Hello Julie

Imogen Hilton McDonald arrived at 7.44 on Saturday morning, just in time for me to have come to pregnancy yoga! In all honesty I think I would have been physically up to it - I feel great! I had two sweeps in week 40 and at the second I was already 4cm. I was told I had a very favourable cervix! I just needed the my hormones to get those contractions started. My waters broke at 7pm on Friday but still no contractions. The home birth midwife came out and sent me to QEH triage as she was concerned about the baby's heart rate being high. I had a trace done and all was fine - the baby was probably just vigorously getting into position. The hospital didn't think my waters had broken so I went home feeling relieved but a little foolish. At about 4.30am contractions started and the same midwife returned. I spent about an hour rocking on the ball and concentrating on my breathing through each con-traction. I then just tried walking around in circles and swaying my hips until it got too much and I went onto my hands and knees. My main waters exploded! The night before it had probably been my hind waters. The urge to push was intense and I started to take gas and air. The mid-wife was encouraging me to try to keep things slow as she tried to get the second midwife to at-tend my babies delivery. But things just progressed anyway and she was born 9 minutes after the onset of the second stage. Her head flew out and it was quite an amazing contrast to Ava who had been stuck for so long at second stage. At that point I just relaxed and everything else followed easily. She cried straight way and came immediately to me for a feed - it was wonderful. She weighed in at 9lbs 2oz and was not at all crumpled like Ava had been as she had flown out so easily. I am completely fine and was up and about immediately - I couldn't have been happier. The midwife who came to do the newborn checks was the lady who delivered Ava! As for the home birth - I totally understand why it isn't for most people but for anyone considering it I can't recommend it highly enough. Getting the dedicated midwife support and then being able to use your own bathroom, sit in the sunshine with your new family afterwards and eat your own food is totally fabulous! It's to the same extent that I endorse your classes. They really helped me to enjoy my pregnancy and prepare me to be calm and confident about birth. I wish all the ladies lots of luck. Thank you so much for your great classes and your support



Quote from Andy Shelly husband of Helena who both attended a Birthing workshop with Partners.

'Of all the things that we did in the run up to the birth, including numerous NCT classes, I found the birthing workshop the most useful. I have to admit I approached the idea of a yoga workshop with slight scepticism and it wasn't until Helena went into labour that I realised how useful the session was. It gave me clear direction and understanding of what my role was during the birth which really helped me feel part of the process. I guess more importantly, so I'm told, the support really helped Helena! The hand out was amazing. From a guy who has never been near a yoga mat in his life I would thoroughly recommend it to all dads to be'


'As I said Julie, we both went into Labour calm collected and kind of knowing what to do when! Andrew was with me every step of the way, reminding me to breath and keep relaxed as well as keeping me hydrated and keeping me moving. I have told absolutely everybody about the session with my labour story. Couldn't recommend it enough as well as the pregnancy classes!'



Hi Julie,

Having a private birthing class with Julie was certainly the best thing we did in preparation for the birth of our baby. Julie is a radiant person, incredibly sensitive and wonderful at making you feel at complete ease. She takes you through the different phases of labour with plenty of suggestions on breathing and relaxation techniques. She also demonstrates and has you try out different positions to adopt, tailoring them to the characteristics and furnishing of your home. She fills you with sound and practical as well as emotional advice. It was great for both of us, but particularly important to William, as he was very keen to learn ways to be supportive. After this class he felt much better prepared to be a good birthing partner. We both gained great confi-dence and started thinking of the birth of our baby as a joyful and exciting event for the two of us to experience as a couple.



Dear Julie,

Our baby girl, Florence, was born quickly and smoothly on Tuesday night, thanks in great part to your yoga classes and the workshop Howard and I came to on Saturday. ............ Sorry for the lengthy email. It's nice for me to re-live the whole experience in writing, but I also wanted to add details that might be useful for you for future classes. Howard and I firmly believe that your classes and workshop saw us through the whole experience in a calm and controlled way and I am so happy that we didn't have to go into hospital even though we were booked in. Having had a smooth hospital birth experience previously I thought I'd had the best that was on offer, but this was something else. Howard admits that he was sceptical before your workshop, particularly about 'breathing the baby out' (I must admit it did sound too good to be true, but now I know better), but he is now a convert and joins me in thanking you so much for filling us with the confidence and knowledge to get through this in the most natural way possible. Best wishes for the future.



“I have been meaning to email you for a very long time to thank you very much, not only for the pregnancy yoga classes but also the active birthing workshop that my husband and I attended. The practical techniques learned from the workshop got me through a rather taxing 48 hour labour. Not only was I very well prepared for what was going to happen practically but attending the workshop meant that my husband Chris felt empowered to be a fantastically active, positive and useful birthing partner. While the birth of our son wasn't as swift and painless as I had been hoping it was still very peaceful and I felt totally able to cope throughout. Being two weeks and two days overdue meant the hospital wanted to monitor the baby throughout labour however your workshop made me understand the importance of being active in labour and using the positive positions you showed us. I was able to explain my wishes to the midwives and Chris also understood the importance of me not labouring on my back which helped us so much. In short I will always be grateful to you for helping me to enjoy the full spectrum of sensations and emotions my labour brought without fear or trepidation.”



‘I practised ante and post-natal yoga with Julie throughout my pregnancy and the first year of my daughter’s life. Through our practice I learned to be completely in control of my body and breath and with this power, was able to deliver my daughter without any medical intervention or pain relief, just as I had hoped, but never thought possible, to do. Julie’s lessons were the ultimate calm in an otherwise frenetic pregnancy - taking time out of my working schedule to be one-to-one with Julie, was time concentrating on my unborn baby and enjoying her presence inside me. Julie’s calm voice and subtle yet strong practice was invaluable and wonderfully enjoyable. In my previous pregnancy I had suffered back problems and was actually unable to lift my first baby for the first 6 weeks of her life, so the strength that the yoga practice gave me meant I had no back problems at all during my second pregnancy, or during and after the birth of my second child. The physical and mental strength that Julie’s yoga teaching gave me were a fantastic support to an otherwise extraordinary (and exhausting!) time in my life. Julie is not only a great teacher, but has since become a great friend and support. I couldn't recommend her highly enough.’



’Great class - wonderful info, thank you so much for all your help. Amazing, amazing teacher.’



’I look forward to each session and sleep fantastic on Thursday’s! It makes me feel like I will cope better with labour as I’m getting to grips with the breathing techniques well now. Julie is a calming and sensitive person which are great qualities for a yoga teacher to have. Very approachable and positive too! I’ve enjoyed every minute so far.’



‘Julie’s classes have done so much for me. They’re disciplined and the breath work is wonderful! They have helped to give me a quiet space inside myself separate from personal problems and feelings of stress. I can’t recommend them enough.’



’I’m finding the sessions really help me relax and take some time-out for myself and baby.

Hearing that others are having similar symptoms at the beginning of the sessions is also reassuring. Thank you!’