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antenatal classes near me

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Why should I join a Hypnobirthing group?

When you’re expecting a baby it can be a pretty scary time, the more you find out the more you realise you need to find out and so it continues until you’re in a cold sweat of panic. You can attend the classes and learn the hypnobirthing, you can work with your partner to achieve a positive mindset for birth - I’ve totally got you for that. But what about when that baby is in your arms?….

What about when the dust has settled and it’s just you at home with this baby, when you take your first solo expedition to the shops with the baby, or want to try a new baby group. It can feel really overwhelming and sometimes it’s easier to just shut yourself away with the baby.

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Reading

This is why hypnobirthing groups are amazing. Of course we’re just throwing random groups of people together so, let’s be realistic, you’re not always going to gel with your group and that’s just human nature. But often you will, and like my groups pictured here sometimes it really does work.

Something really magical happens when you gel with your antenatal group, you make friends and you go through a life changing event together which binds you in such a special way. You have a group you can Whatsapp at 3am because you’re feeding the baby and wondering if anyone else is, or you really want to try this new baby yoga class but want to go with someone else, or you just want a cup of coffee with someone who’s going through the same thing as you.

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Reading

I made my antenatal class friends over 10 years ago and we are all still very good friends, I count myself very very lucky to have made such amazing friendships. We have been through lots together, including the early days of leaky boobs, second and third pregnancies, the juggle of returning to work. I couldn’t have done it without my amazing group of Mums, we all learnt together what we were doing (well, it’s an ongoing process!!)

So when I designed the Calm Births course I tried to make really sure that it encouraged new friendships, the classes are informal and light hearted, with lots of group activities and breaks so that you can get to know each other (in a non-cheesy, cringey way!!) . I know a lot of people go for the traditional antenatal classes because ‘that’s where you make friends’ - but we’re proving that you can do that with hypnobirthing too. There is a choice!

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How to shorten your labour by eating dates!

So we've been talking about the importance of eating Dates in the last month of pregnancy for several months now at Calm Births. So I thought it about time to actually sit down and take a look at the evidence!

So what's all this about eating dates? You may or not have heard but eating 6 dates per day will:

Lessen your chances of needing induction and make your labour shorter.

Woah there! Stop the press! What?! This is incredible news! So there have been a few good studies on this in the last few years and they all reached the same conclusions.

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Berkshire

It is thought by Alkoran et al (2017) that date fruit 'probably influenced oxytocin receptors, caused more effective contractions, and better prepared the cervix for delivery'. Our ability to respond to Oxytocin (or, the 'hormone of love' as it's known) increases during pregnancy, and we produce more of it. All that lovely Oxytocin then encourages our uterine muscles to surge in order to ripen and open the cervix. So if dates are enhancing that process, then happy days! 

So as well as women being statistically more likely to go into spontaneous labour, they are also, according to these studies, going to be:

More dilated when arriving at a hospital/birth centre, more likely to have a vaginal birth and less likely to have a post-partum haemorrhage. 

Khadem et al (2007) found that 'date fruit has an oxytocin-like effect, leading to the increased sensitivity of the uterus, stimulating uterine contractions and reduces mean post partum haemorrhage'. 

The evidence is there, and reassuringly all studies conclude that Dates are beneficial for women during late pregnancy, as they reduce the need for intervention and there are no adverse effects on Mother or child. 

So - 6 dates a day from 36 weeks ladies! Ok, so admittedly dates aren't the most visually appealing fruit, and I know a lot of you are thinking yes but.. euughhh!!

 

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Berkshire

 

So here are a few ideas for you on how to jazz them up a bit to eat them!

1. You can chop them up on cereal for a quick dose in the morning

 2. Some of these smoothies sound delish

3. Sticky toffee date cake? Yes please! 

4. A date and walnut cake, yum.

5. This super healthy Mongolian Beef recipe. 

I'd love to know how you get on with the date eating, has it worked for you? Have you any great recipes for Dates? I'd love to read your comments! x 

 

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