I first began working with parents when I started training as an antenatal teacher in 2002 – teaching back then was very much about parting with as much information as possible, using different activities, over an 8 week course as my teaching style developed.
Over the years, lots of things have influenced my work with parents – I have had three very different pregnancies and births, I have worked with hundreds of expectant and new parents and I have attended many births as a doula, which have all been very different.
Now my teaching style is very different because I don’t really teach as such – my sessions are informal and they are about chat and listening and answering questions to help parents get their head ready and to equip them with a range of effective skills – movement, breathing, being assertive, responding to their instincts – to be better able to handle what labour throws at them.
For me, birth preparation is about small groups and one-to-one sessions, making a difference one parent at a time and that’s what works for me as a practitioner. I am passionate about what I do and I know it makes a difference to many parents. For me, it’s all about informing, engaging, equipping and giving confidence boosts when needed.
It’s a unique profession, what I do as an antenatal teacher is very specific and very niche and it can be something that some people don’t think there is any value in – they can attend free NHS classes, so what’s the point in doing mine?
And the difference is I have the time to invest in my clients, to help them prepare as best I can and to listen to any anxieties or their previous birth experience. My role is to help parents get their head ready for birth; to think about what they can do; what they might need and what might be expected of them. I aim to empower parents to trust their instincts; to do what feels right; to say what they need; to work with their midwife and, sometimes, to let go of some of their expectations. Sometimes it is just about giving parents the time and the opportunity to think about birth.
And it’s not all about a natural birth – birth preparation is also about…
knowing how to use your breathing to stay calm
knowing it’s ok to move to stay as comfortable and rested as possible
being able to ask for options
knowing how to manage an induction
knowing more about making an epidural work for you
knowing what a caesarean involves
knowing more about what can help you
I help first-time parents get better prepared for labour and birth
I work with second-time parents who are preparing to give birth again, especially if their first birth left them with uncertainties and worries
I prepare parents for induction and for caesareans
I love what I do and I love being able to offer a specialist service to focus on expectant parents and their different needs for birth preparation…
Janine Rudin | birthandbabycompany.com
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0788 5774279