Seed Co-Founder and mum of two, Jen Suri, explores natural ways to prepare for and relax during your pregnancy and discusses why the self-care shouldn’t stop once your baby is born.
Pregnancy is quite simply amazing. Growing a tiny human being in your body is probably the most incredible thing that you’ll ever do. But it’s also a huge responsibility that can feel overwhelming at times.
Pregnancy can certainly take its toll on both your changing body and your mind – and pregnancy health should and can go much further than just taking vitamins and eating for two!
Feeling relaxed is essential for you and your unborn baby, as is keeping your body fit and healthy. These are my suggestions for a healthy and happy pregnancy, allowing you to approach your labour in the best possible way.
Hypnobirthing is a logical, evidence-based and positive birth preparation method of mind-set management and powerful techniques. You’ll achieve a calmer and less painful labour and birth, significantly reducing the likelihood of medical interventions, complications and postnatal depression. Hypnobirthing involves learning about your birthing body, unlearning all the unhelpful myths around birth that are rife in our culture, and gaining empowered confidence using a mixture of visualisation, relaxation and deep breathing techniques. It is a transformational process for couples who want to take control over their birth experience – instead of just hoping for the best!
The idea behind hypnobirthing is simple; it is about realising the power of your body, mind and intuition to feel the confidence to let go and allow birth to happen. By doing so, you can experience birth as the wonderful, powerful, empowering event that it is – instead of the traumatic hurdle that we have been conditioned to expect. Fear, tension and pain are interlinked and feed each other; hypnobirthing disrupts this by reframing negative feelings towards birth and by encouraging relaxation.
Importantly, it is only by staying calm and relaxed that you allow hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins to flow freely in your body, which are essential for more efficient and more comfortable labouring. A state or worry or anxiety will inhibit these hormones, encouraging other unhelpful hormones to take over, creating resistance in your body to birth.
Seed’s Hypno-birther, Irja Howie, is passionate about sharing the benefits of hypnobirthing: “I’m a mum-of-two and my two very different birthing experiences ignited a passion in me, a vocation born of conviction that all women deserve to be shown the way to a beautiful birth without fear. You will remember giving birth forever – investing in making this experience a positive one is invaluable. All women deserve to feel empowered and joyful in birth”
Reflexology is so beneficial for all stages of your pregnancy journey. When trying to conceive, treatments can be tailored for specific fertility issues and for the anxiety and stress that accompanies trying to get pregnant.
Once you are pregnant, reflexology can help with the anxiety you may feel and is especially great for helping to calm certain pregnancy related symptoms such as sickness, insomnia, bloating and a general lack of energy.
In the lead up to labour reflexology can help your body to relax and start to get ready to give birth. It allows you the time and space you need to pause and create the calm that always accompanies a positive birthing experience.
Post birth, reflexology can help with recovery, relaxation and bringing balance to those chaotic and confusing hormones raging through your body. A treatment also gives you just a little bit of time to yourself when your every waking hour is usually consumed by your baby. Even just a small amount of ‘me time’ can help you to reset, to take time to think, to rest and put you in a good space to allow you to be the best mum you can. It has also been shown to help with breastfeeding, with many women saying it frees them of the anxiety they feel, thus helping them to approach it with a more positive attitude.
Seed Reflexologist, Heidi Adams, treats people to improve their mental health as much as their physical health: “I always knew I wanted to do something hands on and to help people in both a physical and mental capacity as I feel very strongly about wellbeing in general. I’m passionate about helping people to feel better about themselves in whatever form that takes. My clients are often surprised how much lighter & happier they feel after a treatment, the benefits for your mental health can be amazing”
Pilates for pregnancy incorporates exercises that strengthen key back and abdominal muscles that help to support your growing baby. It also mobilises stiff joints and lengthens tight muscles.
Pilates helps you to relax and teaches you how to breathe in a way that can support your labour. It is a great way to keep your body fit and healthy during your pregnancy – in a way that puts no undue strain or pressure on it.
Alice Milner, Founder of Bucks Pilates, has helped hundreds of women feel fit and healthy during their pregnancies – “Pregnancy Pilates helps strengthen core muscles and your pelvic floor. Through breathing exercises you can learn how to make every push count during labour and regular Pilates sets your body up for a healthy recovery after you’ve given birth. I especially love that my classes have become a great way for mums to be to meet each other and become friends”.
Nutrition & Functional Medicine
Eating well before, during and after your pregnancy is key to your health and the health of your baby. And getting enough sleep, feeling calm and relaxed all play a huge part in your overall wellness.
Functional Medicine can help you achieve this feeling of ‘wellness’ during pregnancy. Your practitioner will look at the root cause of any problem you may be experiencing and work with you to deliver a combined natural solution.
Ashvy Bhardwaj, GP and Functional Medicine Doctor works with women from conception to motherhood, providing a unique wellness plan based on their lifestyle and individual requirements.
“Depending on a women’s symptoms or health markers throughout her pregnancy, I might prescribe supplements to boost iron levels, advise acupuncture for morning sickness, suggest meditation, massage or essential oils to relax, and reflexology to target specific areas of tension in the body or mind. By combining this holistic approach with the more conventional type of pregnancy care (blood tests, blood pressure, scans) I can offer a more complete and personal option for pregnant women”
With the arrival of your baby your body and mind will change again. It’s important to take the time to get used to these changes. Having a baby is an awe inspiring & joyous experience – BUT it can also leave you feeling overwhelmed, lonely, scared, inadequate & struggling to cope. Taking care of your physical and mental health has never been more important.
Remember that a happy mum equals a happy baby. Never feel guilty about looking after yourself (trust me, there will already be enough mum guilt going on – but self-care should not be a reason to add to it!)
We offer a range of postnatal health services to help you and your baby stay well in body and mind through those first few months of motherhood and beyond:
Craniosacral Therapy – Ideal for newborns and babies who have had a difficult birth, are suffering from colic, feeding, sleep and settling problems and issues with their ears.
Please contact email@example.com for more information.
The Mothership – A FREE mother & baby group held weekly with expert advice on a host of baby related topics. A warm, welcoming and non-judgemental space with homemade cake and a hot cuppa.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sleep Coaching – Expert advice on how to establish the correct bedtime routine for your baby. Tools & techniques to ensure your baby is able to sleep well and self settle from a young age, ensuring a good night sleep for the whole family.
Please contact Emily@seedwellness.co.uk for more information
Mother and Baby Pilates – Safe and effective, each move in your specialised Postnatal Pilates class has been specifically planned to return your body back to it’s pre-baby strength and shape.
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On Saturday 12th October, 10am – 1pm in Beaconsfield, we are holding an event ‘Relaxation & Preparation during Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond’. This interactive workshop is designed for couples to attend together. It will include sessions from our Reflexologist, Hypno-Birther, Baby & Child Sleep Coach and Functional GP. All are passionate about helping couples achieve a positive pregnancy and birth experience and will offer tips and advice on how to move forward through the early stages of parenthood with confidence.
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