What are you doing today to take control of your wellbeing? What are you nourishing your body with? What kind things are you telling yourself today (I am loved/I am appreciated/I am beautiful?) What’s one thing you can do that’s just for you today? Perhaps making yourself a healing smoothie/juice? Perhaps spending 5 minutes listing all that you’re grateful for? (Food in your fridge/a roof over your head/the space to set new intentions for the year ahead?), deciding to choose to surround yourself with people who uplift you and to leave behind those that don’t? wellbeing comes from being empowered to take control of your overall health (mental, physical and spiritual). Take some time out to reflect today and think about which areas of your life you can spend more time nurturing. This morning we’ve had healthy pancakes and a smoothie. Smoothie ingredients: spirulina, almond milk, kale, cucumber, spinach, almond milk, strawberries, ginger, forest honey, chia seeds and a banana. I’m having a slow morning and will take some time to read a few pages of @thesecret365 (I read this book about five years ago and it’s powerful stuff rereading it), I recommend you have a read, @anewearth_et is another amazing read for anyone wanting to start the new year with the right mindset.
LOOSEN, RELAX, LET GO
Loosen, Relax, Let Go. This is one of my favourite affirmations and my favourite visualisation. I loved designing this card. I chose a dandelion as when you blow dandelion seeds they float away in the air so gracefully, it’s a strong image that lots of us would have seen before. Take a moment to lie down and close your eyes, relax your eyebrows, your jaw, your shoulders, and open your hands; surrender to this moment of relaxation and imagine a gentle wind brushing over you, imagine dandelion seeds flowing off your body, watch them gracefully float in the air. When you’re in labour you can use this visualisations to help with pain relief… as your contractions/surges/waves rush over your body, imagine them floating away like dandelion seeds… what colour are they? What do they feel like? Is there a scent around you? Look out for the details on the seeds…. use all your senses, it’s helps to create a stronger visualisation. This is one of 22 cards that you’ll find in MoonWaters Services Illustrated Birth Affirmation Cards, you can purchase them on my etsy shop
SHE BELIEVED SHE COULD, SO SHE DID
“She believed she could, so she did”. This is such a powerful affirmation. Whether you’re pregnant, starting your birthing journey, anticipating the night ahead with your baby, working on your breastfeeding journey… whatever it may be, remember this quote, you’ve got this mamma. Mindset is everything, believe in you! My mum win tonight was that I managed to get my son in to bed and asleep at 7.30pm what are you proud of today? How can you apply this affirmation for the night ahead/journey ahead? I believe in you, it’s time for you to believe in yourself too!
2020’s BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS
What a year! I feel so blessed to have been invited into so many scared spaces this year. I have taught around 50 mothers and families baby massage ensuring that new parents feel empowered to heal their babies through the power of touch. Holding space for a strong attachment to be built – what an honour. I have witnessed new life being brought into this world, nothing beats this! I have been blessed to enter the homes of new mothers and families, I have brought herbs and oils and run baths to nurture and celebrate new mothers, I have been trusted to hold and settle babies of just a few days old. I have been trusted to teach and guide expecting mothers and fathers throughout pregnancy, shining light on what empowered, informed and safe birth can be like. Helping to release fears and to trust our incredible bodies. I’ve held blessing ways (mothers ceremonies) virtually this year, holding space for women alllll over the world the power of technology is amazing (despite how much a resisted it to start with).I’ve learnt so much this year in all my areas of profession, and I will continue to learn. Thank you for all my great teachers… this year I was blessed to learn about Moroccan womb steaming and spa care for new mothers just amazing! This year I designed and launched MoonWaters Services Illustrated Birth Affirmation Cards which have journey around the world at such a fast pace – my cards have been chosen for the FIRST MIDWIFERY UNIT in QATAR, that is a blessing!! Thank you to all my clients for choosing me, and inviting me into such a scared time of your lives. I am grateful for you all. I have so many exciting plans for 2021, if you love my cards you’ll love the new merch that will be launched in 2021. If we have any pictures together during the time of being your doula/baby massage instructor, please share them below it always warms my heart to see them! Today I am going to turn my social media off so I can disconnect to reconnect See you next year
A LITTLE REMINDER TO BE HAPPY
Are you riding the wave? When we loose control we feel uncomfortable; but what if you switch the narrative and decide to surrender to what is, ride the wave, flow and have faith that all will be well. If you feel ungrounded, try some deep breathing, stretch your body, open the windows, clean your space (a tidy space is a tidy mind), write down a list of ten things you are grateful for, write down some goals. Visualise being in a safe space, perhaps on a beach? What does it smell like? What does the sand feel like? Is the sun kissing your skin? Can you hear the waves? The birds flying around you? Enter that safe space and journey there when ever you feel out of control/ungrounded. As a collective we can ride this wave remember to smile, it’s said that smiling for 30seconds can trick your mind and body into feeling happy
Transactional Analysis and Newborns
So a couple of weekends ago I attended an incredible Transactional Analysis training weekend. I am qualified as a Person Centred Counsellor, but I touched on TA in my training and found it fascinating; so I decided to dive in deeper. It was a really cleverly put together course, I recommend this training to not only therapists, but Doulas, Midwives, parents, anyone really who has an interest in self awareness. I thought I’d put a post together to share a little bit about TA in relation to new parents/working with babies and new families. So let’s talk ‘Life Script’; in short, our Life Script is formed in the very early days of life. It’s foundations are created based on the relationship between baby and caregiver; it’s the messages (as a baby) we perceive from our family-unit/caregiver. In those very early days as a baby, we make unconscious/subconscious decisions about life generally based on survival messages. When we consider neuroscience and brain development it is crucial that a baby feels safe and heard; babies must receive eye contact from their caregiver, they need to hear reassuring voices, receive touch and feed for comfort not only food (if they are being breastfed) – if the above needs are being met, baby will unconsciously form positive beliefs about their self, relationships and the world around them, their ‘Script Belief’ in later life will be along the lines of ‘I am heard, I am loved, I am responded to when I need help, I am safe, I feel secure’. However, if those basic needs are not met (for example, baby cries but is left alone in a dark room to ‘self soothe’), baby shuts down (self soothing is not something a baby has the mental ability to do, they shut down their emotions), and their unconscious Life Script is formed – “the world does not respond to me, there is no point in crying, no one will hear me, I have to be responsible for myself, no one is here to help me, I must fend for myself”. As you can see from this basically put description I have shared, being knowledgeable about the ways in which we nurture new babies and also educate new mothers/fathers (in pregnancy preferably) is absolutely crucial for society as a whole. Have a think about what your Life Script is as an adult, do you feel like you can reach out to people for help when you feel sad? Do you feel like you’re a burden? Do you feel safe, anxious, loved, nurtured? Perhaps ask your mother/caregiver if they are around, how you were responded to/treated as a newborn, it’s really interesting to take a look back to your early years. Generally the foundation of our Life Script is fully form by age three. If you found this interesting feel free to chat to me about this to ask any questions, or if you would like to dive in deeper, reach out to The Link Centre for info on courses. As a Doula I can apply this knowledge in birth preparation/preparing for a baby, I also will share this kind of information with you when teaching Baby Massage. With love always, Emily xx
THE GOLDEN HOUR
What is the Golden Hour and why is it so important?
The Golden Hour is the first hour post birth where (if there are no complications) baby stays with mamma. This is where Skin to Skin begins, the First Breastfeed, the First Eye contact. This time is precious.
This uninterrupted, low lit, quiet hour is sacred. Oxytocin flies high between mamma and baby, which causes the uterus to contract. These contractions helps with the physiological birth of the placenta. Not only does Oxytocin bring on the light contractions, but it helps to bring on breastmilk.
Colostrum is the first stage of breastmilk. Coincidently it is a Golden like colour. Colostrum is packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antibacterial properties, probiotics and more. Colostrum is the start of Life for a newborn. Colostrum is a VERY small amount of liquid; but it is exactly the right amount needed for a newborn, it doesn’t always come immediately, but continual time at the breast will bring it on.
Babies are not born hungry, but they are born with the primal need to have a first ‘feed’. Babies aren’t hungry for the first 24 hours. When women and families see such a small amount of liquid (colostrum) being produced, they often panic, they feel like their body isn’t working, they feel that their baby is starving… and this is when new parents so often feel that they need the help of formula. Education is so important. A Doula can guide you with this information in antenatal sessions. I will put a post together informing you about the development of breastmilk in the first few weeks post birth soon.
I put ‘feed’ in inverted commas above; this is because breastmilk is not only food! Breastmilk is hydration, comfort, food, antibacterial properties and more. Did you know that if bubby is sick, she/he passes the bad bacteria to the mothers breasts, the milk then forms antibodies to fight off the infection! Wow just wow!
If Mumma can’t breastfeed there is always Donor Milk! Post coming soon regarding this service!
*If mamma has a cesarean birth and needs to go to recovery, mum can still request at least 15mins of Skin to Skin, their partner/children can then have Skin to Skin with bubby while mamma recovers.
Make sure you add The Golden Hour to your Birth Wish List! Have a chat to your healthcare provider at your midwife appointments to ensure that your wishes align with their policies. You can change healthcare providers at any point in your pregnancy!
WHAT DOES A POSTNATAL DOULA DO?
I’ll hold your baby while you rest your eyes, I’ll be close by so you can rest with ease. Ill make you nutritious food, bring you warm drinks and blend you healing teas. I’ll light your candles and run your bath with herbs and essential oils. Once you feel rested and energised from the oils and food, I’ll tidy your home, let in some fresh air and light a candle to reset your space. We’ll talk about the ups and downs and I’ll hold your hand while you journey this motherhood gig. We might talk through your birthing experience (if you feel ready to). I’ll read you a relaxation and perhaps provide you a Moroccan womb steam and foot spa if you like. I’ll teach you baby massage so you feel empowered to heal your baby through the power of touch. You might cry with me and laugh with me. We will talk hormones and healing post-birth. And when you feel filled up, relaxed and rejuvenated, I’ll go home and have my phone close by for you to text or call me; and then I will return and do it all over again. It takes a village, don’t journey the start of motherhood alone; Doulas are essential, I’ve got you.