"In terms of anything I bought pre-baby, this course was hands down the best"
The importance of self-care and time to just be
When I found out I was pregnant with my little boy, I was very happy but also scared.
To say that I was petrified of child birth and labour would be an understatement, which is why my partner and I decided that we would try hypnobirthing as it was something I’d heard a lot about.
Don't get sucked in by 'Fear TV'... giving birth is completely normal
Aislinn Marek from Relax Kids talks introduces her 'Baby Mindful' classes.
Much of the information for expectant parents is based around pregnancy and birth, leaving new mothers and fathers often unprepared for what comes next.
What exactly is hypnobirthing anyway?
It's totally understandable that most women have some degree of fear and anxiety around labour and birth. It's worth taking a little time to think about where you get our fears from and what you can do to reduce them..
Keeping cool while pregnant
The main thing that really drives me mad about hypnobirthing, is the name. There, I've said it.
Blowing my own trumpet
With the temperatures rising, here are a few tips to help you keep cool during pregnancy.
If you can handle the thought of exercise, consider exercising in water. Aqua-natal classes can be a great way of gentle exercising as well as meeting other mums-to-be.
Relaxation tips during pregnancy
Whilst not entirely comfortable 'blowing my own trumpet' I thought it might be useful to draw your attention to two news articles I've been profiled in.
Hypnobirthing is gaining a higher profile, not least through the increasing number of celebrities who are speaking out about how useful they found it, during pregnancy and birth.
Debbie Graham, reflexologist talks about the benefits of reflexology for fertility and pregnancy
I know you're busy, proving that you are still able to work and be pregnant. Enjoying your last weekends of socialising without a baby and getting everything on the list for your new arrival.
Relaxation however is a skill that will serve you well both during pregnancy and in the birth itself. Here are my top five tips for relaxing during pregnancy.
What to pack in your hospital bag
I often get asked what reflexology is, some people come along to their first appointment with very little understanding or knowledge of what to expect or how it works. If you imagine your feet, hands and ears are all mini maps of the body, by contacting and applying pressure on various points, known as reflexes, this sends messages to that part of the body through the central nervous system. As there are thousands of nerve endings on the feet, it is also extremely relaxing therefore bringing the body into a state of balance and rest and digest instead of being in a state of fight or flight. This is so important as we all know that unless our body is in balance it will not be working as optimally as possible.
Lucie Woods, baby photographer talks about photographing newborns
I admit it. Before having children I was a bit of a control freak. Despite having used hypnobirthing to prepare for the birth of my first child, I really believed that if I had everything on the 'list' then the birth would take care of itself - at least as far as the hospital side of things was concerned. Don't pack like I did...as if you are going on a round-the-world trip.
But if you are coming to the end of pregnancy packing your bags and setting them to one side can really help you feel more mentally-prepared. Here are some of the things you might like to think about including:
What makes a good birth
My newborn sessions aren't just about capturing these special memories for my clients to enjoy, I also work very hard in providing them with a wonderful experience to remember during the first few days of their baby's life.
Let me let you into a secret.
Before I was pregnant, over eight years ago now, I knew nothing about birth. Nothing!
I had seen two fictional births on TV. Both stereotypical: waters breaking, dashing to hospital, birthing on the back on a bed, chin to chest with a stressed dad and midwife loudly shouting 'Push!!’
Now I know that this scenario is just a version and that your birth doesn't have to look like that. In fact, despite what we see on shows like 'One Born Every Minute', there are a few simple steps which can contribute towards a much more relaxed and peaceful birth.