First things things. It's ok to feel anxious about birth. In fact it's quite normal to feel some quite powerful anticipation about what's to come (whether it's your 1st baby or your 5th).
Secondly, it's ok to feel uncomfortable with not knowing much about how birth works. We don't often reflect on birth in this country - and when we do it's highly dramatised. So there's a lot to learn in those 40-odd weeks (including how to mark time in weeks...). For lots of us the 'not knowing' bit can feel exposing and scary.
Next up - and I appreciate this is a challenging one - Birth is not inherently awful. I know you've seen & heard some awful things, things which linger & torture you in the wee small hours. I want you to know, though, that just because lots of people have horrible experiences, it's not a given that you will.
Perhaps most comfortingly, I'd like you to know that birth isn't really very different to anything else in life. For example, Knowledge is Power is a universal truth. And also, Preparation Matters.
That also means that there's no such things as a Silver Bullet. Hypnobirthing skills & techniques are incredibly effective (I know, because I used them and I've seen other women use them too). However, they're not the whole story. Context is King, and you need insight + confidence to navigate the practical realities.
I also want to reassure you that you are not alone feeling scared.
IT'S REASONABLE TO FEEL CONCERNED
I know from experience - mine and the many women I've worked with over the years - that lurking under the general sense of anxiety around birth are a great many other fears. You might recognise some of these.
Women feel concerned about their own abilities. Their pain threshold. Their capacity to manage & cope. Their resilience.
Women worry about the physical and emotional effects of interventions. They also worry about not being able to get the support or pain-relief they might want or need, when they need or want it.
Women are often deeply concerned about 'disappearing' underneath birth, losing their individuality and becoming 'just another body' on the labour ward. Too much concern about cervixes, vaginas (& babies) and not enough about how YOU are.
Women worry about making safe decisions. How to balance medical risk with personal comfort and safety?
Mothers-to-be aren't the only ones to worry. Partners worry too. How will they cope with the intensity? The responsibility? The uncertainty?
ANTENATAL INSPIRATION | HYPNOBIRTHING ++
With all this in mind, what you're after is an antenatal course which combines the practical physiology with ALL the mindful focus of hypnobirthing AND insight into the practical realities of birth in the UK today.
More than that, you probably want a course which doesn't hero one type of birth over another.
A course which promotes the idea that only YOU can decide what's best for you.
One that asks the questions you need to answer in order to understand what that is.
In fact, it would be great, wouldn't it, if your course was honest about the occasional unpredictabilities of birth too, and gave you the confidence to create a flexible birth plan which works (not one that ties you down to one thing, without preparing you for anything else).
Really, you'd like a course which gives you a practical, rational understanding of why your coping techniques work, and how you can adapt and apply them to suit you.
Even better would be to understand the spheres of influence which interlink around your birth.
A course which gives you confidence in your role and rights in birth.
One which gives you a clear picture of what you can usefully control & how to comfortably relinquish what you can't.
Book your place with The Good Birth Practice, and you get all that AND consistent support from a trusted, reliable, independent birth coach. What's not to love?!
SO HOW DOES IT WORK?
WHAT'S INCLUDED & WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Whether you decide to book onto a Group course or a 121 Private course, the content is the same.
8 hours class time
2 x 40minute 121 follow-up coaching calls
The Calm Birth School Book
5 x Calm Birth School Hypnobirthing MP3s
Access to The Birth Room, our closed client area packed with refreshers, tips, resources, birth films & BONUS video tutorials including, 10 Top Preparing for Breastfeeding Tips from Anna Le Grange, the Mindful Breastfeeding Coach; The Truth About Infant Sleep, from Katie Palmer at Infant Sleep Consultants; Your Pelvic Floor - what it is & how to show it some love, from Jo May at Radiant Personal Training; Realistic Self Care for Mums, from Silke Thistlewood at Raise Up Mums