This antenatal course has been designed to provide you with a range of practical information, resources and worksheets to focus on your individual needs as you prepare for labour, birth and your new baby.
Labour and birth can be brilliant, it can be euphoric, it can be straight-forward, it can be complicated, it can be overwhelming and it can be scary. Labour, birth and becoming parents can be an incredibly emotional experience and it is these emotions that you can’t prepare for. However you can be equipped with effective knowledge and skills so you know more about the childbirth process; about new babies; about what helps and what might not; and how to use practical skills to focus on being comfortable and staying calm.
I passionately believe that when labour is straight-forward and well supported, the contractions are do-able, and when underpinned by a positive mindset, good strategies, skills and ongoing reassurance, there is nothing to fear. But there are many factors that can impact contractions and how well a woman can work with them – a long labour, a back-to-back baby, being induced, anxiety and fear and lack of support and consistency can all make labour and birth tougher than expected.
I also believe that one type of birth is not better than another – my role is to help you gather the knowledge, skills and confidence to make decisions, to have robust coping strategies and to do what works best for you.
I feel that it is important to keep birth strategies as simple as possible – movement, gravity, breathing, doing what feels right, taking it one contraction at a time and saying what you need to be comfortable and safe are essential. Add to this the ability to ask questions so you know more about your options, and you are then better equipped to manage any changes and complications.
I have worked as a birth practitioner since 2002 – as an antenatal teacher and then also as a birth doula – so I understand how varied pregnancy, birth and the needs of expectant parents can be. It’s about putting yourself at the centre of your care – so you can say what you need, so you are communicated with, so you can work well with your midwife and so you continue to feel informed and able.
This course is about equipping you with the knowledge, skills and ability to DO your labour and birth, however it unfolds and whatever the challenges are for you.
As you go through each module:
*read the information
*make notes & answer questions
*write down your personal strategies for labour, birth and early days with your baby
*ask me questions during a 1:1 session
There are also links to download worksheets, checklists and information for your birth preparation as well as to use in labour and when your baby is here.
Janine Smith | a specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting