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3 ways to make peace with your birth experience

Being able to make peace with your birth experience can be really beneficial. Labour and birth is such a unique experience and we do need more honest conversations in pregnancy, as well as after birth, to talk through expectations, what went well and how new parents are feeling.

And this doesn’t have to be about birth being traumatic, it can be straightforward but still leave you feeling shocked and needing to talk it through.

I have spoken to so many women postnatally who say birth was all fine, they are fine but then talk about how different it was, how they wish they’d known something, how they might do it differently next time, how disappointed they might feel, how let down they might feel. Yes it might all be fine but it can also help to talk it through and voice what you are feeling.

– high expectations –

There can be such high expectations when it comes to birth – of doing it naturally, of waterbirth, of hypnobirthing. This can be important because belief in the birthing process goes along way BUT we are all different and it won’t be like this for everyone which is why I also talk about being better prepared for all births, not just your ideal birth. As someone who has had three different birth experiences and who has worked with parents for many years, I struggle with the idea that one type of birth is better.

I passionately encourage good, clear communication and I encourage you to talk, to ask questions, to know more of what is going on so you can be included and informed and so you can feel safe with decisions and options.

I regularly have conversations with mums about how they felt let down by the hypnobirthing course they did because they were ill-equipped for the reality of their birth experience.

And the truth is that nothing can truly prepare you for your labour and birth – it starts when it starts, it can have it’s own pace and you may feel a range of emotions. In preparation for birth, my job is to get you to think about the issues you might not have considered, to know your options and to know what helps. When your baby is here, my job is ask questions and to give you the opportunity to talk it through.


make peace with your birth experience
  1. Good birth preparation goes beyond the information – having an honest and open conversation about your expectations for labour and birth in pregnancy can make a huge difference, alongside side a foundation of knowledge and options.
  2. Talk your birth through – to have a better understanding of what happened and to focus on why it was different to your expectations.
  3. Focus on how you feel and why – my job is to encourage you to talk through the challenges, disappointments and differences you experienced so you can deal with them and to help you focus on what went well.

You can book sessions for during your pregnancy and for when your baby is here. There’s no time limit on when to have your sessions.

  • £65 for one 90-minute session or £125 for three 60-minute sessions, which can be arranged at a time to best suit you.
  • Your sessions can be in-person if you are in the Newcastle area or by video call.
  • Includes: session notes and follow-up emails.
  • Ideal for all parents.

You can just book here and message me below to arrange your sessions.

A few words about why being able to make peace with your birth matters…

I have spoken to women – and sometimes their partners – about the birth of their baby for many years. Birth is an enormous event, it can be challenging, it can be emotional and it can be very different from expectations. And it can be crucial to make sense of it, even if it was straight-forward.

Birth is personal and it can impact how women feel about themselves, about their body and their ability to parent – making time to focus on it can make a huge difference.

Some parents also want the opportunity to talk through the struggles and challenges they experienced with their newborn baby. This time can also be very emotional and it is helpful to talk it through and to make sense of it.

Please feel free to message me here with any queries.

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Working with parents since 2002

Based in the North East, I regularly work with parents from Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead and across Tyneside.

With digital courses and online video sessions I can now work with parents everywhere.

Say hello…
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Connect

If you are pregnant, if you have a baby, if you need some information, support and reassurance or you have any queries about any of my sessions or services, you can just send me a quick message below.

You can follow me on social media for more information, discussion and to be part of the conversation about pregnancy, birth and early parenting.

And you can sign up for: Notes for Parents – regular, short emails with information, inspiration & stories

With a calm and knowledgeable approach, my aim is to provide the knowledge, support and reassurance you need to be informed and confident parents.

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Janine Smith | A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting
Working with parents since 2002

Pregnancy in your words: tired

There’s something about the tiredness in pregnancy, it can be quite unlike anything else.

It can feel like a bone-filled tiredness that can make you feel like you have to drag yourself through the day.

If you can go with it, do – have that early night, have a lie-in, take that afternoon nap when you can and look after you a bit.

It can also be helpful to eat as well as you can and to drink plenty of water, so you don’t become dehydrated. You can also mention this to your midwife if you have any concerns about your energy levels.

How was your tiredness in pregnancy? How did you manage it?

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Working with parents since 2002

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induction preparation

10 essentials for Induction Preparation

Induction Preparation can make a huge difference because it means you can be more aware of what the reality of induction could mean for you, what your options may be and how you can work with your contractions.

Read through these induction preparation steps and make a note of questions so you can think about what would be useful for.

  1. It can be helpful to know more about the induction process so you know more about what to expect and what your options are.
  2. Ask questions so you have more of an understanding of what it involve.
  3. Induction can change your options so it can help to know more about this in advance so you don’t have any unexpected surprises on the day.
  4. So you are informed, comfortable and calm.
  5. Listen to your instincts and go with what you need.
  6. Induction doesn’t mean being on a bed – you can still use positions and have gravity to be as comfortable as possible and to do what feels right with your contractions.
  7. Knowing how to use your breathing means you can stay calm, be focused and work with your contractions.
  8. Your breathing can help with this as well. It helps to be as relaxed as possible with induction, so your body can produce the hormones it needs to produce effective contractions.
  9. It is important to stay hydrated, especially as hospitals can be warm.
  10. Move, wander, sit, stand, lean, use a birth ball as you need to be more comfortable.

There is a free induction workshop on my website and you can also book me for an induction preparation consultation.

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Working with parents since 2002

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Parenting in the pandemic

What is your experience of parenting in the pandemic? I would like to collate and share your honest stories of the highs and the lows – which will be totally anonymous.

I would love to know how parenting in the pandemic impacted any of these:

  • pregnancy
  • being induced
  • labour & birth
  • having a new baby
  • having a baby or toddler
  • babyloss

It has been a tough year, affecting people in so many different ways and I would like to capture your experiences – the brilliant and the challenging – to document them and remember them.

Parenting in the pandemic

Please feel free to message me your stories and you can make it as brief or as long as you like. Please be reassured that your stories are in safe hands, which is why I will keep them anonymous, so you can speak freely.

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Working with parents since 2002

Say hello…
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You can also email me: hello@janine-smith.com