Welcome to BALM

Mindfulness and self kindness skills for pregnancy, birth and parenthood

Hi, I’m Hilary. I’m a Mindfulness Teacher, Birth Educator and Doula. Welcome to this space! I know from my own experience that mindfulness and kindness practices are simple, invaluable tools for holding us through the wonderful but crazy white-knuckle ride of pregnancy, birth and the first year as a new mum or dad. My approach is pragmatic, grounded and evidence based and definitely not rainbows and unicorns. I think its important for us as rationally-driven human beings to understand why we are being encouraged to invest time and energy into practising mindfulness and kindness and how it is likely to be of benefit to us. Once we’ve satisfied our rational minds, we can settle and engage with the practice much more fully.

There are many definitions of mindfulness, but in essence it’s knowing you’re feeling, hearing, seeing something as it happens, and doing so in a certain way- with balance and calm and without judgment or reactivity. You can find out more about mindfulness and kindness practices and why being aware in this way is so beneficial for our nervous system on the What is Mindfulness page (link). Briefly here’s why they are great for pregnancy, birth and the first year of parenthood:

  • Mindfulness and self-kindness is a proven way to reduce anxiety and increase well being. During pregnancy, expectant parents are more likely to become anxious or struggle with low mood - taking up a mindfulness practice at this time is a wonderful and empowering form of self care with both immediate and lasting benefits

  • Mindful birth preparation has been proven to help women cope better with their birth, using less pain relief and reporting a more positive experience and less fear and worry.

  • Mindful birth and parenting preparation has also been shown to improve mental well-being post-birth, enabling for healthy parent-infant adjustment and less postnatal depression in the first year after birth. At a time when it’s so critical to be aware of and responsive to your baby’s cues and behaviours, the practice of tuning into your own internal landscape and understanding your own needs as a new parent is hugely beneficial

Birthing And Living Mindfully Antenatal Course

The BALM course offers a unique approach to antenatal education, preparing your mind, body and heart for a calmer and more grounded pregnancy and birth and for mindful ‘attuned’ parenting, as well as lifelong skills for resilience and well being.

BALM Doula Services

A dedicated service supporting you and your partner through pregnancy, birth and the early days with your new baby. Bringing many years of experience, I am wholeheartedly committed to providing a safe and loving space for you to meet and nurture your baby. See my BALM Doula page for more information