March 08, 24


Birth and post-natal doula Emiliana Hall is working to change how we navigate early motherhood. After experiencing a string of outdated birth preparation classes, Emiliana created The Mindful Birth Group® – an inclusive organisation dedicated to supporting and educating new parents. 

We chat to Emiliana about what The Mindful Birth Group® does, the importance of mindfulness, and the problems of increased perspiration during and after pregnancy.

Emiliana Hall is the founder of The Mindful Birth Group® which provides award-winning Mindful Natal® courses and the PregnaHub® online platform, as well as an accredited Teacher Training program and Midwife CPD courses. She is also an experienced Birth and Postnatal Doula. Emiliana's vision is to make vital antenatal and postnatal education and ongoing support accessible to everyone in the UK.

Could you give us an overview of the services and resources your company offers to expecting and new parents?

The Mindful Birth Group® are the only antenatal course provider to support families from early pregnancy through to one year post-birth. 

PregnaHub® App
Their affordable PregnaHub® app subscription includes access to live online pregnancy exercise classes, an Ask the Midwife chat group, relaxation sessions, e-learning library covering pregnancy, birth, postnatal recovery and baby care and much more. 

Cost: £10/month, cancel at any time.

Mindful Natal® Courses
The comprehensive Mindful Natal® classes cover everything you need to prepare for all birth scenarios. The inclusive group and private course options come with 1:1 access to your teacher via WhatsApp all the way up to the birth of your baby for any questions that come
up along the way or just for extra emotional support. 

Every Mindful Natal® course booking includes instant the PregnaHub® subscription for up to one year post-birth.

Cost: From £275 for 2 people

What are the top 3 goals of your company?

1. To provide every expectant family in the UK with access to antenatal and
postnatal support, regardless of location, background or income.
2. To provide inclusive antenatal and postnatal education for all paths to
3. To prepare families for all kinds of births, as you never know how your story will

How do you ensure that your services are inclusive and supportive of diverse family structures and backgrounds?

We work with many trusted partners to ensure our resource content and teacher training are fully inclusive of all paths to parenthood and backgrounds. We use inclusive language and imagery to ensure everyone feels fully included and ask for parents pronouns on their booking forms. Our teachers understand that no two journeys are the same and they will listen to learn about everyone’s unique circumstances to be able to support them better.

How does mindfulness connect to pregnancy and birth?

The mind-body connection is extremely powerful in all areas of life, but particularly at the stages of reproduction. Conceiving a baby, giving birth, bonding with baby and lactation all require the oxytocin hormone to be released in the body in order to unfold effectively.
People often think of oxytocin as the hormone of love, and this is true! It is released when you feel safe, nurtured, loved and content. Familiarity and nostalgia often encourage oxytocin. Unfortunately, stress and anxiety restrict the production of oxytocin. Not feeling safe, feeling unsettled or unloved will create adrenaline in the body and reduce oxytocin.

Mindfulness tools such as:
- Deep breathing
- Visualisation
- Focusing on the present moment
- Positive affirmations
are extremely effective for reducing stress in both the mind and body. With so much being unknown in the pregnancy, birth and postnatal stages, having these tools to use can be very effective to reduce or prevent adrenaline and allow oxytocin to work its magic.

What mental health struggles could someone face throughout pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a period of significant physical and emotional changes, and it's not uncommon for individuals to experience mental health struggles during this time. Some of the common mental health challenges that pregnant individuals may face include:

1. Stress & Anxiety: Pregnancy can bring about worries and anxieties related to
childbirth, parenting, and the health of the baby, as well as around facing new
financial or relationship pressures.

2. Depression: Pregnancy hormones, coupled with the stress and life changes
associated with pregnancy, can sometimes lead to depression. This can manifest as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or loss of interest in activities.

3. Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs): These disorders, including
postpartum depression and anxiety, can occur during pregnancy or after childbirth. They can significantly impact a person's well-being and ability to function.

4. Body Image Concerns: Changes in body shape and weight gain during pregnancy can trigger body image issues and feelings of self-consciousness.

5. Previous Trauma: Past experiences such as trauma, loss, or abuse can resurface during pregnancy, leading to emotional distress.
It is so important for pregnant individuals to seek support from healthcare providers, therapists, or support groups if they are experiencing any mental health challenges. If they find seeking help from strangers difficult, they could speak to a friend or family member who could help them to find the right support.

Do pregnant people perspire more?

Yes, pregnant people may experience increased perspiration due to hormonal changes and an increase in blood volume. Hormonal fluctuations, particularly elevated levels of oestrogen and progesterone, can lead to an increase in body temperature and perspiration. Additionally, the body's metabolic rate rises during pregnancy, contributing to increased sweating.

Can your sense of smell be affected by pregnancy?

During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect the sense of smell. Many pregnant individuals report heightened sensitivity to odours, which can range from pleasant scents to unpleasant smells that may trigger nausea or vomiting, particularly during the first trimester. This heightened sense of smell is thought to be related to hormonal changes and may vary in intensity from person to person.

We often get questions asking us if AKT is suitable for those that are pregnant, Can you use deodorant while pregnant? What should those that are pregnant be looking for in their deodorant?

Yes, it is generally safe for pregnant individuals to use deodorant. However, since some deodorants contain chemicals that may be absorbed through the skin, it's advisable to be cautious and choose products that are considered safe during pregnancy. Here’s a helpful checklist for choosing a deodorant during pregnancy:

1. Ingredients: Opt for deodorants that are free from potentially harmful chemicals
such as parabens, phthalates, aluminium compounds (like aluminium chloride),
triclosan, and artificial fragrances. Instead, look for natural or organic deodorants
made with safe and gentle ingredients.

2. Aluminium-Free: Some people prefer to avoid deodorants containing aluminium compounds, especially since there's some debate over their potential links to health issues. While there's no conclusive evidence that aluminium-based deodorants pose significant risks during pregnancy, individuals may choose aluminium-free alternatives for peace of mind.

3. Fragrance: Fragrances in deodorants can sometimes trigger sensitivities, particularly during pregnancy when the sense of smell may be heightened. Opt for unscented or lightly scented deodorants to minimise the risk of irritation.

4. Sensitive Skin Formulas: Pregnancy hormones can make the skin more sensitive, so pregnant individuals may want to choose deodorants specifically formulated for sensitive skin to avoid potential irritation or allergic reactions.

5. Antiperspirant vs. Deodorant: While antiperspirants are designed to reduce
sweating by blocking sweat glands, some pregnant individuals may prefer to use
deodorants without antiperspirant properties. If concerned about the potential
effects of antiperspirant ingredients, they may opt for deodorants that focus solely on odour control.

6. Consult with Healthcare Provider: If unsure about specific ingredients or concerned about using any products during pregnancy, it's always best to consult with a healthcare provider for personalised advice and recommendations.

Our Ask a Midwife chat on the PregnaHub® platform is an easy way to do this!
Ultimately, the goal is to choose a deodorant that effectively controls odour while
minimising exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, providing peace of mind for both the pregnant individual and their healthcare provider.

Head over to The Mindful Birth Group®’s site here to book a course, meet the coordinators, or read more about the incredible work they’re doing for families worldwide.

Discount provides 25% off customers first purchase. Discount expires 11.59pm on 30/04/24. Discount is not valid on the Gift Sets or in addition to a subscription. Items previously purchased are ineligible for price adjustments or promotion. Discount must be applied at checkout, before payment. Discount will not be applied to orders retrospectively. This code is one use per customer.
Written by Ben Addington