My storyDiscover the who, what, why and how about Eleanor Hayes and Birthzang
Wrong! Alarm bells should have really rung when in one of the self-hypnosis sessions, I found myself peering through one open eye to see if everyone else had subconsciously lifted up their hand. I am creative and intuitive but I am a practical down-to-earth person at heart, and this self-hypnosis stuff seemed, well, a bit of an unknown quantity.
By day 3 I was exhausted, hungry (I couldn’t eat a thing in labour), and completely disillusioned. And still, I was only a few centimetres dilated. On day 4, we transferred to hospital and the drugs came out (so far I had only had a TENS machine – WTAF!!).
Gas & Air, waters broken, pitocin drip, epidural, and some forceps later, my beautiful baby boy was born – 85 hours after my labour had started (count ’em!).
To say it was traumatic was an understatement. My boy was delicious and healthy (apart from looking like he had had 3 rounds with Mike Tyson), but I was a mess – physically and emotionally. I couldn’t even THINK about that birth for months afterward without crying.
I was given a copy of ‘New Active Birth” by Janet Balaskas, the active birth pioneer and finally I found the thing I was looking for – a completely PRACTICAL and VARIED toolbox of ways to actually COPE with contractions and not just suffer them. I attend a local active birth class – twice – and went into my second birth with not only a suitcase of tools, methods, strategies, movements, and positions, but also and iron-clad mindset that I WAS GOING TO NAIL THIS FRICKING BIRTH.
And I did. I totally nailed it. I had my waters broken (baby overdue yada yada) but flatly refused (very politely of course) to have a drip. I went in with my head high. I knew EXACTLY what I was going to do. I placed my rubber pilates mat on the floor, got on the ball and I didn’t even LOOK at the bed.
I knew how to breathe. I knew how to move. I knew how to cope with each sensation of labour. I stood my ground when pressured for intervention, and asked for drugs when I need them.
It was primal, and instinctive, and my body knew EXACTLY what to do. And 6 hours later my gorgeous girl was born. It was awesome. No scratch that. It was FRICKIN AWESOME.
Yeah, sure it was painful. But it was a life-changing, life-affirming moment for me. I tapped into my inner goddess (the one who failed me in my first labour) and we rocked labour!!!
I created and evolved an incredible training programme for mums and dads that follows these 3 pillars of learning: EDUCATION, PRACTICE and MINDSET. The half-day and whole-day workshops and coaching programmes for couples provide you EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about labour and birth.
I also follow these pillars in my pregnancy yoga classes, providing a nurturing and friendly class for mums as they prepare for birth and motherhood. Then my mum & baby yoga classes provide a supportive and calm space for mums to do a bit of yoga with the babies kept entertained. Then when you just need a bit of time out, my mums’ relaxed night off restorative yoga class will help you nurture and replenish your energy and spirit.
One of the unexpected delights about Birthzang is the incredible community of mums that grew up with their babies. The regular coffee mornings, life-long friends, and loving online groups have blown my mind. The way that mums can support each other is phenomenal and you are welcome to join that community whether you come to a class or not.
I have been based in Frome, Somerset, since 2018 but Birthzang’s roots are in Reading and so classes are held in both places.
I know that you probably have questions and I am confident you will find TONS of information on this website about what I can do to help you.
If you have any questions, or concerns, want to discuss your specific situation or just want a nice chat and a coffee, please do not hesitate to get in touch. All my contact details are at the very top of the page.
As a veteran of Eleanor's pregnancy yoga, mum and baby yoga, active birth classes and reflexology I can wholeheartedly recommend her to expectant and new parents.
As well as an encyclopedic knowledge of her field she has a genuine passion for helping her clients achieve an awesome birth experience, and she also facilitates her classes in a way that drives genuine support and friendship.
Birthzang is a brilliant course, focusing on active birth principles and the huge benefits of knowing and understanding your choices and options in labour.
Eleanor's course is so informative and useful whether you are planning a home, midwife or hospital birth to help you feel more confident and empowered. It goes into way more detail about the physiology of birth, good positions and equipment to use than the NCT course does. It's also hugely beneficial for the birth partner too.
Eleanor's approach is very down to earth, knowledgable, welcoming and humorous! We really enjoyed the course and really felt that the knowledge and skills she taught played a big part in the fantastic birth experience we had with our baby boy last Summer.
It was a shame I lived too far away to join her pregnancy yoga sessions too!
Throughout my day-to-day life, I find myself using your tips and tools and all sorts of different yoga stuff...it's brill!
Learn all the skills and knowledge you need to have an awesome birth, using this tried and tested method of birth preparation.
Mum & Baby Yoga in Frome
Get a bit of much-need rest and support in this gentle yoga class for mums with your baby (it's OK we keep them entertained). Suitable from birth.