Antenatal course content
We genuinely want you to feel better about birth as well as skilled to deal with it.
Many antenatal courses teach you "what", but we also teach you the "how" and "when". We help you to feel calm, confident and empowered during the rest of pregnancy, as well as in labour, and even afterwards too.
These are skills for life, not just for birth!
We help you practise in advance so by the time labour begins you and your birth partner will feel calm, confident and skilled. We use combinations of approaches to help you both to understand and manage the emotional and physical journey to birth and parenthood. We aim to reduce your fears and anxieties and build your confidence through clear explanation and physical practice.
For straightforward birth as well as birth with additional medical care.
We will help you prepare your mind and body for a calm, confident, empowering birth, however and wherever your baby is born. We can help whether you're planning to give birth at home, in a birth centre or in a hospital; whether you're planning a straightforward birth or if you've agreed to be induced or have chosen a caesarean.
As we emerge from lockdown we are offering our WOW! Hypnobirthing course on a private basis with your course tailored to your needs, but with the emphasis firmly on hypnobirthing. (For other antenatal courses please see our Birthing with Confidence site.) We would usually work with the pregnant person and just one birth partner, but if you're planning to have two birth partners please talk to us to see how we can accommodate them if you'd like us to. We can work with you in person at your home or your practitioner's home, or you can choose to meet us online.
All courses include a course pack with access to 5 exclusive hypnobirthing audio downloads (with your course leader's familiar voice rather than a stranger's), course notes, information sheets, and a list of things you can do at home to practise and reinforce all your learning so that your new skills and mindset become even more effective.
If you need a 2- or 4-hour top-up session a couple of weeks or so after your initial course you're welcome to add that on. This could be useful for reminders, a bit more hands-on practice with our guidance, extending your knowledge and skills, or if your birth pathway looks different from expected and you have additional questions or concerns.
If you have quick questions or you need a bit of extra support or information we're just an email away and we are available to you until just after your baby's birth.
Everything you learn can be used in any birth setting - at home, at a birth centre or in hospital - and whether or not medical help is needed during your baby's birth.
Our hypnobirthing course is a mixture of theory and practice, linking mind and body, and everything is aimed both at the pregnant person and their birth partner. Our complete 2-day course includes:
- What hypnosis is - and what it isn't!
- Theory (how it works) and practice (how it applies to you) of hypnosis and hypnobirthing
- An exploration of your own particular concerns and preferences for birth
- Experience of deep relaxation and self-hypnosis
- How to enhance the flow of your labour hormones
- The impact of fear and stress
- Adaptation of the birth environment to your benefit
- Breathing, relaxation and working with your body
- Signs of early labour and what to do when
- When labour doesn't start on its own: induction process and options
- Physical process of labour and birth
- Techiques for rapid relaxation - relax "now", not in 20 minutes' time! (birth partners aren't expected to read long scripts)
- Positions and movement for more comfortable birth
- Massage for relaxation and comfort
- Working with your health professionals and informed decision-making
- Writing and using affirmations (more effective than buying pre-made cards!)
- Creation of an ongoing "birth action plan"
Most people prefer to take the course a couple of months before their baby is due, perhaps around 32 weeks. This allows for plenty of time to practise what you learn and it will feel relevant to your stage of pregnancy. Some people prefer to take the course closer to their due date so it all feels fresher and others prefer to take it sooner to give themselves longer to practise and to give time for a top-up session at, say, 36 weeks. Or you may need to work around existing commitments. It's your choice! Please talk to us and we'll help as much as possible.