We meet monthly, 6.30 - 8.30pm
at Eastern Yoga, 46 Greenbank Road, BS5 6EY, Bristol
FREE | we welcome donation towards room costs: £1-2 pp
"The Bristol Positive Birth Group was the most fascinating, supportive & informative part of my prenatal experience... a forum for intelligent, informed, in-depth and open discussion about all aspects of pregnancy and birth. ...It was such a warm, friendly environment and really helped us to decide how we wanted to shape our prenatal journey and plan for the birth that was right for us. Really felt a lot of gratitude towards the circle of people we met through the positive birth group meet ups and for everything they shared with us". Kathryn
"I found the Positive Birth group most useful and informative. There was a whole wealth of knowledge and experiences shared from mothers to doulas. It was wonderful to hear the new mums birth stories and discuss different topics each month. Every session was full of positive and empowering stories and information that doesn't tend to get covered in other groups. The sessions offer so much more than any Anti natal or NCT classes. It was a lovely support network and I am still in touch with and meet up with some of the others I met or went to the sessions with."
"...For its facillitation work at the frontline of social politics (the pregnant female body); for its uncompromising, non-partisan support, encouragement, and nurturing of dialogue-driven knowledge - both scientific and experiential - I herald the positive birth group as the brightest, most radical organisation active in Bristol today.
The safe space of facillitation that Marinella and Thando welcome the general public into is remarkable given the depth of personal stories and potential anxieties present. The sharing of learned, professional, personal and experiential stories, and the dialogue around methods, traditions and protocols has depth, warmth, and honesty.
My partner gave birth to our child at home 3 months ago. During our pregancy, our hearts and minds were both challenged and nourished by your monthly positive birth group.
Thankyou SO Much x" Ali
"The Positive Birth Group was informative, empowering and provide a safe space to express fears and concerns around birth. Thando and Marinella create a warm and supportive atmosphere, and it was a deep honour to share our birth story with the group after our son was born. The Positive Birth group played a vital role in our journey into parenthood". Adam
Positive Birth Movement BRISTOL
This wonderful monthly group is part of the big global grass roots movement, Positive Birth Movement, founded by Milli Hill in England in October 2012 with the aim to challenge the epidemic of negativity around childbirth in the West.
Our Bristol group is now co-facilitated by midwife Karen Logan Woods and myself and is blessed by the presence of many other wonderful anetanatal teachers and positive birth activists of the Bristol community, including midwives, and other birth enthusiasts from the community. We had our first meet-up in April 2013 and we have been growing since then, creating a welcoming, supportive and informative space for many expectant women and couples of the Bristol community.
We believe that every woman (and men) deserves a positive birth, "[...] a birth in which a woman feels she has freedom of choice, access to accurate information, and that she is in control, powerful and respected. A birth that she approaches, perhaps with some trepidation, but without fear or dread, and that she then goes on to enjoy, and later remember with warmth and pride. A positive birth does not have to be ‘natural’ or ‘drug free’ – it simply has to be informed from a place of positivity as opposed to fear [...]" (from the Positive Birth Movement Manifesto)
And here are the Bristol Positive Birth Group 5 TOP TIPS FOR A POSITIVE BIRTH:
1. Get Informed
The key to an empowered birth is knowing what your options are and making informed choices. Know what resources and sources of information are available to you in your community. This can be from birth groups, going on a tour to different hospitals or birth centres, talking to people and reading positive birth stories and books. Knowledge is power!
2. Remain Open in your thinking and in your body
It is good to have your preferences but remember that positive births can happen anywhere and with or without medical interventions. Every pregnancy and birth is different, with its own lessons, insights and wisdom. If something diverts from your original "plan" remain open. Don't be afraid to try something new. Remaining open in your body means releasing any tension that you may be holding. Relax your jaw, unclench your fists and release any tension in your pelvis and birth canal.
3. Trust Your Intuition
That inner voice that has always been there knows exactly what you need, when and how. If you suddenly feel the urge to change something in your birth plan, go with it. You know more than you think you do and your body is perfectly designed to give birth! Your intuition is heightened during labour, so listen to it.
Connect to your body, your baby, your breath and birth partner/s, should you decide to have some. Let go of any thinking and just stay fully present with the moment. Use whatever is suitable for you to access that inner place of calm, stillness, peace and strength, whether it is an image, a breathing sequence, an object or even a sense of connection to all the other women around the world labouring with you and those that have laboured before you. Visualise and talk to your baby as you journey together. No matter how things go, just stay connected to that still and calm place within.
5. Let Go
Don't let past experiences, fears or the desire for a "perfect" birth stand in the way of what is and being present to the moment. Surrendering to things as they are brings peace and power. Go into that "other worldly" place and bring your baby Earthside.
And this is Thando Harney and I interviewed by Eva Fernandes from BORN on The Baby Hub at BCfm: