How To Have The Best Possible Birth – Guest Post



Today I have handed over the blogging reigns to another American mother living down under.
Rachel is a mother of three who lives in Sydney. She loves cheese, books about Scotland, and things that are blue and white striped. She blogs at A Mother Far from Home about parenting and motherhood…she shares tips and advice about how to get your kids to sleep well, behave, and be strong kids that turn in to strong grown-ups.
Here she is talking about how to have the best possible birth whether you’re in a hospital, a birthing centre, your home, or your car (but hopefully not your car)!

I’m so read more

How Birth Affects Parenting


I was recently asked to be a part of 612 ABC Steve Austin’s parenting panel.
When asked what I wanted to speak about, I suggested discussing how birth affects parenting.
Based on what I have learned from hypnobirthing and from my own personal experience, I believe birth has a significant impact on parenting…especially on those challenging first months.

First, let’s talk hormones.
Birth chemically prepares a mother for parenting.
When you are pregnant and when you are giving birth, you are read more

Hypnobirthing and Yoga Pregnancy Retreats

Hypnobirthing and Yoga Retreat















I am so excited to be able to introduce Queensland Hypnobirthing and Yoga Retreats!
These pregnancy retreats have been in the pipeline for a long time…they started as a glimmer of an idea that I kept inside of my head for far too long, then they evolved into a series of often frenzied emails between myself and Bettina, now they are actually happening!

So what exactly are we doing?
We are hosting a four read more

Wellness – Aromatherapy

I would say that I am healthy.
I did go through a decidedly unhealthy stage in college…I ate nothing but pizza, drank nothing but beer and considered sleeping exercise.
But those four years are the exception.
My diet is generally nutritious and well balanced.  I like to get out and move my body.
But wellness is something that I am still working on.

Wellness is a term that generally means achieving a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of wellbeing.
I personally like defining wellness as an active process of making choices to consciously pursue a more successful existence.

I think I first became aware of the concept of wellness way back when I lived in NYC and went for regular acupuncture treatments.
My introduction to the world of wellness was positive and so when I learned I was pregnant, I turned to hypnobirthing.  Many of the techniques I practised and used…guided relaxation, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy…helped me not only with my pregnancy and birth but also with myself.  I felt my mind was calm and focused.  I felt in tune with my body.  I felt at ease.
After giving birth, I forgot my new found clarity and instead became completely engrossed in my charmingly mysterious baby.
When he was about eighteen months old, I realised that even though I was no longer consumed by my baby, I hadn’t returned to feeling like myself.
I missed that sense of connection with myself and so I turned to the wellness techniques that had worked so well for me in the past.
Over the past year I have had regular acupuncture treatments to revive my body and to restore my energy levels.
I have prioritised meditation.
And I am returning to aromatherapy.

Before Christmas I discovered +/0+/…a local business owned and run by Shireen and her mother Roshni.
I recently spoke to them on the phone…their knowledge is incredible and their passion is absolutely infectious.
Here is what I took away from our conversation.

How Aromatherapy Works

The scientifically proven theory behind aromatherapy is that the inhalation of essential oils stimulates the part of the brain connected to smell…the olfactory system.  A signal is then sent to the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels, hormone balance, memory and emotion.  As the limbic system governs the release of chemicals that have physiological and psychological effects, aromatherapy has therapeutic potential.

Burning essential oils is very different from burning a candle.
Essential oils are extracted from plants, are therefore one hundred percent pure and are said to preserve the life force of the plant.  By burning a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser, you are filling the atmosphere with the volatile elements of the plant which, when inhaled, generate natural feelings of physical and emotional wellbeing.
Most candles are made with fragrant oils which are a mix of natural and synthetic chemical components and which are then diluted to created a uniformity of aroma strength.

How To Use Essential Oils

in a vaporisor
put a few drops in the bottom of your shower
add to a hot bath
as an additive to natural cleaning products and as a natural room spray.
more specific uses include steam inhalation to clear a cold or a hot or cold compress to relieve inflammation or swelling

Like with most good habits, I think you have to make aromatherapy a part of your daily routine.
Add a few drops of an energising oil to your shower every morning to prepare you for your day.
Or add a few drops of a soothing oil to your bath every night to ready yourself for rest.
Use an oil to enhance relaxation meditation…you will find that you quickly begin to associate the smell with feeling calm and at ease and simply inhaling the scent will transport you to that deep state.
Put a vaporiser in your child’s room and, while you are reading to them before bed, add a relaxing scent that will lull them to sleep.

Oils For Pregnancy

Pregnancy and childbirth are natural physiological events in the life of a woman and aromatherapy acts as a complement to conventional care.
Spearmint (but NOT Peppermint): relief from nausea
+/2+/: helps induce relaxation and restful sleep

Oils For Labour

+/4+/: hormonal balancer, encourages labour and helps birthing mother relax, assists with post-natal depression

Oils For Baby

+/6+/: a gentle and soothing oil, eases tension, calms the mind, promotes restful sleep
+/7+/: a happy and optimistic oil, conveys joy, may also help with insomnia

Oils For Post Partum

Bye Baby Blues Blend
+/9+/: a natural hormone balancer, enhances relationships, creativity and sensuality, helps lift spirits
+/10+/: use if feeling inadequate or undesirable, helps post-natal depression, an aphrodisiac

Oils For Every Day

Synergies are blended oils that read more

Ta Da! Hypnobirthing Brisbane!

It seems like this has been in the works for ages!And I am finally ready to announce it here on the blog.I am a certified Hypnobirthing Australia practitioner!So what does this mean?Basically I am starting up my own hypnobirthing business teaching mothers-to-be techniques that prepare them to experience a calm and empowered birth!I have already started working with a few “practice” moms and I am loving it!  And I know they are excited about the program too!For those of you who have no idea what on earth I am talking read more