Simply Amazing, life changing, awe inspiring, empowering stuff

This week we have a lovely birth story, which again did not map out the way they had planned, but none the less turned out to be a simply amazing birth with the incredible support of her husband who initially was pretty sceptical about hypnotherapy.

“I wanted to give a testimonial about Natal Hypnotherapy as it has had such a profound and positive effect on my life since getting pregnant and having my baby boy, Ethan.

My husband, Ross, was a bit sceptical about attending the workshop with our Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner, Elaine from fear free birthing elaine website pictureand prior to going, I got the question ‘do I have to attend?’ a couple of times. But doing the intense workshop was amazing. Ross was asking loads of questions throughout and he was truly fascinated with the different mental stages of labour and how he could play such an important role during the birth rather than being a bystander. We both came away feeling very positive about what was to come and armed with the practical means to prepare.

I read Maggie Howell’s Effective Birth Preparation bookfront cover jan2015 cover to cover and my husband read several of the chapters; he even took photocopies of it with him when he worked abroad for 3 weeks during my third trimester. We practised the 321 relax technique as often as we could together. It was so great he was fully onboard, I felt so supported. I listened to the birth preparation download every night on my iPod before bed and found it sent me to sleep every time. This meant I slept great during my whole pregnancy much to the annoyance of my pregnant friends who were not experiencing quite the same thing. I found the book helped me make sense of how we, as women, are designed to give birth and how it can be an empowering positive experience. I don’t know what it is about being pregnant that makes mothers feel the need to share but I had a lot of ‘friends’ imparting negative and sometimes terrifying birth experiences on me. I would smile and say thank you for telling me that whilst inside feeling really scared but then I would go home and continue to read Maggie Howell’s book. I instantly felt calmer and armed with the knowledge that ‘I can do this’. It was really amazing.

The day finally came when I was told that my hopes of going to a midwife lead unit with beautiful hotel like rooms, birthing pools and double beds was not to be, as baby’s growth had tailed off and I had to be induced that afternoon. I cried as we left the hospital to collect our bags; my dream birth plan had already gone out the window. But Ross reassured me that we could have an equally great birth experience in the hospital as they not only have a midwife lead unit with birthing pools but they also have the medical intervention to get baby out safely should we need that. We were determined to make it positive no matter where our baby was born. So we had a lovely lunch in the sunshine in our back garden and returned to the hospital with all my ‘baobab’ items packed.

It turned out on first examination that I was already 2 cm dilated so they were able to break my waters quite easily. It all then happened very quickly. We were told to go for walk to get things moving but I was getting strong contractions before the midwife had even left the room. We made the bathroom area as comfortable as possible by putting mats on the floor and I used the birthing ball to support me as I knelt. We had the birth hypnosis recording playing and I breathed my way through every contraction. Ross massaged my lower back and counted me through each contraction. I was in the zone. The midwife came in to check on us. Ross explained the contractions were coming every 3 mins but the midwife seemed sceptical. She mentioned something about giving me something to intensify the contractions as it didn’t ‘sound’ like much was happening. 2 hours since my waters had been broken I was then examined. The words were ‘oh my word, you are 9 cm dilated!!!’ The midwife was truly shocked I had progressed so quickly but more so that I was not screaming the place down or had had any pain relief.

The next bit was not so pleasant as I was forced to remain on the bed whilst they tried unsuccessfully to get a blood sample from baby’s head. I did lose my cool at that point and was quite upset that I had been forced out of my zone and made to lie down where gravity could no longer assist. But Ross kept me calm and with some gas and air I was then able to refocus and push baby Ethan out into the world just 3 hours after my waters were broken. It was not the birth plan I had in mind as the midwives didn’t have time to run the water in the birthing pool as requested but without the hypnotherapy I would not have been armed with the ability to focus internally and shut out the outside world. I had several of the midwives complement me afterwards on how calm I was and how impressed they were with Natal Hypnotherapy as a birthing technique. They apologised for having to intervene at the end; feeling bad for breaking my concentration and calm. They had not witnessed anyone using hypnotherapy before and said it was simple amazing – they were truly amazed at how calmly I got through my second stage. I felt so smug.

It is so nice that now every time I get asked ‘how was the birth’ I can say such positive things. People are genuinely surprised at my answer every time. Consequently I am recommending Natal Hypnotherapy to all my now pregnant friends.

And just as a little ad on – I am still using the post natal hypnotherapy to get me through my toughest challenge yet….motherhood. The nights I listen to the cd before bed, seem to calm me, help me sleep and enable me to tackle the next day with renewed vigour.

I cannot thank Maggie Howell and Fear Free birthing enough. Simply Amazing, life changing, awe inspiring, empowering stuff!!!!”

Thanks you so much for sharing your story.

elaine website pictureClick to find more information on Natal Hypnotherapy or find your local Hypnobirthing Practitioner.

To get a free Hypnobirthing MP3 click here

Click to download your FREE track

Achieving a healthy BMI using hypnosis

I receive many emails from Midwives and women regarding their pregnancy and birth experiences, but this email caught my attention as it is from a midwife who has used the Hypnosis to help her achieve a healthy BMI using the “Weight loss through healthy choices” track.

“As a midwife I had been made aware of the Natal Hypnotherapy service by Lynsey, who took the time and effort not only to promote this for the women of our local area but also to the health care professionals. Lynsey set up taster relaxation sessions, which not only were extremely calming for the very frazzled staff but which also bought her credibility in her mission to share the positive impact hypnotherapy can have on your emotional and physical wellbeing. With the staff behind her Lynsey’s reputation and the number in her classes became extremely impressive. She received the backing of her midwife and maternity care assistant colleagues, the head of midwifery, consultant obstetrician and most importantly the families she worked with.

My journey to achieving a healthy BMI

I had gradually over the years put on weight in all the usual ways; studying and grabbing quick, on-the-go food, working long shifts and having no energy to cook at the end, slowing down then stopping exercise. The usual. My partner and I had been together for 10 years and we were extremely relaxed and happy in each other’s company. He exercised a minimum of three times a week, playing football with his friends. I would occasionally train to do a 5K fun run and even once achieved a 10K, but once the big event was over I would go right back to sitting watching TV with my boyfriend and eating the same man-sized portions he required to keep up his energy needs.

When we decided to get married I had already started to realise how unhealthy my lifestyle was becoming. I was constantly tired, lived on potatoes, rice and bread and as a vegetarian I knew I wasn’t getting the right nutrition to keep a full time job, wedding planning and happy life ticking along. So I started to walk as often as I could, to and from work, into town, leaving that car at home. I cut out sweets and crisps, telling myself just get through the week and from Friday it was party time. Foody Fridays I called it. I was never obese, but with a BMI that had edged up to 28 it was only a matter of time and I felt happy I was taking the right steps.

The weight loss was painfully slow. A pound a month kind of slow. I started bootcamps and running to and from work, much to the delight of my colleagues who often found the once lazy girl dying on the sluice floor of a morning. The weight loss continued but seemed to plateau, I was nearing that healthy BMI but I was unhappy, it was hard work denying myself of any sweet treat then I’d binge eat my rewards on that precious weekend. I was so bored of salads.

This is when Lynsey suggested trying the “Weight loss through healthy choices” MP3.

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Help reach your goal of a healthy BMI

I thought, why not? What harm? Lynsey assured me if I wanted it to work, it would, but I would have to let it.

I found the cd so relaxing but can’t actually recall much from the actual listening after removing my stones from my backpack and watching them fly away. I would start each time wondering how I would tune in and then become aware I was being counted back out and ‘awake’ again.

The main thing it helped me with was that I found healthier choices more appealing  and also to realise that making sugar a restricted weekend-only event needed to stop. If I did eat a biscuit on a Thursday I didn’t feel guilt and actually quite often a whole weekend would pass without any desire for a take-away or chocolate bar.

I felt like the effort had gone but the weight loss picked up.

abigail weight lossBy the time of my wedding I had a healthy BMI, and six months after although I have gained a little weight I still have not gone back into that overweight category. I also believe that if I listened as often as I did before I would have maintained that weight loss, however I am happy being in the “healthy” BMI category and so I am not sad about this.

I apologise for the length of this email but I felt it important to share my whole journey so you could appreciate just how this MP3 impacted my personal story, which I’m sure is actually very relatable for many women. I now recommend this to anyone who recognises a need for change in their lifestyle and who wishes to reach their goal of a healthy BMI.”

Abigail

Thanks so much for your story Abigail.  I think many women will be able to relate to the challenges you faced.

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Weight lost through healthy eating choices audio download image

The “Weight loss through healthy choices” is available as a download (£10) or as a CD (£11.99)

21 Top tips for a positive birth from mums, midwives, antenatal teachers and doulas

When I was pregnant I wanted to hear everyone’s top tips for birth – forget the horror stories, just tell me what worked in a positive way. For this weeks blog, I decided to share some of the collective knowledge as mothers, midwives, antenatal teachers and Doulas from our amazing Natal Hypnotherapy practitioners, so here are the 21 top tips for a positive birth.

Top tip 1.HollyHeather_130x195 (2)Holly Heather

 Remember that this is your birth, your baby, your body. You only get this experience once so make sure everyone in that birthing room is having a positive influence on your journey into parenthood

Top Tip 2.KatieWard_130x195 (2)Katie Jayne Baker 

Having a birth project lined up to occupy you in the excitement phase… That really helped switch off my neo cortex and let my body get on with labouring without any adrenaline interfering! X

Top Tip 3.HollyHeather_130x195 (2)Holly Heather 

Remember that this is your birth, your baby, your body. You only get this experience once so make sure everyone in that birthing room is having a positive influence on your journey into parenthood

Top Tip 4.ZanaParker_130x260Zana Parker

You can plan for the best or you can hope for the best. Planning increases positivity and confidence and provides tools, techniques and coping strategies that are useful in any labour setting. Hoping has you crossing your fingers whilst remaining anxious and without a sense of control. So rather than merely hoping for a positive birth, plan for one!

Top Tip 5.GemmaNealon_130x260Gem Nealon

Stay at home as long as you can If having a hospital birth. Think home labour, hospital birth x

Top Tip 6.CarolineThompson_130x195Caroline Thompson 

It is your body, your birth and your body. You are in control. Own it.

Preparation is key to success on the day. The power of the mind is phenomenal, believe you can and you’re half way there. Any thing is possible if you believe.

Top Tip 7.LindsayWeitzman_130x260oldLindsay Weitzman 

Be informed then choose your path with confidence, Every pregnancy & every birth is unique. Make yours the best it can be.

Top Tip 8.JanineKing_130x260Janine King 

Stay in control of your breath. When we have control of our breath we can control the our physiological selves; giving us a calm mind, lowering heart rate, lowering blood pressure and giving us the ability to see things clearly and calmly. It is very hard for adrenaline to take over when we are in this state.

Top Tip 9.OliviaSouthey_130x260Olivia Southey

 Don’t be scared to consider a home birth- you always have the right to transfer. And… Learn about birth hormones, because understanding how well they have been designed to help you gives you a great deal of confidence in your body. And…. Loving support is fantastically effective pain management X

Top Tip 10.elaine website pictureElaine McMahon Dossett 

Breathe all the way down to baby. Breathe in courage, expand, focus on softening, …. Then breathe out fear, focus, think about opening. Just take one contraction at a time; forget about what’s passed, and don’t worry about is yet to come.

Top Tip 11.Nicola Witcombe new photoNicola Witcombe 

It’s your journey and no one else’s. Walk your path with calmness and confidence. Your body and your baby are working together – you’ve got this!

Top Tip 12.YvonneHopkinson_130x195 (2) Yvonne Hopkinson

Listen to your body and trust your instincts

Top Tip 13.RebeccaRowley_130x195Rebecca Rowley 

Calm and contented mummy = calm and contented baby

Top Tip 14.SandraBush_130x260Sandra Bush 

It’s not original, but each contraction is one less. Each contraction on is one step closer to meeting your baby.

Top Tip 15.ClaireWaters_130x260Claire Waters 

I regularly use “Remember you’re a mammal”.

Top Tip 16LucyPilkington_130x260

Lucy Pilkington  

Preparation is key to success on the day. The power of the mind is phenomenal, believe you can and you’re half way there. Any thing is possible if you believe.

Top Tip 17LynseyCurrie_130x260Lynsey Currie 

Take it all in your stride but be confident in what you want…take responsibility for your own birth X

Top Tip 18JenniferHassett_130x195Jenny Hassett 

Get informed about all your options. Remember your BRAINS!

Top Tip 19katyand boys (2)Katy CW 

Practise practise practise 😀 Trust that if you are practising then it will be working, your subconscious mind will be taking it all in.

Top Tip 20NatalieQureshi_130x260Natalie Qureshi 

You are not tempting fate by planning and preparing, do your research, do your preparation and own your birth. It’s too important to leave it to anyone else.

Top Tip 21Melissa Booth photoMelissa Booth 

The day your baby is born can be amazing! It’s also the beginning into the wonderful journey of being a parent…self hypnosis is a skill for life!

Fantastic! Lots of great advice.

For even more good advice, check out our Learning Hub

Learning Hub

Let me know your favourite of the top 21 tips in the comments below.

15 Amazing things that happen to your body when you are pregnant

15 amazing thingsThe 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 organ.how 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
    BEAUTIFUL NAILS

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
  2. 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
  3. 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.

If you are pregnant and want to find out how you can prepare yourself for a positive birth, then discover the best way to learn hypnobirthing

Discover the best way to learn Hypnobirthing

Give your children a head start – word by word!

Language is one of the most powerful and influential ways to shape your child. The words we use and how we say things have an enormous influence on the way our children develop, how they behave and most importantly how they feel about themselves.

Children will inherently do what they believe you expect them to do, as all they know about the world and how they fit in is from you. If you continually tell them they are clever, smart, funny, that they can do something, that you are proud of them – they believe this without a second thought. In the same way if a child is told they are stupid, no good, bad, naughty, trust you to do that, how can you be so silly – then they will also believe it to be true, and consequently behave accordingly. Not only does this make them feel those things, it also gradually wears away at their confidence and self esteem – the two things which hold people back more than anything else in the world.

Children’s inherent need to be accepted by people around them, their amazing pace of development and their acceptance of things at face value means that they take everything in and are extremely suggestible. Young children do not yet have the little voice in their head that says, “what if, I must, I shouldn’t, If I do this, then this will happen etc.”, so they simply accept everything that goes on around them as they way things are – They have no other comparison.

There are two particular patterns of language which can have a major influence on your children. One is the “don’t do that, or xxx will happen” and the other is speaking about the behaviour of the child and not the identity of the child.

The first pattern which is so common and yet can so often have the opposite effect is the use of “Do not do xxx”, especially when followed by “or yyy will happen”. Children’s minds are extremely literal and take in words at face value. Our brains are not capable of “NOT” doing something; we have to actually do it in our mind before we can think ‘not’ to do it. Let me give you an example. If someone were to say “Do not think of a Pink Elephant” what happens – You have to think of one, so as not to. Or if I say “ the cat is not chasing the dog”. The same applies. So by telling a child “do not touch that”, “don’t fall down or “don’t spill your drink”, they must get an image of touching, falling or spilling first. This has then actually given them the idea or suggestion to do exactly what you are asking them not to do. By making your suggestion in a positive way, that is by telling them what you DO want you are far more likely to have the desired effect. Such as ‘keep you glass upright, get safely down, keep your fingers away from the door’. You are both telling them that you expect them to succeed and so you are giving them an image of succeeding rather than failing.

The second pattern has a more profound effect. So often parents tell their children off by attacking their identity – “you are a bad boy” “you are a naughty girl” “are you stupid or something?” The child takes this literally and feels that they, as a person are bad, naughty, stupid etc. when in fact it is certain behaviours that are inappropriate or wrong in a particular context (i.e. not socially acceptable). Again these feelings slowly wear down self-confidence and self esteem. Children of course need to know what is right and wrong in each circumstance such as running around a restaurant is not right but running around in the play ground is OK. It is therefore so important that you let your child know that the behaviour is inappropriate, so rather than “you really are naughty boy” say “running around in a restaurant is naughty”. Again this will make sure they know what is right and wrong without making them feel bad as a person.

So here is your challenge. For the next week, really think about the way you speak to your child. Listen to yourself. When you catch yourself giving them negative suggestions, think of a different way of saying it to get the result you want. As you do this more and more, you find that you actually start to see their actions and behaviour in a different way. You start to see them succeed rather that visualizing them failing. The more you see them succeed… the more you find that they do.

Babies and toddlers really are like sponges. They soak up everything that is going on around them. Their little brains are developing faster than at any other time in their lives. This is when patterns of speech and the way they think are created and set. What better gift can you give them than the power of positive thinking, self-confidence and the belief that they can achieve anything they set their heart to do. You may think that that is a bit over the top as we are only taking about babies. It is not. We are talking about creating a pattern and a way of thinking which will stay with them for the rest of their lives and the lives of their children.