Find Your Birthing Superpower ~ Through Independent Childbirth Classes
Hello, my beautiful soon-to-be-parents, mums, dads, and anyone interested in the beauty of childbirth,
Education, education, EDUCATIONNNN...
hmmm... these 9 letters never used to get me up in the morning. My memories of School and University were one big yawn, neither pathway was something I was particularly passionate about. That was until one surprise pee stick later and I became engrossed in all thing’s education. Educating myself, more specifically, in all things- birth. Hypnotherapy, acupressure, doulas, placenta encapsulation, water birth, tens machines, you name It I had very likely researched it.
Pic 1: Beautiful women doing a good ol' stretch
Let’s flash back to nearly two years ago and I’m freaking the fudge out. I'm 9 months away from experiencing one of the greatest gifts on earth, but this moment really forced me to ask myself questions I wasn’t sure I was ready to answer. More importantly I didn’t know jacket potato about birth. So, what will the next 1000 or so words be discussing? Good question.
“Why is Independent Childbirth Education sooooo important???”
Cannot be bothered reading 1000 words… here’s the summary: Believe me when I say Knowledge is literally power!!!!
Pic 2: Positive pregnancy test and my face when I found out
When I started my quest into all things birth and baby it started with which hospital should we birth at. I would have loved to have had a home birth but the impending fear of those around made me second guess my decision. So, I compromised and made my formal decision to conceive at King Eddies Birthing Centre. I 100% would suggest if anyone is looking for a natural place to birth King Eddies Birthing Centre is an excellent choice.
One of reasons I chose King Eddies was not only for their holistic, natural approach but their education options. The classes below are offered to both those using the birthing centre and hospital. So, let us have a look at the antenatal and post-natal classes offered by King Eddies;
Antenatal classes (Family Birth Centre, 2020):
o Healthy pregnancy discussion (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Childbirth and parenting courses (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
- Choice of a five-week series or over two sessions
o Breastfeeding workshop (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC) (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Planning a positive caesarean birth (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Multiple birth class (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Physiotherapy classes - Skills for birth and beyond (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Family Birth Centre and Midwifery Group Practice (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Community Midwifery Program (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Baby massage (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
o Open House Postnatal Program (Family Birth Centre, 2020)
Part 2 || Find your birthing power through independent Childbirth education
Pic 3: boss ass superwoman pregnant
Hospitals are amazing (*bows down to hospitals*). Thank you, hospitals, for all you offer us. But my task was to dive deeper into why independent childbirth is important for couples. Why should couples attend these independent classes rather than just utilising hospital classes? And why should we spend money on independent classes if there are free classes at hospital?
As a lover of lists, I will offer you my listing services to show a few of the independent classes offered to us mothers and our partners. A list to show all the amazing options to, I guess as I put it in my title, find your birthing power.
Here is said list;
1) Doula (obviously the most important),
3) Prenatal yoga,
4) Acupressure classes,
7) Breath work,
8) Placenta encapsulation,
10) Tens Machine,
13) Herbal remedies,
15) Massage therapy,
17) Embodiment classes,
18) Tantric classes,
19) Mindfulness classes.
*Sidebar: Please check if your hospital offers any of these classes.
Look at this list is it not the most beau-ti-ful thing you have ever seen. No, but seriously these are the type of classes which can change your whole birth from discouraged to empowered.
Alright it’s time to look at the science.
Part 3 || Get your white coat on it’s time to get scienc-E
You saw that list. It was 19 points long and there is NO chance I will be writing about all the science for each of those within a reasonable reading time period. So naturally like any smart person would, I chose 1.
Drum roll please…… let’s look at Hypnobirthing!!!! YAY!
So a brief look into why Childbirth classes began, was an attempt to change the concept of Childbirth as an illness requiring medical meddling into one of empowerment. From my studies the most empowering outcome for parents who were actively seeking, researching and attending independent childbirth education classes showed they were much, MUCH more likely to create their child birthing dreams. Don’t take my word for it, the following PubMed studies show that parents attending these classes were;
§ More likely to breastfeed and successfully do so and for longer (O’kelly, Moore, 2017)
§ Less pharmacological forms of pain management (O’kelly, Moore, 2017)
§ Cut rate of medical intervention (Timms, 2016)
§ Less likely to have a caesarean (O’kelly, Moore, 2017)
§ Less likely to suffer perineal tearing (O’kelly, Moore, 2017)
§ Less pain during pregnancy (Liddle SD, Pennick V)
Ahh another great list. Alright, let’s get to the hypnobirthing part.
Hypnobirthing is becoming a household name within the birthing community. That is for a very specific reason, namely beginning with its successful results. Funnily, when I started looking into hypnobirthing, I was going to start with one for free on YouTube. It recommended that I listen to it during sleep.
My partner was like “You don’t even know what it’s saying, how do you not know it’s not telling you to do some weird ass s***.”
I was like, “Damn, that’s a good point.”
Moral of the story: probably do it with a more reliable source.
*Puts of white coat*
What is hypnobirthing you may be asking?
Well a good explanation is found on the Hypnobirthing Australia page (2020). Let us break down the word, the ‘hypno’ part of ‘hypnobirthing’ refers to the hypnotherapy that is used during a hypnobirthing program. It’s to release fears and condition the mother to release endorphins during her birth. The help of hypnotherapy will assist the birth to be calmer and more relaxing. Where the mother feels like she is in the driver’s seat, rather than feeling like a angry, obnoxious back seat driver. Helping to prevent the need for medical intervention during birth. Hypnobirthing classes start at around 20 to 30 weeks.
What I will do is show the summaries of three scientific studies to help you understand how hypnobirthing can support you to empower your birth. P.S. let’s be real the juiciness of my article comes from my comedic talk.
Summary: The women in this study generally appreciated antenatal self-hypnosis training and found it to be beneficial during labour and birth. The state of focused relaxation experienced by women using the technique needs to be recognized by providers if the intervention is to be implemented into the maternity service. (Finlayson, K, 2015)
Summary: Women described their feelings about hypnosis during labour as: a sense of relief and consolation, self-confidence, satisfaction, lack of suffering labour pain, changing the feeling of pain into one of pressure, a decrease in fear of natural childbirth, lack of tiredness, and lack of anxiety. They expressed increased concentration on the uterus and cervical muscle, awareness of all the stages of labour, and having “positive thoughts.” Births were perceived as being very satisfactory compared to their previous experiences. (Marzieh, A, 2009)
Summary: Prenatal hypnosis preparation resulted in significantly less use of sedatives, analgesia, and regional anesthesia during labour and in higher 1-minute neonatal Apgar scores. (Vandevusse, L, 2009)
SOOO if Hypnobirthing tickles your fancy, then one of the best places to begin your own research is https://hypnobirthingaustralia.com.au and https://vickihobbs.com/hypnobirthing-classes-perth/.
At the end of the day beautiful readers you need to follow your own intuition. Do your research and see what works for you. No matter what anyone says or what they tell you, it may not suit you and your partner’s needs.
All the best my beautiful friends.
My name is Niamh Garland and under the guidance, support and love of Vicki Hobbs I have completed my Doula training. If you want to step into your power and feel supported to create your dream birth, please contact me.