Edwina Cheng- BFW Birth Preparation Mentor, KG Hypnobirthing Coach, Shiatsu Practitioner
Hello :-). My name is Edwina and among other things, I'm mother to two gorgeous girls.
A registered Shiatsu practitioner with the Shiatsu Society (UK), I've practiced Shiatsu since 1996. Having personally experienced its restorative power and seen how helpful it has been to my clients for a wide range of conditions, I felt drawn to take some further training so that I could be of greater help to pregnant mothers. So, I completed Level 1 – 3 of an extensive Diploma course in ‘Shiatsu for Maternity’ in 2002 with Suzanne Yates of 'Well Mother' who pioneered the use of Shiatsu in pregnancy and childbirth in Europe.
As luck would have it, I became pregnant with my first child during this 'Shiatsu for Maternity' Diploma course and so my training gained a deeper aspect to it as it became personally experiential. Receiving Shiatsu during my pregnancy was wonderfully nurturing and on a more profound level, I felt more energized and 'in tune' with what I needed as the Shiatsu treatments helped me 'align' on a physical and emotional level. I heard amazing birth stories from women of different cultures and countries who had birthed in environments ranging from hospital to home to even the sea! The common thread that bound all these women was their sense of empowerment during labour and birth. Wow! Until that point, I'd mainly heard birth 'horror' stories. Now with my own pregnancy, I was even more determined to experience that same feeling of positivity and empowerment...
I gained subsequent qualifications as a Life Coach; 'Birthing From Within’ Childbirth Mentor and KG Hypnobirthing Practitioner (accredited by the Royal College of Midwives); trained with the internationally respected Obstetrician and author, Michel Odent; Pam England, midwife and author of ‘Birthing From Within’ and Katharine Graves, founder of KG Hypnobirthing.
I’ve spoken to a number of women who approach or experience pregnancy and birth as an ordeal which has to be endured to receive the beautiful gift of their baby at the end. They often feel as though things are being done to them and that they have no control over birthing their child whether it be the environment they would like to birth in or pain relief options...
My own birth experiences; hearing of some women's undesirable experiences and the recounting of other's wonderful births in addition to the birth related training that I've taken, have strengthened my conviction and passion that there is a real value and need to offer birthing couples the option of going deeper into their birth preparation.
My hope for all birthing women is that they have an enriching birth experience ; to feel empowered and in touch with their inner strength and intuition of what needs to happen next, that naturally lies within each of us, whatever unfolds during their birth journey.
I've discovered that there are many paths that a pregnant couple may travel when preparing for the birth of their child. It's with great pleasure and honour that I've been able to be a part of many couples' journeys to birth since 2002.
My range of qualifications and professional experience allow me to offer you support on many levels (emotionally, mentally and physically) throughout your pregnancy. I will give you the tools to achieve the best birth for you and increase your potential of a calmer, gentler birth. You’ll learn ways to relax; release any fears and anxieties; build trust and confidence in your body’s ability to birth and feel fully prepared and aware of all your options.
I've offered Birth Preparation or Shiatsu in a number of places including The Active Birth Centre, The Immune Development Trust, Greenwich Natural Therapy Centre and Neals Yard Remedies, Blackheath.
When I’m not supporting pregnant couples, you may find me at yoga, cycling, running, playing tennis and being a ‘mummy taxi’ to my daughters... amongst other things!
It’s such a privilege and joy to mentor mothers and their birth partners as they journey towards the birth of their baby and themselves as parents. I love my multi-faceted role as a birth mentor and look forward to meeting and working with many more families for years to come.
My Own Birth Experiences
The home births of my two girls were amazing, positive experiences, which I feel was primarily due to a combination of the mental, emotional and physical birth preparation I did beforehand.
After the birth of my first child, Leila, I felt as though I’d been on a tiring but exciting holiday and other people commented on how well I looked and sounded. Even now, whenever I remember the day Leila was born - the contractions; moments of physical and emotional intensity; atmosphere; transfer to hospital; subsequent hospital experience (to remove a retained placenta); I get that warm, feel good 'Yesss - I did it!' feeling! The whole experience was totally unique, intense and holds very special memories for me. Although things didn't quite pan out as I had imagined, I always felt that myself and my husband were the key decision makers as to what and when things were done, after having been given the relevant information by our medical team.
My second daughter, Zara's, birth was an intense two hours where I initially remember trying to slow down the intensity of contractions so that my midwife and husband could make their way across London to get home :-)! I found I needed to use a whole different set of 'birthing tools' to help me from moment to moment. Whereas my first birth experience had been more about using the breath, vocalisation and various visualisations to ride the wave of each contraction; the waves of intensity this time round seemed to be washing over me more strongly and rapidly than the first time. It didn't feel as though I had enough time between contractions to get into any comfortable rhythm and I found it was much more of a 'mental' struggle to quieten the doubting voices that rose up within me during each contraction. I will be forever grateful that I had a variety of 'birthing tools' to hand. It seemed as though instinctively, my body would delve into my 'birthing toolbag' and use something that would help me get through that contraction; and then another contraction would build up and my body again knew what to do, once I had allowed the chatter of my mind to fade into the background. Aren't our bodies amazing?!
Throughout both my labours, I felt that I instinctively ‘knew’ what I needed to do or what needed to be done, to enable me to cope from moment to moment. It may sound strange but I truly felt a deep level of calm and at one with the powerful flow of nature and birth. There’s nothing quite like that magic moment when you realise ‘I did it…We did it!!!’ The recognition that you stepped into the unknown; laboured; did what you instinctively needed to do to get through each moment and were now on the other side with your baby! I strongly feel that the mental, emotional and physical preparation that I did beforehand significantly contributed to what I can only describe as a life-affirming event.
The sense of empowerment I felt during both my labours overflowed through to my confidence as a mother. I often didn’t know whether I was doing things ‘right’ (is there a ‘right’?) but fell back on trusting my instincts just as I did during birth. The sense of achievement in birthing my children has enhanced my sense of self and what I can achieve if my attitude, thoughts and emotions are aligned.