Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Birth Story

For all those that have emailed eagerly awaiting my birth story please find it below. My apologies for keeping you in suspense I have been waiting for the, as always, incredible blog post from Kate so that I can link you up! For those that don't want to read the entire story please take a look at the photo story here. As Kate says "To witness the full birth story, watch the slideshow below. Be brave. Go fullscreen because this is a PC rated birth story. Nothing from the business end of proceedings to be seen here." Do also go on to read more of Kate's blog as it will have you in stitches...followed by tears...followed by stitches!

My Birth Story
Sunday 9th October: Went to my Aunt and Uncle's for the day. Whilst there we took the dog for a (approx) 2hr walk which involved climbing over stiles! I woke up in the night and was awake for 3hrs with period pains that lasted approx 30-45 seconds every 13 minutes. I fell back to sleep and woke up in the morning to nothing.

Monday 10th October: When I woke up I had what seemed like a trickling of water but realised it was probably some of the mucus plug. I decided to continue with my normal routine so went swimming and swam just over one kilometre. I then had to go to court as we had taken our plumber to court and the date was today, the hearing lasted just two minutes. I then went and bought the plastic sheeting we needed and – most unlike me – a large bag of malteasers! I think I knew something was going to happen as when I arrived home all I wanted to do was sit on my pregnancy ball and sniff clary sage! I also wanted to walk so when Matt arrived home we went for short walk to the post office (I was conscious of not going too far!)

At 8pm we were sat watching Eastenders & I started to get period pains similar to what I had had the previous night. I had three period pains that lasted about 30 seconds within 45 minutes, at 9pm we decided to go to bed and watch TV. I did however take a look around the lounge and realise there was just one thing I didn't think I would be able to do if I was in labour and that was move the trunk we have as a coffee table, so I asked Matt if we could move it then. Again I think I knew something was going to happen. The crampings continued when I got to bed. At 10pm I decided to go to sleep but the crampings intensified. At 11pm I became quite uncomfortable with back pain so was in and out of the bathroom. I listened to my hypnobirth CD and used some techniques that helped me to deal with and alleviate the back pain allowing me to fall back to sleep for about an hour. When I awoke the back pain had returned so I was again in and out of the bathroom – for some reason sitting on the toilet helped me to feel more comfortable. At 3am I felt as though I wasn't coping very well, being a Hypnobirthing practitioner I had it in my head that I shouldn't be able to feel anything (thinking with a more realistic head I know that with the fertility2birth programme we are very aware of managing expectations and not telling our clients that they will not feel any discomfort throughout birth. Our programme helps women to manage any discomfort of birth and this is something I did really well). I woke Matt and asked him to start getting the room ready downstairs, filling the pool etc and to call my friend Helen who is a midwife and was to be our birth partner.

Helen arrived at approx 3.45am and immediately I felt calmer. Helen asked me some questions and helped me to remember some of my breathing techniques. At 4am Helen suggested I take a couple of paracetamol which I did. Helen then called Tanya, the midwife on call & explained exactly how I was feeling, she arrived at 4.29am. Tanya examined me internally and said that I was 100% effaced but not yet dilated, this was a huge blow for me as I felt I was quite far on due to the feelings I was experiencing. However when Helen asked who we should contact when I need someone to come back (Tanya was only on call until 8am) Tanya replied that she would be back before 8am, she said that I had done the first part very quickly for a first time mum and that the baby's head was very low. Tanya also felt the position of the baby, throughout pregnancy the baby had been in exactly the correct position – until about two weeks before I went into labour when she switched to lay on the right side of me. When Tanya felt this she told me that the baby was going to turn around to my left side throughout labour and although we want her to turn via my front she is going to turn via my back. I believe this is what caused me to have the back pain throughout and unfortunately no relief from any discomfort in between contractions. Tanya then went home and said she would see me later.

I continued as before with Helen and Matt there helping. At approx 7.30am things had intensified so Helen called Tanya back. When Tanya arrived she did another internal examination and told me that I was 3cm dilated. This didn't make me feel great as I was so desperate to get into the pool but I was pleased to be progressing. I was however refusing to sit or lay down. Tanya and Helen told me that I needed to get some rest to make sure I had enough energy for the later stages of labour. I was so worried things would slow down but I also knew that I needed to conserve energy. I curled up on the bed and got into a zone. Helen & Tanya stayed with me but I was very much in my own place, it was extremely calm, they were both very quiet whispering only words of encouragement to me every time I had a contraction which really helped. At one point Tanya gave me a lovely foot massage which really helped things get going. Suddenly, after two hours rest I felt the need to push. I told Helen & Tayna this and Tanya offered me another international examination. I was 7cm dilated. Hearing this was like music to my ears, I could get in the pool. The baby's head was so low it was pushing on the Ferguson reflex point, which was making me push. Tanya said I should try to breathe through the pushing to avoid swelling of the cervix but that my body knew what it was doing so to just go with it.

At 10.30am I rushed downstairs and 'jumped' into the pool. The relief was immense, I had a little cry as it was so beautiful, Matt had lit candles all around the room and put the motivational signs that I had made myself up on the walls. There was also music playing, LeAnn Rimes followed by Lionel Richie. I remember at one point he put on Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love, all the girls questioned him on this one! Matt put some Clary Sage into the oil burner and also a flannel covered in Clary Sage by my head this really helped things move along. At approx 11am the second midwife, Deena arrived. My time in the pool was just beautiful. The atmosphere in the room was lovely; I think that the midwives, Helen, Kate (our birth photographer) and Matt were all having a nice time and a bit of a laugh. At certain times I was able to join in the conversation but for the majority I was focusing on what my body was doing. I do remember that I was shaking quite a lot and was concerned that it was because I hadn't eaten so I asked for some pineapple. I do feel that the shaking subsided after that. I enjoyed reading the signs I had made myself while I was in the pool and just really appreciating the experience I was getting – after all everything was going exactly to plan, I couldn't have wished for anything different. I was pushing from 10.30am (from just before I got into the pool) but my second stage of labour (from when I was 10cm dilated) was only 17mins. I pushed Ezra out in a very controlled, calm way.

At 12.55ish I felt myself push her out, seconds later the midwives were shouting at me to 'catch my baby' it felt like minutes before I registered what they were saying but then I reached down and brought her to the surface. We stayed in the pool until I had delivered the placenta. It was such an amazing beautiful experience and one I can safely say I experienced every little bit of. Fully managing to deliver naturally with only 2 paracetamol at the beginning to mask any feelings is something I had said I wanted to do, even refusing to hire a tens machine. As someone who works with pregnant woman, educating them in a very successful hypnobirth programme I wanted to be able to talk from experience in the future and didn't feel I could do this if I had masked my feelings in any way. Despite the fact there were times when I looked at my bed and thought I wish I could turn a switch, stop everything and just collapse on the bed and fall asleep I feel that the techniques learnt and the information given in the hypnobirth programme meant that I could manage the feelings. I remember reciting certain parts of the programme to myself in my head when I was particularly uncomfortable and the techniques were invaluable especially in the early stages. One thing I will always recommend to people in future is that they have a second birth partner. Helen was amazing, both Matt and I say we couldn't have done it without her. Having her there meant that Matt could get everything set up without needing to worry about me, she was also able to support Matt & keep him calm during a time that is often a bit scary for men. I was very lucky to have had a home birth, after Ezra was born I stayed in the pool for about half an hour while we waited for the placenta to come, this meant we had some great skin to skin contact. Once the placenta had been delivered I passed Ezra to Matt whilst I got cleaned up and checked over by the midwives. I then got comfy on the sofa and Ezra was laid on me for some more skin to skin and to start feeding. Matt made everyone pizza and tea and we had a really nice time chatting and eating while the midwives wrote up their notes. After about an hour the midwives checked Ezra over and then left shortly after (they returned in the evening to check we were ok and every day for ten days after the birth). I was able to have a shower in my own shower, get changed into whatever I chose out of my wardrobe and then snuggle on the sofa in front of the TV with Matt and Ezra... bliss!

I must say a huge thanks to the Royal Surrey Homebirth team - especially Jane, Tanya and Deana. They are all incredible women who put their job first and really make the people they are working with feel safe, secure and number one. I admire their dedication and think they should get far more recognition than they do.

If you missed the link at the beginning please take a look at Ezra's birth story in photographs here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

HypnoBirth Story

Those of you that follow me on twitter or like the Fertility2Birth HypnoBirth page on facebook will know that on Thursday I was privileged enough to attend the homebirth of a HypnoBirth couple that I had worked with. I was asked earlier in the year to be a birth partner for Cheryl and Rob and I jumped at the chance. I’d never been to a live birth before and I don’t think being an avid viewer of One Born Every Minute really means I have a good knowledge of what women experience during birth.

For the past month I’ve been waiting for that phone call from Cheryl, making sure my phone goes everywhere with me and is on loud at all possible times! Cheryl was convinced the baby was going to come early – to the point she almost ordered the birthing pool to arrive a month early, however as it was the baby came a few days late.

At 5.30am on Thursday 2 June I got THE phone call. Cheryl had been having ripples (what we call contractions in the Fertility2Birth world) since 3am. She was however still laughing, joking and sounding incredibly normal so we arranged for me to get there at 7am. This gave me enough time to get showered and nip to Tesco to get straws (essential birth item!), pineapple – well if it brings on labour it must keep it going too right?! Energy tablets, again another essential birth item and bananas to keep that energy up. Thankfully everything got used, the pineapple was eaten when I arrived, it turned out we only needed one straw not a pack of 200 but hey better to be safe than sorry. Cheryl was stuffing the energy tablets in like I’d never seen; the labour was making her feel as though she was going to be sick so although she wanted to keep her energy levels up she found it difficult to eat anything. Finally a banana on toast sorted Cheryl out once she had birthed the baby.

I drove to Cheryl and Rob’s house feeling incredibly mature and responsible. I wanted to stop people in the street and say “guess where I’m going” or “I’m going to watch a baby be born”. I knew it was just going to be a fantastic experience because I knew how much effort Cheryl and Rob had put into their HypnoBirthing.

When I arrived Cheryl was still laughing and very much her usual bubbly self. She was breathing through all the ripples in the exact way we had discussed and Rob was being very successful at making her laugh – one of the birth partner’s duties. I had downloaded a ripple (contraction) timer app onto my ipad so we knew the ripples were coming every 3 minutes and lasting approximately 45 seconds. At 7.30am the midwife phoned to see whether she should pop in before or after a 9.30am appointment that she had elsewhere. We agreed that she should come before. I was incredibly aware that HypnoBirth Mums are a lot calmer so it would be good to know how things were progressing instead of relying on a screaming Cheryl.

Tanya one of the midwives from the brand new Royal Surrey Hospital Home Birth team arrived at 8am. She found Cheryl in the same state as I had; calm, relaxed and giggly. Tanya pretty much said “you’re doing great, call me when you need me. I won’t be far away, probably see you this afternoon” but she offered to do an internal examination if Cheryl would like one. We thought it was probably a good idea and it was lovely to find out Cheryl was already 2-3cm dilated. Tanya said the same again “I’ll go off, call when you need me... see you later!” We had a brief conversation about what we should look for, again keeping in mind how calm and in control HypnoBirthing Mums often are. Tanya told us to call when Cheryl couldn’t talk in between ripples and also told us a trade secret. There was a pink line that started at the top of the crease of Cheryl’s buttocks. This, Tanya said would go a dark purple as she dilated more. We should keep checking that and call when it was a darker purple.

At 9am we were left as three again. Within 10 minutes things suddenly changed. The ripples became more intense and then Cheryl’s waters broke. Cheryl felt that she needed to wee so off she went to the toilet. Here we could clearly see the transition from the first stage to the second stage of labour. Knowing that a birthing woman is best left alone we did our best to leave her in the bathroom popping in every now and then to check she was ok. At this point Rob started to fill the birthing pool.

At 9.40am after a very intense 30 minutes the pool was ready and we helped Cheryl to get in. I reminded her to relax, talking her through all of her muscles and she became very calm again. At 10am Cheryl told me she needed to push, at this point poor Rob was rummaging through a cupboard trying to find a fan as Cheryl was so hot. I shouted to him that he needed to call the midwife, “ok I’m just trying to find the fan”... “No Rob I think you need to call now”... “Ok won’t be a minute”... “No Rob NOW”! He finally understood and called but Tanya’s phone went straight to answer phone! This wasn’t a problem as he just called Jane, head of the homebirth team, instead. Jane said she would leave the hospital immediately. It’s only ten minutes drive away so we knew she would be there very soon – especially if she put her foot down! – However at 10.30am she still hadn’t arrived and Cheryl was still pushing! At 10.40am we thought it best to call Jane again, thankfully she was just pulling into the road.

When Jane arrived Cheryl calmly told her what she was feeling, including the pushing. Jane said this was fantastic but she’d just do a quick internal examination to check everything was ok to push. Jane did this and in a surprised but happy way said “OK I can feel the head, push all you like”. This was fantastic news especially as Cheryl was still so calm. Tanya arrived at about 11am and we all spent the next hour really encouraging Cheryl. At approximately 11.50am after a huge sniff of Clary Sage (which is amazing during labour) everything intensified and at 12.07pm little Zara Walker was born into water as clear as it was when Cheryl got into the pool. Rob and I were a complete mess crying our eyes out. I think even the midwives had a little tear but Cheryl was just beaming at her brand new daughter. It really was a truly magical experience.

For those that don’t follow on facebook or twitter, or those that missed it I put together this lovely slideshow of pictures from the morning (click here). It’s very short but well worth a watch. If you are pregnant and not considering a HypnoBirth maybe this will change your mind – it really can make for an amazing birth experience. As babies born using HypnoBirth are more often than not gently and calmly breathed into the world at their own pace they tend to be calmer, feed better, sleep better and experience less trauma. Scientific research has also shown that the babies usually have higher Apgar scores as well.

One thing I would like to add is a big thanks to Cheryl and Rob for being so dedicated to the HypnoBirth. They did all of their homework religiously. We say to listen to one CD every day but Cheryl was listening to both of her CDs every day. Throughout the birth I kept hearing Rob saying little things that he had picked up from the HypnoBirthing and so well done Rob for listening and obviously doing your reading after the sessions. When I arrived all of their HypnoBirth pack was out on the table so they had obviously been looking through it in the days or weeks leading up to Thursday. Thank you, congratulations and well done Cheryl and Rob.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

But I didn’t have a bad childhood

But I didn’t have a bad childhood

For many people the word therapy is a little bit taboo. Only people with issues go for therapy right? I have been told by someone that their mother didn’t like the fact they were having therapy because the counsellor would “make me think I’d had a bad childhood”. What is this thing that many therapists have about bad childhoods? I have personal experience of this as when training to become a hypnotherapist I was told “you must’ve had bad things happen in your childhood” I replied with no I don’t think I really did (what constitutes bad anyway?). This was in a room full of people all looking at me. I was then told “you must have because you are blushing”. Well yes, many people would blush if put on the spot like that in front of many other people.

I didn’t have bad things happen to me in my childhood and I am not someone who thinks that everyone had bad things happen to them. I do however think that everyone has had a negative reaction to something when growing up that has resulted in some kind of issue in adult life (be it a lack of confidence, weight issues, control problems, addictions etc). This is why I use regression in many of my hypnotherapy sessions. When I say regression I mean that I allow the client to go back to a time prior to today to find out and resolve some of these things that could have created certain behaviours today. I certainly don’t lead the client to a particular time in life – even childhood (which is where most regression therapists would say the client has to go). I also do not use past life regression, though I have been trained to do so.

My problem with regression is that for many therapists the purpose is to find awful things that happened to the client during their childhood. This frustrates me, as does the thought process of many that memories of sexual abuse (that the client had no idea of before) will be found. There is a problem with using regression – false memory syndrome. This is when a person is affected by “memories” uncovered using recovered memory therapies (such as regression) which are not true memories. Wikipedia (the fountain of all knowledge!) says:

“Recovered memory therapy is used to describe the therapeutic processes and methods that are believed to create false memories and false memory syndrome. These methods include hypnosis, sedatives and probing questions where the therapist believes repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse or other traumatic events are the cause of their client's problems.”

In the above definition childhood sexual abuse crops up. When you look on the website of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation there is again a lot of talk on the subject of child abuse. Unfortunately I have spoken to lots of therapists who often say things like “ah yes that problem is related to sex” or something along the lines of sexual abuse. It is no wonder we have this problem of false memory syndrome when so many therapists think everything is related to a bad childhood ... and what is a bad childhood?

In my years of working with clients I have never experienced anyone recover memories of sexual abuse, I have also never had anyone experience a hugely dramatic abreaction (this is where someone relives an experience – often in hypnosis – and releases emotions that were repressed at the time). Yes I have clients get upset and sometimes angry but never what I was given the impression I would see prior to becoming qualified. What I have seen however is clients reliving positive experiences, many of those seeing me for weight loss therapy remember happy times with family or friends at big social events where food was always involved; big feasts during holiday periods or at weekends or treats for behaving all day. Childhood experiences that mean the adult often reaches for food to relive the feelings felt at these times, but great childhood experiences. There was even someone who once said to me “Juliet, you have helped me find the old me”. This particular person had remembered times of fun, energetic outings, holidays and parties with friends... very different to the depressed adult that was sat in front of me. For me using regression in my way means going back to previous experiences, sometimes releasing emotion, reframing experiences from an adult point of view or learning coping techniques but many times finding happy, positive memories. I am yet to work with a client that finds memories of big things, such as sexual abuse that they didn’t know had ever happened, someone will often say “I’d forgotten all about that” but in my opinion if someone has been abused physically or mentally they know about it, they may have suppressed each individual episode of abuse but they know they were abused.

When I use regression with a client I am not searching for memories that are not known, I am not even searching for negative memories, nor always childhood memories. In fact, in my opinion many of the thoughts and memories ‘recovered’ could be spoken about and relived in a normal conversation. However, for me, the hypnosis helps my clients to feel relaxed, lose inhibitions and to feel that they are in their own world. It is common for someone to say to me “I can’t believe I told you all that” but the relaxation and eye closure helps my clients to feel confident and comfortable speaking about things that are bothering them or have bothered them in the past, perhaps things they find embarrassing and would not ordinarily speak about. Whether these thoughts and memories have been suppressed or not talking about things helps the majority of people. I always spend a lot of time at the beginning of a session explaining to the client that we are not necessarily looking for negative memories just things that they could have reacted to in a negative way, after all a parent may love and care for their child so much that they are over protective. Unfortunately that often results in an adult with confidence issues as they have been brought up indirectly being told that they are not safe anywhere or capable of looking after themselves. Is this a bad childhood? I don’t think so. I am also very careful to make sure my clients do not leave blaming their parents for their issues today. In the majority of cases our parents always do what they think is best for us, what they believe at the time to be right or doing all they can to the best of their ability. As explained above (with the over protective parent) this can result in an adult with ‘issues’ but it is not the fault of the parent it is simply because every person is an individual and the way things are perceived at the time is not always the way they were meant. This does not mean, in my opinion, we all had bad childhoods.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Does it matter if I fall asleep?

Last week I got asked a question that I often get asked by clients. Does it matter if I fall asleep? My answer, yes it does! This question was put to me by a client to whom I’d just given a CD, she was wondering if she listened to it and fell asleep half way through would it still have the same affect. My personal opinion is no it won’t.

Some hypnotherapists may say that it doesn’t matter if you sleep during hypnotherapy for the subconscious never sleeps. This is true, we still digest food when asleep, we still breathe and we even dream however I suspect there are very few people that would learn French solely by listening to a learn French CD every night whilst they slept.

I have two arguments for sleep not being an ideal state of mind for hypnotherapy to take place. My first point is simply why do we use hypnosis if a sleep state would be fine? Surely we would be sleep therapists. Although the word hypnosis is derived from the Greek word hypnos, meaning to sleep the two are in fact very different states of mind. Dave Elman (one of the ‘heros of hypnosis’) apparently said:

"Sleep and hypnosis are really two entirely different states. They are not compatible, when the hypnosis precedes the sleep. Those of you who are doctors know from your medical studies that in sleep the bodily functions slow down. Respiration gets slower and deeper, blood pressure and heart action slow down, reflex action slows down. In hypnosis, you will sometimes find the mildest of slowdowns, but most of the time, none at all. In sleep the mental processes slow down considerably, and in deep sleep, there is an apparent loss of consciousness. This does not occur in hypnosis.

"If you test reflex action in hypnosis, you will find it quite normal. Respiration does not decrease; heart action remains normal; blood pressure remains normal. It is true that these functions can be made to slow down by suggestion, but you can't get them all to slow down simultaneously as occurs in natural sleep. Despite appearances, it is impossible to fuse these two dissimilar states—the normally functioning body in hypnosis and the slow functioning body in sleep.”

As a hypnotherapist I do not want to induce sleep, hypnosis is focused attention with deep relaxation. I want my clients to be consciously aware (focused attention) but relaxed, which leads me onto my next point.

During the vast majority of hypnotherapy sessions with me the clients have input. They will be speaking, answering my questions, telling me things that they have thought about, if we are instilling anchors making actions with their hands – generally very much an active part of the session. I rarely have a client sit in my room and just listen to me for an hour but this does sometimes happen and it is what happens when my clients listen to their CDs. However, even though during these times the client is not participating in a way that anyone would be aware; in my opinion they are participating hugely. Much of the time will be spent asking the client to visualise certain things, maybe asking them to get a feeling into their mind and body, perhaps asking them to recall a previous experience. All of these things, in my opinion, take conscious awareness. When in hypnosis the subconscious mind is much more at the fore however we are not switching the conscious mind off totally (again the difference between hypnosis and sleep is highlighted). I want my clients to be consciously aware, although I sometimes want them to just allow thoughts to come naturally from the subconscious there are also times that I am quite happy for the conscious mind to get involved. For example when I ask the client to imagine themselves in the future if they change the way they eat, here a bit of conscious logic may be required. I am certainly not suggesting that the conscious mind is the part of the mind we want to work with during hypnosis – again that would go against the general view of what hypnosis is and why we use hypnosis (to access the subconscious mind) but I definitely think some conscious awareness is required. If a client falls asleep during hypnosis they have lost the ‘focused attention’ part of hypnosis. They are simply deeply relaxed. I also believe that being consciously aware of what happened in the session (or remembering what was on the CD) will help my clients in day to day situations. Although the purpose of hypnotherapy is to help the client make positive changes without the need for will power; in my opinion remembering (being consciously aware of) the image of oneself dying from a smoking related illness Vs the image of vibrant health achieved from stopping smoking goes a long way when deciding whether to smoke another cigarette as does the image of maggots over the chocolate when deciding whether to eat that next bar of dairy milk!

There are only two instances in which I would be more than happy for my clients to fall asleep whilst listening to one of my therapy CDs, if they had come to see me to help them sleep better at night or if they had come to see me for relaxation.

If anyone disagrees I have a learn French CD right here, I challenge you to listen to it every night whilst you sleep for a few months and then come to me with all that you have learnt. I will happily be proven wrong as there are a few things I would love to learn but just don’t have the time!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What is natural nowadays?

Natural – what is natural nowadays? So many cosmetic products have natural written all over them. Others use colour or images to suggest that they are natural. Even some foods have natural written on them but what does this really mean? Research seems to state that there are not any legal standards for what constitutes a natural food product. It seems to be the same rules for natural cosmetics. So why do producers use the word natural and how do we as consumers fall into their trap? Most of us want to be as healthy as possible, both inside and out but we’re not really sure how to do it. We hear the five a day rule for fruit and vegetables and we try and stick to it but often that is as far as our health knowledge goes. When we see something that suggests it is natural, either by writing the word natural on it or using packaging to indicate this we jump at it. As more and more manufacturers become aware of this marketing tool more and more products are being advertised as natural. In my opinion it won’t be long before all cosmetics have the word natural on them and all food products use packaging to suggest they are natural. Is this our mistake as consumers though? Are we misinterpreting the word natural? I don’t think so. For me natural means taken from a natural source with no modification, for example the ‘natural’ face wash could be made with oatmeal and milk, yet somehow when I go shopping I am drawn to the more natural looking products. Recently I have learnt that natural does not mean natural and I now base my purchasing decisions on other factors. Are you doing the same? I think manufacturers could be shooting themselves in the foot. As others learn that natural does not mean natural they too will purchase items for other reasons. There is also the thought that on some occasions we may not want natural. What if I want to buy something for a special occasion that has been modified to produce a better flavour or perhaps better results? What if the real natural product hasn’t helped reduce the redness of my spot or the natural wine doesn’t taste as good as the normal wine? Would I then opt for the product that doesn’t suggest it’s natural even though it may contain exactly the same ingredients as the product next to it with natural written all over it? Be careful manufacturers sometimes taking something too far can produce negative results!

Juliet Hollingsworth

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Running away from success

Fear of success... really? I hear you ask. It is really quite a common thing to be scared of success. Success tests people, it can show weaknesses or flaws and it’s scary. Sometimes it’s just easier to carry on right where you are – plodding along, staying in the safe zone. A sign of a fear of success is self sabotage. Procrastinating, making excuses for why you can’t do what you need to do. Pushing snooze on the alarm so that you arrive late for an important event. Those that have a fear of success do not necessarily realise it.

You see, we all know how to cope with failure, we can all work failure. There is the sadness, then if we are lucky we can talk ourselves out of that “well it wasn’t meant to be”, “something else will come along”, “there’s always next time”. We pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get on with the next big thing. What happens however if we succeed? How do we deal with that success? When one is successful there is often not anyone to follow, success can bring leadership – this can be scary as with leadership comes responsibility.

Sometimes a fear of success is brought about by a feeling of not being worthy of that success. A feeling of not being good enough, the success may come along naturally but are you running away from it? To achieve success the first step is to recognise that you are good enough and that you do deserve that success. Everyone deserves success; and anyone who works hard to achieve it deserves it even more. If the success comes your way then you must be good enough.

The first thing to do is work out where you really want to be. Then a plan needs to be put into place to remove all of the sabotage habits that have built up. Focus on the success, the positive aspects of the success and steer away from the fears that surround it. Get your plan in order – write a list and begin to see the wood through the trees. Start with the first thing on the list or at the beginning of your plan. There is no need to think about what you do not want to happen, it is fine to simply focus on what we do want to happen.

Use visualisation tricks to see yourself as the successful person you want to be, feel how it feels to be that person, and start to believe that you are that person. As the positive patterns become habit the previous habits will start to disappear, every step in your path to success will help you to realise that it is not so scary after all, and the fear of success will begin to evaporate.

Juliet Hollingsworth Hypnotherapy

Monday, January 10, 2011

Natural Birthing

On 6 January 2011 I googled the word natural, the second entry to appear was Medical Videos - Natural Vaginal Child Birth Delivery Video ... If you click on the link (beware it is quite graphic!) you will see that this links to a five minute video of a natural birth. This is the Natural Vaginal Child Birth Delivery Video. 2,792 people have liked this video and shared it on facebook suggesting that there are many people out there who like the idea of a natural birth. In our society today it is all too easy to opt for drugs to relieve pain or even elect for a caesarean in order to not have to ‘go through’ a labour experience.

Understandably there are births that come with complications and require medical intervention such as a delivery aided by forceps or ventouse or even an emergency caesarean but if this is not medically necessary is there a better way? I recently read an article on the Mail Online website Maternity meltdown: A devastating firsthand account of the chaos on wards - and why overweight mums are partly to blame. The article talks about staff shortages on labour wards and how this is becoming a major problem. The author does suggest that the number of births in the hospital that she works in has more than doubled over the past couple of years but she also says that a woman who is about to give birth and has been given an epidural is meant to be monitored constantly. Nowadays so many women are asking for epidurals surely this must take up much needed time as the midwives monitor these women continually. Having an epidural can also slow down labour so the women need to be looked after for longer periods.

The majority of pregnant woman avoid certain chemicals such as those in cigarettes and alcohol during pregnancy. There are also certain medications that pregnant woman should refrain from taking along with a selection of foods. A question I always ask is, why when having kept away from all of these things for 40 weeks would you then go and give your baby a shot of a chemical that in normal circumstances you would not let anywhere near you? Pethadine for example is a synthetic form of morphine. Diacetylmorphine (better known as heroin) was synthesized from morphine in 1874 and brought to market by Bayer in 1898. Yet many women - justifiably - find the pain of childbirth too difficult to experience and at the last minute are happy to be injected with these chemicals and in turn pass the chemical onto the baby. In some cases the fear associated with the pain could result in a prolonged labour and the pain relief/medical intervention become necessary but wouldn’t it be worth trying something else to help avoid this situation? Having a natural birth can be an amazing experience; using HypnoBirth can help to achieve a natural birth, most couples that have used the Fertility2Birth HypnoBirth programme have achieved the natural birth they so desired. For the mother, a natural birth increases the probability of an easier, healthier recovery due to no chemicals in the body, cutting of the perineum bruises from IV lines, or severe headache or backache due to side effect of epidurals. For the baby, a natural birth reduces the exposure to chemicals. A natural birth also reduces the likelihood of needing to separate the infant from its mother after birth, important for successful breastfeeding and bonding. Surely it’s worth a go to avoid taking in these chemicals, to avoid passing the chemicals on to your baby and to help out those busy midwives. You never know you might be able to tell your baby that his or her entrance to the world was an enjoyable magical experience.

Juliet Hollingsworth

Fertility & birth specialist at On Harley Street