Tuesday, 30 September 2014

How to Find the Right Size Maternity and Nursing Bra

When you're pregnant, your body goes through an immense number of changes, and one that is almost immediately noticeable is the size of your breasts. You may find that almost overnight, you have a cleavage that you've always longed for but you may also discover that sensitivity increases too, so even the most gentle of hugs can make you wince in pain!

In addition to your breasts growing, your rib cage expands and your overall body shape changes. It's therefore very important to find the right sized maternity bra to give you full support and maximum comfort.

Getting Measured with Born Trained Staff

Your body begins to change at around 12 weeks of pregnancy, so you may need to change to maternity bra's around that stage.  If you are local to our stores you can come in for a fitting with our trained staff who can measure you and advise about the type of maternity bra that will suit you best.  If you are buying a bra specifically for breastfeeding, we recommend getting fitted at around 37 weeks, as bra's which fit at this point of pregnancy should see you through the size changes after your baby is born and your milk arrives.

If you are not able to call into our stores, you can measure yourself (or get someone to help).

Bravado Confetti - coming soon!

Measuring Yourself for a Maternity Bra

Before you start:
  • Make sure you are wearing an un-padded bra that is not a compression or a sports bra.
  • Stand straight and relaxed, with your arms down, and breathe normally.
  • If you can, ask someone to help you measure.
  • If you’re doing this solo, measure yourself in front of a mirror.

Write down the following measurements:
  • Chest — First measure around your chest. Place the measuring tape around yourself and position it right under your armpits. Make sure that the measuring tape is above your breast tissue in the front, and running parallel to the floor in the back. Pull snug. Write down this measurement in inches. 
  • Bust — Measure across the fullest part of your breasts, right across the nipples. Place the measuring tape around your breasts. This is a loose measurement. Hint: Look in the mirror. Your breasts should fall at the centre point between your elbow and shoulder.
Find your size:
  • Determine your band size: Take your chest measurement. If you have an odd number, round it up or down to the nearest even number (for example, 33.5 rounds up to 34, where 32.5 would round down to 32). This is your band size. 
  • Determine your cup size: Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and this is your cup size. Each inch is equivalent to one cup size, so you can count up (1=A, 2=B, 3=C and so on).  

How your breasts (and bra size) will change throughout your pregnancy and beyond

Bravado have done a great guide for pregnancy changes.  They base the changes on a pre-pregnancy size of 34B, but even if you're not that size, it gives you an idea of the changes that will take place!

3 Months Pregnant:
At 3 months, you'll start noticing many changes to your body, including your breasts and ribs starting to pronounce themselves.  Your 34B may feel a bit tight. You're moving from a 34 to 36 and becoming a C cup.

6 Months Pregnant:
Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra
At 6 months pregnant, you're not only glowing but your belly is more pronounced, and your breasts and rib cage both feel bigger. You're now a 36C.

9 Months Pregnant:
At 9 months pregnant you're radiant, and almost ready to deliver. Your breasts may begin to feel a bit puffy and tender the last few weeks, and your ribs may feel very pushed out. You are closer to a 36D now, but not for long!

3 to 4 days after you've given birth:
It's now 3 to 4 days after you've given birth. You've been breastfeeding since birth, but today your breasts are significantly bigger and heavier. You've increased at least a full size in the cup (to a E(DD) or more) but feel relief in your rib cage now that the baby is born. You're also wearing a nursing bra to bed for greater comfort.

A breastfeeding rhythm has been established:
You and baby are happily working on your breastfeeding relationship. Around 10 to 12 weeks after birth your breasts have relaxed in size and weight and you could easily wear a 34D.

Choosing a Maternity and Nursing Bra

At Born, we pride ourselves on finding and fitting the right bra for you and your needs. Our range includes the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, our best seller! It will fit you from pregnancy through to extended feeding. The cup stretch is fantastic, and accommodates the fluctuating in size that happens to your breasts in the first few months of feeding. 

Insiders Tip! 
Arriving in stock in the next few weeks, we have the Bravado Confetti, a gorgeous lightweight bra with a small dot pattern, as well as the Bravado Bliss, the ultimate T-shirt bra! It gives you full access for skin-to-skin feeding and includes the Bravado Bra Conversion Kit which enables you to turn the bra into a normal bra when your breastfeeding journey is complete! 

For our full range of maternity and nursing bras, visit Borndirect or contact our stores to book a consultation or fitting.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Woodland Creatures visit Born!

Autumn fever has hit us at Born and our shops seem to be filled with hedgehogs, squirrels and other woodland creatures!

Our new arrival is the Hedgehog range from the wonderful Pigeon Organics.  Pigeon Organics is the new name for Organics for Kids - clothing produced from 100% organic cotton, which is so soft and gentle that it wraps your baby in a soft, cosy, breathable cuddle! Pigeon Organics supports the local textile industry by having all the clothing manufactured in a small factory in Nottingham, ensuring fantastic quality. Add to this a raft of organic certifications and a commitment to using ethical and fairly-traded cotton and you can be sure that the people involved in producing Pigeon clothing are as happy as the children who wear it!

We love the Hedgehog Long Romper - Ultra soft and snuggly, the side fastenings make dressing quick and easy and the foldable cuffs at the feet are perfect for keeping little toes warm!

There's a gorgeous reversible large organic blanket with hedgehogs on one side and stripes on the other to match the romper, perfect for the pushchair, picnics, snuggle time or bed!

If hedgehogs aren't your thing, celebrate the arrival of Autumn with the Pigeon Acorn collection. Decorated with oak leaves and acorns, this collection includes the organic romper and baby blanket and will definitely get you in the mood for falling leaves and woodland walks!

More hedgehogs have arrived in the form of the beautiful Woodland Animals Baby Blanket from quality Austrian designer David Fussenegger. This beautifully soft and tactile cotton-rich blanket has a stitched border and is machine washable. Your baby will love the sweet squirrel, bird and hedgehog friends and the blanket will keep your little one cosy and snuggly in their moses basket, cot, buggy or just sitting on your knee having a cuddle!

Keeping with the woodland theme, David Fussenegger has also produced two fantastic owl blankets -one in colourful patchwork and one as a night scene to encourage lots of bedtime cuddles!  And we especially love his Organic Woodland blanket with red polka dots and baby deer - a perfect first baby blanket to treasure!

Finally, if you're as hedgehog-mad as we are right now, check out our gorgeous plush Hedgehog Wheely Bug Ride-ons!  With special casters that allow the ride-on to swivel in all directions, Wheely Bugs help promote balance, co-ordination and motor skills like no other toy, giving your child limitless fun, opening up their world and quickly becoming part of the family. There is currently a hedgehog Wheely Bug in each of our Born stores, so come and snap them up before they hibernate!

For more information about these and any other products, visit Borndirect or contact one of our Born stores.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Born's Top 5 "B's" for Brilliant Bath Times!

Bathing your children is a lovely way of spending valuable quality time with each other, free from noise and distractions.  Bath time can be fun, without being overstimulating and is a lovely time for cuddles too! It's a great way for parents and children to unwind and relax, putting the day behind them and preparing for bed.

We've put together our top 5 "B's" for a fun and calming bath time ...

B is for Bubbles!

Everyone loves bubbles and a bath just isn't the same without them! Perfect for getting your baby washed without the need for scrubbing, bubbles are also the source of endless fun! Play "dress up" with funny hair, or hide and seek with toys peeping out from below the bubbles. Blow the bubbles to make it "snow" - the list goes on!

We love the Organic Baby Bubblebath from Love Soap who make beautiful hand blended organic bath products especially for children and they don't skimp on the foam! Certified by the Soil Association, this gorgeous bubblebath is made using ingredients derived from nuts, seeds, flowers and fruits and is free from sulphates and other harmful chemicals - proof that you don't need chemicals to make great bubbles!
Or try the Organic Bubble Bath from Earth Friendly Baby, featuring classic Organic Chamomile, relaxing Organic Lavender or funtime Organic Mandarin, all great for your baby. Lovely refreshing scents, rich foam and great cleaning all at the same time.

B is for Boats!

Bath time is perfect for setting sail on the high seas and if you've got some friends along for the ride, all the better! Green Toys dominate the dock with a tugboat complete with handle and pouring spout, a submarine with spinning propeller and a car ferry with two cars to load and unload - all their toys are made from recycled plastic milk containers so these eco-friendly vessels are safe for your little one and safe for the environment too.

For fishing fans, we've got the fantastic Fishing Boat from Ambi Toys. The masts double as two rods for a fun fishing game and the steering wheel can be used as a life ring to throw to the captain if he falls overboard. An ideal toy to support counting, colour recognition, fine motor skills, imagination and role play - stock is due in soon - watch this space..!

B is for Baby Towels!

Almost as lovely as getting into the bath is getting out again, especially if you've got a gorgeous fluffy towel to climb into!  Our range of baby towels all come with hoods and are just what you need for wrapping your baby and keeping them cosy.

The brilliant Cuddledry Bath Towel fastens with poppers around your neck, allowing you to have both hands free to lift your baby from the bath-tub. The fabric is a blend of organic unbleached cotton and natural bamboo fibre, which is soft, highly absorbent and fast drying as well as having natural antibacterial properties, making this a great towel for babies with sensitive skin.

If you're looking for a bathtime set, the Aden & Anais Towel & Washcloth set is ideal - The towel is 100% terry cotton, which is extra absorbent and durable whilst the four-layer muslin washcloth gets softer after each wash, making it extra gentle on babies delicate skin. A great practical gift that's ideal for bath time, travel time, beach time and cuddle time!

B is for Born Bundles!

Did you know that we offer great money-saving packages specifically for your baby's bath time? You can buy everything you need for bathing your little one in one go, saving you time and money. They're perfect for gifts too!

Choose the Bathtime Essential Bundle with organic shampoo & bodywash, an organically grown sea-sponge, a 100% natural rubber duck (an essential in every bath!) and a Cuddledry Bath towel.

Also, try the Baby Bathtime Bundle with additional Baby Massage Oil, Calendula Lotion and the rather vital Ladybug Bath Toy Storage & Scoop!

These bundles are a brilliant way of making sure you've got everything to hand as well as trying out one or two products that you may not have thought of!

B is for... Bliss!

Bath time is not just about the children! When bathing, story and bedtime is done and your little one is (hopefully) fast asleep, it's time to look after yourself.

Relax in a warm bath and breathe in the beautiful calming scent of Weleda's Lavender Bath Milk, with it's harmonising effect that soothes body and mind, reducing tension and easing restlessness.

If you're pregnant, try the Natalia Prenatal Bath Soak. Formulated for pregnancy, this gentle bubble bath with calendula and aloe vera is soothing on skin, and the synergistic essential oil blend eases muscular tension and soothes anxiety.

Mum's Gorgeous Pampering Box by Natalia

If you're a mum in need a bit of intense pampering, we suggest you opt for Mum's Gorgeous Pampering Box by Natalia. This organic, nurturing bath set includes Time for Mum Bath Soak, Mummy's Yummy Bath Scrub, Mum's Miracle Balm and an Organic Ultra-soft Cotton Flannel - and with your name on each item, there's no mistaking whose bath time these are for!

Relaxation for Childbirth - Free Audio and Booklet Downloads

Relaxation is a key ingredient to a peaceful yet energised birth and can be a major component in having the pregnancy and birth that you want.

Tracy Holloway  is a clinical hypnotherapist specialising in childbirth and fertility. Her Hypnosis recordings for birth preparation are designed to help you relax during pregnancy and to train your subconscious to be relaxed and calm during labour too. These recordings are now available to download for free from the Born website.

Relaxation for Childbirth

Tracy's hypnosis recordings enable you to practice deep relaxation techniques and prepare your mind and body for birth. You can learn how to ‘go within’ and tap into the true wisdom of motherhood.  This is not a new concept, it’s the philosophy of birthing as it was thousands of years ago, as nature intended it to be and as it still is in some cultures.  You can learn to use this inner wisdom to guide you to a place of peace, or even bliss, as you gently breathe your baby into this world. Relax, and learn how to provide the best possible start to your baby’s life.

Tracy’s experience as a therapist has shown that once a women is de-hypnotised of the negative thoughts and fears surrounding birthing, which can of course be her own previous birth trauma or difficulty, or social and cultural constraints, then she is able to naturally tune in to her inherent wisdom and lovingly guide her new-born into the world.

Doing What Comes Naturally

Nature has created a wonderful system of birthing that everyone has access to but for some people their fears, anxieties and negative beliefs get in the way of this process.

Giving birth should be the most wonderful experience in a woman’s life but can easily become stressful and difficult as she imagines and worries about all the things that ‘could’ go wrong.
Why is it within our society that when a women becomes pregnant and shares her great news with friends and family, after saying congratulations they seem to insist on telling her a horror story of how ‘difficult’ childbirth was for them or someone else they know, filling her mind with worry and fear and creating unnecessary anxiety. 
Nature intended for women to be relaxed as they birth, to enjoy this amazing, enriching, empowering experience.

Anxiety Inhibits the Birth Process

Anxious women struggle to give birth naturally as the primitive survival mechanism ‘the fight or flight response’ will interpret the anxiety as a chemical message that tells the body that this is not a ‘safe time or safe place to give birth’ The body will adapt and respond accordingly by stalling the birth process until it receives the chemical message that everything is OK, and it is now safe to proceed.

Deep relaxation can stop anxiety from ever being an issue, and even in challenging circumstances, utilising the power of positive thought can help turn a situation around. A relaxed, positive state of mind will send important chemical messages to the birthing-body supporting labour and birth. The body will produce the right hormones for this to occur, flooding the body with natural anaesthesia (endorphins). The chemical waves, or hormone messengers speak to the baby, letting he/she know that now is a safe time to be born.

How do I use the recordings?

Relaxation can help you create the most empowering environment for yourself and your baby, regardless of where you actually give birth – by accessing the true power of your mind. Learn to guide this unlimited power to support your birthing body.

When it comes to directly and consciously influencing the birth process, sugar coated positivity will not suffice, neither will leave everything until the last minute do, or learning a few positive affirmations and hoping they will see you through.  Releasing deep unconscious fear, and learning to relax fully takes time to learn, and is best practised regularly. This is why audio support such as hypnosis/relaxation for childbirth is so successful.

All you need do is play one of the recordings as you unwind, ready for bed – close your eyes and drift off – it really doesn’t matter if you fall asleep, your powerful subconscious mind is always listening, even whilst you sleep.  Play one every night if you can, and at other times during the day should you need to.

Reported benefits of using hypnosis/deep relaxation for childbirth

• Improved sleep prior to birth and afterwards • Reduction of heartburn
• Control of blood pressure
• Removal of fear and anxiety
• Less need for induction of labour
• Fewer drugs or no drugs mean less risk of side effects on mother and baby
• Shorter labour – resistance of the birthing muscles as a response to pain is minimised or eliminated
• Increased production of oxytocin, the hormone that controls the strength and duration of contractions.  When there is a good supply of oxytocin contractions are comfortable
• An awake energised mother due to total relaxation throughout the birthing process
• A calm peaceful birthing atmosphere
• Breech and posterior babies can be turned using hypnosis
• Fewer interventions and complications during labour
• A plentiful supply of milk
• Babies who sleep and feed better due to fewer drugs in their systems
• Mothers who are less tired and more confident
• Fewer episiotomies and perineal tears
• Calmer more alert babies
• Greater satisfaction with the birth as reported by new mothers

Free Download Links

Born supports the benefit of hypnotherapy for childbirth and so we are ensuring Tracy's recordings are accessible to everyone by giving the downloads away for free.

When you clink on the link, the download will automatically save to your PC. Once downloaded, you can open it in iTunes or other audio player or save it to an MP3 player.  The recordings can also be burned to a CD. If you have an iOs device (iPhone, iPad etc) it will play but will not save.  Do not listen to the recordings when driving or when your attention is required as these recordings are designed to make you sleepy.

Click to download:

1. Relaxation for Childbirth
2. Float Away Stress
3. Worry_Balloons
4. Deep_Trance_Training

Thank you for downloading these Hypnosis for Childbirth recordings. We hope they make a difference to your birth.

Click on the image below to download the accompanying booklet


For further information on the courses and regular broadcasts Tracy offers please visit Tracy Holloway.com.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Keeping Ahead of the Game - Born's Adventures at the Nursery Trade Show

Born's MD and all-round trend-spotter Becky Ward spent last weekend in Cologne, at the big Nursery Industry trade show of the year, surviving off nothing but her wits and several packets of Haribo. Here's how she got on...

The Kind & Jugend Trade Show is held every September in Cologne, where the European nursery industry all gather to launch new items, catch up with their clients, and make new contacts.  Cologne is a beautiful city, which unfortunately I never get to see much of as most of my time is spent inside the Kölnmesse – an enormous collection of halls, all linked together like a rabbit warren for giants.  It can be very disorienting, and the affect of no natural lights, lots of people, and loud music makes it all very intense!

However, it is always lovely to catch up with our suppliers, and very exciting to see the new products they are planning to bring to the market.  At Born, we try to source our products as ethically as possible, so I have a narrower buying range than our competitors, but this is actually quite nice for me, as I can be very focused.  We are also known for our specialisms – babywearing, breastfeeding, and cloth nappies – so our opinion is often sought out by suppliers launching new products in these areas.  I saw MANY new carriers this weekend, and we really look forward to working with manufacturers, both existing and also new to Born, to bring you some great new slings. 

I was invited by Bugaboo to an offsite visit, which was held in a suitably stylish warehouse event location.  They have a very interesting new product which will be launching in the new year.  It was also great to get to play with the new limited edition Diesel collaborations, and see all the new Bee3 combinations in the flesh.  I was nicely surprised at how well the Off White hood looks with the Khaki carrycot.  Afterwards, it was off to another offsite visit with Phil&Teds/Mountain Buggy, who have a really exciting new product which will hopefully be launching in the new year – watch this space.

Bugaboo Cameleon3 by Diesel and Bugaboo Bee3 in Off-White & Khaki

The rest of the visit was in the main show halls, where I caught up with the lovely distributors of Ergobaby in the UK, and saw the shiny new Orbit Stroller, as well as the as yet to be launched three-wheeler Orbit have produced.  It features, as you would expect, lots of interesting design features.  Ergobaby have brought out some changes themselves, including a lovely purple version of the Ventus Performance Carrier, which we will have in stock as soon as we can. 

The exciting bits of the show, for me, were seeing new brands, many of which are not yet available in the UK.  Hopefully we will have some of these arriving in the shops and online soon.  And we will be working more closely with some of our existing suppliers as well, so expect to see more from brands such as Lässig – a fantastic German accessories manufacturer, whose ethics match ours really nicely.  Updates on new products will come through on the blog.

Lässig Vintage Metro Changing Bag

All in all, it was a very productive visit and I am really excited about bringing lots of lovely new products in to the shops for you to enjoy.

Cool the Drool! How To Help Your Baby Through Teething

Growing teeth can be a painful business, especially when you're six months old and don't understand why things are poking out of your gums!

Teeth start developing while the baby is still in the womb with tooth buds forming in the gums. Some babies are even born with teeth already in their mouth. The majority of babies start teething between four to nine months, although all babies are different and some may not start cutting teeth until eleven or twelve months old.

Babies experience teething differently, but the common signs that your baby is cutting teeth include excessive dribbling, biting and gnawing on hard surfaces, ear-pulling, loss of appetite, irritability and difficulty sleeping. It's hard to watch your little one go through this level of discomfort, so what can you do to help?

Aden + Anais Red Edition 3-Pack Muslin Squares

Excessive Dribbling

Muslins. Lots and lots of muslins! Teething stimulates the production of extra saliva, giving way to drooling and dribbling. You may even notice your baby's poo is looser due to the amount of extra saliva they are swallowing. Try to keep the area the skin around your baby’s mouth dry make sure you frequently wipe their chin and the rest of their face. This will help to prevent them from developing a rash. The Aden & Anais bibs and muslin squares are ideal for this as they are very absorbent and super soft against fragile skin.

Biting and Gnawing

Teething babies have an inherent need to chew on anything! The pressure experienced from biting is believed to help babies relieve the painful pressure on their gums. If chewing on a cold wet flannel or on mum or dad's finger is just not doing it, there are many teething toys on the market - at Born, we make sure we only select those that are free from BPA, Phalates and other nasties so they're totally safe for your little one to put in their mouths.  Some, like the Lansinoh Teether, can be put in the fridge to help soothe sore gums. (Never put a teething ring in the freezer as it could damage your baby's gums if it becomes very hard or cold). Others like the Toddles Organic Cotton Teething Ring & Comforter can be a teething toy and a comforter all in one.

Little Toader AppeTeether Teething Toys

If your baby keeps dropping the teething toy, check out our natural, wooden dummy chains - clip one end to your baby's clothes and connect the other end to the teething ring - your baby can drop the toy as often as they like without you needing to wash it, as it stays off the floor!

Heimess Wooden Dummy Clip & Chain

We also love the teething and nursing necklaces and pendants - worn by the parent, it gives your baby something to chew when they are in your arms or being carried in a carrier or sling. With quick-release clasps, they are safe for parent and baby and they look stylish too!

Jellystone Original Soother Necklace

Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules

Sore Gums

The pain of teething is the thing that makes your baby irritable and gives them earache and sleepless nights. Drinks of cool (not ice cold) water can help to soothe gums and can also help keep fluid levels up if they are dribbling excessively or try massaging your baby's gums gently with a cool, clean finger.

Homeopathic sugar-free remedies such as Nelson's Teetha Powder or gel can help relieve symptoms. The powder contains 6c homeopathic potency of gentle Chamomilla, so it works with the whole body to soothe - calming your baby, as well as relieving discomfort.

You may also like to consider Craniosacral Therapy for your little one.  This subtle and profound healing form is used for babies as soon as they come into life to help their system to settle into a normal rhythm and vitality. The many benefits of craniosacral therapy include relief from the symptoms of teething, reduced irritability and a more peaceful sleep pattern.

Craniosacral Therapy Clinic at Born

Cutting teeth can go on for up to 18 months or more, but there are then a few years of respite before the Tooth Fairy starts to visit! In the meantime, if you are at all concerned about your any of your child's symptoms and are not sure that they are related to teething, always contact your doctor or practitioner for advice.

To see our full range of teething toys and soothing aids, visit us at Borndirect.com or pop into one of our stores

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

HypnoBirthing at Born - How it can make a vital difference to you and your baby

Born - the home of HypnoBirthing in Hackney.


written by Guest Blogger, Katrina Berry.

HypnoBirthing is as much a philosophy of birth as it is a technique or method for birthing. The basic tenet of the programme is that childbirth is a normal, natural and healthy function for women. As such, birth can be accomplished gently and calmly for the very large number of women who are not in a high risk situation.

Like the bodies of our sister creatures in nature, the bodies of healthy pregnant women instinctively know how to conceive and how to nurture the development of the babies they are carrying. HypnoBirthing helps mothers align with their own innate capacity to be able to give birth gently, comfortably, powerfully and joyfully.

A HypnoBirthing mothers learns to embrace her body's innate knowledge of birthing, to relax into her birthing process, working with her body and her baby. She trusts that each knows how to do its job. She wants this experience to unfold naturally without interruption. In doing this she eliminates fatigue and shortens her birthing time. The result is a truly rewarding and satisfying birth experience, with the entire family, including the baby, being awake, alert and calm, yet energised.

When you talk about hypnosis it's common for people to associate the activity with television shows - the type where volunteers go up on to the stage and are hypnotised into doing strange things they would never normally do.

HypnoBirthing couldn't really be MORE different from that! When you experience hypnosis either in the class or during the actual child birth process, you are always able to control your own actions and decisions. In fact that is why you use it, because it gives you more control over what is going on.

If you've seen a television childbirth you'd be forgiven for expecting some kind of a medieval torture. What's the usual media portrayal of labour and birth? ("Labour" says all you need to know doesn't it!) Towels! Water! Screams! We've all seen it a thousand times - what appears to be a primitive yet unnecessary torture inflicted quite unfairly only on the female of the species.

Likewise when anybody is newly pregnant they will ask around all friends and family to find out what they are going to experience. Inevitably they can be told of horror stories and not want to read the last chapter in the pregnancy book for fear it might put them off the inevitable! And yet surely this should be one of the best days of their lives?

So the media and our friends and family set us up to be terrified, and we have no direct experience of childbirth with which to compare what they tell us. 

And what comes with fear? - Tension.

And what comes with tension? - Tense muscles, contraction, rigidity/

And how does the baby come into the world then? - With considerable difficulty.

The whole thing becomes an absurd self fulfilling prophecy. Fear followed by tension followed by pain.

With HypnoBirthing we use the power of relaxation and positive suggestion to give you a series of exercises which allow you to alter this process.

The body knows how to give birth. We certainly don’t sit down and decide with our conscious mind when we’re going to go into labour or how the labour is going to be. It happens at the right time when the baby is ready and in the right way. What we can do however is get in the way. Michel Odent, the obstetrician who pioneered water births is quoted as saying: “Never, never disturb the neocortex of the labouring woman,” and indeed it is true that any mammal will give birth only where she feels safe, secure and unobserved. If the mind is worried or disturbed it impedes the natural function of the body. For a woman’s body to function naturally and efficiently, she has to feel secure at a deep subconscious level.

So fear release is an important part of the HypnoBirthing course. Having worked on fear release, then you can put positive learnings in its place. There is relaxation, deepening of relaxation and self hypnosis. There is breathing, massage and visualisation. And then there is the important aspect of going through the birth with what to expect at each stage, and what you or your birth partner can usefully do at each stage.

The role of the birthing partner is extremely important in HypnoBirthing. Of course plenty of mothers have learnt it and used it successfully on their own, but many others have said, “I could never have done it without his voice prompting me.” It’s good for the relationship of mother and father, and of baby and father, that the father knows he is making a difference in the birth process.

HypnoBirthing is a little like learning a musical instrument. You could be told theoretically how to play the piano in about ten minutes, but it wouldn’t mean you could do it. You could go to classes every week for a year and you would make some progress. But you really make progress because of the practice you do in between. HypnoBirthing is the same. You can read about it in a book and you understand it. You go to a class and it becomes real and enables you to put it into practice for yourself.

Now your childbirth experience becomes something quite different, and by using these techniques to take control of the process you find yourself able to relax, and allow your body to do what is perfectly evolved to do - give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby.

So the next time someone mentions HypnoBirthing, please don't expect anyone to be barking like a dog on a stage - just relaxing and enjoying the birth of their baby, in calm and peaceful surroundings!

“Classes are packed with useful, practical & myth-busting information. The group setting is just right and Kat turns the Born shop into a cozy living room for the evening.” Sally

Katrina runs regular HypnoBirthing courses on Monday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings at Born, Stoke Newington.

Dates of upcoming courses:

Sundays September 14th - 5th October, starting at 6.30pm - ONE SPACE LEFT

Wednesdays September 24th - 15th October, starting at 7pm - ONE SPACE LEFT

Mondays 6th & 13th October, then a week off and 27th Oct & 3rd Nov, starting at 7pm

Wednesdays October 29th - 19th November, starting at 7pm

Sundays November 9th - 30th, starting at 6.30pm

Find out more at www.katrinaberry.co.uk