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Pregnancy Yoga & Birth to Motherhood Journey
Pregnancy is a magical time. For some of us, it’s pretty straightforward. For others, it can be full of worry. Some of us have journeyed here quite easily. For others, that journey has been one littered with disappointment and heartache.
I am here for everyone. Whatever you have experienced and however you feel about birth, I will support you.
I've had the honour of helping hundreds of women, not only confidently prepare for their baby's birth, but also prepare for motherhood. This is a journey and I am here to guide you and your baby safely through it all.
This is not your average pregnancy yoga class. You are getting something much more than that.
This is a precious moment each week to be still and focus on you and your baby and the change in your life that is coming. It’s your opportunity to form a community of other mums and find the most amazing support that is essential in your first few months with your newborn baby. You might have read that when a baby is born, so is a mother. That is true. You change, whether you are a mum for the first second or third time. I will help you navigate that change so that it’s a really positive experience.
Katie ‘I was nervous to join a pregnancy yoga class because of how unwell I’d been with vertigo but when Acacia mentioned you, the idea was that I’d get more out of it than just yoga which I did. I’ve often said to people that the books I bought were pointless because what I remembered and used throughout my labour was what you’d taught me about the different types of breathing.’
In the hour and three-quarters that you spend with me each week, you will do at least 30 minutes of yoga. You will also spend 15 minutes practising breaths for relaxation, birth and motherhood and at least 15 minutes in a guided, nurturing meditation and deep relaxation. This gives you space to connect with what’s going on with you emotionally and physically and also with your baby.
Beth ‘I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in with a group of (in my mind) wealthy straight married mums-to-be with fancy houses. I had no idea when I signed up what a huge and wonderful support Mandy and the community she's created would be.’
This isn't the standard pregnancy yoga class that you'd get from your local yoga studio. This is a healing and nurturing preparation space, where you’ll learn all that you need to to feel empowered in your birth choices, decisions and actions. Every pregnancy and birth is unique and every choice is respected here.
I know what it’s like to worry about birth and motherhood but be too busy to really stop and think about it. I worked as a lawyer during both my pregnancies and returned to this job after both my daughters were born. I have been where you are now. I know from experience that if you don’t prepare, things have a habit of coming back to bite you. If you don’t build a community during your pregnancy, you will miss out on a support network that will be absolutely vital to you as a new mum.
If you don’t identify what’s worrying you about giving birth and face it during your pregnancy, this could lead to a less positive birth experience than the one you and your baby deserve. Each week we talk about all kinds of things after our relaxation; birthing positions, mindset, what to pack, eat, what your first few days as a new parent might look like, the realities of breastfeeding. It is a safe and confidential space to share your thoughts and ask for advice - if you want to. You may prefer to relax and listen and that is really welcome too. It is completely non-judgemental.
This really is a journey.
Our journey together will give you time during your pregnancy to rest. It will prepare you for your baby’s birth - whatever that looks like. It will prepare you for motherhood - as much as you can ever be prepared. It will give you the essential nurturing community every mum needs.
Amy ‘I had done yoga before and saw it more as another exercise session and pregnancy yoga definitely isn’t it. But I really now appreciate the value of that hour or two each week. It is my escape, makes me think and prepare for birth. I really look forward to the class and it is a time I truly relax, probably the only time I relax during the week. Mandy creates a safe space to think about birth, giving each woman the tools to believe that she can and will create a beautiful birthing experience and makes what can be a daunting experience magical. Mandy is so warm and welcoming, her classes are informative yet relaxed and I know from everyone that has attended her classes she has had a huge positive impact.’
Everyone is welcome and all choices are supported. Please don’t feel that if, for example, a planned c-section is the best birth choice for you, that our time together will not be valuable. We frequently discuss c-sections and I have a gentle c-section birth plan that I can share with you.
Sally ‘My experience with Mandy for both my children has been completely priceless. First time around, it made my maternity leave and I didn't want to finish. Second time around I promised myself I'd prioritise it and make sure I joined as soon as I could.’
You might already feel that an epidural is the right thing for you to manage your baby’s birth. We talk about this and other pain relief choices too. Perhaps you’re planning a home birth. If so, we can talk about the amazing support you will get from our local Home Birth team and the practicalities we might need to consider.
If you are worried about giving birth, you will get all the support you need; from me and all the other mums. One of the most wonderful things about life is that everyone’s journey is different and we all have our experiences to share. You can add to your birth and mothering wisdom by listening to things that other mums have experienced. We talk about what it was like, how it felt and how they managed. Real stories. Positive stories.
Emma ‘I signed up to get to meet local expectant mums with the side benefit of a nice stretch. I did meet some lovely local mums and found it so helpful to have a space where you could talk about any issues and get advice or support. What really surprised me was how much I valued the yoga and stretching but mostly the breathing exercises. It gave me a toolkit of things to do during pregnancy and also in labour and has made me feel excited for the birth! Mandy’s affirmations during the rest time have really spoken to me and made me feel empowered as a pregnant woman and as a future mum.’
Adele ‘Also forgot to mention how much I love the yoga classes. I definitely felt like a rabbit in the headlights at the beginning but the weekly classes have definitely allowed me to take it all in my stride now (most of the time!)’
This is the support you receive when you join us:
- hatha yoga postures modified for pregnancy and safe for you and you baby
- strengthening postures to prepare your body for birth and motherhood
- postures to help your body to relax and open during birth
- If needed, advice on Spinning Babies techniques to ensure that your body stays balanced during your pregnancy
- postures to help alleviate pregnancy symptoms such as back ache, pelvic pain, rib pain and sciatica.
- easy to fit in day-to-day stretches that if practiced will help your body create the space your baby needs to be in the best position for birth
- pelvic floor exercises and tips for pelvic floor health
- mindful yoga at a pace that gives you headspace and an understanding of your changing body
- Proven breathing techniques
- to help reduce anxiety and aid relaxation
- to connect with your body and your baby
- to help you stay centred, focussed and calm during your baby’s birth (similar to many hypnobirthing techniques)
- to empower you to 'feel' into your baby's birth and to tune into its natural flow
- to practice with your partner so that you feel fully supported by them during your baby's birth - you receive a set of recorded breathing exercises so that your partner can also learn them
- breathing techniques to help you cope if things don't go quite as you expected
- so that you can tune into how you are really feeling, reset and steady as and when you need to - these are invaluable during your fourth trimester.
- a guided relaxation for complete rest every week
- time without any interruptions
- space for to switch off your mind and forget whatever might be worrying you
- time to be with your baby and to pay attention to your body
- positive guided meditations for birth
- meditations to boost your confidence
- essential time to rest and restore
- you automatically become part of a supportive community of other amazing mums-to-be
- you have access to me for any queries outside class time
- you are invited to meet ups outside of the class
- you have access to an exclusive Facebook Community
Vicky ‘Mandy’s classes helped me to be much more positive as I was reassured that some of the things I was worried about were normal. And just sharing experiences with others is great. It's a holistic group, you have the exercise, the support and the community. And it's all led by a fantastic lady who is very good at making everyone feel welcome. I would really recommend Mandy's classes. They offer so much more than just yoga. You will be part of a really friendly and supportive group that will help you in so many ways during your pregnancy and the period after too. The yoga exercises are great, I always feel safe doing them because I know they are specially for pregnant women, and I always feel good afterwards. Mandy herself is amazing, and has this way of just making you feel ok when you talk to her.’
Bonus Extras lifetime access to an online knowledge vault that presently contains:
- Four x 30 minute recorded yoga sequences for you to practice with me at home
- recordings of all the breathing techniques we practice for you to share with your birthing partner
- guided affirmations and relaxations to download for support during birth and recovery
- Pdfs of birthing positions, what to pack in your hospital bag, etc
- ten complete classes recorded during Lockdown; each class containing the breathing techniques, yoga and guided relaxation. One class is specifically for mums nearing the end of their due date. I call it the ‘Wiggly One’ as many mums have given birth a day or so after following this!
- access to my extensive knowledge of the maternity services and practices here in Birmingham. If I don't know the answer, I will know someone who does. I have a fantastic referral network of other amazing people in the birth world
- Know How guides on things such as what to pack in your hospital bag, support from your birth partner
- practical tips on the preparing for the fourth trimester and making those first few weeks the best they can be
- a reading list of the best books to prepare you for your best birth experience
- positive birth stories
- jammie dodger biscuits!
Sara ‘I have just completed my eight-week yoga course. It has probably been the highlight of my pregnancy experience! Mandy is a wonderful teacher who calms and reassures stressed out and busy pregnant ladies as well as delivering a varied and interesting yoga workout. Mandy is genuinely interested in our pregnancy journey and always facilitates a group conversation about pregnancy and birth before and after the class. Attending the first class was a real turning point for me in my pregnancy, it really helped me to connect to my growing bump for the first time and gave me time to stop and think about what was happening. Mandy has given me so much advice about child birth and has helped me to feel ready for what's to come, with a positive mind set. I always feel calm and serene after leaving a class. Thank you Mandy!’
This is a journey which is why I ask that you sign up for an 8-week block.
Each block costs £120. That works out as approximately £7.50 per hour that we spend together in person. As well as our face to face time together, you have ongoing support from the online resources, the Facebook and WhatsApp Groups. You can also message me directly and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can. I do ALWAYS respond to messages.
If there are less than 8-weeks left of your pregnancy, please contact me anyway and we can chat about what support you need and what I can offer. It may be possible for you to join us for less than 8-weeks. If you feel that this is something you really need but finances are an issue, also drop me a message as I do offer bursary spaces. I try my very best to include everyone.
We journey together at 7:00pm on a Monday and a Tuesday evening.
Both classes are in the Wellbeing Pod, Moseley.
There are no more than ten mums-to-be in each. By keeping our space small, you get individual care and we all get to know each other without feeling overwhelmed.
Are you looking for one-to-one support?
I offer one-to-one pregnancy, birth and postnatal support. As well as being a yoga teacher, I am a birth re-wind practitioner, women’s emotional health coach and healing birth guide. I’m also a woman and a mother. I get it. I have helped many mums through difficult pregnancies and also during their fourth trimester.
Please get in touch if you’re looking for additional support. We can have a, no obligation, confidential chat and work out, together, what would suit you best. As an estimate of cost, my hourly rate is £75 an hour, reduced when bought as a bespoke package.
Rochi‘Mandy has gone beyond the call of tutor's 'duty' by offering support and advice, enquiring after my well being, being open, being a kind and perceptive woman who understands the trials and challenges of becoming a mother.'
Louise ‘I’d like to thank you for your calming and relaxing approach, not to mention the informative chats that have certainly helped me from day one. Not only did they help me to prepare for the birth and manage expectations, they have given me the confidence and reassurance that what I’m doing and achieving on a day to day basis is all perfectly normal. Essential support for any first-time Mum.’
Details of my birth re-wind and reflection support can be found here: Birth rewind and reflection