How do you decide which hypnobirthing course is right for you?


Pregnancy can be an expensive time, so you're going to want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck, right?


Hypnobirthing has a great reputation, so once you've had a reassuring 20week scan, you'll probably start looking around to find the right course for you. Your first decision is whether to plump for an in-person course, go online or buy a book-with-CD. In-person courses are traditionally held over a course of 3 or 4 classes, each lasting around 3 hours. If you're still working, or already have children, this can be quite a big commitment. You can also find one-day classes, which will deliver the same content but in a single chunk.


Online courses? I'm wary of these. Hypnobirthing isn't just about learning useful coping techniques & listening to MP3s. It's an active process, and there are lots of considerations that come into play. The factors that affect birth are many & varied. One of my clients recently likened their 121 course to pre-marriage counselling - he said it prompted him & his partner to address assumptions that might otherwise have presented bumps in the road. I tend to the view that pregnancy presents a whole raft of preconceptions to be challenged - from what birth might look like, to personalising the principles & techniques to work for you, to how to communicate with Drs, to the involvement of grandparents, to family expectations around feeding, sleep, work... and so 121 time with your chosen practitioner, to really refine it all, is really important. (It's why even my group classes include 2 x 40min 121 follow-up calls).


There are LOTS of hypnobirthing practitioners these days - and almost as many programmes. When I was first pregnant in 2010 we drove for an hour to each Mongan Method class - these days there are at least 4 practitioners in my local area alone! The Marie Mongan Method claims to be the original, and is heavy on the Americanisms. Containing all the base elements for a hypnobirthing approach, there are aspects of this which do now sound out-dated. Next up (chronologically) is Katherine Graves, a well established, programme with practitioners across the UK. Bear in mind that these are proprietary programmes, which means you'll be taught a closely modulated syllabus - leaving less opportunity to tailor courses to your particular needs. Newer programmes include The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme (for which I have a close affection, because I was one of the original practitioners, trained by Dany Griffiths & Tamara Cianfini in 2013), and The Calm Birth School. Obviously I LOVE the Calm Birth School Method! I use the book and 5 x MP3s to support my classes now, and just love the no-nonsense, no-holds-barred, direct, honest, pragmatic approach....and Suzy Ashworth's calm assumption that we are all smart, bright women who'll have no problem getting what we want (with the right support to hand!).


Cost will be an issue, of course. Most programmes will range from about £250 for group classes up to £500 for 121 classes. Remember; as with everything else, you get what you pay for. Experienced practitioners will have spent many years refining their skills, honing their experience and - of course - reflecting, learning & refining their practice from the experiences of all their clients.


Most important of all, though, is the rapport between you and the practitioner. Do you 'get' each other. Do you like her? Do you speak the same language? Do you trust her judgement? Do you feel confident that she knows what she's talking about, had a good understanding not just about the techniques of hypnobirthing, but also the practical realities that influence birth? Will you be able to be honest with her? Will you feel comfortable challenging assumptions with her? Is she really offering an image of birth that you feel you can really get on board with, and adapt to be realistic for you?


Most good practitioners will offer you a free call or meeting, so you can get to know them. Social meeja helps with this these days too, of course. You can follow your practitioner on FB & the grid to get an idea of what they're up to, what their tone & style is, and whether you want to hang out with them & talk vagina's & meditation for a day!


All the personalisation of a private course, for the price of a group course - The Good Birth Practice Group Courses are held in a single day + 2 x 40min 121 follow up calls. The April course takes place on Sunday 14th April 2019, from 930am - 5pm, at a cost of £275 per couple.


Want to know more? Book a free call by emailing me at charlie@thegoodbirthpractice.co.uk

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