Childbirth – what are my options to manage labour sensations?

how to manage labour sensations MummyNatalDid you notice how we didn’t refer to ‘pain relief’ in labour? Believe it or not, not all mums will describe their labour as painful, and we talk about that in more detail in our blog post called Is labour painful? So here at MummyNatal, when we talk about what a Mum may experience in labour, we like to use the phrase ‘intense sensations’, as a Mum may or may not feel her labour sensations as ‘pain’. During our weekly MummyNatal classes for expectant mums, we do something that we call ‘intense sensation practice’. This is our way of empowering expectant mums with various tools that they may like to choose from, in order to cope with the sensations they experience in labour. We talk about mindful breathing, movement, doing a body scan, mantras, visualisations, and sounding meditations amongst other things.

Of course, when we talk about the birth environment and birth choices, we may get some questions around the more ‘traditional’ or medical options for pain relief. And we’ll always answer any questions or signpost our mums to different places where they can find out more, to be able to make informed decisions. Seeing that we may not cover these points in such a detailed way in a MummyNatal class, here is some additional information that you may want to read on the topic. Continue reading

Planning a water birth at home: all you need to know about birth pools

Following our recent blog post on the benefits of home births, a lot of expectant parents have been in touch to ask whether you can have a water birth at home. In order to shed some light on the options that are available to families who choose to birth at home and in water, we have collected some information on birth pools that we hope you’ll find useful when making your choices.

I am planning a home birth – can I have a birth pool?

The short answer is YES. But there are a few things that you’ll need to consider before you go ahead and make a decision. Broadly speaking you have two options here – you can either buy or hire your birth pool. Continue reading

5 reasons to train with The Natal Family – becoming a Natal practitioner

If you’ve recently been to one of our classes or have come across our websites MummyNatal and BabyNatal, you may have noticed that we have a team of amazing teachers all over the country. Thanks to our regular teacher training courses in Leeds and Wiltshire our team is always growing, and with more teachers joining The Natal Family every year, we are able to expand our reach and help more and more families across the UK. But why do so many parents, and mums in particular, want to train with us? If you’re curious about training, these are some of the reasons you may want to consider.

  1. You want the freedom and flexibility to work around your family

It’s no secret that for most of us everything changes when we start a family. You now have a new child or children in your life, and you simply want to be there for them. Unfortunately, a lot of 9-5 jobs don’t give parents the freedom and flexibility that they need to be able to earn a living whilst also caring for their children. What happens when they’re ill? Or when they start school? Who’s dropping them off and picking them up? Who’s taking them to after-school activities? Who covers for half term and long holidays? Not to mention all the favours you need to ask from your employer if you want to attend the Christmas show, Assembly, or Sports Day! Becoming a MummyNatal or BabyNatal practitioner (or even better, training in both programmes) allows you to create a business that works around your family. Not the other way round. Continue reading

My journey to MummyNatal – Jenni Eade

This week we have a fantastic guest post for you, written by one of our MummyNatal teachers, Jenni Eade. Jenni is a mum of 2 and a MummyNatal teacher for Cheshire, Manchester, and Tameside, and in this post, she shared the reasons for training with The Natal Family and becoming a MummyNatal teacher. We hope we enjoy her post as much as we did! Jenni Eade MummyNatal classes Manchester Tameside Cheshire

The life changes and decisions I have made all stemmed from a huge life alteration I experienced not so long ago: pregnancy. I found being pregnant very exciting. Worrying sometimes, tiring a lot, but mostly exciting. During both my pregnancies people seemed to be nicer to me. Working life definitely got easier when I told my bosses, as they had to make changes to my duties to lighten my load. My family looked at me like I was the first woman ever to be pregnant, and I felt like I had achieved something magical. Continue reading

Giving birth? Use your B.R.A.I.N.

If you’ve been to a class from The Natal Family before, and especially a MummyNatalgiving birth? use the acronym B.R.A.I.N. MummyNatal The Natal Family one, you may have heard us mention the acronym B.R.A.I.N. But what does B.R.A.I.N. stand for, and why is it useful?

B.R.A.I.N. stands for:

  • Benefits
  • Risks
  • Alternatives
  • Intuition
  • Nothing

As you know, acronyms are a good way to help us remember and quickly retrieve a sequence of points or steps when we need them the most. In this case, the acronym B.R.A.I.N. can come in handy during labour and birth. Continue reading

What are the risks of a hospital birth?

You may have seen our recent blog post that talked about the benefits of home births. As promised, this post is a follow-up from our previous one, and this time we’ll be discussing the risks of a hospital birth.what are the risks of a hospital birth? MummyNatal

Please remember that the aim of these posts isn’t to encourage or discourage parents from looking at particular options – we are not pushing one choice over the other! As always, our aim is to empower parents and parents-to-be with unbiased information, so they can make the right choices for their circumstances and their families.

As stated in our previous blog post, when it comes to safety considerations, we all tend to think that hospitals are the safest place we could give birth in. While home births continue to have this reputation of not being as safe. So to debunk some myths, we thought we’d flip this argument on its head and have a deep dive into the benefits of a home birth and the risks of a hospital one. Continue reading

What are the benefits of a home birth?

Where will you give birth to your baby? In a hospital, in a birth centre, at home? For many people, this is a straightforward answer, either way. While some women wouldn’t consider giving birth anywhere other than in a hospital, some women wouldn’t give a hospital a second thought.what are the benefits of a home birth? MummyNatal

Why? Isn’t a home birth a lot riskier?

Not inherently, no.

When it comes to safety and the need for life-saving interventions, we are so used to talking about the risks of home births and the benefits of hospital births that the perception that home births are not as safe has become ingrained in people’s minds. Continue reading

What is perineal massage and how does it help?

One of the things that our mums-to-be worry and ask us about in our MummyNatal classes is whether there’s anything they could do during pregnancy or labour to avoid tearing. Whilst every woman, baby and birth are unique, and there is no way of telling whether vaginal tearing will or won’t happen, it is a certainly a possibility. There are however factors that can play a part in helping a woman achieve a positive outcome in this sense (i.e. no vaginal tearing!)what is perineum massage and how does it help?

But first of all, let’s take it a step back.

What is vaginal tearing?

A vaginal tear is a spontaneous laceration to the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the rectum. It can occur towards the final stages of the second phase of labour when the baby is being born. With the head being the biggest part of the baby’s body (and often the first one to come through the birth canal), the vagina has to stretch considerably to allow for the baby’s head to be born. Of course, that’s exactly how a woman’s body has been designed to work, so the tissue can and will stretch, but it is possible that tearing occurs in the process. And this isn’t just a possibility for first-time mothers – the birth of subsequent babies can cause tearing as well. Continue reading

Did anyone notice there are two parents to this baby?

You might have seen the blog post we published a few weeks ago about why we, at The Natal Family, believe that we should stop laughing at the videos of labour simulation for men. Judging by how popular that blog post was, and all the questions people raised on social media, we have decided to dig a little deeper into the implications of how dads are often portrayed in the media.

And if you read our previous post, you won’t be surprised to hear that we think there’s a much deeper message hidden behind their entertaining façade. So why do we think that ridiculing dads all the time is so unhelpful? We asked Steph Beaumont, co-founder of The Natal Family and BabyNatal programme and founder of the mindfulness-inspired MummyNatal programme. Continue reading

Why did you decide to join The Natal Family?

Here at The Natal Family we teach a variety of programmes that support parents and parents-to-be, and we are very lucky to have a fantastic team of BabyNatal and MummyNatal teachers helping us bring our classes all over the country.

It’s a growing family, and to help new members of the team settling in, we’ve asked some of our teachers why they decided to join us in the first place. We’re sure a lot of you can relate with some of the feelings or experiences that our lovely teachers shared with us, so we hope you’ll enjoy reading this post! Continue reading