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Introduction to Antenatal Education – labour and birth overview

white background with a picture of Jilly, antenatal teacher with CubCare antenatal classes. Caption reads "Introduction to antenatal education"

4 Jan, 2024

Introduction to Antenatal Education – labour and birth overview

Watch the webinar now

Huge congratulations! You are either here because you’re expecting a baby and you want to understand what you need to know for labour and birth, or you want to get a feel for me before committing to our unique, groundbreaking antenatal courses!

What an amazing thing! There is so much you can do, to make the pregnancy and birth an amazing experience.

You want to be the best possible labour and birth experience.

Some knowledge and preparation can make birth, and welcoming a new baby a really positive experience.

So often, lack of decent antenatal education leaves you feeling disempowered and under prepared. But you are completely in charge of your pregnancy and birth.

Watch our introduction to antenatal education webinar, our labour and birth overview – to start your antenatal education journey.

Front cover of Labour and Birth overview webinar. Picture of Jilly and the CubCare logo on a white background with the caption "Introduction to antenatal education. Labour and birth overview"

You can make the difference

It wasn’t so long ago that a birth partner would be discouraged from entering the birthing room. A dad-to-be would be waiting outside in the hospital corridor

But there is a growing body of evidence to show that birth partner support makes a huge difference to the birthing person.

I.e THEY NEED YOU THERE. AND they need you actively helping and supporting!

And, birth partners want to be there, to help someone at a really vulnerable time – to help them achieve the most amazing thing there is to achieve.

Often (thank film and tv…), a birth partner is portrayed as a useless person sitting in the corner of the room on their phone, or fumbling around not knowing what to do, knocking things over and generally getting in the way.

Or, the birth partner faints at the first sign of any bodily fluid (I do understand this one, it’s more common then you’d think and is a real worry for clients in my experience – and one of the reasons why learning breathing techniques is so useful to keep everyone calm!).

The free ebook will give you an amazing start to being the ultimate birth partner, but here are some extra tips that are always useful to remember.

Front cover of Labour and Birth overview webinar. Picture of Jilly and the CubCare logo on a white background with the caption "Introduction to antenatal education. Labour and birth overview"

Tip 1 for being the ultimate birth partner

Know your role – our ebook will guide you through a few of my favourite parts of a birth partner’s job, but it is so important to take your role seriously.

  • Know the basics of labour and delivery – understand what different stages look like, what might be offered or suggested, get knowledgeable about medical necessity versus “policy”, and most importantly understand the different ways to support someone at every stage – because different techniques will be needed at different stages!
  • Understanding the birth plan and understand your partner’s preferences – work through different scenarios together and formulate plans for if different things happen. During labour is not the time for learning about an induction, or an instrumental delivery for instance!
  • Attend antenatal classes together – that way anything you learn can be practiced and discussed together. Do your research into Antenatal classes…being told the medical process without being given tools to help, and even help avoid certain things is not a good antenatal class…

Tip 2 for being the ultimate birth partner

Be in charge of the logistics. It’s really important that stress and anxiety is kept to a minimum. Stress hormones play havoc with birth hormones – and we want to keep birth hormones flowing.

  • Have the car pre-packed and full of petrol, know multiple routes to the hospital, have change for parking well in advance, know where labour props and things like chargers are. If you’re planning a home birth, be in charge of all the elements you need, ensure the heating (depending on the time of year!) and hot water is switched on.
  • Be in charge of the hospital bags – know exactly what is in them, where everything is and make sure you have your own things too. Consider having a bag you keep at home with extra nappies, outfits, clothes for mum, maternity pads etc. So if there is a longer hospital stay you have extra things ready to go.
  • You are the environment protector – a relaxed “homely” environment is what you’re after. Feeling safe, cosy, supported and unwatched are what can help birth hormones do their thing. As a birth partner it is your job to protect this as much as possible.

You’ll find more on this in our ebook.

Front cover of Labour and Birth overview webinar. Picture of Jilly and the CubCare logo on a white background with the caption "Introduction to antenatal education. Labour and birth overview"

Tip 3 for being the ultimate birth partner

“Hugs before drugs” is one of my favourite sayings in our antenatal classes. Be the comfort guru, offering physical and emotional support – and some movement knowledge – before going for the hardcore pain relief measures. There is nothing wrong with them, but a cuddle and a massage can honestly perform miracles.

  • Have drinks and snacks on stand-by to keep energy levels up – there’s a top tip for keeping bladders empty in our ebook!
  • Breathe with them – be familiar with any breathing techniques they have been practicing. Understand their rhythms because if stress levels start rising the best thing you can do is to breathe with them, and encourage them back into calm. They can keep you calm too!
  • Massage – learn massage techniques that can help in labour. A soft touch massage can help release endorphins and help with discomfort, holding different parts of the body can provide significant comfort during contractions – but you need to know how, why and where. And you need to practice these during pregnancy so you can work together to create a bank of useful comfort measures for labour.

Do your research, be prepared and learn how to be the best birth partner you can be.

This isn’t just a one-day thing, birth stays with you, with your partner and with baby for a very long time. A positive experience will help everybody off to the best start.

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