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

NCT Welwyn Hatfield, TBRAIN, CubCare Antenatal

11 Apr, 2023

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

What is 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 NCT Welwyn Hatfield NCT Welwyn Hatfield

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.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

When I say your perfect birth, I mean just that. 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

Your ideal birth might be a planned c-section or birth with just gas and air.

Your perfect birth 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.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

I don’t care what type of birth you have

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

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.

Did you know that it is entirely your choice whether you agree to an induction of labour? That the evidence to back up a lot of induction recommendations does not exist or even demonstrates that induction isn’t necessary? Do you know the lasting impact for many of unnecessary inductions and interventions? A quality antenatal class will give you this information to allow you to make your choice.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

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.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

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

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

There is often the argument that Doctors or Midwives know best so I will just do what they say.

But are you a wedding planner or a decorator? No. But you plan a wedding yourself? Undertake DIY? Do you do these things without research and planning, to understand the best options?

Are you the expert in your own body? Do you give birth yourself – or do the medical professionals?

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. With 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.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

Support, knowledge and education is SO important.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

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. That is why, in our antenatal 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.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

You will never forget

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

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.

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

That’s where I come in…

NCT Welwyn Hatfield

Hopefully I have convinced you of the importance of antenatal education. So now it is time to research your options.

See who will be teaching you and get a feel for them. If the company isn’t putting a face or a name to a teacher then how can you know that you will feel comfortable with them?

If there is no information about what education is covered in classes then how will you know that you will be getting everything you need?

My antenatal services, and my aims are clear. You can choose the level of support you want or can afford, and you can upgrade or downgrade at any time. There is a wonderful mixture of in person and on demand education, to help you get the most out of your pregnancy and birth preparation.

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