I really love running antenatal classes – whether it is preparing first time parents for some of what is to come, answering questions and providing information/skills for this new thing they have to do to have their baby or preparing parents for birth again – this can come after loss, it can come after a tricky first birth or it could just be needing to focus on birth once more.
I love birth, I love the uniqueness and unpredictability of birth and I love the strength and pure awesomeness of women and what we do to grow and birth our babies. I don’t believe that one type of birth is better than another although I would prefer it if births didn’t involve any distress for women, their partners and babies – but this is an issue I talk about and attempt to prepare you for.
My only agenda with antenatal classes is that you, as an expectant parent, are given the time to think about birth, to gather information and skills so you can go in as ready as possible for the reality of birth and what it chucks at you. I meet so many new parents who didn’t know about me in pregnancy or just weren’t sure of the benefits of booking with me because I am not NCT (although I used to be) and I’m not part of a franchise but then wish they had known how to use their breathing better, how to stay off the bed, how to better handle an epidural or an induction, how to be more involved.
Antenatal classes: the benefits
I have about 15 years experience of teaching antenatal classes, I have professional qualifications and I have attended births as a doula but what’s in it for you…
- a range of practical, realistic information for labour, birth, staying calm, for movement and resting, for contractions and for managing energy
- a professional service with someone who knows birth and who is also trained to work with expectant parents
- to be able to focus on your unique needs for birth preparation and to ask all the questions you need
- small groups and private sessions which are warm, friendly and welcoming and where you can feel comfortable to gain knowledge, to chat and to share any fears or worries about giving birth
- sessions that focus on the reality of birth rather than just focusing on natural birth – contractions, induction, pain relief, caesareans. For me, birth preparation is also about thinking about the unpredictability of it all and thinking about how to stay calm, decision making, having some control and, sometimes, just rolling with it.
- to have the time and space to think about giving birth – what you might need, to have an idea of what to expect, to know what can help you
- for birth partners to focus on their role
- simple, effective and proven breathing skills to help keep you calm, to manage pain and in more control
- and if this isn’t your first baby, to focus again on birth and maybe to debrief your first birth as well
I have worked with expectant parents since 2002 and I have taught antenatal classes almost weekly since 2005.
I am NCT-trained and, due to my knowledge, training and experience, I am able to provide information, support and reassurance for all expectant parents. My sessions are friendly and informal – not like a classroom – with small groups and 1:1 sessions so you can ask questions and gather all the information you need. In addition to general birth preparation, I specialise in being parent-focused so I can provide support for specific issues such as birth anxiety, giving birth again, being induced, planned caesareans and homebirths.
I am a mum of three and I have also worked as a birth doula, so I have attended a number of births.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch…