Thursday, 18 February 2016

Rebozo Closing Ceremony

The Rebozo Closing Ritual is a postpartum healing ceremony which stems from a profoundly meaningful Mexican tradition. In this ancient nurturing tradition, the postpartum mother is massaged, bathed with carefully selected herbs and her body is gently wrapped with rebozos and tucked in blankets.
The whole ceremony gives the mother the space she needs to activate her own healing abilities, to thank her body for all the hard work it did during pregnancy and childbirth, to process her birth and reconnect with her body. This intimate, gentle and soothing ceremony is a celebration of the amazing journey a women undertakes to become a mother. It is as well a sacred space to nurture and honour the new mother.

During birth, the body experiences a remarkable opening not only physically but emotionally and spiritually as well. Once the baby is born, the body needs to close both physically and energetically to feel grounded and for the healing process to begin.
The closing of the bones ceremony as it is often referred to is performed by gently wrapping key areas of the body to help facilitate shrinkage of the uterus, guide the bones back to their original position. Once closed, the mother is tucked in warm blankets and left for a moment where her body and mind can completely rest and recuperate simultaneously while listening to beautiful affirmations and the whole atmosphere is infused with carefully chosen music and scent.

During the ceremony you will be served a warming detoxifying herbal tea. You will be given the space to tell your birth story or stories.
The ritual is highly recommended and comforting for mothers who have experienced a stillbirth, miscarriage or a traumatic birth. The session takes 2.5 to 3 hours and takes place in the comfort of your home provided that you have a bath tub available.

The Rebozo Closing Ceremony is for mothers from 8 weeks postpartum. However, it is open to all mothers/women at any time who wish to find some closure for themselves. We honour your journey, by holding space. This beautiful ceremony will leave you feeling deeply nurtured, nourished and loved.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Creative flow

When I am not working I love to create; from crochet projects to making bracelets. I love being in that creative flow....

A few months ago, I made these bracelets for 2 amazing mamas.
They were fun and very easy to make. I might just start creating more colourful pieces for the summer!

This is a bracelet I made using crochet techniques and gemstones. I made about 16 of them for birth workers. 

Anni Daulter author of Sacred Pregnancy wearing one of my creations. Turquoise crochet bracelet with gold seed beads.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Should fathers be in the birthing room?

This article was originally written for Amsterdam Mamas and was first published on their website in Autumn 2013 

There has been some debate recently in the media about whether or not fathers should be in the delivery room. The original statement claimed that fathers could have a negative effect on the birthing mother, and his presence will cause her so much anxiety, that labour will stop and a cascade of unnecessary and unwanted medical interventions will ensue. This idea sparked a lot of arguments on both sides.
Fathers have always played a vital role in birth. But society has evolved, and for one reason or another, men became less and less involved; very often excluded until birth became “woman’s business”.  But times are changing and a quiet revolution is happening. Men are reclaiming their place in the birthing room. Data published in 2005 by the National Health Service in the UK shows that 98% of fathers attended births. Men don’t want to be merely present; they want to be fully involved too.
Just as it is for women, birth is a rite of passage for men too. That first moment of welcoming their baby into the world is equally as important to the father as it is to the mother.
Fathers can make a profound difference during labour. When a father is given the space to explore his own beliefs, feelings and anxieties surrounding birth and fatherhood, he can make the inner shift he needs to feel empowered and confident about his role as a birth companion and father to his child. If he is equipped with all the tools and information, he can very often be all that the mother needs in this crucial time.

Here are 5 things dads can do during labour:

Provide warmth- Keep her warm. Massage her or apply acupressure for pain relief. Surrounding her with loving support will help release the hormone oxytocin, which is essential for labour. Sarah Buckley, author of Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering, suggests keeping the birthing mama warm especially after the baby is born and when the placenta is ready to be released. Dads are perfect for skin-to-skin contact with the baby if mamas are not available.

Be her centre- Help her stay centred and grounded. When labour intensifies, dads can be an anchor in the storm. Reassure her, gently guide her to release tension, hold her, or massage her.

Be her armour- Protect her from unnecessary interferences such as visitor, ringing phones, bright lights in the birthing room. Keep noise to a minimum. If a midwife or doctor needs to examine her, make sure that she is aware and fully consenting.

Give her sustenance- Birthing mamas need to stay hydrated and nourished. 

Self-Hypnosis and Childbirth

Here’s a simple explanation of self-hypnosis and why so many women have found this technique very useful during birth.

The Mind Body Connection
The mind and body are in fact one. For something to happen in the body it has to be first conceived in the mind. The body in other words is a solid representation of the mind and the action part of the mind. The mind consists of two parts; the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind is powerful, analytical and is involved in decision making. Its language is words. The subconscious mind on the other hand is like a computer storing information. It is accepting, emotional, illogical, unreasoning and motivated to work for the individual. Its language is metaphor, symbol, visualization and imagination.

What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a means of inducing deep relaxation and suggestibility. The purpose of hypnosis is to provide access to the suggestible subconscious by bypassing the critical mind.

Why self-hypnosis in childbirth?
Everything we learned, experiences and emotions associated with these experiences are stored in the subconscious mind. In deep relaxation, the subconscious mind accepts the new suggestions such as positive birth affirmations and visualization to create a totally new mindset. This new mindset helps you to achieve your desired goal.  It also create a safe space where you can release any fear, anxieties and limiting thoughts surrounding birth.
During childbirth, using simple self-hypnosis techniques to reach a deeply relaxed state the body is completely free of tension  thus allowing the birthing muscles to work more effectively. When the body is free of tension and fear and the mind is relaxed, the birthing process can unfold gently with zero intervention.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Sweet Little Bum Diaper Cream

This article first appeared in the Sacred Pregnancy Magazine Spring 2013 issue

Choosing a diaper cream for your baby can be a tough one. You want something which is not harsh on your baby’s skin but at the same time you want it to be effective. Many diaper cream on the market are effective but the downside is they contain so many chemicals. The perfect solution….make your own diaper cream.
This lovely rich cream is so easy to make and is free of unnecessary chemicals. For this recipe, you will need organic coconut oil, unrefined shea butter, calendula oil and lavender oil.
Why these ingredients?
 All of the ingredients in this homemade cream are excellent for the skin and have healing properties. Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties and moisturizes the skin beautifully. Shea butter also contains anti-fungal and has anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes many skin conditions such as severely dry skin and rashes. Calendula is a lovely addition to this recipe. With its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties it can fight infections and is gentle to the skin. Lavender not only has a beautiful calming scent it can help relieve skin irritations and has anti-septic properties.

The recipe:
1 cup of organic coconut oil
½ cup of unrefined organic shea butter
6 drops of lavender oil
1 tablespoon of calendula oil
1 or 2 tablespoon of beeswax buttons

So let’s get to the fun part!
Put the coconut oil, shea butter together with the beeswax in a measuring glass jug.
Pour some water in a saucepan and place the glass jug in the saucepan.
Then put the saucepan over a very low heat and let the mixture of coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax melt gently.
Keep checking the water level to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated completely or gets too hot.
Once the mixture has melted completely remove from the heat.
Add the lavender oil and calendula oil and mix well. You can use a whisk.
Pour in a clean glass jar and allow it to cool further before placing a lid.
Et voila! Your very own diaper cream for sweet little bums!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Birth: A celebration of life

I was asked recently to write a short blog for as a guest blogger. Here it is:

I remember being with a group of women I have never met before and the conversation as it very often  does  turned to what do you do for a living?….After explaining that I am a childbirth educator, I added “I really enjoyed giving birth” To which an astonished young woman replied “Why would anyone enjoy giving birth?”
Her question got me thinking for a while….What triggered her to ask me this? What does our society, our culture teach us about birth? Are we expected to suffer during childbirth?
I can start by explaining the history of childbirth and what brings us to today’s current thinking about birth. How we have moved so far away from birth being a celebration of life to birth being the most painful experience in a woman’s life. Somewhere in between technology and scary birth stories, women have learned to disregard their inner feminine power and their birthing instinct. We have been taught that in order to survive labour, it needs to be actively managed by someone telling us what to do and a machine constantly telling us what is happening. I love this quote from Ina May Gaskin author of  Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth “ Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.” Ina May’s words were for me a powerful reminder to trust my body and the birthing process. Like Ina May I believe that Nature couldn’t have got it so wrong otherwise we as a species wouldn’t have survived. The human race would have been extinct a long time ago as medical technology is relatively new.
I wholeheartedly encourage every pregnant woman to rediscover their inner birthing wisdom. It is already there deep within you, you just need to remove the many layers and allow it to come to the surface. Find ways to empower yourself through taking a childbirth class, meditate, keep a journal, gather your friends who will support and empower you. Let go of all your fears…you have within you the power to bring your baby into the world safely.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Visualization plays an important part in childbirth preparation because of the mind-body connection. Every action is preceded by a thought. If a pregnant woman is afraid of birth, this will have an adverse effect on the birthing process. However, if she visualizes herself giving birth with ease and if she can relax and release any tension in her body she is more likely to have a calmer and easier birth.

A simple visualization combined with breath awareness

The following visualization is used in my childbirth preparation classes. This powerful imagery will help you prefer for the beginning stages of labour when the cervix is thinning and opening and also for the crowning stage. You can use the imagery during labour itself when the intensity of birth increases, just picture the flower in your mind and see it gently opening every time you breathe out.

Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes

Bring your awareness to the breath. Breathe in on a count of 4 and exhale to a count of 8. (Repeat a few times) Nice easy breath...

Each time you exhale, start relaxing and releasing tension in your body; starting from the toes and working your way up gently (ankles, legs, knees, hip, lower back, chest, shoulders, arms, fingers, neck, face and jaw)

Now you are ready to begin....

In your mind choose your favourite flower, any flower you like...

Inhale and as you exhale imagine the flower opening ever so softly

Each time you exhale, imagine another petal unfolding

Continue breathing follow your breath and with each exhale witness your flower opening a little more each time until it is fully opened.

Now stay there for a short while, see how beautiful it truly is.

When you are ready come back to the room and open your eyes.

Tip: Practise this visualization daily as you get closer to your estimated due date.