/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

A Labour of Love – Local Birth Stories

A  L A B O U R  O F  L O  V  E

A weekly series of local birth stories to provide insight to expectant parents of labour and birth in the local area.

No birth is the same as another but understanding the choices we may need to make and beginning to visualise our birth with confidence can start with understanding your local birth services.

This first story is a lovely positive experience where Mum knew what she wanted and how she facilitated those choices.

D & R

Despite choosing not to have a home birth I spent a lot of time whilst pregnant convincing myself that when the time came (I was in labour) I wanted to stay at home as long as possible. This was important to me and as such I knew I needed to prepare myself and find the education to support this.

My best friend had actually attended daisy birthing classes when pregnant with another educator and had said how much she gained from them. Upon her recommendation I booked in with Ellie on her active antenatal classes.

When labour finally arrived I was 8 days overdue. I began experiencing back ache early in the morning and small waves of pain that was infrequent. Later that morning I attended a post dates clinic appointment for aromatherapy only to be told I was 2cms dilated.
Sure enough from there onwards the contractions grew in frequency and intensity.
I spent the rest of the day at home putting into practice what I had learnt with Ellie. I can say whole heartedly that the visuals, breathing and education I had learnt in active birthing supported me in achieving my aim. In our classes together Ellie had spoke about understanding your body and knowing when labour was progressing – something I was very conscious to know as this was my first pregnancy. On that day I truly felt like I really knew when the time was right for us to leave home for hospital.

When we arrived at hospital and we’re checked in I was examined by a midwife and at that stage was 8cms dilated! Myself and partner were in shock but I vividly remember the emotion – relief to know my baby and I had got to that point in the journey by ourselves in the environment I had wished for.

I went on to give birth a few hours later… that time flew by and throughout the whole process I felt like I was in control. Ellie gave me that control by preparing me with such important education. I made vital choices about my labour because I knew in advance what my options were and what was important to me.



/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

A Line for Love – Guest Post

April is Caesarean section awareness month.

There has been many misconceptions regarding Caesarean births, from being the ‘easy way out’ or for those who are ‘too posh to push’. However for those who have either elected for a Caesarean section or have had it in an emergency situation, it is doubtful they would agree with these misconceptions. This lovely guest post is by published author Rebecca Karadag to share her experience from October 2021.

Welcoming a little love of your own into the world is nothing but magical yet childbirth is no mean feat by any means. Natural births stand tall – a goddess earth mother – while caesareans are inferior. And this view couldn’t be further from the truth. Childbirth is incredible.

Why does it matter how a baby enters the world? Romeo, my first son, was delivered via a pain-free natural birth. Paris, my second son, was delivered via an emergency caesarean. The stigma around c-section births is disheartening. ‘At least you don’t have to push’ was just one of the comments I heard. A c-section is classed as major abdominal surgery and we, as mothers, are expected to be on the move almost immediately afterwards. To me, that makes all cesarean mothers goddesses too.

Every mother envisages how her birth will be. For some, the labour and delivery goes to plan but this is not always the case. Whatever your birth plan, be sure to be familiar with every type of birth. I was not prepared which lead to unnecessary anxiety during delivery and a longer recovery postpartum. Perhaps this is not your planned journey but, regardless, it will be the most magical journey to welcome your little one.

Words of wisdom for both planned and unplanned cesarean mothers-to-be:

• It may seem daunting to walk after surgery but be sure to do so as much as possible within the first 24 hours. This can ease gas pain and prevent blood clots.
• Wear comfortable underwear. I wore larger underwear for comfort and to reduce swelling around the incision.
• Elevate your legs as often as possible and avoid certain foods, including salt and caffeine, to avoid water retention.
• Hold a small pillow over your incision when laughing or coughing.
• Take the prescribed pain relief.
• Rest as much as possible for a faster recovery.

A line of love will always be with me to tell the story of how my son came to be in this world. And that is just incredible.

With 28.5% of births being a Caesarean birth (16.2% elective and 12.3% emergency) at my local hospital in 2021; awareness spread around the subject, particularly regarding our language choices, recovery aids and an informed preparation for all birth pathways can only help change the perspective of the Caesarean section and realise it can also be both a positive and confident experience.

For more information regarding Caesarean births, you can see the below links: –



Your right to a caesarean birth


Ellie x


/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

What to Pack? Packing for Labour and Birth.

It’s finally here! The third trimester of pregnancy! And typically when expectant parents begin to think about the practicalities of giving birth, the main one being ‘What do I take to hospital?’. Now whether you’re a procrastinator like me or supper organised, the list below is an ideal tick list of what you may need in your birthing bag.

This list is useful whether you are planning a hospital birth, midwife led Centre birth, caesarean section or even a home birth. Having these items prepared and ready to go regardless of where they are used, will help you feel prepared and ready to take on your birthing day ❤

  1. For Mum:
    – Comfy clothes
    Those first post partum days expect that you will still look pregnant just with a much softer belly as your uterus contracts back down to its pre pregnancy state. Therefore clothes that are gentle on your stomach is something you will thank past you for! Similarly for Caesarean sections – post recovery can be uncomfortable and so you will want to aim for clothes that won’t rub against your scarring. So think loose, lightweight and breathable materials such as cotton.
    Easy access tops with buttons etc for those who are breastfeeding or pumping are also a good idea.
    – Slippers
    Whilst the wards are kept warm, you will need slippers for your feet for any trips to the bathroom etc.
    – Breast Pads
    Even if you choose not to breastfeed, your body will initially still produce colostrum and milk. There are disposable and reusable versions available from Boots, Pharmacies and online.
    – Post Partum Pads/ Underwear
    Similarly here, whether you’ve had a vaginal birth or caesarean section you will experience some blood loss. So stock up on your post partum pads (these are more likely nappies, in most cases your standard period pads will not be enough initially). There are disposable and reusable versions available from Boots, Pharmacies and online. Large comfy underwear is a MUST.
    – Snacks and Drinks
    Anything you feel may be useful during labour or afterwards. Typically packaged food works better as you don’t need to worry about it going ‘off’.
    – Wash Bag
    Toothbrush, flannel, tooth paste, hairbrush etc.
    – Small Pillow
    Especially for those who have planned a caesarean section. A small pillow to place over your scar when you are attempting to get out of bed, it will help with any discomfort.
    Similarly a cushion or pillow that you can lean against you to keep baby off your scar will be supremely beneficial. And also for the ride home, following birth this can be an uncomfortable experience with bumps and stops etc, so the extra padding will help soften the impact.
    – Birthing Aids
    Any aids you wish to use in labour, visual affirmations, music speakers etc.

For Baby:
– Clothing
Pack clothes appropriate for the season of babies birth. But typically you may want to include
2-3 vests
2-3 sleep suits
Pram suit to leave hospital
Mittens (if not already on sleepsuits)
Nappies (Newborn size 1)
Wipes or cotton balls
Bottles and formula if formula feeding
Car seat

For Birthing Partner:
– Snacks
-Phone Charger
– Copy of Birth Preferences
– Comfy Clothes
-Pillow (You may have the joy of sleeping in one of the hospital visitor chairs, you know the ones next to the bed – ouch).

Packing for hospital can feel overwhelming and all of a sudden make your labour become real. But it also means you’re one step closer to meeting your baby. However you are choosing to birth or what your preferences are -we’ve got you!



/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

Oxytocin – The Love Hormone!

Following on from valentines day, let’s talk about Oxytocin and the power this hormone has in your labour and birth.

Oxytocin is often referred to as the love hormone as one of it’s roles is to help us feel good. The number of oxytocin receptors increases substantially late in pregnancy. (www.aims.org.uk/journal/item/undisturbed-birth). It helps you to relax and therefore bring on contractions that move baby down which in turn stimulates dilation of the cervix and moving baby down to birth. Oxytocin is the hormone that creates the final contractions that release baby quickly and easily. So all in all it holds an important role in birthing your baby!

We tend to be brought up to believe that birth is painful and scary so how are you supposed to produce oxytocin on labour?!

Low levels of oxytocin in labour and birth can cause problems such as:

– Contractions stopping or slowing and therefore lengthening labour.
– Result in excessive bleeding at the placenta site after birth.
– The above leading to care providers responding with interventions

There are many ways you can help produce oxytocin. One way is to learn breathing techniques that ensure enough oxygen is working its way into the muscles and fibres that are working to bring baby into the world this also helps to reduce the body’s fight or flight response and therefore minimise adrenaline that can inhibit progression of labour.

Your birth partner can also help raise your oxytocin levels with labour massage techniques and sometimes verbal affirmations if that works for you!

If you check out your local maternity ward/midwife led Centre or even for a home birth you can create your own playlist on and bring in home comforts such as cushions, battery powered candles to help create a relaxed environment to stimulate the production of oxytocin. You can also include these in your birth preferences if you are planning for a caesarean section and talking to your care provider about what can be accommodated as this may change depending on your location. But more widely a ‘gentle caesarean section’ is being accommodated due to its links in helping parent and baby form a positive connection following birth.

By increasing our Oxytocin levels in labour we can help our body to increase it’s pain thresholds, reduce anxiety and adrenaline and arouse positive feelings in our body to aid a confident birth.

We all want to do our best to bring our baby into the world in a positive and safe manner, and what better way to do that than focussing on love to bring them into our arms!

For further reading I would suggest checking out the www.aims.org.uk site and also the blogs on our website!

/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

Making Mum Friends

I was 21 when I first found out I was pregnant. An age where some friends were completing their dissertations for their final year of university, others who had travelled to the other side of the world and some who had begun the first few steps into their career. Being pregnant felt isolating and lonely. We had all taken our first steps into a new direction but there was noone around me who had taken this particular one.

We were nervous and tentatively excited about having a baby but felt incredibly out of our depth at the same time. I knew I would need friends around me to help and whilst my friends that were my age were incredible and so supportive, they couldn’t relate and didn’t know how to help.

Making friends doesn’t come naturally for everyone and I fell into this category purely through being shy and reserved. I was worried that because of my age especially that I wouldn’t make friends as statistically in the UK most first time expectant parents are 29.1 years of age (https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/research/olympic-britain/population/have-kids-settle-down/). At 21 this felt like a big gap in life experience and maturity.

After having a word with myself, I booked onto classes after having my baby because I wanted her to grow up around other children and hopefully make some friends myself. It was putting myself out there in a way that didn’t come naturally but it was worth it to have made some genuine connections that are still going strong 5 years later.

It came about from a few compliments about how cute each others babies were, commiserating over lack of sleep and a sneaky cake and coffee after classes. Daisy actually brought me my closest mum friends, it was a chilled enough environment that there was time to chat about these things and the babies were plenty distracted by the class.

Being on maternity leave can seem from the outside, a perfect time full of this type of day. However most new parents are knee deep in sick, sleep deprivation and worry about doing the right thing. Have I done enough to play with my baby today? Why does the house always come last? When did the washing become so never-ending? When was the last time I actually washed my hair and dried it on the same day?

Making these friends can seem like the toughest job on top of just surviving. But if you make it out of the house and have a conversation with one other person, it is a relief, you’re not alone. In the small hours of the morning, googling every tiny symptom, they will text you back because they are also up doing the exact same thing whilst rocking, feeding and winding their little ones. They’ve also tried a few ways of relieving colds, weaning and everything else and you suddenly have another perspective that can help you make decisions and calm the worry about whether you’re doing a good job. Because you are doing a good job, we’re all doing our best and doing what we think is best for our little ones. And when we support each other in that, it makes the responsibility feel that little less scary.

Be brave and strike up the conversation! It could be a lifelong friendship or one that gets you through your parental leave. At Daisy classes we create WhatsApp groups to help you build your village and as someone who has benefitted from exactly that, it was definitely worth working past my own shyness! 

/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

Morning Sickness – or All Day Sickness?!

Morning sickness is synonymous with early pregnancy. The cause of morning sickness is not known, yet the term covers a broad spectrum of pregnancy related sickness. This can be from nausea to physical vomiting occurring once to several times a day and typically starts at around 4 -6 weeks into pregnancy. If you’re feeling the effects of sickness in pregnancy and are looking for some solidarity then that’s probably how you found this blog!

As the above suggests, naming it ‘morning’ sickness is incredibly misleading as it can occur at any time of day and does for many! Feeling ill can definitely put a dampener on the initial excitement of being pregnant but can also be seen as a sign of reassurance in those early weeks before baby is big enough for those little fluttery kicks to be felt.

Luckily, for most pregnant people, morning sickness can tend to wane from around week 12 of pregnancy as you head into your 2nd trimester and you can actually start to feel the pregnancy ‘glow’ everyone tells you about! (This one doesn’t come from the sheen of constant nausea, yay!)

However in some cases you may feel that you need some help to get through the day when struggling with sickness in pregnancy. There are several ways to help alleviate the symptoms.

Natural Remedies

Natural remedies for pregnancy sickness are anything that may help alleviate the feelings of nausea or sickness without a prescribed medication and if you google for sickness remedies, are the most likely to come up first. You can look at solutions such as

– Eating food little and often – food is easier to digest and also stomach this way.

– Stay hydrated – staying hydrated in most cases will certainly help alleviate nausea.

– Stick to bland tasting food – it is easier to handle if it does come back up!

– Fresh air – whilst it may not help with the sickness, a little fresh air can help avoid nausea or sickness triggering smells. Your sense of smell can be incredibly heightened throughout pregnancy.

– Carbonated drinks such as ginger ale – ginger is supposedly a natural anti-emetic so can help with mild forms of nausea.

– Peppermint Tea – Peppermint is traditionally associated with helping nausea

– Plenty of rest – being rested can help avoid becoming overtired and contributing to stress that can contribute to sickness.

Prescribed Medication 

If you are not finding the above is helping with your sickness. You can speak to your GP about anti-sickness medication. There are recommended anti-emetics that are safe to use during pregnancy to help alleviate symptoms.

There is also a form of sickness in pregnancy that goes beyond the normal feelings of sickness and nausea that cannot be helped by the above aids. This is called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It only affects 1-3% of women in their pregnancies but it is incredibly debilitating for those who do. The symptoms may last longer than the pregnancy itself, or the sickness can last up until baby is born.

If you are unable to keep any food or drink down due to excessive sickness or nausea you can become severely dehydrated which may require hospital treatment. I suffered with this condition in both of my pregnancies and was hospitalised in both. I was unable to work for the period of time that I suffered with hyperemesis and was bed bound despite the medication prescribed. It was an incredibly hard time where I felt guilty that I wasn’t enjoying pregnancy and wished it away instead of being able to cherish the time. When it came to an end at about 6 months pregnant, I was then able to start bonding with my baby and enjoy the small things instead.

If you feel you might be struggling with hyperemesis the following list of symptoms has been taken from the NHS website  (www.NHS.uk/pregnancy/related-conditions/complications/severe-vomiting/)

– Prolonged and severe nausea and vomiting

– Being dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include, feeling thirsty, tired, dizzy or lightheaded, not peeing very much and it may be dark and strong smelling.

– Weight loss

– Low blood pressure (hypertension) when standing or moving.

There are support channels available for pregnancy sickness and hyperemesis gravid arum – you can seek advice from www.pregnancysicknesssupport.org.uk. They have an array of sources and account of available treatments to help you get the help you need.

Sickness in pregnancy can be frustrating and very uncomfortable but remember this too shall pass!

Ellie x


/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

Why I became a Daisy Teacher

I thought the best way to start off would be to introduce myself and offer a little insight as to why I became a Daisy Teacher.

Following the birth of my second baby I decided to train as a Perinatal Educator to support expectant parents during their journey through pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. Knowing first hand the challenges that can come with pregnancy and beyond but also that it can be an incredibly exciting time, creates a minefield of questions and information across several areas. This can be from social media, google searches and surrounding friends and parents. I wanted to create a space that offered the chance for you to access education that will empower your decisions and make informed choices for you and your baby.

Being completely clueless when I was pregnant with my first baby and through the recommendation of a good friend, I attended Daisy birthing classes and subsequently baby classes. They gave me information of what to expect from birth and all the information I would need to make informed choices when the time came to bring my little ones into the world. It gave me the confidence to vocalise what I wanted and trust what my body was telling me.

Attending the Daisy baby classes gave me my ‘village’ of local mums, some of whom have become life long friends through this journey of motherhood. It gave me a safe space to ask questions and gain support form peers going through similar experiences and gain other perspectives.

Having had such a positive introduction to motherhood because of my own journey with Daisy, I wanted to create that space and become a teacher myself to build a community full of informed and supported parents.

I look forward to sharing this experience with other parents and meeting you soon!

Ellie x

Ellie Schurer-Lewis
/ The Daisy Foundation with Ellie Schurer-Lewis

Welcome to Daisy Alsager, Congleton and Surrounding Areas

Welcome to The Daisy Foundation for Alsager, Congleton and the surrounding areas. The home of antenatal, pregnancy and baby classes in your area. 

Firstly, congratulations on your journey into pregnancy, parenthood and beyond!

My name is Ellie, I am your local Perinatal Educator and a mum to two children.

As a mum I fully understand how daunting the prospect of a new baby can be, either as a first time parent or making a new addition into your family unit. Also having attended Daisy Foundation classes myself as a new mum, I understand how important it is to have a support network around you during this time. The information I can offer can instil confidence for you throughout your journey and help you create your very own ‘village’.

In our classes I provide a safe space for you to explore your choices and make empowered decisions. This is supported with evidence based research and non-judgemental support. I help you do this whether you are finding tools for breathing and relaxation in birthing classes or bonding and communicating with your little ones in Baby classes.

Being part of a supportive community is important and our classes provide plenty of opportunities to meet other parents in your local community to chat and share your experiences. I help support this with a dedicated WhatsApp group for each class and regular email updates following up on our class discussions.

We offer antenatal classes from 14 weeks of pregnancy and a selection of baby classes, from newborn and beyond.


All birthing and baby classes are currently held in person within the most up to date covid related guidelines with ongoing reviews to ensure we remain a safe space .

Please scroll down to ‘My Classes’ to see current class availability.  For further information you can contact me on ellie-schurer-lewis@thedaisyfoundation.com.

I look forward to meeting you very soon!

Ellie x

Antenatal Classes

Daisy Birthing – A weekly antenatal class for all those who are pregnant to help you enjoy pregnancy, stay mobile, learn about your changing baby and body and prepare for a confident birth. Our unique Active Antenatal method draws on elements of active birth, pregnancy yoga, hypnobirthing and antenatal education to create one very powerful combination. From easing pregnancy ailments, adapting to your changing body, preparing for birth and informing your own individual choices – we’ve got you covered.

Daisy Parent– A comprehensive workshop series for expectant parents designed to ensure you have all the education, tools and support you could need as you prepare confidently for your upcoming birth and the early days of caring for your new baby. Our entirely comprehensive Daisy Parent format draws on elements of active birth, parentcraft and traditional antenatal classes to create one very powerful combination.  From birth plans to massage in labour, informed choice to packing hospital bags and feeding your baby to changing their nappy – we’ve got you covered.

Daisy Active Birth Workshop – A workshop for all those who are pregnant and their birth companion that will not only cover all of the basics of antenatal education and an active, informed birth but also give you both the space to prepare as a team and confidently plan for your baby’s birthing day. Our unique Active Antenatal Birth method draws on elements of traditional active birth, hypnobirthing and antenatal education to create one very powerful combination. From understanding the stages of labour to working with gravity to support your baby’s birth, massage for labour and informing your own individual choices – we’ve got you covered.

Baby Classes

Daisy Baby Tinies – A weekly postnatal class for all those who are physically recovering from birth and their baby in the ‘fourth trimester’ – to help you learn how to use baby massage and movement to aid calming, soothing and connection with your baby. Our unique fourth trimester class draws on elements of baby massage, baby yoga, postnatal movement and baby care education.