe through the intense waves and by 2am she really felt that she should go to the hospital even though the timings of the waves were not at the ‘standard’ rate.

After a quick drive to the hospital (luckily we only live 5 minutes away), unloading the car of all the pre-prepared snacks, pillows, clothes for the pool etc, Regina then got checked and found out that she was already 5cm dilated. The midwife called the doctor who had concerns and within 45 minutes Regina had hit 9cm dilated and our plans for the pool were thrown out the window. With our baby’s heart rate dropping after each contraction, we were urged to head to the delivery suite instead, and they sounded the alarm and moved us straight into the room with a clear urge to push.

Bright lights, hospital environment, lying on a bed was not how we intended or hoped to have the baby but despite this Regina remained calm and strong and used everything that Leila taught us and breathed our baby out inside 2 hours having only one paracetomol! She was a huge inspiration to me and I was so proud of her. It shows that while we didn’t get the birth we planned, we had everything in our toolbox to ensure we still had the best day of our lives. Lucas was born at 6:02am weighing 3.5kg with the cord wrapped twice around his neck, but he was fine and our new life was about to begin and I wouldn’t change anything for the world.

Thank you Leila for everything. You have become a very important person in our lives, and it was even more incredible for you to be there to support Regina (but also me!) on this special day and be one of the first people to hold and hug him.“

From a well and truly converted hypnobirthing and doula fan, Jon

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Surrey home hypnobirthing inspiration

Kingston Surrey home hypnobirthing inspiration
*With permission to share *
First Time Mum from Kingston surrey
Home waterbirth success story

“My waters started breaking in the last ten minutes of my pregnancy yoga class. I nipped to the loo and, not quite sure it really was my waters, returned to the class and pretended nothing had happened before rushing home my waters breaking further in the car! As I was planning a homebirth one of the wonderful Kingston homebirth midwives came to my house to check for infection because my waters had broken. She said I’d have to be induced if there was no baby in 36 hours. But while she was there I started getting mild contractions, which were getting stronger. I asked if she should go now things were getting going but she said I had a long way to go yet. Once she left we had dinner and tried to watch television. My sister was visiting. She was already planning on being at the birth and it was an amazing coincidence she was already there. Soon I couldn’t eat any more and I went to the bedroom to do hypnobirthing relaxations. Things were intensifying fast and my husband called triage, who again said there was a long way to go.

I decided the only place I wanted to be was the bath and my husband and sister began inflating the pool (with no intention of filling it yet in case it got cold). Our bath is tiny and I couldn’t get comfortable so I insisted they fill the pool. My husband was worried it was too early but I was adamant that was where I needed to be. It took a while to fill and my sister poured warm water on my back during contractions in the bath while I waited, which was lovely. I had to get out briefly to throw up my dinner and then the pool was ready.

The lights were turned down and my husband had lit candles and was playing the hypnobirthing affirmations and Leila’s relaxation CD. Getting in the pool was amazing and I felt like it was the only place in the world I wanted to be. However, I’d heard you could slow down labour by getting in too soon and I really wanted the midwife to be there to make sure everything was ok. My husband rang again and they said that even though my contractions were so close together they weren’t long enough and I shouldn’t be able to talk through them. My husband explained I had done hypnobirthing but the midwife said she wouldn’t come for another two hours. Being told yet again I still had a long way to go and nobody was coming worried me and for the first time I wondered if I was going to cope without pain relief. I felt very close to giving birth but if I was only in the early stages (as everybody kept saying) I wasn’t sure I was going to manage. I worried I wasn’t doing hypnobirthing properly and became panicky. My husband really helped by reassuring me and guiding me through the relaxations. Evert time I had a contraction I would call to my sister to turn the hot water on in the bathroom so I could hold the hose against my back. This really helped. Then in between contractions she removed water with a saucepan so the pool didn’t over fill!

I was relieved when the midwife finally arrived but when she saw me already in the pool she looked worried. I told her I couldn’t help pushing during contractions and asked if it was too soon. “Maybe” she said looking concerned because she didn’t want me pushing too long. It really didn’t feel like I had a while to go, so although my birth plan said I didn’t want unnecessary examinations I suddenly asked to be examined. To my immense relief I was completely dilated and my baby was very much on her way out! Shocked the midwife called for a second midwife to come immediately and began hurriedly setting up. I returned to the pool much happier and calmer –I was able to trust my body again now I knew I had been right about how far along I was. I continued the hypnobirthing techniques and now knew I was going to cope. I did ask for gas and air but by the time it was ready I had forgotten about it and never saw it.

The second midwife arrived as my baby’s head began crowning. The midwives were lovely and supportive of hypnobirthing even when my husband asked them to stop telling me to push as I found it easier to concentrate on the breathing and do what felt right. They continued checking my baby’s heart beat in the water but otherwise everyone was quiet apart from my husband talking me through the hypnobirthing visualisations (and me!). With a pop my baby was soon out and I had to step over the umbilical cord while the midwife passed her under my leg. We snuggled down together in the warm water and she had her first feed there within ten minutes of being born, while everyone sat around waiting for the placenta.

We waited for an hour without cutting the cord, still in the pool with my baby feeding and sleeping. The placenta didn’t come for ages but I eventually managed to birth it in the bathroom. I had very nearly had the injection and was so happy when I at last managed to do it all naturally.

Lastly I had to have a couple of stitches because I had a minor tear as my baby had come out hand first – my husband was happy about this because he said she had entered the world like superman.

Within two hours of the birth the midwives had gone and it was morning. My notes read that labour had been 2 hours and 45 minutes with the last hour waiting for the placenta. It was definitely a quick labour but I’m pretty sure it was longer than that. My waters broke at 7.30pm, contractions were pretty strong by midnight and she was born at 4.24 am.

I had the exact birth I had been visualising with Leila and I couldn’t have achieved that without her wonderful teaching and hypnobirthing. It was by far the most amazing, empowering experience I have ever had.

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Epsom Hospital Hypnobirthing inspiration from first time Epsom mum

Saturday Birth Inspiration from Epsom hospital ..

Beautiful first time mum – Michelle
from Epsom who birthed at Epsom Hospital

*with permission to share*
Michelle ‘s beautiful Hospital birth story to Sophia from December 2015

“Her birth went beautifully. I woke up in the morning after a restless night and insisted on making an omelette – nothing would deter me from making this omelette 😀! The surges started late morning but I thought they were practice ones. We had family staying and we all went for a walk in the park at about 12pm. I could feel the surges but they weren’t painful. When we got home I asked my husband Jason to start timing them, his first reaction was compete surprise as he hadn’t realised anything was going on. We keep it between ourselves and they were about twelve minutes apart at this point. My mum wanted to go shopping so off we went! I patted Jason’s hand every time there was a surge so that he could time it but other than that everyone else was none the wiser. I called the hospital when they were seven minutes apart but when they heard I was out shopping they told me to carry on as I had a long way to go. So we carried on shopping! I bumped in to my best friend in a shop and was having a conversation with her whilst in the middle of a surge and she had no idea! We then went for tea and cake, and the surges felt more frequent.

When Jason checked the app we were using to time things it showed that the contractions were four minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. I insisted on going in to M&S to buy dinner for everyone, I really did feel so relaxed and thought I had a long way to go. It was about 4:30pm when we decided to head home.

I then told my family and asked my sister to help with getting everyone out of the house so that Jason and I could focus on the relaxation techniques. Whilst she was doing that I packed the last few bits of my hospital bag. At this point surges were every three minutes and lasting more than a minute. We called the hospital and they suggested that we run a bath and wait another hour. Jason ran a bath but I really felt like the baby was on its way and Jason was then very keen that we went to the hospital! If I had got in that bath it definitely would have been an impromptu homebirth! We decided to head to the hospital and rang ahead to ask them to prepare the birth centre.

When I arrived at the hospital at 6:30pm we went straight to the room and settled in. The midwife examined me and announced that I was fully dilated. She mentioned at that point that she had been careful not to rupture the membrane when examining me but I didn’t really register that my waters hadn’t broken yet (I think that is also why I thought I had a lot longer to go). Jason asked if he had time to move the car and she told him to run!

I got straight in the pool and it felt amazing. I asked Jason to put on the Rainbow Relaxation and focused on my breathing. The midwife that we had teaches hypnobirthing so she knew exactly what to do and followed all of our birth preferences despite only having about a minute to read through them. It came to the end of her shift but she told us that she wanted to stay and a newly qualified midwife also joined us.

As our baby was moving down the midwife was monitoring the heartbeat every so often and said that our baby was incredibly relaxed. I only asked for water in between each surge and didn’t even think to ask for any type of pain relief as it was all completely manageable through the breathing techniques.

Jason told me that he could see our baby’s head and after three or four surges the midwife told me to look down. I saw our baby’s face through the amniotic sac and watched as they turned their shoulders to come in to the water and be caught by Jason. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen, I just stopped and all I could say was ‘Wow’.

When Jason lifted our baby out the amniotic sac burst and we found out that we had a little girl. We came out of the water and were left to bond together as a family. Those first special moments are something Jason and I will treasure forever and it was exactly as we had imagined. We spent the night together holding our daughter skin to skin and had the same music we used to practice the relaxation techniques to playing in the background. All of the staff commented on how calm it made them feel when they came in to the room. When friends and family saw photos of Sophia and I after the birth they couldn’t believe how relaxed I looked and my mum now tells anyone who will listen about how amazing hypnobirthing is!

We are both so glad that we did the classes and we are very grateful for everything that Leila taught us. Sophia is incredibly calm and very alert, and I am sure that is due in no small part to hypnobirthing. Thank you!”

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Waterbirth , Homebirth & hypnobirthing inspiration from 8 years ago

Happy Saturday afternoon Waterbirth inspiration 9lb 9oz healthy baby girl .. from 2 November

First time dad on his wife’s incredible natural labour and birthing
*With permission to share* ..

‘I think Katie has sent you a text message but just to let you know our daughter Vanille Mae was born on 2nd November at 09:40.

The Hypnobirthing really helped. Katie had a very quick labour – only 4 – 4.5 hours. I was able to (thanks to the post-hypnotic suggestions) relax her very quickly. This meant she was 6-7 cm dilated only 2 hours after her waters broke, Katie also had no contractions at all before her waters broke – we also used Clary Sage oil in massage for the week previous to the birth. Katie had no pain relief until the very last bit when she had some gas and air. There was a slight complication in that she had a post par tum haemorrhage – this meant she had to have the Oxytocin as there was a concern that the uterus was not contracting properly, she was not able to deliver the placenta naturally due to the blood loss and was transferred to hospital. We did have the water birth we planned so we were really satisfied with the birth – everything pretty much went according to plan, apart from the slight complication at the end.

One of the midwives was amazed at how relaxed and relatively pain-free Katie was and were even more surprised that she had a 9lb 9oz baby with absolutely no tearing or cutting needed whatsoever – so we definitely recommend the perineal massage! Katie feels the affirmations about the baby being the perfect size for her really helped as although Vanille is big compared to average sizes – she is the perfect size for us.

We were also very lucky as one of the midwives was experienced with Hypnosis and was therefore able to continue guiding Katie when I had to do something else like top-up the water in the pool. We were also lucky that this was the midwife Katie had been seeing at the surgery. This midwife also carried on the Hypnosis techniques when Katie was in hospital having the blood clots manually removed as I was looking after the baby and was following behind a short time later.

Vanille is a very calm contented baby, she responds well and is feeding very well so we are very pleased with things! One bonus of being the father AND Katie’s hypno-birthing companion is, Vanille also recognised my voice immediately following the birth and although she was fussing when the midwife was weighing her, she calmed down as soon as she was handed to me and heard my voice.

Just thought I would let you know we are very grateful for all the skills we learned in your classes and have started to apply them to the next stage – breastfeeding! Thank you again!

Kind Wishes,’

Cliff, Katie & Vanille

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Thursday thought by Surrey’s Hypnobirthing classes Inspiring Births

Thursday thought – Baby’s Normal sleep 😴 💕

This information sheet summarises research-based evidence about normal infant sleep, and how it develops over time.


It is important to remember that babies operate according to their own internal biological rhythms and they are unaware of what their parents are being told. It often takes several months for a baby’s day-night pattern of wake and sleep to become established. During this time many parents just need reassurance that their baby is normal, and that their baby’s sleep patterns are developing as expected. In cases where we are unhappy with our infant’s sleep development it may not be the baby that is problematic, but our expectations regarding sleep and babies’ needs.

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Deep Relaxation : Guided meditation by Surrey’s Hypnobirthing Hypnotherapist Reigate

Deep Relaxation Hypnotherapy CD
Overcome stress and anxiety with this superb, high quality hypnosis relaxtion CD by Leila Gardiner hypnobirthing hypnotherapist in Reigate surrey . Listen to this music to bring you into deep relaxation.

I am a Reigate-based hypnobirthing hypnotherapist with 9 years of experience as a hypnobirthing practitioner, working with over 100 couples. This music is one of the popular Inspiring Minds collection.

Stress and anxiety related illnesses are at an all-time high, so learning stress management breathing techniques to relax is crucial for your mental and physical well being. Hypnotherapy is uniquely effective in solving anxiety problems and aiding relaxation techniques. This relaxation music will help you achieve these goals in a safe and natural way.

Listen to a short clip from this CD using the player below. (It may take a minute to load)


Hypnotherapy Deep Relaxation CD

Overcome stress and anxiety with this superb, high quality hypnosis relaxtion CD by Leila Gardiner. Listen to this music to bring you into deep relaxation.

I am a Reigate-based hypnobirthing hypnotherapist with 9 years of experience as a hypnobirthing practitioner, working with over 100 couples. This music is one of the popular Inspiring Minds collection.

Stress and anxiety related illnesses are at an all-time high, so learning stress management breathing techniques to relax is crucial for your mental and physical well being. Hypnotherapy is uniquely effective in solving anxiety problems and aiding relaxation techniques. This relaxation music will help you achieve these goals in a safe and natural way.

Listen to a short clip from this CD using the player below. (It may take a minute to load)


I have found the deep relaxation cd extremely helpful – I listen to it every night now, and it just calms me into a deep sleeping mode soon after I put it on. I think it is very effective on me because I have always found attending your classes very relaxing and always been able to get a good nights sleep after the class . I was very glad to be able to continue this hypnosis relaxation at home. I would say that I prefer listening to this more than the rainbow cd as it prompts me to practice breathing whereas I simply listen to the rainbow cd. I have also found the background music very calming. All in all, a perfect combination!

Mrs Spencer – Tadworth
I have used Leila’s relaxation Cd both during and after pregnancy. During pregnancy it was great to use instead of the birthing cd on some evenings. It was a fabulous way to switch off and just enjoy the moment without worrying about all the usual things that can bother you when you are pregnant. The guided visualisation is incredibly calming and can be used when you are going to sleep if you haven’t got time to do it separately.

However, the cd was most useful after giving birth as the hypno-birthing cd was no longer appropriate but I really needed a way to switch off and unwind. Sometimes I would listen to the cd during the day while my husband looked after our daughter. It was the equivalent of a few hours sleep in those early days and really helped me fill my reservoir after caring for a baby 24/7. Now I use the cd whenever I need a pick me up. It’s much cheaper than going for a massage or facial, but much more effective!

Leila is a wonderful hypno-therapist and has a very soothing voice and personality. I couldn’t recommend her and her cds strongly enough.

Amelia – Brockham
I benefit from your CD’s on a daily basis. In fact 11 week old Indy is lying resplendent in his moses basket as I type listening to you:)

It’s not just for adults 🙂

Moira – Reigate
I am starting maternity leave next week and look forward to really being able to relax. I just wanted to say that I think your CD is fabulous.

L Brown – Reigate

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Beyond HypnoBirthing

Many people do not know of the general Hypnotherapy work I offer beyond maternity and birth.


Since 2011, the general Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy skills workshops and CDs offered have benefited many people from all walks of life. These can positively help in many fields. The Deep Relaxation CD can benefit those who would like to step up the relaxation practice and reverse the ‘fight or flight response’. This guided meditation can effectively help bring about deep abdominal breathing, assisting in activating the relaxation hormones to restore well-being which has a profound effect on both mind and body.

These can become part of our very much needed self-help calming toolkit of skills. Essential in our current busy hyper brain stimulation information age. Here is where you can obtain a copy, or even sample a few minutes of this Deep Relaxation track.

For further inspiration on what you can achieve :

Hypnotherapy for weightloss

“I approached Leila for hypnotherapy to help me get fit and reach a healthy weight. My self-esteem was low and my body felt like a burden. Leila’s way of working is to talk through your feelings and help you find the answers by yourself – she doesn’t tell you what to do but helps support you as you realise what steps you can take to help yourself. So we compiled a list a practical steps I could do to stop snacking, to understand why I was over-eating and how to control my appetite using good foods, and how to plan my exercise routine so I would be able to keep it up and not make excuses to avoid it. Then Leila talked me through a relaxation, a delightful gentle process which feels a little like dreaming, a deep and focused state of mind where your breathing is so calm and your mind is open to her words.

During the relaxation, Leila planted positive phrases which we had chatted about just moments before. I felt these were like little seeds – when you come back to the room and “wake up” these ideas are fresh in your mind and continue to be there for days afterwards. These positive seeds grow into stronger habits and helped me make good decisions. whenever I am struggling I can recall them automatically for support. One of these ideas was called an anchor: by touching my thumb and forefinger together I activate this “anchor” to give myself a rush of positive energy and happiness.

It really works – I use it when I’m about to give up during running or cycling or stressing out in everyday situations – it’s almost like a magic spell! All hypnosis is actually self-hypnosis and you are making the changes by yourself – it is not about giving control away to your therapist but actually taking control of your own thoughts and habits. I have achieved my goal of making exercise from a chore into a regular pleasure and I now enjoy and respect my body with all its imperfections.” Gabi in Banstead Surrey

Hypnotherapy for healthier eating habits

“I went to see Leila about some fussy eating habits Ive had since I was young and that I have been unable to kick by myself! I was not convinced hypnotherapy would work but I felt I needed to try something new. For me it wasn’t just about not liking certain foods but I also had some psychological barriers preventing me from moving forward. Leila introduced me to deep relaxation and new patterns of thinking. These new patterns have made me feel a lot more calm and open when it comes to trying new things and in turn I am slowly but surely introducing more new foods into my diet. Leila also advised me to try relaxing at home and also gave me a CD to relax to and I have used it most nights before I go to sleep making me feel calm and composed and also sends me off into a deep sleep!

I couldn’t recommend hypnotherapy enough, It has given me the push I needed to make changes in my life that I couldn’t on my own. Leila is a great hypnotherapist making you feel comfortable and at home.” Rose from Reigate Surrey.

Hypnotherapy for stopping bed-wetting and being dry at night

“Thank you very much Leila for you help and support in helping my 5 year old son stay dry at night through using hypnotherapy.

I would thoroughly recommend Leila to others. She is very calm, organised and professional. Leila had my sons best interests at heart and so came to my house so he would be in a familiar environment and therefore more relaxed and responsive. She calmly talked through idea ideas and ways and behaviours with him in a way which suited his age and character. Leila gave my son and me the confidence to get rid of the pull ups and in a ten day period he had eight dry nights having never had a dry nights before. She helped him understand his body and the control he had over it. She didn’t recommend limiting drinks on hot days or medication or anything else I had previously been uncomfortable with.

Leila wasn’t pushy or at all or saying we needed loads of sessions but has left it up to me to decide and for my son to take the lead.

I am so pleased to have asked for Leila’s help and to have helped my son and given him this added confidence and sense of pride to not be in his pull ups.

Thank you Leila and I am sure to be using your hypnotherapy sessions again. Kind regards From mum of two in Redhill Surrey ‘

Hypnotherapy to prepare for neurosurgery and post surgery healing

“Leila and her hypnotherapy helped through a very difficult time in my life. In 2011, I had to undergo extensive neurosurgery to my neck and spinal canal as it was discovered that I had very large benign tumour that was soon to cause me complete paralysis. Unfortunately, the neurosurgery itself had a high risk of causing the same paralysis.

During the 4 weeks leading up to the first of three operations (a total of 8 hours) I met with Leila weekly. These were the darkest weeks of my life following diagnosis and I was very grateful to know Leila. As well as the hypnotherapy, she helped me practise self-calming techniques, positive affirmations and healing visualisations so that I could be as mentally prepared as possible for whatever was going to happen.

As I sat in my operating gown waiting for my call to theatre, I read her notes in the hospital and practised the techniques. As I was prepared for theatre I felt calm and focused, ready for whatever trauma was ahead of me.

My recovery was paralysis free thankfully, although I was in pain and unwell for some time. Once home and before I could drive again, Leila came to visit to provide me with a couple of hypnotherapy sessions. These encouraged healing and inner calmness. It had been a mental as well as physically traumatic experience. A small amount of tumour still remains but should remain unthreatening for many years hopefully before any further surgery is needed and I have regular MRI scans to check on this.

Today life is back to normal again, busy with family life, looking after my two young children. Normal is lovely!

I am very grateful to Leila and would highly recommend her hypnotherapy whatever your situation.” C Harding Epsom Surrey

Hypnotherapy for Smoking

“I haven’t smoked since our hypnotherapy session. For the first week after our session I felt quite delicate, and couldn’t discuss smoking with anyone. I feel less delicate about it now, and although I do sometimes think about smoking it isn’t something I want to do. I went on a long car trip this weekend, and my usual routine would be to roll the windows down and smoke and drink coffee, but I didn’t. I did eat a lot of crisps though!

So thank you for giving me the extra boost that I needed to help me stop. I hope I can carry on. Overall I found the session rewarding, and really very positive. ” E Brighton Sussex ‘

Hypnotherapy for Managing Anxiety

” Working as a psychiatrist for the National Health Service I am continually striving to help patients achieve better mental health and, whilst I believe there is place for medication, I am increasingly impressed by the potential of hypnotherapy and HypnoBirthing. I think most people can benefit from hypnotherapy and Leila certainly helped me around managing anxiety. I highly recommend Leila both for her skills and personal touch.” : ”
‘Dr Shuttleworth in Epsom surrey ‘

Please feel free to get in touch to book a session, workshop, or to talk through your query.

Every best wish, Leila Gardiner

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Ruth – Reigate’s Talented Pregnancy, Birth and beyond Photographer

Ruth – Reigate’s pregnancy , birth , newborn and family photographer
Life is in the Detail Photography

From Pregnancy to birth, newborn and Beyond

Hi, I am Ruth – a photographer, specialising in pregnancy, new-born and family photography. I am based in Reigate, Surrey, but am happy to travel to the wider Surrey, Sussex area, if required.


The discovery that you are pregnant is one of life’s most momentous occasions. Watching your body change, feeling that first kick, as your baby moves inside you is something that you will never forget.

In those early first days, with a new-born, a lack of sleep can make the days pass by, in a bit of a haze (particularly with your first baby, when the learning curve is so big).

As they grow up, your children like to see photographs of ‘when I was in your tummy Mum’. Babies change and grow so fast, as new developmental stages are reached.
When I was a new mother, I carried my son in a sling, and as I walked around town, I would be approached by many older people, who would look at me and my son wistfully, and they all said, ‘It goes so fast’ and ‘Enjoy every minute’. My oldest son is now a teenager, and they were right.

Let me help you record these most amazing times in your life, where you go from being a couple to a family, or a smaller family to a bigger family. Let me capture those precious moments, for posterity.

I am more than happy to fit to your requirements – photographing you pregnant, during labour, in the early baby-moon days, or a bit later on, when you are all a bit more settled in.

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Inspiring Reigate Mum Births Breech baby naturally at East Surrey Hospital

“Imagine what might happen if women emerged from their labor beds with a renewed sense of the strength and power of their bodies, and of their capacity for ecstasy through giving birth” — Dr. Christiane Northrup

My Upside Down Baby

At 33 weeks pregnant, my midwife confirmed what I had suspected – that my baby was in a breech position. I was told that if she remained breech, I would not be able to have the home birth I wanted and that a caesarean would be my only option.

With major building renovation works at home, and an active toddler, along with my dislike of hospitals and unnecessary medical intervention, I wanted to do everything to help this baby turn around. The research into methods for turning breech babies began.

Techniques to try at home include: crawling around on all fours; lying on your back, with your bottom elevated above your hips; putting headphones around the bottom of the bump, and shining a torch in the same area, to get the baby to turn towards the sound and/or light. All these and more were tried, but to no avail. A Chinese herbal remedy recommended Moxa sticks, and when I lit one, the room filled with pungent smoke. I could hear the builders upstairs wondering what drugs I might be smoking and then dismissing this because I was pregnant! I decided see if other practitioners could help. I tried acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology, osteopathy, chiropractic, craniosacral therapy and hypnotism. None of them worked – I was becoming increasingly anxious and broke.

My last hope rested on an External Cephalic Version (ECV), to be carried out at the hospital. This involved having the baby rather roughly manipulated externally, and trying to spin her. She did not move. She was determined to stay exactly where she was, with her head firmly tucked up under my rib cage. I was very upset and got worse when told to book a date for a caesarean. I asked the midwife about the possibility of waiting to go into spontaneous labour, to give the baby every chance to turn, and to let her tell me when she was ready to come out. This was agreed to. In response to the option of having a natural breechbirth, I was told that unless I hired a private midwife, this was unlikely. Everyone kept quoting the adverse findings from the breech term trial, but no-one had details of what this had entailed.

My childrearing techniques are instinctive – breastfeeding, baby-wearing, bed- sharing and mother-baby togetherness. I believed in my body’s power to give birth to my baby – I just needed to find someone else to believe in me, too. I knew that my much desired homebirth was no longer a possibility, but I hoped I could still have a natural birth. Time was running out. More research was needed and someone recommended a book by Benna Waite – Breech Birth. Local bookshops did not have it in stock, so I ordered it from the publishers.

Before the book arrived, I had an ante-natal appointment with my midwife who informed me that I had created an impression at the hospital, with my refusal to book a date for a caesarean. Apparently, most people do what the consultants recommend without question. She said that if I had thought the whole thing through, the hospital would let me try for a natural birth. This was very welcome news.

Benna Waite’s book was exactly what I needed. I was at last able to read about the term breech trial, and understand that the decision to opt for a natural delivery was not as irresponsible as the consultants had led me to believe. Her findings showed that having a midwife/consultant experienced in breech delivery was essential to a successful outcome, as was the decision to opt for a natural delivery.

On my due date, we went out to dinner with some old family friends, over from America – John, who had been born breech, his wife, Ruth, whose first child had been born breech, and my parents, whose second child (my sister) had been born breech – I took this as a good omen.

At my midwife’s appointment the next day, she referred me to a consultant. I was given an appointment the following day. All night, I rehearsed arguments to put forward to the consultant I was convinced was going to talk me out of a natural delivery. At the hospital, I was immediately reassured to see an older consultant, who was quick to tell me that he had been trained to deliver breech babies. He saw no reason why I should not be allowed to try for a natural delivery. He said it was a shame that there were not more people prepared/allowed to try for this. He also said that with twins, one was often in a breech position, and that there would always be cases in the delivery suite, when babies could present breech unexpectedly, too late for anything other than a natural delivery to take place. As caesareans have become so routine, few people have ever seen a natural breech delivery, resulting in possible mistakes being made when no other options are available.

Spicy curries did not work and seven days later, I was still waiting, and desperate to go into spontaneous labour. We went for a long walk in the local park, on a beautiful summer’s day. That afternoon, I felt the unmistakable tightening sensation in my stomach – the commencement of labour.

On arrival at the delivery suite, we were shown into a room, and the midwife was very supportive, saying that it was rare for people to want natural births. I sat on the birth ball, asking Mat to rub my back when the contractions came. The labour seemed to be progressing well, and apart from intermittent monitoring of the baby’s heart beat, we were left to ourselves.

After what seemed a long time waiting, I suddenly felt an uncontrollable urge to push, followed by the emergence of a pair of feet. Mat rushed off to find the midwife. I was told to wait until the consultant ensured I was fully dilated, which fortunately I was.

A few pushes later, I was told I had delivered a healthy baby girl. She was very alert and took straight to breastfeeding. Being wheeled into the ward, I found that we had become the focus of attention, everyone asking if it was me who had given birth to the breech baby.

For the rest of the night, as I gazed down at Ruby, feeding and sleeping, in my arms, I was overwhelmed with emotions, proud of us, for having achieved what we both wanted. My only regret was that I had not been given the option of a natural birth as soon as I had discovered she was breech. As a result, I had spent an anxious month, trying to get her to turn round, and thinking I would have to have a caesarean; time that I could have been enjoying with Oscar, giving him my undivided attention, before he had to share me with his new baby sister.

We were discharged the next morning – my hospital stay having cost considerably less than a caesarean would have done. Since then, my upside down baby has continued to go from strength to strength.

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