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After attending hypnobirthing classes my husband and I felt much more empowered to resist medical intervention

“Hypnobirthing enabled our third child to be born into a considerably calmer environment than our previous children. Our previous births has been long and painful even with the use of pethidine and gas and air. After attending hypnobirthing classes my husband and I felt much more empowered to resist medical intervention. I used the breathing techniques and relaxation tracks to remain relaxed throughout surges. I was considered a ‘high risk’ birth and therefore had to give birth in a delivery ward in hospital, with our daughter being constantly monitoring throughout birth limiting my movement during surges. Despite these restrictions my husband and I used the techniques Liz taught us to create a calm environment for our daughter to be born into. I delivered our daughter drug and pain free within a few hours. Hypnobirthing helped us to achieve a calm birth that we had never previously thought possible.” Louise & Dean, Solihull

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Liz was amazing – she has such a calm and loving style and her depth of knowledge is amazing

“Liz was amazing – she has such a calm and loving style and her depth of knowledge is amazing, there wasn’t a single question or aspect that wasn’t answered thoroughly in a way that I could easily understand and accept. She know’s hypnobirthing inside and out – and can apply her own personal experience to this too and she totally believes that any woman can have the wonderful birth they choose. That confidence is infectious! With Liz’s help we were able to have the magical home birth that we wish for – that was an enjoyable (did I really just say that!) and amazingly memorable. Thanks Liz, you rock! xxxxxxx” Lucie, Leamington Spa

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Hypnobirthing and Liz gave me the confidence to and self belief I needed to have a positive and beautiful birth experience

“My birth experience was amazing and I know it sounds crazy – but I would do it all again if I could. Hypnobirthing and Liz gave me the confidence to and self belief I needed to have a positive and beautiful birth experience. Also, my husband knew what part he played, and what he needed to do to ensure that amazing Hypnobirthing experience. All of the midwives were amazed at how calm and in control I was. I was even told at one point that I would have to go back home as the midwife didn’t think I was in labour. I must admit though, one other thing that makes me feel great is that I can stick my fingers up to every single person that laughed when I told them I would have no pain relief and told me that I would be screaming for an epidural! Love the fact that I can say “I told you so!” 😉 Thank so much Liz – we couldn’t have done it without you xx” Reena, Moseley

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Liz was amazing not only in listening but in explaining how HypnoBirthing will still be very helpful to me to achieve what I was looking for, healthy happy baby all along and at labour

“I contacted Liz for HypnoBirthing not because I was afraid of birthing itself, I was just worried about the whole thing after losing my earlier pregnancy in an early miscarriage. Liz was very approachable and she listened in length to me explaining my worries over the phone before meeting. She was amazing not only in listening but in explaining how HypnoBirthing will still be very helpful to me to achieve what I was looking for, healthy happy baby all along and at labour. She accommodated my dates to work with my anxiety as well, and after the first two session (the first one was a free taster), I was a complete convert already. I wanted more from my labour and was determined to have a natural birth if possible, but more so to concentrate on having my baby delivered safely under any developing circumstances. My water broke when I was 33 weeks. If it was not for hypnobirthing techniques and the focus it makes you work within, I would have really panicked. Instead I called the maternity ward and woke up my husband with a smile, saying that we need to go to the hospital. Luckily with all the help and the calm state I was in, (and definitely some divine intervention!), I was not in labour, and I managed to stay so for five days, where I had the steroid injections and start the antibiotics. At almost 34 weeks, my labour started. I did not have any contractions at all (non that I felt), but my labour was mainly in my back. I did not know what it is at the beginning, but when we went back this time to the labour ward they checked me and I was already 6cm dilated. I progressed to 10cm within 6hrs and was ready to practice my J breathing. Our healthy baby arrived at almost 34 weeks by natural vaginal delivery within over an hour of combined breathing / pushing :p. I didn’t have the candle lit water birth I wanted, or the right terminology I thought everyone is going to stick to as I did provide a birth plan (at that very night), but hypnobirthing made me able to deal with these changes as my baby’s health was my priority from day one, and was even more so at the time. I was extremely pleased with my labour, and I have to say I did enjoy my pregnancy more after attending the classes as it alleviated my anxiety. I would highly recommend HypnoBirthing with a good practitioner (which Liz excelled at) to all pregnant woman if only for the relaxation part of it, and specially for those with any kind of worries.” Sam, Solihull

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I’m very happy that I chose to try Hypnobirthing with Liz Stanford…

“I’m very happy that I chose to try Hypnobirthing with Liz Stanford during my pregnancy. I had a lot of anxiety in my pregnancy surrounding the birth, especially the fear of pain and loosing control. Hypnobirthing helped me stay very calm throughout my labour with the aid of the easy breathing and relaxation techniques I was taught during the course. My partner and I really enjoyed all the aspects of the course and Liz is an excellent Hypnobirhting teacher. I can’t thank Liz enough for teaching me the skills and giving me the courage to believe that birth could be such a positive experience, without the need for interventions or drugs.” Sally S, Solihull

 

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“My Pain Threshold is too low for a natural birth!”

PAIN, PAIN, PAIN. Let’s just get something out there from the off… I have had 3 drug free vaginal births and I don’t like pain. I would go as far as saying that I have a low pain threshold.

Paper cut on my finger, I take a sharp intake of breath
Stub my toe on a radiator- I shout,
Bang my head- I scream,
Shut my hand in the boot of car (true story!) the air can become a very dark shade of blue.

So you get the picture…It’s not pretty!

But when it comes to giving birth, it’s not the same. Pain doesn’t have to be the BIG, SCARY overriding factor that women think about when it comes down to the births of their baby’s. If I told you we are all just PROGRAMMED to think that birth is this awful, painful experience and that in reality it doesn’t have to be that way, I’m guessing you would back away from me like I was some kind of oddity…a bit of a hippy…a ‘weirdo’ perhaps! You might think…’she isn’t like me, I’ll move away politely’.

But it’s true; we ARE programmed to feel this way. It’s all around us. Everywhere we go. Negative, scary birth is on the big screen and the small screen. It’s in books, newspapers and magazines. It’s in the stories that our sisters, friends, mothers, colleagues share. There is no getting away from it. Even if we don’t think we are really picking up on it…we are. This is what we see and hear so this is what we believe.

So you believe that birth is painful, horrible, frightening. Those messages whether you are aware or not are buzzing around your mind. When the time comes for you to go into labour your mind will take a look at what information it has about birth…It will discover that it’s all pretty negative. Your mind doesn’t know any different…the sub conscious just believes what we tell it. Your body has to react to the messages your mind is sending to it and so your body reacts in a negative way…You tense up, you clench up, you grit your teeth, you breathe short fast breaths, your heart is racing, you start sweating…you feel pretty rotten. Your body can’t function as it SHOULD. When this happens, birth IS painful.

But just think what birth could be like if you changed how you felt about it…if you replaced all that negativity with something else. If you learnt how powerful, wonderful, amazing your body could be if you just changed the way you feel…That’s where HypnoBirthing comes in. HypnoBirthing (Mongan Method) founder Marie Mongan states “Change the way you feel about birth and the way you birth will change”. It couldn’t be more true. Your body would react differently so you would experience birth differently!

So take it from a low pain threshold mom of 3 like me- you can have a positive birth. Maybe it won’t be pain-FREE but maybe you can make it so it’s not pain- FULL. Maybe it could be calm, and relaxing and beautiful.

I’m running another FREE HypnoBirthing taster session soon. Maybe it’s time for you to start thinking about changing how you feel about birth. This is a great opportunity for you to find out just how you can do that. Send me a text to 07939571542 or email liz@enhanceyourbirth.co.uk to get booked on.

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Does it really matter WHERE you give Birth?

“Imagine…A place where everyone honours you and the work you will do in labour, speaks quietly and moves slowly and gently. Respects your need to be spontaneous- to eat, drink, make sounds, move around, cry, shout, laugh, treats you and your baby as fully conscious and sensitive beings.” Suzanne Arms quote taken from HypnoBirthing by Marie Mongan.

Giving birth is such an intimate, emotional experience. It is when you, as a woman can be at your most vulnerable or your most empowered. To prepare your mind and your body for birth is ultimately the most important thing that you can do during your pregnancy but if the place where you are choosing to give birth isn’t in line with that preparation, your birth can go off course.

It’s a good idea to decide early on in your pregnancy what kind of birth you want. If you want a natural birth (vaginal delivery, no drugs) and are classified as “low risk” then you have many options available to you. Do your research. Consider a Home Birth- your home is the place where you feel most comfortable and confident. When you feel this way, endorphins will flow throughout your body helping you to labour easily and in your own time. Your partner won’t be on any time constraints, infection is less likely, and you can have as many people as you want to support you.

If you want a natural birth but a home birth isn’t for you, take a look around the local Midwifery Led Units and Birth Centres. We have some wonderful examples of these in our local area. For example, Solihull’s MLU and Serenity Birth Centre in the Sandwell District. The surroundings will be less clinical than a hospital and more homely, helping you to relax and feel comfortable. Your partner will be able to stay with you, in your room, for the whole stay. And most importantly, you are more likely to have the natural birth that you have been planning for, as the chances of medical interventions, in comparison to a hospital setting, are reduced.

If you are categorised as high risk and have decided that a hospital birth is the best choice for you and your baby. A natural birth is still very possible (some conditions may increase your chances of intervention or a medicated birth but always research your options and make an informed choice). You could be more likely to accept drugs in a hospital and the possibility of having intervention during your labour increases however, if you prepare for your birth by attending a suitable Antenatal Course these possibilities can be managed and the chances of them occurring are lowered. You will want to make yourself at home and try to create a familiar environment in the ward/room you will labour in and the delivery suite in which you will give birth. Bring pillows from home with your favourite aromatherapy scent sprayed on them. Pack photos of loved ones (children, pets), prepare a compilation of your favourite music or select an album of relaxation tracks. Pick comfortable clothes to labour in and something that you can give birth in easily too.

If you have elected to have a C-Section or have been advised that a surgical birth is the best option for you and baby, you can still, to a certain degree create an atmosphere that will enable you to relax and keep calm. There is a growing movement attempting to make the C-Section a more family centred or natural experience. There are a few alterations to the usual planned C-section that you can re quest. Click here to learn more about this technique

Whatever choice you make, ensure that it is an informed choice and one you are comfortable with. You may find the Birth Choice UK website useful when making your decision.

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CAN LEARNING TO RELAX REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO PREGNANCY & BIRTH??

In one of my previous blogs I wrote about how fear effects labour. Remember the Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome? (click here to read the blog). One of the best ways to eliminate the tension in your body is to learn to RELAX….and yes, you do have to learn how to do it. It is a skill. But the good news is, anyone become really good at it, you don’t have to be a particular type of person!

There are many benefits to be had from learning to relax during pregnancy. These include improved feelings of well being, a reduction in effects of tiredness, reduction in blood pressure, an improvement or elimination in fears or frustrations which surround pregnancy and a wonderfully calm, content baby 🙂

Relaxation is defined as the state of being free from tension and anxiety. A body that is free from tension and a mind that is free from anxiety will function much better! This couldn’t be more true than when it comes to pregnancy and giving birth.

When you relax your body releases happy hormones known as Endorphins. They run throughout your system making you feel calm, content and happy. Equally as important, they transfer to your baby making sure that he/she feels the same as you AND they block out the stress hormones (catecholamine).

During birth- all that practice you put into relaxation really starts to come into play. Whether you are having a natural vaginal birth or a planned C-section you will benefit from the lack of tension in your body (and your mind). So lets take a look at how…

For a natural birth a relaxed body will progress in labour more easily and smoothly, the less tension you hold in your body the less pain you will experience and you will conserve lots of energy! If you are having a C-Section, breathing techniques conducive to relaxation can assist in any stress or anxiety you are feeling when you are having surgery. A relaxed body can accept anaesthesia better and will also aid repair and recovery post operation. Some Mums who practice relaxation report in a reduced need for pain relieving drugs in the recovery period too.

A great way to relieve your body of tension and discomfort is to have a Pregnancy Massage, a bath, a Reiki session and I am sure you can think of lots of others!

So how can you learn to relax? HypnoBirthing specifically focuses on learning how relax, quickly, deeply and effectively. You can learn to release the tension from your mind and your body with simple easy techniques. You can listen to my MP3 to learn more about HypnoBirthing (just click here) or come along to my FREE taster this Thursday (more info here)

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HypnoBirthing? What the heck is it?

HypnoBirthing may seem a bit hippy-la-la-woo-woo for some people but its actually quite… (wait for it) practical…normal…and based on fact! Ha- bet you didn’t know that! Well, lets take a look a bit deeper into what its all about. Don’t forget to grab my FREE MP3 at the end to hear some more about what HypnoBirthing is and if you still have more questions- come along to my FREE Taster Session!

H– happy hormones! When you do HypnoBirthing you enjoy a more relaxed, calmer pregnancy! The time you devote to relaxation (most of which you can do in your sleep!) encourages the flow of endorphins through your body making you feel really chilled, good and happy! HypnoBirthing works on changing your core beliefs about birth, so when you feel more positive, you feel more calm and suddenly you are able to deal with things in a much more positive way.
Y– YOU become more confident. HypnoBirthing teaches you about your body. How it works in labour and how to work with it. As well as becoming more knowledgeable about the birth process, we teach you to become more empowered and able to communicate your wants & needs to those supporting you during your pregnancy and labour.
P– pain. The P word! Pain isn’t something we talk very much about in HypnoBirthing (depending on which method you choose of course). Pain is subjective, no one experiences the same levels or sensations. Your experience of pain is unique to you! HypnoBirthing mums report reduced levels of pain in labour with some even experiencing no pain.
N– nurture yourself and your baby. HypnoBirthing helps you to understand the importance of bonding and connecting with your baby on an emotional level. Nurturing yourself and caring for your wellbeing as a priority during pregnancy means your baby will benefit from all those happy hormones buzzing around your body, helping to produce a calm content little individual.
O– oxytocin. The hormone of love! We need this hormone to birth our babies. Fear, anxiety and stress reduces the flow of this hormone making our labours stall, slow or stop! HypnoBirthing teaches you about the importance of this hormone and how to encourage its release and flow.
B– birth. Birth is beautiful! In our classes we show amazing HypnoBirthing videos to show you how wonderful your birth experience can be!
I– intimate. We teach our couples that birth should be as intimate as the act that got you pregnant in the first place! Protect your birthing environment, keep people to a minimum, lights down low, music to help encourage relaxation and most importantly connect with your partner. Kiss, hug, eye contact- be intimate.
R– relaxation. We have kinda mentioned this one earlier but it’s so important it definitely needs to have its own paragraph! Learn to relax and you will reap the benefits in your pregnancy and your labour both mentally and physically. Relaxation allows us to switch off from the usual stresses and strains of our daily life which provides fantastic health benefits to both you and your baby. Not only that but the more you practice it the more adept at it you become and so during labour you can use your new found skill to release the tension in your body. When your body is relaxed it works more efficiently so your labour is more comfortable and often quicker too!
T– Time passing. When you practice self-hypnosis you won’t be aware of the time passing during your labour. 20 minutes can feel like 5! That stops you from focusing on how long you have been in labour and potetnitally how much longer the labour will continue.
H– hypnosis. Our sub-conscious is vast- it contains every idea, belief, memory that we have. Most women, whether consciously aware or not, will contain a negative set of beliefs about birth due to all the messages we are constantly bombarded with about birth being painful, awful and an ordeal. Self hypnosis allows us to bypass the conscious mind and access our more instinctual selves.  We can imprint a positive set of beliefs about birth into our sub conscious using hypnosis which will help create reduced or no fear about labour, resulting in reduced or no tension in our bodies during labour, concluding in reduced or no pain.
I– identify with your inner self. Ok- so THAT sounds a bit woo woo but… HypnoBirthing gives you the opportunity to learn all about the power of your mind. Your mind is in charge- the body is just a robot. So become the master of your mind, your thoughts and your feelings and you will see how that benefits your health, your outlook and your birth.
N– neocortex. This is the  rational part of our brains which is incredibly useful day to day but can actually hinder us during labour. We need to by-pass it in order to access the more primal, instinctive part of our brain and allow the right hormones to be released. So, how can we do this…Relaxation!!
G– guide your life. HypnoBirthing isn’t just an antenatal class. It gives you an insight into what you can achieve if you educate, empower and believe in yourself. Once you grasp that- you can do anything!

Click here to receive my FREE MP3 to find out more about HypnoBirthing and how it can help you! And you can also attend a FREE HypnoBirthing Taster Session too- click here to find out more!

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SCARED OR FRIGHTENED OF GIVING BIRTH? THIS COULD BE JUST WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW…

I thought I might as well dive right in there with a big topic and look at what makes birth so painful.

Dr Grantly Dick Read (a natural birth pioneer and author of Birth Without Fear) discovered the Fear-Tension-Pain syndrome. From his own experience (and vast studies) he discovered that poor, uneducated women in the early 1900’s could give birth with very little discomfort and quite often in a short space of time.

He wondered what it was that the lower class women were bringing into the birthing environment that made them give birth so differently from more educated, upper class women. He then realised that actually it was something that they WEREN’T bringing into the birth that was having the amazing effect on how they delivered their babies…it was FEAR.

Fear actually causes the arteries leading to the uterus to constrict and TENSE up which causes restricted blood flow and oxygen to the very muscle which is trying to function efficiently and give birth to your baby. This is what causes the severe PAIN we associate with birth.

So in today’s society, with the level of information we have at our finger tips along with all the media that is so readily available at the touch of a button, how can we prepare for a birth without fear?

Well, you can learn how to relax, practice relaxation, read books about birth, talk to your local Doula, take a regular yoga class, research Reiki or other alternative/complementary therapies…and perhaps most importantly of all choose an antenatal course which will empower you to birth without fear and teach you techniques to work with your body. HypnoBirthing can do all of these things!

When you practice any or all of the above during your pregnancy and in preparation for your big birthing day your baby reaps the benefits. A baby who grows and develops in a relaxed body with a relaxed Mummy is exposed to lots of happy hormones (endorphins) which can help your baby to be happy, content and calm.

Want to know more about HypnoBirthing now? Click here to pop your details into the sign up form to gain to access to a FREE audio!

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