New hypnobirthing range by Maggie Howell

Launch of NEW hypnobirthing range by Maggie Howell

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new hypnobirthing range of Natal Hypnotherapy downloads and CDs.




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3 for 2 button

To celebrate the launch of the new hypnobirthing range we are offering 3 downloads for the price of 2!

The main changes we have made to the new hypnobirthing range are as follows:-

1. The addition of entirely new instrumental background music.  

We have chosen new background music which is piano based instrumental music and has no pan pipes or waves : ). This new music is the background music to all the new range.

You can hear a sample of the new hypnobirthing range with this new music by clicking here


2. We are combining the Labour Companion with the Relaxing Birth Music 

Labour Companion – Hypnobirthing for a relaxed birth including Relaxing Birth Music

This means that you now get 2 albums for the price of 1!

The Labour Companion has 3 hypnosis tracks to help you through the different stages of labour, plus you now get an extra track with 30 minutes of the new Relaxing Birth Music.


3. New “letting go of fear” exercises on all the Birth Preparation tracks

As letting go of fear or anxiety is such a vital part of preparing for birth, we have included a really great fear release exercise on all the birth preparation tracks.


4. Slightly shorter Birth Preparation tracks

Based on feedback, many felt that the 38 minutes was just too long so we have reduced the birth preparation track to 30 minutes to help you fit it into your busy lives.  However, this has in no way compromised the quality of the suggestions nor the depth of the hypnosis achieved.


You can hear a sample of the new tracks by clicking here


The original Natal Hypnotherapy range 

You will still be able to buy the original CDs and downloads using this link  however these will be discontinued once stocks run out so if you wish to continue with the  original music, make sure you get them now.


3 for 2 buttonMake the most of the special offer but getting 3 for 2 on all downloads – for a limited time only



You can also download a free sample of the Hypnobirthing for Pregnancy Relaxation track
Click to download your FREE track

15 Amazing things that happen when you are pregnant


The incredible process of pregnancy and birth never ceases to amaze me, so here are 15 of my favourite amazing things that happen when you are pregnant

  1. You have 50% more blood

With all the changes of pregnancy and incredible, mind-blowing miracle of your developing baby, your body is having to work super hard. All this extra work requires more blood vessels and so more blood. By the 20th week of pregnancy, it is estimated that your body has 50 percent more blood than it did when you conceived with 20% extra blood cells to carry oxygen around your body and down to your baby.


2. Hormones and increased blood gives you the wonderful “glow” in pregnancy

The famous “glow” actually comes partly from this increased blood in your system as your circulation improves you have more blood flowing through your vessels and cells.  In addition higher levels of sebum helps keep your skin supple plus your skin retains moisture and so your skin cells are plump up smoothing out wrinkles or fine lines.

3. Your body grows a completely new, life-sustaining yet temporary the placenta works

The placenta! About a week after conception, as soon as the tiny embryo is nestled into your womb lining, the outer lining of the embryo transforms into the placenta. How cool is that! Once it is established it becomes a filtration system which brings blood to the baby and takes away the babies waste products.

The placenta grows in size during your pregnancy and weighs about 1.5 lbs at the end of your pregnancy.

4. Your placenta is also a mini hormone factory

As well as being the only temporary organ, it is also an endocrine organ, meaning it actually makes hormones. These hormones, from human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG, the hormone detected in pregnancy tests) to oestrogen and progesterone, are crucial for maintaining the pregnancy and preparing your breasts for nursing.

  1. Your bones begin to loosen up

As you already know, it is quite mind boggling to think of a baby’s head passing through what appears to be a very narrow and bony passage way. As to be expected, your body has an amazing plan to help and that is the wonder hormone relaxin which increases by 10 times during your pregnancy. This hormone softens and relaxes the cartilage that holds the pubic bone together so helping them loosen up to allow your baby to be born. However

  1. Your feet may get bigger!foot

Relaxin isn’t targeted just to the pelvis – it can loosening ligaments throughout your body and so make the bones spread out a bit more, sometimes resulting in your shoe size increasing during pregnancy.

  1. You may get heart ache

But not because you’re sad. Many women experience a sensation of heartburn which is caused by the pressure of your tummy puts on the digestive system. For most people, when they get acid in their stomach, it is kept down by a ring of muscles in the diaphragm that stops acid going back up the system when pressure in the abdomen rises. But during pregnancy, the hormone progesterone relaxes that ring of muscles. So as the bigger baby gets, the more pressure it puts on the intestines and stomach.

  1. Your hair and nails grow faster

Once again your pregnancy hormones are supper helpful at helping us look great! Around the fourth month, your nails may start to grow faster. However a not so good effect is that your nails may also become softer or more brittle too. In the second trimester, you may notice your hair looks amazing – this is due to the fact that you are not losing hair like you normally do and so your hair looks thicker.

  1. You get bigger boobs!

The average woman will add get about 2lb in bonus breast tissue. These changes are all down to your fab hormones as they prepare your breasts for producing exactly the right milk for your baby. The not so good bit is that as the tissue and milk ducts develops, it can slightly stretch the skin which is why your boobs can feel a bit itchy and sore

10. You can start to produce milk from as early as 16 weeks gestation!

By 16 weeks your body is already geared up to produce milk so you may find that tiny drops of yellow liquid coming from your nipples. This yellow milk is called colostrum and is absolutely jam packed with good ness and nutrients

11. Your bladder gets squashedtoilet

Needing to pee becomes a very normal part of pregnancy.  But why? Well that is down to your gorgeous little bundle of joy whose growing weight pushes directly down on top of your bladder. The pressure not only means more trips to the loo, but a cough, sneeze or giggle can cause leakage – lovely! In addition the hormones in your body relax the tubes from your kidney so the flow of urine is increased.

  1. Your baby is first in the queue for vitamins and nutrients.

As you already know it is so important to eat healthily in pregnancy. That does not mean eating for 2, but it does mean eating enough healthy, food rich in vitamins and minerals to feed both you and your baby. All the nutrients and vitamin in your blood stream will pass through to your baby ensuring that your baby gets first take on all the nutrients he needs, then whatever is left goes through to your system.

  1. Your baby can taste your dinner too!garlic-with-parsley-leaves

Strong flavours like garlic, ginger, olives and chilli can pass through your amniotic fluid (and your breast milk) and so into your baby. A study showed that babies whose mothers drank a lot of carrot juice showed signs of enjoying carrot juice more than mothers who had not drunk juice in pregnancy.

  1. Amniotic fluid is the perfect shock absorber

Amniotic fluid plays a vital role in the development of your baby.  It helps maintain a steady warm temperature, it helps lubricate your baby’s skin as it is growing and developing and helps you baby move and exercise. It is also a terrific shock absorber so your baby is protected from any bumps or knocks that you may experiences.

  1. Your baby helps make amniotic fluidmannequin de pis

From about 4 months your baby’s kidneys will start working and so he will add to the fluid every time he wees! His whole system will get lots of practice before he is born as he swallows the amniotic fluid, wees it out, and swallows it again and so on.  But don’t worry it is completely sterile and completely harmless.

I hope you enjoyed reading about these amazing things that happen when you are pregnant.  Leave a comment with your favourite.

If you are pregnant and want to find out how you can prepare yourself for a positive birth download this free 5 steps to a better birth poster

Click to download your poster

You can also get a FREE 15 minute Pregnancy Relaxation track to help you take time to chill out!

Click to download your FREE track


For more information on the UK’s leading Hypnobirthing downloads and classes click here

Choosing the right complementary therapy in pregnancy

If you are planning on having as natural a pregnancy and birth as possible, then you may like to consider a complementary therapy to help you stay relaxed, healthy and physically fit and comfortable.  To help you understand a bit more about the therapies on offer, here is my mini guide to what each one is and how it can help

#1 complementary therapy – Acupuncture:

complementry therapy # 1 Accupuncture in pregnancy
acupuncture in pregnancy

What it is: Acupuncture has been around for over five thousand years and is based on the belief that an internal force of energy runs through our body. It brings relief of pain which may be unresponsive to conventional therapy or painkillers and brings with it a feeling of relaxation after the therapy.

Use in pregnancy: It can help treat numerous problems during pregnancy such as early morning sickness, lethargy and back pain.

Use in labour: Can also help to ease labour pain and is also safe to use when breast-feeding to increase milk supply


#2 complementary therapy – Aromatherapy:

complementry therapy # 2 Aromatherapy
essential oil for aromatherapy

What it is: Aromatherapy is a natural treatment using the oils of plants to improve and maintain well-being. The action of aromatherapy on the state of mind depends upon the link between smell and memory.

Use in pregnancy: Can be used to help with insomnia, early morning sickness, cramps and headaches.
Use in labour: An aromatherapy massage during labour can reduce pain, stress and anxiety.

It is important to avoid: fennel, peppermint and rosemary oils in the first trimester


#3 complementary therapy – Homeopathy:

complementry therapy # 3 Homeopathy
homeopathic herbal pills

What it is: Homeopathy works on the basis of ‘like cures like’ with the remedies stimulating the body’s own healing power.

Use in pregnancy: Can help with food cravings, feeling sore from the baby kicking and a low mood.

Use in labour: Very useful during the birth for pain relief.



#4 complementary therapy – Hypnotherapy:

complementry therapy # 4 - Hypnotherapy
Natal Hypnotherapy

What it is: Hypnosis is a pleasant state of mental relaxation. It is a time when your conscience takes a step back and your subconscious come more to the forefront. It is a natural state with no side effects which anyone can learn to enter.

Use in pregnancy: Can help you to manage early morning sickness as well as reducing general pain.

Use in Labour: Hypnosis helps you to become more and more confident and trusting in your body and as a result you are able to remain calm and relaxed during labour, reducing pain.

#5 complementary therapy – osteopathic/Chiropractic:

complementry therapy # 5 Chiropractic
Skeletal alignment using chiropractic

What it is: Osteopaths and chiropractors believe that any disturbance of the musculoskeletal system will not only cause local pain, but also interfere with the body’s other main components.

Use in pregnancy/Labour: misalignment of the spine caused by pregnancy can press on nerves and in turn cause not only back pain but pain that can affect the whole body. Treatment aims to re-align the body’s structure.

Cranial osteopathy can also help with post natal depression and with your child after they have been born.


#6 complementary therapy – Reflexology:

complementry therapy # 6 reflexologyWhat it is: Reflexology aims to treat the whole body through the feet. Massaging the feet can help to clear up a problem by breaking down the waste matter and allowing the body’s internal energy to circulate freely.

Use in pregnancy: Can help with early morning sickness, constipation and migraines.

Use in labour: Can help with relaxation and therefore pain relief.

#7 complementary therapy – Yoga:

complementry therapy # 7 pregnancy yoga
Yoga during pregnancy

What it is: Yoga is a therapy recognised in helping stress, improving joint and muscle suppleness and generally improving overall health.

Use in pregnancy: The gentle moving therapy works well in pregnancy especially for problems with back ache and posture.

Use in labour: Yoga can also increase the suppleness in your pelvic floor muscles which may make your labour easier, and help these muscles recover quickly after birth.



I have created a 5 steps to a better birth poster – grab yours by clicking below.

Click to download your poster


All the best

Maggie Howell

The UK’s leading provider of award winning hypnobirthing downloads, CDs, book and courses.

Preparation is key for a positive birth experience

Liz and Robin (small
Liz and baby Robin

“When we found out that we were expecting our first baby both my partner and I were in agreement that we would like our pregnancy and birth to be as natural as possible. and that we wanted to really prepare for a positive birth experience. From the outset my pregnancy was healthy and straightforward and, with the support of our brilliant midwife, it seemed a natural choice for us that we should have our baby at home. I felt so well that it seemed bizarre to me that we should have to go into hospital for such a natural and normal thing as childbirth. I also wanted a birth where both my partner and I felt confident and in control, and where we were at lowest risk of unnecessary intervention – for us it felt that hone was the place where we were most likely to achieve this.

On doing further research it became clear to me that preparation is key in facilitating a positive birth, especially a home birth – in terms of logistical preparations to ensure our home was birth ready, but also my own physical and emotional preparations. It was in this second aspect where Natal Hypnotherapy was key.

In undertaking our course with Natalie, and engaging in self-hypnosis during pregnancy meant that I went into labour relaxed, confident and free of fear. As a couple the course also connected us to each other and to our baby and was particularly successful in supporting my partner to be as engaged, proactive and confident as possible in the pregnancy, labour and birth (see Olympic Gold medalist Greg Rutherford’s review of The Natal Hypnotherapy course). This was particularly important to me as the birth of our baby was something  I absolutely wanted us to do together  – I did not want my partner to be sidelined by the excitement of the moment or by medical professionals supporting the birth.

I eventually went into labour one week before the due date that I had been give when my waters broke at home around 1pm. I felt relaxed and in control throughout the labour and this meant that although at times I was uncomfortable at no point would I have described the experience as being painful or unmanageable. In fact, I felt so relaxed that when our midwife came to check me about 4pm that afternoon she said I was not in established labour and that it would most likely be sometime before the baby arrived. In actual fact we called her back later that evening and by the time she arrived just before midnight I was already fully dilated and our son was born about thirty five minutes later?

Robin Arthur weighed a healthy 8lb 9ozs and came into the world in the calm and peaceful way I had hoped for without any intervention or pain relief! We have no doubt that Natal Hypnotherapy was a key factor in making this possible. On the whole Robin is a very relaxed and content baby and we are sure that the hypnotherapy I have learned also contributed to that due to the way it allowed me to connect with my baby during pregnancy, labour and beyond.

Natal Hypnotherapy has been a brilliant thing for us and I would not hesitate recommending it. It really helped us prepare for a positive birth. Regardless of where or how you choose to give birth I fell it has the power to make anybody more relaxed, confident and engaged during the incredible time that their baby is born.”


Thanks Liz for sharing your lovely and inspiring birth story.

If you have found this useful and would like to try out a Natal Hypnotherapy track for FREE then click here

Click to download your FREE track

You can find a class near to you by clicking here

NatalieQureshi_Natal Hypnotherapy, Manchester
Natalie Qureshi, Natal Hypnotherapy Practitioner, Manchester

Liz took her Natal Hypnotherapy class with Natalie Qureshi who runs class in Manchester

The secret to coping with labour

scared of giving birth
Are you scared of giving birth?

If you are currently pregnant or even planning to have a baby then the thought of giving birth will have crossed your mind once or twice!  From those cringe worthy sex education videos to One Born Every Minute the message most women get is clear. Birth hurts like hell, that you will be in labour for days, that you are likely to scream the place down and turn the air blue with a few choice words begging for drugs. Is it any wonder then that 8 out of 10 women in a Mother and Baby survey were terrified of giving birth?  So could there be a secret to coping with labour that is not publicly “out there”?

Well, if you were to switch over to the Discovery channel and were to watch a programme of any other mammal giving birth, she would be quiet, calm, mobile and seem to just get on with it.  We know that mammals register and feel pain, yet somehow during labour they don’t seem to show the same characteristics as women on OBEM.

So do you think that maybe there is a chance that women could also experience labour and birth being calm, more in control and better able to deal with the pain? What is this secret to coping with labour and how you can turn from a potential screaming banshee to a calm, serene birthing goddess?

Well, it all comes down to hormones and how you are feeling in the lead up to and during the labour.  If you are scared your body will be in a “fight or flight” mode and birth becomes tough; if you are calm, relax and breathe slowly, your body can just get on with it. To put it into context, imagine you are labouring alone out in the wild. Suppose you saw or even thought you saw a dangerous animal lurking in the shadows. What do you think would happen? Would you have a conscious choice on what happens next? Simply believing there is a wild animal in your birth space would instantly stimulate the “fight or flight” response. Your muscles would tighten, blood would flow to your limbs and contractions would slow down or stop and would not resume until you felt safe.

This fear, whether real or imagined, activates the nervous system to produce adrenaline (danger hormone), which gives you a burst of power to fight or to run away. Your cervix tightens (to prevent giving birth where it is not safe) and the increased level of adrenaline neutralises the oxytocin (the hormone responsible for your contractions) so that your body slows down or even stops labour. All this “fight or flight” preparation uses a great deal of energy and as our bodies were only designed to be in this state for a few minutes, you can imagine that staying in this state for prolonged periods of time will lead to prolonged labour, horribly painful contractions which will be extremely exhausting for both mum and baby.

This is essentially about fear, any fear – fear of pain, fear of dying, fear of tearing. Your nervous system does not know the difference between fear from real danger or imagined fear, from what you may have seen on the tele or told by friends and family and so your body will respond in the same way to both. If you go into labour feeling and being frightened, your system will respond accordingly.

So what is the secret to coping with labour and birth?

Ultimately it is about learning to let go of fear and to work with your body to stay as relaxed and calm as possible. By being able to relax during labour, your body responds in a very different way to the fear scenario described above. When you are relaxed, your breathing is even, ensuring a high level of oxygen is entering both you and your baby’s body, helping your baby remain calm and stable. Increased oxygen stimulates the production of oxytocin (hormone responsible for contractions) and the natural pain-killer, endorphins. As the uterus has no resistance or tension from surrounding muscles, the contractions are more effective and more manageable. Other natural hormones also increase in including relaxin which allows the tissue of the birth canal to relax, soften and expand.

One of the easiest and most relaxing ways to help you shift from being anxious to being calmer, is to listen to a Natal Hypnotherapy album in the weeks leading up to the birth. Over 2000 midwives now recommend award-winning Natal Hypnotherapy  as they have seen how beneficial it can be for both mum and baby. Listening to one of the tracks is a great excuse to go and lie down for half an hour knowing you are doing something really practical and useful to prepare for the birth.

My voice (british accent by the way) guides you into a deeply relaxed state using breathing techniques, guided imagery and visualisation. You can get a free 15 minute track by clicking here. Once you are deeply relaxed, your conscious mind becomes quiet and you become open and receptive to positive suggestions about the birth, learning coping strategies and pain management techniques, all geared towards helping you stay calm and able to deal effectively with contractions.

Hypnobirthing track
Natal Hypnotherapy hypnobirthing

As any midwife will tell you, the secret to coping with labour is to relax and breathe. By listening to a hypnobirthing track over and over again before labour you become brilliant at relaxing and effective breathing and are mentally familiar with the processes of giving birth, which naturally increases your confidence and reduces any fear associated with birth. The hypnotherapy techniques put you in control, so that you have all the coping strategies you need for the big day, no matter who else is there to support you.

You can learn more about how to help yourself during pregnancy and birth with my top tips emails

You can also read Jennifer’s birth story on how she used this secret to coping with labour.

If you’re not sure what this hypnobirthing stuff is like then you can get this FREE pregnancy relaxation hypnobirthing track

Click to download your FREE track