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NCT, hypnobirthing, active birth... clueless at the difference and which is best(19 Posts)
Can anyone demystify the options?! And do you need your partner along too? My DP can't make the local NCT night, so I would have to go on my own.
Also, some of the courses sound much more clinical or hippy than others - do the different classes attract different ages/types?
I'm totally clueless - please tell me all I need to know!
With NCT it seems to depend on the area with the sort of people it attracts. In general though, you will find lots of middle class mums in their 30s, some in their 40s and a few in late 20s but not many younger. You can go on your own but NCT is quite good for dads to make 'dad friends' to play golf with or go for a few beers once a month (quite standard). NCT is a pretty good way of making 'baby friends' who will be there for you through the first few years. Having said that, we didn't do NCT, just went to NHS classes which were pretty good and informative. Active birth classes will tend to be more hippy. I did antenatal yoga classes which included aspects of Active Birth and met some friends through that who I still see regularly (not to say I'm a hippy particularly!) I also read a book called 'Ina May's Guide to Childbirth'. Which I found really helped with a natural birth. I don't know much about hypnobirthing but the yoga and the book gave me mantras which helped me to visualise a positive outcome and I think helped the labour a lot.
Basically though, I would say that if you aren't going to be offered decent NHS antenatal classes, I would probably go to NCT ones because at least then you will know broadly what to expect in the case of either a natural or assisted delivery and what to expect afterwards and will have the chance to meet other mums in your area who will have babies at around the same time. Beyond that, I recommend at least reading a book like the one I suggest above if you are envisaging a beautiful, natural birth or have vague hippy inclinations and consider antenatal yoga.
Thank you MadameFreckle, that's very helpful. NCT sounds like a winner - I could do with some 'baby friends' - I've just moved to the sticks, leaving all my 'super-organised and already popped out baby no. 2' friends in the city. (They don't know I'm pregnant yet; I'm waiting for the first scan, hence posting here).
And the yoga sounds like a good comprise between something more natural but not too hippy - I used to do it years ago, not for the 'ohmming', but just to get a good stretch (I'm not very good at anything too 'hippy'). However, I'm a great believer in mind over matter and inner strength and am willing to try just about anything that might make a clinical, conveyor-belt style hospital birth more pleasant.
Ina May must be good, she's had a lot of recommendations on MN - I'm off to get a copy now!
Thanks for all the helpful advice.
I did hypnobirthing (about 4, Saturday mornings I think) and active birth with yoga (once a week from week 15).
Active birth is about relaxation and practicing positions that you could use during labour. Our teacher talked a lot about birthing in general.
Hypnobirthing is about self hypnosis to keep you relaxed during labour. It is a commitment as you have to listen to the cd everyday so that you can reach the relaxed state quickly when in labour.
In the end I was induced. No pain relief but it did get intense. I recommend hypnobirthing because it has one part about fear release which really helped me. I didn't really use it fully during labour but I did have a very positive experience and was relaxed. I think I went to hospital in a good frame of mind.
Active birth is good for staying fit, relaxing, thinking about your baby and thinking about the birth.
There are websites with info on them. I will look for them.
Ps. I only saw one person who looked like a hippy. Different people go. It is expensive mind you but I think worth it. Also the active birth weekend (I got my husband to come to that he didn't want to come to the weekly class!) they did go through pain relief options in the hand outs and during the sessions, describing advantages and disadvantages.
Thanks Gwlondon. More very helpful info. I'm definitely going to look at the active birth/yoga thing. I'm not sure I'll manage a daily task, things are so hectic and time is so tight at the moment, but great to hear the positive results it can have.
I only did the NHS classes with DD but if I had the budget time I think I'd enjoy a range of classes, I certainly read some very good advice in Juju Sundin's Birth Skills which is to learn more than just relaxation techniques for labour, they are fine on their own for some people, but if they aren't enough for you you will be left feeling very out of control and without anything else to try. That definately resonates with me after DDs labour.
It's a good book if you're interested!
I've just read an excerpt from the Juju Sundin book - "These are not airy-fairy, hippy, all natural birthing classes. Juju understands the needs for epidurals, for caesareans, for medical intervention". Sounds like just the right balance, thanks LaWeasel!
I am a midwife in the bhai and I offer my own classes as
I am a midwife in the bhai but also offer my own classes. I do this as spaces are limited on the bhai ones and time is short. Good antenatal education and birth preperation is vital I think. When you are looking for classes outside the bhai look carefully at the training the educators have had. Pregnancy yoga is great. But should be by a yoga teacher with ape oak knowledge about pregnancy rather than someone (normally a doula who has do.e a yoga based excersise course. Childbirth educators outside of the nct tend to do courses in active birth (which is valuable information for you) but the course, although spread out over a couple of years sometimes is only max 8 days study and in my opinion not enough. If you can get antenatal classes by nct or independent mideives that is better. Also hypno birthing classes are very valuable, but again from a hypnotist sprcisluding in birth or a midwife who has extra training. Unfortunately there is a gap in the market for antenatal classes but you need to look carefully at who is filling it. Good luck in your search and enjoy your pregnancy. Pj, remember you can always ask your midwife znyghing. If clinic times are rushed ask her for another appt specifically to discuss your concerns. Good luck!
Sorry re typos. Not used to thus phone. Bhai was ment to sat nhs!
P.s my website is WWW.beautifulbirths.org on it is details of a baby fair we are holding in October which may help. We have hypnobirthing practitioners and independent midwives and an nct teacher and lots lots more I including nearly new sale. Oct 15 th. Ringwood waldorf school
I have to say I found the NCT class quite useless and the instructor very anti epidural, anti private medical care - basically anti most things I have planned; my husband and I found ourselves having to justify why we bought an expensive buggy or other equipment just to avoid the disapproving looks from the instructor or the comments. We did NOT mention that we were going private because in the very first session she mentioned the private ward I will be giving birth in and started banging on about how expensive it is etc. which I found very embarassing given that everyone else in the class was going via the NHS. I'm all for choice in birth and I found it pretty ridiculous that she could not be objective.
Hypnobirthing is very effective, and classes really helpful. In Greenwich, Blackheath, south east London and Kent borders there's ZenBirth www.zenbirth.co.uk. Couples from all different backgrounds attend the classes with practical, logical approach to how labour and birth can be a manageable, comfortable and positive experience.
I found Natal Hypnotherapy classes very practical with easy to follow techniques for relaxation and managing my pain in labour. I felt a lot more positive and excited about my birth and less fearful when I'd attended one of their workshops. I just saw that Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London are running a free Natal Hypnotherapy Natural Pain Relief & Birth Preparation Workshop Taster session at 18.30hrs on 13th March. It says that you have to book though by calling the hospital on tel. 0203 315 8616. There's more info at www.facebook\natalhypnotherapy and it's where I found details about my local classes.
Hypnobirthing is great for mum and great for baby, stress free and a completely relaxed environment and experience. I was helped by the Hypnobirthing Association and found their expert help and advice invaluable. They completely changed my experience of child birth - what a wonderful experience!
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