Congratulations on your pregnancy! As you are looking into antenatal classes, you may already be starting to think about the birth of your baby.
My antenatal classes are not only about knowledge and skills – they are also about assertiveness, confidence, having realistic expectations and feeling equipped to cope with the challenges. I aim to better prepare you with strategies and your options for straight-forward birth as well as the questions to ask so you know more about your options if you need additional monitoring, an induction or a caesarean when your options could be different.
This is about putting you at the centre of your care so you can say what you need and be involved with decisions.
I have about 17 years experience of teaching antenatal classes, I am professionally trained and I have attended births as a doula but what’s in it for you…
- practical & realistic information for labour, birth, staying calm, for movement and resting, for contractions and for managing energy
- classes with an experienced practitioner 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 so you can ask questions
- small groups and 1:1 sessions which are 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 labour and birth – what you might need, to have an idea of what to expect, to know what can help you and how your partner can help
- for birth partners to focus on their role and to be able to ask questions
- simple, effective and proven breathing and relaxation techniques to help keep you calm, to manage pain and to have more control
- you will receive additional reading and resources to accompany the course and enhance your birth preparation, as well as ongoing support if you need more information and reassurance for birth or with your new baby
- and if this isn’t your first baby, to focus again on birth and maybe to debrief your first birth as well
Why are my antenatal classes effective?
I love birth, I love the uniqueness and the 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 and I don’t think anything is inevitable. Providing birth preparation means equipping you with a range of knowledge with practical skills and strategies to use if you need them.
There is no guarantee of a straight-forward birth, despite any plans or desires for a waterbirth or to use hypnobirthing, so birth preparation needs to be broad, so you have had the opportunity to think about induction, caesareans and epidurals – so you know more about them, what they can involve and what your options are with all of them.
I have worked with parents for several years – both antenatally and postnatally – and we talk about birth, about expectations and about the reality of birth and my antenatal classes have been designed around my experience as an antenatal teacher, birth doula and a mother of three, as well as my conversations with new mums.
So by effective, I mean, thorough – my sessions are about:
- better preparation for contractions
- managing your energy
- asking questions & saying what you need
- being assertive
- knowing more about choosing or needing interventions
- using the practical relaxation & breathing techniques for contractions, for energy, for focus, for calm and for more control. So, you can use these techniques in straight-forward labours and you can rely on them if you need to stay calm if your birth plan changes
- honest and open discussion
- knowing more about your options and being involved, especially if medical interventions are needed
With Janine Smith
A specialist in pregnancy & birth, early parenting and parent wellbeing
I have worked with parents since 2002 and, as a practitioner with professional training and experience, I am trusted to provide a balance of reliable knowledge, non-judgemental support and much needed reassurance.
My job is not to tell you what to do – it is to listen, to provide you with the opportunity to ask questions, it is about providing ideas and information, helping you to formulate plans and to find what works for you and for your family.
The focus is on your wellbeing in pregnancy, for birth, as a parent and as you, the person behind the parent and I have created informal but effective small group and 1:1 sessions to benefit you.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to send me a message.