Transition to motherhood by Alison Hopkins (Alison Hopkins Counselling)

Dear new mums and mums-to-be,

The transition to motherhood is a significant time for you with loads of different emotions and high expectations.

In a society preoccupied with how best to bring up a child, it is good to find a balance between what is best for your baby and what is best for you as a mum. It’s likely you’ll be exhausted as well as stressed so it is really important you fit in some time for yourself. Also, don’t forget your new baby will feel even more vulnerable and confused than you are.

Learn to ask for the support you need on a regular basis without feeling a failure. You will realise that other people are happy to help and pleased you asked. You need time to rest and recharge your batteries. Spending short periods of time away from your baby can make you a better parent and your baby will learn to be confident with others.

For first-time parents, three new relationships will be formed like a triangle: mother-baby, father-baby and mother-father. There is bound to be an impact on you and your partner’s relationship so it’s important to be prepared. It’s normal to lose track when you’re in the flurry of new parenthood. Therefore it is essential you find time out together just to be yourselves, not parents, so no baby talk. It’s good for your relationship and consequently good for your baby.

On the subject of relationships, part of this transition may include re-visiting your own relationship with your mother after giving birth. Often this can result in changes in the relationship such as bringing mother and daughter closer together. However if the relationship gets stirred up in a less positive way for whatever reason, counselling can be very supportive and effective in helping to make sense of what is happening.

As a new mum your expectations of motherhood may not match reality. You know how to succeed in your job and you are probably used to having high expectations at work. When our children are the centre of our world it is easy to have high expectations. But they have their own emotions and characteristics and they will be different to yours, so by allowing yourself to have high expectations you may be adding to your stressful feelings.

The physical and emotional upheaval of caring for a baby is bound to have an impact, for example ‘baby blues’ – feeling low when you think you ought to be really happy. This is often a sign that you need some space to come to terms with being a mother and normally only lasts a few days but you will need support as you go through this time.

However if these feelings become worse and last for several weeks or more, you may be suffering from postnatal depression. Talk to your health visitor or GP about how you are feeling. The sooner it is diagnosed, the better the chance of a good recovery.

It is important to get to know other mums with babies the same age as yours as it is reassuring to be with others who are going through this incredible but sometimes lonely experience. There are plenty of baby and toddler groups in the East Surrey area and they are a great place to meet mums with children your child’s age, and your child can make new friends too. Have a look at the following websites for further details:,,

Finally, in Dr Christiane Northrup’s book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, she recommends that each of us mothers must learn to mother ourselves. She believes that self-sacrifice is not a healthy path to motherhood even though we’ve been taught to do so for generations. So the best gift you can give yourself and those around you is the gift of caring for yourself during this unique transition.

With best wishes

P.S. If you have anything on your mind that you would like to talk through with me in a confidential and non-judgemental setting, please visit

Alison Hopkins
Dip.Counselling MBACP
Alison Hopkins Counselling
07946 517967

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Fathers’ day to all great Dads, and Dads-to-be around the world!

” A father is a man who has photos in his wallet, where his money used to be. ”

Historically, it appears that a widowed civil war veteran of six children created Father’s Day in the early 1900s. Apparently she set this special day to honour her own father, who helped raise her six children on a farm.

Some Inspiration for dads, and indeed how important and valuable they are, this is from a Dad of triplets and 2 older boys! – A video creating ‘fun family memories.’ Created and directed by their Mum .
– I’m a Daddy and I know it!

What’s it like for a father to deliver his own baby? When Anna Cash unexpectedly went into labour at home, her husband James had but no choice to deliver his son.
“There was a five-minute period that I will always treasure, when the three of us just stayed there on the bathroom floor, Anna and I looking at each other and saying “Oh my God” over and over, trying to take in what had just happened. I can only describe the feeling as an explosion of elation. It was the most magical time. Here we were, with our little one between us, and we had done it all on our own.” James Cash HypnoBirthing Dad – The Telegraph

Some Dads in the Public Eye in Britain

Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls who faces numerous hair-raising situations during the filming of Man vs. Wild, but nothing amazed him more than watching his wife Shara give birth naturally to their third son Huckleberry ‘Huck’ Edward Joscelyne. “Shara had him at home,” notes Bear, – Moms and Babies Magazine

Mo Farah

Just weeks after delighting British crowds by storming to a rare double Olympic gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Farah was celebrating the birth of twin daughters Aisha and Amani.

After being voted Celebrity Dad of The Year by the British public, the 30-year-old said: “I train to be an athlete but there is no training to be a dad and I’m learning all the time. This award shows I must doing something right, which is a real confidence boost!

Farah’s wife Tania gave birth to the twins at the end of August after his golden summer. He dedicated his Olympic medals to the babies. Now his family is one of the biggest pick-me-ups after a hard day’s training.

“The best part (of fatherhood) is being able to come back and see the girls,” he said.
“Even when I’m exhausted from training, I get home and see them and suddenly I feel amazing again.
“To have three beautiful daughters is a blessing that I am grateful for every day.” – The Evening Standard

Prince William

Expectant first time Father Prince William, plans on being by his wife’s Side throughout the birth. According to Grazia Magazine, The Duchess of Cambridge has been reported to be using HypnoBirthing. Using HypnoBirthing helps dads get involved and be an active part of the process. The birth companion’s role in the birthing process can be such an important one. They can support, calm & guide the birthing process, being in control rather than a sidelined player. With HypnoBirthing™, both Mother and Father can work as a team in bringing their baby into the world.

HypnoBirthing will teach the dads as birthing companions:

  • Hypnosis scripts to read to the Mother
  • Massage techniques assist endorphin release
  • Prompting Various Breathing techniques to work with the body
  • Relaxation skills for Expectant Dads & Mums
  • Tips on advocating your birth preferences

They can ultimately feel a valuable team member on the birthing team. A great place to start the parenting journey! More information on how Fathers can make a difference in birthing.

Happy Fathers Day!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Top Five Fun and engaging activities for toddlers in Epsom” By Lindsay Ryan –

“Top Five Fun and engaging activities for toddlers in Epsom”

By Lindsay Ryan
Harmony Tots

We’ve all been there. What do you do with a monster or two when the weather is questionable? Epsom and surrounds have loads of inspiring places to go on a regular basis, on the weekend with the whole family, or that special day out.

1. Soft Play – cost rating £ fun rating ***
There is nothing much higher on a toddler’s favourites list than a bouncy castle. We are spoilt for choice around Epsom with Soft Play venues including Once Upon a Time (in the town centre, so eminently walkable), Jellybugs in the Harrier Centre in West Ewell, Jupiter Jo’s on Cox Lane in West Ewell and Gummy Bears on Ruxley Lane. Costs vary at each location, but the choice on offer means that you and monster will never get bored of the equipment, or yummy food and drink on offer. My personal favourite, despite being the newest on the list is Once Upon a Time, run by Louise Henson. Only open since January this year, it’s well worth trying out, if you haven’t been before!

2. Parks – cost rating 0! fun rating **
We live in a beautiful part of the country and have gorgeous parks on our doorstep. Even if the weather is threatening, bundle up the kids and go for a walk to your local park, or one slightly further than you normally go to. Our local is Court House Recreation Ground, with good playground facilities for younger and older children, plus tennis courts and five a side pitch. Our other favourite is Rosebery Park, feeding the ducks and enjoying the different play equipment on offer. Horton Country Park is fantastic for long walks in the afternoon light, patting the horses if you choose, or finding some late blackberries – yum!

3. Hobbledown – cost rating £££ fun rating **
Horton’s Children’s Farm has been renovated, revamped and rebranded to become Hobbledown – all at immense cost, which they’ve passed onto their customers. I find the entrance prices eye-watering at best, but I’ve been assured the best (only!) way to do it is to get an annual pass. It still doesn’t gain you immediate access in busy periods, but with the immense play barn it is a great idea for hanging out on those long winter days. The new animals outside are good, with meerkats, otters and white wallabies, and a big hit is the outdoor bouncy pillow… can you sense a theme here?

4. Activity classes – cost rating ££ fun rating ***
Classes exist from birth these days, and whether it’s baby massage, sensory, swimming or music and dance lessons you will find lots of them do free taster sessions, or have introductory or booking discounts. Swimming can be found at the Rainbow Leisure Centre or David Lloyd. Massage classes can be found at local Sure Start Centres, and now at Once Upon a Time – same with baby sensory on Saturday mornings too. Music is alive and well with Harmony Tots at Once Upon a Time, as well as bigger businesses Monkey Music and Jo Jingles available at other locations around Epsom. My advice is to pick and choose wisely. Maternity leave is great for spending time and money on a baby, but once they become toddlers, and you possibly head back to work, there is less time available to go to every class on offer! Classes should be fun, engaging and enjoyable for you and the monster!

5. Sure Start Centres – cost rating £ fun rating **
The local Sure Start centre is a great (and cheap!) resource for all kinds of parenting advice, activity sessions and some discounted classes. We go to the Pound Lane one regularly, and I have seen a real growth in the provision. Remember, if we don’t use these centres, the government takes away their funding! We’ve done Baby Boogie Mites, Bumps and Babes and currently the Stay and Play on Wednesday morning. They can get booked up very quickly though, so best to call/book ahead if possible.

Above all, spending quality time with your kids while they are toddlers is ultimately what we’re all aiming to do. It’s not necessary to break the bank each week to entertain them, rather seize opportunities to introduce them to new activities or places when you can – and I must admit, I LOVE getting to jump on a bouncy castle again, because I have a toddler!

Lindsay Ryan
Harmony Tots
Find us on Facebook and Twitter @harmonytots

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“8 Post Birth Calming Techniques” by Marneta Viegas Founder – Relax Kids

“8 Post Birth Calming Techniques” by Marneta Viegas Founder – Relax Kids

Staying as calm and relaxed as possible is important for your health and well-being and tiredness management as well as for your baby. Young children pick up on mother’s stress. Here are some quick tips to help you maintain your inner calm.


Developing your breath awareness will benefit you and the baby. Practice breathing deeply and rhythmically. This can ease muscle tension, lower your heart rate, and help you fall asleep faster. Take in a deep breath and breathe out as slow as you can. Repeat this exercise a few times. Hold your baby and breathe in and out together, following her rhythm.


Massage is a wonderful way to relieve stress and muscle tiredness. Gentle massage techniques can reduce the pain and increase your mobility. Ask your partner or a friend to give you a foot, hand or neck massage before bed. Or treat yourself to a professional massage, making sure the masseuse is a pregnancy specialist. Massage your baby gently so he gets the benefits of a relaxing massage.

Yoga and stretching

Yoga & stretching are great ways to give the body a relaxing treat, whilst keeping you toned and flexible. Many gyms and health clubs offer yoga and stretch classes and some are designed specifically for post-pregnant women. You may like to create your own stretching routine with simple moves for your neck and shoulders, back, waist, and legs. Go easy, be gentle and do what feels good, as any simple stretch will bring relaxation to the muscles.

15 minutes deep relaxation a day

Give yourself 15 minutes everyday, where you turn off the TV and telephone and rest completely. This is a great way to re-charge and bring rest, yet energy to the whole body. Lie down on the floor or bed and allow yourself to relax. Starting with your feet, tense and relax your toes tightly and then relax them. Squeeze your legs tightly and then let them go completely. Tense your arms against your body and then allow them to relax completely. Squeeze your shoulders up to your ears and relax them deeply. Tense the muscles in your face and then relax. Stay there still and allow your whole body to relax deeply.

Classical Music

Relaxing to classical music such as Mozart is the perfect way to help you and your baby relax. Classical music can activate the alpha brainwaves, which help get you into a state of deep inner calm and contentment. Sit or lie down and as you listen to the music, feel as if your whole body is relaxing and sinking into the bed or chair.

Repeat positive affirmations to take you into a relaxed mental state. You can literally trick your body into releasing endorphins and happy hormones by repeating positive affirmations slowly. Try these ‘I am calm and relaxed, I am calm and relaxed. I feel peaceful. I am at peace, I am at peace.’


Aromatherapy is a wonderful way to help lift your mood. Rose oil is a great relaxant, whilst lavender, neroli and nutmeg are deeply calming. Geranium is great to boost your circulation. Use a few drops in almond oil. Oils may be used in the bath, shower, a diffuser or with a massage. Sprinkling a couple of drops of lavender on your pillow may help you get to sleep.


Visualisation is a great way to help you relax. When you have a few moments spare, picture yourself in a quiet, relaxing scene. This might be lying on a warm sandy beach or walking through a rain forest or sitting under a shady tree or by a quiet river bed. Allow your imagination to go into the detail of the scene and include the sounds, smells, tastes, and textures around you. This may take some practice, but keep trying. Once you master this technique you can use your imagination to calm your anxious or restless mind. It is great for you as well as children and a great way to start your baby relaxing.

Relax Kids have produced a CD of simple relaxations mixed with nursery rhymes to introduce relaxation to babies and toddlers.

Little Stars for toddlers and early years

To download the FREE relaxation pack, click here

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stop Smoking with Reigate’s Inspiring Minds Hypnotherapy

Stop Smoking with Reigate’s Inspiring Minds Hypnotherapy

Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and diminishes a person’s overall health.

Sooner or later everyone stops smoking … make that next person YOU!

Some inspiration on what you can achieve …
” Sorry it has taken a while to get back to you – busy week. I haven’t smoked since our 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, very positive.
And as I said I thought the whole session was really positive. Thanks, ” E M Brighton – Sept 2011

With hypnosis we assist you to reduce the desire to smoke by laying down new patterns in your brain. As your thinking changes, so does your behaviour, and relationship to smoking is altered in a positive way. Hypnosis can help rewrite past patterns of behaviour and conditioning very quickly. What’s more, one can heal quickly as non-smokers Indifference to that cigarette what we are after in the ex-smoker. In the same way one can out grow shoes, and styles of clothing, people can ‘growing c out of smoking’ rather than feeling deprived ‘forcing them to quit’. When you were very young and growing your feet grew, then your shoes began to squeeze and the squeezing let you know it was time to give up the old shoes, because they didn’t fit you any more. Smoking squeezes peoples’ lungs, hearts, skins and money. When it’s time to be free, it’s a relief, not a hardship. A true joy and feeling of satisfaction
The British Medical Association (BMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have approved the use of clinical hypnosis as an effective way to stop smoking, lose weight, and otherwise improve their lives.
Hypnosis is 10 times more effective than willpower and 6 times more effective than nicotine replacement in stopping people smoking. While medication has proved slightly more successful, the side effects can be worse than the cravings.
It will only take a maximum of 2 – 3 sessions. Some people have stopped smoking in just one session.

You Will FEEL Greater and LOOK GREAT as a Healthy NON-SMOKER.

10 health benefits of stopping smoking :

* Better breathing
* Longer life
* Whiter teeth
* Less stress
* Improved smell and taste
* Healthier self and loved ones
* Improved fertility
* More energy

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Friday Birth Inspiration : What if … I give birth and feel pure ecstasy?

What if….

I have the most beautiful experience of my life?

I could actually feel a wet, mewing baby on my belly- just after birth- and fall in
love with that feeling forever?

I give birth and feel pure ecstasy?

I give birth as a powerful, free woman?

I claim my right to give birth as my biological destiny impels me to?

I merge victorious, free, sentient, powerful?

My baby never feels anything in her first moments, other than my body, and my

I Breath my baby out into my own hands – and pull her up- and kiss her wet head-
and cry and moan and weep my joy in privacy, darkness and love?

My birth is the most loving, sweet and gentle moment of my life?

I give the birth of my dreams- and feel raw beauty, love and power…

I go on to teach others the sweetness, and beauty of what birth really can be?

The very future rests on our blissful, empowered ‘what if’s’.

We will finally become as powerful, and wise as we are intended to be.

We will change the way the world spins…

Wish you a very Happy Birthing day :)! xx

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inspiring Home Birth Stories… in Surrey, London and Newbury

Inspiring HomeBirth Stories …

Home water HypnoBirth story ..
First time Dad – Newbury November 2011

“Dear Leila,
I think Katie has sent you a text message but just to let you know our daughter Vanille Mae was born on 2nd November 2011 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 Iredale”

Home water Hypnobirth
First time Mum Reigate- February 2011.

“Our little boy was born at 6:10am on Wed 23rd Feb, 7 pounds 12.
After some trouble with midwife cover we eventually managed to have a home waterbirth exactly as planned.”

For about a month prior to the birth of my son baby Zack I was having Braxton Hicks.
On Sunday 20th Feb I had a broken night sleep with cramps in my tummy, this also happened a few time during the day on the 21st and the night again was broken by the cramps.
On the morning of 21st Feb I woke with the contractions getting closer together. I ran a bath and soaked in it playing my hypnobirthing relaxing track, followed by the affirmations.
At 11am I went for my 40 week check up, my midwife told me that I was as I had thought in labour, however informed me that there was no way I would be able to have a home-birth that night as there was a shortage of staff.
I had my water bath already blown up and waiting and was devastated to think I would not get the opportunity to use it. I talked to my baby in my tummy and pleaded that he would not be born until the following day when there would be cover for the home birth. However at 11pm that night the contractions had increased to every 5 mins and were getting more painful, so we ventured to East Surrey hospital.
Once there I was told that I probably wasn’t very dilated as I did not look like a lady in labour I seemed calm and relaxed. When examined I was told I was 5cm dilated. My blood pressure had raised to a 93 (lower) due to coming to the hospital, which compared with 63 when my pregnancy started. I was told that I wouldn’t have been allowed a home birth with my blood pressure this high anyway. The midwife that had taken my blood pressure was the community midwife that would have been attending the home-birth if there was another team member available. She left it a minute and took my blood pressure from the other arm it had reduced to 87 which was better. She said that she was upset as she would have loved to attend a home water birth, she said there was a slight possibility that one of the staff maybe able to be released from the hospital, as it was very quiet that night no one was in labour. She had a quiet word with the chief midwife who very kindly agreed, so off we all went home. My blood pressure had reduced to 76 when I reached home.
During the contractions I did my long slow breathing 20 seconds in 20 seconds out I found this the most valuable breathing technique during my labour, I then used the relaxing breathing between contractions and the J breathing during the final stage.
Once I entered the water at around 2am I played my hypnobirthing CD pretty constantly and I found that I tuned everything else out. I focused on the words on the CD and went into a trance like state. During the contractions I wanted to be left on my own concentrating only on my breathing. The water was wonderful helping to relax me.
At about 4am I entered the crowning stage of the labour, this was very long lasting 2 hours, but was good as my contractions slowed down and were very intense but I did not push when told too, I worked with my contractions, breathing whenever they happened, although slow and painful at this time I was really pleased I listened to my body as Zack arrived at 6am and I only required two stitches which were put in to be on the safe side. I had no drugs at all and thank my hypnobirthing for this.
I never went to hospital and was out walking the following day.
My birthing experience was natural and exactly as I had planned and hoped for.
Leila thank you for bringing hypnobirthing to me and for helping me have the birth I had hoped for
Homebirth 2nd time mum Headley – Jane 2010 – jane
Homebirth 2nd time Mum Headley – Sept 2010 – Vivienne
Homebirth 1st time mum – Langley Vale Oct 2011- Eleanor
Homebirth 2nd time Mum – Horely – July 2012 – Moira
Homebirth 2nd time Mum – Guildford- Jan 2010 – Joanna

Three amazing inspiring non HypnoBirthing Homebirths,
Two of which took place in Lower Kingwood Surrey.

“Baby number 1

I always knew that I wanted a home birth. I believe in doing things naturally and was aware that statistically a home birth was no higher risk than a hospital birth. In fact, some figures suggest that it is even safer. Admittedly, if I lived in the Outer Hebrides I would have had second thoughts, but knowing that I was within 20-30 minutes of the nearest hospital, I had no hesitation in confirming my decision to my GP, who was fully supportive of my decision.
The main reasoning behind my decision was that I was adamant I was not going to be ‘interfered’ with and I did not want any intervention unless absolutely necessary. I really didn’t want to end up having a caesarean and the best way to avoid this I thought was to avoid hospital in the first place! These were not feelings led by any ‘horror’ stories I had heard; in fact, I didn’t know very many friends with babies at that time, it was just the way I felt.
I had all my ante natal appointments at home (although this is not usually the case, I was lucky!), by my allocated midwife and it was wonderful knowing who would be attending to me during the birth since I had met all 3 members of the homebirth team.
I thought about a birthing pool, but decided against it; it didn’t seem all that practical a thing to have hanging around the house for possibly a month! I thought about the pain relief options, though these are limited with a home birth, and decided gas and air would do me. The midwife delivered my home birth kit a few weeks before my due date, so all the things they might need would be ready.
I settled down for a good night’s sleep when during the early hours my waters started breaking. I called my midwife in the morning (a Sunday) and she came over at 9am to assess me. I was having irregular contractions and she advised me to call again once they were at 5-minute intervals. By mid morning this was the case and the 2nd midwife (2 are allocated to each home birth) came to me at 12pm. As soon as she arrived she began to massage my crippling back and it was a wonderful relief. She also ran me a bath and with some hot water top ups from my husband I stayed in there for the next couple of hours. She stayed with me the whole time, gently pouring warm water on to my lower tummy every time I had a contraction, which was a great help. She was also there with some encouraging words!
During the afternoon the 1st midwife also came back and from there on they were with me the whole time, at one point I even had the 3rd pop in! He (yes, he!) kindly offered to cover shift at the hospital for one of the others so that the same 2 midwives could stay with me throughout. Consistency of care is a huge bonus with a home birth. You will have the same midwife/wives throughout your labour and they aren’t going anywhere!
I was quite sick with my labour and didn’t end up with any gas and air, so the whole labour was as natural as could be. Breathing technique was important to help manage the pain and I had already chosen some relaxing cd’s to play during my labour.
My midwives were great. Being my first child I did not know what to expect and so having their support was invaluable. I always felt in safe hands as I was monitored constantly and the baby’s heartbeat checked regularly.
My labour progressed well for a first delivery and at 8.30pm I delivered, after an episiotomy, a rather large boy! I felt so incredibly proud of myself for having such a natural birth and thought it quite funny when the midwife finally offered me some gas and air for my stitches, because “it might hurt a bit”!
It was wonderful to have spent the day in my own house rather than a hospital room, and once I had delivered I was run a bath (in my own bath!) and snuggled up in my own bed with my new baby. The midwives tidied everything up and there was no mess whatsoever!
Baby number 2
When I fell pregnant with my 2nd child, my husband and I both had no qualms about having another home birth. My pregnancy went well. Should I have had any medical ‘issues’ I would definitely have adhered to doctors advice should they have felt a hospital birth would be safer.
Again, although I lived in a different borough, I knew the midwifery team from my antenatal visits, which were at my local GP surgery. I wasn’t allocated a particular midwife this time, whoever was on call at the time, would come out to me.
I went into labour again during the nighttime and waited a little too long this time to call the midwife. I had waited until my contractions were 5 minutes apart before waking my husband and calling the hospital. However, being baby number 2 they progressed rather too quickly from 5 min to 2 min. The midwife did arrive in the nick of time but my advice would be to allow more time 2nd time around!
This delivery was more straightforward in the fact that it was a lot quicker, and no episiotomy was required. I had little chance to practice my breathing techniques since my contractions advanced so swiftly and suddenly I was pushing. There was certainly no time to think about gas and air that the midwife didn’t have anyway. (They have to first collect it from the hospital).
My little girl was not breathing when she was born and was grey in colour. I also only had one midwife with me since there was too little time for another to arrive. However, with some baby massage and suction for her nose and mouth she soon started to breath. She delivered in such a rush and had already passed muconeum so it appears that she just got ‘blocked up’. The midwife was immediately able to deal with this since syringes are part of the home birth kit, so she could clear out my baby’s nose and mouth.
Again, it was great to be in my own environment and this time I had my 3-year-old son downstairs waiting to find out who his sibling was! It was lovely for him to come straight upstairs, from his early morning TV treat to find out that he had a baby sister and to give her a cuddle. My husband could then run him to preschool whilst the midwife stayed with me. With a hospital birth I would have been getting my 3 year old out of bed in the early hours of the morning, or calling a friend, so that he could be looked after.
The doctor came out to check me and the baby in the afternoon (the midwives now do these checks), so we were well looked after.

Baby number 3
Glutton for punishment I went for a 3rd! Again there was no question on where we would like the birth to take place.
I knew the midwives from birth number 2, everything went smoothly with my pregnancy and yet again I went into labour during the night, with almost exactly the same timings as number 2. The midwife had plenty of time to arrive this time since I rang in good time and once she had arrived and assessed me she called for the other midwife to attend.
My other two woke up whilst I was in labour and proceeded to go downstairs, make their own breakfast and get ready for school with some supervision from daddy. He also rang my neighbour to ask her to take them to school and just as she knocked on the door to collect them he was able to announce it was a brother!
This birth was in some ways the most difficult. I now know that that he was 9lb15oz and lying back to back. This was an excruciating experience and I was grateful for the gas and air this time. However, I was able to manage my own labour with the midwives help. If I had been in hospital I think it may have been a different story. My 1st born boy was also large and should I have had an epidural for example I may not have been able to push satisfactorily.
This time the baby’s heart rate did start to slow; I was pushing and pushing and getting nowhere. The midwife declared that the baby needed to come out, NOW, and proceeded to move my position, leaving me thinking, ‘well, I don’t know how it’s going to come out like this?’ Next push, there he was, leaving me no doubt that they do indeed know exactly what they are doing!
I was in my own bed with my new baby, relaxed and comfortable, being expertly cared for. The midwives ran me a bath and looked after me whilst my husband made us all tea and toast. I could get to enjoy my new son in my own familiar comfortable surroundings straight away, with no need to travel anywhere. This has got to be one of the major benefits of a home birth.
I don’t believe home births are for everyone. It should be a calm experience, not a stressful one. The number one consideration for a home birth I would say is managing the pain. You have no access to an epidural and cannot suddenly ask for something the midwife hasn’t got or can’t give in a home environment.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rose visualisation


A poem to assist with visualisation,

…The Rose My cervix is like a rosebud
Ready to Open and blossom

I am nurtured by everyone around me as the rose is nurtured by the soil
The rosebud gradually, ever so softly, opens and blossoms.

I open and blossom.

My cervix is soft and ripe like a rosebud.
I see the outer petals of the rose falling away
I see my cervix yielding like the outer petals of the rose.
Every wave opens another petal of my rosebud cervix.
I welcome each wave, which is opening my rosebud cervix.
I welcome and receive all the nurturing around me, which helps me open.
Just like the warm sun opens the rose, the warmth I receive opens my cervix. I yield and open.

The rose does not resist.
I open and blossom.
~ Barbara Harper “Gentle Birth Choices”

Video of Rose Blossoming

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Optimum Foetal Positioning – Best position for baby in the womb

What is Optimum Foetal Positioning?

* “‘Optimal Foetal Positioning’ (OFP) is a theory developed by a midwife, Jean Sutton, and Pauline Scott, an antenatal teacher, who found that the mother’s position and movement could influence the way her baby lay in the womb in the final weeks of pregnancy. Many difficult labours result from ‘malpresentation’, where the baby’s position makes it hard for the head to move through the pelvis, so changing the way the baby lies could make birth easier for mother and child.

The ‘occiput anterior’ position is ideal for birth – it means that the baby is lined up so as to fit through your pelvis as easily as possible. The baby is head down, facing your back, with his back on one side of the front of your tummy. In this position, the baby’s head is easily ‘flexed’, ie his chin tucked onto his chest, so that the smallest part of his head will be applied to the cervix first. The diameter of his head which has to fit through the pelvis is approximately 9.5 cm, and the circumference approximately 27.5cm. The position is usually ‘Left Occiput Anterior’ or LOA – occasionally the baby may be Right Occiput Anterior or ROA.” Reference .. Optimal Foetal Positioning

** Tips for assisting optimal position …

• Important to keep your back to be upright, when standing or sitting
• Walking around often
• When sitting, keeping Knees lower than pelvis.
• Tummy slightly forward
• Do not cross your legs or ankles esp. in 3rd trimester – reduces the space at the front of the pelvis, and opens it up at the back- baby needs to have lots of space at the front
• Don’t put your feet up! Lying back with your feet up encourages posterior presentation
• Sleep on your side, not on your back.
• Car seats are slanted, and sofas encourage slouching, be aware of your position when you are driving and sitting, going on all fours and polar bear position can assist in getting, and maintain baby in the optimal position, and maintaining good levels of hydration

*** On page 142 of the hypnoBirthing book there is a section on this.

**** The research behind the amazing claim “Hypnotherapy 81% successful to correct breech births” The Hypnotherapy Research for turning breech babies ( head up) , to cepahlic ( head down)

***** Further information from Spinning babies website

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Inspiring, Uplifting Motherhood Quotes, xx Happy Mothers Day xx

Inspiring, Uplifting Motherhood Quotes

* “It is love that brings happiness to people. 
It is love that gives joy to happiness. 
My mother didn’t give birth to me, that love did. 
A hundred blessings and praises to that love.” Rumi

* “ Mother: The Most beautiful word on the lips of mankind.” Kahlil Gibran

* “Heaven lies at the feet of mothers.” Prophet Mohamed

* “There is no influence so powerful as that of the mother”. Sarah Josepha Hale

* “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill.

* “For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world.”-William Ross Wallace

* “Before you were conceived I wanted you, Before you were born I loved you, Before you were here an hour I would die for you. This is the miracle of life.” Maureen Hawkins

* “There is no influence so powerful as that of the mother.” Sarah Josepha Hale

* “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born something absolutely new. ”

* “That best academy, a mother’s knee. ” James Russell Lowell

• Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs, since the payment is pure love.”
Mildred B. Vermont

*”An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest.” Spanish Proverb

* “No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you. ”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment