The Mind–Body–Baby Programme aims to help you make the vital connections between your mind – your body – and your baby. All three can be strongly affected by one another and so what goes on in your head – whether you are stressed and anxious, or calm and relaxed – then affects the way that your body functions. Of course, when you are pregnant, this can affect your growing baby. So negative emotions, lack of sleep and poor nutrition can dramatically affect not just you, but your baby too. However, the Mind–Body–Baby Programme is not designed to simply highlight the hazards of pregnancy but to help you make the very best of it, to maximize the opportunities that you have to give your baby the very best start.
An innovative approach to antenatal care
The way that you (and your partner) feel during your pregnancy – whether for example, you are tired, stressed or anxious – can have a real impact not just on you and your relationship, but on your baby too. At the Zita West Clinic we have years of experience working with pregnant women and their partners, and often with those who have become pregnant in difficult circumstances. We know that pregnancy can bring with it a whole host of worries and fears alongside all those feelings of joy and elation. With this in mind, we have assembled a team of highly experienced midwives and health professionals and put together our Mind–Body–Baby Programme that covers the five key areas of pregnancy, birth and beyond.
The Mind–Body–Baby Programme (MBB) is designed to bring together all the strands of knowledge and experience that we have at our disposal to give you peace of mind, support and reassurance all the way through your pregnancy. Being pregnant and giving birth can be one of the most physically and emotionally demanding events in a woman’s life. To help you make sure your baby gets the best possible start in life, we have expanded our services to offer pregnant women this concentrated support package. We believe that a combined holistic and medical approach will help to ground you emotionally and mentally, as well as give you confidence in your physical readiness for birth and beyond. Bonding with your baby doesn’t just start at birth, you can have a positive influence on your baby right from the start of your pregnancy.
You are your baby’s world and you can shape that world even prior to conception. What your baby experiences in the womb may affect his or her future health outlook, experiences and who he or she ultimately becomes. From the food you eat, the connections you form with him or her in utero, to how you cope with your emotions and reactions to stress, you have an amazing opportunity to make a difference. There is now a whole body of evidence showing that preparation for pregnancy, childbirth and beyond pays real dividends and the Mind–Body–Baby Programme can help to do this in a number of ways.
YOUR MIDWIFE CARE AND MIND BODY PLAN AT ZITA WEST CLINIC
Our team of Zita West midwives are here to provide a knowledgeable and supportive complement to your usual GP and NHS midwife service, guiding you confidently through the maze of services available both through the NHS and privately. We can give you the extra time and space to answer all your questions and help you to make informed choices about your care. We can be your sounding board, an experienced hand to hold and a reassuring constant through your pregnancy and early days with your new baby.
Here is your suggested schedule of care:
Early Days - as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed, you will see us for an initial consultation. During the appointment, we can talk to you about the midwifery services, both NHS and private, and explain how the system works and what you can expect in the way of care. Your midwife can help you think about what type of care would suit you best throughout your journey and how to get the ball rolling. You will be informed about the tests and scans that you are entitled to and answer all your questions about diet and exercise.
Early pregnancy first trimester support support: 5 – 12 weeks Preparation £130
The first trimester of pregnancy can often be an anxious time for mothers-to-be, and it’s also when many of the hugely dramatic changes of pregnancy occur in a woman’s body. Pregnancy hormones will be surging through your system and may throw you somewhat “off-balance” for a while. One of our Consultant Midwifes will be on hand to ensure that your pregnancy is developing exactly as it should be, giving you the expert reassurance you need ensuring both you and baby are healthy. She will help to prepare you for each step of the way by reviewing your medical history and discussing in detail your plans for pregnancy and birth. You will be given advice on coping with the tiredness and morning sickness so common in early pregnancy and provided with essential advice on nutrition and all the dos and don’ts. The first twelve weeks of pregnancy are when your developing baby is at its most vulnerable, so you need to know what to avoid doing, eating, taking, or being exposed to through environmental hazards. You will also learn ways to manage stress and create a tranquil environment for your baby, through simple techniques such as using visualization. This will help to calm you and aide the bonding process even at this early stage. – You can continue to learn more of these techniques with Modules 3 and 4.
At the start of your programme, you will complete a detailed questionnaire that will help us to identify your personal and specific needs by looking at five key areas:
• Your medical history and circumstances
• Your nutrition
• Your lifestyle
• Your emotional well-being
• Your psychological needs and circumstances
Laying down the foundations to a healthy first trimester: Nutrition £130
We have an expert team of Nutrtitionists who can look at your diet, including vitamin and mineral intake, and how you can improve not just at the start of pregnancy but as your needs change, trimester by trimester. The 1st Trimester is when your baby will develop most rapidly, with his or her organs and body systems forming, hence why good nutrition is absolutely crucial at this stage. Most expectant parents know about the importance of taking Folic Acid to prevent neural tube defects in babies such as spina bifida, but how many know of the vital need for the right balance of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), Choline, or Protein? In the 2nd Trimester you will need to help your baby to build strong bones and teeth, so you need a proper balance of Calcium, Vitamin D as well as minerals such as Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese. In the 3rd Trimester you have a great window of opportunity to boost your baby’s brain by stimulation (which you can learn more about in Module 4) and by ensuring a good supply of “smart” fats. We can advise you on the best ways to eat a nutrition-packed diet that is perfectly suited to your baby at every stage of your pregnancy. We will also help you to build up your energy stores to prepare for the physical rigors of birth and advise you on the best nutrition in the immediate period after your baby’s arrival. This is when you will need to regain your strength and boost your body’s resources for breastfeeding.
First Trimester – book to see your midwife between 12 – 15 weeks (pick a date AFTER your nuchal scan results are due). During this hour-long appointment we can look in detail at your nuchal scan results and discuss their meaning. We can also look at and discuss your blood results. This is also a good time to discuss how you are feeling and how to avoid common pregnancy problems. You may want to discuss your work and what to do to ensure that you get your maternity pay. If you want, we will help you to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
Other treatments you may want to consider:
Pregnancy Counselling - £120 per session
Pregnancy counselling provides time and space for you to explore your feelings and emotions around your pregnancy and how this may be impacting on you and your relationships. The counsellor acts as a knowledgeable sounding-board, helping you to test out ways to manage your situation. Counselling can help you to cope with issues such as:
• Anxiety and stress in the early stages of pregnancy
• The impact of pregnancy after previous miscarriages, pregnancy loss or previous traumatic birth experiences.
• Ante-natal depression
• Relationship difficulties
• The pressures of work, friends or family
Acupuncture - £87.50 per session
We find many women want to have Acupuncture during their pregnancies. Many ailments during pregnancy are considered par for the course, and many women worry about taking medication. Our Acupuncture program starts at the beginning of pregnancy and many of our women carry on with treatment throughout their pregnancies, and experience a greater sense of well-being.
Acupuncture in Pregnancy:
· Morning Sickness
Our team of acupuncturists treat many women during pregnancy and are very experienced in the field of Acupuncture.
13 – 28 weeks
Second Trimester – book to see your midwife between 21 – 26 weeks (pick a date AFTER your anomaly scan). You will be really looking pregnant now and proudly sporting a bit of a bump! During this hour-long appointment we can look in detail at your anomaly scan and interpret the results. You can pick our brains about any worries you may have and discuss simple remedies for common pregnancy symptoms. Now is the time to discuss birth preparation classes and book you in for your course. Our midwives are highly experienced in active birth and can give you the very best preparation for whatever birth you are planning for. We can also help you to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
Third Trimester – book to see your midwife between 30 – 35 weeks. During this hour-long session we can really start to think about the baby. We can discuss layette and also book you in for your infant feeding workshop if you haven’t already done so. Evidence shows that women who attend an antenatal infant feeding workshop experience fewer problems when they come to feed their babies. Our team can give you the confidence to handle and feed your baby with ease from the very start. As always, this as an opportunity to answer all your questions as you get ready for the big day. We can help you to hear your baby’s heartbeat using a fetoscope and may also be able to work out which way your baby is lying.
ADDITIONAL TREATMENTS YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM
Hypnosis - £120 for 1 hour
We use hypnosis a lot to make mind and body at one with your baby. Hypnosis for birth is rapidly becoming one of the most popular methods for reducing childbirth pain and making birth a natural peaceful experience. The mind and body are inextricably linked and pain is usually caused by fear and tension. During a three part course we will teach both partners self hypnosis techniques to promote relaxation which in turn will release any tension. The result will be that your labour and birth will be a more comfortable, calm and positive experience.
What are the benefits of Hypnosis for birth?
What does self hypnosis feel like?
The experience of hypnosis feels as if you are neither fully awake nor completely asleep. It is a state of being deeply relaxed yet having focused concentration where you are able to communicate suggestions to your subconscious mind. This part of your mind influences how we think, how we feel, and the choices we make. It can actually control pain. When you are having your baby using Hypnosis for birth techniques it feels a bit like daydreaming or staring at a fire. You will be able to chat and you will be in good spirits. You will be aware of your body’s contractions and you will release endorphins (the body’s natural anaesthesia) which will replace the stress hormones that create pain.
28 Weeks: Primary Level Hypnosis for Birth
We will teach you how to manage and maintain your Mind–Body connection through trance and how you can understand and assimilate a birth experience through trance states. You will learn further anchoring and visualization of breathing techniques during labour and learn about “Team birthing” – where you, your baby and partner work together to achieve the best outcome.
32 Weeks: Secondary Level Hypnosis for birth
You will learn how to connect to deeper trance levels for better management of contractions. Your Mind–Body connection will be enhanced to help you to flatten your pelvic bones to create a more flexible pathway for birth. At this stage you will also learn how to set up the projection of the birthday of your baby and visualize the reality of your baby’s arrival.
36 Weeks: Further Hypnosis for birth
You can learn specific hypnosis instruction for Caesarean Births to help you to connect with your baby before and after the procedure. You will also set up the projection for your baby’s birthday and visualize your personal reality.
We find acupuncture to be really useful in the lead up to birth on a weekly basis from 36 weeks, to help with tiredness energy levels preparation of the cervix and for induction if you go over your dates.
· Pelvic Pain
· Carpal Tunnel
· Preparation for Labour
Benefits of Pre-Birth Acupuncture
Pre-Birth Acupuncture is particularly beneficial as the points used will aid the following:
- Soften and stretch the pelvic ligaments prior to labour.
- Soften and ripen the cervix.
- Boost energy reserves and blood.
- Helping the baby move into the optimal foetal position. This can reduce the duration of childbirth and labour pain.
Research has shown that pre-birth acupuncture can assist with labour by minimising the number of inductions, epidurals and caesarean sections. It can also reduce the duration of labour by approximately 2 hours, especially women having their first baby, as well as decreasing the likelihood of babies presenting in a posterior position.
Acupuncture studies have shown that the treatment can result in the following:
- 35% reduction in inductions (43% for women having their first birth)
- 31% reduction in epidural anesthesia
- 32% reduction in caesarean deliveries
- 9% increase in normal vaginal birth
- Average labour time of 9 hours, with 59% of first time women delivering within 10 hours.
- Average labour time of 4.7 hours for women having their 2nd birth or more, with 60.5% delivering within 5 hours. (Debra Betts)
Antenatal Feeding Workshop - £40 per person, per group session
By the time you reach the 36th week of pregnancy, you may well have started imagining holding and feeding your baby. Scientific evidence has consistently shown that women who attend an antenatal feeding workshop encounter fewer problems when feeding their babies and, we can help you make a relaxed and confident start to your feeding relationship. You and your partner will be able to meet with a new mother and baby, see her feeding and get a chance to chat to her about the realities of having a new baby. You will be given practical, easy tips on feeding day and night, as well as at home and out. It can be rewarding and pleasurable to cuddle and nourish your baby.
Pre-labour – book to see your midwife at 39 weeks. We can discuss those last minute worries and talk through your birth plan, guiding you as to ways to naturally start labour. If you like, your midwfie can help you to hear your baby’s heartbeat and check which way around your baby is lying. You will have contact details for your midwife so that you can call for support with early feeds and baby care.
Post-natal – let us know as soon as baby has arrived and your midwife will arrange a time to come and give you early help and guidance with feeds and baby care. This can be in the hospital or at home, whichever you prefer. Early help and support can help you avoid some of the more common problems. Your midwife will help you understand your baby’s behaviour (why do they sleep all day and want to feed all night?) and show you how to soothe him or her. We shine a light into all those confusing areas and help you sort out myth from fact. In addition, we can help you find strategies to ensure that the whole family gets enough rest and guide you towards becoming a sensitive and confident parent.
Postnatal feeding support package - £300 (3 x two hour sessions)
The postnatal feeding support package aims to give you the expert guidance and continuity of care that will help maximize your chances of having a trouble-free start to feeding your baby. Each two-hour session will take place in your home or hospital, depending on where you are and will be on a one-to-one basis. The first session will take place as soon as is practical after birth and cover feeding cues, understanding baby behaviour when feeding and how best to snuggle with baby whilst he or she gets themselves on to feed. You will discover how to feed lying down so that you can rest in the early days of recovery from pregnancy and birth. Common problems, their causes and how to avoid them will also be covered.
The second session will take place when your milk “comes in” and you will learn how to reduce engorgement and to hand-express. We can teach you how to use a breast pump if you like, although their use is not recommended in the first six weeks unless clinically indicated. Our aim is to ensure that you are confident feeding your baby and that any early problems are quickly nipped in the bud.
The third session will take place when engorgement has settled and you are feeling ready to look at feeding in different positions and in all the various scenarios in which a busy mum might find herself. You will gain more confidence in feeding during the night and settling your baby after a feed. By now you will be more able to understand your baby’s behaviour and we can talk about particular challenges you might be worried about. Finally, we can discuss how to integrate feeding and nurturing your baby into your current lifestyle.
Postnatal baby-care - £195
This is a single home visit lasting two hours. You will be learning, “mum-to-mum”, in a very supportive, easy-going and hands-on way on how to bath, change and dress your baby in your own home environment. We will also look at cord care, hair washing, layette and soothing techniques. Any other aspects of baby-care that you’d like to cover can be incorporated so that you can feel more confident in the day-to-day handling of your baby. This session can be scheduled for a day and a time to suit you and your family.
Breastfeeding Crisis Support - £80 per hour
For those days when you find yourself facing a particular feeding challenge, you can arrange a home visit with your midwife to do some troubleshooting and to offer solutions/coping strategies. If you have been told that your baby has a particular problem e.g. tongue-tie, we can offer specialist advice (and referral if needed).
Further on – ask about the Confident Parenting Beginner’s Workshop. There are workshops for conscientious parents wanting to learn tips and strategies for making their family life more enjoyable. By looking at baby, child psychology and development, you will learn simple ways to enhance your relationship with your child whilst guiding them towards self-discipline and growing independence. Book in when your baby is around 4 months old – your baby will be reaching an important developmental stage then and you can be ahead of the game!
“STARTING OUT” WORKSHOP
We want our children to be sociable, self-disciplined and great to live with, NOT through fear of punishment and NOT to gain a reward but simply because that is how the world “works best”.
Confident Parenting courses give you a good understanding of child psychology and development alongside brilliant strategies that completely release you from the frustrating reward-punishment cycle that leads to “time-out”, “naughty steps” and “grounding” - an approach that has become standard in so many modern households, without leading to a reduction in discipline issues or behavioural nightmares.
Just like a great cookery course for aspiring chefs looking to learn and hone their skills, Confident Parenting courses are for conscientious parents wanting to develop a toolbox of ideas, skills and strategies that will see them through ALL the stages of their children’s lives.
The strategies and techniques are completely transferable, they will work no matter what the challenge and whatever the age of the child.
Sounds too good to be true? Skilled teachers and youth workers use these skills every day with the most challenging of children because they bring quick and consistent results. Without recourse to punishments of any kind, skilled adults can gain the cooperation, respect and confidence of children. You can gain these skills too.
During the one-day “Starting Out” Workshop you will learn the following:
You will cover all the basics that you need to get your parenting skills off to the very best start and learn a more confident and effective parenting style, which will stand you in good stead for the very early years.
Moving ahead: Confident parenting - Monthly Group Sessions £50
The Confident Parenting workshops teach a range of techniques and strategies to parents for building self-esteem, self-discipline, confidence and independence for children of all ages (the age range can be 3 months to 16 years). The emphasis is on helping parents to regain their confidence in being an assertive parent – setting clear rules and boundaries and ensuring they are kept to, allowing children to learn through consequences rather than punishments, getting children to take responsibility for themselves at a pace to match their age and developmental stage.
1. Getting Started - looking at how we were parented; making change possible; labels.