Posts Tagged ‘induction’

My All Time Top 5 Tips for Birth Preparation

April 13, 2016

mia brochure photoAfter over 10 years of teaching birth preparation classes, and having taught over 1000 couples, here are my definitive five top birth preparation tips:

1. Get the birth companion prepared too. As a mother, you have the benefit of birth hormones to help you go into the zone, and to help you forget the pain. But your partner doesn’t have this lovely little tool kit for birthing. Because he wasn’t designed to birth a baby. There is a teeny weeny chance that he might get a rush of adrenalin, and try to help with “action man” bravery, when what you need is stillness and calm. If he is going to be there, he needs to prepare for this.

2. Release your fears and negative assumptions about birth. Our society has soaked you in a culture of presuming that birth is a horrific ordeal. You need to let that conditioning go, so that it doesn’t affect you too much on the day. This is true for a zillions of different reasons that science has demonstrated, but that I haven’t got the space to go into right now. One little example is that if we expect pain, our brain actually creates pain. Another is that if you are scared, your labour lasts longer.

3. Take your environment very very seriously indeed. I cannot sleep in a busy security queue at an airport. I can sleep very quickly, tucked up in my own bed at night. Birth follows the same principles (there are so many ways in which birth is similar to sleep – to0 many to go into now). Prioritise your birthing environment to create a spa like feel in the very special room that you are going to meet your baby in.

4. Condition your body to be able to respond with an automatic relaxation response to specific triggers. In NLP, this is called anchoring. In psychology, it is called conditioning. It is the basic technique that all good advertising is based on, and it works. It is so easy, but so effective. Hypnotic relaxation PM3s are perfect for this. You can also anchor yourself to a smell. Or a touch. You do the anchoring in your pregnancy, and then on the day, you generate the trigger, and your body will respond automatically.

5. Know your rights. So many second time mums say “I didn’t realise I had a choice” or “I didn’t know what they were doing” or “I know I don’t want to do that this time”. You know what? The NHS is your servant. It is there to support you, offer you advice, and listen to what your preferences are. They literally can’t touch you without your consent. You have the power to always say “not yet thank-you, I want to have a think about it first”.  Whether it is a blood test, an induction, a sweep, having your waters broken, seeing a doctor instead of a midwife, you choose. Birth preparation is about empowering yourself to enable the midwives to help you to have your choices and needs met.

These are the five things that we have prioritised in our  Mindful Mamma hypnobirthing class. It is one day, but it is packed full of all the above. There is the wonderful Mindful Hypnobirthing book which you receive when you book your place. There are 9 MP3s to help you release your fear, build a positive mindset, and anchor relaxation. There is exclusive access to a website with handouts, infographics and bonus MP3s. I run the class near Nottingham and Leicester, in a lovely venue in Melton Mowbray. There some of the testimonials and birth stories from people who have done my class here. Enjoy 🙂

Mia Scotland

Clinical Psychologist, Hypnobirthing antenatal teacher, Birth doula 


Five things you shouldn’t let the NHS do for your labour…

December 3, 2012

ImageI was at the wonderful Association of Radical Midwives conference last week, and the gorgeous Virginia Howes talked about the new fly on the wall documentary coming out in January called “Home Delivery”.  It’s a refreshing change from One Born Every Minute.  She showed us some excerpts from One Born. There were gasps of horror and tears in the room from the midwives (honestly!  They don’t usually watch it).  I felt sick, but I wasn’t shocked.  It’s what I see as a doula in some hospital births.  As I wondered why they were so shocked, it dawned on me that they don’t see it!  They are used to working in their own individual way, and don’t see other midwives in action like I do.  They don’t feel the enormous change in the ambience within the room at shift change – for the better or for the worse, depending on the midwives.  I wanted to say “but this is what happens. I see it all the time”.  And I realised that my horror and anger that I feel when I do see these things happen is justified.  I’m not being touchy feely or over sensitive or radical.  It’s not okay.  So, here are the five top things that happen in a lot in hospitals (the last one being on the phone) which conclusive research (and the law in the final one) suggests should not be happening.

Five  things you shouldn’t let the NHS do:

  1. Induce you before 42 weeks on the grounds of being over dates
  2. Tell you to put your chin on your chest and push hard
  3. Cut the cord soon after the baby is born
  4. Get you to lie on your back on a bed
  5. Tell you that you can’t have a home birth on the grounds of staffing shortages

Trust me, NONE of these are evidence based.  They all, in my opinion, contribute to more danger than less. Number one:  The national statistical outcome data suggest babies born after 42 weeks fare better than born between 41 and 42.  Number two: Valsalva pushing compromises the oxygen your baby is getting, exhausts mum, and has not been shown to speed up second stage. Number three: Cutting the cord immediately after birth is plain dangerous, but hospitals in my area are still doing it  (see TICCTOCC). Number four: Lying on your back for labour creates all kinds of problems for your pelvis and baby’s exit. Number five: Being made to have a hospital birth when you wanted a home birth could jeopardise your safety, as recent research suggests that mums are safer at home, and it potentially goes against EU legislation regarding dignity and human rights (see the work of Elizabeth Prochaska, who also gave an inspirational talk).

Okay, so here comes the apologetic sloppy bit.  I know our NHS is wonderful.  I know midwives work hard, tirelessly, compassionately and selflessly.  I know things in the UK are fabulous compared to so many other places in the world.  I love our midwifery in our country.  Maybe that’s why I care enough to get annoyed enough to write this article.  What do you think?