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Month: October 2017

The Birth of Suhaas

The Birth of Suhaas

Satnaam and Amrit attended one of my Couples Hypnobirthing Workshops.  Thanks so much for sharing your birth story.

“I can not recommend Hynobirthing enough especially taught by Louise.


This was my first pregnancy and naturally I was anxious and frightful of it all, despite how much I blocked out negative stories and shut down all birth experiences from those nearest and dearest.

It was my husband who bumped into Louise while walking the dogs at the park and also came across her details. We decided to go with it because it was a full day course in the comfort of her home with a few couples where we got one to one support. Furthermore Louise’s impressive experience and background reassured me.

By following all of Louise’s tracks, suggestions, breathing exercises etc. and equally my partner following it all we had a great and amazing birthing experience together.

Considering this was our first baby we initially decided with Pembury hospital but after hearing great stories about Crowborough Birthing Centre also signed up here.

So I went into early contractions on Wednesday 20th but the sensations were light, I felt them on and off on Thursday 21st so went about the day with my hubby roaming Tunbridge Wells. In fact in the evening the contractions were coming a bit closer together and I had already decided to attend a Positive Birth Movement  gatheringIMG_7227 from 7-9 pm at Louise’s house with another 15 odd heavily pregnant women. I have to say there were some great positive vibes, I hung on to one lady’s amazing first experience and I think this built up my own oxytocin levels.

I went home feeling calm, confident and in awe of these women. That night the contractions continued and by 4am I rang the midwives at the birthing centre. Whilst my waters had not broken I decided I did want to go there and off we went – on arrival whilst things had not fully started we decided to stay put and the midwives were so lovely.

By 9.30 am on the Friday my waters broke I was in the birth pool by 9.50 I was 6cm dilated, 2.30 pm moved out of the pool, 3pm 8 cm dilated, by 5pm dear baby daughter had pooped in the amniotic water and examination shows small side of cervix left but nearly fully dilated. Due the to the poop the birthing centre advised that it would be better to deliver quickly and at Pembury so the ambulance was called at 5.10pm I was fully dilated by 5.15 started pushing – up to this stage I was totally in my breathing and listening to my tracks and I was still very calm I went with the flow – as the progress of pushing has halted we made the decision to go to the hospital in the ambulance and arrived at Pembury at 6,15 I was totally calm on the journey and quite distracted by the chitter chatter and jokes,the head midwife at the hospital was a great support – by this stage I felt a bit exhausted and did hit the “I am so tired and can’t do this” stage that Louise talked about – but then pushed on and remembered the scene with Cameron Diaz from the film What to expect when you are expecting and yes our beautiful baby girl was born at 7.51 pm.

I can honestly say that it was an amazing experience not only did I not need any pain relief but I even forgot to ask about Gas and Air. It’s hard to believe and I was sceptical at the start of my pregnancy after reading these positive experiences but it was not painful they were honestly more like surges it’s just about having the continued stamina and perseverance to surrender to your body and let go of your mind.

I now have such a deep rooted fascination with what the female body is capable of.

Thank you so much Louise”

A Positive Birth Gathering JUST for Dads? … What the actual f…??

A Positive Birth Gathering JUST for Dads? … What the actual f…??

So, when the PBM topic was ‘Dads & Birth Partners’ I decided to invite dads and birth partners along to our evening gathering for this topic … it soon became clear that if I had mums AND dads there would be too many of us.  So, I made this meeting Partners Only….. and then sat back and assumed no one would come!

How wrong I was! Yes, there were some women who felt their partners wouldn’t want to come on their own but lots of dads bravely ventured, into my home without their pregnant partners to hide behind.

I made a rather sweeping assumption, but one that seemed to hit the nail on the head initially, by planning for this gathering to have more structure than the ones I facilitate just for women.  These blokes were giving up an evening and they would want to leave full of practical, useful information that they could put into practice. I drew up an agenda and planned a slick, board-meeting type of scenario… and swiftly assured the men, on arrival, that there would be no hand-holding, stroking or group hugs. Again, by the relieved looks on their faces, I’d hit the nail on the head with that reassurance – because, men and women are different in lots of ways.

Not all men, but many, see a problem or an issue and swiftly reach a conclusion about what the problem is and how to fix it. They also often take themselves off alone, or lose themselves in, say,  an x-box game or hobby when they are worried or stressed, often going inward – probably where the ‘man-cave’ and love of sheds clichés come from.

Women, on the other hand often engage with others, chatting through problems with other women more readily. We’ve all been there, all over the world it seems that all women need to bond is a couple of chairs and a pot of tea or bottle(s) of wine. It generates oxytocin, it makes us feel better.

These differences stood out to me when I started by asking the dads what was worrying them right now.  They talked about fixing practical things, making sure that their pregnant partners had those issues dealt with for them, but at the same time they felt it didn’t seem to be enough for the pregnant women, they needed something else.

And so we discussed the differences I’ve mentioned above – why women want to talk things through, why the way we react to stress is different, the fact that our ability to experience a situation and remember it on an emotional level may be more profound.  The fact that we will talk around a problem at different levels in a way that raises our oxytocin, that we don’t necessarily need it ‘fixing’.

We went on to consider just listening, being really present instead. Taking time out of each day to do that now, even if it means setting their alarms 10 minutes earlier each day to do so. How, if we understand these differences, it will make a difference in communication and make connection with each other better and …. how this understanding will serve both, not only in their relationship in general and for years to come, but absolutely during pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.

Of course within these discussions the word ‘oxytocin’ came up several times, and so discussions around what it is and it’s role in labour and birth were prevalent, the dads quickly figured out themselves what will help labour progress, what won’t and why ….  considering environment and support, place of birth and all sorts of other things in between!

Pregnancy is a catalyst because it changes us. It’s not just about birth and babies, it’s about mums and dads, personal growth, trust, confidence, hopes, fears and anxieties.
If couples aren’t attending any antenatal education courses (and many don’t), women do, at least, have their midwives to get information from and talk through concerns with, as well as their female friends.  Who do men turn to?

I’m aware that many men have either female friends or sisters to turn to, or may relate to their male friends differently, but in my personal experience, in general, antenatally, men are seriously lacking in support just for them, in having a place where they can go to look at all this just from their perspective.

I’d assumed this Partners Only gathering would be the polar opposite of the Women Only ones, but actually it turned out to be not so much, because we all need a space to share and get support and information don’t we? These dads really enjoyed the time spent with other dads who are all expecting a baby soon and have similar concerns and excitement about the journey ahead, and so in future I will be giving over some of the Positive Birth Movement Tunbridge Wells evening gatherings to partners only.
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The good news is that The Positive Birth Movement now has a FB page just for partners!

I’d really, really love to hear your thoughts and those of your partners, so please do get in touch.