Baby Clinic | Birth Kit | Inductions | Mum and Baby Massage and Yoga | Dad and Baby Massage and Yoga | Prenatal Pilates | Postnatal Pilates with (or without) Baby | Antenatal Yoga | Postnatal Yoga with (or without) baby
On Mondays, 12:30 – 1.30pm, Health Works invites you to our free ante-natal/post-natal advice clinics. We have homeopaths providing homeopathic information on pregnancy health issues; pain relief during labour; post-natal problems including breastfeeding and depression; newborn babycare including colic, fevers, rashes, teething; general childhood ailments and diseases.
We have a wide variety of complementary therapies that are ideally suited to pregnant women and their babies. Included are acupuncture, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, osteopathy, reflexology and a wide range of massage therapies. We also carry out safe, natural methods of induction. The Baby clinics are a drop-in advice service for pregnant women and their partners and for parents with babies.
Please call reception in morning to check the baby clinic is running.
Health Works has several experienced practitioners that can carry out natural inductions if your labour has not started on time. A chemical induction at the hospital has a much higher chance of ending with medical intervention, eg, forceps, ventouse or even Caesarian. A hospital induction increases your likelihood of needing drugs and possibly taking away your ideal image of how you wanted your labour to be.
Give your labour a better start with one of the following options – acupuncture, homeopathy or reflexology. These are available 6 days a week, ring reception to book. We strongly advise that you start thinking about a natural induction as soon as you reach 40 weeks as the doctors may not let you go too long after your due date.
Jo runs unique classes which are a lovely combination of Baby Massage, Baby Yoga and Postnatal Stretches for mothers. Baby Massage and Baby Yoga is a wonderful ways to bond with your baby plus give physical and emotional benefits for both of you. Babies are calmer and sleep better and are generally more supple and stronger after these classes. They increase their co-ordination abilities and their nervous system is developed. She also teach a colic routine that is ideal to help babies with digestive problems.
The benefits for mums are the increased confidence in handling their babies plus more awareness of how to soothe an upset baby. They also get to do some gentle post natal yoga-type stretches plus make friends with the other mums.
Classes are limited to 11 mums. They are held in the back room at the Rose and Crown pub on Hoe Street. They are on Thursdays and Fridays at the following times:-
There is an optional shared group lunch at midday and 1.30 when the landlord makes jacket potatoes and salad. Some mums bring their own sandwiches or a takeaway from one of the lovely local cafes. Jo recommends Indulgence, Aura Rosa or Le Delice. At 3pm they finish the day with tea and cake! Mums are welcome to join whichever meal is convenient to them.
Once a month on a Sunday Jo does a dad’s class which has all the fun and therapeutic benefits of the above classes. Why should mums have all the fun?! Email Jo via the clinic for more details.
Many pregnant women find Pilates a great exercise to do because it builds core stability and strength. Musculoskeletal pain in the pelvic and lower back area is common during pregnancy, however if your abdominals, back, and pelvic floor muscles are toned, they will help you to have a more comfortable pregnancy and birth. Pregnant women who regularly exercise their core muscles can expect to experience shorter labours and reduced lower back and pelvic pain.
In our classes the Pilates exercises will be modified as your body and abilities change because the routines are specifically designed to help your body respond to a developing pregnancy. Attending regular classes throughout pregnancy helps and speeds up the process of getting your body back in shape after childbirth.
The classes are completely safe for mother and baby and have a maximum of 4 pregnant women in each group so your teacher can make sure you receive plenty of individual attention.
Prenatal Pilates classes are a great workout from the first trimester through to full term. You will need an induction class before you start so that the teacher can assess you and your individual needs.
“I would highly recommended these classes as I have found that they not only work but are really enjoyable and fun too.” Lyndsey Jackson.
Postnatal Pilates classes work on regaining the core strength and stability of the deep muscles around the pelvis and abdominals. The Pilates principles of breath, concentration and centring also help relieve stress and the build up of tension in the neck and shoulders. Many women find the exercises really help in getting rid of the aches and pains of new motherhood. Incorporating the baby occasionally into the class helps take the safe practices into everyday life, speeding up recovery and returning to pre-pregnancy physique.
Yoga can help women get through their pregnancy with minimal discomfort and is a great way to prepare for the birth. Antenatal yoga plays a very important role in pregnancy. Their bodies are more flexible, this in turn enables them to adapt to various positions when in labour. Their ligaments become more elastic, which in turn can help to reduce labour pain.
Yoga also helps to boost circulation and may help with fluid retention, a common late stage pregnancy problem. The stretching exercises relieve aches and pains including back problems as you are taught correct posture. The relaxation exercises are very balancing and calming and therefore the women appear healthier, both in mind and body.
Health Works classes have 4 – 5 women in each class so you get lots of individualised attention. That attention to detail can make all the difference when you are trying to focus on relieving a specific problem.
Postnatal yoga can be started about 6 – 8 weeks after the birth, strengthens abdominal muscles and your pelvic floor. It also helps you to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape faster. In post natal yoga classes mums will be practising breathing, yoga and relaxation techniques to: strengthen and tone abdomens; realign spines; strengthen pelvic muscles; maintain good posture; practice meditation to achieve calmness; learn about different breathing exercises and how these can affect energy levels
Take time to build up your confidence and enjoy this amazing new stage in your life. If you have previously practised yoga then by the end of the first 6 – 8 weeks you should be able to return to your yoga practice provided it was a straightforward vaginal delivery. For those who had a caesarean birth you should not start before ten weeks. If you have any doubt at all consult with your GP or health professional.
Many women have benefited from natural labours using aromatherapy massage oils and/or homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that has no side effects and is completely safe. They do not harm the baby and can be used at any stage of labour.
The remedies work extremely quickly and effectively in labour. For example a labour attended recently seemed to have been going on for 2 days with the woman on all fours unable to move. She was exhausted, chilly and miserable.After giving Kali Carb, within a few minutes she was up and moving around,warmer, more cheerful and better able to cope. She continued to use remedies throughout the labour and was successfully delivered of a baby boy. A little preparation and study of a homeopathic birthing kit can facilitate a positive labour where the mother and birth partner can feel more in control.
The following 14 remedies are ideal in labour and it would be worth buying a THW (The Health Works) kit so as to be well prepared.
Often used for panic attacks, Aconite is needed when the mother is anxious, restless and fearful. She is convinced she and/or the baby will die. It can be used for a quick violent labour, which can have a shocking effect on mother and/or baby. It can also be used in newborns when they are immobilized with shock – the remedy can be held inside the baby’s lower lip for a few seconds and then removed.
Homeopathy’s most famous remedy – used for trauma and bruising. It is always prescribed after birth to promote healing – women recover incredibly quickly with Arnica. It is also useful in cases of haemorrhaging during or after labour.
This is known as the “arnica of the soft tissues”. It is used for healing trauma and bruising to soft tissue areas like the womb, abdomen and perineum. These are all areas affected by the labour process so this remedy is used after giving birth especially when there has been a caesarean, forceps, episiotomy or tearing.
The number one remedy for healing pus and wounds, eg tears, episiotomies, caesareans. Use in pill form taken internally; tincture form and diluted in water or a cream applied directly to the wound instead of anti-septic. Use calendula or chamomile cream on the baby’s bottom as a nappy change cream instead of the usual ones containing heavy metals and suppressive ingredients.
The indications for this remedy are oxygen starvation of either the mother or the baby – they will be cold, limp, blue or pale looking. It is used in foetal distress cases by giving it to the mother, it will then cross the placenta quickly to reduce risk of asphyxia to the baby. It is also good for painful trapped wind after labour, particularly a caesarean.
A great remedy for inducing labour if you are overdue. Also sometimes women in labour experience ineffective contractions that stop/start, or the cervix fails to dilate. In this situation Caulophyllum can establish strong productive contractions.
Many people associate this remedy just with teething and colic – however, it is excellent for a bad-tempered, argumentative labouring woman who finds the pains so unbearable she wants to die.
This is known as the “arnica of the nerves” and is for healing damaged nerves after caesarians, episiotomies and epidurals. It also helps with the pain felt in the nerve rich areas that have experienced trauma during labour.
Used for backache labours where the baby is in posterior presentation and most of the pain is felt in the back and thighs. This can be relieved by firm massage on the lower back. The mother is chilly after each contraction, irritable but needs you to be there for her.
An excellent remedy for exhaustion for both mother and birth partner. It can be crushed and dissolved in a bottle of mineral water and sipped at intervals.
This is essential for post-labour, for cracked, painful nipples. It has averted many a case of mastitis if taken in time – the early symptoms being fever, blocked milk ducts, swollen red lumps on the breast, occasional flu-like symptoms. Don’t stop feeding, ring the N.C.T. breast feeding counsellor and a homeopath.
Needed when the mother gets weepy and clingy and seems generally helpless and childlike. She can’t bear stuffy rooms and wants lots of fresh air and sympathy. This remedy can be used successfully between 33 and 38 weeks to turn a breech baby naturally and painlessly. It is entirely safe. Pulsatilla is also excellent for the baby blues – that period a few days after labour when every little thing produces tears from the highly hormonal/ emotional new mother. If she then goes on to become post-natally depressed, a THW homeopath can give her a course of specialised treatment involving constitutional and hormonal balancing remedies.
Tends to be routinely used after the labour to help expel the placenta. If the woman decides to have Syntometrine then Secale can be used to antidote the injection immediately afterwards.
A great remedy for severe pains that cause a dragging heavy sensation in the pelvis. The woman is irritable, snappish and weepy. Pulsatilla and Sepia are often used during pregnancy for all sorts of reasons – anxiety, piles, weepiness, morning sickness etc. A qualified THW homeopath would be able to choose the best remedies for your condition.
The following prescription is usually recommended after labour:
Hypericum 200c morning
Calendula 200c lunch time
Bellis Perennis 200c p.m.
Arnica 200c night
Take the above for a week or so after delivery until more or less recovered. Lastly, some women can feel traumatised by a birth with lots of medical treatment including painful internals, catheters etc. Staphisagria can help them to get over the anger, resentment and humiliation that can haunt a woman after such an experience. This is best prescribed by a qualified THW homeopath.
During labour the above 14 remedies can be given in single doses. If the correct remedy has been selected you should see an improvement within 5/10 minutes. If the symptoms start to relapse then repeat the remedy as often as needed. If the symptoms change then choose another remedy.
You can buy a ready made kit from The Health Works for £25. Homeopaths at THW can arrange an individual appointment for you and your birth partner to explain how to use the kit in more detail.
They can also provide a special pregnancy programme of homeopathic tissue salts that provide cellular nutrition for you and the baby during pregnancy.
After the birth, both you and the baby can benefit from constitutional homeopathic treatment. Your THW homeopath can give you advice about natural approaches to parenting and childhood ailments in general.