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I understand how difficult it can be to choose an Antenatal course, as all courses, workshops and programmes vary considerably. Prior to committing to one of The Nurture Pad's services, I invite you to contact me to discuss your requirements, as these will vary depending on the stage of your pregnancy, or the age of your baby. Your needs will also vary depending on your prior experiences, your aspirations and the type of birth you would like to have.
It is really important to be able to approach your Antenatal provider or Post-natal supporter with confidence, and feel comfortable enough to ask the questions that matter to you. Every expectant, and new parent, will have different questions, hopes, concerns and opinions. I value each, and every one, of these and take the time to explore your options with you, ensuring you are able to get the most effective guidance and support.
Below are some frequently asked questions, and I hope the answers provide you with a better idea of the services, and approach, I offer. However, it is completely usual to have additional questions. These questions may be very personal to you, reflecting your particular circumstances. On the other hand, they may be more general. I am often asked 'The Question' - the one everybody is wanting to ask, but too embarrassed to put forward in a group.
I encourage you to complete the enquiry form below, and I will get back to you with personalised guidance and information on whatever service you require, or the questions you have. The form requires some personal details, but please only complete with the information you feel happy to share with me. All information will be kept confidential and used purely for the purpose of guiding you as you have requested. You are always welcome to contact me via phone, email, Skype or Facetime. Please let me know your preferences.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Hutton Rudby, Yarm, North Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Each, and every, client will have antenatalquestions and queries - these will vary, depending on individual circumstances. I hope the FAQ's below answer some of these, however, I am sure some may need further explanation, or require explaining in a different way. This is completely usual as everyone learns, and processes information differently. Coupled with this, your pregnancy, body and baby is unique - it is no surprise parents-to-be can feel so overwhelmed when preparing for pregnancy, birth and early parenting. I completely understand your need for personalised guidance, and the opportunity to share your thoughts. After all, your context and circumstances ARE unique. They are different and they are important.
The FAQ's addressed below may not look like the usual list, published on many websites. The questions below are real questions, and not just another way to 'sell' my services to you. Please have a read through, and if you find them helpful, please let me know by registering your interest. You will then be able to access my information booklet, Birth Your Way, via our closed Facebook group. This resource contains lot's more information, guidance and resources on Hypnobirthing, Mindfulness and Pregnancy. This will not commit you to anything, but may start you on the path to understanding how your mind, and body work together in the miracle processes of conception, pregnancy and early parenting.
This is one of the most frequent questions asked by expectant parent's. The short answer is, it is never too early, or too late, to start learning about your pregnancy and birth.
I have provided Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Active Birth preparation at all stages of pregnancy, and suggest you enrol whenever you, and your partner, feel comfortable. I encourage you to listen to your body, and to your mind. I believe a woman's instinct in pregnancy can be so strong, you will know when is best for you. I have mum's-to-be enrol from 15-weeks pregnancy onward, and hugely benefit from this early preparation. Likewise, I have had mum's who have been through a long IVF process, and feel the need for antenatal input at an early stage. Conversely, some mum's do not feel the need to prepare though a formal antenatal programme until they are in their Third Trimester. Like every aspect of pregnancy, there is no 'right way', and I encourage you to embrace your instincts
As an independent practitioner, my sole aim is to help you prepare for the best possible birth for YOU and YOUR baby. I recognise the 'best possible' looks very different, for different people and I do not put my own, or other's opinion's on you. I credit all women with the ability to know what is best for them, their baby and their family. My antenatal workshops and courses harness these instincts, by presenting information in a way I know best. My approach is therefore unique, and one that takes YOUR need's into account.
The training I have undertaken is based on the most up-to-date thinking, and I invest heavily in this. On a daily basis, I talk and listen, to women from many backgrounds, with alternative viewpoints and different experiences. Because of this, I learn something new about pregnancy, birth and parenting every day. Yes, I confidently know the 'theory' of pregnancy and birth, and this forms an essential part of all my courses and workshops. However, it is the 'real' experiences of women who inform my approach, adding depth and meaning to your understanding and knowledge.
For me, great Antenatal education and preparation presents parents-to-be with information based on best practice in antenatal care and birthing. I encourage you to make your own decisions, explore your options and believe in your own abilities. I am completely against parent's being to told HOW to birth, and HOW to parent. I encourage all expectant parent's to question, discover and to start their parenting journey with confidence and meaning.
As with all healthcare, education and social support, birth, pregnancy and early parenting in England is heavily influenced by government policy and agenda's. Although developed with good intention, I know these agenda's and policies do not always exist with YOUR needs as the primary concern. Halcyon Hypnobirthing antenatal courses are not required to work towards NHS budget's or target's - the only person they are designed to work for, are you, your baby and your family.
No, they are certainly not 'better'. However, my antenatal courses will be significantly different. Halcyon Hypnobirthing, antenatal workshops and courses, are developed taking account the most up-to-date thinking, and best practice. As an independent practitioner, I do not have to wait for the time-consuming reflection, and the re-writing of policies process, to share current thinking and approaches. When preparing for pregnancy, birth and parenting, I encourage you to identify what you need, to be honest with yourself and remain open-minded and receptive to challenging your own assumptions (and that of other's).
Personally, I believe it is useful to undertake 'a NHS Antenatal Courses' in addition to Halcyon Hypnobirthing workshops. However, I do not think these NHS antenatal courses will prepare you adequately to make informed and considered choices in your pregnancy and birth journey. The best people to answer your questions on the 'procedures' and 'policies' of your local NHS provision, are those that provide it. Depending on your geographical area, you may have the opportunity to birth at a Midwifery Led Unit, a Consultant-led Maternity unit, or in your own home. Depending on your local hospital, these options will not be presented as available for all. For example, MLU's consider women as 'high-risk', depending on very rigid criteria and these criteria do not allow for individual differences. Length of gestation is a well-used example. 'Normal' pregnancy is considered as 38 weeks - 42 weeks in duration. In England, the majority of hospitals will insist on routine medical induction at 42-weeks (maximum), and will not stray from this path. This is despite many women insisting they know their baby is not ready to be born, and their body is not prepared to birth. Essentially, these women are being misled on the dangers of pregnancy progressing beyond 42-weeks, and the right for informed choice taken.
The example above demonstrates birthing 'equality' does not exist in England. Women who birth at MLU's, reportedly have a 'better overalll birth experience'. Birthing pools, birthing 'tool's' and active birthing is encouraged, compared to a consultant-led maternity unit. Depending on where you live, up-to only 14% of midwifery units are MLU's, with 25% of all Trusts having no MLU's. Your local NHS Antenatal preparation classes can outline your options in the context of what is available, but support is limited beyond this. Please understand, I see this limited information and guidance, the result of pressure on the system due to lack of resources (both in training and facilities), and not due to a lack of individual commitment.
No matter where you live, or what your local Trust provides, I believe the birth experience you want and need, can still be achieved. Being proactive is key to making your pregnancy and birth a positive experience, and Halcyon Hypnobirthing teaches you the required skills and techniques. You will learn to:
(i) trust your body to birth, the way your body needs
(ii) birth in your own time
(iii) birth the way that provides the best outcomes for you and baby.
There are many shared skills and techniques involved in Hypnobirthing and Active Birthing, however, the way I teach parents to use them differs. Personally, I consider Hypnobirthing as a 'pregnancy-preparation' approach, as well as a birth preparation. In Hypnobirthing, you learn skills and techniques that require practice, and need refining over time. In Active Birthing, these techniques can be learnt quickly, and used with little practice. Both are considered equally important, and when used in combination, are hugely effective for progressing labour naturally and for pain relief.
Both Hypnobirthing and Active Birthing involve learning Breathing Techniques, Visualisation Techniques, Relaxation Techniques and Positive Thinking, however, the process in which these skills are used, during the birth process differs. I believe this is why it is never too early to learn the skills of Hypnobirthing.
In effective Hypnobirthing, skills and techniques are so well-practiced they become 'procedural'. In other words, they become automatic. If you liken this to learning a new skill, such as driving a car, or learning to skate, procedural memory can be better understood. When new to learning to drive, a novice need's to concentrate heavily on the movements and techniques required. Over time, these skills become so refined, the driver no longer has to think about carrying them out - this is when you will get from 'A' to 'B' without being consciously aware, and this is a much-reported phenomenon. With Hypnobirthing, this can be likened to the point of self-hypnosis. The skills become procedural, with little or no effort required to utilise the skills and techniques learn. This enables you to implement deep relaxation and visualisation for progress when birthing.
However, when driving, there will be times when you have to redirect your attention and make an effort to efficiently drive (e.g. when turning out of a side road) - this is the same with Hypnobirthing. When birthing, a Hypnobirthing mum sometimes has to consciously focus to implement the skills she has learnt, but can mostly rely on her automatic, learnt, procedural skills'. This skill requires a different memory system, and level of concentration.
Using a similar comparison, Active Birthing skills and techniques can be likened the levels of concentration required when parking a car. No matter how many times you reverse into a small space, your concentration level's need to be applied, with conscious focus. With practice the skills become easier, but when challenged, attention needs to be refocused.
Please feel free to phone me and discuss your antenatal needs - a good starting point is to consider your personal circumstances, your hopes and your previous experiences. I can help you develop a 'whole-pregnancy' plan and this covers your care need's throughout the Four Trimester's.