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How can I speed things up naturally in early labour?

Well, congratulations my dear, this is super exciting! It's what you've been waiting for, for 9 months.

Very often, early labour can be challenging to identify, particularly if you have been experiencing Braxton-Hicks like tightenings for a few weeks. Any surge, tightening or contraction will all be helping your body to get ready to birth your baby, so think on it as a very positive and exciting event!

Also, sometimes your waters will break and the contractions will be super sporadic, and mama wants to get things moving before any medical interventions are required.

So if you think you are in this early stage of labour, here are some things to do:

  • Stay fairly close to home, and try to go about your day as normally as possible, understanding that the thinning of the cervix and the 1st few centimetres of dilation can be very tough work for some 1st-time mothers. Some women will fly through this stage of early labour, but for others, they'll feel every contraction working! If...
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How to go into labour naturally?

I've written this blog especially with my mamas who are approaching, at, or past their 'estimated due date' in mind!

Congratulations Mama, you are almost there! Within a number of days, you are going to be snuggling with your beautiful little one, breathing in that gorgeous new baby smell :) 

And that is exactly what I want you to focus on. It's generally at this stage when heavily pregnant women who are right near, or have passed, their 'estimated due date', get understandably really frustrated. They just want this baby outta here! I totally understand, I do. 

However, I'd like you to flip your mindset for a moment, and instead of thinking negatively, and feeling incredibly impatient, I'd love you to start looking forward to your baby's birth. Understand that within days, or weeks, you ARE going to be a new mama. Take a moment to bring your hands down onto your belly, and take a big deep breath in, and a very long exhale. Do that three times, with a half-smile on your...

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Top 5 Tips For A Natural Birth | Nurturemamas

My philosophy on Birth Preparation is pretty simple. Like most things in life, I feel we overcomplicate things, and Birth is no exception. 

For 80-90% of people giving birth, it is / should be a physiological normal, straightforward experience. There will always be high-risk births and emergency situations where the incredible doctors are there to help and support us.

With this in mind, I'm keeping this blog post short and to the point with my 5 top tips:

1. Practice Yoga & Exercise for the recommended minimum 150 minutes per week. Is this a surprise?! Not really!! There are SO many benefits to practicing Yoga in Pregnancy. This study from 2020 says alot:

“Yoga helps to increase vaginal delivery rate, decrease premature delivery rate, reduce birth weight, shorten the first stage of labor and the second stage of labour. Yoga has no negative impact on the fetus”

Rong et al (2020)

Some of the reasons why Prenatal Yoga are so impactful are because you are:

  • Gently...
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My 3 Natural Births

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a lovely lady who had really enjoyed the 5 Days to a Better Birth Challenge. She said she would love to hear more about my own births. Specifically, she wanted to know more detail about how I used my own techniques to birth, my three children, naturally, and if I had any tips about how to navigate the Irish hospital system. 

So I thought it might be really useful to share more of that detail with you today. Make a cuppa and get cosy :-)

My first birth, like for most people, had the biggest impact on me and shaped my whole birthing experience. It was in 2009, and not much has changed in the Irish hospital system (apart from Covid!), in so far as the staff are blooming awesome, but sadly for them and for us, they are desperately understaffed and there is a growing tendency to treat birth as a heavily medicalized event. Therefore, giving birth in Ireland (and most of the Westernized world) can currently be a little tricky to...

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How To Turn a Breech Baby

Being a prenatal yoga teacher, I see lots of women whose babies are breech or are lying in a funky position. I find it really frustrating that their medical caregivers are giving little advice on how to try turn their baby naturally, before they get to the 37/38-week mark when most babies are less likely to turn, particularly for a first-time mama.

My mamas are faced with either a 'let's book you in for a section' chat, or 'we could do an ECV or a section'. However, shouldn't we be encouraging a natural solution first surely...and earlier on in the pregnancy?

For many of my mamas, at first, they might be dubious to try some of my suggestions below, but they are willing to give anything a go to avoid major surgery if at all possible.  I'm so thrilled to say that I have helped and advised countless mamas in their quest to 'flip their baby' around the 'right way'. So let's dig in and actually go through the different options. There is SO much you can try...

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5 Tips for balancing Self-Care in Pregnancy and Motherhood

Is taking time out for yourself being selfish or is it an act of self-care/self-love? When you have a lot of other responsibilities and people depending on you, what is acceptable as loving yourself, and what is seen as selfish?

This is something that has personally come up recently and I'm surprised that it has surfaced. So I wanted to write down my thoughts and get your feelings too?

Whether you have young children, are pregnant, have a hectic work life, have family or carer commitments, or whatever it is, how do you find that balance? At what point is taking some time for yourself considered a necessity...or when does it tip over to be seen as a selfish act, that you are putting yourself first.  Where do you draw the line?

Personally, I feel our parent's generation was not 'good' at this. When I look at my mom, my god she's a trojan...she rarely stops. She's amazing, phenomenal and at times I'm simply in awe of her! Is this to be admired, are we being soft, or...

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Why Posture Is SO important when you are Pregnant!

If someone told me when I was pregnant, that the way I sit or stand can affect the length of my labour...I'd be listening to them with each cell of my body! And that is what I'm here to share with you today.

As well as the type of labour you could have, your posture alone can also have an unbelievable influence on the levels of comfort / pain in your pregnant (and postnatal) body.

So let's talk about labour first. Having a short and active labour (which is what we all want, right?!) is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, requiring different pieces to slot in nicely together. Your posture and lifestyle during pregnancy is one of those crucial puzzle pieces.  It's never talked about, which blows my mind, so let's get into it.

Something as simple as slouching back into your chair in the evenings, during those last important few weeks of your pregnancy, can have a huge impact on how your baby lies inside you. Our lifestyle does NOT encourage baby to get into a 'good' birthing position....

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Why would you practice Yoga in Pregnancy?

Good question!

One morning as I was working, I came across an interview Tracy Donegan did with Gail Tully from Spinning Babies (both wonderful ladies doing wonderful things). And I was so thrilled to hear the conversation very quickly turn to the awesomeness of Prenatal Yoga. Then Gail spoke this magnificent line:

Pregnancy Yoga is the new childbirth education

I squealed in delight shouting 'thank you'! I don't know who I was talking to?! So what did she mean by that? Well, most ladies will come to me saying 'I've heard that yoga is good in pregnancy', or 'my doctor said it was good'. I'm just thrilled that this gorgeous lady is standing in front of me, not because it means dosh for me (you don't choose to become a yoga teacher if you want to be a millionaire!!!), but because she has just done the best thing she could possibly do for herself, her baby and her birthing experience. I don't say those words lightly. So why do the doctors and other professions think...

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What You Need To Know About Exercise During Pregnancy

On my first baby, when I found out I was pregnant, I stopped running in my first trimester. Why? Because having experienced a miscarriage a few months beforehand, there was just something in the back of my mind thinking "God I wonder does all this running and bobbing up and down somehow affect this tiny baby's ability to grow and cling on to life? So in essence, fear stopped me, and I guess also a lack of knowledge. I kept walking all the time throughout and eating healthily, but looking back, I really wished I kept my fitness levels higher.

Fitness and supporting women on their journey into motherhood are both big passions of mine. So, I committed to learning more about it. Learning the facts, the guidelines, the safety aspects - a couple of years ago, I completed my qualification as a Prenatal & Postnatal Fitness Specialist, (I already hold pre/postnatal yoga, Hatha Yoga, and several other qualifications in the related field).

In a nutshell, the question...

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Understand how hormones can make your birth easier!

birth preparation labour Oct 07, 2019

Ah, lovely hormones! You are probably sick to the teeth hearing about hormones during your pregnancy. They seem to be the answer to all our ails...morning sickness...hormones; constipation...hormones; pelvic pain...hormones! However, what if I told you that understanding the role of hormones during your labour and birth can have a profound impact on your birthing experience. That's a pretty bold statement! So let's delve right in and discover how to make your labour smoother, and your birth easier.

There are 3 main hormones involved in the labour journey and they are oxytocin, adrenalin, and your endorphins.

1. Oxytocin:

The hormone of love! Oxytocin is a magic hormone and plays a crucial role in the birthing journey. In birth, oxytocin production increases as labour progresses, but interestingly it is also released during sexual activity, male & female orgasm, breastfeeding, and is also responsible for uterine contractions, and protects against postpartum hemorrhage. So it...

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