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POSITIVE BIRTH STORY - Ashleigh & Pippa ✨

I joined Tessa’s yoga after a bit of a tough start to pregnancy, I was suffering migraines, off work, left my old gym and moved to a new town. Feeling like I needed to do something for myself, I contacted Tessa.

I really looked forward to my weekly sessions both physically and mentally; learning techniques and meeting new people was great for me.


I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at week 26. It was tough but I managed. I was advised to have an induction. Tessa reminded me everything was my choice, I looked into it and read a book she lent me “why induction matters” and feeling informed, I decided it was the best thing for me and baby.


I went in to be induced at 38+1. A date I picked with the team -21st March. Before the day they ran through everything the process entailed. I went in at 1pm and was settled in my bed, a midwife came and inserted a 24 hour pessary at 3pm. I was warned after this I may need 3 rounds of gels, but by 8pm my contractions had started. They were bearable but at midnight I asked for some paracetomol and cocodomol, which I was given.


At 7am the contractions felt much stronger. They recommended I had a bath and ran it for me. The pain totally subsided and it was lovely, but returned when I got out. I played Tessa’s yoga video she had sent me by email and did the full session 3 times. I was so calm and felt confident that I could get in various positions, despite the contractiona.


At midday the staff could see I was getting tired and suggested examining me early. They said the pessary had done it‘s job and they could take it out early. When it was out contractions carried on but they were much lighter. The staff explained the change of feeling could be because they were natural.


I was taken to the birth suite to give birth. I felt ready and in full control. I thought I’d be anxious and scared like I was in my pregnancy, but I wasn’t. I was open to anything but knew I wanted to be the one to make the decisions. I had a few hours of contractions, in which I was able to get into various positions Tessa had taught me, rather than just lying down.

Unfortunately I wasn’t progressing. It was decided I’d be going on the drip. The midwife explained this would be a lot more intense. I discussed my options and decided I wanted the epidural. She agreed and said to try leaving it another hour or so, I said no. I knew I was having it so why go through another hour of pain, my mind was made up.


I had the epidural and was able to sleep, but at 9:30pm I decided to stop pressing the pain relief button. My induction had been 33 hours so far. I was happy with my decision to have the epidural as it allowed me to rest. Feeling was returning and at 10:30pm and I told the midwife I was ready to push, she was doubtful as she said it would likely be 2am when I was ready.

I remembered everything I had been taught by Tessa and that even though it was my first labour I was in control and I knew my body. I insisted I was checked and the midwife asked her student to check. The student Steph checked me and then asked the midwife to check me too. The midwife did and then asked the student her opinion. She said I was10cm, the midwife agreed. I was so proud even with the epidural I’d known my body and I insisted despite this not being my normal nature.


I explained to the midwife I didn’t want to press the epidural any more as I hadn’t had any of it for some time. My midwife said we could wait till midnight to start pushing. By midnight I had full use of my legs, they said they would tell me when I was contracting to push but by the third push I could tell them when they were coming.

Although on my back, in the one position I didn’t want to be in, I was still able to remember all the visualisations and breathing techniques I‘d been taught. I kept tapping my chest and my jaw to remember to relax it and my boyfriend kept reminding me of relaxed, floppy face. I started to doubt myself through the pushing and said I couldn’t do it (Transition phase), but the next thing I knew Pippa was here.


Pippa was born at 1:03am and I fell head over heels in love with her. I have nothing but positive words about my induction and I would happily do it again. I believe the reason I feel so positive is because I felt in control throughout. Despite having to be medically induced I still felt like I had every choice I deserved, I was able to speak up and ask questions with confidence.


20 hours after Pippa was born she needed to go into NICU. She ended up spending a total of 21 days in there and 6 days in Manchester. It was the toughest 27 days of my life seeing her in such a way and leaving her at night. The teachings from Tessa’s yoga didn’t end after the labour. I took the teachings with me.


My partner knew I was anxious without me needing to explain and tell him each time because I’d be “doing that long breathing” (golden thread to the yogis!). There we’re various times where I asked questions and spoke up, without having a medical background, but able to hold myself with confidence due to the calming techniques pregnancy yoga taught me.


”Tessa Clemson Yoga - your yoga studio in Great Harwood, serving Hyndburn, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley & Burnley“



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