Brighton 1-day Workshop

This really useful birth preparation workshop is suitable for ALL parents, whether this is your first baby or not, VBAC, IVF, hospital, or homebirth.

Come and overcome your fears and anxiety about birth. Discover how to feel more confident and leave feeling empowered as you get ready to meet your baby.

Dads and birth partners – find out how important your role is, and what you’re meant to do!!

Mums – learn how to work with your body and your baby, and how amazing you both are.

Learn Hypnobirthing and Mindful techniques. Practise them. And use them. To experience a better birth.

The workshop is delivered by a local doula with home, hospital and birthing centre experience, and knowledge of local services and protocols, and how to navigate your way through them.

For more information about our other services, go to www.calmbirth-uk.com.

We look forward to meeting you and changing the way you see birth – for the better. For you, and your baby.

To reserve your space, please pay the £30 deposit here. You will then receive confirmation of your booking. The balance of £100 will be payable  within 7 days of the event. 

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You pass your due date and it’s “have you had the baby yet?”.

Due date
Clock watching can slow labour down.

The due date countdown and friends who can’t help asking is the baby is here yet.

by Sophie Fletcher

“Have you had the baby yet?” is a question that you may here more and more as you approach your due date. As much as they love their friends and family this text or call can be one of the biggest irritants to mums-to-be as when they go past their due date.  Ironically, the worst culprits are often other women who, without thinking, feel they are being attentive to their friends and bombard them with texts, saying “just checking that you’re ok”, “oh so you haven’t had the baby yet”.   An acute example is my own mother, who phoned the hospital and was buzzed through by reception to the intercom in my room, during labour, at least twice to ask if I’d had my baby!

Most people automatically send a text round when baby is born; I’ve received numerous texts at 2, 3 or 4 am.  So the rule of thumb is if you haven’t received a text then baby hasn’t arrived into the world yet and if baby is on their way, and mum knows, she’s unlikely to want to text you back or chat to you.

Friends and family should fight the urge to call the mum when she is reaching her due date, she may be at the receiving end of dozens of texts from well meaning people.  At the same time mum-to-be may be under pressure for induction because she’s gone over her due date – the texts or phone calls  may become  a reminder that she’s over her due date and cause even more stress.

You may think, “I’ll switch my phone off” when I get close to my due date.  But the sound of an answer message  can just stir up the excitement even more, because if your phone is switched off everyone who calls assumes that you are in labour.

I know and you may know that you are not at term until you reach 42 weeks, and that the majority of women birth their babies before this date, but very often over their 40 week due date.  Only around 3-4% of babies come on their due date.

We also know that any stress or apprehension can stop labour from starting, as it releases stress hormones that can slow labour down, so it’s incredibly important that mum doesn’t have these reminders everywhere around her due date, and that she is able to go, stress free, into labour when she and her baby are ready.

Tips to help you minimise this disturbance as you approach your due date:

  1. Don’t tell people your due date.  Tell them an approximate time, eg. The end of August, middle of September.
  2. Tell your friends that you will message them straight away when baby is born.
  3. Ask them not to text you, to ask “how you are”, or “if baby has arrived” after your due date but maybe a “I’m nipping to the supermarket, do you want anything” text is fine.
  4. Get some lovely relaxation music to reduce stress after your due date when you may be getting anxious. Try the Mindful Mamma Mp3 on itunes.

 

 

 

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Katie’s cat. Birth like a mammal.

Birth

By Sophie Fletcher

Yesterday my friend Katie rang to say her cat, Sox, had finally given birth to the kittens we knew she was expecting. Last week we were watching her intently over coffee, her belly swaying in time with her step, noticing that as she lay down in various places in the sun trying to get comfortable she couldn’t lie for long.   We had a feel of her belly and you could feel at least 3 kittens in there moving around.   We hedged bets on when she would give birth, neither thinking it would be within the next few days.

Suddenly, Sox’s behaviour changed and she was restless, clawing at boxes in the study near where Katie has been making a box for her to nest in.  Birth was sure to be imminent! Katie put the box down for Sox and left the study. Tom her youngest had been unwell and having a few sleepless nights, so there had been lots of noise and movement through the night, but in the afternoon just after Katie popped the box down and joined Tom for an afternoon nap, Sox snuggled up in the afternoon quiet in her box in the darkness underneath the desk and gave birth to four kittens. Coming down an hour or so after putting the box out and having a nap Katie found her licking the sac off the kittens.

The study has become a no go area after the birth, so Sox can feed and nurture her kittens in quiet, undisturbed by the three rowdy children in the house.   My children are allowed to go and peek into the box, but not make their presence known and certainly not to touch the kittens at this stage.

We have more in common with Sox in how we birth than we think. One of the prerequisites for a good birth is that the mother is undisturbed, that she feels safe and that her environment supports this.  During her birth Sox was in the darkness under a desk away from prying eyes and free from people and interruption. She felt comfortable in her nest. Us humans make a joke of our ‘nesting instinct’ but it’s a wonderful reminder of the instinctive birthing mammal within us.

If you compare the expectations of Sox’s birth to your own, you realize that we didn’t know when Sox’s kittens were to be born, we just knew that she’d been getting bigger and slower! There was no due date at all.  We simply guessed when she’d give birth, we even had no idea when labour started.

When Sox gave birth, she instinctively knew when it was quiet and she wouldn’t be interrupted – when the house was sleeping.  This reminds me of a story that someone told me of how she labored really well while her birth attendant was sleeping, and that the gentle reassuring snoring helped her. She knew someone was there, and would be there if she needed them, but at the same time was utterly confident that she wasn’t been watched and would not be interrupted.

Then after the birth, Sox had time to bond with her kittens, us knowing that she may reject them, if the children or we touched them.   Her space will be kept quiet and protected for a few weeks at least.

If you compare this gentle, quiet experience to the bright lights of hospital, people chatting away, noise and interruption everywhere then you can begin to understand where we are going wrong. At the end of the day we are animals, with big brains that get in the way of birth.  Animals don’t have birth manuals, they just know what to do.  Let your brain go to sleep, let your animal instinct wake up and tune into what you want for your birth.   It’s probably not so different from what Sox wanted.