When should I do the workshop?
The sooner you begin the programme the sooner you will feel calmer, confident and in control – enabling you to enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. You will also have more time to practice the techniques learned over the weekend. However, GentleBirth instructors have worked with women at 39 weeks with success. In general, we recommend that you would do the workshop before 34 weeks, if you are over 35 weeks contact me and we can discuss your options.
Can I use GentleBirth in any setting (hospital or homebirth)?
Yes. We have couples giving birth in both settings in the workshops.
What is the difference between hypnobirthing classes and GentleBirth classes?
GentleBirth classes differ from hypnobirthing classes in many number of ways. You can see some of the differences on this table here.
Firstly they are created specifically for local maternity practices rather than American/UK care. Hypnobirthing classes tend to focus mainly on the hypnosis and birth part of the programme whereas GentleBirth classes offer strategies to allow the couple to work within the Irish hospital system and negotiate the best birth for them on the day, and with almost 9,000 births in CUMH in 2008 - this is very useful. We also offer a wide range of tools that can be used alongside GentleBirthing to assist your calm and confident birth.
Our classes are run over one weekend – which can be a considerable advantage for couples travelling a great distance to do the workshops, or who have busy lifestyles (the vast majority of us!!!) and find it difficult to find the time to manage more than one weekend. It also differs in the number of CD’s that are offered to the participants. The GentleBirth Programme includes 8 CD’s with practice tracks which not only include the actual pregnancy and labour, but also offer support for breastfeeding and prenatal baby bonding. Once you sign up for the workshop there are a number of free additional MP3 downloads unique to GentleBirthing - one of which is specifically for birth partners, as well as a Labour Induction MP3 download (if needed) and a track that can be played when driving.
Finally there is the chance to connect with over 500+ Irish Mothers on the online support network which provides ongoing support throughout your pregnancy as you need it – long after the workshop is over. I also run Gentle Birth meet ups regularly in Cork City which enables those studying the GentleBirth programme to meet up with other like minded parents and is another tool to receive support as you progress through your pregnancy.
I have never undergone Hypnosis before – will I be disconnected from my birth?
Hypnosis is a state of focused concentration. People often go into hypnosis several times during the day – when you watch TV, read a book, or daydream, you are in a hypnotic state. So it’s a very common and normal experience. At any time you can come out of the hypnosis. You will not be disconnected from the birth process, you will be able to interact with others if you so choose. You will always be in complete control– you will just feel very relaxed and calm.
Do I still need to take antenatal classes if I do this workshop?
The GentleBirth workshop provides all the information you require to have a calm, confident labour, offering you tools for birth, information about the birth process and strategies to enable you to have the calm, gentle birth you are looking for. It is useful to participate in the tour of the hospital to see the labour and delivery wards. Also if you wish to breastfeed it is highly recommended that you attend a breastfeeding class and link in with a breastfeeding support group before the baby arrives. (Claire Boyle: 087-419 8764 or www.anulife.ie) organises comprehensive workshops run over one Saturday morning in Cork.
Do partners have to attend?
It is useful if the person who is going to attend the birth with you – whether your partner, friend, sister etc can come along to the workshops. One of the strengths of the GentleBirth programme is that it assigns an important support role to the birth partner and provides them with the information they need to participate in the birth. Often during pregnancy and birth, partners will say that they didn’t know what to do during labour or that they felt useless. With the GentleBirth workshops they play a significant role in the birth process and as a result really enjoy participating in the workshops and subsequently feel involved in and knowledgeable about the pregnancy and birth. However GentleBirth can be learned alone, women do attend workshops on their own and still have a fantastic GentleBirth experience.
Will I have a pain free birth if I take a GentleBirth workshop?
The focus of the workshop is not pain free birth – nobody can guarantee you that. However by feeling calmer, confident and in control many women doing GentleBirth find their labours more manageable and easier to cope with (myself included). The techniques work to reduce the stressful hormones (adrenaline) that cause pain in birth and increase the amount of positive hormones instead – which usually results in a calm and confident birth experience.
How do I sign up for a workshop?
Click Here: A deposit of €100 is required. The rest is payable on the first day of the workshop. You can contact me on 087 629 2577