Your Antenatal Course Questions Answered
The Complete Birth Preparation Package FAQs
Why is this different from an NHS antenatal course?
NHS antenatal courses are often much larger groups so sometimes it isn't as personal as you might like. My courses have a maximum of 8 couples so I am able to respond easily to individual concerns and make sure you leave with the information you feel you need.
We also explore the course content not only from a factual perspective, but also from an emotional and practical perspective which an NHS course often does not have time to do. The Complete Birth Preparation Package also includes hypnobirthing and postnatal subjects which are not always part of an NHS course.
After our time together has finished, I am still contactable until after your baby is born so if your plans change or you need further support than you have the continuity of working with me.
How will I learn?
People learn in very different ways. Some prefer to be told information whilst others prefer to watch, write or do. Often a practical skill (such as holding a baby) are best practiced in person which is why the courses uses different learning styles so that everyone can feel included. There will be small group work, working with your partner and working together as a whole group.
You will only be ask to do or contribute as much as you feel comfortable with - nothing is compulsory.
In other words, we will not be sat in a big circle for the duration of the course with me talking to you and you only have to speak and join in as much as you feel able.
I am planning a caesarean birth, will this be relevant for me?
Absolutely! Caesarean birth is one of the topics we will explore. Not only what happens during the birth but also how you can make your caesarean as positive and special as possible. You can 'birth plan' a caesarean so I will make sure you are aware of your options. You can use hypnobirthing techniques during a caesarean and all the information we will discuss and practice regarding postnatal wellbeing and baby-care is just as useful for you.
What about if I want a more 'natural' birth experience?
My aim is to provide you with evidence based information so that you can make decisions that feel right for you and your baby. We look at self-help ways to manage the sensations of labour and how your body and your hormones work but we will also discuss what is available to you at the hospital. I do not mind how you choose to give birth as long as you feel informed, involved and supported in your decisions. I want you to feel better prepared for birth which is amazing however it happens.
Each day is 6 hours long, that is a lot of learning.
There are regular breaks for refreshments and a lunch break too as you can't learn if you don't feel comfortable My courses are very relaxed with plenty of time for tea, cake!
Is it all mum focussed? Will it be useful for my partner?
My course is for everyone. Birth partners / partners / parents-to-be are just as important as mum and are fully included
Can I come on my own / my birth partner may miss some of it?
If you wish to come alone then at is absolutely fine. Very few 'activities' involve working in couples and I can easily adapt these so that you feel comfortable. If your birth partner cannot attend, then please bring another supportive person with you if you would like such as a friend or family member.
How many weeks pregnant should I be to attend a course?
Ideally any time from 30 weeks means that the information will be fresh in your mind and you have time to practice hypnobirthing techniques if you wish.
I am concerned about ... and I am worried it might ...
After you book a course with me, I will be in touch to say hi, to let you know the arrangements for the day and I will ask you if there is anything you think I should know about before the course starts.
Anything you make me aware of is held in strictest confidence and is not shared by me with any other course member. Equally, if I need to make any adaptations to the course to help with your learning, I have the time to do that.
Will you be able to provide medical advice during the course?
No. I am not able to provide individual medical advice and would always ask that you refer specific medical concerns to your midwife or doctor.
But what about ....
If you have further questions about the course then please get in touch.
Specific Hypnobirthing FAQs
What is hypnobirthing?
Hypnobirthing uses antenatal education, self-hypnosis, relaxation, massage and breathing techniques to help release any fear or tension you may have around birthing your baby. Check out my blog for more information
Does hypnobirthing work? How effective are hypnobirthing techniques?
Hypnobirthing can trace its roots back to the work of Grantley Dick-Read in the 1930s. Since then there have been many studies looking at the positive impact learning hypnosis for childbirth can have on women. A systematic review in 2020 concluded "it improved childbirth experience by reducing fear and pain and enhancing a sense of control. It improved women's emotional experience and outlook towards birth with less anxiety, increased satisfaction, fewer birth interventions, more postnatal wellbeing and a better childbirth experience overall." Catsaros S, Wendland J. (2020) Hypnosis-based interventions during pregnancy and childbirth and their impact on women’s childbirth experience: A systematic review.
Does hypnobirthing replace the need for other pain relief during labour?
Straight up, hypnobirthing does not promise you a pain free labour, but women often feel more in control and able to deal with the sensations because they have an understanding of what is happening and how the body works during labour. Some women find they can use the techniques and coping strategies throughout labour whilst others prefer to keep an open mind and use hypnobirthing strategies for as far as they feel comfortable before opting for something else. There is no wrong or right way to do it! If you want to avoid drugs completely then hypnobirthing will certainly help you but it will also serve you well when you are labouring at home, in the car transferring to hospital, in triage and so on.
Is hypnobirthing mind control?
NO! Forget anything on television, hypnosis is not magic! A hypnotic state is something we all enter into several times a day. Have you ever driven the car, arrived at your destination and can’t, for the life of you, remember how you got there? That is a hypnotic state. It is not the same as being asleep or unconscious and the only person who has control over the situation is you.
A hypnotic state is induced by encouraging you to focus on your breathing and your body which enables you to switch off the thinking part of your brain. Whilst you are in a relaxed state of mind, i.e. in a hypnotic state, there is direct access to the subconscious where we can replace existing negative beliefs with powerful positive ones e.g. ‘As a woman you have a powerful ability to birth your baby’. Because these suggestions are being made to the subconscious mind, they are more likely to be accepted by you than if the suggestions were given to your conscious mind. If at any point you become uncomfortable or don’t feel safe anymore you can simply open your eyes and you will come out of it.
Online Workshop FAQs
What platform do you use for online workshops?
These are facilitated on Zoom which is free to download on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Will I need to keep my webcam on if I take part in an online course?
Ideally, yes. It makes it easier for me to talk to you and for the course to be more engaging. I appreciate there may be times though when you might have to turn it off for a minute or so if something is going on in the background.
If you are taking part in a free taster session then you do not have to have your camera on.
Course Cancellation Policy & Disclaimers
Listening to hypnosis tracks disclaimer
Do not use the hypnobirthing downloads or practice the techniques or exercises contained within these downloads whilst driving or operating machinery, If you suffer from epilepsy, clinical depression or any other nervous or psychiatric condition please check with your doctor / medical professional before using hypnosis as their can be individual contraindications.
The information provided during The Complete Birth Preparation Package or Online Workshops do not constitute medical advice. If in doubt, please consult your doctor or midwife.
Do you have a course cancellation policy?
Birth Preparation with Joy courses are services. Provision of the service is considered to have started once we have sent you your booking confirmation and any pre-course material if required. If you wish to cancel your booking, refunds will only be given on the following basis: A full refund if a cancellation is notified 7 days or more prior to the commencement of the course; 50% refund if notification is received 6 days or less before course commencement. Refunds are not available after course commencement.
Can I pay in instalments?
The Complete Birth Preparation Package can be paid via 3 instalments via PayPal at checkout.
What happens if Birth Preparation with Joy has to cancel a course due to unforeseen circumstances?
If an in person course is cancelled - you will be offered a place on a next available in person course that has availability or the option to transfer to an online workshop with the cost difference refunded. If these are not suitable alternatives then a full refund will be made.
If an online workshop is cancelled then you will be given the option to transfer to another online workshop. If there is not a suitable date then a full refund will be made.