/ The Daisy Foundation with Jilly Clarke

The importance of preparing for birth – why antenatal education is so important.

Do I attend an antenatal class or just go with the flow? NCT Welwyn Hatfield

What probably the most used phrase of a pregnant person and/or their birth partner in the run up to birth? That everyone knows that “birth never goes to plan, so I am just going to go with the flow”. Sound familiar? NCT Welwyn Hatfield

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Now yes, sometimes birth does not go to plan or to the ideal you have in your head. But that does not mean that is not worth working towards trying to achieve that. Antenatal education is not about achieving the perfect birth. The best antenatal education gives you tools to help give you the best possible chance of your perfect birth. But it should also give you tools to deal with unexpected hiccups, or even medical emergencies.

Our Daisy class offerings give you a perfect choice of finding the antenatal education that works for you, your birth partner and your family.  Daisy Birthing weekly movement based antenatal classes, or Daisy Active Birth labour preparation workshops, or Daisy Parent full antenatal, labour, birth, postnatal recovery, baby care and infant feeding course. NCT Welwyn Hatfield

When I say your perfect birth, remember that I used the word “your” in front. Your ideal birth may be an epidural at the first opportunity or working your way through all the different drugs; or it might be a planned c-section or birth with just gas and air. It could be a water birth, a home birth, or a mixture of many of those things. What your perfect birth looks like is so important. Good antenatal education will help you put tools and techniques into place to make your ideal birth achievable.

I don’t care what type of birth you have

To say that as an antenatal teacher that I don’t care what type of birth you want is inaccurate. The best birth is the best one for you. That is what I care about. I am totally on board with everyone’s choices in birth. I care about you making the best decisions you possibly can.

My job is to help you understand that even with an epidural, the biological process of labour doesn’t change, so you need to continue working with your body. To help you understand that it takes 20 minutes for an epidural to take effect and that’s after a 20 minute procedure. That it may take even longer than that to get hold of the anaesthetist. You need tools to see you through that period of time so that you don’t panic and find things really hard. My job is to give you those tools.

Even with a planned c-section there are so many choices you can make. So many techniques you can learn and use to make yourself feel calmer, more relaxed and less anxious and nervous. There are always choices, options and things to consider and antenatal education helps.

Birth, and becoming a parent is such a pivotal moment in your life; you wouldn’t buy a house, sit an exam, get married, or even decorate a room in your house without a little planning and preparation first. But so many go into birth under prepared.

Doctors know best so I will just do as they say…

There is often the argument that Doctors know best so I will just do what they say – but are you an estate agent, a teacher, a wedding planner or a decorator? No. But you plan and often undertake those tasks yourself so why is birth any different? Some research, planning and understanding of the particular project is really important – if only so you know what choices you have so you aren’t caught off guard by an unexpected choice!

Of course, Drs and midwives are highly skilled and experienced, and their advice and opinion is there to be listened to. But it is your body, your baby, your birth experience. Nobody is in your situation and therefore all decisions are your own. You should be presented with the facts, the choices, the alternatives, and a rundown of the outcome if you do nothing. Only then should you be fully informed to make your choice. The speed and the busyness of the maternity world, questions and options are often masked and occasionally do not even seem like questions or options at all.

Support, knowledge and education is SO important.

Antenatal education is there to help you see the decisions, the choices you may need to make during birth. By outlining them and helping you understand and research whilst still pregnant and able to make rational and processed decisions then you will be in a better position during birth to feel confident in any decisions that need to be made. Feeling supported and in control will go such a long way in helping your feelings around your birth. Feeling supported can take a scary situation and make it less scary. In both our Daisy Birthing and Daisy Parent classes we cover different situations and decisions and give you the skills and confidence to ask questions. Only when you are fully informed can you make confident decisions.

You will never forget

You will never forget the day, or the way you felt when your child entered the world. So, it is SO important to prepare for it, to understand the process and to feel as confident as you can be. Birth trauma is a real problem and affects so many people. It can happen because of a traumatic birth, but often even when things go smoothly “on paper” (by that I mean, everything was straightforward and there were no worrying complications) people can still experience very real birth trauma. Not understanding what is happening, feeling out of control and unsupported can trigger birth trauma in a lot of cases. Help avoid this by preparing for your birth fully, understanding what happens, how things might crop up and how they are dealt with.

I can’t promise you a trauma free, straight forward birth. But agenda free, unbiased and evidence based antenatal education certainly can help.

That’s where I come in…Daisy Birthing weekly movement based antenatal classes, or Daisy Active Birth labour preparation workshops, or Daisy Parent full antenatal, labour, birth, postnatal recovery, baby care and infant feeding course.