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Parents Information - Babies, our little miracles.

23-Mar-2011

Babies, our little miracles.

 

By Sue Ricks

Here are twelve top tips from Sue Ricks on some practical things you can do in pregnancy and with your miracle baby, Sue is the author of ‘The Gentle Touch ™ Reflexology for Babies and Children’ and has been working with Mums and Babies for over 25 years. She also teaches in schools, clinics and hospitals in the UK, USA and other locations around the world

 1)  Heart to Heart.

Our hearts are fed by the energy of love – so take time to feed your baby’s heart with love. You can do this by thinking about what you love around you. What you love about your baby. What you love about your partner. Anything about love, as it is all good for your baby.

When you are pregnant an extra meridian opens up between your heart and your baby’s heart – they feel whatever you are feeling.  It is like having a direct line to each other, so why not use it to chat to them!

2)  Oxcytocin – The Love Hormone

Any time that you feel love – i.e. appreciation of something or someone, you get a small burst of oxcytocin – the love hormone.  If you have ever experienced love and felt feelings of love then you have had a head start towards the process of labour as your body has had a practise at releasing the love “chemical” oxcytocin. This invaluable hormone is what causes the contractions in labour, therefore the more you have loved and felt love the easier it is to release the natural process hormones of labour. Decide to focus on all kinds of things that you love and that is excellent for you; it is also superb for your baby too.

 3)  Position – Getting Comfortable

As your baby grows and starts to take up increasing amounts of your internal space it can be very helpful to both you and your baby to spend time on all fours! (Only do this is you know that you can get up again!) When you are in this position it is possibly the only time when your baby has room to move, wriggle about, and change position and get in place (head engaged). Rock yourself backwards and forwards on all fours. Also the motion of rocking crossways –like when people scrubbed the floors – encourages natural developmental reflexes.

Letting your partner feel involved is great for some Mums and not so good for others! If they (partner) want to be involved, it is possible to straddle your partner on all fours and let their tummy take the weight of your baby – that is the closest they will be to carrying their baby! They can feel the weight of the baby, feel skin contact as they move and have the closest contact possible.

 4)  Managing labour?

The natural process is exactly that – a natural process. It does not have to be managed (how can you manage a natural process?).  The word managed came into being with the intervention of men into the medical world of midwifery and yet for millennia it was women who accompanied women through the process of birth.  MANaged?

 Women  find it easier to give birth when they are relaxed and can “stay in their own space”  i.e. they have the least amount of information to process as they have a loving bond with their birth partner who only passes on the information  required.  The best place to be during labour is “in touch with yourself” and following your bodies instincts, (remember that even during coma a woman’s body can still go through the natural process of labour as it knows what to do and does not need our brains to be informed, questioned or activated.  A quiet and relaxing space is the best place to give birth. 

 5)  Baby /”Bump” talk

When the mother is able to ‘go inside’ and be totally in the process of labour, the outcome is likely to be more harmonious. Any questions, checks, talk etc may distract her and cause her to ‘come out’ of her internal world to listen.

In many cases it is just Mum and baby (even when Dad is present). Remember your baby can hear you and feels your emotions, so talk to your baby. Reassure your baby; tell them that you cannot wait to see them. Tell them that every contraction makes it nearer to the time when you will see them, “nearly there, this one gets me nearer to holding you.”

 6)  Eye to Eye Contact

Do everything possible to ensure that you (Mom) spend quality, calm time making real eye contact with your baby as soon as he/she is born. This is the time when you really “bond”. This time is essential for both of you for your future emotional health.  If you have to be separated from your baby for a short while, ensure that you maximise as many minutes as possible around the time of birth and within the few minutes / hours of birth.  Eye to eye is where your baby makes contact with you and you see the “soul” of your baby.  It is very reassuring to your baby to make contact with you and wonderful (full of wonder) for you to connect with your new baby.  Studies have shown that the benefits of this eye contact form Mom) has a lifelong impact to your baby’s future emotional and mental health.

 7)  A Man’s Job

It is very challenging situation for any man to accompany his partner during labour.  A man naturally likes to “fix things” and this is one time when they cannot. They also wish to protect their women but this is a time when they cannot protect you from the experience of labour.  It is therefore essential that men have specific things to do.  They need things to do – jobs that they can pre plan, rehearse and know they can do. It can be frightening as the man does not have to do the work but does have to cope with the intense emotions!  They need a few pre planned actions that have been agreed by both of you i.e.

1)   rub my back

2)   rub my feet

3)   remind me to talk to our baby

Sometimes it is the little things that make the most difference later. Like pre-planning what t-shirt or shirt you both like. So when the time comes and you are maybe holding onto him you like the feeling of his shirt or maybe you are pleased with what he is wearing for the photos of your new born first few moments.

 8)  Key words

Two key words to remember during labour

1)    Slow

2)   Relax!

‘Slow’ is important as it is good to take things slowly if possible and practise slow decisions, slow talking and slow movement so that your energy is conserved until it’s really time to go and push.

The word ‘Relax’ is obvious and yet if said in a calming and encouraging way can be helpful. It’s common to find that if someone commands you to relax, you do the exact opposite! Therefore a few practice moments in how to say the word ‘Relax’ can be helpful, unless the word seems totally inappropriate anyway. Use your own common sense to decide!

 9)  Note cards

When you know what is important to you, it is helpful to all if you write it down. Write a note so that everyone who helps to take care of you and your baby knows what is important to you. It may not be important to them or be their usual practice, but if you do not say what is important to you, they may not know what you really want. You may also forget key points too. This is different than doing a birth plan – it is really a form of reminder notes for you.

 10) Breast feeding – some thoughts about the benefits
  • On hand all the time
  • No pre preparation or sterilising
  • Anywhere – you can be discreet. There were numerous times when I fed and no one knew (once a man stood over me asking to go and see something and had no idea – even when I was telling him I was feeding).
  • Breast milk is the right temperature all the time (no need to use the nasty microwave that annihilates all energy). Never use microwave to reheat breast milk.
  • Colostrum tastes different to foremilk, and foremilk has a different taste to hind milk.  Whatever you have been eating affects the taste of your breast milk whereas formula milk tastes the same all the time! Help your baby develop a sense of taste and choice!  It helps them to know that there are differences and subtleties to be aware of.
  • Babies know what to do – let them teach you – they are pre-programmed and can often help you (not the other way around!)
 11)  Your baby – the teacher in so many ways

Your baby is your teacher! You can learn so much from the way that your baby views the world.  Your baby and child knows more about so much of the natural world as it is closer to its creation.  It is closer to creation and all the magical qualities of new life and creation. We, as adults, have spent time in getting serious and are more aware of the physical world and yet when you notice the look of wonder in a child’s eyes we can realise that we may have forgotten the awe and wonder in the simplest of things. It pays to notice what a child notices. It’s also great to listen to what they say as sometimes they can be wise as they grow up from tiny babies into chattering toddlers.

 12) Harmful Chemicals

There are far too many seriously dangerous chemicals in everyday household and personal care items.  Avoid the long list that is available, especially Propylene Glycol and Sodium Laurel Sulphate.  There are some great alternatives available including Neals Yard. Many of the most commonly known products and brands are listed by Doctor Samuel Epstein as being potentially harmful.  The effects for some of these harmful products are known to contribute to poor health including poor skin and poor hair, may affect your baby’s eyes.

 Reflexology for Both Parents and Babies 

The benefits to all are great.  Everyone gets to feel more relaxed, calm and healthier.  Gentle Touch™ Reflexology (www.g-t-r.org) is soft, soothing, light and yet has a powerful effect.  The babies love the treatments and kick their feet out for more!  They often become quite “dreamy” as they gaze into the distance and enjoy the sensations.

Mothers and Fathers gain so much from having treatments. They may find it helps to be calmer, more confident, and being assisted towards the best of health possible. Mum gets the opportunity to remain calm and confident. Overall it helps with bonding between the baby and its happy and rested parents. Babies can be assisted with the most common conditions such as colic, constipation, general crying, teething pain and vomiting / positing, reflux.  It is also great to combat anxiety, depression, ADD/ADHD, ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), concentration/ processing.

We offer training on our courses to parents, reflexologists and other health professionals where we explain the essentials plus the little things that can go a long way to creating happier and calmer homes. For more information on our courses to become skilled baby and child reflexologists and / or instructors please see www.suericks.com

As the Mum of two great boys, I have gained so much from them and seen how effective these methods, systems and treatments can be. My children have taught me so much in and about life. They are now grown up and I still learn immense amounts form them and my two gorgeous grandsons too. See the world through their eyes and listening to what they have to say is one of my greatest joys.

For more information on courses, treatments and further information, articles, charts, books and DVD’s then visit our website at www.suericks.com

 Sue Ricks

Author of books and DVD - The Gentle Touch of Reflexology for Babies and Children

Sue Ricks School of Complementary Therapies

 

email : suericks@suericks.com

www.suericks.com

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