Posted in Parenting, pregnancy

Hypnobirthing -What you need to know

When you are pregnant, one of the first things you will need to think about is when and how you will be giving birth.

From your first antenatal visit you will be given valuable information on how your pregnancy will progress, the first signs of labour, what to do when you are in labour and the many birthing options you can choose, in order to keep you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy.

You may also be given a list of pain management options, one of which is hypnobirthing.

What is Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing, in short, is an educational program that uses breathing techniques and relaxation to teach self hypnosis to enhance your birthing experience and provide effective, mindful pain relief without  the need for medication.

Many women who have used the hypnobirthing techniques advocate for them as they have been able to breathe effectively through contractions and have been able to avoid interventions. Hypnobirthing also allows a woman to fight the fear of childbirth, releasing emotions of joy and happiness rather than those of pain and anxiety. Taking this into consideration, it is easy to see why hypnobirthing is growing in popularity.

Putting mom in control

When it comes to labour and birth, many new moms often feel like they are not in control and may feel almost detached from the experience.

For nine months she has carried a baby, adjusted as this new life has changed her body without warning and then in her antenatal classes she has focused primarily on delivery for the new baby and how to manage the pain, without much thought to how the new mother can embrace giving birth. in contrast, hypnobirthing, teaches the new mom how to take control and be in charge of events during birth.

Hypnobirthing is also highly recommended for women who have experienced a negative or traumatic birthing experience. This allows them to feel more in control, allowing them to release any negativity or anxiety that pain medication cannot illiminate.

How does hypnobirthing work?

When you sign up for a hypnobirthing course , the content covered will often include aspects of labour and delivery that may not be covered in a more traditional antenatal course.

Topics such as:

  • Breathing techniques
  • How to reduce the need for pain relief and medication
  • How to reduce the need for intervention such as an episiotomy
  • Learning how to feel empowered throughout your delivery and in control
  • Learning how to have confidence and how to speak with knowledge to the medical team in a hospital setting
  • Dispelling the fear around childbirth
  • Learning to stay positive

Hypnobirthing uses self hypnosis and relaxation techniques to reduce the pain of contractions and aid in a positive and safe delivery at birth. Hypnobirthing aids in teaching a woman to have confidence in her bodies natural ability to give birth and relaxes her body and mind to a place of welcoming contractions and embracing the process of giving birth.

The benefits of hypnobirthing

There are numerous benefits to a mother using hypnobirthing during labour and delivery.

  • A shorter labour
  • Less risk for surgical or other intervention
  • More success in turning a breech baby
  • A more positive birthing experience
  • Emotions of elation after birth
  • Retaining the learned techniques for later births
  • Feeling empowered to choose a birthing option, type of birth and setting
  • Being in control of their body
  • Being more present during the delivery and enjoying the birth
  • Using the relaxation techniques at any stage, not just during labour and delivery

Although during childbirth nothing is ever assumed or guaranteed and a complication may arise leaving a mother needing an intervention or added pain relief, hypnobirthing does however equip you with the skills you need to have the calmest, most positive birthing experience.

The benefits of hypnobirthing for baby

We all know that a calm birth allows a baby to enter the world calmly and hypnobirthing assists to keep mom calm resulting in a calm, positive environment for a happy calm baby to be welcomed into.

The absence of pain relief also means that the baby is more alert and able to feed faster and more efficiently. Studies have shown that APGAR  scores for a baby  delivered without medication are higher as well.

My experience

Whilst I personally, have never attended a hypnobirthing class, I have had 7 vaginal births, 6 of which were without the need for pain medication because I used breathing techniques learned. One of the biggest factors in me deciding to go “drug free: was because of how not in control I felt in my first pregnancy.

With the birth of my second child I felt more in control before, during and after labour. Emotionally I was able to attach and bond to my child faster and able to get out of bed sooner to attend to him better.

With my third child, I was able to breathe through not pushing as the midwife removed the cord from around his neck during birth and with my fourth I delivered him alone, unafraid and in control thanks to my breathing techniques.

When I went into labour with my fifth child, I was taken to the hospital by a work collegue of my husband and emotionally I was increadibly anxious. By breathing and focusing on the birth, I was able to calm my own anxiety, manage the contraction pain and deliver a happy baby a few minutes after arriving at the hospital.

With my sixth child, I was able to remain calm as I found myself 10cm dialed and she had not yet descended. With controlled breathing I was able to stay focus and work with my mid wife to deliver her safely and with my youngest child I was able to correctly assess my own body to know when I was in labour after a very long and prolonged induced labour.

So, whilst doing research for this article, I was able to resonate with the moms who had chosen hypnobirthing as an option.

Conclusion

Giving birth should be a positive experience and which ever option you choose it should suit you. Empower yourself with the knowledge needed to make the right decision for you and your baby.

Posted in babies, Events, Health & Wellness, Mamma bears, Parenting, pregnancy, Toddlers

International Babywearing week 30 September – 6 October

This week sees the start of the International Babywearing week.

A week long opportunity to celebrate, promote, advocate and educate about the many benefits of baby wearing.

The theme for 2019 is “CONTINUING TRADITION” and I encourage you to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

What is babywearing?

Babywearing has been practiced around the world for centuries and includes wearing your baby or toddler close to you in a sling, wrap or carrier, as you go about your day.

Babywearing has been gaining popularity in recent years as a form of attachment parenting.

The benefits of babywearing

There are many benefits to babywearing, they include :

  • Good for development as a baby who is carried is closer to mom and can study facial expressions, learn language and be familiar with body language.
  • Your baby may cry less and get a better quality of sleep and so improve their immune system.
  • Improve bonds with siblings as parents have free hands and are able to give more attention to siblings.
  • Helps premature babies gain weight and thrive as skin to skin contact is vital for babies born premature.
  • Good for hips when done correctly can assist to develop strong, healthy hip joints.
  • Can reduce colic as babies who are wborn tend to cry less.
  • Gives parents the freedom and confidence to perform other tasks.
  • Allows for a stronger bonding experience between baby and the wearer.
  • Can help with post natal depression as moms feel less guilty when wearing baby.
  • Keeps strangers away and stops them from just touching baby.
  • Helps mom lose the baby weight as you use more energy carrying yor baby than pushing a stroller.
  • Allows mom to feed on the go if you are breastfeeding.
( source : www.babywearing.org)

My babywearing journey

I started my parenting journey in 1992 and remember being given a baby carrier.

This was a simple device that clipped onto me, that I refused to use until my baby was a plump 5 months old in fear of her falling out.

Four years later as the mom of a now preschooler, a toddler and a new born I fished out the carrier again as I needed some free hands whilst shopping or cleaning the house.

I never saw this as baby wearing only as a way to free my hands to get things done.

In 2003 my youngest daughter was born and I met a fellow mom who wore her baby in bright handmade coloured slings. She seemed a bit eccentric to me.

Whilst I had a fancy pram to gently lay my baby down in she would pick up her little one and strap him to her back or slip him into his sling.

When I fell pregnant with Hamish, I had gained much more knowledge on the benefits of babywearing and my eccentric friend no longer looked so crazy.

One of my first purchases for Hamish was a ring sling.

But I broke my leg 3 weeks into our parenting journey with Hamish and spent much of his first year immobile. So baby wearing sadly did not become the part of our journey I had hoped it would be.

Still there were days when he fussed a little too much or when he was ill that I would bundle him into the sling (which I’m sure I always wore wrong)

Brent would use the sling for Hamish if we went out, keeping him close by.

Being on crutches I couldn’t carry Hamish and am greatful for the sling as it not only kept our little one safe and secure, it allowed for a stronger bond with Brent who became his primary carer if we were out.

I remember the one day in particular, Hamish hadn’t slept all day. His chest was bad and I was beginning to think he just wasn’t going to sleep at all.

The sling was in the car with Brent at work, I was stuck upstairs unable to move very far with a heavy cast on my leg and close to tears at my own frustration of not being able to stand up and rock my unhappy baby.

In desperation, I remembered my friend from so many years ago with her colourful handmade slings, grabbed a sarong and made a make shift sling to slip Hamish into.

A few seconds later, he slept for the first time in hours without fussing.

For us, baby wearing was a way to strenthen our bond, keep our little man safe and secure and to comfort him when he needed to be close to us.

Do you babywearing?

Posted in Brands we love, Parenting, pregnancy

Bed king answer your pregnancy sleep questions

THE PREGNANCY, SLEEP, MATTRESS TRILOGY

Between midnight bathroom runs, a racing mind, cramping legs, heartburn and a metabolism that’s turning up your internal thermostat, sleep can be challenging during pregnancy.

Consider it preparation for the sleepless nights that lie ahead.

However, getting enough sleep is more important than ever now that you’re snoozing for two.

The necessity of sleep

Sleep is the time when your body resets and repairs itself including your blood vessels, which is vital now that they’re under increased pressure from the extra blood flow required to support your baby.

Sleep also keeps your immune system, which is suppressed to support your pregnancy, healthy. Plus it controls how your body reacts to insulin.

Not getting enough results in a higher blood sugar level, upping your risk of gestational diabetes.

Is left best?

The best sleep position when you’re expecting is on your left side.

This position is ideal for your circulation, optimising the oxygen and nutrients that get to your baby, as well as supporting kidney function, taking pressure off your liver and reducing swelling.
You should also avoid lying flat on your back all night long. The weight of your growing uterus presses on your vena cava, the artery running blood from your lower body back to your heart, disturbing circulation and possibly making you dizzy. Your womb also weighs on your intestines and back, making common pregnancy symptoms like backaches and haemorrhoids worse.

But don’t fret if you’re not a left side sleeper. As long as you practice the ‘SOS’ position (sleep on side) you’ll be fine.

Most woman find it uncomfortable to sleep on their back after their 4th month and you might find that you roll onto your side regardless.

Does your mattress play a role?

Besides using pillows under your belly, between your thighs and behind your back to alleviate pressure, you could consider investing in a mattress that offers the optimum support far beyond your due date.

The ideal mattress will hug the body closely to help align the your spine and alleviate aches and pains.

Temperature neutrality is also key, since many pregnant women sleep hotter than normal, a bed that absorbs minimal body heat and sleeps fairly cool will be a benefit now and during summer.

Additionally, mattresses that isolate motion well and produce minimal noise can be beneficial for couples, since pregnancy often leads to frequent nighttime bathroom trips and restless sleep.
Mervyn Ewertse, sleep expert and owner of the Bed King, says:

“Especially during pregnancy one is attuned to ones body and if you’re waking up with more aches than usual, it’s a sure sign that it’s time for a new mattress. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in bed in the next few years with nursing and sleep routines, so you may as well look into the right mattress now.”

All Bed King stores nationwide have the Comfort Solutions Lab, a state of the art system that uses the latest heat and pressure mapping technology to determine the correct firmness and support your body needs in a bed, all within 5 min of lying down.

To find out more on the Comfort Solutions range, visit http://www.bedking.co.za

(Article supplied )

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Mamma bears, pregnancy

Natura Moms and Baby Range

Hamish and I were recently sent a gorgeous gift hamper from Natura, containing some of their new Moms and baby range to try.


I am a firm believer in the Natura tissue salts and have used their range extensively so I was excited to try these new products.


About Naturas New Moms And Baby Range


Natura’s new mom and baby range offers gentle and effective, quality solutions through their trusted homeopathic remedies.

From morning sickness and breastfeeding to colic and teething this comprehensive range have a remedy for many of the common niggles moms and babies have.

What’s really great is that all the remedies are prepared as quick dissolving tablets,making it much easier to administer to babies and toddlers.


Products in the range


There are 17 products in the range.

For Mom

  • Prolak
  • Used for lactation, this supports the production of milk and eases with pain associated with breastfeeding.

  • Moton
  • Used for morning sickness, this assists with nausea and vomiting in the mornings and is useful if you are suffering from dreadful persistent nausea. It also assists with severe water brash.

  • O4 Serum
  • The O4 serum is a stretchmarm reduction gel and is used to reduce the appearance of blemishes associated with stretch marks and scars. It evens the skin tone. Offers intense moisturising and hydrated the skin. It is quickly absorbed to  improve the skin’s elasticity and suppelness without leaving an oily residue.

  • Nipella
  • Used to soothe and protect sore and cracked nippels. This cream 8s GMO free, 100% natural, contains no fragrances or preservatives.



    For Baby

  • Rescue
  • Used if baby is distressed,  tearful, restless, has anxiety or fears or for emotional shock.

  • Arnica D6
  • These are for those every day bumps and bruises or sore muscles.

  • Castro
  • You can use this for baby sniffles like runny nose, post natal drip, nasal congestion and thick sticky tears.

  • Dental
  • These ease teething. Use for painful gums,difficult teething, delayed teething, emotional crying caused by teething and to ease the teething runny tummy symptoms.

  • Kolik
  • For little ones suffering from colic, persistent crying, crying after feeding and if they have a flushed face from crying.

  • Snappy nappy
  • This cute barrier cream contains zinc oxide, soothing calendula and aloe vera to soothe sensitive bottoms.
    It also contains bees wax to act as a barrier against the moisture in your little ones nappy. With no parabens, colorant or fragrance you know this is a gentle product.

    For Mom and Baby

  • Karma Sleep
  • Used for sleeplessness, especially if you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Also good for restless sleep or changes in your sleeping pattern.

  • Ezin cough
  • Used for md wet and dry coughs.

  • Starlite
  • This product is used for sore throats, coughs, mild fevers and stuffy or runny noses.

  • Magen
  • Used for indigestion, bloating, motion sickness, heartburn or nausea after eating.

  • Kronolax
  • This is used for constipation, difficulty passing stools and to ease abdominal discomfort.

  • Danon
  • This runny tummy remedy is used for diarrhea, loose water stools or involuntary stool movement.


    Our experience


    Not being a lactating mom, we passed some of our samples onto 2 moms who could use them but we did try the awesome bath products.

  • Double Bubble
  • This 3 in 1 body wash, shampooanx bubble bath contains Calendula and Camomile making it the perfect combination to calm Hamish after a busy day.

    He loved the smell, I loved how soft his skin felt after his bath.

    All the ingredients are of natural origin and it has no colorant or Parabens.

    There were sufficient bubbles and it doesn’t leave a stain or mark on the bath.

    Of course I love that I only need one product to clean my busy boy with.

  • Calicalm
  • This calming Calendula and Lavender bath and massage oil could not have arrived at a better time as Hamish hurt his leg at school.

    So I massaged his leg with a little of this to calm him and dropped a few drops into his bath.

    The bottle contains a cute hippo and he was convinced the hippo remedy made his leg feel better.

    I love that this range of personal care products has cute animals on the containers. 

    I also love that when developing these products Natura sourced raw materials which are of natural origin, making them organic or Eco-cert approved, and from sustainable resources.

    You can purchase Natura products at Diskem or Clicks.

    To find out more http://www.natura.co.za

    Posted in Parenting, pregnancy

    Baby keepsakes …. A scan album

    I’m not a pretty pregnant mom. I don’t get the glow and the neat bump, nor do I shine or look like a super model for Living and Loving.

    No, I turn into lady frump as every part of me grows to accommodate the little life forming inside of me.

    While it’s a miracle and well worth looking like a swamp monster for 9 months, it’s not pretty to record.

    So, one of my prized possessions and favourite keepsake of my pregnancy with Hamish is my scan album.

    I took a handmade book I found at a charity shop that was perfect to paste scan images into.

    And from our very first scan with Kirsten from Tummy Time, I kept a monthly record of his growth.

    I had found Kirsten’s business on a Google search and it was quite far from where we stayed but there was something welcoming about her advert, the reviews on her page and her very first message to me as we discussed baby loss.

    So, at 12 weeks we set off for our first scan. I remember being nervous and as an older mom very anxious about Hamishs health and growth.

    The little room for the scan was warm and I was immediately at ease as we were greeted like old friends.

    A few moments later I had beautiful scan images of my little bean and had booked our next visit.

    Our next visit was in April, two weeks later, for a gender reveal. I was holding thumbs for that girl and Brent was super excited when we saw our future ” soccer star”

    Of course this visit didn’t go all that smoothly and we had to wait for Hamish to wake up and let us get his picture. Kirsten was super patient and advised us to go grab some hot chocolate to wake lazy bones and then we could try again.

    My favourite image is this one of him sucking his thumb.

    In May he was 23 weeks old when we had our next scan and we were finally able to do the first 4D scan.

    To a mom of 6 previous kiddies, not once did I image just how emotional this would make me.

    I had my children in the time of fuzzy 2D ultrasounds and we saw them between 16 and 20 weeks.

    I had never seen a teeny tiny human who was so real or so beautiful.

    For me these visits helped Brent bond with a baby that I was really doing all the bonding with. Although excited, it was only really after these images that Hamish became real to him ….

    No longer known as the baby but by his name.

    At our June visit he was 26 weeks old and that squishiness was just too adorable.

    I used this image as a thank you card at his baby shower.

    In July, we visited at 31 weeks. By now we could see just how snug my old uterus was for Hamish as he squished himself up.

    I loved these last few scans. He was a real little boy.

    I remember looking fondly at these images as I got into my nesting phase and prepared his space.

    In August I had a scan at the hospital we had booked for delivery, so we held off our visit to Kristen.

    The scan was quick, impersonal and for a private hospital not at all the service I expected. We were rushed through the process and we left both annoyed and with images that were no where near the quality we had come to expect from 4D scans.

    It was with great excitement and sadness I booked our last scan with Kristen for 3 September. 29 days before Hamish was born.

    He was 36 weeks old.

    In 4 short weeks we would meet our little boy.

    Our healthy little boy was born in the early hours of the 22 September.

    When I look back, his album of love started long before his birth.

    His first photos were at 12 weeks and this special album is my reminder of the emotions and events leading up to his birth day.

    Inside I have used card and images from his baby shower gift bags.

    Our journey did not stop there.

    Two months later Hamish got to meet his first photographer and the woman who kept his mom sane with her warmth, knowledge and gentleness.

    I also have a value set of scans on cd and can listen to his heartbeat and one day show him what he looked like inside mommy’s tummy.

    But for me the most wonderful privilege of knowing Kristen is that I was able to refer my oldest son to her to do a scan for my glambaby.

    As I prepared his little scrapbook, I never once thought it would grow to mean so much to me.

    A perfect visual reminder of my pregnancy and his growth.