Reigate’s Ruby’s Room interiors – by Leon & Sarah French

Reigate’s Ruby’s Rooms Interiors offers a service from initial design to creation of fully personalised rooms. By creative designers and teachers : Leon & Sarah French

Email us at [email protected]

Creating a special space is something I remember my parents doing for me when I was young – many years ago now! I remember the love and attention that went into the creation of a room filled with trains and animals, and it was all especially for me. Fast forward 30(ish) years and I found myself wanting to do the same for my own children.

When we were thinking about the design for our son’s nursery, the teachers in us (my wife and I are both primary school teachers) wanted the room to be a place in which our son could grow and develop – it needed to be stimulating and comforting, a place where he could feel happy, special and loved. We decided to make the walls of his room look like the pages of a story book, which included mummy and daddy as characters on the wall.

Room 1

It was when we moved our son into a bigger bedroom and created the jungle animals he had asked for on the wall, that we decided this could be something we should be sharing with other children, hence the creation of Ruby’s Rooms Interiors.

“The end product is AMAZING and we are so happy with it and most importantly the kids love it (My daughter tells everyone she has a mermaid on her wall).”

We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to have a space – be it a bedroom, playroom or any room – that was special and truly unique to them. Ruby’s Rooms Interiors offers a service from initial design to creation of fully personalised rooms. We meet our clients to create a ‘design story’. We discuss ideas and interests that we later transform into personalised sketches and designs, and then the room is brought to life!

Room 2

We understand how important it is to create rooms that are stimulating and help to develop children as they grow and learn. The beauty of this approach is that no one else will have the same room and designs are created specifically for each child and room, often with characters/designs interacting with furniture placement – something that would be impossible with generic wall stickers.

“Our son loves his space themed room and so do we. The end result was amazing.”

Room 3

We want to help those who are just beginning their journey into parenthood, those who need to transform a space, those who are looking for design inspiration, those who want something different and something special for their child.

Visit our Facebook Page

We are based in Reigate, Surrey but are available across London and the South East.

Prices will vary according to the size of the room/project but we can transform a space from as little as £100.

If you would like to have Ruby’s Rooms create a unique space for your little one, please contact us at [email protected] or message us through Facebook.
Room 4

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Pamela Rhatigan is a wonderfully experienced Reigate and Bookham based pregnancy Yoga and post natal exercise teacher

Pamela Rhatigan is a wonderfully experienced Reigate and Bookham based pregnancy Yoga and post natal exercise teacher.

Pamela Rhatigan is a Yoga and exercise teacher, she also practises complimentary therapies, including Pregnancy Massage & Reflexology. She specialised in teaching mothers to massage their new-borns and in 2005 wrote Soothe Your Baby the Natural Way, an internationally sold book.

Pregnancy Class with Pamela

Pamela Rhatigan is a Sivanananda trained, personal fitness trainer, practitioner of complimentary therapies and writer. Her involvement with fitness started at school with sports, this evolved into a professional dance career. Becoming more interested in health, she became a reflexologist in 1990 and the following year as a masseuse. She also trained in natural healing, NLP and Reiki, She has developed her own transformational dance, combining guided meditation, yoga and self expressive movement to music. Recently she has trained with The United Mind and has begun teaching Laughter as a Way to Better Health classes.

Pamela’s Pregnancy Yoga class is designed for you to have an enjoyable and relaxing time, connecting to your baby, whilst improving your physical and emotional well-being. The postures develop strength and help you to feel more confident and positive. The postures are also gentle, relieving and releasing the new muscle tension building up in your body, specifically designed so you can attend throughout your pregnancy (after 12 weeks) and can be adapted to individual needs. We focus a lot on your breathing, calming the nervous system and giving you time for yourself. These techniques will also help you maintain your composure and control throughout the birthing time.

The classes are suitable for all women, regardless of their fitness level. No previous experience of yoga is necessary.

Benefits of these classes include:
Improved quality of sleep
Reduced anxiety
Strengthened joints and muscles
Increased flexibility
Increased blood circulation, which also benefits your baby
Reduced swelling from fluid retention
Improved posture and body awareness
Strengthened abdominal and pelvic muscles
Improved digestive system

To Book your Class got to www.

Pamela will also be giving New Mummies Monthly Post Natal sessions to help you ease back into an exercise routine, this class will include Baby Massage,. It will be for anyone after their 6 week check up and needs to be booked through Pamela.

Contact Pamela 01372 454 998
[email protected]

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Labour and Birth Choice, Continuity and All That Stuff By Corrinne Gamble RM Independent Midwife

Pregnancy and Birth Choice, Continuity and All That Stuff
By Corrinne Gamble RM
Independent Midwife – Sussex and Surrey Boarders
07592 933456

Passionate about choice

So, you’ve decided to be an active participant in your pregnancy and the birth of your child? You’re half way there then, to achieving a positive empowering experience. How are you going to go about achieving the rest? What can you do that will make your carers listen to you and support your choices?

If you are low risk, no medical conditions or previous difficult births then a midwifery led birthing unit may be your better choice. You will see only midwives during pregnancy, maybe several members of the same midwifery team. The birth itself will be low key, birthing units tend to have low lighting, maybe a comfy chair and less medical equipment than a consultant unit. There may also be a built in birthing pool which you can use to labour and/or birth in. Some units are very close to an obstetric unit so if you need to see a doctor or decide you want an epidural it’s a short hop down the corridor. Others, such as Crowborough are quite a distance from the main hospital and you would need to be taken by ambulance should you need any of these things. Midwives are the guardians of normal birth and have lots of training to facilitate their listening skills, they will do their best to help you achieve the birth you want.

Maybe home birth? At home you are in charge, anyone who comes to you in labour is your guest and should behave as such. You have total choice over position, location and how you birth. The midwife will be there to offer you the support you need and again do her best to facilitate a positive experience for you. Some areas have home birth teams, usually staffed by community midwives. The size of the teams vary from 6 to maybe as many as 26. They cover home births 24 hours a day but at night there may only be two midwives covering. As a home birther you have the luxury of two midwives attending you, so there may be issues if there is more than one home birth taking place. Women are sometimes ask to go to the hospital because there is no one to send to them at home. The home birth team may be the midwives who see you antenatally so there is a chance you may have already met the midwives who come to your birth, they may already know you and what you are hoping for.

Home birth with an independent midwife? Women who choose an independent midwife do so for many reasons, maybe they are high risk and are finding it difficult to get support within the NHS. Maybe they are planning to utilise some of the more unusual birth options such as lotus birth or consuming their placenta and feel an independent midwife may be more open to these choices. Some women simply just want to get to know the midwife during the antenatal period and know it will be she that walks through the door when she is in labour. The midwife will be on call for you, usually from 37 weeks and she will battle through hell and high water to get to you in labour. She will also call a second midwife who you may have also met before. They will know your wishes and as they have no employer to answer to (they have to abide by the midwives rules) they can assist you in the way you choose, in the safest way possible. The downside of course is cost. Most IMs will be happy to sort out a payment plan with you, maybe monthly payments. It may mean that you can’t afford to trade up your car this year or have that Mediterranean holiday, but the value of a birth that is empowering, life enhancing and proactive is beyond pounds and pence.

Free birth? Birthing at home with no midwife attending, basically DIY. Some women choose this because they know that birth is a normal everyday occurrence and needs no assistance other than the support of their partner. These women will have limited pain relief options and if things start to go wrong they may have difficulty accessing a midwife and may be sent paramedics only. They are aware of these issues and some attend infant resuscitation classes during pregnancy, they have assessed the risks and have managed those risks as best they can and have made their choice. This is not illegal in the UK as long as the woman does not have someone “acting” as midwife, but partners and doulas can offer support. There have been prosecutions of partners who the courts considered acted as midwife rather than support for their birthing partner.

Obstetric unit or planned Caesarean section? These are choice too and the woman who chooses a medicalised birth is making a valid choice as much as the home birther. Looking at risk, minimising that risk and then choosing is every woman’s right. We are lucky in the UK that women and midwives cannot be prosecuted for their choices like they can in many countries, including some states in the USA. Know that these are your rights, exercise them and have a positive birth.

Corrinne Gamble RM
Independent Midwife
07592 933456

Passionate about choice

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Power of Placebo

Horizon – 2013-2014 8. The Power of the Placebo by UKTVDOCUMENTARIES

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Birth and Post natal Doula Laureen Eaton – Reigate Surrey and Sussex

— Laureen Eaton — Doula Care – based in the Crawley area extending into Surrey and East Sussex

Having a doula can make all the difference to your pregnancy labour and birth of your baby; making this special time one of positivity, calm, confidence and knowledge to make informed decisions.

Doulas provide continuous support for the whole family through pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenthood. We are there to listen, give confidence and not judge. Offering flexible, practical and emotional support we work in women’s own homes as well as in hospitals. We support you in whatever type birth you choose, whether it is a home birth in water, a medicalised or non-medicalised birth in hospital.

Doulas do not offer clinical skills and are not medically trained.

While doulas are not there to change outcomes there is growing evidence that having a birth or postnatal doula brings a number of tangible benefits. From reducing intervention rates, shortening labour and improving the condition of babies at birth. While this research is important, it’s the less tangible benefits of having a non-judgemental companion during a life-altering event that most woman remember and value.

Working together as a team, with Mum, the loving support of Dad, and the knowledge and experience a doula brings can create an amazing atmosphere for a baby to be brought into the world.

Postnatal doulas provide flexible practical and emotional support postnatally for new mothers and families in their own homes.


My name is Laureen and I am married with five lovely grown up children and seven gorgeous grandchildren. My background is teaching and I am a qualified infant teacher and an Adult Education tutor.

I believe passionately in the ability of a woman to birth her baby, and whilst there is a place for medical interventions, most women, with loving support and care, can give birth without them. Dad’s are important and they need support too.

Since training with Nurturing Birth in 2009, I have supported over 40 women and their families, in all stages throughout the birthing process. From breastfeeding support, to facilitating pool births at home, to providing practical support around the home after the birth. I can give you the confidence to feel empowered to birth your baby without medical interventions. Essentially, I will support and prepare you towards having the birth you want, safe, calm and confident. I also specialise in using a Rebozo – a Mexican scarf, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques.
My services

Birth Package – £500

I offer you a free consultation to talk about my services and answer any of your questions.
I will meet with you twice before the birth to get to know you and your partner to build a good relationship with understanding and trust and to ensure I know your plans and requirements for your labour. I will prepare you for the labour and the birth of your baby and help you write your birth preferences, giving you the knowledge you need to make informed decisions.
I will stay with you throughout labour, however long, providing nurturing, continuous support and reassurance; helping you to have the birth you want. I will also encourage your partner (if you have one) to participate in the birth to a level at which he feels comfortable.
During labour, whether at home or in hospital I do my best to create a quiet and comfortable environment where you will feel safe and nurtured while you give birth to your baby. I will remain with you until after the birth to ensure you are comfortable with your new baby and baby has had his first feed.
I will make two follow up visits to debrief with you your birth, give you support and encouragement with breastfeeding, help out in your home, with baby care, light housework and be a listening ear.
If you wish I can make you a placenta smoothie.
I have a tens machine
I have a birth pool-which you can hire.
Postnatal Services – £17 an hour
In the early days or weeks following the birth of your baby you and your family may need some extra help. I will be available to come to your home for 3 – 4 hrs a day to do various household tasks such as light house work, making lunch, preparing vegetables, shopping, walking the dog, looking after siblings etc., to enable you to mother your newborn and also to have a well deserved rest.
I will give you support and encouragement in breastfeeding if that is what you have chosen to do and provide you with emotional support if needed.
One to one Birth Preparation
You may not wish to have a doula with you in labour, but would like to have the benefit of one to one birth preparation with a doula in the comfort of your own home. These evenings are tailored to each woman and her partner depending on YOUR needs.
Guha – second baby
Laureen was a pillar of strength and support for me during the birth of my second son. Having had a traumatic emergency cesarean birth for my first son, I was very keen to have a vaginal birth for my second son. My first baby was posterior. Laureen’s suggestions and exercises during my second pregnancy helped maintain my baby in the proper position. On the day when I was in labour, she arrived at my home very quickly once I messaged her. She was highly professional and helped my husband and me remain calm throughout. She massaged my back during every contraction for almost 9 hrs. She reminded me to breathe throughout labour and helped me have the water birth that I wanted, constantly encouraging me at times when I was almost about to give up.
Zara – first baby
Laureen was brilliant from the start. She answered my phone call and talked me through the services she offers. She was so friendly. When she came for our antenatal meeting she had so much information about labour, birth and breastfeeding, which put our minds at ease. We both really enjoyed her two sessions as she gave us so much insight into the wonderful labour. I found it was so helpful to practice the breathing and getting into the different positions she showed me for labour and giving birth.
I cannot stress enough what an amazing woman Laureen is. She is so calming yet assertive when she needs to be. For example she repeated and insisted my requests to the medical staff when my voice was not being heard. I would use Laureen again, without a doubt.
If you are considering a Doula, or would like to find out more about how I can support you, please get in touch for a chat.

Email me: [email protected]

Visit my website:

Like and follow me on Facebook:

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Reigate relaxation Hour with HypnoBirthing teacher Leila Gardiner


    Relaxation Hour with Hypnobirthing teacher Leila Gardiner;

    Come along and join us at this this small, informal relaxation workshop each month. These take place at the lovely Imogen’s Holistic centre,
    It is aimed at parents and pregnant couples.

    You will learn calming self-help skills comprising of breathing, visualization and self-hypnosis through this guided deep relaxation session.

    The cost just £12 per session.

    These monthly sessions are held on the last Sunday at 7.30pm of each month:
    * January 31st,
    * February 28th,
    * March 27th and so on.

    To book email … [email protected] to pre-book your place. Or call on 07775425301

    Looking Forward to seeing you there.. Have a great weekend x

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Slinging the praises of carrying your baby

Charlotte Filcek

Slings and carriers are becoming more and more popular; why do so many parents love them?
Whether you are an expectant parent, have just had a baby, or have been thinking about using carriers with your little one for a while, this post will take you through the many benefits of carrying your baby in a sling.

Tiny babies expect to be carried

Newborn humans are surprisingly underdeveloped compared with other species. They can do nothing for themselves, cannot regulate their own body temperature, and require very frequent feeding. They therefore have a biologically-programmed expectation to be held close to their caregiver. This is the reason that so many tiny babies can go from fast asleep to indignant rage just by being placed in what you thought was a warm, snuggly moses basket! The first few months of a baby’s life see such an enormous amount of development that they are frequently described as the ‘fourth trimester of pregnancy’. You can help your baby through it by replicating the closeness, warmth and movement of the womb, making a sling an invaluable tool.

Babies who are carried cry less

As well as the general need for closeness during the fourth trimester, babies go through all sorts of things that can be soothed by carrying them close. Just as you are emerging from the fourth trimester, you hurtle headlong into the four-month sleep regression, and nothing seems to make your baby nap. Slings to the rescue! If your baby has colic you will hear an awful lot of crying, but slings can help comfort them. Babies with reflux (of the sicky or silent variety) can be helped enormously by being held upright, and a sling can save your arms from a lot of strain. In fact, research shows that babies who are carried for an extra 3 hours per day cry and fuss 43% less1. That’s a lot more blissful silence.

It’s so convenient

Life with a small child can be complicated. Getting chores done, feeding yourself and playing with an older child can be difficult when you’re trying to soothe a baby, or have finally soothed them but are left trapped on the sofa when they fall asleep on you. Slings can give you back the use of your arms. They are also a great alternative to buggies and prams in all sorts of situations. You will never have to fold them up to get on a bus or train. Little shops with narrow aisles are a breeze, and you can saunter up and down stairs and escalators rather than waiting for the lift or a helpful stranger to assist you in lugging buggy and child to where you need to go. When your little baby becomes a big baby and wants to walk with you, you will find an empty sling much easier to transport than an empty pushchair. In fact the only practical disadvantage that I can think of is that you have to carry your own stuff rather than rely on the buggy. You’ll have to do that eventually anyway, and it really is possible to travel light with a small child. Buggies can be helpful, but slings often more so.

It’s weight bearing exercise!

A well-fitting sling that holds your baby in an optimal position should not feel really heavy. It is adding weight to your body though, and when your only physical exercise consists of walking to the corner shop to buy nappies and biscuits, that’s a workout in my book! If you have the energy to actually get out for a walk at the weekend, that little extra weight will be building bone density and burning calories. In addition to all this, carrying your baby in an ergonomic position is a great way to help your body return to its pre-pregnancy state. It can tone your core muscles and doesn’t put too much strain on your pelvic floor, unlike pushing a buggy or carrying a car seat. It is much kinder on your back too. Remember though, if something hurts, the positioning is probably off. Don’t give up, get help (see below).

Babies who are carried can experience more interaction

Babies learn through interaction with their caregiver. Hearing your speech and watching your facial expressions is the best teaching your baby can receive. It is more useful stimulation than any baby gym can provide, with added cuddles. Slings can help you give them this interaction more often. Experts are beginning to warn of the disadvantages of prolonged time spent being carried in car seats or sitting in forward facing buggies, swings, and gyms, because it reduces these opportunities for interaction2.

There’s something for everyone

Every family has different requirements from their carrier. Whether you need something simple and quick to keep in the car to nip into the shops, something you can wear for hours while you walk the dog but which won’t drag in the mud when you take it off, or something you can use to carry either your newborn or your toddler, there is something out there for you. Stretchy wraps are wonderfully snug for tiny newborns and much easier to use than you’d expect. Buckle carriers are great for convenience and simplicity. Mei Tais can be shared easily between different-sized wearers and kids. Ring slings and pouches are a minimalist’s dream and pack up small. Woven wraps are the ultimate in versatility and can allow you to carry a pre-schooler comfortably, or your tiny baby if you prefer. The world is your slingy oyster, but don’t be daunted; there are heaps of resources out there to help you decide what you want.

A note on safety

Slings are very safe, but as with all things, you need to know how to use them correctly. The most important aspect of keeping small babies safe in slings is ensuring that they can breathe freely. This means making sure that they cannot slump in the sling and end up with their chin curled into their chest. Follow the TICKS guidelines and avoid any carrier which doesn’t allow you to achieve this safe position. Bag slings (pictured) are an example of a sling which is never safe with a small baby.

Find out more…

There is a wealth of information and support available online to help you choose and use slings. Sling Guide is a fantastic online resource where you can learn more about different types of carrier and where you can buy them from. There are also plenty of online forums on Facebook and at TheBabywearer (a US site) and Natural Mamas, devoted to discussing the choosing and using of slings.
If you’re more of a book person, ‘Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition’ by Maria Blois is an in depth guide to the benefits of carrying your baby.
Probably the best way you can learn about the different types of sling available, and what might best suit your needs, is to visit a Sling Meet. There you will find other parents willing to share their experiences, and often a qualified person who can offer some free help there or book you in for a more detailed consultation. If there is a Sling Library attached, you can even try out a sling before you buy. There is a map here which you can use to locate your nearest.

Charlotte Filcek is a trainee Babywearing Consultant. Email her

She also runs Redhill, Reigate and Horley NCT Sling Library.

Hunziker & Barr. Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics1986 May;77(5):641-8.

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The Book Bump – Guest Blog – By Author and local mum Kerry Fisher

If you’re reading this blog, the chances are you are expecting a baby or you’ve just had one. It’s a while ago since my own babies were born – I now have teenagers. However, I still remember the initial buzz of being pregnant, then the slog through the middle bit when it felt like forever, then the countdown to D-day. This year though, I’ve given birth to a different sort of baby – my debut novel – but the process has felt a little similar.

I remember proudly announcing that ‘I was going to write a novel’. Which, of course, led to much leaping into the undergrowth and diving into shops every time I saw the words ‘Are you published yet?’ shaping on anyone’s lips. Then there was the (very) long bit in the middle when the novel was done but not going anywhere – it reminded me of my daughter hanging on in there for ten days beyond her due date. Without an agent, it’s almost impossible to get published and over a five-year period, I had enough rejections to paper an entire nursery. Eventually the glorious day arrived when The School Gate Survival Guide burst out into the world last August. I managed to get an agent and a two-book deal with HarperCollins on the same day…a bit like unexpectedly giving birth to twins!

And then came the part that most closely resembles having a baby – once it’s out in the world, it’s a free-for-all for everyone to chime in with their opinions…

It could be that you don’t want to hear your friend/mother-in-law/auntie’s advice on how you get your baby to sleep through the night or eat puréed sweet potato but actually, I love hearing what readers think of my novel – so if you do read my funny story about school gate snobbery – let me know your verdict. You can read some free chapters here: – or the whole thing for just 99p! (And it’s great preparation for when that little bundle does start school, though actually, I’ve made some wonderful friends at the school gates – just borrowed and exaggerated the occasional trait I’ve noticed…)


Other authors who’ve given ‘birth’ to their first novels in the past year include:
The Lie of You: Jane Lythell – a brilliant psychological thriller
The Atlas of Us: Tracy Buchanan – emotional summer read
The Wake: Anna Hope – a moving story about the immediate aftermath of the First World War.

And she’s not a debut author but for something lighthearted and fun, try Take Mum Out by Fiona Gibson

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Lucy Williams Ambassador for Tropic plant skincare and make up

My name is Lucy Williams, I am an ambassador for Tropic Pure Plant Skincare, a skincare and make up range that is handmade using natural ingredients. The products and company were created by Susan Ma, a finalist on ‘The Apprentice’ in 2011, Lord Alan Sugar is part owner of the company.   


Our products are derived from 100% pure plant extracts, are honestly priced and are naturally effective on all skin types. We are committed to using only premium, natural ingredients that are rich in nutrients for your skin.

Our products are created with you in mind; they are fuss free and an absolute delight to use. We make our products by hand in small batches in our Surrey Beauty Workshop to ensure quality and freshness when it reaches you. They are fresh yet have a shelf life of 12 months. We are the first UK skincare company to list all of our ingredients in plain English. We have nothing to hide and it means you understand exactly what you are putting onto your skin.


We like to keep things simple and produce naturally pure and effective products. We never use mineral oils, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS – a foaming agent) , petrochemicals (chemical products derived from petroleum), parabens (a group of chemicals used as preservatives) or alcohol in any of our products as these ingredients can cause health problems and accelerate the skin’s ageing process.

Animal Testing – We never do it, and test only on ourselves. Tropic Skincare is certified by Cruelty Free International and you’ll see the Leaping Bunny on our packaging and website. Products bearing the Leaping Bunny mark are certified ‘cruelty free’ by Cruelty Free. We are Vegan Society Approved- we don’t believe in interfering with animals so we use no lanolin, gelatin or other animal derived products in our skin care range.





Our mission is to provide efficacy, excellence and integrity in all that we do. From our responsible business practices to our customer service, we will continue to aspire to be the best we possibly can for you and our environment.


How to order:

©     Have a look at the online catalogue on my Facebook page and send me a message on Facebook to order – see the links below.

©     Enjoy a 1-2-1 experience with a FREE facial!

©     Host a relaxing pamper party! You get 15% of fabulous FREEBIES to choose from, so, if your party is for example a total of £200, you get to choose £30 if it’s a £400 party, you get £60 and so on! Contact me via phone, email or Facebook to book!


Hosting a Pamper Party!

They are lots of fun and don’t have to cost you much! Just a few drinks and nibbles and Tropic products will do the rest! The size of your party doesn’t matter, just a small gathering for a tea party in the afternoon maybe or a few drinks for a larger gathering on an evening. The average party lasts about 2 hours, the hostess gets a beautifully relaxing facial and 15% of total sales to spend on Tropic products!

Copy and paste this link into Facebook to find my page:
Have a look at our winter 2013 catalogue for all of the gorgeous Tropic products! When you receive your products they are guaranteed to have been freshly handmade in our Surrey workshop within the last 7 days!


The new Spring/Summer 2014 catalogue will be available on the 10th of March.



Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 07825752028

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HypnoBirthing classes in Surrey in March 2013

HypnoBirthing classes in Surrey in March 2013

In March 2013 three lovely first time couples attended the group hypnobirthing course in March 2013 Surrey

All three achieved a natural drug free birth.. for inspiration here are all three unique, yet positive experiences… as the proverb goes..
‘ Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever ‘. ..

Yioda – First Time Hypnobirthing Mum from Guildford

Water birthed at Royal Surrey Hospital – Guildford Surrey

“Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you. Our baby was born on the 31st of May at 10:59. She was born in the water and I managed a completely natural birth thanks to hypnobirthing. The midwife said she had never seen anyone manage it before!

I can’t thank you enough for your brilliant classes, help and support. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring Elena to a coffee morning so you can meet her.”

Jessica – First Time Hypnobirthing Mum from Ashtead
Birthed at Epsom Hospital – Epsom Surrey

” Early evening on 8th June I started to feel the smallest of twinges every 15 minutes that I really didn’t feel were contractions.

Around 10.15pm my waters broke and I knew that as Meconium was in them that my chances of a desired water birth were gone. But I remained calm and focused as we started getting ready to travel to hospital. I suddenly realised that this was it that I was going to have our baby and the mixture of emotions still stays strongly in my mind – it was the most amazing feeling of excitement – I wasn’t scared I was ready to meet our baby.

We arrived about 11pm at hospital. They had wanted to bring on labour quicker with drugs due to concerns with the Meconium in the waters. Paul my husband was brilliant at being assertive and asking whether it was necessary and whether we could see how things progressed. The midwife talked to the doctors and they agreed to see how we got in.

And I’m so glad they did..

I was at 3cm dilation and within a few hours was at 9.5 cm dilated. I got through on just gas and air focussing on my breathing and working with my body to birth my baby. My husbands support throughout was amazing. At 5.50am on 9th June I gave birth to our beautiful daughter. It is still hard to describe how it felt to witness this little miracle that arrived into our world. I truly believe with the way hypno birthing helps you to work with your body and believe in yourself means it is possible to have the birthing experience you hoped for and to bring a calm and contented baby into the world.

Thanks Leila, 7 hours and with just gas and air still amazes me now.”

Fatima – First Time Hypnobirthing Mum from Redhill
Birthed at East Surrey Hospital Redhill Surrey

At around 4 pm on the 10th of July, I started experiencing some mild stomach cramps. Mum and I had to go to Sainsbury’s to pick up bananas for the banana walnut cake I was supposed to bake the next day. I noticed that I could barely walk with baby’s weight on my pelvis, and knew that he was coming very soon!. When we got back home and at around 6.30 I started experiencing much stronger cramping. It seemed slightly different to the usual period like cramping I was experiencing since the last couple of days.

The cramping got worse by around 9.30 and I started doing my calm breathing. I wanted to have a quick meal as I knew by now it was not false labour. I went for a bath as I remembered my midwife saying “If its labour, it will progress else it will settle down”. This was around 10 pm. The cramps didn’t settle and we decided to ring in and inform the hospital. After the bath I decided to get a quick nap. I continued with the calm breathing and slept in between contractions.

At around 3am I had the show and we called up the hospital and decided to go in and get assessed. The pain was more intense and now the contractions were 50 seconds apart and at more regular intervals. We took our bags, birth ball, and my pregnancy pillow and set out for the hospital. Shabbir, mum and myself. On reaching the maternity unit I was assessed by the midwife who checked how dilated I was. She said that the cervix was 4 cm dilated and that they were happy to take me in the hospital. However, checking baby’s heartbeat it was very high and they needed to give me saline to bring it back to normal. This meant I would have to be constantly monitored through the machine which threw all plans of my water birth out of the window.

I was shifted to the high risk ward and baby’s heartbeat was being monitored by the minute. I continued doing my breathing and started listening to the affirmations and rainbow relaxation in a loop. I felt the pain in my lower back quite intensely and understood baby was back to back. It was very uncomfortable sleeping on the bed as the pain was in my bottom. At 6 o’clock there was a change of midwife. The new midwife who came in was Claire and she seemed to have delivered hypno babies before. She gave me paracetamol for the pain and asked me if I was coping well. I decided against taking any method of pain relief. After an hour or so I started to feel acute pains in my lower back and lower bottom. However, I still remained calm by focussing on my breathing. I used my birthing ball and it really helped me get comfortable because I couldn’t lie flat on my back and it took the pressure off. The midwife was lovely and setup all the monitoring equipment for me so that I could use my birthing ball.

All throughout, I just kept reminding myself about what Leila said. To focus my breathing and thinking of positive imagery , counting backwards. The back to back labour was very painful yet nothing I couldn’t manage. Finally at around 7.30 or 8 am I felt a sudden gush and my waters had broken. Now the pain was unbearable for me and I started begging Claire for some pain relief. It was time for my next assessment and she said she would need to see how much further dilated I was and then decide whether she could offer it to me. After examination, she said I was already 10 cm dilated and that now it was time to push. Claire, the midwife was surprised at how well I had managed so far. I could feel baby’s head pushing into my back real hard. She said my waters had not broken completely so she had to break them to get things to progress. This was the most scary bit for me but all I was thinking about was baby being so close to coming. After breaking my waters she told me to push baby out. Shabbir and I insisted that we would like to breathe baby out. She helped me rest in a kneeling position on the bed handle so that gravity could help. For a few mins I tried to use “J breathing” to breathe him out but his head would go back in. I still remember Shabbir’s words “You have worked so hard for this moment, this is it baby, breathe him out”. Claire noticed baby’s heartbeat reduce a lot and said it was best if I pushed him out fast. I knew a tear would be inevitable now. I started pushing to the best I could. It took 4 pushes in all. The first 2 pushes and she could see baby’s head. Then I pushed with all my might and baby’s head was out. After that one big push and I could feel his shoulders and arms coming out. And then she gave him in my arms. Our little angel had arrived. Mum and Shabbir were crying. Adam Shabbir Mookhtiar was born on 11th July at 9.09 am. After that we did skin to skin and Shabbir cut the cord of the baby.

The perineal massage that Leila recommended really helped. Claire mentioned that the tear could have been a lot worse had I not done it.

Adam is a really chilled baby and I think it’s because I started doing the Hypnobirthing so early on in our pregnancy. Shabbir very proudly says that it’s because he’s a hypno baby that he’s so calm and content.

Leila, thank you so much for the wonderful sessions, and all the useful material you shared with us on a weekly basis. Even the refresher session was so helpful towards the end and made me confident enough to be able to go through anything with a calm mind. Considering baby was breach all throughout until week 36, I was very optimistic about him turning, thanks to the affirmations which I listened to, on my way to work daily, and kept doing the polar bear position you suggested. I think it must have been that along with the breathing I practised every night that helped in turning him around. I would definitely recommend you to any new mums who are scared of birthing and all the horror stories that we keep listening to associated with it. I don’t think I was scared at all after the course and especially the refresher session, but was looking forward to birthing as a Wonderful experience of bringing my baby into this world and into my arms. The video you showed of the calm water birth and baby sliding out is what I had visualised all throughout. Though I didn’t get the water birth I had hoped for, I think I coped very well, Inspite of a very painful back to back and I didn’t find the need for any pain relief until the last minute. It was the most empowering experience of my life!

P.S I took your advice and did the calm breathing in the initial days of breast feeding and it helped me get though the initial pain and challenges associated with it, with a lot more patience.”

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