Teaching Legal Rights To Expectant Parents

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks First Published on www.birthworks.org Each week in my pregnancy and postnatal massage practice I find out from my clients that they’re being told they have to have an induction for various reasons that they don’t fully understand. Most are really unhappy and don’t want the procedure, but many are told they will be risking their baby if
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Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Book Review

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin Reviewed by Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Oh how I love this book! I much prefer this book to Spiritual Midwifery, only because it’s more readable for everyday women without the trippy language that was used in Spiritual Midwifery. I love Ina May’s term ‘Sphincter Law’ p.170 and all that it means. I think
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Birth Story – Dana & Jed

Homebirth – I did it! Hi Sam, I hope you have settled back down in the uk and things are moving along positively for you. I was happy to see a new clinic post on Facebook a wee while back! Finally I am sitting here to share with you the promised birth story of my amazing homebirth! On Friday at
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The Best Breathing Technique For Labor

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Practise relaxed breathing as preparation for childbirth. During labour, breathing for relaxation is a very effective natural pain relief, reducing fear and anxieties and helping you to feel in control. The best breathing technique for labor? Follow your instincts, keep focusing on your breathing and it will automatically change to a more relaxed pace. Trust your body to
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29 Fascinating Facts About Oxytocin

by Samantha Thurlby-Brooks 1. Oxytocin is an ancient substance Oxytocin is a hormone that has “been present in the chain of animal development for millions of years… The fact that oxytocin has existed for such a long time… indicates that the substance is of fundamental importance and performs vital functions” (Dr Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg)  2. Oxytocin is found in all mammals This
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The Lion Effect™ & Failure To Progress During Labour

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Humans, like any other animal who is preyed on, are sensitive to certain stimuli getting their adrenalin levels rising ready to fight or run and sometimes to freeze. I call this The Lion Effect™; when in times of stress or perceived stress a person will get themselves ready for danger to protect themselves or their young for
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How To Make The Right Choices In Childbirth

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Many people who are faced with birth complications will leave it up to their midwife or doctor to make decisions for them. This isn’t always a good thing to do. Why? Your doctor or midwife may be the most dedicated natural birth advocate (or not) but they are not allowed to make choices for you. They are
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Your Birth Rights In The NHS

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Knowing your legal birth rights in the NHS will help you have a more empowering birth experience. It’s important that both you and your partner fully understand your birth rights in the NHS so as you can make your own right choices. The rights that are most important during birth as found in the NHS Constitution, which is supported by UK
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How To Write A Birth Plan

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks How to write a birth plan? A good birth plan needs to be simple and easy to read. Midwives and obstetricians look after so many different people that to write too much will just get forgotten. Below is an example of a great birth plan for you to use and adapt as you see fit. I helped
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Optimal Foetal Positioning (for an easier birth)

Source: Optimal Foetal Postitioning By Jean Sutton, New Zealand MidwifeThe Optimal Foetal Position is our term for the First Vertex; Vertex Left Occipito Anterior; Vertex L.O.A. The position most commonly chosen by near term babies when they are able. [In every day terms it means baby is head down with their spine at the front of the belly on the
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Beware the Nocebo Effect

Posted in: New York Times Sunday Review By PAUL ENCK and WINFRIED HÄUSER Published: August 10, 2012 EVERYONE knows that a placebo — a fake medication or sham procedure, typically used as a control in a medical trial — can nonetheless have a positive effect, relieving real symptoms like pain, bloating or a depressed mood. The placebo effect is a
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Twins & Super Twin Pregnancy and Childbirth

“You’re having twins (or more)?! Double the trouble… Boys or girls? Are they identical? Do they look the same? Were they conceived naturally?”As a twin myself these are the questions that every single person asks when they find out… without fail (except for the conception question as that is kept just for the parents). There seems to be a deep
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Easy Labour Massage for Pain Relief During Childbirth

Massage during labour can either be completely relaxing and help speed up the process, or completely irritating and make the whole event last longer. So how do you know if you’re doing it right?Labour massage is very different from the type of massage you would get on a therapy bed and rightly so. During labour a woman needs to relax
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The Lion Effect™ During Childbirth

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Humans, like any other animal who is preyed on, are sensitive to certain stimuli getting their adrenalin levels rising ready to fight or run and sometimes to freeze. I call this The Lion Effect™; when in times of stress or perceived stress a person will get themselves ready for danger to protect themselves or their young for
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How to be a great birthing partner

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks You’ll often find in antenatal classes that the teacher will be very confident in telling you that “the role of the birthing partner is very important”. And that’s where they often stop; no tips, no advice, just the statement that you are very important! So if you are so important, how do you know if you’re doing
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Simple tips to make birth easier & safer

Stay Warm Darkened Room Quiet Relax Privacy Feel Unobserved Breathe Trust Your Body Eat Nourishing Foods, Drink Plain Water Over the past few millions of years, humans and mamals have been giving birth without the use of hospitals, doctors or epidurals, for the most part, very effectively. The female body is designed to give birth very successfully and efficiently without
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Why & How to Relax During Childbirth

Relax… your body knows what it’s doing so you don’t need to do a thing! You don’t need to think about what comes next or what position you should or shouldn’t be in, or whether you’ve left the iron on! You’re having a baby and your body loves it.When your baby is ready to be born it will signal to
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Using Water During Birth

Ever had a hard day where your muscles ache and you’ve had enough of the world? How’s about having a nice warm bath to soothe away your troubles? Well, that’s exactly what a bath, birthing pool or shower can do for your stresses and strains during childbirth.The benefits of water during childbirth are well known. Just some of the benefits
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