Sunday, 27 September 2009

Hyp 'n Happening Group

I am very excited for two reasons:

Firstly, the first of my Hyp 'n Happening groups is taking place on Monday, 12th October at 2pm and I've had lots of Mums and Mums-to-be saying that they are looking forward to coming.

I have decided to set up this group for my HypnoBirthing Mums and Mums-to-be as I'd had a couple of requests asking if I knew of anywhere that Mums could meet up with other HypnoBirthing mums. I didn’t so I thought it was about time I got my own up and running.

It will be held on the second Monday of each month from 2pm to 3:30pm and besides having a cuppa and a chat there will be a bit of relaxation hypno at the beginning and then an opportunity to discuss any questions mums-to-be might have about their practise. Those Mums who have already had their babies will then hopefully share their experience and any hints and tips they might have not only about the birth but also about being new mums too. It is a new group and I'm looking forward to my 'Mums' also suggesting what they might like to use it for. There will also be some guests coming along to tell us about how they can support Mums and Mums to be and I am pleased to say that I have Chantal Fabrice coming to talk to us about 'Sound Birthing' at the group in November (Monday, 9th November).

The second reason I am so excited is that the wonderful Julie at My Life Expressed has once again surpassed my expectations with this beautiful header for my communications about the group.

I will no doubt be blogging after the first group to let you all know how it went.

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Friday, 25 September 2009

Slanket reward for my months of sleep deprivation please

Just today I learnt of the fabulous Slanket (I want one) and then thanks to the wonderful @porridgebrain aka I found out that I could win one (fingers and toes currently crossed). All I have to do is share a sleep deprivation story and boy have I got LOADS. Which one to choose, which one will win me the wonderful Slanket. There was also mention of sharing how I survived so maybe that's the useful story I should share as I am indeed on the best side of this story now.

Evan now happily watches her two episodes of Peppa Pig, cheerfully calls out "come on Daddy time for sleep" as we all go into her room and sing a couple of lullabies, she turns off her own light and shuts the door. We all kiss and then I place Evan in her cot, not yet braved the idea of transferring her to a bed cos as I learnt from my sleep coach (yes, yes I will be telling you about this wonderful person soon) I don't go rushing in as soon as she wakes up in the morning. Without the cot rails though I am afraid that she will come rushing in to me. Where was I? Oh yes, so I place Evan into her cot and she calls for her sleep buddies, pink bear (the original sleep buddy), angel bear who joined a few months later, Di Li - a few weeks ago and Jo Jingles - 3 days ago. Once she has declared "I've got everyone, good night mummy, good night daddy, sweet dreams, love you" she's happy. Sometimes falling asleep straight away and sometimes singing a few more lullabies to her pals to make sure they get a good night sleep.

In bed by 7 pm normally waking between 6:30 am and 7:30 am Jim and I downstairs relaxing with a nice glass of something.

But you can tell from the title of this post that life hasn't always been like this - ohhhhhhhhh no!.

For the first 5 weeks Evan wouldn't sleep anywhere but on me. I think she had such a great birth that she really hadn't noticed we were separate. But I actually got loads of sleep during this time. Not necessarily the most comfortable, lying on my back and stiff as a board (it is true what they say - you DON'T move if you've fallen asleep with your baby on you) but nonetheless sleep.

From 5 weeks to 5 months she slept 11 pm to 5 am in her cot - yippee! I used to boast very loudly. Although she made me pay during the day because she would NEVER let me put her down. One day my friend had been walking around with her and noticed she'd fallen asleep. As she went to put her in the Moses Basket she started crying. At this stage she was only hovering Evan over the top - nowhere near to being in the basket so she stepped away still holding Evan who promptly stopped crying. She then experimented and held Evan with outstretched arms in mid air - no crying. Over the Moses Basket - WAH! She did this a couple of times and same result. I knew then I was going to have trouble on my hands with this one but she was still sleeping at night so I thought I could deal with my willful bundle when I needed to.

Well a trip to Wales at 5 months put an end to my peaceful nights. She slept through the first night but on the second woke every hour and would only sleep on me (a lot heavier by now). On returning home this became the norm. Our normal bedtime routine was bath, baby massage, book, booby, bed by 7 pm (she'd always fallen asleep on my boob so had never gone down awake in her cot). Every night we'd have hope (ever the optimist me) and we'd sneak next door to our own bedroom. No more going downstairs we decided very quickly if Evan was asleep then the best thing we could do was be in our own bed too. We'd watch a bit of TV but then as the clock ticked round to 7:55 pm our breathing would change, we'd agitatedly keep checking the time, second by second by second "would this be the night - would she go back to sleeping through". Occasionally the hands of the clock would move round to 8:06 / 8:07 and we'd be almost holding our breath "she's gone 7 mins longer than normal" we'd whisper to each other. But sooner rather than later we would hear the familiar WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only a mother knows how that just gets you. Dads don't seem to FEEL it the same.

I would go in settle her back to sleep and creep out of her room and the next hour would be a repeat of the last. 9 pm would arrive and WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'd go in and settle her and by the time I got back in Jim, who had to get up at 5 am he would be putting in his ear plugs, wishing me good luck , turning over and going to sleep.

10 pm WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11 pm WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12 midnight WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1 am WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 am WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and this is when the fun really began

2:10 am WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:20 am WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:40 am WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mummy gives up and brings Evan into bed where she stays helping herself to my boob as and when she felt like it for the rest of the night. And this was my life from October 2007 to March 2008. At one point I thought I had a friend I could share my lack of sleep with. It's nice to feel someone else is suffering with you isn't it? For a number of weeks we shared our woes about our sleepless bundles of joy until one day I realised that un-named (you know who you are) friend's baby was only waking every 3 hours. Now I'm not dismissing her pain but I think you will agree mine was WORSE.

Now I turned 40 in March 2008 and I'm very proud of the fact that no-one ever realises that I am this old so I didn't want a lack of sleep to make my years suddenly all catch up on me. It had taken me 5 months but I finally realised (lets blame the sleep deprivation) that I needed to take action. Although I think one of the reasons I didn't take action prior to this is because although I was incredibly tired, and when I look back on this time things were a bit of a blur, I don't seem to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation in quite the same way as other mums do. I do hope I don't lose your sympathy at this point but what I have to share maybe useful.

  • I've always been a good napper and so I think during the part of the night that she was waking every hour I somehow got into a rhythm of matching my sleep to hers. It was only when she would wake every 10 mins that didn't work.
  • As I was then bringing her in with me I was getting another couple of hours sleep although because my body was fixed around hers and she would enjoy my boobs all night I would wake up stiff as a board.
  • Luckily too as a Hypnotherapist I am very used to using self hypnosis to snatch short sharp bursts of relaxation and energy which helped me get through the day.
  • Never worrying about the chores during the day, putting my feet up and watching tv as Evan had booby and falling asleep with her in my arms whenever I could most certainly helped.
  • Also, and this is probably one of the most important bits a 'positive mental attitude' really helped. Acknowledging that I knew my life would change when I had her, focussing on the wonder of my gorgeous girl, realising it wouldn't last forever and staying as relaxed as I could to keep my lovely endorphins flowing.
Yes, yes, yes but HOW did you get her to start sleeping. The simple answers is that I found the most wonderful I tell anyone who is having trouble with their baby's sleeping to get straight on to their website and to not mess about but go straight for the private consultation. This is what I did, although I was lucky at the time as it only cost £25 for 10 days. Now it is £50 for 7 days but to be honest I still think that is cheap. Other companies charge £100s for a phone call and a so called personalised training schedule for your little one. Baby Sleep Answers (I promise I am not on commission) give you ongoing online support which enables them to work with you throughout your child's sleep training. They helped me take back control. It wasn't always easy (I was a mum who said that she would never leave her baby to cry) but I learnt that sooner or later you have to let them cry a little bit (little bit making it very different to the old fashioned shut the door and let them cry until they became so exhausted they had to sleep). Within a couple of weeks Evan was sleeping through and well you know the rest of the story (see top of page in case you've forgotten as it has been such a long post).

Something I wish I'd had and is worth a mention here I think is the wonderful EasiDream - check out this entry on my blog written by Lynda from EasiDream herself.

Whilst this blog entry is only being written because I really want to win the Slanket I hope my story helps other mums (and dads) see that you will get through and if you are not getting there yourself to seek out HELP.

Here's to happy sleeping babies.

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Thursday, 24 September 2009

Helping people understand more about the benefits of HypnoFertility

Yesterday evening I was flicking through my blog. Do you flick when they are pages on a computer screen? Any way I was reviewing things that I had written and I realised that I hadn't really written anything that was specifically about HypnoFertility which is a shame because it is something that is really worth shouting about.

I have decided then to run a little series of entries specifically devoted to the benefits of using hypnosis to support conception, be that through natural or assisted means. On as regular basis as my busy life will allow I am going to take you through the types of treatment that I use for my clients many of whom who have gone on to have their beautiful babies.

If whilst reading these entries you have any questions something you'd like to know please leave a comment and I will use further blog entries to answer your questions.

That's it for this entry though - just a precursor to whet your appetite. Keep checking in as they will be well worth the read and if you have any friends who are facing fertility issues please send them a link to my blog.

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Monday, 21 September 2009

Why do a hypnotic fear and emotion release session as part of your preparation for birth?

Quite simply because if we don't remove the fears around birthing trying to create a positive expectancy of birth will be like building a house on dodgy foundations. Any positivity will be in constant conflict with the negativity that is stored within the subconscious mind.

The impact of that negativity when you are in labour and giving birth to your baby is that it can actually change how the muscles in your uterus are designed to work. Instead of the muscles that need to dilate being relaxed they instead constrict and tighten and it is this that causes the great discomfort that we hear about during labour. A Fear and Emotion Release hypnotic session will enable you to release any emotional issues, fears and concerns that you have, clearing your mind of all potential negativity, in order to enable you to focus on your labour and birth in a positive confident way.

However, the hypnosis session is only a part of the process of dealing with any fear or negative emotions. You will want to identify any feelings, experiences or recollections that may be painful or hurtful.
Some of them can be resolved through discussion with your partner or others explaining how you feel and clarifying things between you. There maybe some practical things that you need to resolve for example making sure everything is ready in the house for the baby's arrival or your husband ensuring that he is not away on business around your due date. And there maybe some emotional baggage left behind from a horror story you've heard or the impact of your childhood or just a nagging doubt about your abilities.
The following is a list of some of the areas of concern that you may want to consider but you may also have other issues that you would like to resolve.

Birth Stories (your own and others)
  • Your own family's birth stories. Did you grow up hearing positive and encouraging words about labour and birth from your mother, grandmother, aunties or were they negative and frightening. Have those stories followed a negative pattern "we always have long labours in our family", "births never go smoothly for us". Remember there is no reason to believe that you will have a similar experience.
  • Others' birth stories. As friends, peers, family members have had their babies have they shared joyful messages of birth or horror stories. Again remember that these are THEIR experiences. Maybe they didn't have the advantage of learning HypnoBirthing, perhaps their were complications, whatever the reason it does not mean your labour and birth should be the same way. Although beware! Because your subconscious doesn't know the difference between real or imagined events it can indeed take on others horror stories as its own experience. Don't let others share their horror stories with you. If you have been affected by a horror story the Hypnosis Fear Release session will help you change the way you feel about it and using the Cancel Technique will enable you to keep any negative thoughts in check.
  • Previous labours. If you have already had a difficult labour recognise why. Were there special circumstances? Did something/someone have a hugely negative impact on you whilst in labour? Were you in an environment that you found scary and imposing? Remember that for this labour you can be better prepared. And that the Fear and Emotion Release hypnotic session will help remove the negative emotional attachment you may have to previous birth(s).
Coping as a new mum
  • Becoming a mum. What are your feelings regarding your new role. Did you have positive parenting role models that have left you feeling confident about how you will be as a mum or do you feel overwhelmed? If you did not grow up with a good role model turn this into a positive - you have after all learnt how not to be a parent.
  • Support. Do you feel secure with the support your partner and/or family will provide? Make sure others know if you welcome their support and how they can help. If there isn't that support from close family look at what strengths you must build to effectively provide your own best support.
  • Your relationship with your partner. Do you feel secure in your relationship. Have you discussed the type of parents you each want to be and how you want to bring up your child? Are you on the same page?
  • Impact on your career. Do you have any concerns about the impact having a baby will have on your career? Any conflicts with needing to work and wanting to stay at home with your baby. Sorting through these types of questions can help you reconcile with what you really feel you want to do.
No matter what your list reveals look at how you can resolve any of the practical issues on a conscious level. Any emotional issues, fears or concerns can be dealt with using a specialised hypnosis session. For those of you attending a HypnoBirthing course, Hypnosis for Childbirth sessions or using my Hypno 4 Birth Home Study Programme this will be part of your course. For others you can achive this my purchasing my powerful Fear and Emotion Release Hypnotic Session (downloadable mp3).

"Release the fear and open your mind to a more comfortable way of birthing".

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Friday, 11 September 2009

Peppa Pig and good family dynamics

My daughter Evan loves Peppa Pig! From the moment her Uncle Rob (who looks considerably like Daddy Pig - sorry Rob but you know it's true), Aunty Hayley and her Cousin Tom gave her Peppa and George along with the Christmas DVD she has been hooked. When friends gave her the Birthday DVD for her birthday 6 months later her love hadn't waned. Although I should add at this point that she calls them George and Grace (the names of her cousins) and sings "George and Grace" along with the theme music. My sister will be pleased to know that she doesn't called Mummy Pig Aunty Harriet.

Now I'm pleased that this appears to be an everlasting love for a number of reasons. It is only 10 minutes long which is great when she shouts "just one more" cos well 10 minutes is ok for an extra little treat. Both my husband and I don't mind watching it as there is bizarrely a level at which we too can find it amusing (I'm not sure if I should confess to wanting to know how an episode ended when Evan appeared to have been distracted elsewhere and he'll hate me for saying it but Jim confessed the same). But mainly I love it because of the wonderful way the family interact with each other.

Every family can learn some great things by watching their behaviour and how they communicate with each other. Here are just a few:

  1. When one of them has done something silly and others are laughing at them, like most of us, their first instinct is to get defensive. But as soon as someone says "well it is a bit funny" they agree and start laughing along with everyone else.
  2. Mummy and Daddy Pig aren't perfect. Wow! As parents we don't have to be?
  3. We see scenes of Peppa and George asking for extra play time, or just one book, etc and there is a great balance between Mummy and Daddy Pig letting them have their way and then standing firm when "no means no". Ok it would be interesting to see how they cope with Peppa having a tantrum but remember this is for our toddlers and we don't need them learning any new tricks.
  4. Peppa sometimes forgets that George is younger than her and gets frustrated with him but Mummy and Daddy Pig explain and we see how she learns. Although I do love the episode where she inadvertently makes George miss out on seeing the cuckoo come out of the clock and then taunts him with how wonderful it is to see - tee hee - I'm wicked!
  5. Silly old Grandpa Pig gives us a smile and Grandma Pig knows just how to keep him in line. Like any good woman does with her husband.
  6. But my favourite thing of all is that EVERY single episode ends with the whole family lying on their backs laughing. During laughter the stress hormone cortisol is reduced and conversely the happiness hormone oxytocin level is enhanced. What better way for a family to end its day full of happiness. A lesson to us all.
Get laughing with your families guys. To the music of 'wave your arms in the air' - sing along with me now "shake your legs in the air, shake em like you just don't care" :-D

De de de de de de de de de de de Peeeeppppa Pig Oink Oink

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Saturday, 5 September 2009

Lynda from easidream® giving great advice on getting your baby to sleep

Newborn sleep…. Will we ever sleep again?!!!!!

At first your new little one will probably do nothing but sleep, waking for only short periods of time, up to two hours max and sleeping for longer periods of 3 – 4 hours. It is essential that your newborn does NOT sleep through the entire night while they are just as few weeks old, as they need frequent feeding to grow and thrive.

That being said, there is a wealth of advice out there explaining all sorts of different methods that can help you to get your newborn to sleep at night.

As sleep is so very dear to our hearts I just wanted to share with you all my newborn sleep tips.… I do hope they result in happy sleeping babies with equally happy well rested parents. Of course, it goes without saying that using an easidream® will guarantee a peaceful and safe sleep for your precious little one!

Tip 1. Create the mood!

A great way, nearly always guaranteed to help ‘bring on’ those sleepy feelings is to give your little one a lovely warm bath, preferably with suitable baby night time aroma bubble bath! Follow this with a clean nappy, and then a little baby massage. Any gentle caressing of the baby’s arms, legs, body and forehead will really help bring on those sleepy feelings… but hey DON’T OVER DO IT…. You need to make sure you slip in the next tip first.

Tip 2. Full Tummy

Always make sure that your baby has a really satisfying feed at both the early evening and late night feeding times. Whether this is breast or bottle, it is essential that you really try to make sure that they take a full feed before they drop off to sleep. Of course, it is a ‘must’ that your baby is fully winded, so as to avoid griping tummy pains, which are certain to cause discomfort and a restless baby. A full feed almost always guarantees a longer, more settled sleep.

Tip 3 Make night feeds dull!!!

Always make night feeds subdued, with as little interaction as possible. Keep the room dimly lit and disturb your baby as little as possible. Don’t even change their nappy unless it’s a dirty one (No 2) or you really think it’s necessary. Just feed your baby, wind her and then place her back in her moses basket/cot with her comforter.

Tip 4 Swaddling + Dummy/Pacifier

A great way to help newborns feel safe and secure is to swaddle them tightly. This offers them reassurance by reminding them of life in the womb and also helps with limiting waking caused by the startle reflex (Moro reflex - when a baby suddenly startles with their limbs outstretched). Swaddling is a fantastic technique to use for around the first 3-4 months or so.

A dummy is also great way to help babies to settle. Dummies satisfy a baby’s natural sucking instinct and a lot of babies find them really soothing, as the sucking gives them a feeling of security. Dummies have also been proven to reduce the risk of a sudden infant death incident occurring.

Tip 5 Give a little love!

Who can resist that night time cuddle with their newborn and normally it only takes a short while before your little one has peacefully and contentedly drifted off to the land of nod! If you prefer to put your baby down while drowsy but still awake, a great way to help them still feel secure is to give them a comforter that you have had next to your body (tucked down your top for around one hour) so they can still smell ‘mum’ on it.

Now this is where easidream® can become a godsend for those of you who’s LO doesn’t seem to settle quite according to plan!!!

You know the sort of thing... LO falls asleep peacefully in your arms, you then gently place her in the cot, with the same degree of skill as a brain surgeon carrying out a precision manoeuvre and low and behold within 5 seconds she starts screaming the house down! You then resort to pacing up and down, doing the mummy sway (or partner does it looking a wee bit feminine!!!) making all sorts of ‘quiet’ lullaby type noises and slowly but surely you gradually morph from human form into zombie mode, whilst your LO remains wide awake!!

That being said this is a really serious subject, one that is very dear to my heart and it’s the entire reason why I went on to invent easidream®. For those of you not familiar with my family, I have 6 children and my youngest, Bradley, struggled to settle down to sleep (both day and night) for around 2 and a half years. After trying a whole host of techniques to settle him, I found that the most reliable way to encourage him to stay asleep was to lean over the sides of the cot and create a gentle rocking motion, by moving the mattress up and down… inspired by Bradley… easidream® was born!!

easidream®’s multisensory approach cleverly mimics the soothing nurturing environment of the womb by providing a calming rocking motion with gentle light and sound. It also replicates parents rocking their baby in their arms, close to their chest and in time with their resting heartbeat. Parents intuitively make that familiar ‘shushing’ sound, and easidream recreates this with its soothing sounds.

What’s great about easidream® is that it carry’s on providing those gentle movement and sounds that your baby loves AFTER you lay her in her moses basket or cot. If you’d like to find out more information on how easidream® can:

  • help establish a healthy sleep pattern for all the family
  • encourage your baby to settle to sleep on their back
  • reducing crying time from an average of 18 minutes to less than 1 minute
  • help with bouts of colic

then please visit

Sweet dreams everyone