Archive | August, 2012


Breastfeeding – Convenience – Breaks – Working…

Posted on 30 August 2012 by hulda

It is well and truly amazing how breastfeeding works.

My choice in life has been to have my four children and still continue to work. It is very important to me to do both and although like any other mum I would love to have a little more time for my children, I have tried to make the most of it. Now, situations were that way that when I had my last little one, Vaka, I essentially had to go back to work a week later, and although this is not something that I would recommend to anyone, it was all possible with the help of good people, and due to the fact that I could take her with me to work.

Since then, a lot has happened and now working full time, I have been able to fully breastfeed her until she got her solid food. She is around 16 months old. Every day when I come home from work, the first thing I do is to feed her and the first thing in the morning when I wake up also. She pokes me in the eye and waits till I wake, then smiles and moves her lips like a duck, in her attempt to let me know that she wants milk.

Each night I believe I wake up around 1 or 2 times. One is just because I sleepwalk and I need to rescue someone. The second time is to feed. I dont usually wake up much to do this, nor does the rest of the family. It does not bother me at all. And I am not a hippie. Just an ordinary mum. But I know that the day will come that Vaka will not want to do this any more. Other things will take over, which is fine, but until then, I rather like to have her be the first thing i see when I open my eyes.

Recently. I went to Iceland. I assumed that that Vaka would now stop breastfeeding as I left her in the care of my in-laws, without breastmilk or myself. And that my milk would not be there when she came back. So the first thing she does when she sees me is to ask for milk, and amazingly there is enough there to satisfy her. Now, a month later, she still breastfeeds like she was never separated from me for 4 days, twice in a row.

Some days, I go for births that take over 24 hours and leave her at home. Some days, I cannot feed her at all, other days I feed her often.

She is always happy. I am too.

I support many mums and dads who want much more of a routine. I fully understand them and the need for the routine. And now I understand that there are so many different ways to have a routine, and to have a healthy, happy feeding and sleeping schedule.

Inconvenience? Never. Unpredictable? Sometimes. Works out well? Always.

Some days she sleeps with us. Some days she sleeps in her cabinet. Some days the dog sleeps with her. Both are happy.

Comments (1) interviews Hulda interviews Hulda

Posted on 21 August 2012 by hulda


Hulda Thorey Sassy Mama features Hulda as “That Mama” in an interview where SassyMamma asks such questions as: “What are your organisational tricks and tips?”,  ”How did you get back into the swing of things after having children?” and an insight into:  ”My most humbling mama moment was…”


“This week’s That Mama is Hulda Thorey, mum to four gorgeous children, registered Midwife, Director and Founder of Annerley, and the new Honorary Consul for Iceland. And we thought we were busy! Oh – and did we mention she lives on a boat in Sai Kung and rides a motorcycle? We’ve got the scoop on how this multi-talented mama juggles it all, her fave activities with kids (a family band!), how having kids has changed her view of work and “having it all”, and lots more.

How do you save time?
I multitask and have incredibly good staff both at home and in my office that help me out. I take meetings and phone calls while I drive, and my children help out with the business so we spend time together. They come after school and do the petty cash ledger, put the price tags on products, go to bank and post office and organize little things around the office that need organizing. And each week, my treat is having my hair blow-dried and if don’t fall asleep I answer my emails – which otherwise I have little time to do.”…..Read more >>

Consultation with the midwives, available on Skype (face time or other platforms), over the phone or in the office. Click here to book. More information about our services on our website.














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Water Birth: A Gentle Alternative for Mommy and Baby


Water Birth: A Gentle Alternative for Mommy and Baby

Posted on 20 August 2012 by hulda

Sunday, 9 September:

Certification course for Mother/Baby Professionals

Monday, 10 September:

Embracing the Miracle Workshop for parents and professionals

Water Birth is more than just a trend: it is a safe alternative for women who want to choose a more natural way of giving birth. Being submerged in water for most or all of labour eases discomfort and creates a gentle birthing process. The benefits of giving birth in water has been studied in many countries over the last three decades and is known to be effective in relieving the pain of childbirth.

Having a safe and gentle birth is not only beneficial to the mother, but also to the child.  Current research suggests that babies are conscious participants during birth, so they think, feel and remember everything about the birth experience, which affects the development of their brain structures.

Barbara Harper, registered nurse, midwife and founder of Waterbirth International says that that we should “re-think birth from this bio-physiologic perspective and examine core beliefs” to include a more holistic perspective so women can learn how to give birth with more ease, which makes the experience better for both her and the baby.

Barbara will be presenting two workshops at Annerley to teach parents and professionals the science and evidence behind waterbirth and how common birth practices enhance or deter the birth process.

Waterbirth Certification Workshop

Date: Sunday 9 September, 2012
Time: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Cost: HKD 1,200/ USD 155
Location: Annerley Hong Kong, 17/F Tak Woo House, Wo On Lane,
17-19 D’aguilar Street, Central, HK

Please register online or call (852) 9285-6292 or email

Waterbirth is becoming an increasingly popular option for women who want to have a more natural way of giving birth. This certification workshop is created to prepare professionals for further training so they can assist women who choose waterbirth as an option. Attendees will learn the basics of waterbirth for the mother, the physiology of newborn breathing, hormonal control and the baby’s role in the birthing process. Attendees will receive a certificate and course materials.

Workshop Objectives

At the end of the workshops the participant will be able to:

  1. Discuss the difference between controversial and absolute contraindications for birth in water.
  2. Define the term epigenetics.
  3. Outline the steps to resolve a shoulder dystocia in the water.
  4. List the two new observable reflexes on the Aquatic Apgar.
  5. Discuss the benefits of physiologic third stage for newborns.
  6. List two reasons why newborn crying is detrimental.

Contact Hours

This course has been approved by the American College of Nurse Midwives for 6 contact hours (0.6 CEUs) Participants will receive a certificate of completion from Waterbirth International that makes them eligible for future credentialing in waterbirth.

Embracing the Miracle

Date: Monday 10 September, 2012
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cost: HKD 600/ USD 75
Location: Annerley Hong Kong, 17/F Tak Woo House, Wo On Lane,
17-19 D’aguilar Street, Central, HK

Please register online or call (852) 9285-6292 or email

“Embracing the Miracle” will teach parents and professionals how to have a gentle birth and will cover how common birth practices can enhance or deter the birth process and child’s development.

Attend both “Waterbirth Certification” and “Embracing the Miracle” workshop

Date and Time:
Sunday 9 September, 2012 (10:00 am to 6:00 pm) and
Monday 10 September, 2012 (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm)
Cost: HKD 1550 (save HKD 250) / USD 200 (save USD 30)
Location: Annerley Hong Kong, 17/F Tak Woo House, Wo On Lane,
17-19 D’aguilar Street, Central, HK

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Daddy 101

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The Article That All Dads To Be Should Read!

Posted on 16 August 2012 by Annerley

Daddy 101During pregnancy, there is no physical indicator that a man is about to become a father. Unless he specifically says so, you would have no idea that he was about to go through a big life transition. In fact, you could be surrounded by Dads To Be and not have the slightest clue!

Of course, this ain’t the case with mum.  She’s obviously changing and clearly indicating to the world-at-large (pardon the pun) that life is about to become a whole lot different.  Because of this, the majority of the attention is on her. People will ask her when she is due, how she is feeling and once baby is born, how she is coping with breastfeeding and how her recovery is going.

Not so with dad. He may get a slap on the back and a few congrats but that’s pretty much it. Which is fine, by the way, mum has put a lot of work into growing and delivering baby so it’s understandable that she receives more attention in return. My point is that it’s quite easy for a man to add all of this up and come to the conclusion that mum’s role is more important than his, that maybe his role is more of a supporting actor than a lead player. More attention on her plus pregnancy plus giving birth plus breastfeeding equals “she’s more important to our baby than me”. But this is not at all true.

The role of a father is as important as that of the mother. You only have to look at your own parents to know that your father played (and continues to play) as much of a role in shaping who you are as your mother. You don’t look at them and think that one is more important than the other.

This is probably the most important realisation a man can make at the beginning of his parenting journey – that he has a vital role to play in his child’s life from the second that child is born. If he has a son, he will be the model for what it is to be a father, what it is to be a husband and what it is to be a man.

If he has a daughter, it falls to him to show her what to expect from a man in a relationship and how she should be treated. It’s a big responsibility. Just a few weeks ago, some new research came out from the University of Oxford showing that children whose fathers disengaged from as early as 3 months were already exhibiting  behavioural problems at the age of 1 year.*  A baby needs their dad as much as their mum.

If you’re on the verge of becoming a dad or have just become one, allow us to assist you Orla Breezewith the preparation for the greatest role of your life. Daddy 101 is a very informal dads-only evening where you get to ask every question you ever had about your first year as a father – and I mean every question. Even the ones you think you shouldn’t ask! Click here for full details of our next evening.

Orla Breeze  – EFT practitioner & Workshop Facilitator

 * Click for full details of  research paper 








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It’s Not You, It’s Me… How our Children Reflect our Behaviour

Posted on 14 August 2012 by Annerley

About a year or so into parenthood, it slowly starts to dawn on you that bringing up baby is a lot more about how you behave than how your kid does. This is not something that gets explained to you in advance. When a child is born s/he knows absolutely nothing about social rules or how, when or where s/he should behave. In fact, all s/he really knows is water, darkness and sound. As a parent, it falls on us to teach the rest. So it follows that when we’re unhappy with aspects of their behaviour, we can’t really blame them as we were the ones who taught them to behave that way in the first place. We may have done this very consciously by deciding to respond to certain situations in specific ways or we could have done this unconsciously simply by being ourselves. That realisation is quite a big one because it means that we are one big walking, talking example for their behaviour. And that, of course, means that if we want them to change, we have to change first. GULP!

So how on earth do we start? Well, the good news is that your little one is a great indicator of your starting point. For the first 7 years of their lives, they pretty much learn from observing us. That means the chances are fairly high that aspects of their character that annoy us the most are, unfortunately, aspects of ourselves that annoy us the most. So when I once asked a wise man why my son was always moaning and complaining, he told me that it was because I too did a lot of that so my son thought it must be a good thing to do. Ouch! I had to take a long look at myself after that revelation and make some pretty drastic changes to my behaviour.

The benefits of taking this approach are really high. When we change and let go of those parts of ourselves that we don’t like, our children change too. As we behave, so they behave. It’s a simple truth but does require some kind of regular ongoing practice to maintain. That doesn’t mean that you need to take yourself to some mountain top somewhere and meditate in silence for long periods of time – although that is quite tempting when you’re with your kids 24/7 – even a couple of minutes a day of simple deep breathing can make the world of a difference.

Here at Annerley, we don’t just work with you whilst you’re going through the process of becoming a parent. We also offer workshops and evenings to assist at every stage of parenthood. Being a parent is a lifelong commitment and every parent could do with some extra tips and techniques from time to time. If you’re a new Dad or Dad-to-Be, you may like to get all your questions answered at our Daddy 101 evening. New Mums are welcome to join us for our Truth About Motherhood workshops where we let you in on the secrets to time-management and planning for the future and also introduce you to a couple of techniques for the kind of conscious parenting this article has talked about. And for those of you who want to work on specific issues that are coming up for your family, we offer one-to-one EFT sessions.  Further information on all of these courses can be found by clicking here on ‘Other Classes’. We hope to see you there!


Workshop Facilitator & EFT practitioner, Orla Breeze works with new parents and parents-to-be here at annerley where she runs her popular workshops Daddy 101 & The Truth About Motherhood 


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Are Home Visits from Midwives Necessary?

Posted on 07 August 2012 by Annerley

Some of the other women in my pre-natal class seem to be very busy organising midwife home visits for after their babies are born. I don’t really see why this is necessary. What are the benefits of having a midwife visit? Do visits really need to be booked in advance or does it make more sense to see how the land lies after my baby has arrived? Thanks.

Hulda responds:

The time after you have given birth is one of great change.  You do not know how you will adapt in your new role.  Different services are available in different countries, however normally there is a team of care providers who work together to support you over this time with a percentage of this care being home-based. In Hong Kong, once you are discharged from the hospital the following services are available to you:

  • Maternal child health nurses in the government clinics
  • Private midwives
  • Your paediatrican
  • Well baby clinics.

It is good to have your babies weighed every week in the first month after birth.  For most of these options you have to go somewhere, which can be quite difficult to get your head around, so having someone come to your house who will spend time just focusing on you and your family is a good option.

The reasons families book home visits with midwives in advance is to ensure someone is coming to check-in on them, do a postnatal check, weigh the baby, check the baby and help with any other issues that may arise.  We know that continuity of care in the provision of appropriate support through pregnancy and birth is important so it is good if you have met the midwife prior to the birth.  We also know there is more than one way to care for your baby or else everyone would be doing the same thing.  So these care providers should be able to listen to your needs and provide you with information, not instruction.  The definition of a midwife is “with woman,” to assist the woman by providing her with knowledge to make an informed choice.  And this is definitely the way the midwives I know strive to work.

It is not necessary to book visits in advance, however be aware that most of the midwives are fairly busy and if you have not planned any home visits you may not be able to get someone at short notice. Although they will definitely do their best!  If you decide booking home visits with a midwife is not for you, please do not wait until things are really difficult, for example before you decide that breastfeeding is becoming so painful that you hate doing it and are on the verge of giving up.  When this is the case, it is uncommon for problems to be solved in a one hour visit.  If things are becoming challenging please call early, maybe a solution can be found with just a small modification by phone or email.  Whereas if things are really hard, you may end up struggling more than is necessary.

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Why do my joints hurt so much? After-effects of birth

Posted on 01 August 2012 by Annerley

Since having my baby 2 months ago, my joints have become progressively stiff and painful.  During my pregnancy, it was only my knees which got a bit stiff towards the end. At my 6 week post natal check up, my doctor told me not to worry about it and it will pass.  But it’s gotten worse.  When I get up off the couch I’m literally hobbling like an old woman for a few steps before I can straighten up.  And it’s not just the weight bearing joints of back, hips and knees.  Even my fingers get stiff.  When I wake up in the morning, I have to bend and flex my hands a few times before I can use them.  Is this a normal after effect of pregnancy? I am breast-feeding and so am wondering if I’m missing something in my diet?  I eat pretty healthily – lots of fruit and veg, and at least 2 glasses of milk per day.

Hulda responds:

Unfortunately your symptoms are not an uncommon after-effect of birth and generally it resolves with no long term side-effects.  There are a number of theories on why this occurs; they include hormonal changes and dietary imbalances.  The hormonal theories identify that oestrogen is low in both postnatal mothers and menopausal women and both of these groups of women suffer from joint pain.  Women who are experiencing the effects of a dietary imbalance usually are low in (or lack) calcium, potassium and magnesium or a combination of these minerals. Some useful tips and advice is to increase or take supplements of the above minerals or/and high doses of fish oils; omega 3 fatty acids.  If your situation continues to deteriorate, you should ask your doctor to further investigate the symptoms.  Some will advise you to stop breastfeeding and for some mothers this may be of some value, However most feel there is little difference. None of these suggestions have been proven by evidence but many women have felt that they have made a positive impact on their quality of life.  It is important to try and maintain a low impact exercise, such as swimming or gentle yoga under supervision of an experienced yoga instructor.  You could also consider complementary therapies such as acupuncture and craniosacral therapy.


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