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Caroline Richards

Caroline Richards

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Social worker, yogi, meditator, mother, Caroline Richards birthed her four babies at home helped by the power of positive thinking. She has had articles published in Juno natural parenting magazine.

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About the author

Caroline Richards is Author of Natural Birth in a Nutshell and Joy Practitioner, Homemaker, Mother, Writer. She is a practiced children and families social worker for 10 years. She later committed to being a full-time mother. She has had articles published in Juno Magazine and local NCT magazines. 

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Katrina Caslake

Katrina is committed to providing the very best in maternity care, supporting the women she works with to birth as nature intended.

Katrina is an experienced midwife, offering the very best tailored, holistic approach to maternity care in your own home. Her approach is based on getting to know your midwife during pregnancy, birth and and beyond. Most important of all, she is friendly and caring, whatever kind of birth you have.





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Success! Natural Birth in a Nutshell has already sold 41 pre-orders , was pitched to 31 publishers , and will be published by Motivational Press .
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Natural Birth in a Nutshell

The no frills guide to pregnancy and birth with more than 20 real birth stories

Easy to read, down to earth, sound, practical advice that will help you enjoy your pregnancy, birth and entry to motherhood.

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Mind & Body Childbirth
40,000 words
75% complete
6 publishers interested


This book promises to:
• Inform the reader about natural childbirth and her choices for pregnancy and birth.
• Empower her to take control of her birth experience.
• Inspire her towards a natural,  wonderful birth, and entry into motherhood.

Part One of the book contains the information necessary to guide the reader through pregnancy and birth, written in concise, approachable language with an empowering and positive ethos. Part Two contains real life birth stories from women who have had experience of natural birth in many different situations.



Chapter One So, You’re Pregnant

Outlining how it feels to be pregnant throughout the three trimesters.

Chapter Two Natural vs. Medical

Information about the various options for birth, recognising both why natural birth can be better, and why medical intervention can sometimes be necessary.

Chapter Three Prepare Yourself

How to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the birth using the ‘Three Pledge Promise’

Chapter Four Looking After No. 1

Self-care during pregnancy: suggestions for treatments, exercise and therapies.

Chapter Five PMA: Positive Mental Attitude

Using the power of a positivity to have the birth you want.

Chapter Six Looking After No. 2 (The Man in Your Life)

Involving the father in the pregnancy and birth.

Chapter Seven This is it! Labour and Birth

Considering the different methods and aids to birth, and answering the question, ‘what’s it really like?’

Chapter Eight Just in Case: Medical Information and Terminology

Important information about medical interventions and terminology.

Chapter Nine Onward into Motherhood

Covering the immediate post-natal period, the first few weeks, and breastfeeding.


A beautiful collection of positive birth stories to uplift and inspire.


According to the Office for National Statistics, and considering their most recent figures from 2015, the birth rate in the UK is on the up: there were 697,852 live births in England and Wales in 2015, an increase of 0.4% from 2014.

Interestingly the age of mothers is increasing : the average age of mothers in 2015 increased to 30.3 years, compared with 30.2 years in 2014 and the fertility rate for women aged 40 and over rose above the rate for women aged under 20 for the first time since 1947. This suggests the cohort of pregnant mamas who will read Natural Birth in a Nutshell is getting just a little older! The main readership will be between the ages of about 25 and 45. 

According to the ONS, the percentage of women giving birth at home remained at 2.3% in 2013, unchanged from 2012. This amounts to approximately 16,000 home births. This book has a broad appeal and covers natural birth in any setting, not just at home. However, this statistic gives some indication of how many natural births of a particular type (at home) there were. 

There is an increasing trend for women to be birthing by Caesarian Section. See this article from The Guardian (31.01.2016). It states, 'Rates of caesarean section have been rising gradually for many years – from about 10% of births 30 years ago to near 25% of births today'. The NHS are concerned about this. Natural Birth in a Nutshell book is a simple, effective tool to inspire women and birth practitioners and counteract this growing trend. 

Miranda Dodwell, researcher BirthChoiceUK and National Childbirth Trust states, in 2012 that, 'research shows that the majority of women want to give birth with a minimum amount of medical intervention, provided their baby is safe and they are coping with labour.' The full article can be obtained here. Natural Birth in a Nutshell provides tools and tips to support women in their choice to have as little intervention as possible in her unique situation. 


Facebook: Connected with over 50 natural birth organisations, Each one will be personally messaged with the campaign and bonus offers. 

Linkedin: With a large number of connections in the birth and pregnancy fields, personal messages will be sent and followed up throughout the campaign. 

Email: Emailing our personal supporters, previous and current midwifery clients with the campaign link and regular updates. 


Juno Magazine: The first port of call for natural parenting in the UK, with an online readership of  over 1,000 per day, Juno is publishing an article with a plea for pre-orders and a link to my campaign.

Talented Ladies Club: With a readership of over 78,000 per months, targeting working mothers, an interview on their website has been secured, with a plea for pre-orders and a link to the Publishizer page. 


Private Midwives:  A well established company providing private midwifery services in the UK, Ireland and channel islands, Private Midwives will be featuring the book on their website and keeping their clients and midwives informed of the campaign. 


Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin (Random House, 1986): This is a great, comprehensive childbirth book with a similar ethos to mine: recognising natural birth as a very straightforward, normal life event. It is now rather dated and the photos and layout are rather stale. It is also very long in comparison with Natural Birth in a Nutshell.

New Active Birth: A Concise Guide to Natural Childbirth by Janet Balaskas (Thorsons, 1989): A comprehensive, detailed, also dated, rather technical book, that lacks the personal touch and stories of Natural Birth in a Nutshell. 

The Gentle Birth Method: The Month-by-Month Jeyerani Way Programme by Dr. Gowri Motha and Karen Swan Macleod(Thorsons, 2004): A really inspiring book which I refer to in Natural Birth in a Nutshell. This book gives clear guidelines on a specific method that one doctor uses to prepare women for a natural birth, including an eating plan, meditations and exercises. My book is simpler and more generic. 

Birthing from Within: An Extraordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by Pam England and Rob Horowitz (Partners Press, Self Published, 1998): This book gained momentum in natural parenting circles, and would appeal to women looking for an opportunity to explore their pregnancy and birth using activities such as journal writing, meditation and painting. Again, a specific system as compared to the more general and personal nature of Natural Birth in a Nutshell. 

Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful: Experience the Natural Power of Pregnancy and Birth with Kundalini Yoga and Meditation by Gurumukh Kaur Khalsa (Macmillan, 2003): A beautiful book with a yogic approach to birth, in particular Kundalini yoga. This makes it rather niche and would appeal to a smaller audience than Natural Birth in a Nutshell, which whilst it introduces yogic concepts, has a broader appeal.  

6 publishers interested
Anaphora Literary Press logo Anaphora Literary Press

250 copies • Partial manuscript.
Anaphora Literary Press was started in 2009 and publishes fiction, short stories, creative and non-fiction books. Anaphora has exhibited its titles at SIBA, ALA, SAMLA, and many other international conventions. Services include book trailers, press releases, merchandise design, book review (free in pdf/epub) submissions, proofreading, formatting, design, LCCN/ISBN assignment, international distribution, art creation, ebook (Kindle, EBSCO, ProQuest)/ softcover/ hardcover editions, and dozens of other components included in the basic package.

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Motivational Press logo Motivational Press

250 copies • Completed manuscript.
Motivational Press is a top publisher today in providing marketing and promotion support to our authors. Our authors get favorable rates for purchasing their own books and higher than standard royalties. Our team is at the forefront of technology and offers the most comprehensive publishing platform of any non-fiction publishing house including print, electronic, and audiobook distribution worldwide. We look forward to serving you.

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250 copies • Partial manuscript.
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Bookmobile logo Bookmobile

100 copies • Partial manuscript.
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Happy Self Publishing logo Happy Self Publishing

100 copies • Completed manuscript.
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Chapter One

“A grand adventure is about to begin.” Winnie the Pooh

I remember being at a party when I was pregnant with my first daughter and women I had never met before came over to me, striking up conversations about motherhood, asking me about my pregnancy, and sharing their experiences. I couldn’t remember another time in my life where I had felt so welcomed. Regardless of culture or nationality, the common link of motherhood connects you with other mothers wherever you are in the world. It’s like a secret society that you didn’t know existed until you joined. So, welcome to the club!

When you did the pregnancy test and saw the positive result, you probably experienced all sorts of mixed feelings alongside the joy and excitement. This is the beginning of a completely new phase for you and your partner, who will soon be becoming a family. You may be starting to feel differently about every aspect of your life: your body, your work, your relationship with your partner, your relationships with your family and friends.  You may be thinking about when you’ll going back to work, how you’re going to care for your baby, maybe who’s going to care for your baby. Often, during pregnancy people either move house or undertake household renovations as they begin to think about the kind of home they want to bring their baby into, and focus on ‘nesting’.  Maybe your pregnancy is the result of years of trying, or you may have conceived quickly. Whichever way, it is likely to be rocking your world in more ways than one. During my pregnancies I felt an incredible sense of peace with myself in the knowledge that I was doing something vital, and important. Listen to your body and and do what you need to care for yourself. You are doing an extremely important job.
Pregnancy is traditionally divided up into three semesters, or phases. How we feel is going to be largely dependent on each of us as individuals, but below is a rough guide to each trimester and how you are likely to be feeling. If you have any concerns or worries, make sure you speak to your midwife or doctor.

First Trimester Weeks 1 – 12
This is the period where mind and body are acclimatizing to your new state. You may feel a tiredness like you’ve never experienced before, accompanied by an ability to drop off to sleep at any time, anywhere. You may feel sick or nauseous and possibly you’re even vomiting (‘morning sickness’ is a misnomer – it can happen any time). Your sense of smell and taste can become heightened at this time. It’s also the time you’ll be moving house, doing up a bathroom or some similar stressful household project. (It just seems to be how it goes.) Probably, you haven’t told many (if any) people, so along with all the changes happening to your body and emotions, you are carrying a secret laden with feelings of excitement, wonder, amazement, but also maybe fear, confusion, bewilderment and disbelief.
You’ll have your first scan round about 12 weeks, after which things may start to feel a little more real.

Second Trimester Weeks 13 - 25
It is during this part of the pregnancy that you will probably start to feel better on every level. It’s likely that the sickness will have passed and your energy levels should be higher although your body is still extremely busy creating your baby, so you may experience tiredness at times.  Your belly will probably be starting to look like a bump and everyone now knows you’re pregnant. You may feel like you’re starting to settle into your pregnancy and enjoy it. You may begin to feel small kicks and movements from your baby as they become more active. This phase of the pregnancy is sometimes known as ‘the honeymoon period’ but don’t worry if yours is not like that. Every woman, and every pregnancy is different.

Third Trimester Weeks 26 - 40
During the third trimester you will be starting to feel heavier and slower, and by the end you will be desperate to meet your baby and to get your body back! In addition to all the physical changes, your body will be producing a cocktail of hormones that affect your emotions. That, added to the huge change that is imminent, will mean that you really need to be on your own side during this time. You may feel distracted as it’s as if you are constantly having a conversation with someone who nobody else can see. Isn’t it awe inspiring that this miracle of life is happening inside your body? On the other hand, you might just feel like you’ve been taken over by an alien. Braxton Hicks ‘practice’ contractions can occur now,  when the muscles start tightening in preparation for labour. Later on you may find you are uncomfortable sleeping and that you have vivid dreams. You may feel hotter than usual with the extra blood pumping around your body. Your baby’s head will engage some time during these last few weeks, earlier with subsequent babies.

Whilst you are pregnant it is important to be fully aware of what it is you are doing: creating life! You have a little person inside you who is relying on you to care for them. This is a responsibility but also a privilege. Having a baby is not something that’s going to happen alongside your usual life. It is going to have a totally life-changing impact, and now, whilst you are pregnant, is a good time to start to think about how you want to bring your baby up, how he or she will fit into your life, how you can give them the best possible care and attention.   


  • Take some time every day to be with your baby, to sit, breathe deeply, and connect. Rub your belly, envisage what your baby looks like, how she or he feels, and really get to know each other.
  • Start thinking about the kind of mother you would like to be, the kind of parents you and your partner would like to be. This may change when the reality of caring for a baby hits, but it is still useful to have thought through your basic philosophy. Here are a few examples to consider:

Where will your baby sleep: in your bed, in a cot in your room, in a cot in another room?
Pram or sling? Will you be pushing or carrying your baby?
Will you be using childcare? If so, what kind? Grandparents, daycare or a nanny?

Feeding to a schedule or feeding on demand? Breast or bottle?


Chapter Three
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” Unknown

Assuming you have now decided that a natural birth is the choice for you, let’s talk about preparation. Like any ‘labour’ be it running in a race or taking an academic test, successfully birthing naturally takes preparation, and this can start as soon as you have conceived, or even before, in a number of ways. Of course, birth being what it is, it is never totally predictable and sometimes other plans will be in store for you. But, whatever happens, the planning and preparation that will have gone into your natural birth will assist you in remaining calm, healthy and focused regardless of the end result. I start here with a ‘3 pledge promise’ to yourself which I ask you to sign and commit to throughout your pregnancy and beyond.

The Three Pledge Promise of the Pregnant Mother
1. I will honour myself and my body whilst I am pregnant, and beyond.
Whilst you are pregnant you are (generally) carrying on with your former life, initially with no outside evidence of any changes. However, inside you will be a maelstrom of different emotions and experiences as you deal with the life coming into being inside you. Not only are you continuing with your life at hand, you are creating another little being.
When you are pregnant you need to pamper yourself and honour yourself more than ever before. I have a ‘yummy list’ which lists all the treats which make me feel nurtured and warm and gorgeous. I make sure I do at least one of these a day. For example, start the day with meditation or yoga then give yourself an all over body massage followed by a warm shower, put on a few drops of scent and face the day on top of the world. Honour your emotions by acknowledging them, allowing them and being kind to yourself, whatever you may be feeling. All sorts of things come up when you are pregnant. During my final pregnancy I felt extremely frustrated at how slow I became and how I couldn’t participate so physically with the other children. However, I had to learn to accept this and bring them along at my pace. Use your pregnancy to build faith in yourself and your body. Indulge yourself in whatever makes you good,  in body, mind and spirit.

2. I will focus only on positive birth stories.
As soon as anyone knows you are pregnant, they will be desperate to tell you their birth story.
Unfortunately, most of these will be negative. For some reason, it is not usual for people to talk about their positive experiences, unless you really ask. When I was 12 weeks pregnant with my first baby (a very sensitive time) I met up with 3 women who already each had 2 children. I had already decided to have a natural home birth and told them so when they asked where I was having the baby. I was completely ridiculed as they proceeded to tell me all the horrific and gory details of their births in hospital.  It was a sorely upsetting experience and I decided there and then to seek out stories of positive births and women who would support my decision. Another friend, shortly after this,  lent me her copy of Ina May Gaskin’s ‘Stories of Childbirth’ and I immersed myself in positive stories of uplifting, inspiring births. So, avoid people who are negative about your choices, or if they are unavoidable, simply do not discuss it with them – take strength in your decision. If anyone does begin to tell you a horror story tell them, thank you, but no, I don’t want to hear it. Fill your mind with positive images and talk to others who you think will be positive and supportive too.

3. I will take charge of my birth experience.
The Law of Attraction, simply put, goes like this: in life we get what we focus on. So, focus on misery and negativity, and, guess what, your life will be miserable and negative. Focus on the positive potential and this is where life takes you. Most of all, tune in to the calming ‘self’ within  by stopping, breathing and noticing with mindfulness, what’s going on inside. When I say ‘I will take charge of my birth experience’ I emphasize the ‘my’. It is your opportunity to really listen to yourself and what you want, regardless of prevailing culture or what your friends and family believe. It is a major point in your life, where you bring another being into this world through your body, and begin the journey of parenting that child. Consider the birth plan in the Appendix. Add to it. Draw on it. Create it as yours. Then visualise your baby arriving as you have planned. Communicate your plan to your birth partner(s). Most of all enjoy the experience of pregnancy and birth. It may only happen once or only a very few times in your life and you are honoured to be able to do it.


  • Sign and commit to your Three Pledge Promise at the end of the book
  • Draw up a ‘yummy list’ and enjoy!
  • Start to think about your birth and visualise how you would like it to be

  • Update #1 - My Book: Fantastic News Sept. 6, 2017

    Dear Friends and Supporters, 

    I am absolutely thrilled to be able to tell you that my book has been accepted by the American publisher, Motivational …

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  • Anne Tison
    on April 5, 2017, 2:38 p.m.

    Well done! Can't wait to get my copy :)

  • Fiona French
    on April 5, 2017, 7:26 p.m.

    Can't wait to read it. I know that it will be brilliant. Fiona

  • Adam Murray
    on April 30, 2017, 7:15 a.m.

    Good luck Caroline. Hope the book flies !

  • allison mitchell
    on May 14, 2017, 12:25 p.m.

    Really looking forward to reading your words of wisdom. You've been there done it, your insights will be immensely helpful to expectant mums.

  • Joanna Brass
    on May 19, 2017, 1:02 p.m.

    Purchased in support of the wonderful Katrina - forever grateful for the role she played in the births of our daughters.

  • Katie Smith
    on May 28, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

    Look forward to reading this and sharing :)