When you are trying for a baby, the desperation and longing can start to take over your life. You see Facebook announcements of pregnancies, new babies seem to be everywhere and, though you want to be happy for people, you can’t help but feel the anguish of your own empty arms.
When we visited the Fertility Show back in November, I came across a network which interested me. I signed up for some emails and took a few leaflets and, because of the sheer weight of information I took with me that day, I forgot about it. That was until I received a newsletter from Mindful Muma-to-be and it’s founder, Naomi Woolfson.
Mindful Muma-to-be is a site that offers inspiration, support and a community for anyone who is either trying to conceive, going through fertility treatment or for ladies who are pregnant following difficulties.
For Inspiration you will find videos, free resources and articles as well as Naomi’s own story. With Community there is a free online support group as well as details of UK events. Then, there is the support. This is in the form of mindfulness, hynotherapy and EFT tapping (Emotional Freedom Techniques). There are downloads, MP3s and videos which all compliment the online course which Naomi runs.
I first started the Embrace course just before I got pregnant last year so I have only carried out the first couple of weeks before I then had to go into shut down to recover from my loss. However, I found those first two weeks full of information and useful techniques. There were meditations that Naomi shares with you which I found really useful to get through the hard times in December. There is also a technique known as ‘tapping’. At first I found this really weird! But, as time has gone on, it has made more and more sense to me.
As well as the online information, you are also treated to a Skype session with Naomi where you can just talk to her or pinpoint specific areas of concern about your wellbeing which you would like help with. As a result of this, I have found out about further resources and my order of the books The Chimp Paradox and It Starts with the Egg are now on order thanks to Naomi and the online group (which, incidentally, is a secret group).
I had the opportunity to speak with Naomi to ask her more about Mindful Muma-to-be.
Q: Why did you start Mindful Muma-to-be?
Naomi: I had been trying for a baby for 2 years but I had no friends going through the issues and problems that I was experiencing in trying to conceive. I had to find ways to deal with this so I started by going into the online forums. I found these very dark places where people were sharing such awful stories. There were no positives. I started to post about the mindfulness course I had taken and the mindbody techniques which were really helping me to feel better and one woman really laid into me for being unrealistic! I decided to start my own group to connect to others who were looking for ways to enhance their well-being and fertility.
Q: How did you go about starting Mindful Muma-to-be?
Naomi: I started with a free blogger blog and then the Facebook group. I did one post. I then randomly found out about the Infertility Network. I rang them and they told me about a group in central London which I went along to. Anya, who runs the group, asked me to stand up in front of everyone and tell them of my plans. I found this a bit daunting as I had only started the previous day! But I had 5 people come up to me afterwards to express their interest.
Q: What do you hope women will gain from Mindful Muma-to-be?
Naomi: The main thing I want to focus on is to reach out to people before they get as desperate as I did. I didn’t reach out for the support I needed until I hit rock bottom. Of course, managing your stress levels and well being can help balance your hormones and therefore enhance your fertility but I want to show that you can enjoy and love your life now without having a baby. That is why we are a group that supports fertility and not the negative connotation of infertility.
Q: What do you feel has been your biggest success?
Naomi: At Christmas I shared Karen’s story. She was anorexic therefore had no periods and had polycystic ovaries. She found Mindful Muma-to-be and her attitude and approach to the process of trying to conceive is a far more positive one. It makes me really happy that she is now able to cope with her treatment in a much more healthy way. This is how I want to be able to help people.
I am pleased to say that I will be starting the Embrace course again this weekend and intend to make full use of it this time around.
If you are interested in the Embrace course then you can get the first week absolutely FREE. If you do then you will learn:
- How trying to ‘stay positive’ may be the root of anxiety and even unhappiness.
- Why we need emotions both positive and negative.
- How to free ourselves from the negative once we understand the intention behind them and allow our natural positivity to surface.
It includes an hours worth of content with video and MP3 and a 18 page e-book on the subject of how our thinking affects every area of our lives. In your free fertility support pack Naomi discusses how with mindfulness and CBT we can step back from our thoughts and observe them. In this session she expands on this and explain how we can change our thinking and therefore our lives.
You will also practice a guided mindfulness meditation, cognitive behaviour techniques and EFT (emotional freedom technique) which is being heralded as one of the most powerful personal development tools of our time.
- A 45 min video for you to download and watch at your leisure which includes EFT session for overcoming anxiety.
- A 15 min guided mindfulness meditation MP3.
- 18 page e-book covering the details of the session, including full introductions and explanations of mindfulness, CBT and EFT and powerful exercises in each technique.
All you need to do is sign up here.
If you then do decide to proceed with the course (no obligation), it costs a total of £240. This is another ten weeks on top of the free one you have already had, inclusion in the support group, more MP3s, videos and techniques and a 90 minute session with Naomi.
Disclosure: I was given access to the 4 week Embrace course with Naomi. Please note that I have not received any financial compensation for this post and all of my words and opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.