Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentines Competition


Elie (please email so I can send you your prize)

Joanne Ball

Chloe Chatnoi



NOTE: As a special thank you for those of you who have entered this competition but not been lucky enough to win, I would like to offer you the opportunity of purchasing the programme for the amazing price of £26. If you are interested in this offer please email me at

Okay so I know that Valentines day is all about love and affection between intimate companions but for many that love culminates in having children so I thought it would be a lovely time to launch this competition. It also happens to coincide with the completion of a very exciting project and so the timing is perfect.

That project was the turning of my Hypnosis for Childbirth mp3s into a complete Hypno 4 Birth Home Study Programme. I have been busy putting together a workbook/manual that helps women understand more about the benefits of using these mp3s during childbirth and I've also done some re-writing/recording and added 2 additional mp3s.

As you work your way through the manual you will learn:

  • How the muscles of the uterus are designed to work during labour and how fear and anxiety affect them working efficiently.
  • How to change negative thinking habits and beliefs to positive ones that support your desire to have a calm, comfortable birth experience.
  • How to tap into your own natural birthing instincts.
  • What hypnosis is and what it isn't.
  • The impact the mind and your imagination has upon your body and what you experience.
  • A variety of techniques to use during your pregnancy to prepare your mind and body for a positive birth experience.
  • How your birth companion can support you.
  • How to use the techniques during labour and birth
The manual is supported by 8 mp3s and a relaxation plan to help you structure your practise. You will also be sent an invitation to my private Hyp 'n Happening Google Group where you can post any questions you may have and meet other mums and mums-to-be using hypnosis for their birth preparations.

The mp3s that you will receive are as follows:
  • 5,4,3,2,1, relax which is already available as a free download so that you can find out if you enjoy listening to my voice.
  • Cloak of Protection to protect you from outside negative influences (a new mp3 currently not available)
  • Birth Affirmations which provide a structured way to practise new thoughts
  • Natural Calm Progressive Relaxation.
  • Glove Relaxation to learn how you can utilise the power of your mind and your imagination to change your experience of sensations within your body (re-written and newly recorded)
  • Cushion of Comfort to stimulate your endorphins your body's natural pain relief.
  • Surge with Sea Birth Rehearsal Imagery (a new mp3 currently not available).
  • Fear and Emotional Release to help let go of any negative thinking and beliefs, to clear the way for your new positive thoughts that will lead to the acceptance that birth can indeed be a calm, comfortable experience that YOU are in control of.
All mp3s are accompanied by beautiful piano music written and recorded especially for me by Paul Herbert.

And the good news is that I have FIVE of these new Hypno Birth Home Study sets to GIVE AWAY. All you have to do is to write about this competition with a link to this page of my blog to let others know it is available. It might be that you are a member of a forum like NetMums, Baby Centre or Mums Like You, a keen Tweeter on Twitter or have your own blog.

Once you've done that comment on this post with the link to wherever you've written about the competition (or email me at with your link) so that I can add your name into the draw. The more links you place the more entries you will have into the draw (this can include different birth boards on the same forum).

And even if you are not pregnant why not do this for a friend. The opportunity to have a more positive birth experience is the best gift you could give them.

The competition will run for a month starting today (Valentines Day) and closing at midnight on 14th March (my Birthday - how appropriate) . The draw will be made on 15th March and winners names will be placed on the top of this blog entry (if your due date falls within this period and you would still like to benefit from this programme email me separately).

Please help me spread the word that birthing really can be a normal, natural, comfortable event for most women.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Harmony in mind and body

Regular readers to my blog and in fact anyone who knows me either professionally or personally will know that I strive to create harmony in the mind both for myself and others. In fact when my pal Claire Lancaster set me the task of writing about my Theme Word for 2010 I was drawn to writing about wanting more Harmony in my life.

However, of late I've begun wondering more about feeling harmony within my body. Recently I've had a lot of aches, very tense muscles and feeling bloated and then finally last week I put my back out. This hasn't happened since before I had Evan and was the final straw that made me realise that there is complete disharmony in my body at the moment. Sadly this has begun to leak into how I feel in myself and I've been noticeably more irritable, mainly to my husband and close family cos I hide it well to everyone else, but I'm having to check my mood and working a bit too hard to remain calm and relaxed and so it is time to do something.

This has coincided with the desire to become a bit lighter. I'm pretty much the weight I was before I got pregnant with Evan but I know that I would feel better if I was at least another stone lighter. Which for now will be my goal.

However, I've never done well with diets in fact I'd say I've never really been on one. I'd maybe think about going on a diet and even joined Slimming World once but they are not for me. As I start thinking about structuring foods into 'good and bad' or 'free foods and those with points' it just makes me focus on how much I want the thing that is perceived to be nicer than the good/free stuff. Even if it would never normally be a food I'd think much about. Now don't get me wrong I think weight loss approaches such as Slimming World have come a long way and I believe make it so much easier for many women they just don't work with regards to my attitude to food.

For me I find that if I tap into when I actually need food rather than just wanting it, my emotional attachment to food and how food makes me feel physically that I have more success. I want to do more for my body this year. It works so hard for me I thought I really should give something back. But when I thought about what that meant and the whole "you are what you eat" business it felt a bit overwhelming and I almost stopped at the first hurdle, back to worrying, like diets, it would just make me focus on foods that I 'shouldn't' be eating. But then I read a review of a book (not necessarily a book I'll get but maybe!) and the writer stated that what they loved was the way the book helped you to change gradually and I had one of those light bulb moments. Of course I don't have to make all the changes at once and as I'm not fixated on exactly how much I want to get lighter each week there is no pressure either. So for this week I am going to make two simple changes.

Beyond my first cup of tea, with milk and sugar, of the day (which Jim brings me in bed just before going to work) I am going to go back to how I used to be before I had Evan and not have any more. In fact when I was in a 9-5 job I barely had a cup of tea a month let alone every day just loads and loads of water. Instead I'm going to drink water like I used to and have lovely hot drinks like Camomile and Honey and Lemon and Ginger. Actually on the box of the Lemon and Ginger it says it brings harmony to the body and I'm feeling pretty good as I sit here drinking it. It is most likely my emotional response to the drink rather than it actually bringing harmony to my body at this moment (especially as it is the first one I've drunk) but hey I don't care I'm feeling good and enjoying my drink. That is what I want to have more of from my food and so the other change for this week will be to eat more fruit. Every time I give Evan some fruit I will have some myself also (it is ludicrous that I've not done this up till now).

I will keep you updated on how I'm getting on little steps, little changes each and every week and how I'm feeling both in body and mind.

I wonder what it will be next week?

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Thursday, 4 February 2010

Advice for first time mums

My pal Claire Lancaster has put out a request, on behalf of a media friend of hers, for some practical and emotional pearls of wisdom for first time mums that you can’t find in books and you only discover when you’ve had a child.

She had some questions so I thought the easiest way to respond to this request was to answer each one.

How painful IS birth. No *really*.

Well if you are a reader of my blog (and it looks like you are cos your here) you will know by now that if you choose to listen to all the horror stories then quite probably the answer to this question will be “very”. However, it really doesn’t have to be that way. My personal answer following the birth of my daughter Evan is “not at all” and for many of my ‘mums’ who have prepared using HypnoBirthing® they will say the same (even those who have been induced, had 4 day labours or had back to back births). Not all report back that their births were pain free as mine was but, without special circumstance, will say that it was comfortable, that they were calm, relaxed and in control. These women look back on their births (and forward to actually) with a sense of excitement and wanting to shout out to the world that birthing really can be a wonderful experience. Yes *really*.

What do you DO with your newborn baby all day?

This depends on what sort of baby you have. If you get one like my sisters first born you will decorate the house because he slept all day. She HAD to have a rigid routine for feeding (something you would never normally have with a newborn baby) because it was the only way she could make sure he had enough. He NEVER stopped sleeping. If you get one like mine who would NEVER let me put her down you carry them around all day, feed them on demand and watch LOADS of rubbish TV.

The key thing is to be led by the baby and don't expect to get anything else done. That way if you don't you've met your expectations and if you do you've exceeded them. Win:Win.

What’s the best way to avoid losing your marbles with lack of sleep/adult company etc?

Unless you end up with one like my sisters. Sleep when your baby sleeps. It won’t be the uninterrupted nights sleep you are used to but then you didn’t expect that with a new born did you. If you nap you won’t become exhausted. If you find you are not able to nod off just because your little bundle of joy is then listen to a relaxation cd/mp3 as that will also help to restore your energy levels and keep you sane.

Adult company is normally the least of your worries in the first few weeks because everyone descends upon you to see the baby. My advice would be restrict this to very few visitors and ask that they don’t stay for too long (unless it is your best friend and you’ve escaped from everyone else with her). And most importantly DO NOT wait on them. If they want to be there they can bring their own cake and make their own tea.

A few weeks down the line and this is the time to meet up with your new ‘baby’ friends. If you haven’t met any at your antenatal classes then there are plenty of mum and baby groups you can join. Or if you are like me and those places filled you with dread I’d recommend finding a lovely baby massage class and something like baby sensory to start with. Once you start meeting other mums and realise that they are all nervous about meeting other mums then it doesn't seem such a scary thing to do. Or is this just me?

Also, before you’ve had your baby find out which of your friends are around when. Not everyone works 9am – 5pm and so you could possibly meet up with friends around their work and also meet up with friends with older kids who are not working. If you find out beforehand then you know you’ve got people you can call upon when you fancy a catch up.

Can you breastfeed while technically asleep? Like a cowboy sleeping upright with his eyes open etc?

Yes, and I say this without hesitation because I know the answer to this question only to well. My little darling decided she would stop sleeping through the night at 5 months. Quite the shock to my system! Instead she would wake up every hour, on the hour, eventually I would give up and bring her into bed with me where she would help herself to my boob anytime she felt like it.

And on that vein, is there any way to have a drink while breastfeeding?

Yes, you can if you plan it. I couldn’t really be bothered (it was when I reached toddler stage that a little drink at the end of the day started beckoning – but that’s a whole other story). It is easier once they are in a routine as you know when their next feed is ‘roughly’ due. Then you can plan to have a drink allowing enough time for it to move through your system before their next feed.

What will seem like a good idea initially – and what will I quickly realise is a total nightmare?

Having baby number 2 – sorry I promise I’m only joking and not even speaking from experience as we are only having the 1.

My real answer is trying to do everything yourself. Control is hard to let go of for many of us but this isn’t the time to care. Say yes to EVERY offer of help that comes your way.

Am I really going to be forgetting my name and putting the loo roll in the fridge for a few months after birth?

There is a lot of talk going on at the moment that there is no such thing as ‘baby brain’. I have to confess I’ve not read/heard any of the points made but what I would say in response (quite cocky of me really considering I've just admitted to not knowing what's been said) is that it may not specifically be a chemical change that happens because a woman has had a baby or is pregnant but sleep deprivation is a form of torture for a reason. It messes with the brain! A tired, exhausted woman expecting too much of herself is not going to be performing at her best physically, mentally or emotionally. Also, when one is in a highly emotional state this affects clear thinking and when a new born baby enters your life there are all sorts of extreme emotions that women can go through.

And for me the most likely reason, when your baby is screaming for you to deal with whatever it is screaming about you have a feeling that goes through you that cannot be described. Only another mother can nod her head in understanding. It is like THEIR cry (because another baby's doesn’t affect you in this way) triggers a post-hypnotic suggestion within your brain that says “you cannot focus on any other thing until you come over here, pick me up and fulfil my needs”.

Does a gulf open up between you and your child-free friends? How does it change your relationships?

Only if you let it. I find that I am more of a baby/child bore with my friends who do have kids. We boast and moan and get advice from each other on a subject that we have in common and have experience of. When I get together with my friends without kids or with those that do but we're on our own I aim to talk about anything but. Otherwise it would be like having a holiday and taking your work with you.

Am I going to surprise myself – and if so, how?

You will probably be the most surprised when you look back one day and realise that a new mum is looking to you for advice and suddenly you have become an expert. How, did that happen you ask yourself but it does through good old fashioned experience (often known as trial and error in this house).

What won’t I care about half as much, after I’ve given birth/am a mum?

Changing poopy nappies – I would NEVER change a nappy, poopy or otherwise, before I had Evan. Some used to say “but you will have to when you have your own” and I would reply “yes the salient point being, when I have my own, for now I don’t”. Sorry were you looking for something a bit more profound.

My very own special pearl of wisdom

The BEST advice I can give is find a mum who is at least 4-6 months ahead of you. As great as it is to have other new mums around to say “oh yes, mine is doing that” and “oh yes I’m having that kind of trouble too” is that you don’t always get any answers just reassurance that you are all in the same boat. A mum a few months ahead of you will be that expert you yourself will become in time (you know that thing I mentioned under the “what will surprise me" bit).

I hope this has been useful for both my readers and Claire's media pal.

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Monday, 1 February 2010

From one mum to another

Hi there

I am writing this post for a mum that I've never met before but is part of the wonderful HypnoBirth community that I belong to on Baby Centre. I will leave her to tell you more.

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Hi everyone, I am mummy to Alex, Charlotte and Sophia and I'm now here asking for your help to spread the word about a little boy who is in need of our help.

His name is Jamie Inglis and he is 4 years old, he has just finished his 8th lot of high dose chemo and needs to go to America for further treatment to save his life.

I am going to be jumping out of a plane to try and help the family reach the £250 000 that they need for Jamies treatment, I am Jumper RED 9 and am really strugelling to get sponsors, so I am asking for your help please, there is no minimum sponsor, anything is very much appreciated, together we can help save his life, hes just 4 years old!

If any of you can sponsor me, please can you put in the message that its for RED 9, it is very quick and easy to do.

There is a Jamie Inglis Appeal page on facebook where you can follow Jamies story so far.

And here is the link to the Jump for Jamie sponsor and donations page, please please help by either sponsoring or just spreading the word.

Thanks in advance ladies, anything and everything helps :)

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As Alex says absolutely any amount will help however small so if you can donate that would be really great.

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