"Please don't buy me a baby grow this Christmas"..... Say pregnant people in 2023
Do you want to show you really care for your loved one who is pregnant this Christmas? and do you want to support local business?
I am lucky in my career to speak to hundreds of pregnant women and these last few weeks I've been asking them the important question of: " What would be the best Christmas present for you?"
There was one simple pattern.., it's all about showing support, care, and making their journey to motherhood a little more comfortable and enjoyable.
Here is a round up of top 5, unconventional pregnancy gifts that have been suggested to me,. For an added bonus, buy local.
Gift 1 #1 - Pampering Spa Treats
Pregnancy can be physically taxing, so why not treat them to a spa day?
Opt for a gift certificate for a prenatal massage or a spa treatment specifically designed for expecting mothers.
It's a fantastic way for them to relax and unwind amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Thames Lido offer pregnancy massages for £80 and feel totally luxurious, trust me, I had then during both of my pregnancies
Gift #2 - Hypnobirthing or Antenatal classes
It really is possible to give the gift of a positive birth experience.
Treat your loved one to a taster, workshop or full course of birth preparation.
Knowing that you support their choices and are invested in them having a truly transformative experience is what they really want this Christmas
"Mothers who used Hypnobirthing techniques during labour had shorter labours, less perceived pain and less unplanned intervention than mothers who did not use the techniques"
Your Birth Story, based in West Berkshire offers a range of programmes and gift vouchers, so choose your budget and let them choose the programme that is right for them
Gift #3 - Book a cleaner
Support your local cleaners and support a new mum by paying for a cleaner for the first week, month or year......
Honestly this would have been the most appreciate gift for me and was one of the most suggested options by the mums I spoke to.
Find your local cleaners through your local Facebook groups or take a recommendation from a friend
Gift #4 - Book a maternity photo shoot
Help them capture the precious moments and emotions of their pregnancy journey with a beautiful maternity photoshoot. L
et them celebrate their growing, evolving body.
This allows them to freeze this incredible time in their life.
Tina Cleary photography based in Berkshire offer beautiful maternity shoots to capture these small moments in time
Tip #5 - Prenatal Exercise Classes
Consider purchasing a gift certificate for prenatal yoga or fitness classes.
Staying active during pregnancy is essential, and these classes offer a safe and enjoyable way for them to stay fit while connecting with other expectant mothers.
There are loads to choose from that offer a range of sessions.
Sam from Naturally yoga offers beautiful pregnancy classes just outside of Reading
Don't follow the crowd, follow the voice of the pregnant person
Remember, the most important aspect of gift-giving is the thought and care behind it.
Whatever you choose, make sure it comes from the heart, showing your support and excitement for this new chapter in their life.
After all, your love and encouragement are the greatest gifts you can give this holiday season!
Now, I don't want to put myself out of a job here but I was curious what a robot might answer.
I sometimes find it hard to articulate in a succinct way because I want to bust all the hippy myths at the same time as explaining the science and evidence behind this Antenatal birth preparation technique, which mostly results in me stumbling over my words.
And I have to be honest, Chatbot did a reasonably good job of explaining it to a degree.
So let's take a look at what he/she/them/they said,
Chatbot started where I may not have personally but I'm rolling with it. Self Hypnosis.
Now let me clarify, all types of Hypnosis are self hypnosis and we ALL go into these states every single day.
That period just before you fall asleep or just as you're waking, is self hypnosis.
When you are driving in the car and can’t remember the last 10 miles, that's self hypnosis.
So my answer to this is Yes, and No.
Yes the techniques that Hypnobirthing teaches you will help you anchor a deep state of relaxation, but no, just because I don’t like to use the term self hypnosis personally as it conjures up a skewed view of what Hypnobirthing is.
Breathing Techniques: Yes Hypnobirthing does teach 1-3 breathing techniques. Learning to breathe deeply and calmly activates our parasympathetic nervous system. When we activate this “Rest and Digest” system through breathing, it slows our heart, lowers blood pressure and promotes digestion. Our body enters a state of relaxation, and this relaxation breeds recovery. Thus making a far easier journey for you and your baby in birth
Muhammad Ali using Visualisation to realise his goals
But I'm still rolling with it.
Yes, Hypnobirthing teaches the power of visualisations.
But it's not new nor exclusive to Hypnobirthing. Buddha is quoted as saying "What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create." In hypnobirthing we work on creating a mental blueprint of your ideal birth.
Just as Usain bolt does before a race “I just visualised and then executed my plan.” or Muhammad ali told himself every day “I am the greatest”.
It's a tried and tested technique to rewire our minds to believe what is possible.
Education: I quite like this one, yes it is indeed an education but not just in birth. Hypnobirthing is steeped in science so it is primarily an education of psychology and physiology.
How your mind and body are connected and it focuses heavily on hormones, how they are promoted or hindered. Yes, an education, but far deeper than you might expect.
Supportive environment: I wasn’t expecting Chat Bot to come up with this one so i’m actually pleasantly surprised. Hormones are affected by our surroundings. Think about shopping on Oxford street, at Christmas. It's busy, it's loud, it's an attack on all of our senses and for most of us we would be feeling quite stressed. That's our hormones reacting to our environment. Now think about having an uninterrupted bath, low lighting, candles, your favourite music and some nice bubble bath. Feels nice right? That's your hormones, sending messages to your brain about your environment and signalling it to release the appropriate hormones. In hypnobirthing, we know which hormones we need to produce and which we need to avoid so we manage our environment to facilitate that.
Top 3 tips for Hypnobirthing
Practice makes perfect
Get the birth partner involved
Know your rights and feel empowered
12 celebrities who talk about their journey with Hypnobirthing to have a positive birth experience.
Bizarrely, when women talk about a positive birth experience they are almost shunned to the corner and shamed for talking about birth in a positive light.
I have felt this personally in baby groups when everyone is sharing their own personal journey which is normally rife with drama and trauma, when I spoke up and talked of a calm, empowering, comfortable birth I could feel the daggers.
So it was no surprise to me that the most recent celebrity to talk about “breathing her baby out” was widely and publicly criticised.