Professional Birth Support
Lulu & Matt
We can safely say that our birth would not have been as successful as it was without your constant support, soothing voice and comforting presence in that birthing suite room. We chose to use a doula so that we could have another dimension of continuous care throughout our pregnancy and birth. You kept in close contact with us throughout our pregnancy, and we loved having you over for visits in our home.
We prepared for a natural physiological birth, and you workshopped many techniques and educated us about the best ways to support the natural hormonal processes of birth. I felt supported and confident during my first pregnancy and in the lead up to the birth. When my pregnancy required a sudden medical induction as soon as we reached full term, and the game plan turned a bit on its head, you were right there with us.
It wasn’t an easy journey, but we did it!
We were still able to birth our little man in the environment we wanted, with the people we wanted present, and he was safe and healthy. You gave me strength when I felt my own faltering, and you guided my husband by showing him how to help me in labour. You worked smoothly alongside the medical staff at the birthing suite and communicated well with the obstetrician.
After the birth, I remember you wrapping me up in warm blankets and comforting me and tucking me safely back into bed before you left early that morning. Debriefing about the birth afterwards when you came over for our follow-up was a really useful experience, and it made me feel reinforced and positive.
I believe every single birthing woman on this planet needs a doula! You’re a gem.
– All of our love, Matt and Lu xx –
Nicole & Miles
I met Nina Isabella in one of her Mamashanti Birth Preparation yoga workshops and thought,
“Now she’s the sort of woman I would like present at my birth”…
So I was delighted to discover she was in fact a Doula. Nina’s support to me before, during and after the birth of my daughter was invaluable. She really is an Earth Angel for birthing women.
The power and integrity she emanated during my birth inspired me to meet the process with the same power and integrity. One thing I liked about Mamashanti was it’s holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. The yoga classes and birth preparation workshops helped my partner and I prepare well physically and mentally for birth.
I can’t recommend Nina Isabella highly enough. With her devoted support in the birthing room I felt confident, safe and free to have the natural birth I’d yearned for.
I found my birth experience to be a positive one and the most spiritual experience of my life.
– With love, Nicole –
Yoga for Pregnancy & Birth
I started attending Nina’s prenatal yoga class when I was 17 weeks pregnant with my first child. I had been suffering from nausea and vomiting since I was six week’s pregnant, and although I still wasn’t feeling better I had practiced yoga for years before I became pregnant and wanted to re-commence it as soon as I could.
It was really important to me that the yoga I practiced while pregnant was safe and gentle (without being too repetitive or boring), allowed me to practice poses that I could use during labour, and provided me with an opportunity to relax and bond with my growing baby in a supportive environment.
I feel so happy to have found Nina’s classes as all my needs were met, and I learnt so much more than anticipated through attending. Nina’s philosophy that less is more allowed me to take the time to slow down, let go and breathe through a range of beautiful, appropriate yoga poses and breathing exercises that supported me and my growing baby. I always felt confident that my well-being and that of my baby was paramount and never felt pushed beyond what was comfortable, in contrast the classes provided me with an opportunity to deeply relax. I didn’t leave the classes feeling exhausted, but restored and nourished.
It was during my second pregnancy, when I attended a couple of other yoga classes that I was reminded how important Nina’s philosophy was for pregnancy. I was surprised when the yoga teacher didn’t ask me how many week’s pregnant I was, and felt shocked when I saw that women were being led to undertake strenuous twists in their first trimester and warrior pose at full term. These poses made me feel stretched beyond what was comfortable at that time and really tired. When there wasn’t any mention of our pregnant state, or time to connect with our babies, I felt unsafe and I didn’t have faith that the teacher was tuned in with where we were at as pregnant women. While I was able to self-regulate and adapt the poses because I was experienced, I felt concerned that other women who were new to yoga were vulnerable.
In contrast, Nina’s classes were instrumental in helping prepare my body and my mind for the birthing journey ahead. The classes provided me with an important opportunity in today’s busy world to really connect with my baby and to “check in” with myself and my changing body. I am confident that the classes played a key role in me birthing two babies without pain relief (my second two week’s ago), as I was so in touch with my body and baby and had a repertoire of poses and breathing exercises to access when in labour.
In addition to the prenatal classes I also attended Nina’s Active Birth for Partner’s workshop and post natal yoga workshops. Both complimented and built on what I learned through the prenatal classes, with more detail for the specific stage in life I was at, and provided me with continuity through the most beautiful and important journey of my life – becoming a mother.
– Megan --
When I first became pregnant I continued my normal hatha classes and then about half way I started to realise this was no longer appropriate practice for me. I asked around some of my Mama friends and was recommended to Mamashanti by a few different sources.
I went along to check it out, thinking I would be getting another modified hatha class with a few bits of birthing wisdom thrown in and got such a lot more.
Nina's classes are filled with wonderful nurturing postures that are in fact active birthing postures. They were subtle, gentle and so effective in nurturing and preparing my pregnant body for birthing my baby.
I decided to extend my practice with Nina after a diagnosis of 'unstable pelvis' and attended the Mamashanti workshops on specific areas of challenge for pregnant women. By practicing Nina's specific, gentle, quiet and effective postures I was able to manage throughout the rest of my pregnancy with no further damage to me or my baby. Her sensible advice and impressive body of work in this area still inspire me today as I continue to practice many of the postures she introduced me to.
Now, after delivering a healthy baby boy, I can reflect back on my yogic journey during my pregnancy and give thanks for the wonderful wise women who lead me to Mamashanti. It is only now that I can truly appreciate how inappropriate a modified hatha class is for the pregnant woman. And how appropriate the quiet, gentle, subtle practices taught by Nina really are. Also I can now see how much this kind of yoga has to offer Mamas in the incredible task they undertake of carrying, birthing and raising a baby.
I wish I could be Queen for a day and decree that all pregnant Mamas have the benefit of these wonderful practices.
Loving your work all over again in the post natal classes.
- xx Medine -
Thank you so much for sharing your expertise in active birth. Our baby girl was born yesterday in our local family-birthing suite after an induced, drug free 9-hour labour. The lessons I learnt in the 6 months of attending your active birth classes enabled me to truly claim my labour and birth after initially feeling disappointed about having a medical induction 56 hours after my waters broke.
I was able to utilise non-girly breathing, the many different movements and the rocking and swaying, despite being tethered to machines and an intravenous drip. My least favourite pose from your classes — “the resting pose” — became a lifesaver during my labour. All throughout I rested my head in my hands on my yoga bolster and focused on extending my out breaths from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.
I was amazed at how I didn’t have to think about “doing” the poses, my body just instinctually went into them.
When it all got a bit much I could hear your voice in my head telling me to “dig a little deeper” reminding me of a woman’s capacity to have more resilience and energy stored away.
My obstetrician said he was in awe of my “body’s intuition” to move as I birthed my baby on all fours, rocking back with each contraction, with my elbows on a bolster and of course taking three silky soft breathes in between.
I can confidently say that the yoga, breathing and meditation practices that I learnt about in your active birth classes are what helped me get through without pain relief and assisted me in having a truly empowering experience.
– X Natalya –
Dear Nina, Just wanted to let you know we had our baby girl, just shy of 40 weeks last Friday – hence I missed your amazing class I enjoy so much! Amara May was born on Fri 26/11/10 at 1.22pm weighing in at 9.6 pound (4.26 kgs)!
Thank you, I have no doubt my relaxation and preparation towards the pregnancy and birth contributed to the 3.5 hour of established labour and all-natural birth. We were only at the hospital for an hour before she arrived.
Your dedication, knowledge and warmth is second to none.
Please keep doing what you are doing as we all benefit from it. We have a very contented little baby here.
– Best wishes Emily –
We have a beautiful baby boy. We are both full of love, health and vitality and enjoying breastfeeding. Thank you for all your teaching – it helped me be able to have the natural birth in hospital I had wished for.
I could bring to mind the positive experience of your classes and your strength.
The physical exercises and relaxation also helped me be in the best state for labour and the exciting sleep-deprived time that has followed. I had 10 hours labour at home with my husband’s support and managed the pain by making a curry (early stages!), yoga, breathing, a shower, meditation and mindfulness, movements, a bath, plenty of sounds and some swearing.
We were thrilled to find that I was fully dilated when we arrived at hospital at 4am and he was born an hour and a half later without intervention or complications, using some gas and the membranes breaking naturally. The midwives and obstetrician were lovely. The pushing stage felt magnificent using the position you had recommended.
Your teachings that were especially helpful include: choice of attitude towards discomfort; the unique and temporary nature of pain; and finding grace, dignity and equanimity.
– Warm wishes Bridget –
Batya & Tom
Nina has been part of all three of my pregnancies and her advice and support have been amazing! I’ve had three wonderful births, feeling physically strong and recovering well. The yoga positions, breathing practices and tips from Nina’s yoga class and active birth class made a huge difference, giving us options for labour, helping us make decisions about child birth and providing a voice of experience.
The class also gave us valuable time as a couple, to share our plans and expectations for the birth. Doing yoga regularly and attending Nina’s clinic also helped with moving the baby into an optimal position and helping shift a low lying placenta.
I highly recommend Nina’s classes, whether it’s your first baby or your third!!
– Batya and Tom –
Well we have a beautiful healthy little baby boy. Just over 8 pounds. Soooo here’s what went down!
I managed to negotiate one hour before drip – they really lay on the risk to baby, found it all a bit manipulative actually. but good to be informed enough to push for an extra hour!
Went for walk with hubby where random pashing in the lift and corridors did occur!! Haha was fun!
Bought beautiful flowers tried to chill out. Purposefully Returned back to birth suite 15 mins late (such a rebel!).
Was having contractions but they were still 20 mins apart. Anyway they only had to give one small dose of oxytocin and then I was off! 3-4 hrs later, a beautiful baby boy! Then just when I thought it was all done and no more pain, I started losing a bit too much blood. The room filled with 8 medical staff and they treated me for a heomhorage – which ironically involved a tonne of oxytocin!
Anyway alls well that ends well. I was happy enough with what I was able to negotiate and how it went and glad to have found a better head space before labour – for which I am incredibly grateful to you for answering my call for help.
Thank you also for the links very interesting reading! So thank you again for playing a part in the arrival of my second child. Hope our paths cross again.
Thank you for doing what you do
– Love Sarah x –
Paula & Stefan
I wanted to write to you to let you know that we’ve had our baby. She was born at home on Dec 13, in the presence of just me and Stefan. During my labour, we spent a lot of time being intimate, taking those “silky soft sighing breaths”, doing neck rolls, winding breaths, and rocking breaths. Particularly when the contractions got really strong, I found that the winding breaths were immensely grounding and comforting.
I was mindful at all times of not clenching my jaw, and of remaining calm and relaxed, visualising and willing myself to open up and make our baby’s passage into this world as short and as easy as possible. My hardcore contractions lasted for around 2 hours, then I felt her crowning, gave a slight push, and at 8.45pm, our beautiful Noah arrived, into the arms of her father, surrounded by candlelight and soft music.
Her birth was the most magical thing either of us has ever experienced.
I just wanted to share this with you because your classes and your words had such a positive impact on me, they gave me the tools I needed in order to give birth to this baby in a calm, centred, and intuitive manner. Stefan was able to draw on the things you’d taught him in the couples workshop and because we’d practised together in the lead up to the birth, we were able to easily come back to the things you taught us in class and use them during labour – they were there to hold and support us throughout.
Stefan and I are forever grateful to you and your amazing work.
– Love, Paula & Stefan –
Pelvic Floor Rx ~ Shantimama ~ Womanly Yoga
As a nurtured participant of your pre natal workshops two times around it was, and continues to be, such a joy to find my way back to you for shantimama. Your workshops are the perfect remedy for a Mama yearning for bit of self care and I always get what I need from them – it’s like you’re reading my body and my mind and tailoring the class just for me; from restorative poses, to pelvic floor, to pressure points for energy and patience, it’s always just right!
And importantly not only do I get to connect with myself for a glorious 2 hours I get to connect with a group of other women who are having similar experiences.
When I arrive home my family comment that I look different. Yes, it’s your relaxed Mama!
– Elissa x –
Your shantimama workshops have kept me sane through my first year of mothering! They are a gift to myself and my family. You create such a womanly space, allowing me to be more myself, to listen within, to stop pushing and rushing and struggling to be what I am not. During pregnancy your classes taught me to drop in; to find my breath, my inner power and a soft lushness. In motherhood they teach me to summon up; to draw on my strength, courage, posture, energy, and wisdom. I feel that these workshops will be invaluable for many years to come because they are a way of building wisdom.
Creating layer upon layer of simple practices, slowly adding new perspectives and understanding together. Your warmth and positivity gives me permission to embrace self care and loving practices in my everyday life without feeling guilty or selfish. I hear your voice encouraging me in the kitchen making tea, in the lounge amongst my cushions, on the yoga mat and breathing in the shower. Deepest gratitude for the changes you have facilitated and supported in me and the guidance and encouragement you continue to provide!
– Love, Emily –
Dear Nina, I have realised it has been more than 3 years I have been coming to your classes! Wouah , you have helped me so much during the pregnancy and your Shantimama workshops, I wanted to thank you from all my Heart and Body !
Every time I go to your postnatal workshops, it is a great adventure and so rich to be in this room with you and all the wonderful other Mums... it helps me to come back to the most important : taking care of myself and find again my centre. Through the workshops I have learnt some exercises which I know well now and which I like to practise at home, they give me the chance to reconnect with my body and my soul and to feel much better !..
And of course I am so grateful to you and your knowledge because thank to them I recovered entirely from this big prolapse which was such a painful experience, the exercises you recommend have been magical!
Such a blessing...
Coming to your Shantimama workshops is one of the best moments of the month ! so much fun and so much emotion !
As we say in my country : MERCI NINA!
- Berenice -