Mabel's Birth Story

A wonderful birth story for you from a powerful mother. The lovely Gemma and Liam came to my Faversham group class when pregnant with their second baby. This is such a wonderful read and a real testament to Gemma's strength and determination to birth her daughter feeling empowered, confident and supported so beautifully by Liam. Their plans changed not once but multiple times but I will let Gemma tell you all about that! I challenge you to remain dry eyed when you read this (I didn't!) Love Sophie x 


Mabel's Birth Story:

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter I was never particularly afraid of giving birth, I assumed it wouldn’t be pleasant but it would only be a day out of my life and I would get through it. My husband and I didn’t really prepare for the birth with regards to making it a more personal experience, we mostly found out about the process and pain relief methods. When it came to it, it wasn’t exactly straightforward. She was back to back and I couldn’t keep down any food or water due to continuously vomiting. That, combined with a few other issues, and I think both myself and my husband panicked a bit as we felt totally out of our depth.

When I became pregnant with our second daughter I was actually quite fearful of giving birth again and looked into hypnobirthing as a way to help. I felt a bit of a fraud when enquiring about the Kent Hypnobirthing course, like it should only be for first time mums and as it was our second time around I should have this whole birthing malarkey down! I communicated this in my enquiry and the lovely Ray replied and told me that in fact both her and Sophie had only come to hypnobirthing on their second births which really reassured me.

We took the course in Faversham with Sophie and both found it really helpful. It even made me view my first birth in a more positive light. Yes, our first birth wasn’t ideal but we got through it and had our beautiful daughter! We spent the next couple of months preparing for birth in a way we didn’t with our first. I listened to the MP3s and definitely took on Sophie’s advice about relaxing every day! We spent a really good evening choosing our birth playlist and discussing the pros and cons of each track, we took it very seriously! They had to be (on the whole) positive, not too fast and mostly mean something to the both us. We loved the playlist so much that we both listened to it in the lead up to the birth for our own enjoyment and I think it will continue to be one of our favourite playlists going forward which will be lovely as it has a whole new set of memories attached to it now.

We decided this time we would like to have a home birth and hire a pool as I wasn’t able to have a water birth the first time around and due to lack of rooms available, I had to labour on a full ward for a few hours which wasn’t the best. We planned the lighting, aromatherapy oils, music and we were really feeling positive about the whole thing until I had my 36 week scan which showed that the baby was estimated to be over the 95th percentile for weight. This meant that there was an increased risk of shoulder dystocia and at our home birth risk assessment we were advised not to have a home birth. Although I knew that I couldn’t be refused a home birth, we felt more comfortable listening to the medical advice in our case. We pushed to be able to go into the midwife led unit which is located in the ward next to the delivery suite in our hospital but the 95th percentile was over their guidelines and although they do judge each case on its own merit, they had recently had a bad case of shoulder dystocia and so weren’t willing to make an exception. 

Our plans changing from the lovingly planned home birth to going back to the delivery suite really set me back, much more than I thought it would. At 36 weeks pregnant and after weeks of feeling really positive and confident, I found myself feeling fearful of giving birth again. I contacted Sophie who was so helpful with practical advice about different people to contact and sending me positive birth stories. She reminded me to listen to the tracks and use my affirmations and generally start to focus again. My husband was brilliant at being positive about the change of plans and worked hard to reassure me that it didn’t have to be like last time and we could make a delivery suite birth into the kind of birth we had hoped for. Slowly I started to come round to the idea and ended up feeling back in control and positive about our change of plans.

I was scheduled for another scan at 39+6 and this time it showed the baby was on the 93rd percentile so I could now go to the midwife led unit or have a home birth. However, due to the fact the baby was still measuring large we decided to go to the midwife led unit as we were very close by in case there were any complications.

The night before I went into labour I had no indications of what was to come, I was actually joking with my husband about how lazy our little girl was being as she just didn’t seem to want to make a move to join us just yet! My husband wanted to try out some acupressure techniques that he found on YouTube that were meant to trigger labour (he is still convinced that’s what happened in our case!). So at 10pm while massaging my very swollen feet, he did a few of these acupressure techniques and we went to sleep. I woke up at 2am with some tightenings but I wasn’t sure whether it was just strong Braxton Hicks again as I had had this a few times in recent weeks. I went downstairs to sit on my birth ball and start listening to our playlist (I think I really I knew this was it which is why I started listening to the playlist). About half hour later I realised that my waters were starting to trickle when I stood up so I went to put on a pad. After a few more trickles I realised that my waters were very slightly yellowy so I called the midwife led unit and after listening to me experience a surge and hearing that my waters were a bit yellow, they advised me to go and see the assessment unit at the delivery suite in case I had meconium in my waters but that if I didn’t, they would be happy to have me.

I called my mum to come and look after our daughter and she was over in 15 minutes while my husband and I gathered our things. At this point I was having a tightening about every 8 minutes but I was fully expecting them to slow down with the transfer to hospital and to be sent back home to labour for longer. When we got in the car we put our playlist on and began the drive. It was definitely uncomfortable being forced to sit down during my surges. I wanted to lean forward but couldn’t find a safe way of doing this in the car. We arrived at the hospital just after 4am and I had to stop a few times on the walk to the delivery suite and lean on the wall to breathe through my contractions. They seemed to be coming more regularly than they were at home which briefly made me think about my previous labour (irregular but frequent contractions as she was back to back). However I made myself focus on the present and remember that this time didn’t have to be the same. We got to the delivery suite and we were taken into a room to be assessed. The midwife took away my pad to test my waters for meconium and unfortunately it did have it in which meant I wasn’t able to go to the midwife led unit or use the pool. Despite how much the thought of this scenario bothered me in the last few weeks I found that it didn’t actually phase me when it came down to it, with the help of my husband I remained focused on breathing through my surges and just staying present. The midwife wanted to just observe me for a while to see how I was doing but also wanted to monitor the baby to make sure she wasn’t in distress due to the meconium. I said that I wanted to stay active and she said that would be OK after she’d been able to monitor her for a little while. Laying on the bed was not great, my body wanted to move around and I found I was in a lot of pain laying back. Around this time my blood pressure was taken and found to be really high, I also started vomiting so I agreed to have an anti sickness shot as I didn’t want to become dehydrated like I was in my first birth. When the anti sickness kicked in I was given some medication to bring down my blood pressure too as they were quite concerned with how high it was.

After a little while, during one contraction, laying on the bed all became too much and I just had to get up during it, I physically couldn’t lay back on the bed any longer as it was going against everything my body was telling me to do. The midwife then put the clip on the baby’s head to monitor her and that allowed me to move around more freely which was much better. My surges were now coming about 4 times every 10 minutes and I was on gas and air. I was surprised at how quickly I seemed to be progressing, especially as my previous birth had lasted 3 days! It wasn’t long after I reached the ‘transition’ point where I thought I couldn’t do it and started asking for an epidural. My husband and the midwife kept reassuring me how well I was doing and that I was doing it and soon I found myself really going into my own little zone. I was on the bed on my knees, leaning over the head of the bed and rocking my hips. It was not a conscious decision, my body was just taking over and it felt good to listen to what it wanted to do. I focussed on listening to the music and began to zone out everything else in the room. Then in what seemed like no time (but in reality it must have been a while!) I remember “coming round” a bit and starting to hear the midwife talking to me about pushing. I really tried to focus on what she was saying and follow her coaching. It felt really challenging but also like I was in control, totally different to my previous birth. Then at 9.13am, our little Mabel was born weighing 9lb 6oz. The relief after was amazing, it’s like I came from being somewhere far away to being back in the room again. After she had been checked I lay down on the bed and we had our first cuddle and feed, it was amazing how quickly and easily she latched on. 

I am so glad that we chose to do the hypnobirthing course with Sophie, I don’t know what would’ve happened if we hadn’t but without the support I think Mabel’s birth would’ve been very different.  It allowed both myself and my husband to have confidence in ourselves and our choices. It really did bring me a sort of closure with regards to my first birth too and as we are not planning on having any more children I feel like I went out on a high! 

Why Mindful Breastfeeding Works

I'm so excited to be sharing this blog and this project with you all! For those of you in our Facebook Group Calm Birth Kent, you may have noticed that I've been a little quiet in there recently. Well a large part of that has been down to developing and filming this amazing resource with the wonderful Anna, Lactation Consultant extrardinaire. I can't wait to share the course it in full with you all VERY SOON but for now, over to Anna to share what a difference the approach we have developed makes in her practice all ready.

The most amazing transformation has happened to my work as a lactation consultant over the past months. It’s enhanced my practice, given me a load of new tools to use with my clients and undoubtedly improved the outcomes for every mother I have worked with.

Back in the early spring of 2017 I met up with my friend Ray for a coffee and a catch up at our favourite cafe. We always enjoy checking in with each other to catch up on our businesses and refer clients to each other, but rarely get the chance in our busy busy family and working lives. We discussed the possibility of starting some breastfeeding classes together.  Ray already runs hypnobirthing classes and also works as a volunteer breastfeeding counsellor. We have volunteered together in the past and made a cracking team, supporting Mums and having a great time doing it.   I was hoping that with our shared knowledge and experience we could put together a meaningful course on breastfeeding for pregnant women and their partners.

As the months went by and we started to put this course together we realised that this it was going to be something quite different. In our daily work with women the emotional side of breastfeeding and parenthood is muddled in with the breastfeeding issues.  Babies feel what their mothers feel and vice versa. Negative emotions and those that may be held very deep inside the subconscious can have a huge impact on feeding. Listening and counselling skills are so important when helping breastfeeding families but what about giving families the tools to be able to change that thinking?

So Ray took her hypnobirthing practice and related it to breastfeeding and motherhood. Mindful Breastfeeding was born! I immediately changed how I was working with mothers in my clinics and in their homes and the result was staggering.

What I have found is that when I help them trace back where their anxiety, fears and overwhelm is coming from and then give them the tools to work on that, although the breastfeeding problems haven’t disappeared, they somehow feel manageable. Once parents feel that the issues aren’t so daunting they relax. This, in turn, gives them a different view on the whole situation. They find it easier to make changes but also feel less pressure to see an immediate outcome.

In most of my client feedback now I receive a comments on how much more relaxed they feel and often on how they are seeing breastfeeding in a different light. It’s wonderful to hear that they have taken control of their mindset and are feeling positive whilst they navigate their way through their breastfeeding journey.

Breastfeeding takes patience. It takes time to create and nurture a brand new parent and child relationship.  It’s a relationship formed of non-verbal and hormone driven communication. I hope that the more I help parents to discover this side of parenting the happier and more fulfilling their breastfeeding experience will be.

The Breastfeeding School will be launching at the end of July 2017. To find out more you can join our Facebook group The Breastfeeding Hub or sign up for info at

June's Birth Story

I'm am so, so pleased to be sharing this amazing story. When Charlotte and I first spoke on the phone she was very fearful of what her birth would bring, in fact all through the course she was very sure that she would give birth in the hospital. I was so excited when she told me about June's birth and that she had chosen the Midwife led unit in the end. Not because it matters where a person gives birth, that is totally (TOTALLY) their choice but because it shows how far she had come. She was choosing where to give birth from a place of confidence not fear. She was choosing to believe in her body and that is a very powerful decision! Now grab a cup of tea and have a read. (Ray)

It was about time that I shared my birth story with you. And may I start by saying that like many, the idea of giving birth seemed like the most impossible and scary thing I could ever imagine. As soon as I was pregnant I panicked about how this baby was coming out of me, and this is where I discovered Kent Hypnobirthing and it was quite honestly life changing. 

I was 41 + 1 days pregnant. My midwife had been fantastic, and I wasn't due to see her again until I was 41+ 3, which would be ten days after I last saw her. There was no pressure for a sweep or induction, however by this point I was well and truly fed up. Everything hurt, and the anticipation of becoming a mother and finally meeting this baby girl was all too much. If the baby wasn't here by that Saturday, I had discussed it with my boyfriend and I was going to have a sweep, I didn't want to be pregnant for another minute. Luckily for me it didn't come to that....

I woke up on the morning of Thursday 27th of April at about 2 AM for my tenth toilet trip of the night, luckily that night I switched the bathroom light on, and had, what I now know to be, a 'show'. After 20 minutes of googling it I decided to go back to sleep and proceeded to wake up every two hours with the typical cramp like period pains that lots of people tell you about. I decided not to wake my partner and tell him, as I thought 'maybe this is it' and if so I would need him to get as much rest as possible to help me through it all. I woke up in the morning and the cramp like period sensations were still continuing, I thought if this was the day it was happening that I had time to send Jack to the tip to clear the rest of the things on the balcony that I've been staring at me for the past three months. I also made an epic brunch of poached eggs on muffins with chorizo, avocado all topped off with hollandaise sauce, very pleased about that! I also did some cleaning, as again, if this was the big day I couldn't be bringing my baby home to a dirty house (it was anything but, after giving birth and having a baby I truly understand what a messy / unclean house means). 

After this we decided to go for a walk, as we had done every day for the past three weeks. I'd been really fed up and quite emotional, each day was a mental struggle, not to mention the Snooker World Championships were on....much to my boyfriend's delight. During our seaside walk, I then decided I wanted a McDonald's cheeseburger (I finally gave in to the cravings), followed by some ice cream at our favourite gelato shop, all in all the day was going well. Every so often I had to stop because the cramps intensified but wasn't really sure if I was in labour or not at this point, and I really didn't want to get my hopes up. 

We got home and the cramps were still happening and becoming a little more frequent, whilst messaging a friend she reminded me about the tens machine I had, so I decided to put that on and bounced up and in my birth ball whilst watching episodes of Friends remembering about all the oxytocin and I need to release. I was doing my breathing and my boyfriend was secretly timing, what I now know to be contractions. Because he'd been on the Hypnobirthing course with me he really did play an essential role in the whole labour and birth process which I am eternally grateful for

I carried on like this for a few hours made a few phone calls and watched a few more episodes of Friends and then all of a sudden I decided that I needed to call the hospital, the sensations were intensifying and I needed some reassurance. This is the point for me which was the lowest, as the lady on the other end of the phone essentially laughed at me and said I couldn't be in labour because I can still talk. Being typically British I tried my hardest to keep myself together whilst on the phone and actually was a lot worse when I was off the phone, however her telling me that really made me lose confidence in myself and in my body. I burst into tears and Jack had to really calm me down. 

However she did say that she would put me through to someone at the MLU who I could speak too. The midwife on the phone said I could go into the MLU if I wanted to, it was really up to me. Jack knew to keep me a home for as long as possible, so he really tried to persuade me to stay at home for longer. Eventually I insisted I wanted to go in and he went downstairs to pack the car. When I went in the car there was classical music playing and everything was calm and luckily it was dark outside.

It was about 7:45pm, and on the way to the hospital, which is only two minutes drive, we nearly collided with another vehicle. He came out at us at the roundabout out of nowhere, we couldn't believe it as the breaks slammed on. Jack was brilliant managed to remain calm throughout. As soon as I went into the MLU and I met the midwife on duty who was called Emily, I burst into tears. I told her I couldn't do this, she was just what I needed, and she spoke to me in a really soft calming voice and asked me if I'd like to be examined? I thought about it for a moment and decided it was best to know where I was at, so she examined me and I found out I was 3 cm dilated. Emily told me that the MLU was empty that evening and I was more than welcome to stay, get into the pool, eat some food and just see how things progressed. This is exactly what I did, she brought me a whole tray of snacks: cheese, biscuits, crisps and ice cold apple juice. The birthing pool was filled up, and it was so much bigger and warmer than I imagined. The lights were down really low, and I continued contracting, breathing in and breathing out with Jack there to talk me through it. Music wise we hadn't put a playlist together which maybe was a bit of a mistake, but I was more than happy with the old school hits on the radio ranging from 70s disco to a bit of Take That. 

At this point I had been having contractions for quite a while, and they asked me again if I'd like to stay or go home. There was no way I was going home, so they admitted me as a patient which I was over the moon about. After some hours, another midwife came and asked it I was I aware of my pain relief options, and soon as she said this I wanted the gas and air. In hindsight I would definitely avoid people saying the word pain relief or using that language whilst in labour for as long as possible, as soon as she said this I thought I needed it where as before she said this, I hadn't really thought about it too much. 

I continued with the gas and air and my contractions were now going through my whole body. Before they had been quite manageable on all fours, where as now they had me standing up and walking around in the pool. Emily asked me if I would like to be examined again, I decided yes, I would and I got out the pool and onto the bed. She examined me, and as soon as she'd finished the examination I went to the toilet, as i'd be drinking so many cold apple juice was my new favourite thing at this point. This is again where hypnobirthing helped my boyfriend, as I now know that I was still 3 cm still at this point but Jack said that I could not hear this news. He ensured that Emily only told me positive news, I went back into the pool and Emily told me that everything is progressing nicely she didn't mention anything about measurements and I didn't ask.

I felt really comfortable in the MLU, the atmosphere, the lighting, and Emily all made me feel really comfortable, however by this point it was probably three or four in the morning and the contractions were getting more intense and happening more frequently. They monitored the babies heartbeat throughout, and her position, which I was more than happy with, they then asked me if I would like to to be examined again, and I declined. However the surges were becoming really intense and I decided that I would really like the next level of pain relief. I requested pethidine, which took quite some time for it to arrive, as they needed to find a doctor. When it arrived I had to get out the pool, and I would have to stay out the pool for at least three hours. The idea of the pethidine was for both Jack and me to get some rest, the room we were in was huge, and they'd made a bed for us both to relax in. I decided against getting examined before the injection, and then the rollercoaster really began. Over the next two hours I could not sit still, I couldn't do anything but pace. I wanted to go to the toilet but I couldn't sit down to go, I couldn't even relieve myself stood up. I also couldn't sit down on the bed, all I wanted to do was walk walk walk around that room. Although Jack was trying to be really positive, I knew he really wanted me to get rest and kept saying I should sit down. However I just couldn't explain to him what was happening and I physically couldn't sit still or sit down even if I wanted too, after two hours of this and breathing all the way through, the midwives offered me another examination which I decided was a good idea. During this time I was sick four times and also I'm not sure if was my mucus plug but had something very big and something very red slap down on the floor. I remember Jack asking me what the noise was, and although I was in discomfort, I remember being really excited to see something that big come out of my body as I knew it was another step closer to the end.

It took at least half an hour for me to be able to get on the bed for them to examine me. This is where it gets really good, when they examined me they said I was 7-8 cm dilated. I jumped for joy (I actually didn't, but mentally I did), I knew this meant I wasn't far away, I was near the magic TEN CENTIMETRES! It was approaching 8 AM at this point and Emily who had seen me all the way through the evening was due to finish her shift, I couldn't believe it. But then they brought in just what I needed my new midwife Cara. Emily was what I would describe as kind, softly spoken and exactly what I needed to get me through to that point. Cara was, as my boyfriend describes, the kind of coach that you need in football when you have five minutes to score to win the FA Cup. Now that I was this far, the contractions didn't really let up, I kept breathing, using gas and air however Cara told me I couldn't get back in the pool till at least 8:30am because then that would be three hours since I had the pethidine injection. I begged to go back in the pool as I knew that the contractions were much more manageable when I was in the water, however rules are rules. Just before I got back in the pool my waters broke in spectacular fashion, I would call it true Hollywood style, again I was elated I knew that this was another sign that meant I was closer to the end results. Without Hypnobirthing I wouldn't know any of what was happening to my body, what all these different signals were, so for this and was truly grateful. I finally got back in the pool which was now full of fresh water, and it was finally 8:30am. 

And this bit is a bit of a blur, I remember breathing breathing breathing and using the gas and air to the point Cara maybe suggested I could use the gas and air a little less.....Jack told me he was trying to hold my hands and I just didn't want him to touch me. I knew from what Ray had said, that I needed to try and to not clench my hands, and I needed to relax as much as possible. I was really in the zone, even one of my favourite songs came on from Rocky which is Eye of the Tiger, and I didn't even acknowledge it. The noises that are coming out of me at this point really primal, again Ray told us that this might happen. I just remember breathing really intensely and really heavily - I knew I was so so close.

At this point I had to laugh (in hindsight) I remember that my bowels were now emptying, this was being cleaned up instantly, with what can only be described as a sieve from the poundshop. Apparently I came out of my zone and concentrating on breathing to tell Jack off he was trying to help them with the clean up operation. I think I told him he's not paid to do that, if the roles were reversed I wouldn't be caught doing the same that is for sure. 

This next bit wasn't quite as calm as I'd imagined it, but my body definitely took over. I'd reached the part I'd learnt about called transition, which I was not expecting to be so strong. I thought it would be a bit like when you are hungover and can't be bothered to get off the settee to go and get a Domino's Pizza but eventually you got up and did it. I remember shouting quite vividly at Cara, Jack and the other midwife that was in the room that I couldn't do this and quite frankly they could just get the baby out with me or otherwise forget it. This is where everyone was amazing, telling me the right things I needed to hear. They told me I WAS doing this and I COULD get the baby out. I had already come this far and there was just a little bit further to go, eventually I could feel the baby right near the exit I wanted to push but Cara said don't push yet and again from Hypnobirthing I remembered that there was two different times or feelings of when I should push, so somewhere in my subconscious this was embedded within me and I held off pushing for as long as I could. 

Eventually I told Cara I couldn't hold off any more and she said I should push, she was behind me with a mirror telling me she could see the head and to wait until the next contraction before I pushed for the shoulders. I managed to do this, and then June powered on out through a pool of blood. Jack said it was the most amazing thing he'd ever seen, they brought June up onto my chest and I just couldn't believe that it was all done and that she was finally here. I remember just holding her bum and staring at this little squishy face, which is now so recognisable. Her umbilical cord was abnormally short so I had to really bend over to make sure that I wasn't tugging on my placenta but also that she was above water enough so that she wasn't swallowing it.

The other midwife that was in the room, usually works on labour ward and she had a face that was a little concerned because June had come out the pool and she was blue. We knew that this was common with water births, however we were still quite alarmed as we'd totally forgotten this information. I remember asking Cara if everything was okay repeatedly and she kept telling me it was all totally normal. Jack then cut the umbilical cord and straight away the colour started coming to June, she started to turn a lovely pink. After what seemed like forever, she started to cry. They then took her off my chest so that I can get out the pool and then Jack held her. 

Before they took me out the pool they mentioned in my notes that I had said I would like to birth the placenta naturally, and this is also their recommendation on the MLU in Margate. By this point I couldn't imagine birthing another thing, so I said I wanted the injection....Jack tried to talk me round as he knew I wasn't thinking straight. They got me out the pool and onto a stool, rather than the injection my midwife said why not push once more and see what happens. At this point my placenta slapped down into a box that was placed underneath the squatting stool and that was that. Even though I've seen pictures of it, I couldn't help but stare at it, it was so much bigger than i'd imagined. And after the placenta came out I was over the moon. 

They supported me over to the bed, my legs were shaky, and then came at me with the trolley, I was sure they were going to tell me I would need five stitches or more.....but actually I only had two grazes. It was explained I could have one stitch if I wanted, but that would cause me as much aggravation as the graze itself. If I just looked after it over the next few days - I'd be fine. So that was that, no stitches for me, I was elated and mostly in disbelief. 

As I managed to drink so many fluids during labour to keep myself hydrated, this was the point I just couldn't keep any more liquid inside of me. I'd been relieving myself in the pool, but now it was time for me to go on the bed. Apparently you're supposed to have your first wee measured, I'd already put a stop to that. And forgive me if this isn't what you want to read, but I'm sharing all the graphic details because I think it's so important to know that when you're in labour you just do not care about these things, I felt really free. It's really instinctive, for those people that think very worried about pooing during labour quite frankly you just don't give a shit (even though you've just given about 10 in the pool). Next up was a shower, which was just the best feeling ever, and food has never tasted so good. 

We went into the MLU at 8 PM on Thursday night, and June was born at 9 AM Friday morning. In total I was in there for 13 hours before she arrived, and I was in the pool for the majority of that apart from the three hours where I had the pethidine injection. We then stayed in for one night and then it was off home. June's now 9 weeks old, and I can't remember life before she was here. 

Myself and Jack cannot recommend Hypnobirthing or Ray enough, knowing what was happening to my body, knowing what I needed to do to help my body during the labour process was so enlightening. It also gave Jack a really important role to play too. 

The midwifes at the Margate MLU were beyond fantastic, and I recommend Hypnobirthing to everybody I see that is pregnant (sorry about that), it's really changed the way I think about myself and my body. I think it's really important for women to be empowered to be able to make choices about themselves during this unique experience. 

Lots of people ask me how the birth was with a pained face, and I always respond with the fact that I had a really positive experience. I tell my birth story to as many people as I can (who ask to hear it mind), not because I want to boast, but because I want to change the stigma about birth being negative horrible process. Yes, it's not a walk in the park but my goodness with all the tools I had in my kit from Hypnobirthing, it helped me get through it. I honestly believe it gave me the best start to motherhood I could of wished for. 

How do I stay positive when everything seems to be going wrong?

Words by Sophie

So you have attended your Hypnobirthing classes, or you have read a Hypnobirthing book or completed your online course. You feel so positive, more confident in your body and its ability to birth your baby. You have implemented the technique practice into your life and have made sure you relax for 30 minutes each day. You feel happy, confident, and ready to birth that baby. 

But then life happens. 

You have a negative appointment. 

A family member says something that makes you doubt yourself. 

You get to 40 weeks and the pressure to induce begins. 

You see something negative on the internet or in a film 

(or all of the above!)

And all of a sudden you feel you are back at square one. You feel like that frightened woman right at the start of your Hypnobirthing journey and then the doubt creeps in. 

Am I making the right decision? 

Am I being silly by saying no to induction? 

Am I kidding myself that my birth will be anything other than what I have seen on One Born Every Minute?

But you are not back at square one. You still have all that information you gathered in your brain you just have to tap back into it. That is the trick. When you suss how to do this you will be totally cool, calm and collected no matter what you might face in pregnancy, birth, motherhood and beyond.

You will remember from your classes that when your body is relaxed and calm you create calm and connection hormones; oxytocin, melatonin and prolactin. These signal to your body that everything can happen smoothly and all is ok. If you need to make a decision or recall information when you are in this state, what we call the rest and digest state, you can easily do this. You can remember everything, give yourself a pep talk and get yourself feeling positive again (remember your brain wants to be positive as it functions to the best of its ability when happy and stress free). 

So how does this help us to stay in our hypnobubble? 

If you are stressed, worried, anxious, or unhappy you will not be making these calm and connection hormones. If you are feeling doubts, worry and anxiety creeping in or if you have had a shock you will be making stress hormones; adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones not only block the hormones we want to feel safe and calm but they also signal to your body that all is not well and that you should be on alert. You feel stress more easily and will often find these stressful thoughts and feelings layer up. 

When you are in a negative frame of mind you attract more negative thoughts and when you are in a positive frame of mind you attract more positive thoughts!

This happens because our brain changes and develops constantly depending on what we feed it (this is called neuroplasticity). This is also why there is so much power in positive affirmations. By flooding our brains with positive thoughts- even if all around us is negative- we begin to think more positively and our bodies respond. 

By recognising that we actually have a great deal of power and control over how we think and feel gives us a powerful tool. We can use this to stay positive and to build our hypnobubble up even stronger.

Some tips from me!

  • Put in your hypnobirthing practice.
  • Remember that you have a huge amount of power over how you think and feel
  • Do some daily mindset practice using positive affirmations.
  • Really really do spend at least 30 minutes a day being relaxed (your body will remember this feeling and you will be able to access it much quicker every time)
  • Know your triggers and avoid avoid avoid!
  • Find someone you can talk to. Your birth partner is great for this and the three of us at Kent Hypnobirthing are always here to talk you through anything you need. (If you haven’t done so already you are welcome to join our facebook group Calm Birth Kent; Birth, Breastfeeding and Beyond)
  • Have a back up plan for if you come up against a huge stress. Remember your BRAIN acronym for big decisions. Recognise what makes you feel better and more positive and have that ready to go if you need it. 

Remember that you are amazing, your body is designed to give birth and your brain WANTS to be positive. 

If you haven’t attended a Hypnobirthing course and would like to do so visit our website or facebook page to contact us for more information or book your space!