Tag Archive | pregnancy

Blooming Mindful – Online Pregnancy Classes & Parenting Support

A course of pregnancy classes that honour the physiology and autonomy of you and your baby, alongside deep relaxation and powerful birthing techniques.

Lots of people approach me for pregnancy and parenting support, but don’t necessarily want another body in the room while they actually give birth – and that is ABSOLUTELY okay! I am still happy to serve you. A very wise woman once said to me, “it’s ALL in the antenatal”, and the more I have worked with women over the last few years, the more I have come to believe she is absolutely right!

I am also contacted by people who live too far away for me to support in the usual way.

So I have been working on a course of online classes to help you prepare for birth and mothering in the way that is right for you.

We will cover everything from pregnancy challenges – (sickness, fatigue, swelling, cramps, anxiety) and birthing techniques (breathing, positioning, active birth, navigating the maternity care system), to breastfeeding and parenting a brand new baby. The approach is practical and evidence-based and I’d like for there to be some laughs along the way! Each session ends with a deep relaxation.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I *LIVE* in the place where physiology meets autonomy, and my classes reflect that.

Our bodies are amazing, and they (usually) work brilliantly! I believe that the very best care and support centres around valuing your physiology – essentially, working WITH your body to facilitate the natural processes as much as possible.

At the same time, each of us is unique, the path unfolds differently for all of us, with different challenges, different medical issues, and, okay, different personal biases, too. The way we make choices is intensely personal, and that needs to be honoured, as well. There is no wrong way to have a baby. And as long as you are keeping your baby safe and being responsive to them, there is no wrong way to parent your baby, either.

We start with what is physiologically normal, and we temper that with what YOU feel is important. The task of parenting is constantly in flux, changing from day to day, moment to moment – from the time we conceive – and it never stops. Your classes and ongoing support need to be just as flexible.

These classes are suitable for all stages of pregnancy. Get in touch for more information.

BIRTH UNLIMITED – Antenatal Classes (Shrewsbury, Shropshire)

As well as doula services, I also offer a range of antenatal classes for mums to be in Shropshire.

Daisy Birthing Active Antenatal Classes

A weekly pregnancy class, incorporating yoga-based movement, breathing techniques and practical inofrmation to support you through pregnancy and birth. Each block is six weeks. (£72 for six weeks)

Daisy Birthing Active Birth Workshop

Ideal for mum-to-be and birth partner to attend together. Any birth partner welcome, but these classes are designed particularly with dads in mind! These sessions are positive, practical and solution oriented. I’ve heard many dads say they felt like a “spare tool” in the birth room. This 4hr workshop is japacked with things a birth partner needs to know to help facilitate a smooth labour, and enjoy the process as an informed, calm and active participant. (£80 per couple)

Antenatal Breastfeeding Workshop

A three hour breastfeeding workshop to prepare you for the highs and lows of feeding a newborn baby – and beyond! The primary focus of this class is breastfeeding, because a whopping 80% of mums to be do hope and plan to do this! But there is absolutely no judgement and if you have made the informed choice to bottle feed your baby, I am certain that there are many beneficial elements that will be useful to you, because at the beginning of life there is no way to seperate “feeding” from “parenting”. (£70 per couple)

Ready? Relax & Release

A one to one class, offered at the end of pregnancy, to help you feel comfortable, confident, relaxed and prepared. This one lasts about 90 minutes and can be by yourself or with your partner. Ready, relax and release into birth. (£25 for one or £40 for two)

What is Birth Unlimited?

Think of it like a “pass” giving you access to each of the classes I offer, and an opportunity for continuity of care throughout your pregnancy, at a discounted rate.

  • A guaranteed space with Daisy Birthing until the arrival of your baby
  • A guaranteed space on an active birth workshop in your third trimester.
  • A guaranteed space on a breastfeeding workshop between 20-28w
  • Up to THREE sessions of Relax & Release: one at 37w and another closer to 40w. A third session offered after 40w to those offered induction or experiencing prodromal labour (where contractions “niggle” on and off for several days).
  • One follow up visit at home for further support, signposting and give you the chance to debrief your birth
  • Unlimited telephone, text and email support from first class to final visit.

How to Book

Use the form below to confirm you would like the full antenatal package and I will send over an invoice and confirmation letter.

We can do better than induction

I want to talk about something that has been on my mind for a long time.

I want to talk about induction of labour.

More specifically I want to talk about IOL for “prolonged pregnancy”, where mum and baby are both healthy and well.

Particularly where the mum is less than keen on the idea. In some cases, where it risks her out of her choices for the sake of a box ticked or a line on a graph.

I’d like to talk about why it is slightly just a little bit rubbish.

Gonna include a content warning here for induction of labour, difficult birth. If you had a difficult birth and/or one where you didn’t feel listened to, proceed with caution.

This post is specifically NOT about severe or acute illness where baby needs to be born as soon as possible.

If a woman is perceived to be pregnant “too long” she is offered induction. Is it only me who sees that as wildly simplistic and below par?

We have all this amazing medicine and science. We have all this knowledge about how the body works. And that is really the best we can come up with?

What else could be offered or considered BEFORE induction?

All mums have heard of sex and pineapples (NB. not sex WITH pineapples: not recommended), or spicy curries, or bouncing on a birth ball.

What else could your midwife or doctor discuss with you before bringing up induction?

For example, if you are approaching your due date, has anyone talked with you about your family history? How long was your mother pregnant? Aunts, grandmothers? Did they look into why pregnancy appears prolonged – is this normal for you? How long were your previous pregnancies? Are the dates correct? Are you and baby well? In other words: Is this truly a high risk situation that warrants intervention?

My guess is no, you reached a date on the calendar and were told you “had to” (don’t, please! I know! But that is the language used) be induced.

My observation so far has been that there is usually no attempt to address the cause of the “problem”, except sometimes from the mother herself, depending on her own background knowledge.

Things like, is baby well positioned? I once heard a midwife tell a room full of expectant parents that scrubbing floors was helpful in late pregnancy. And sitting on a birth ball.

Hey, she is kind of right. But. There are so MANY ways we can encourage optimal foetal positioning without reinforcing tired gender stereotypes (“hey, women, you should do more housework – right at the time you feel exhausted and crabby and approximately the size of a hippo with a bladder the size of a pea.” Wow, thanks Janet, what a revelation, my life is changed.)

Is mother suffering anxiety, or stress? Knowing that how we feel has a direct impact on labor, does it not follow that it might also have an impact on its beginning? And this being the case, what is her mental health like? Is she struggling with depression? Isn’t it worth exploring that in light of how many women suffer from it?

More: does she have a good relationship with her spouse? Does she feel safe? Is she walking on eggshells daily? Does she have ANY decent support at home? Heck, how old is she? (I am thinking globally, here, and how many young girls have their first child early.) Is she a survivor of abuse? Domestic orotherwise? What might be inhibiting the onset of labour and how can we help her address this?  (Might be – if this is even a “problem” at all, as above.)

How often are any of these elements considered? And how often are all of them ignored – you reach an arbitrary date on the calendar, and off you go. Time to try and make the body do something it is probably just not ready to do (because if it was, it would very likely already be doing it).

There are some people out there who see the harms from overuse of IOL. People wonder, Oh dear, why labour was long/traumatic? Oh dear, I wonder why baby got stuck? Oh dear, I wonder why she tore so spectacularly? Oh dear, I wonder why she is upset? How can we improve this? I applaud those people, because I agree it needs improving. But the answer I have is too boring to listen to and doesn’t involve research or drugs or instruments. Just skin. People showing up and caring. That is hardly going to gain traction anywhere.

For a long while, IOL has reminded me of a baby just given a shape sorter, banging the cube randomly on the hexagon shaped hole repeatedly. He doesn’t really know what he is doing. Just wants to get this lump through this hole. Oh, it’s not working? Ram a bit harder, see if that works.

We don’t really KNOW what causes the onset of labor. We have a rough idea that the baby releases a protein when the lungs are ready. But…. /shrug. We can’t mimic that hormone dance completely even if we did know it. This almost never factors in to the induction process, unless it’s known baby will be premature and need help. It is almost an inconvenient fact.. Take a seat and pipe down, science.

There is no finesse involved in the process. When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Oh, this person isn’t responding to this drip as well as we hoped. Solution? Turn it up to eleven 😎 Don’t give her freedom of movement to utilise gravity and allow the baby to achieve better position, because we won’t get a decent trace. The recording of our doing of the things is, legally, more important than your doing of the thing. Just hop up on the bed for me.

The system often fails to see the person as a whole person. In fact, lots of women don’t feel that they are seen or treated as a person at all, whole or otherwise. Daily I see and hear women saying, “I just left my appointment at XX weeks, and I feel so upset because…. ”

Why is this happening? Why are so many women feeling so unhappy with their care?

The (pesky) science is there to support that a normal pregnancy can vary up to five weeks in length. But I don’t see this recognised in real terms at any level. Babies are still ubiquitously described as being “late”. It seems everyone treats a mother as overdue at 40w1d. Are we pathologising healthy pregnancies? That is what it feels like.

I sometimes think of pregnancy as like puberty, and waiting for baby to arrive a little bit like waiting for your first period. You might have curves and spots and greasy hair and rage and tender breasts…. And your period could be months away. Or you can be straight up and down with very few of the usual signs, and get your period tomorrow. Would we give a girl hormone tablets if she didn’t start bleeding by her fourteenth birthday?

We know (don’t we?) that women have a basic need to feel safe and cared for during labour. Does she not need this before labor begins? If she feels alienated from or coerced by or ignored by her HCPs, surely you might as well have a sodding great sabre tooth tiger prowling around her home. Well, will you look at that. She does not feel safe. I wonder why labor is not starting sooner rather than later? 🤔

The same holds true during labour, too, when things slow down. Mum is quite often given a time limit and threatened with The Drip or The Doctor. “We only let you do this for a certain amount of time, you know.” (Thanks, Janet, could you please email that to my uterus?)

How often does anyone ask, When did Lucy (a made up name, Labouring Lucy) last go to the toilet? When did Lucy last eat something? Is Lucy staying hydrated? Lucy, you are quite safe. I am here to care for you. How often are women forced to try to labour effectively in the same room as someone who is frightened, angry, exhausted or tense? How often are NONE of these things addressed, and then, a little later, a drip set up “to get things moving”. Tale as old as time.

I know there are people out there who do address those things. Those births will end up in the “easy” category, with very little intervention. It’s negative data. But I see you. I just wish there were more of you.

We know (don’t we??) that labor is as much mental as it is physical. Before induction is offered, does anyone build a rapport with that mum to be and ask her how she is feeling?

Just THAT – that one teensy tiny change – making a connection, asking how she feels, truly listening…. If NOTHING else changed in the way IOL was offered and managed, that alone would make a humungous difference to our experiences as we become mothers… and on our mental health, regardless of whether IOL was used or how our babies arrive.

We all just want to be listened to, and we all deserve to be able to access continuity of care as a starting point and a standard, not some lofty unsustainable goal.

21 things to try when you are waiting for labour to begin

I will give you fair warning. I mention orgasms.  I mean, I mention them a lot, actually, but in this specific instance I mean I am going to mention them here, in this piece.  Go ahead and snigger and get it out of the way.  I might also use some mild swear words.

Maybe your “due date” is approaching.  Maybe it’s come and gone, and you’re still here,  still pregnant.  Maybe you’re fed up of being pregnant.  Maybe you have been booked for an induction and maybe this is a source of relief for you (finally!!) or maybe it is causing you anxiety.  Maybe the world and his wife are asking you, “Have you had that baby yet?” and I am here to tell you it is okay to want to hit those people in the face with a jumbo box of baby wipes.

I know. I get it.  This stage of pregnancy can be hard.  Do not feel guilty if you hate it. There is no such thing as the Pregnancy Police that go around scolding naughty women who don’t savour every last drop of pregnancy, down to the last second.

That said, there are ways to make those final days more bearable, with a particular view to making timely spontaneous onset of labour more likely.

Some people want to avoid induction. This post is for you.

Some people have consented to be induced and are just a few days away from it.  This post is for you, too.

Basically, if your pregnancy is almost over, this post is for you.

Every time someone tells me that they are so close now, and so tired/fed up/anxious…. that they can’t wait for the induction, or they are dreading it…. I always say the same things. In the interest of lazi- erm, efficiency, I’ve decided to put them all here.

1. If at all possible, prioritise rest, relaxation, recuperation, pampering etc for the next couple of days.

2. Try a fear release. I was skeptical, if I’m honest, but I was amazed at how much it helped.

3. Ask your partner or a friend to do some bump sifting to release trapped fluid or tight ligaments.  It also just feels good.

4. Stay hydrated. Eat yummy things, because why the ffff…flip not.

5. Take gentle walks. Go easy – no sense wearing yourself out at this stage!

6. Lots of orgasms.

7. Binge watch all the things on Netflix. If you have a birth ball to sit on, so much the better.  Feel free to fidget. I beleive cake is mandatory.

8. Better yet a movie that will make you cry your eyes out (release!) or belly laugh (oxytocin!)

9. Cuddle

10. “Talk” to your baby, even if that sounds or feels crazy.

11. Do something that makes you feel ready – go over your birth plan, do some finishing touches in nursery if you have one, make sure your birth bag is packed and labour playlist compiled.  Do you find yourself nesting? (I wish I did!)

12. Do whatever makes you feel good – swear, get your hair/nails done, meditate, have sex if that is still a viable option for you.

14. Intimacy is your greatest tool for releasing oxytocin, and potentially your best comfort.  This does not have to be sex.  It could be long hugs, slow dancing, massage, shared meals.  Dim the lights. Speak softly.

15. Right now, you are literally at your most creative. Distract yourself by writing (journal, blog, story, poem), drawing, painting, photography.  These things are also helpful if you have a long latent phase. I think of them as “last minute memories”.  Think of showing them to your little one a few years down the line.  “When I was pregnant with you…” Start a project. There is some twisted universal law that says the more involved the project is, the more likely that labour will get going once you’ve made a start on it.

16. It is possible, or even likely, that labour has begun already, it’s just not making itself felt quite yet.  Remind yourself of this.

17. Repeat after me: My body is working beautifully.  I am ready. I am safe. I am already opening. My cervix is like butter left out in the sun on a hot day.

18. Slow down. Pause.  Smell the roses. When you feel rushed or stressed, your  adenalin levels are high, which is not conducive to labour starting or progressing efficiently. Breathe gently.

19. If you are feeling resentful, grumpy, weepy, restless, lethargic… well it sucks, I know – but it’s okay to feel those things. There is ebb and there is flow.  Allow yourself the ebb. These are often the first (un-noticed, unsung, ignored) symptoms of early labour.

20. Be mindful of your positioning – sit up and forward on your seat bones rather than sofa-sitting, rest on your side rather than your back, etc. Rotate your body. Dance if you feel like it.

21. Sod literally everything else. Be selfish. You don’t have to do anything for anyone right now, this is (should be) **your time**.  You are on the brink of a bloody miracle, during which you will give it your all.  So get your diva pants on and TAKE for a little while, entirely guilt free.

Good luck!  Happy birthing xx

Daisy Birthing™ Workshops – “THIS IS BIRTH”

I’m really excited to announce I’m now offering one-day workshops as well as weekly sessions.  Dads welcome!  These workshops are relaxed, friendly and packed with useful information and techniques to help you both have the most positive birth possible.  Fantastic for mums-to-be who want:

– a one-day workshop because they can’t make it to weekly sessions
– to re-cap info learned in class
– a dad-friendly birth workshop
– their birth partner to be confident and knowledgeable on Birth Day
– their birth partner to have a range of techniques to help you stay calm and comfortable
– to meet some other parents-to-be and have some laughs along the way! 🙂

Spaces are quite limited (I can only take 4-5 pairs maximum), so please contact me soon to avoid disappointment.

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Lazy Daisy™ Shrewsbury – Ante Natal Classes

I’m really excited to announce that as well as offering doula services, I also offer Lazy Daisy™ ante natal sessions.

Venue: Radbrook Community Centre

Tuesdays, 7.20PM

Advanced booking essential!

Next available space 8th April 2014 (Please contact me to book your free taster!)

Tel: 07450 309 422 (or use the contact link below)

Daisy Birthing combines gentle movement, labour techniques  and relaxation.  The movement sequence is very gentle and is designed to prepare birthing muscles, ease pregnancy symptoms and help the baby find their ideal position for birth.  It’s suitable for all mums-to-be from 14wks, no matter how many previous pregnancies, whether there are any medical contra-indications or if the birth includes an epidural or caesarean.

Looking For Something A Little Different to Pregnancy Yoga?

Every element of each session is carefully designed and chosen with a specific aim in in mind: either to benefit your pregnancy, your birth, or both. 

It is very gentle and suitable even for mums who have medical conditions (like SPD, cervical stitch or placenta praevia).  There is no abduction of the hips or over extending and nothing more strenuous than going up a flight of stairs.

Right along with movement, Daisy Birthing shows you some fantastic techniques, which are useful for everyone, no matter what kind of birth you are expecting. 

We also aim to cultivate a haven of positivity and relaxation for you; a space to connect with your baby, un-wind, enjoy a little “me-time” and look forward to your birth with confidence excitement.

If you have had a baby before, heard about it from your friends or watched it on TV, you are probably aware that the conscious, rational part of your brain is not invited to the Birth Day Party.  Things you have learned are likely to be left at the door.  This is what sets Daisy Birthing apart, the techniques and information are anchored to your movement and your breath.  This means they are still relevant and useable even in advanced labour, and no matter where you are, who is with you or how your birth journey plays out on the day.

If you are looking for ante natal classes (congratulations!) then please contact me to book a place.

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A Lazy Daisy License operated by Samantha Norman


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