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

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 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

Why we need to stop laughing at the videos of dads in labour

Have you seen some of the videos doing the rounds on social media of dads in labour? This is one from a while ago, but there are many others. These videos are obviously being created for entertainment purposes, but in a nutshell, they are trying to prove that men couldn’t possibly take the pain of labour and childbirth. And the way labour is simulated is by hooking these men to a bunch of electrodes that will send an uncomfortable amount of current through their abdominal muscles. Continue reading

So why write a birth plan?

“What’s the point in writing a birth plan? Everyone I know says that they aren’t worth the paper that they are written on and will go out the window.”

Sadly, this type of question and statement comes up in every MummyNatal class and Couples Birth Preparation workshop I have run, and that’s quite a number of times in almost two years of teaching!

In MummyNatal week 5, when we are discussing the birth environment, and in week 6, when we look at birth choices, this is a key topic. However, at The Natal Family (which created the MummyNatal and BabyNatal courses I teach), we like to use the term birth preferences’, rather than the term birth plan. Continue reading

Is labour painful?

We’ve all seen our fair share of movies where mum is on a hospital bed, in stirrups, sweating, screaming and crying, as her baby comes into the world, haven’t we?

No wonder we grow up expecting that birth is going to be just like that.labour painful

No wonder we expect it to be excruciatingly painful.

No wonder we think we’ll be the woman screaming in pain before her baby is delivered into her arms.

Expectations are set for us, but what’s the reality?

The reality is that labour and birth (wait for it) aren’t always painful. Not for everyone. While labour is most definitely perceived as painful to some, believe it or not, it isn’t by everyone. Continue reading

Your placenta. Your choices.

Did you know that the placenta is the only organ in our body that is made to be ‘disposable’? Yes, of course, there are organs that we can live without, but the placenta is the only one that our body ‘disposes of’ when it’s had its use. Created with fertilisation, just as the baby is, it has a lot of very important jobs during pregnancy.

Please note, this image is used for illustration purposes only. We are not suggesting that this is how placenta pills look like.

Please note, this image is for illustration purposes only. We are not suggesting that this is how placenta pills look like.

Did you happen to see any of our #FridayFact ‘Did you know…?’ quotes over on our Facebook MummyNatal page? We have been sharing a few fascinating facts about the placenta – what it does, and why it’s so important for the baby.

When the baby is born, so is the placenta. It’s no longer needed inside mum’s body.

But does this mean that it can no longer help? Should it just be discarded as the ‘disposable’ organ that it is? Continue reading

An interview with MummyNatal founder Steph Beaumont on children being present during labour and birth

Last week, we published a blog post about children being present during labour and birth, and we asked some of our fantastic Natal teachers to tell us about their experiences and stories.P1070594

This week we interview our amazing founder Steph Beaumont, who gave birth to her forth child at home with her third child watching TV in the same room!

But let’s hear the whole story from Steph directly, who now has 4 children and is expecting a fifth in the summer. Continue reading

A MummyNatal home birth – Ascia’s Story

photo6Meet Ascia.

Ascia joined MummyNatal  as a trainee teacher in 2014, and teaches classes in Middlesex. When Ascia became pregnant with her third baby in November 2015, she felt fortunate to be able to be able to use the MummyNatal practices for her own pregnancy and birth.

Here is her story, in her own words!

I was able to teach MummyNatal sessions late into my pregnancy, which was fantastic, as I really got a feel of the practices being pregnant myself. I was so excited to be able to use what i had taught during my own labour. Continue reading