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“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change.”  ~ Marie F. Mongan

Birth. Arguably, the most natural, inspiring, amazing, emotional and life altering event we can experience as people. The Rose Diaries were created by a hypnobirthing mum simply to capture and share other beautiful births, whether you are expecting, have recently experienced a hypnobirth or simply want to read the birth stories of other mothers.

Within these pages we hope to enlighten and most importantly prove that birth does not have to be the frightening, painful and terrible experience the media likes to portray. Instead it can be a beautiful, empowering, fantastic experience that women were perfectly designed to undergo and even enjoy.

Let us prove it to you, browse the diary and be inspired

 

Can Perineal Massage Really Help with Birth?

Preparing to give birth is a big thing whether it is your first or any other number.  Your body will automatically make several changes to get ready for the birth but there are also things you can do to help the process.  One of these is called perineal massage – but what is it and what are the benefits?

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Explaining perineal massage

Perineal massage is the process of massaging the perineum, the area between the vagina and the anus.  The aim of the massage is to loosen the muscles in this area to allow the vagina to stretch and for the baby to pass through without causing tearing.

The process has been shown to help reduce the risk of requiring an episiotomy, especially in first time mums.  An episiotomy is a process where the perineum is cut to help the baby to be born due to the vagina not stretching sufficiently.  The process is only used if the midwife or obstetrician thinks it is necessary and is not a routine part of labour.  It is typically used if the baby is distressed and needs to be born quickly or if you have been pushing for a long time with no success.  It may also be used if the baby is breech or you are at risk of a serious tear without the procedure.

Preparing for massage

Perineal massage can be something done yourself with the help of a mirror or with someone else if you are comfortable with them touching you in that area.  A large mirror will help you ensure you are massaging the right area though after a few times, you will probably know by the feel of it if you are succeeding in your aim.

Some women find it is a benefit to have a bath before the massage.  This softens the skin and makes it more elastic as well as relaxing the body.  Those in the late stage of pregnancy often find the massage itself is relaxing!

One key ingredient to the massage is the use of a natural oil.  This makes the process easier and also there are benefits from the oils themselves as well as smelling pleasant.  You can use oils such as sweet almond or jojoba as well as olive or wheatgerm oil as well as natural products such as coconut butter.  Avoid anything petroleum based as they may cause irritation.

Benefits of perineal massage

In all honesty, perineal massage may not be for everyone but there are benefits to it if you can manage or can manage your partner performing it on you.  By relaxing the muscles and making the passage for your baby a little easier, you reduce the risk of having to have a painful episiotomy or that your perineum area may tear during delivery.

Experts recommend performing perineal massage until you are around 34 weeks pregnant and try to do it once or twice a week.  Don’t do it any more than this as you may lose the potential benefits.  The process shouldn’t hurt but may feel a bit uncomfortable – this is worth enduring if it can make your baby’s entrance into the world a little easier on you both!

Should Parents Take a Babymoon Before the Birth of Their Baby?

Becoming a parent is an exciting time, whether it is your first, second or fifth.  It is also a lot of work and can come to dominate your life with great rewards.  The idea of the babymoon is to have a break together, before the two years of baby-dominated chaos sets in.  At first glance, it may seem like a gimmick from travel agents to get pending parents to grab one last holiday – but are there good reasons to take a babymoon?

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Reasons to consider a babymoon

Family vacations are something that most parents look forward to, going somewhere with your kids and experiencing something different.  But there’s something unique about a child-free break that parents come to appreciate after the opportunity has passed.  That is why many couples are having a babymoon, a holiday taken before the baby comes along that allows you both a break before the busy times begin.

Having a baby also puts a lot of strain on a relationship, with the demands of the baby, of work and all those other factors leaving little time for each other.  By spending some quality time together, without kids, before the baby arrives, you enter this busy time with a strong bond and good memories to work with.

Of course, the relaxation factor is another huge reason to take a babymoon.  With all the preparations and the physical stress of carrying a baby, both of you are likely tired.  If you have other kids, this is even more the case.  So, a dedicated holiday where you relax and release all that stress acts as a kind of refresher for the good chaos to come.

Where to go?

For a lot of people, a beach holiday is the perfect babymoon.  Relaxing on the sands, swimming in the pool or the sea, enjoying good food without needing to travel far, all of these factors point towards this kind of holiday.  The buoyancy of the sea is a very therapeutic thing for pregnant ladies so this is another reason to vote for the beach.

However, where you go doesn’t matter too much.  What you should do is check out the availability of medical care in your desired location.  While you wouldn’t travel if you thought there was a problem, it never hurts to make sure help is on hand if you did need it.

Comfort is another factor in your choice.  For example, some pregnant ladies find high temperatures don’t agree with them so consider the temperature of the location when you make your choice.  Or you may be finding that eating is tricky so what kind of food is going to be on offer?  With all the medical advice, this can be a minefield to start with and if your body is making things more complicated then choosing somewhere that has a good range of simple, well-made meals is crucial.

Conclusion

Getting away from it all before the big baby day is an idea many parents are adopting.  It creates a break between the time before and the time of the new baby and allows the two of you to spend some time together, as well as away from all the well-meaning advice of others.

UK Dads : First Time Fathers Fears

 

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We talk a lot about mums and how they feel during pregnancy but what about the Dad-to-Be. There isn’t a huge amount of information about how Dad’s feel so we were really interested to learn that Natural Baby Shower recently conducted a study into new and expectant first time dads in the UK and what their biggest thoughts and fears are.

They surveyed 1000 expectant and new dads from around the UK asking 4 questions:

How they feel before the birth.

What they worry about the most.

What they expect to miss the most.

How they intend to prepare for their baby’s arrival.

The findings are interesting …….

dad-infographic-6 dad-infographic-5 dad-infographic-4 dad-infographic-3 dad-infographic-2 dad-infographic-1Let’s hope that every expectant Dad finds The Rose Diaries and helps his partner to feel empowered and prepared too.

 

If you want more handy information like this, have a look at the Natural Baby Showers New Dads Survival Guide

 

How to Empower Yourself During Pregnancy

Your body is incredible. Here you are, growing another person inside you, and the third trimester of pregnancy is when it all comes together. Even in utero, babies have a routine which you will learn to recognise as they wriggle and kick, letting you know that they are not ready to go to sleep just because you’re tired, or that they didn’t appreciate your spicy dinner! Feeling them move will strengthen the emotional mother/baby connection. It’s a precious time no one else can share.

It is natural to feel tired as you progress through the last stage of pregnancy but instead of letting that feeling take over, here is how you can empower yourself for a positive birth experience.

Knowledge is Power

The more you know, the more informed your choices will be, which can only mean a better outcome for you and your baby. If you are considering a home birth, talk to your midwife about preparing for this and have a solid plan B in case you are not at home when you go into labour, or your birth requires medical assistance. Investigate the hospitals and birthing centres near you and arrange visits so you can see the facilities and meet the staff in person.

Enjoy Your Pregnancy

To paraphrase a cliche, pregnancy is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. As well as preparing for your new arrival, take the time to appreciate how fantastic the last phase of your pregnancy is. Enjoy the sensation of being voluptuously fertile, embrace the changes in your body and celebrate its power. Be mindful in your actions – take the time to appreciate and wonder at the somersaulting sensation of your baby turning around, luxuriate in the sheer pleasure of resting your tired feet, and love the glow your skin has thanks to increased blood flow.

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Prepare Your Body

If you’ve never given birth before you may be surprised at how physical giving birth is, requiring massive amounts of strength and endurance. Staying active with gentle exercise like walking and swimming during your pregnancy is hugely beneficial, as are antenatal yoga and meditation classes. Raspberry leaf tea is believed to help strengthen uterine walls, and it is also packed with vitamins and minerals like calcium and potassium.

Instead of counting down the days of your last trimester, make every day count. The days will fly by and, before you know it, you’ll be holding your adorable bundle in your arms.