A positive birth experience has hugely beneficial effects on you for the rest of your life. It can increase your self-esteem and self-efficacy, mean better acceptance of your role as a mother and strengthens your bond with your baby. Your recollection of your birth experience as either positive or negative, hangs on how in control you felt and the choices you made. So, it pays to be prepared!
“a woman's positive and negative recollections of their birth experiences are related more to feelings and exertion of choice and control than to specific details of the birth experience.”
(Cook and Loomis 2014)
The key to achieving a positive birth experience is to remain at the centre of your birth experience and to be well supported in making the necessary decisions that are right for you and for your baby. But, how do you achieve that? What do you need to do to place you "front and centre"?
Firstly, educate yourself
Taking a prenatal course is the first step in putting yourself front and centre of your birth experience. A birthing class can help you feel confident in your ability to communicate effectively with your caregivers, feel comfortable asking questions and advocating for the care you want. It is important to understand the physiology of childbirth, the complex interplay of your hormones in labour and how your body is perfectly designed to birth your baby.
Being at the centre of your birth experience fits perfectly with the ethos of KG Hypnobirthing, which is to encourage natural childbirth and empower you to be in control. Taking a KG Hypnobirthing course provides a safe space for you and your birth partner to explore what's available to you in pregnancy, birth and on into the early days of parenting. We explore information and practical tools that support you to make informed decisions and communicate more confidently with your caregivers.
Secondly, create a birth proposal
Once you know the birth choices available to you and understand the physiology of childbirth you can move on to preparing a birth proposal. The process of writing your birth proposal encourages you to answer the questions of "what's important to me?" and "what are my choices and alternatives?". With the resources provided by a KG Hypnobirthing Course you are better able to define your preferences, understand your individual needs and make your birth proposal - a proposal that is founded on information and facts rather than fear and assumptions. Using the word proposal rather than plan acknowledges birth doesn't always go the way you hope or expect expect and leaves space for adaptation and change.
Most women either knowingly or unknowingly have an idea of their preferences and how they would like labour to unfold - their birth plan. By, having that proposal in writing you can share it with your caregivers. It is a way of registering your preferences for the process of your labour. Then your wishes can be carried out whilst you concentrate on relaxing, breathing and focusing on the birth of your baby.
Top Tips for Creating Your Birth Proposal
To help you create your birth proposal check out the KGH website where you will find a free interactive birth proposal template.
Thirdly, share your birth proposal
For you to be at the centre of your birth experience everyone involved in your care needs to be supportive of your preferences. So, once you have created your birth proposal it is important to go through it with your birth partner. This enables them to effectively advocate for you in labour.
Then discuss your preferences with your caregivers (midwife or gynaecologist). This gives them the chance to get to know you better and understand your feelings and priorities and provides you the opportunity to ask plenty of questions around your birth. It enables you to find out more about what happens during labour and sets expectations. It also flags up any items that may not be possible or that do not align with their practices or hospital policies. If your caregiver brings up areas of concern, be sure to ask:
After discussing your birth proposal with your caregiver, you should know:
This information helps to provide you with insight on your expectations for birth and whether your caregiver and place of birth is the best choice for your needs.
Provide a copy of your birth proposal to be included it in your file (which will be present at your place of birth during your birth). Additionally, be sure to make a couple of copies to take along with you when you go into labour. Upon arrival at your place of birth, give a copy of your birth proposal to the hospital midwives. Your birth plan also serves as a reminder for those on your birth support team, including your partner, friend/family member, and doula.
Fourthly, be flexible
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan during pregnancy or labour. You need to be flexible and be prepared to do things differently from what you wanted. For example, certain facilities may not be available on the day or there may be complications.
You can talk to your caregivers about what could happen in labour and include your preferences in your birth plan, but don’t worry too much about trying to include everything. Your caregivers should involve you (or your birth partner if necessary) in any decisions that need to be made on the day to make sure your baby is delivered safely.
Yes, you can change your mind!
You can change your mind about your wishes for labour and birth at any time, even during labour if you want to. For example, you may find on the day that you don't want a water birth or that you do want an epidural after all.
Check my blog post Ideas to Help with Your Birth Plan/Proposal for more information and ideas for writing your birth proposal.
The Impact of Choice and Control on Women’s Childbirth Experiences
Katie Cook, MA; Colleen Loomis, PhD
The Journal of Perinatal Education, 21(3), 158–168,
All you can focus on is the birth of your baby.
But, you give birth and then what?
How do you navigate your transition to parenthood and make the whole experience more comfortable and restful?
You focus on your pregnancy, preparing for the birth and building your nest but have you thought about your new life with your baby? No? Then I am going to urge to do just that. Because along with the sweet newborn cuddles and an overflow of congratulations and good wishes come very real challenges, adjustments, and a need for deep healing. I run a New Mum's Drop In for the Brussels Childbirth Trust and I hear again and again how completely overwhelmed many feel and how difficult it can be adjusting to life with a new baby. In fact the whole family go through profound changes with the addition of a new baby. But, with a bit of careful planning and thought you can ease that transition. So, here are some areas to consider:
1. Prepare to rest!
We are constantly bombarded with images new mums doing everything they did before having a baby within weeks or even days of the birth and generating feelings of guilt and inadequacy. You have just spent 9 months growing and birthing your baby and you need time to recover and heal. Your body has been through a profound physical experience. You may be recovering from surgery or tending to a very tender perineum. Beyond just the physical experience of giving birth, your mind and heart will need space and time to process and adjust.
So, set yourself up to rest! Create an environment where you can stay in your pajamas' mooching around at home and cuddling your baby for several weeks. Make a plan for the chores and general housekeeping - prioritise what needs to be done daily, weekly, monthly, what can be ignored, what can be outsourced. Do this with your partner if you have one - your priorities may differ so some compromise may be required on both sides. If you are outsourcing the cleaning, laundry, walking the dog do the research and set up the service or ask your family and friends before your baby is born. Then:
BUILD YOURSELF A NEST!
A cosy place in your home. It could be your bed or sofa (or both). Somewhere where you surround yourself with all that you need to be comfortable for long periods of time. Snacks, water, nappies/wipes, phone charger, Netflix, warm blankets, extra pillows, cushions and clothing for you and your baby..... If you have a partner or a postpartum doula, ideally they can be in the nest with you and give you lots of opportunities for rest and connection. They can also take responsibility for keeping your nest clean, fresh and well stocked.
2. Manage visitor expectations
who, when, and for how long?
This is a biggie especially with the ex-pat mum's I meet (their families arrive in succession and stay for weeks often in a tiny appartement) but is something all new parents need to wrestle with and something you really need to discuss with your partner before your baby is born.
Your home is your haven, your safe space and just as it is wise to choose carefully who is at your birth, choosing who visits your new family can make a world of difference. Usually, a new mum KNOWS who she wants around (their own parent, a sibling, a trusted friend, a postpartum doula) and who she would prefer to have space from. It may be helpful to think about two kinds of visitors:
those who will show up and be there for you
the ones there for you will gladly wash dishes, sort laundry, make you a meal, give you time to share your feelings and hold your baby while you take a shower, and happily give the baby back to you afterwards.
those that just really want to see the baby
there to see your baby, although well-meaning, may make you feel like you need to host them. This may cause you more stress and be exhausting. If these visitors are coming, it may be best to limit how long they come and be honest about your needs and the needs of you and your baby to rest together.
For some people, setting strong boundaries may be tricky and take some practice. It may be easier to set firm boundaries that you can relax over time than less clear boundaries that leave you feeling vulnerable.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but when caring for a tiny baby and trying to rest yourself it can easily get overlooked!
Decide what works best for your family
There is no right answer, but a little planning ahead of time will make the first couple of weeks so much easier. Even if you and your partner LOVE to cook, assume you won’t have time early on (and maybe a fresh home-cooked meal can happen when one of those "for you" visitors comes by!)
Maybe you can ask a few friends or family members to drop round a cooked meal. Probably a good idea to get them to stagger their pre-made or frozen meals over the weeks and months. You don't want to be overwhelmed. A meal train is a great idea that a friend or family member can easily set up. Check out Meal Train
Meal kits like HelloFresh may seem like a good idea but maybe best avoided. It’s a lot of reading, standing, and actual cooking. Meal services that deliver “heat and eat” meals make much more sense during this time.
And don’t forget about bite size snacks. Foods you can eat with one hand. It’ll be a while before you have both hands free for eating.
4. Stock up on supplies
New parents have got to be the most marketed-to group of people ever! So how do you decide what you really need to have on hand early on? And you know what it is really very little. In general, babies need you, nappies, a car seat, and some clothing. You on the other hand need supplies that will support your healing and some tools for feeding. Extra-large maxi pads, or postpartum absorbent underwear like Thinx, soothing sprays or sitz baths, a peri bottle, and some witch hazel pads can help you feel comforted and covered. You might even freeze a few maxi pads soaked in witch hazel for the first few days when you need the most care. Talk with your midwife about postpartum pain medication, they will likely recommend you have some available for when you get home. You might even consider a TENS machine for the post natal cramping. Your breasts will need some care so breast pads. If you are breastfeeding you may like to purchase a breast pump - again a good idea to seek the advice of your midwife. While not every new nursing mum needs to pump, early on you may find you are using your pump to encourage your supply or manage engorgement. If you decide to have a few bottles on hand, look for those with the slowest flow nipple. And lastly for both you and your partner a soft wrap baby carrier or a soft-structured baby carrier can be a game-changer. Seek out your local sling library such as the one run by the Brussels Childbirth Trust where you can try before you buy.
And don't forget all those basic household items - toilet rolls, cleaning supplies, toiletries, tea bags, coffee, pet supplies and store cupboard basics (pasta, rice, tins of soup). Set up an online shopping account with your favourite supermarket and get them delivered.
5. Connect with professional support
When you are first home with a newborn–especially if you are experiencing pain or feeding is getting off to a rocky start you will want help at your fingertips. So, set yourself up with postnatal care well in advance - a midwife, lactation consultant, postpartum physiotherapist, postpartum doula, dog walker, sibling care, and house cleaning. If you are already seeing a psychologist or counsellor, great! If not, know that many new parents benefit from mental health support after birth either individually, as a couple so it might be an idea to know what support is available.
6. Rest some more
It is very common to rest early on after birth and then start to feel ready to be up and about only to find yourself exhausted again! By all means, start to take walks, leave your nest and enjoy the company of friends and family, but also know that healing in postpartum isn’t linear. You may have a busier day only to find that the next one you prefer to spend cuddling your little one in bed. Give yourself permission to slow down anytime and be sure your loved ones understand that too.
7. Take time for yourself and your partner
This can be tough—especially with your first baby! Your whole world has truly changed overnight. A warm shower, a solo nap, a podcast, a chat with a friend, or a short walk. Think about what you enjoy and let your partner or support people know that you will need that time every day. While loving your new baby can be incredible and all-encompassing, a few minutes to step away to refresh and re-connect with yourself may be very necessary. Remember it is an overwhelming change for your partner as well. Their need to step away and refresh also needs to be factored in. Similarly building new routines with your partner can help your relationship grow as you transition into your new roles. Maybe you walk together every morning or snuggle with your baby together every evening. What you can do together each day?
8. Give yourself love
Be gentle on yourself!
This comes easily to some people and harder for others. You are truly amazing even if it doesn’t always feel that way. Be kind to yourself! Many of us are conditioned to feel like being successful is getting things done. During this tender time, you will do so much, but it may not be things that you can easily check off a list or that tangibly move your life or career forward. The newborn phase is over in a flash. Prepare yourself for a deep dive into rest, eating food you love, enjoying showers and short walks, and surrounding yourself with people that are committed to taking care of you. Allow yourself to speak your emotions freely to your partner, a trusted friend, or an empathic professional. In a new family, the postpartum parent is the center and should get loved and cared for with the utmost respect.
Preparing for the postpartum period includes having a sense of what may come and being open for the changes ahead. Self-care, communication, and professional support go a long way in making this time more manageable. And all this planning starts with honest conversation both with your partner or nearest and dearest. Conversations that set expectations and clear both physical and emotional space ready for your new baby to fill.
If you are considering doing a hypnobirthing course you may be wondering – what if a natural birth isn’t possible, is it still worth it?
The short answer is YES!
You can still use all your hypnobirthing skills no matter how your birth turns out.
"Although I did not have a “traditional” hypnobirthing delivery, I would not have made it through without what we learnt"
Janine's birth story after premature rupture of membranes
Many people feel that hypnobirthing is only for a natural birth, or for a certain type of woman, and that it means no medical pain relief or that you must have a water birth. But, none of this is true. What is true is that...
KG Hypnobirthing can increase the likelihood of having a positive birth with less need for pain relief and the potential for a shorter labour
if you have special circumstances that dictate a medicalised birth, KG Hypnobirthing can support you every step of the way
you can birth however you want, with whoever you want!
So, are hypnobirthing classes worth it? If a positive birthing experience is important to you, the value of what you’re about to learn to bring a healthy baby into the world in calm and nurturing environment, will be priceless. Plus, a calm mum means a calm baby!
"I can conclude that even though it was everything that I didn’t want....it was still a beautiful experience."
(RB's birth after caesarean)
How to Have A Positive KGHypnobirthing Caesarean
The short answer is a resounding YES!
When I find research to support my passion for hypnobirthing I smile and rejoice. I know from listening to my clients birth stories using hypnobirthing techniques has a positive effect on a woman's birth experience. But having piece of research that backs that up means it is not just me shouting into the wind. I have something concrete to offer the sceptics. If you are that sceptic read on:
Buran G, Aksu H. Effect of Hypnobirthing Training on Fear, Pain, Satisfaction Related to Birth, and Birth Outcomes: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Clinical Nursing Research. 2022;31(5):918-930. doi:10.1177/10547738211073394
The bottom line was that women using hypnobirthing experienced less birth interventions, shorter labours and higher birth satisfaction scores!
Happy to chat if you have questions or want to book a course - PM Me!
“If only I knew then what I know now – how different it all might have been....
Most of us have had times in our lives that cause this phrase to resonate around in our heads causing a plethora of feelings, occasionally positive but more often negative: inadequacy; regret sorrow; sadness. I wonder for many women if this rings most true with their experience of childbirth. I know it does for me. In many ways society sets us up to expect childbirth to be horrifically painful and of a woman not being able to cope. We are bombarded with images in the media of childbirth being a medical event involving much screaming, shouting, panic and above all a painful experience that requires drugs to take the pain away. Then to top it all friends, family and sometimes complete strangers are desperate to impart their bad birth experiences to you as soon as they know you are pregnant. To hear the “gentle birth” stories - the stories where babies are born peacefully in an atmosphere of calm and where the power of childbirth is embraced you need to be inquisitive. You need to actively seek them out. Many of us only search out these “gentle birth” stories second time around when the “if only” echoing in our minds drives us to understand better and take control.
What do I know now? What’s my “if only”?
It is that the "pain" of labour is a normal side-effect of a natural process. The pain is simply the consequence of a woman’s body working hard and a sensation that tells you all is going well – whereas in most other contexts of our lives pain is seen as negative and treatable with a variety of drugs and interventions. By understanding the physiology of labour and the intricate interplay between you, your baby and your hormones helps to break the “fear - pain cycle” and allows you to work with the pain, decreasing fear and making the sensations of childbirth more bearable and labour more efficient and shorter.
the "pain" of labour is a normal side-effect of a natural process
So, what is available to help you take control of your labour and minimise the chances of an “if only” birth experience?
The good news is there are many things you can do do take control of your labour AND they are simple, logical, easy to master and involve: continuous emotional support, movement and position, labouring in water, breathing techniques, relaxation, massage, TENS. Couple these techniques with knowledge and information, you have a powerful alliance, enabling you to make informed decisions and be in control of your birth experience.
Research has shown that it's important for women in labour to have emotional support. This means encouragement, reassurance, a trusted person to listen to you and just be there. For most women this would be their partner, for others it will be a friend or close family member. Making sure that you have the right person to support you will help you cope with the pain and discomfort of labour more easily. Studies (Cochrane 2017) have shown that with continuous birth support you are:
Continuous support could be provided by an independent midwife, doula or in Belgium a physiotherapist.
Position and Movement
Gravity is your friend! It is a powerful force, so don't fight it.
Staying upright keeps labour hormones flowing and gives your baby maximum room to manoeuvre. Movement – walking, swaying – also lends labour a helping hand. Being upright and mobile maximises your body’s ability to give birth and there are no downsides you are doing what comes naturally.
Breathing and Relaxation
Breathing and relaxation techniques are fantastic at reducing stress and helping you stay calm. They relieve tension in muscles and make sure oxygen is channelled to your hard working uterus and baby. Breathing techniques used during contractions can provide a focus that reduces the sensation of pain.
Massage releases tension and provides reassurance and comfort while at the same time encouraging the flow of birth hormones. It is non-invasive, can be started and stopped easily and involves your partner in your labour.
Most hospitals are able to offer you the chance to labour in water and it is possible if you choose to have a home birth. Water soothes pain and, in a large birthing pool, supports you, enabling you to glide into any position. A hot shower on your back or a warm bath at home can help too. Women who labour in water need fewer interventions and are less likely to need other drugs. It is a drug-free option and works well but sometimes it can slow down labour, particularly if you get in too early. You also need to make sure the water feels warm but not hot. Having an epidural or using a TENS are not possible in water. If you would like to actually go on to birth you baby in water you need to discuss it with your caregivers - gynaecologist or independent midwife and see if it is an option they are able to support.
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
A TENS machine is a small battery operated device that transmits mild electrical impulses to pads on your back The electrical pulses are thought to stimulate nerve pathways in the spinal cord which block the transmission of pain messages to your brain. On the plus side TENS can act as a distraction, with many women finding it effective in early labour, what’s more you are in control. You can move about freely and you may use the TENS at home, keeping it on when you go into hospital. There is some evidence that women using TENS are less likely to rate their pain as severe and women cope better with contractions. The downsides are that you will need your partner to help you place the pads on your back using it in water is a no and some may find the sensation irritating. Also you may need to remove the TENS if you have a CTG (cardiotocograph – a form of electronic monitoring of your baby). But, it is non-invasive and has no side effects for you or your baby.
TENS machines are available to hire from the BCT.
How do hypnobirthing techniques help break the fear-pain-tension cycle?
Hypnobirthing is a powerful combination of all of the above. It is so much more than just a few relaxation and breathing techniques. Lots of simple, little things (you can't be doing complicated things when you are giving birth) and then practicing them. The more you practice how to quieten your mind and relax the more deeply relaxed you become and the easier it is to relax. So, you practice, practice, practice! When it comes to your baby's birthday you will be able to access the hypnobirthing tool box take out the right technique for you and use it with skill and understanding.
Within a KG Hypnobirthing Course, we create space for you to release any fear you have accumulated about childbirth (breaking the fear-pain-tension cycle) and building confidence in your body to birth your baby. Hypnobirthing encompasses:
At the end of the day every labour is different and you should be able to choose whatever you need to help you work with the pain of labour. Give yourself a chance of avoiding the “if only” by:
KGH gives you the tools to achieve the best birth for you!
Mother, Wife, Hypnobirthing Teacher, First Aid Instructor and so much more...
Being an ex-pat can be lonely and overwhelming. Throw a new baby into the mix and those feelings are magnified 100 fold. I would have been lost without the BCT when we arrived in Belgium with a 3 month old baby and a stroppy teenager. For my family it provided a space to build a 'family' of friends who have shared our ex-pat journey through thick and thin over the last 16 years. It is a fabulous organization.
It is my pleasure to offer my KG Hypnobirthing Group Courses through the BCT. It means new mum's and their partners are immediately linked into a network of kind and supportive fellow ex-pats as they settle into family life away from their family and friends back home.
If you would like to get a sneaky peak of the Brussels Childbirth Trust's new home 'The Clubhouse' in Ixelles, Brussels then check out their website and watch the new video from BRUZZ
Giving yourself permission to relax and nurture yourself and your baby is not a luxury!
Sharing hints and tips to manage the postnatal period
What are your pyjamas like, a bit tatty, out of shape, grey from the wash with elastic showing the strain? Uhm time to buy a new pair I think...........
We all have days when if we listened to what our bodies were telling us and we went along with how we truly felt we would end up spending a quiet day on the sofa in our pyjamas (PJ's) nibbling on treats, dozing and taking time out to recharge our batteries and who would want to do that in tatty PJ’s? But, we don’t listen to our inner voice and take a pyjama day, do we? We battle on regardless and often pay the price with illness maybe physical or mental and for new mum's that means postnatal depression.
Never are PJ days more important than in the weeks after your baby’s born, a time to nurture and be nurtured as you bond with your baby, adjust to motherhood and establish breastfeeding. It is a time for your body to heal, a time to wear your PJ’s as a uniform that gives a subliminal message to others - you are not ready to engage in the real world. You are absorbed in caring for your baby and need to be looked after. In the Western world we seem to have lost sight of this and there is enormous pressure to get back into our skinny jeans, look like a film star at the Oscars and behave like a superhero as soon as possible after birth - setting us up to struggle. In many areas of the world this concept of rest and nurturing a woman after childbirth is written into their customs and rituals but this is certainly not the case everywhere!
Taking time out for PJ days and just being with your baby has important benefits for you with your baby, by not being distracted by outside stimuli or exposed to too many germs and benefits for you that include protection against postpartum depression and easier physical recovery.
According to Karen Kleiman the period after birth is a time when you are most vulnerable to emotional illness. Failure to take care of yourself adequately can create the perfect opportunity for a serious depression to set in. No one likes to think about that. But the truth is mothers don't spend enough time thinking about how they feel. Understandably, most of your spare energy goes toward caring for your baby. But, the facts are clear, if you take care of yourself, you will strengthen the resources that will enable you to take better care of your baby.
The benefits for breastfeeding of having a prolonged period of PJ days after birth are tangible with enhanced breast milk production. Nancy Mohrbacher, an international board – certified lactation consultant, says it is very intense to care for a newborn in the first forty days. Your baby is feeding around 8-12 times a day with feeds taking as long 40 minutes and those are not evenly spread over a 24 hour period but in clusters, when you are literally routed to the spot feeding your baby for what seems like hours. There’s not much time for anything else. Giving in to this process and feeding on demand in a relaxed and nurturing environment is essential as it helps establish your milk supply. It’s a simple case of supply and demand. The amount of new milk created depends on how much has been taken out. It takes about 6 weeks for Mum and baby to get the hang of breastfeeding, slowly feeling more co-ordinated and getting easier and faster.
Ok, so in the crazy, mixed up world we live in, often away from our close family forty days in pyjamas recuperating and resting confined to the house is for most of us unrealistic, more's the pity. But, with planning and organisation before your baby is born and working as team with your partner you can manage to create that vital breathing space as you adjust to motherhood. So, here are a few things to bear in mind:
1. Visitors (and in ex-pat land they come and stay for weeks being both a blessing and a curse) should be kept to a minimum. The permitted few should bring a cool bag full of meals for the family – or, even better, take any older children out for a few hours. When someone asks what they can do to help — tell them. This is no time to be a martyr or to suffer in silence. If someone in your family or a friend has offered to assist you in some way, don't be afraid to tell them exactly what you would like them to do. Remember: NO ONE comes to visit without leaving you in a better state than when they arrived, at the very least, bringing cake and making the tea
2. Nurture yourself It's really true. It can feel wonderful if you pamper yourself a little. Whatever it takes, manicure, pizza, long-distance phone call, hair-cut, a good book..... You will never find a better excuse to indulge in self-absorbed and perhaps, frivolous projects. (Remember, if you feel guilty about this, you will be defeating the purpose.) So, enjoy and go for it!
3. Sleep If your baby is getting you up at night, it is especially important for you to find time to rest during the day. That means, when your baby naps, you do not do the laundry or clean the floor. It means, you rest! If you can't sleep, then lie down on the couch, close your eyes and try to relax. Your body needs time to recharge.
4. Eat nutritiously Eating well is one of the best ways to fortify your resources. Skinny jeans can wait. This is especially important if you are breastfeeding. Don't forget to watch out for excessive amounts of high-sugar snacks and caffeine. Both can cause you to feel jittery and anxious.
5. Exercise moderately Try to get out and walk if you are not interested in regular aerobic activity. The fresh air will feel wonderful and the exercise will help keep you in shape and feeling good.
6. Stay in touch with friends Spend time with family and friends that you feel most comfortable with. Try to maximize the time you spend with people who will support you and help you out, if necessary. Isolation can increase feelings of loneliness and depression — try to stay connected with important relationships.
7. Try not to pressure yourself thinking that everything has to be done right now. Unfortunately, if you are used to getting things accomplished and prefer to be in control at all times (and who doesn't!), then this may prove to be particularly difficult for you. If procrastinating is just not your style, you may have to learn to let go a little bit and realize that some of the things that you want to take care of NOW, are just going to have to wait.
8. Learn how to say "no" Setting limits is not an easy thing to do. But this is not the time to do favours for other people or for others to take advantage of how accommodating you may be. You may find it necessary to say, "I would love to help you out, but today is not a good day for that” or “Yes I would love you to come over and see the baby but I'm really tired today. Maybe we can make plans for another time."
9. Simplify everything Laundry can wait. Your bed doesn't have to be made every day. Take-out dinner is fine. Everything doesn't have to be 100% perfect right now. Try to let go of your expectations that everything be exactly the way it was before the baby. It's not.
Giving yourself permission to relax and nurture yourself and your baby is not a luxury. It is vital to your well-being and you may be surprised at how wonderful it feels! So, go on treat yourself buy a new pair of PJ’s, make them the most beautiful you can afford and wear them with pride as you undertake the most important job in the world, nurturing a new life, everything else can wait.
“What should I expect in the first 40 days of breastfeeding?” Nancy Mohrbacher: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pDRJ-29EGQ
Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett (2010) "Breastfeeding Made Simple Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers" New Harbinger Publications Inc
“Taking Care of Mom after the Baby Comes” Karen Kleiman www.firstbabymall.com/expecting/parenting/mothercare.htm
Mother, Wife, Hypnobirthing Teacher, First Aid Instructor and so much more...
Maybe yes, maybe no. It's about being in control and making decisions that are right for you. Couple that with a toolkit of skills you can draw on to support you and help you stay calm and relaxed a whole new world of inner confidence opens up. Skills to use whether you are birthing your baby or riding the worlds fasted zipline....
"you've got more guts than me"
"wow that looks scary"
Those were some of the comments made by friends when I posted on Facebook pics of me riding Velocity 2, the worlds fasted zip line. (www.zipworld.co.uk/adventure/velocity)
When the man harnessing me onto the line asked "are you scared?" I was able to say with complete honesty - absolutely not, why would I be?
And do you know why I wasn't scared about hurtling down a zipline at 100 miles an hour? - because I put in the work and used all the techniques I teach in my hypnobirthing courses to help me stay calm and relaxed. Because I knew if I was calm and relaxed rather than scared and anxious I would have more fun.
The Velocity 2 experience is eye wateringly expensive, the ride takes just 45 seconds. A once in a life time. So, I wanted to enjoy and fully embrace every single precious second. Had I been scared and fearful I would have missed the exhilarating feeling of flying, seeing the world from a birds perspective, cheering on my daughter as she overtook me on the other line, the feeling of the air rushing past my ears. It was extraordinary.
So what did I do to put me in a state of calm confidence?
In hypnobirthing classes talk about making informed decisions that are right for you and your baby. We use our BRAINS! So I used my BRAIN
Benefits: What were the benefits? - it was a once in a life time experience that I will remember for the rest of my days and one I can share with my daughter.
Repercussions or Risks: What were the risks? - the risk of something bad happening during the ride was negligible. It was not in the company's best interest to set me up to have an accident on their attraction. So, they put in place numerous safety measures to absolutely minimize their risk. I could see this in practice at every step from putting on the harness, to being attached to the line. Everything was double checked by 2 people and they kept a close eye on the weather conditions. If I didn't do it I would forever regret it: yet another thing to be added to my list of "if only's".
There are benefits and risks to everything we do. We need to know them and that includes the benefits and risks of not doing something. Only then can we make an informed decision.
Risk is individual, what I see as risky you may not.
Alternatives: What are the alternatives? for me the only alternative was not doing the ride....
There are always alternatives, to every suggestion. You need to find out what they are so you can work out what is best for you.
Information/Instincts: I had the information from the company website about how they would keep me safe and I trusted my instincts....
Listen to your instincts, they will more often than not lead you in the direction that is right for you
Nothing: is doing nothing an option to consider? for me doing nothing was not an option, today was the day! I had been wanting to do the zipline since it opened but I couldn't justify the cost, family stuff got in the way. I put it off and off and off....
Doing nothing does not mean DOING NOTHING, EVER! It's about taking time. Pausing and being patient is often the best course of action.........
Smile: smiling releases oxytocin that makes you feel good - who doesn't want a drop of that! So I smiled!
But, I didn't stop at using my BRAINS. After using my BRAINS and making the decision to go ahead I used 3 of the techniques I teach in my hypnobirthing classes: breathing, positive affirmations and visualisations......
Breathing: Having said smiling releases oxytocin the hormone of calmness and feeling happy so does breathing. Before I stepped forward to be attached to the zipline I took 3 deep, slow breaths - in through my nose and out through my mouth and then again as I was hanging waiting to be released.
Positive Affirmations Then to add an extra level of calmness I used positive affirmations during my breaths - I am confident , I am awesome.
Visualisation And finally (just to be sure) I ran the experience through in my mind visualising myself on the zipline laughing and having fun.
So, I put in the work, did my preparation and set myself up to have a fabulous time and guess what I DID!
In a KG Hypnobirthing course we explore how you can apply all these techniques to the birth of your baby, setting you up to feel empowered and to birth your baby in calm confidence or skydive from 10000 feet...skills for life not just for birth.
Mother, Wife, Hypnobirthing Teacher, First Aid Instructor and so much more...