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POSITIVE BIRTH STORY - Alison & Felix ✨

This was my second pregnancy. I went to Pilates classes in my first and, whilst it made my body feel strong and prepared and my daughter arrived safely with a natural birth, I didn’t know any breathing techniques or postures to help with pain relief and ended up using my voice, not the most peaceful experience for everybody!


I knew I wanted to try yoga this time round. The classes also gave me a protected hour where I could think about meeting baby no2 without the distraction of a toddler!


I loved the classes, they relieved aches and pains and I started to feel hopeful about the type of labour I would have. I even did yoga in the bath as Tessa recommended and it was bliss!!


At 38 weeks +4 days I started to feel waves of hip pain mid-afternoon. I went for a bath but the pain felt different to the usual aches so I quickly got out and started making arrangements for my parents to collect my daughter. My first labour had been quick so I wasn’t waiting around. I called Burnley and they booked me in for later that evening.


Unfortunately my hopes of a water birth in the birth centre had to be put aside as both centres were closed due to Covid/staffing issues. At that point it didn’t feel like it mattered, I was in full yoga mode and managing well, swaying through the contractions leaning on on the edge of the sofa (whilst my daughter played her recorder in my ear!).


My waters broke early evening and I decided we should go straight to Burnley given the speed of my previous labour. As with my first, I used a TENS machine to manage my contractions in the car whilst I couldn’t move around. This time I also had breathing techniques and I felt calm even as we drove through the scenes of Burnley on a Friday night…!


Once at the Birth Suite my contractions had ramped up but I was still managing ok, holding onto the window sill swaying and breathing. In yoga Tessa had given examples of visualisations and I had practised visualising moon phases from crescent to full moon (my daughter loves the moon so it made me think of her and happy times ahead with her new sibling) and I focused on doing this for each breath.


My birth plan was for minimal interruptions/examinations as long as everything was looking well. However, on arrival in hospital I was hooked up to the CTG monitor. In hindsight I didn’t need to consent to this as my labour was going well. It meant I was attached to the monitor on the bed. Instantly the contractions became unbearable.

There were then concerns about our baby’s heartbeat (I believe because I was wriggling so much in agony trying to find a better position!) so two doctors joined us in the room. For a moment I couldn’t believe how my well managed labour was derailing before my eyes.

I was found to be 3cm dilated.


I managed to get into table position on the bed which helped me manage the contractions better. The CTG was switched for a scalp monitor with my consent and all was found to be well with our baby’s heartbeat. I felt an urge to push. The scalp monitor gave me the option to move around more freely so as soon as I could I jumped right off the bed! It felt like I was back in control again.


I could really feel my baby’s head moving downwards (I was never as tuned into my daughter’s birth in this way). I stood and held onto my husband’s hands in a squat position, swaying (reminding me of a position Tessa had described with the woman holding onto fabric).


I heard the doctor tell me I’d need delivery by ventouse if it wasn’t quick. I had the confidence to block her out 100% knowing I was going to do it myself no problem. I kept breathing, no screaming whatsoever this time(!) and my baby boy Felix came safely and soundly at 9.30pm. I took him up through my legs into my arms feeling so elated and gave him the biggest cuddle! Another speedy labour but no vaginal tears or trauma, I believe because I could control the contractions and pushes with mind and body.


The midwife commented that the doctors probably hadn’t seen a birth like it for a while. I’m glad they did! And I hope they recognised how the yoga techniques I had used and confidence I had in my body allowed my labour to progress naturally.


I had an intervention free birth with a straightforward physical recovery ahead of me. It could have been very different if I’d have stayed on the bed at 3cm dilated and labour had not progressed as quickly as a result.


I can’t thank Tessa enough 😊



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Anyone free for filming tomorrow please?

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