Addicted to inspiration

You’ll be glad to know that we have kicked off our planning for this years’ She Births® Show. Last year was such a powerful event that so many people loved (and many people missed out on getting tickets to) that we have set the bar high for 2018. 

Powerful Women create peaceful births and life they love was a broad topic that inspired us all in different ways. Maybe allowing you to envision a beautiful birth, or work in a more authentic passionate way or perhaps just simply enjoy being with other women in a space of sharing stories, laughing and crying together. 

This week I was deeply inspired by another woman, Hannah Gadsby. You may have heard her share her story and insights before as to why she is leaving comedy. But hearing her talk about the nature of humanity, narratives and the experience of being part of a minority filled with shame was heart opening and breaking. Her intelligence, clarity, humanity and humour moved me to tears. I wish she would stand for Prime Minister! Check out her Netflix doco Nanette here. 

As psychologist Thrash and Elloitt note “The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities.” Being inspired allows us to see the world and our lives differently. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the humdrum patterns of daily life that we forget how important it is to nourish our hearts and minds with knowledge from others beyond our norm. If you want to know a bit more about why inspiration is important to us read here. 

As part of our community we would also love to hear from you…and know WHO inspires you? 

Inspiration can come in so many different ways. Tag a friend here on FB or INSTA who inspires you and would love our next She Births® Show.

Tell us an inspirational Aussie woman that you would like to see on the next Show here on FB or INSTA so you can go into the draw to get two FREE tickets. 

She BIrths® is 10 years old very soon and we have a few more celebratory things in the wings. We look forward to sharing the love with you.

To watch last years show go here, make a cuppa and enjoy.
Love and gratitude,

Nadine xx

Why EVERY woman needs a TENS!

As you know, at She Births® we cover a whole range of natural pain relief techniques which ultimately empower mums to experience a safer, faster and more natural birth, and enable partners to provide effective support.

The TENS machine is one of my favourites!

It can be such a great tool for the beginning of labour, which often allows mum to come into her body and labour alone, usually while partner is sleeping and she is pre-labouring. Most women progress from a heat pack in bed to movement with the TENS and then into the shower, then bath but sometimes I have even seen women keep their TENS on for the whole of labour, even during second stage if it is a posterior birth.

I reckon the TENS machine is a must-have tool for every woman. They make great contraction timers and they don’t block your natural endorphins or oxytocin levels. You will definitely want it on your lower back when driving to the hospital and you can even get one that helps your pelvic floor repair post birth.

This week, Nicole Ronay Sundin, the founder of Birth Partner, chats to us about TENS machines – how they work and when to use them, the benefits, and how you can use a TENS post-birth to support your recovery.

Birth Partner offers a range of birth and baby products for sale and hire including TENS machines, co-sleepers, breastfeeding pillows, perineal cold packs, bassinets, breast pumps, baby carriers, baby wraps and more.

SPECIAL OFFER: Receive 5% off all Birth Partner products (excluding sale items) with coupon code: SHEBIRTHS. Check out birthpartner.com.au for details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a TENS machine and how does it work?

A TENS machine is a battery-operated device that can provide pain relief during labour.  Using the Pain Gate Theory, it sends a pulsing sensation via your skin which disrupts the pain signal to the brain from your contractions.   In the UK, 1 in 3 women use TENS during their labour.  It is definitely gaining popularity here in Australia as well.  Make sure you use a TENS machine that is specifically designed for use in labour – these are much easier to use than a standard TENS machine used by physics, and also will have a Boost Button to help during your contractions.

When and how do you use a TENS during labour? Does it block any natural endorphins?

Attaching the TENS machine as soon as your labour starts enables it to start building your natural endorphins as well to help you during your labour.  Attach the pads to your back, and use the Boost Button (which changes the sensation) during your contractions.

What are the benefits of using a TENS during labour?

TENS is small, non-invasive and portable, and can help you to have a drug-free labour.  It can be used in conjunction with other pain relief methods, including heat packs, massage and gas.  A Swedish study found that TENS was the only pain relief required by 70% of labouring women.  It can be used during an induction (I used only a TENS machine, in conjunction with vocalising and movement to birth my third bubba who was induced by drip).

How can a TENS be used post-birth to support recovery?

TENS can be used after your labour to help with any after pains you may be experiencing.  It can also be used if you are having troubles with your back or shoulders due to breastfeeding.  The new Elle TENS Plus has a special pelvic floor toner function to help stimulate your pelvic floor, assist with any incontinence you may experience.

Love and gratitude,
Nadine xxx

P.S. Did you use a TENS machine for your birth? We’d love to hear your birth story! Get in touch.

Photo credit: Nicole Monet

Expert Interview: Meditation + Prenatal Meditation Course

I began meditating at the age of 16. It wasn’t an easy journey – teaching myself from a book, but it was lifesaving, and profound at times.

I went on to dabble in different forms of focussed and reflective modes of meditation, mainly via yoga classes and retreats. However, when I met Gary Gorrow and was given my mantra and taught Vedic Meditation I felt like I came home finally.

I experienced such a deep sense of rest that I was able to easily align with my core beliefs, values and understanding of the world. I was also able to recoup precious energy and alleviate stress – an important thing for a solo mum entrepreneur.

I believe everyone, especially pregnant women need to connect deeply with their heart and silence through the tumultuous changes and in preparation for birth and parenting.

Without my double dipping practice, every day, She Births® would not be where it is. Vedic Meditation has given me the energy and the space to see the world from a broader and more enlightened view. This fool-proof method works every time – it is pure gold.

Jess Osie, Sydney-based Vedic Meditation teacher, chats to us about Vedic Meditation, and how it can support your pregnancy and life as a new mum – and her tips for committing to a meditation practice.

 

If you’re keen to learn Vedic Meditation, Jess is running a 4-day Prenatal Vedic Meditation Course for mums-to-be, commencing on Monday 9 July, in Sydney. New mums are also welcome but would need to attendwithout their babies.

Normally $950, Jess is generously offering She Births® mamas a special rate of $750.

If you’d like to stay calm, centred and rested during your pregnancy, and enjoy the benefits of meditation as you start your journey into motherhood, click here to find out more, and get in touch with Jess directly to book:

[email protected] or 0402 123 440.

 

What is Vedic meditation and how is it different from other styles of meditation?

Vedic Meditation is a simple, effortless mental process. We sit comfortably in a chair with the eyes closed and use a mantra (translated as mind-vehicle) that spontaneously triggers the mind to de-excite – moving from the busy, chaotic layers of the mind to the subtler, deep and quiet (which is actually our natural state).

As we begin to de-excite the mind, the body also de-excites, allowing the physiology to naturally dissolve stress and fatigue – this restores our body to a state of vitality, vibrancy and health.

Unlike other techniques, it doesn’t involve any kind of concentration or focus and you don’t need to have yogi-like flexibility. The course is taught in-person with expert personal instruction, leaving meditators with the confidence they need to be self-sufficient – it’s an easy and effortless technique and absolutely anyone can learn!

What are the benefits of Vedic Meditation that are particularly useful during pregnancy and for new mums?

Meditation has some well known overall benefits; decreased anxiety and stress, improved sleep, increased productivity and creativity, improved interpersonal relationships and peace of mind. In addition to these benefits, I feel that Vedic Meditation is especially important during pregnancy and for new mums.

As a mum-to-be or a new mum, our bodies are going through an enormous amount of change, growth and transformation. The deep state of rest and tranquillity achieved in meditation allows the body to repair, restore and heal on a daily basis – something particularly relevant for new mums who may be operating on little sleep. There is strong research to suggest that the body chemistry of an expectant mother has a direct impact on the development of a baby in utero. In this regard, meditation can be a powerful method to support the health and development of our babies.

Another change that we’ll notice through this journey is that life gets more demanding! We’ll face the challenge of new responsibilities and less time for ourselves. Vedic Meditation increases our stability – our adaptation capability to meet demands and change in an easy, effortless and graceful way. By increasing our levels of rest, we are able to respond to the demands in an adaptive, progressive way. We’ll become better parents as we are responding to our children’s needs as opposed to reacting to them. It enables us to be present and truly with our children.

Vedic Meditation deepens our connection to ourselves. By centring ourselves daily, we connect with that deep, silent, still part of us. By tapping into that state every day, we stabilise the meditative state over time and begin to operate from a higher baseline of calm, fulfilment and bliss.

What would be your tips for those who have tried meditation (e.g. using apps), but can’t seem to find the time to commit to it?

Firstly, it’s all about priorities. We all have 24 hours in a day – but how we choose to spend those 24 hours is what gives shape to our lives. By prioritising time to de-excite, reboot and self-love, we are able to give more of ourselves to the world around us (especially our children!) The more we meditate, the greater we derive benefit from the practice and so it becomes an obvious choice in prioritising our time.

We don’t need to meditate in specific conditions – we just need to find a seat where we can comfortably and safely close our eyes. Noise in no barrier to meditation either. So instead of waiting for the “perfect” conditions to meditate, get practised at being adaptive, flexible and creative – I often meditate in the car, public transport, shopping centres and street benches. Whenever I get the chance, that’s when I’ll do it.

Vedic Meditation is taught in-person by an expert teacher – I feel that proper personal instruction instils a level of confidence and nurtures the meditator’s drive and enthusiasm to be able to practice daily in a self-sufficient way. We also have a special program catered especially for pregnant women and new mums to accommodate their limited time and increased demands!

Other than meditation, what else can mums-to-be do to support their pregnancy and birth – from a Vedic perspective?

In it’s essence, the Vedic perspective is all about living in tune with nature – this means navigating life in an easy, effortless and natural way in tune with nature’s intelligence.

With regards to pregnancy, our bodies are incredibly intelligent – they know exactly how to make a human from the moment of conception to giving birth and also through nurturing our babies. In this way, we want to spend less time in the mind and more time letting our bodies do their thing (of course meditation helps with this!) Personally, I have loved yoga, stretching, walking and spending time connecting with my bub as a means of getting into the body.

Following your intuition is a big one – we become more instinctive as new mothers so I highly suggest going with what your heart and gut say (as opposed to the mind)…even if this means listening to any weird cravings that the body has because the body knows what it needs! (Lately I’ve been eating a LOT of haloumi!)

Pregnancy is a big lesson in the art of ‘surrendering’ – our capability of letting go. Along with the vast change happening in our lives and in our bodies, there may be everyday things we are no longer able to do (from exercise to work to being able to form coherent sentences…baby brain anyone?!) Surrendering is our capability to witness this phenomenon without judgement or particular expectation of how things should be and leaning into how they are – going with the flow!

This special time is a deeply feminine experience where we may innately crave more yin – more inward time, more time for reflection, more nesting. By taking ample rest we can connect with ourselves and our babies – this conscious process is super important in getting us ready to become the best parents we can be for our children.

How did you become interested in Vedic meditation, and how has it helped you?

I came across Vedic Meditation many years ago when I was experiencing severe anxiety in a new job. I hadn’t really experienced anxiety like that before – it was totally debilitating. I would dread going to work because I was so on edge and overly stimulated. I wasn’t performing at work and that was just the beginning. Other aspects of my life started to change too – particularly my relationships (how can you have a loving, happy relationship when one person is suffering and miserable?!)

My best friend had learnt Vedic Meditation and insisted I learnt. She said it would help me have more self-love (which was what I believed was the major thing missing from the equation).

I went along to a free intro talk and knew straight away that this was what I’d been waiting for my entire life. It seemed almost too good to be true. Being the eager person I was, I signed up and learnt the very next day.

To say I got more than what I bargained for is an understatement.

For a start, the anxiety immediately started to melt away – within a few days I was experiencing spontaneous moments of joy (something that hadn’t happened in a long time) and then within months of consistent practice, the anxiety was gone.

What I didn’t foresee was that by practising this technique, I have gained more stability in my inner world. Whilst the journey is not complete, I feel more stable, confident in my decision making, have greater awareness and perspective in all situations and most importantly, deep inner fulfilment. There’s more joy, love and bliss to ALL of life because of this practice. And yes, way more self-love!

I now look back at the anxiety experience as something that needed to happen. As a teacher, I understand the stress and pressure people go through on a daily basis. I can see how life gets tough and that we need tools and strategies to help us be the best versions of ourselves to navigate these experiences. I feel absolutely privileged to be able to share a technique with people that actually works!

Zoe & Benji Marshall Share Their Birth Story

This week we share with you an awesome birth story from TV Presenter and NRL player, Zoe and Benji Marshall.

Zoe says that even though she was induced, which was her worst case scenario, ‘I still had an incredibly beautiful birth!’ Watch here to discover how they did it.

Medical Induction is a rough ride. The discomfort of contractions is so much more intense than during a natural labour because synthetic oxytocin does not cross the blood brain barrier, informing your brain to create endorphins as happens during a normal labour.

I love how Zoe and Benji shed light on the power of the mind, the power of preparation and the importance of re-framing as you go through birth.

They also highlight the value of a doula and how your team can guide and support you through the wildest of storms.

Birth is about breaking boundaries. It is about feeling proud of our achievements and celebrating the lessons we learn.

I hope you enjoy watching Fox’s Birth Story. Please forward on to your friends and tag us on Facebook and Instagram @shebirths.

Nadine xxx

 

 

This video and more is included as part of our brand new ONLINE COURSE! Check out our Online Program for information and enrolments.

 

DATE CHANGE! Our winter Soul Mama Circle has been postponed. It will now take place at Dharmashala in North Bondi, Thursday 5 July, from 1-3pm. Book here.

We’re getting closer to running a Soul Mama Circle with Nadine in the Inner West! Please send us your expressions of interest and any location ideas so that we can start one ASAP.

We need a space and numbers – tell us if you’re interested so Nadine can come over your way and set up a circle.

Photo: Bright Photography

 

LIVE Q&A WITH NADINE: Have you all found the new private forum page for our families yet? We’re loving it! The members only Facebook Group is a safe and comfortable space to share and ask questions and connect with our community.

Our next live Q&A session will be Thursday June 28 12-12:30pm. Please share any thoughts or questions, on the page. I’d love to see your contributions there!

 

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL? Check out the incredibleMotherloveexhibition running July 3-8 at The Creative Space, North Curl Curl.

5 Hot Links & Teasers for the Weekend

This week we’ve got a whole lot so share so we’re going to do it in links that might pique your interest.

WATCH: First up is a birth story from Zoe and Benji Marshall. Strong and empowering, the way these two bonded through the process is beautiful. We’ll be releasing the full video next week – so don’t miss it!

 

 

LISTEN: The Evidence Based Birth podcast. You may already subscribe to this fantastic podcast, but if you missed last week’s discussion, check it out.

Covering the evidence on childbirth education for pain relief during labour, the podcast puts the spotlight on ‘an interesting study on this topic out of Australia’ – and yes, that’s us!

 

 

SHARE: Have you all found the new private forum page for our families yet? We’re loving it! The members only Facebook Group is a safe and comfortable space to share and ask questions. Join up and get involved in the discussions ladies.

Our next live Q&A session will be Thursday June 21 12-12:30pm. Please share any thoughts or questions, on the page. I’d love to see your contributions there!

 

EXPERIENCE: Book in for our winter Soul Mama Circle. It will take place at Dharmashala in North Bondi, Thursday 28 June, from 1-3pm. Book here.

If you would like a Soul Mama Circle with Nadine in the Inner West, please send us your expressions of interest and any location ideas so that we can start one ASAP.

We’re looking for a location and numbers to confirm – tell us if you’re interested so Nadine can come over your way and set up a circle.

 

 

Finally, so many of you have asked who I would recommend for TENS hire. The lovely Nicole will be answering more questions about the amazing TENS machine in our upcoming blog. In the meantime, hire your TENS machine from birthpartner.com.au and receive a special discount using the coupon code SHEBIRTHS.

Love and gratitude
Nadine xxx

P.S. Please share our exciting news far and wide! You’ll find us on Facebook and Instagram @shebirths.

Recap of our best blogs + New VIC venue

Exciting news! We have a brand new location in Victoria run by two wonderful midwives, Britt and Kelly. Just outside Geelong, the Queenscliff venue is set on gorgeous grounds – it is even has a labyrinth! Close to the ferries, with lots of Air BnBs nearby, this beautiful centre is perfect for those that live on the Peninsula, or  Melbourne families on a ‘babymoon’.

For a weekend that will make a real difference, book in here!

Online Course 2.0 is up and running!

We’re so excited to have our new, video-based online program in motion. Here are a few words from one of our mums who just joined:

‘So far the She Births Online course has given me the strength to stay hopeful after my last birth experience was so traumatic. Already the course has equipped me with techniques of breathing, yoga and visualisation that help me during pregnancy. I love not having to get out of my PJ’s and watching a couple of videos each night with my partner in bed – thank you! ‘-  Madeline

Love and gratitude

Nadine xxx

Here’s a recap of some of our favourite blogs over the last few months

10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned as a Woman

‘As much as I love it – I am not just a mum. I love to dream my own dreams and be crazy, silly and free – take retreats, dance, go inwards and not talk to anyone for hours, sometimes days at a time. I need this: to not just be a mum, in order to be, a great mum!’ – Nadine Richardson

 

Expert Interview: Psychotherapy for perinatal anxiety and depression

‘It is normal to have some worry and anxiety about giving birth and entering motherhood, as it is a huge life transition and archetypal right of passage for a woman. If the negative experiences are impeding your capacity to also enjoy the process, psychotherapy can hold a space for your to address these anxieties and be supported in your process.’  – Jo Schaeffer

 

Birth Story | The birth of Aiden

‘The stage right before transition I started to feel very weak and thoughts of possible complications came to mind. This was terrifying for me and I knew I had to change that train of thought. This was then followed by a rush of energy and the strength to push through.’ – Kim Campbell, who completed our Online Course

 

Expert Interview: Breastfeeding tips for new Mums

‘Skin to skin is sooo powerful. Others ways to establish breastfeeding is aiming to have a spontaneous physiological birth (so your baby is more likely to use its instinctive breast seeking behaviours after birth), allowing your baby ample time to self-attach at the first breastfeed, and breastfeeding your baby on demand (whenever your baby wants to feed) to help establish an abundant milk supply.’ – Amberley Harris

 

Birth Story | The birth of Poppy

‘I viewed labour as similar to running a marathon – if I wanted a positive result then I would need to prepare both physically and mentally just like I would if I was training for a big race. Some people say that I was lucky to have the birth that I did but I don’t think that’s entirely the case – I really wanted a natural birth without interventions and so I worked hard for it. I’m just so grateful that it paid off!’ – Sarah Hoffman

 

 

EXPERT INTERVIEW | Exercise tips for pregnancy + new mums

Have you wondered if it is really possible to bounce back after birth – just like they seem to do in celebrity land?

Of course, ‘bouncing’ is not the right term – especially when we want to take care of our pelvic floor. This week, the wonderful Kimmy Smith chats to us all about pre and post-natal fitness.

Kimmy is the founder of the Fit Mummy Project App and creator of the postnatal fitness and wellbeing hub, www.kimmysmithfit.com. She has also just launched the Nourished Mummy Project App with over 100 nutritionist approved recipes for you and your family!

Kimmy is an ex-professional athlete, fitness instructor, qualified yoga teacher and mother to two girls – and currently awaiting the arrival of baby number 3 (while completing our She Births® Online Course)!

For expecting mamas, Kimmy shares her to top health and wellness tips, as well as which exercises to prioritise, and which to avoid.

For new mums, Kimmy has some great advice for returning to exercise – including how to protect your precious pelvic floor, and why we need to remove the term ‘bounce-back’ from our vocabulary.

AND we have an exclusive offer for our She Births® community.

Receive 30% off the Fit Mummy Project Ebooks with the code SHEBIRTHS. This special offer for our She Births® community is valid until 30 June 2018. Enjoy! kimmysmithfit.com

Love and gratitude,
Nadine xxx

P.S. Congratulations to the winner of our Pukka tea gift pack: GRACE KIERNAN. Enjoy!

 

What are your top 3 health and wellness tips for pregnant women?

  1. Move in a way that makes you feel good. Pregnancy is such an incredible and exciting time. It can also be an extremely challenging, confronting and unconfortable time. Morning sickness, back pain, reflux, pelvic pain, sciatica, exhaustion and insomnia are just some of the things that come part and parcel with growing a new human! Every pregnancy is different and the way we handle it, how we feel and our priorities are also hugely different. My advice to pregnant women is always to listen to your intuition and honour the signals your body is sending to you. Move in a way that makes you feel good.
  2. Nourish your body and mind. A healthy pregnancy extends far beyond just how we move our bodies. What we eat, what we think and how we feel all affect how much energy we have and how well we handle the changes that pregnancy brings. It is a time to really nurture and care for yourself. I love to do this through healthy movement, nourishing foods and taking time to rest and be still. I try to recommend doing 10 minutes of meditation or mindfulness practices such as deep breathing first thing in the morning. I find that this helps to create a calm start to my day. I also try to eat as well as I can when I can. No-one is perfect and eating well during your pregnancy can be hard – especially during the first trimester. My advice is to nourish your body with whole foods and quality fats and proteins when you can, and enjoy the guilt free treats when you are craving them!
  3. Create a support team. A pregnant woman isn’t sick or injured, she is often strong and highly capable, but we do need extra support during this special time. I recommend to all pregnant women to create a network of friends, family and health care professionals who will support them during this special time and also during the first year of their babies life. It is up to you who you include in your support network, but a Women’s Health Physio should make the list somewhere! They can asses your body and recommend the types of exercise you should and shouldn’t be doing. This will help you to be able to maintain an active pregnancy, but also recover from birth faster and more effectively.

Are there any types of exercise women should prioritise or avoid throughout their pregnancy?

I advise pregnant women to prioritise a combination of strengthening exercises and movements together with stability and mobility.

  • I love doing strength exercises workouts to help maintain a strong body.
  • Pilates and Barre exercises to create stability and pelvic floor and deep core strength and function.
  • Prenatal yoga for mobility, emotional balance and connection.

In terms of what to avoid, pregnant women should listen to their body and also avoid:

  • Lifting Weights that are too heavy or which cause you to hold your breath.
  • Crunches + Twists. Exercises like crunches, planks holds, twists, V-Sit Ups and weighted ab exercises can put too much downward pressure on your pelvic floor and can also make stomach separation worse. Avoid them if you have any pelvic floor or core issues and try some post-natal specific core exercises instead.
  • Jumping or high intensity exercise such as squat jumps, box jumps and skipping.
  • Exercise in a heated environment such as Heated Vinyasa Yoga or exercising in the middle of the day in summer.

For many (most!) women it can take a while for our bodies to recover from birth – longer than the 6 weeks we are told to wait before exercising. What’s your advice for returning to exercise after giving birth?

Every woman recovers from pregnancy at a different rate and in different ways. I believe it takes at least 6 months to a year to recover from pregnancy and birth and during that time, I still consider a woman to be ‘postpartum.’ This doesn’t mean she can’t exercise, but should choose exercises that are safe for her postpartum body and help her to build strength from the inside out.

I focus initially on creating strength from the inside out. One of the most empowering things you can do is strengthen your body from the inside out. Having a strong pelvic floor and core will help you to build your inner strength and resolve, and are the foundations of your fitness and strength. Start strengthening and toning your deep core muscles with post-natal specific exercises.

I then advise women to include functional movements using just their body weight or the weight of their baby. Motherhood is a very physical job, so I try to support women to do functional movements using similar weights to what they are lifting in a normal day. Things such as squats, lunges, pushing and pulling exercises all mimic real life. I focus on learning how to do these movements whilst maintaining good posture and pelvic floor engagement.

If you focus on the above two things and seek support from a Women’s Health Physio you will be able to return to the types of exercise you love a lot faster and a lot more safely.

How can we protect and strengthen our pelvic floor?  

Protecting and strengthening your pelvic floor starts with understanding the role of the pelvic floor, what it feels like to properly engage your pelvic floor and how to engage your pelvic floor in a functional way.

The first step for all pregnant or postpartum women should be to see a women’s health physio to have your Pelvic Floor assessed under ultrasound or internal examination. This will help you to understand what a pelvic floor contraction feels like and will allow you to properly engage and strengthen your pelvic floor.

One of my favourite visualisation cues to help you get a good contraction on your pelvic floor is to imagine the 4 walls of your vagina like an open flower with 4 petals. Draw the four petals into the centre and lift the closed bud. Take a breath into hold and exhale to fully release.

You can then focus on three types of contractions:

Endurance Holds.

Here you are trying to maintain a pelvic floor contraction for an extended period of time.

  • Engage and lift your pelvic floor for 3-4 seconds before releasing fully.
  • Repeat 8-10 rounds.
  • Slowly build up by increasing by 1 to 2 seconds each day.

Power Lifts.

  • Engage your pelvic floor as quickly and powerfully as you can.
  • Fully release.
  • Lift straight back up with no rest in between.
  • Aim for 10 power contractions.

Functional Movement.

Combine your pelvic floor exercises with function movements such as squats, lunges and push ups.

What would you say to women who are hoping to ‘bounce back’ to their pre-baby bodies?

I would love to remove the phrase ‘bounce back’ from our vocabulary when it comes to talking about the postpartum body. I believe that pregnancy and motherhood change us in so many incredible ways. We discover a level of strength and love that we never knew existed.

But yet, as soon as we give birth, our goal is often to look like we used to. To act like nothing has changed when so much has changed both physically and emotionally. Giving birth was the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. It was the first time that I felt completely embodied. I don’t want to forget that my body was able to hold a baby for 9 months. I don’t want to forget the fact that after 9 months in and 5 months out, my body was the only source of nourishment my children had received.

I want to celebrate that fact. I want every woman to celebrate just how truly amazing their bodies are. In the Fit Mummy Project I encourage women to create a new goal of building a new strong and healthy body. Rather than looking back at who they were, look forward to create a new healthy and strong body that celebrates all the changes that motherhood has bought with it.

I feel that this is a much more empowering goal and one that will help us to lose the baby weight in a much more safe and positive way. I would love to see a generation of women who don’t feel pressured to bounce back or to look a certain way, but who find strength and grace in motherhood no matter how that looks for them.

Tell us about the Fit Mummy Project app and the inspiration behind it.

I launched the Fit Mummy Project in August 2016. My core mission at the time was to help new Mums to return to exercise in a safe and positive way. I also wanted to make postpartum exercise accessible for all women, not just the ones who were lucky enough to live close to a gym, yoga or pilates studio. As Mums, we often put our own health and wellbeing last. So it was a huge goal of mine to help women to shift their perspective and to realise that when they are thriving, so to will their family. My dream is to be able to continue to inspire women to take care of their health and wellbeing and to provide them with really simple ways to do so. I launched the Fit Mummy Project App in 2017 as a way of providing women with safe + really effective workouts that they could do from home with little or no equipment! It has been receiving incredible reviews and feedback since it first launched and has helped over 3,000 women to return to exercise in a safe and positive way.

About Kimmy Smith

Kimmy Smith is the founder of the Fit Mummy Project App – the complete post-natal fitness and wellbeing App. Kimmy is also an ex-professional athlete, fitness instructor, qualified yoga teacher and mother to two girls. Kimmy is on a mission to support and empower women to embrace the journey of motherhood. In 2016, Kimmy launched the postnatal fitness and wellbeing hub, www.kimmysmithfit.com, an online destination that encompasses fitness, food and healthy mindset essentials including tips, advice, workouts, meal plans and recipes. It aims to help all new mums create a beautiful, fit and strong new body and life.

Connect with Kimmy:

Facebook: @fitmummyproject

Instagram: @kimmysmithfit

Website www.kimmysmithfit.com

 

Photo credit: Candice Cooper-Williams @ccdoubleyou CC Double You

Happy Mother’s Day! + WIN a Pukka tea gift pack

I hope you are having a beautiful day with your family this Mother’s Day.

Being a mum is the best job in the world isn’t it… but it is also one of the toughest. Am I right?

I have focused today’s blog on embracing the tough and making it beautiful… just like we do during childbirth.

If you can be conscious of these 5 points below (I know there could be many more) then you will be able to consciously embrace the depths of beauty that exists on the motherhood path.

Light always has a shadow side.

And if you can see both sides yet favour the good and the positive, then you are on the way to motherhood mastery.

Here are my top 5 toughest things about being a mum:

  • Sleep deprivation!!!! Welcome to life after birth. If you are in the 1% that has a child who can sleep through the night in their first year… all I can say is, we envy you!
  • Frustration to get anywhere on time. I don’t know about you but getting to school on time can be one of the most stressful moments of my day. Kids just don’t live by the clock – they live in a state of wonder and learning that is lived moment to moment.
  • Attachment parenting and instincts can be confusing at times. I didn’t realise that over-attachment can have many negative side effects on our children and setting boundaries is absolutely essential, yet can be very hard. Sometimes we have to be the mum that our instincts are telling us not to be, but put those boundaries in place.
  • Your relationship with your partner will be challenged. You have to do so much work on yourself as your child grows – they challenge us to adapt and grow with them. This also means that partners have to adapt and grow too, and if they don’t, it can put a lot of strain on your relationship and family harmony. People change and grow at different rates and in different ways so be prepared to be patient and persistent.
  • One hug will never be enough, and there will never be enough memories to help you through the absolute grief of letting them go. I can’t begin to tell you how intense it is at the teenager phase when your child no longer needs or wants to be around you as much. It is so critical they have their emancipation phase and develop their own identity – just like the toddler phase – but geez it hurts like hell!

So why on earth do we do it and put ourselves through all of this?

Because of Love! It’s all for Love.

Just because something is hard or painful, we don’t need to resist. It is also beautiful and enriching, empowering, mystifying and wondrous.

So hail to all the beautiful mothers out there who are living it and doing it tough.

This week, we have a great giveaway for a lucky mum from Pukka tea this Mother’s Day.

Don’t you find that having a cup of tea is like a cornerstone of daily self-care? I don’t have time for a full Japanese tea ceremony but I love the pause that a good cuppa brings. It can be an invitation to mindfulness and nourishment and I often joke with my Soul Mama’s that their new definition of self-care in that first year will simply be finishing a cup of tea while it’s still hot!

To be in the running to win a Pukka tin filled with an assortment of gorgeous teas, a beautiful Pukka herbal collection mug, Pukka travel tin, and Pukka organic cotton tote:

  1. Head over to our Facebook or Instagram page, and tag 2 amazing mums you know on our Mother’s Day post.
  2. Enter your details here.

We’ll announce the winner next week!

xxx Nadine

Happy International Day of the Midwife!

Happy International Day of the Midwife to all the midwives, and the wonderful team of people that helped you birth your babies! Where would we be without our midwives?

When I think about my beautiful midwife, it still brings tears to my eyes 16 years on. She was our calm presence, my rock and my greatest advocate.

After 5 days of pre-labour and 36 hours established labour I found myself at 2cm – confused and ready to give up. It was the only time that my midwife took charge and spoke to me directly and strongly: “Nadine you have worked too hard for this. We are going to go into hospital, you are going to have an epidural and you are going to push this baby out!

And that is exactly what I did. And I am so glad. I know things would have turned out so differently if we hadn’t had Hilary there at our side.

I know that employing our own midwife (even so late at 35 weeks) was the best decision we ever made. We loved her so much that we even named Leroy after her. She represented so much wisdom and compassion that the letters from her name had to be in our little boys’, along with my mummy’s too.

Women of grace, wisdom, compassion and resilience, both selfless and benevolent. These are the qualities we need in our birthing rooms. This is the basis of good birthing care that every woman deserves. They help us feel safe, they help us trust birth and they help us let go so we can make every birth beautiful.

The French term for midwife is sage femme, which means, wise woman. So, let’s celebrate and thank our midwives today.

Vive la sage-femme! Long live the wise woman, the midwife!

Love and gratitude,
Nadine xxx

P.S. Keep an eye out for next week’s e-newsletter. We have a special giveaway to celebrate Mother’s Day!

Photo credit: Kath Mclean, Bright Photography

Caesarean Birth Story | The Birth of Harvey – By Maree

April is actually Caesarean Awareness Month – which is really great as I find that many people forget that a caesarean delivery is a birthing day too!

Giving birth always ask something of us – no matter which way it goes (caesarean or vaginal) – because it is a rite of passage. And rites of passage require change, transformation and are always challenging in one way or another.

Our unique She Births® tools and principles are applicable to all birth scenarios.

Read on to find out how Maree utilised our She Births® breathing and visualisation techniques and a positive mindset in the beautiful birth story of her son Harvey – delivered by caesarean…

In our NEW caesarean information pack for She Births® couples, we provide useful content to help every family embrace their baby on their birthing day with the greatest love and connection – because that is what it is all about! Who we are being on the day is far more important than what is happening. It is our feelings, our emotions and our love that gets transmitted and imprinted on birthing day for not only us, but our babies too.

Love and gratitude,
Nadine xxx

P.S. If you experienced a caesarean using our She Births® techniques, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email.

 

How did you prepare for birth?

My birth preparation consisted of completing She Births®, reading books, relaxing and doing anything that made me happy to release oxytocin e.g. mediation, getting the baby room ready and spending time with family and friends. Looking back, it was an awesome time despite being uncomfortable waddling around.

How did your labour start?

It was about 10pm and I woke up as my waters broke. When I first went into labour I was 36 weeks and 5 days. My obstetrician had predicted that I wouldn’t go into labour before 38 weeks so I didn’t even have my bags packed. It would have been comical to see my husband and I running through the house frantically packing while trying not to slip with my waters gushing everywhere.

How did you bring your baby into the world?

I had a long and very intense posterior birth. I used all the breathing techniques from She Births® which helped sooo much with the pain. I definitely got in touch with my inner goddess, channelling all my focus into getting bubba out.

However, as he was posterior and I wasn’t progressing past 9cm, I ended up needing a caesarean.

The most positive aspect of my birth was I was really complete about it. If it wasn’t for She Births® I would have been really disappointed by this outcome as I really wanted a natural, vaginal birth – but the course empowered me to go with the flow and gave me tools which enabled my husband and I to make the best decisions possible given our birthing circumstances on the day.

Who supported you throughout labour and the birth?

My darling husband Paul, my amazing obstetrician Matt, and my unbelievable midwife Trish! They were phenomenal and so supportive through the whole birth.

What was the most challenging part of the birth? 

Definitely when I ended up choosing to get an epidural and it didn’t work. Mentally, I think that made things so much more intense. It then led me to a crossroads and I needed to come to terms with needing a caesarean when 12 hours into labour he wasn’t coming any time soon.

What most helped you during labour and birth?

Definitely the She Births® breathing techniques and visualisations.

What did you learn about yourself from your birth experience?

I am powerful beyond measure, I am strong, brave and so positive.

Describe your birth experience in 3 words:

Intense, magical and so much love!!!