So you’ve found out you’re pregnant, congratulations! The excitement, perhaps trepidation of those two lines appearing, set to change everything. You’ve been taking folic acid or you pop out to buy some right away, you tell people or you keep it quietly to yourself, savouring the news and being the person who knows.
Do you want help to increase your chances of a good labour?
As time progresses and as your thoughts turn from conception and those initial stages perhaps you start to think about antenatal classes and preparing for labour and birth.
It might be quite likely that you’ve heard a mixture of stories from friends, family and media. As an antenatal teacher of 5 years I’ve heard it all, believe me! It’s quite possible that the majority of the stories you are exposed to are a bit frightening, negative, tales of 40-hour labours, excruciating pain, tears, stitches and loss of dignity. Perhaps you are harbouring hopes of a different labour and are met with eye rolling, laughter or advice to just go with the flow you can’t plan these things?
Well, what if I let you into a secret? What if you could plan for a better labour? What if you could influence the flow and ensure you enjoyed the experience? Would you believe me?
There are simply a finite amount of ways that your baby is coming into this world. Physiologically on your own, physiologically with some assistance or via the sunroof. All births are equal but how you feel about it afterwards is not.
Proper planning could definitely reduce problems
Preparation is definitely key. It always astounds me that as we face one of the most important and pivotal experiences in our lives, women refuse to plan as if the very act of planning will make things go wrong. Learning about your options, your rights, your personal preferences, BEFORE labour begins seems the most common sense approach.
One of the ways in which you can help yourself to prepare is to attend antenatal classes and we are lucky in Sheffield to have many different choices available to women and partners. I’ve outlined the main areas.
Birth choices available include:
Free with your hospital
Most hospitals offer a free antenatal course as part of their maternity offering. You can sign up to the sessions at whichever hospital you plan to give birth at. The standard of provision might be fairly basic as they seek to cover a lot of information and the classes are often in high demand because they are free. It’s always worth signing up to these especially if it’s your first baby.
The Daisy Foundation in Sheffield
Daisy Active antenatal classes are a completely unique and groundbreaking way to prepare for the arrival of your baby. The classes combine the elements of movement, education, relaxation and peer support to help you prepare. Meet new mums and build your own network of support while learning about birth, interventions, medical options and your choices.
Daisy offers continuity of care with partner workshops, practical baby care courses and baby massage and yoga. All course content is Fendant approved and teachers are insured, registered and accepting of all birth choices. A 6 week course for mums is £72.
This very popular niche of hypnotherapy has completely taken off in recent years. There are many practitioners in Sheffield to choose from so it’s worth shopping around to find someone you click with. Hypnobirthing comes in many forms but essentially boils down to using hypnotic techniques to help you into the right frame of mind for labour and gets your birth partner to help. It can be quite expensive.
The National Childbirth Trust runs antenatal and postnatal classes and again there are a number of practitioners around, so finding one you get on with is important. I found it hard to work out what was in the courses without having to sign up. NCT courses are very popular for making friends. The courses can be a little more expensive too.
Pregnancy yoga is a very popular form of movement class. Most don’t offer a full antenatal education but some are run by midwives and can perhaps help answer some of your questions. They tend to be run as drop-in sessions and can help with aches and pains usual in pregnancy. They tend to be less expensive to reflect the content of the classes.
Some mums will choose one option and some will choose more, it’s entirely up to you what you want to do.
There are many women just like you who have written reviews of Daisy Foundation classes and all of them say how they found the classes perfect for helping with the birth of their children. You can also watch the video above featuring Ceecee who talks about her first-hand experience of Daisy Foundation classes.