Category Archives: General

Blissful Birth Hypnobirthing book now on Kindle

Image: Carfax2, Wikimedia

With the world totally focussed on the news that the Duchess of Cambridge has gone into labour today, it’s probably the worst ‘media day’ to announce that we’ve made our Blissful Birth hypnobirthing book available worldwide in Kindle format via Amazon (UKUS).

But then, I thought it would be fitting, especially as it is thanks to the Duchess that more and more women worldwide are looking into Blissful Birth hypnobirthing for the birth of their own children.

This is a historic moment, because the recent changes to the laws of Royal succession mean that Kate and William’s child with be 3rd in line to the throne, regardless of gender.

Not only that, but with the world’s media waiting outside the hospital, it will be an extreme test of how well the Duchess can stay calm, relaxed and focussed.

So if you are expecting, why not download our book to your Kindle (UKUS) and have a read whilst we await the arrival of the new prince or princess of Wales.

Heidi Woodgate Quoted In The Times Newspaper

My blog post about Kate Middleton considering hypnobirthing earlier this month caught the attention of the national papers, and the article was quoted in a number of the broadsheets papers, including the Times, who ran articles both online and in the newspaper.

Here’s an extract from the print edition, my thanks to Times Feature Writer, Carol Midgley:


The full article is available on the Times Website (subscription required to view the full article).

Bye for now,

Ps – I nearly called this post, “Look ma, I’m in the Times”, but I thought I should stay professional 🙂

Is Kate Middleton Planning to use Blissful Birth hypnobirthing?

Image: Carfax2/Wikimedia

Image: Carfax2/Wikimedia

If the flurry of activity in the blogosphere, news and gossip magazines over the last couple of days is to believed, the Duchess of Cambridge is considering using hypnobirthing techniques for the birth of her baby, due next month.

According to sources, the Duchess wants a completely natural labour, and is considering hypnobirthing while submerged in an inflatable pool filled with water.

“Kate has researched various birthing methods. She wants it to be natural, so hypno-birthing is one option that appealed” a source told British magazine Grazia. “Some of her friends have used this method and swear by it. Kate wants to do it her way and to be relaxed.”

The big unanswered question, however, is which (if any) of the dozen or so hypnobirthing programmes out there will the Duchess choose?

A number of hypnobirthing practitioners have ‘spun’ the news into a suggestion that the Duchess is considering their particular approach, and no doubt there will be a flurry of gloating press announcements from whichever hypnobirthing programme ‘wins’ the royal birth.

But in case you haven’t yet appreciated the direction this post is going and the irony in the headline, let me promise you this…

If the royal couple use our Blissful Birth hypnobirthing programme (either exclusively or in conjunction with some other programme) – I won’t be telling anyone.

Why? Because quite frankly, whether my customers are royalty, celebrities or normal everyday women, the focus should be on their birth story, not the particular hypnobirthing programme they used.

Of course, I’m always thrilled when someone sends in their birth story or testimonial and gives me permission to share it, and we wouldn’t still be here after 8 years online if our customers didn’t tell all their friends that they used our programme…

But it’s their choice to share their story, not mine.

So, are the royal couple considering Blissful Birth?

I’m not telling…

Regardless of their ultimate decision on natural birth techniques, I am grateful to the Duchess for her willingness to explore options for a natural birth – especially as it was Queen Victoria who led the way for women to use drugs in labour (she started using chloroform during the birth of her eighth child).

To have serious consideration from a well educated, intelligent and progressive couple like WIlliam and Kate shows how far towards mainstream our profession has come over the last decade.

Lets hope other hypnobirthing practitioners out there don’t spoil it for ’15 minutes of fame’.

Bye for now,

Giving birth is a woman’s greatest fear

ContraccionesEarlier this year, the Telegraph, in conjunction with Bounty and MORI, conducted a poll of 900 women to find out their greatest concern before starting a family.

Whilst an understandable 35 per cent of mothers said the health of the child had been their greatest concern, a further 35% said that giving birth was their greatest fear.

Even more interestingly, fears about giving birth rose to 41 per cent among women with more than one child.

But is it any wonder? It seems as soon as you get pregnant there is an endless stream of women queueing up to tell you their horror story (or someone else’s!) – and watching an episode of ‘One Born Every Minute’ is enough to scare the life out of any woman.

And if you’ve had one difficult experience, it makes sense you’d be nervous of it all happening again, right?

Add the fact that fears about giving birth cause stress which actually slows down labour, and the vicious cycle of fear goes around and around.

It doesn’t need to be like this though, even if you had a bad experience last time.

Think about this… in the same way that having a great experience doesn’t guarantee the same next time, neither does a bad experience guarantee another bad experience.

Blissful Birth can teach you how to overcome your fears about giving birth so you can break the cycle and have the best possible experience.

Click on the picture above to get a sneak peak inside the Blissful Birth workbook, which is at the heart of the Blissful Birth programme.

Bye for now

Cutting umbilical cord early is a ‘risk to babies’

Cutting umbilical cord early is a 'risk to babies'

Cutting umbilical cord early is a ‘risk to babies’

The currently accepted practice in the UK is to accelerate the arrival of the placenta with an injection and clamp and cut the cord immediately… something known as ‘assisted third stage’.

Back in 2006, when we had our eldest, the midwives were astonished that we didn’t want to ‘hurry things along’ like everyone else, even though there was no compelling medical reason to do it.

Most other mothers, it seems, faced with convention and deferring to ‘medical advice’ just go along with the practice.

But according to the BBC, that Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have warned that clamping and cutting the umbilical cord immediately after birth puts the baby at risk of iron deficiency.

Their research showed that babies who had their umbilical cord clamped immediately after birth had lower iron stores for up to six months, which increased the risk of brain development problems.

The college recommends that the umbilical cord should not be clamped earlier than necessary and should always be based on clinical assessment of the situation.

The suggestion is that the cord should not be cut until it has stopped pulsating naturally – anywhere between two and five minutes after birth – as this allows the blood in the cord to transfer to the baby.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) says official guidelines are currently being examined it will publish new guidelines next year.

Bye for now

Birthing fears need to be recognised and dealt with

ContraccionesAt the end of last year, the BBC reported the Royal College of Midwives call for fear of childbirth (tokophobia) to be recognised and dealt with more effectively.

Giving birth has long been portrayed as a traumatic ordeal by the media, and the medicalisation of the birth process has left women feeling powerless and out of control.

This feeling of being out of control just fuels fears of giving birth, and stress and fear about giving birth can make a difficult birth a self-fulfilling prophesy.

It’s no wonder that so many women feel anxious about giving birth and want to take back control by having a Caesarian section – even though this is a serious operation.

For some women, the fears about giving birth can develop into a full blown phobia.

Women who have experienced a traumatic delivery in which they had severe pain or tearing or in which they witnessed their baby in serious distress often cannot face the prospect of a vaginal birth.

Rather than looking forward to the arrival of their baby, they develop a morbid fear of pregnancy and the birth process. Labour wards can feel like ‘torture chambers’ and they feel their only option is to have a Caesarean section.

Studies show that in extreme cases, a small number of women abort their pregnancies rather than face the pain and trauma of childbirth.

With fear playing a huge role in pregnancy and birth, we’re 100% behind the RCM call for fear of childbirth to be recognised and dealt with more effectively. But more needs to be done!

While extreme fear of childbirth may need specialist one-to-one intervention, our Blissful Birth programme is an ideal way for expectant mothers to deal with birthing fears and prepare for giving birth.

Bye for now.

Is your baby bump too small?

is your baby bump too small?Have you noticed that as soon as a you get pregnant, people seem to become obsessed with your baby bump and how it’s growing?

The media coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge’s baby is case in point. But although her pregnancy has been played out in the national media, her experience is all too familiar.

Too big, too small, too fat, too thin… suddenly, everyone is an ‘expert’ and it seems they can’t wait to offer you their sage advice.

In our experience, most people expect your baby bump to be as big as possible. If you don’t measure up to their expectations, you can be left feeling like you are doing something wrong.

Or worse, it can trigger that underlying fear we all have in pregnancy… What if my baby isn’t growing as it should?

It’s not just family and friends either. Midwives still tend to use a tape measure to check your progress, and on average, the size of a baby bump in cm is roughly equal to the number of weeks of pregnancy.

So if you are 30 weeks, your baby bump is supposed to be about 30cm.

But if you are much smaller than ‘average’, you can find yourself anxiously waiting for a growth scan to make sure everything is ok.

The problem is that pregnancy puts your hormones in a whirl, and comments about your baby bump can just fuel your fears and worry.

Add this to fears about giving birth, and both you and your baby get a heady cocktail of stress hormones.

The truth is that everyone is different, and it’s important to remember that ‘average’ and ‘normal’ mean two completely different things.

For example, our youngest son is in the 95th centile for his height, and has been since he was a baby. Being the same height as his older brother certainly means he’s not ‘average’… but his growth rate is ‘normal’ because it has always followed the same centile.

So if, like Kate Middleton, your baby bump is smaller than ‘average’ but your previous scans are ok, just ignore the naysayers, calm down and remind yourself that everything is ‘normal’… for your particular pregnancy.

Bye for now

Ps – Staying relaxed during pregnancy and birth can be one of the best gifts you give your baby, and the Blissful Birth programme will teach you self hypnosis and fear removal techniques to make it as easy as possible to achieve.

So why not get started on your Blissful Birth right now?

Celebrating 6 years of Blissful Birth

Our eldest is 5 this month, which means that Blissful Birth is fast approaching 6 years old. How time flies.

I’d like to say a sincere thanks to all our customers, especially all of you who have helped to spread the word and sent in your feedback – it really makes our day to read your emails and hear your stories.

We’ve also listened to your feedback, and as a result we’re only offering the complete Blissful Birth Programme from now on.

There are two reasons for this:

Firstly, we want to remove some of the confusion people faced over which product to buy;

Secondly, feedback shows that people who purchased our full programme have much better results than those who only purchase the MP3s. That’s no surprise really, as our workbook covers loads more material than the MP3s ever could.

So to celebrate our 6th anniversary, we’re relaunching our Blissful Birth programme with a very special deal – get the whole programme for the price of the old MP3 product.

So if you know anyone who could benefit from our programme, please pass this on to them.

And if you are a Facebook or Twitter user, I’d really appreciate it if you would hit our shiny new like/tweet buttons and help spread the word.

Bye for now,

Ps – Are you a Blissful Birth Mum? Did you hit the like/tweet buttons? Are you celebrating too? Drop a comment to say hi!

NHS To Trial Hypnosis for Giving Birth… finally!

Using hypnosis as a way to make giving birth easier, more comfortable and even faster has been known about in the western world for the best part of a century, so it’s good to see the NHS finally trialling the use of hypnosis with birthing mums.

As Dr Christian Jessen (of TV’s ‘Embarrasing Bodies’ fame) reports in the London Evening Standard,

An 18-month NHS trial study aims to teach expectant mums how to hypnotise themselves before giving birth as an alternative to painkillers. This will involve learning how to attain a trance-like state during labour in the hope that they will not need costly treatments such as epidurals.

He then goes on to explain how it works:

Hypnosis is successfully used in many other areas of healthcare, including dentistry, well known for its association with pain and fear, and fear here seems to be the key. Most mums experience anxiety and fear about the impending birth, in part due to our society’s highly medicocentric approach to birthing, implying that it is a dangerous, painful and scary experience.

Hypnotherapists believe that a lot of the pain of childbirth comes from fear acting on the body to cause tension and muscle constriction. If women can relax and release muscle tension, this causes less pain, more effective contractions and often a shorter labour. It certainly sounds plausible, and the feedback from women who have used it has been consistently positive.

It’s even been backed up by several relatively large-scale studies, one of which found that self-hypnosis during childbirth eased some of the pain of labour, lowered the risk of medical complications and reduced the need for surgery. Another study found that hypnotherapy shortened the first and second stages of labour. For women having their first babies, the first stage was reduced from an average of 9.3 hours to 6.4 hours, and the second stage from 50 minutes to 37 minutes on average. The differences for women having their second or later children were less dramatic, and it is here the financial benefits may be seen.

It’s such a relief to see the NHS taking hypnosis seriously and finally taking a closer look.

If you would like to take a closer look too, why not sign up for our newsletter and get a free self-hypnosis mp3, read a free chapter from our Blissful Birth book or read about how I gave birth using hypnosis – twice!

Bye for now,

Ps – Please leave your comments below!

Win back the cost of your purchase with PayPal

Our payment processor, PayPal have recently launched a prize draw in which you can win back the cost of your purchase – in other words, you could end up getting our product for free!

Every week from now until 20 December 2009, PayPal will be paying back 500 lucky customers for one of their PayPal purchases.

Full details here:

Bye for now