Thursday, 15 October 2009

Hypno Mummy to become a G-d Mummy too

First the back story.....

Clare (Little Yummy Bags) and I met 3 years ago almost exactly to the day when she attended the first day of her HypnoBirthing course on 7th October 2006. Fate stepped in right from that very first meeting to ensure that we would become friends because it was also the course that my husband was on to learn all about HypnoBirthing for the birth of our daughter Evan. The other couple due to attend unfortunately had to attend the hospital that morning (all was well) and so asked if I could move them on to the next course. This meant that it was just the four of us. Clare and I and our partners Piers and Jim (respectively).

The course was great fun particularly because Piers and Jim are remarkably similar and both having a wicked sense of humour meant there was a lot of laughter.

Fast forward to around August 2007. Due to our busy professional lives Clare and I had not had much contact since the course, beyond some support regarding the HypnoBirthing, but once Evan was born and we were both on maternity leave we thought it was about time we met up. I went to visit Clare with a 2 month old Evan and as Clare was just a bit ahead of me with a 6 month old Hannah we had lots to talk about (an opportunity for me to pick up some hints and tips from a mum just ahead of me - something I recommend for my clients to do if they can). We didn't stop talking , sitting their breastfeeding our beautiful girls and chatting like we'd known each other for years. It was wonderful. But no sooner had we got used to the fact that we lived around the corner from each other and what great friends we were becoming Clare and Piers decided to move to Canterbury (not a million miles away from Sidcup I know but an hour in the car and Evan at the time was an awful traveller). Luckily for me though Clare was happy to make the drive more times than was fair and so our friendship blossomed.

So it was of course a natural thing for me to do a refresher HypnoBirthing session with Clare and Piers when they became pregnant with their second child. I had mentioned how much I would love to be at the birth and was overjoyed when Clare said that they were both happy for me to be there. Unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the door when Madeleine arrived because Clare left it a little too late to call me (she was so calm and relaxed that she had no idea she was in such an advanced stage of labour - you can read her story here). But I saw Madeleine within minutes of her birth and stayed with Clare and Piers for a few hours afterwards and this time is now one of my most treasured memories. It was such an honour to be with them during such a special time. Also, I should mention that Piers had captured the labour and birth on film and so I did get to see it and because of that so will my clients too (a great confidence booster for them).

Now a few months on and Clare and Piers are planning little Madelaine's Baptism and I had the most wonderful surprise today when Clare came over for a visit as she has asked me to be Madelaine's G-d Mother (well I kind of gave that away with the heading didn't I).

I cannot tell you all how incredibly happy, excited, proud and honoured I feel to have been asked.

Of course I've said YES!!!!

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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The first meeting of the Hyp 'n Happening Group

Yesterday was the first Hyp 'n Happening Mums and Mums-to-be Hypnobirthing group.

I was really excited all morning and very much looking forward to it. The night before I had got the room ready setting out all the chairs (with 12 mums and mums-to-be coming along I needed to be organised). On Evan's return from nursery though she had other ideas about the layout of the room and put all the chairs in a row. She then sat herself on one of them and started chanting"choo choo choo choo". She would not let me put them back so they stayed like that until my guests started to arrive.

In total we had 8 mums-to-be, 3 mums sharing their wonderful HypnoBirthing stories, 3 two year olds, including Evan and 2 babies. The lovely Johanna from Lollipop also came along to talk about the benefits of using cloth nappies (for mum, baby and the environment).

The first half an hour was spent with mums catching up with other mums they'd met on courses (or with friends they'd referred to me so knew beforehand) and making new friends. There was a lovely buzz to the air - just how I imagined it would be. The making of tea with one kettle wasn't too bad either and in fact 1 full kettle made 8 mugs worth (no wonder Jim used to get cross with me when I filled the kettle just for the two of us. I had no idea it was that big. I must have bought a tardis kettle). Getting my mums to bring their own mugs was a stroke of genius (even if I do say so myself). Not only did it mean I had enough mugs but it was easy to make sure everyone got the right cup of tea and a simple rinse at the end with mug handed back meant I didn't have a big pile of washing up after everyone had gone home.

Those mums who purchased a Hypno Mummy mug from the lovely were very happy and one mum asked if the artist was coming (I wish Helen could have been there). I hope more mums want to buy them in future, they really are gorgeous!

Once everyone had their mug of tea and a lovely treaty flapjack provided by one of my mums-to-be we listened to the amazing HypnoBirthing stories. A great selection from a baby born 10 minutes after arrival at hospital and mum saying she'd only experienced period like sensations to an amazing birth following induction (and a consultant constantly saying you are never going to be able to do this without an epidural - big two fingers up at her - oops sorry for my rudeness).

A few hints and tips were also shared - "practise, practise, practise", "listen to what Dany says when she says stay asleep if you can when labour starts", "a session with Dany just before the baby was due is great for staying focused" (one of the reasons I introduced the group to help mums keep their focus and maintain enthusiasm) and the one I really love "believe in yourself, trust your body, you can do it".

There was then an 'interesting', shall we say, attempt at some relaxing hypnosis. It certainly was an opportunity for mums-to-be to see how they could focus with a lot of noise going on around them. Three kids walking in and out of the garden, Evan coming in with her garden tools staring at all the women and wondering why they were not taking any notice of her (I so nearly laughed out loud at this point), the phone ringing (twice) and Evan insisting she wanted to watch Peppa Pig. What was good to see though that despite mums-to-be saying they could hear the distraction (and of course they could) but I asked them to set the intention for it to help them focus inwards and I could see from their responses that they were in deed in a state of trance. Something useful for them to realise as conditions will not always be 'perfect'. Although I did point out that they may want to purchase a Peppa Pig video for their labour as Evan had firmly planted a suggestion that they would want to watch it - tee hee.

Johanna then showed the mums the huge variety of cloth nappies that are available now and how easy they are to use, wash and get dried. I've already had one mum say that she is now a convert as she was nervous about them before.

Mums left saying how much they had enjoyed it and are looking forward to the next one. I had the best fun although was totally exhausted at the end of it and I can't wait for the next one on the 9th November.

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Thursday, 8 October 2009

And now it's time to sleeeeep!!!

The following entry is by my new guest mummy blogger Clare who I hope we will be hearing more from. So without further ado I will leave you in her capable hands......


I'm crying with happiness (that makes a change huh?) 7 mins and my lil girl is sleeping beautiful on her own in her crib!!! Thank you xxx

After sleep problems with my first born I promised myself I wouldn't let it happen again- 12 weeks and 3 days my little Madelaine is finally sleeping beautiful on her own in her crib for the first time and I am so happy I could do cartwheels! How did I do it- I listenend to my friend.

Madelaine had a beautiful and amazing hypno birth but after a few weeks she developed colic and was constantly crying feeding or in distress before I knew it she was sleeping constantly with me or on me- which I don't have a problem with but with a fun and active toddler in tow I found myself getting myself in a pickle. My toddler spending more and more time in front of the tv. I was getting to the point I couldn't get dressed, wash hair blah blah..

Talking to Dany I decided to take action and after listening to her advice- I decided to do the pick up put down routine and then after 20 mins I left Madelaine for 1 min went back picked her up when she was calm put her back in her cot left her for 2mins and so on- it took 7 mins and she was sleeping.

You think that being a mum 2nd time round will be easier and in some respects it is- I never would have done the above with Hannah and its a shame I didn't have the confidence to do it back then- I now know teaching your baby to sleep is just as important as teaching her to crawl, brush her teeth, hold a spoon...

My one piece of advice is to surround yourself with lovely positive mums - hopefully who have been there before you (6mths before ideally :)> Not all advice will be for you but its worth a listen and take what will work for you. Besides sometime it is just good to be with people who understand...

This is why I am so looking forward to Dany's Hyp n Happening group on Monday - I know that all us mums who have had fantastic births with pass on our lovely birthing stories and here's to making some great new friends and making a difference to our and our little ones lives :)

Clare - Hannah and Madeleine's Hypno Mummy

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Hypnosis for Fertility - Session one

So finally here I am writing the first entry for my series on what attending Hypnosis for Fertility sessions might involve for you. All treatment plans are devised based on the individual so your sessions may not follow exactly the same path but these posts will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect and clear up any myths or concerns you may have or heard regarding hypnosis.

Actually, although this is about session one there is some stuff that goes on prior to me ever meeting you and so I will mention this first. Normally there will have been a first phone call or at least an email. Someone will have read about HypnoFertility and probably have had a look at my website and found out a bit more about me and the way that I work. The phone call / email enables them to ask any initial questions to make sure that they are comfortable with booking their first session. Once this has then been booked I send out an 'Intake' form for them to complete and return to me prior to attending. I also send them a stress buster and progressive relaxation mp3 to start listening to.

Session one itself is all about information giving on both sides. I spend time explaining how hypnosis supports fertility (both natural and assisted conception), how the mind works and its impact on the body both positive and negative and what being in the state of hypnosis feels like (not what you would expect from a stage hypnotic show - just a nice relaxed feeling mainly). We will review the information provided in the intake sheet and most importantly discuss your goal of therapy.

Now you might well say "but you know my goal - I want a baby". But goals need to be SMART (I'm drawing on my days as a trainer here). Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound. Now whilst I do spend time with you helping you to imagine what it will be like to be pregnant, holding your baby in your arms, feeling positive about you ability to have your baby. Because we actually have no control over timescales or achievability for this it is not a goal we can measure. What we will be aiming for is creating the best possible circumstances which themselves will support fertility.

This in turn means that the feedback I get from clients is that they feel more in control of their lives than they have for years. Friends and family are saying that they look more relaxed and happy. They are feeling less obsessed and more able to enjoy life. Things that had been bothering them for a long time now don't seem significant at all. And many other positive changes particular to them. These things in themselves help to return the body to a state of normalcy and give the best opportunity for having their desired baby.

There may or may not be time to actually carry out some hypnosis during session 1 but if there is it will be something gentle introducing them to how it feels and starting the process of restoring balance in their lives.

In part 2 of this series I will be taking you through the next steps as we move on to Session two.

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Derma WaterWipes

Well it has taken me about 2 months to get around to doing my first review (with this speed I'm sure companies will be beating down my door to get me to do more). In fact when I was originally asked I had no idea that 'bloggers' were asked to do such things and was unsure as to why someone wanted to send me a free pack of Baby Wipes.

The benefit of it taking me so long though is that I have had plenty of opportunity to test them out in different situations for a variety of uses.

Firstly, if I was a new mum again buying them would be a no brainer for me. From the moment the midwife, just after Evan's birth, said to me "don't worry about that blood stain" (she had just made on my brand new cream sofa) "baby wipes get everything out" I thought 'I'm not using them on my daughter's gorgeous new bottom'. And she was right. They got out the blood stain, ink stains, any number of food stains - off of furniture, walls, carpets, clothes, bodies. In fact any stain on any surface I've not yet found that a wet wipe won't cure. Why people spend loads of money on stain removers it is beyond me.

Anyway back to my point. I refused to use them on Evan's gorgeous little botty and so it was cotton wool and water for us. Easy in the house not so easy when you are out and about. The beauty also of course with a wipe made from 99.9% water as opposed to cotton wool is that you have a nice big piece of cloth to play with rather than a messy mass of cotton wool. I also like the fact that they don't feel slimy and greasy and they don't slip and slide as you are trying to clean a wriggly poopy bumbum.

My only complaint is that they are very, very difficult to get out. Although this does have a benefit as they are the only box of wipes that I do not find completely emptied and out all over the floor if I leave them in reach of a two year who just loves to have her hands clean. And on that note another plus for me as I also really like to keep my hands clean. Something my mum said I've always been like and regularly came up to her as a tiny tot pulling faces and showing her my sticky hands which were apparently not even that sticky. So it is great for me to have the WaterWipes in my bag to clean away any mess, any time, any where. Normal wipes or that bottled stuff don't do it for me as they still leave your hands feeling sticky or greasy.

So that's it my first review and it is a big thumbs up for Derma WaterWipes. Although don't despair makers of other babywipes I will still be buying them for the ever increasing stains that keep popping up in my house. On that note - Evaaaaaaaaaaaaaan you do not write on the kitchen cabinet.

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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A retrospective look at my birth plan

Just as it was coming up to Evan's 2nd birthday and following many discussions with women about their birth plans it inspired me to seek out the birth plan I wrote for her birth. At the time I put a journal entry on Baby Centre bur recently thought it would be a good entry for my blog too. So here it is.

Because Evan was born only 1 hour 20 mins after the midwife arrived she didn't actually get to have a look at ,my birth plan but I thought it would be fun to review how close to my wishes she came (although the midwife didn't get to read it before the birth she was so excited after seeing Evan be born that she asked to take it away with her as a memento and I also gave her a copy of the HypnoBirthing book).

So this is what I wrote:

To the Midwife

There are a couple of things which you may not have come across before that are specific to HypnoBirthing so I have listed these under the labour and birthing sections. however, I’m hoping that as you are supporting me with a home birth you will already be in tune with the fact that we are looking for as natural a birth as we can and welcome your help and experience with this.

During first-stage labour

I am using HypnoBirthing and a Birth Pool during labour. As the language we hear impacts on how we feel I would like to ask that you refrain from references to “pain, hurt, etc.” and any offer of medication.

Midwife wasn't present during this stage (I was asleep mostly)

During birthing

To remain in the tub for waterbirthing if wish to do so.

I only got in for birthing. When the midwife first arrived she told Jim to stop filling the pool as it would be hours yet. Once she realised I was fully dilated Jim went off to fill the pool and he heard her saying "get another midwife here now she's about to have this baby and make sure she's experienced at water births". Although she hadn't ever experienced a water birth herself she wasn't phased at all that I was going to have Evan in the pool.

That natural expulsive pulsations of the body be allowed to facilitate the gentle descent of the baby, with mother-directed Birth Breathing to crowning. Jim will offer prompts. No coaching or instructions to push.

When the midwife realised I was fully dilated she said "you can start pushing with your contractions now". I said we don't push with HypnoBirthing and she said "you just do your hypno breathing". She then stayed quiet throughout.

Use of Hypno-Birthing breathing techniques – not other methods. I’ve left the HypnoBirthing book open on the page relating to this so that you can have a read.

Following birthing

Immediate skin-to-skin contact, with baby placed on Dany’s stomach or lower chest.

Midwife told me how I would be easily able to go from the kneeling position I was in to sitting back in the pool and she would lay Evan on my chest.

Cord to be clamped and cut only after pulsation has ceased. Yes

Jim to cut the cord after it stops pulsating.

Midwife was so excited she forgot and did it herself. We didn't mind because she had been such a wonderful part of our birth experience.

A wait for natural placenta delivery.

My midwife was very pro natural placenta delivery and she was the one who said to me your placenta is very ready to come out. And it did so very easily.

Baby brought to breast to assist placenta birth. See above.

No assisted removal of placenta unless necessary. See above.

For Baby

Allow vernix to be absorbed into baby’s skin; delay “cleaning or rubbing.”

Evan was placed straight on me and then when we were ready to get out just wrapped in a towel and handed to Jim (who she promptly did her first poo on).

All in all a wonderful birthing day for all!

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Gift for Life - UNICEF and Pampers

Andrea (The Accidental Businessmum) sent me this very special Gift of Life meme.

We are so lucky here in the UK as we have a fantastic vaccination programme which starts when babies are 8 weeks old (I know some of you will have your own views about this but we are lucky to have a choice). Diseases that were once life threatening are no longer a concern for us, but the peace of mind this gives is not so easily available to a mother bringing up her children in the developing world.

Pampers and UNICEF have joined forces for the fourth year running with their ‘Give the Gift of Life ‘ campaign aiming to help eliminate maternal and newborn tetanus by 2012. A diseases that has been curable for over 70 years and yet killing 128,000 mothers and babies each year in less industrialised nations.

To help launch the campaign, Grammy award-winning world music artist and mother of one, Angelique Kidjo has released a song called 'You Can Count On Me' which is available as a free download. Each time it is downloaded Pampers will donate more funds for vaccines. This means that anyone can help raise funds without spending anything themselves but their time.

Pampers also supports UNICEF’s programme by donating the cost of 1 vaccine for every one pack of their nappies sold. To date they have donated the funding for 200 million tetanus vaccines. You can read more about this on the UNICEF website.

If your children are no longer in nappies, you use cloth nappies or simply prefer a different brand you can still support UNICEF directly by clicking here.

Andrea asked me to keep the meme going and pass it on to other bloggers.

All you have to do is:

1 Open the virtual Gift For Life by going here
2 Write a small post on the campaign
3 Pass on to at least 5 other bloggers
4 Add the campaign badge to your sidebar
5 Feel incredibly proud that you are helping to make a difference!

So I’m passing this onto you:

Cariad Hypnotherapy

HypnoBirthing Gwent

Sleep is for the Weak

OMG We're Pregnant

Emma's Books

Perfectly Happy Mum

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Sunday, 4 October 2009

My very own Hypno Mummy mugs

I am very pleased to announce that the wonderful Helen of has designed especially for Tums 2 Mums some gorgeous Hypno Mummy mugs.

I left the design completely up to her so it was a lovely surprise to find that she had chosen to take inspiration from my website. I think you will agree with me they are fab!

Helen has also designed a Hypno Daddy mug but I haven't seen that yet - can't wait!

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