Is calmbirth® about ‘pain-free’ childbirth?
calmbirth® aims to change your perception of the pain of labour, to help you understand the process of labour and birth and provide you with breathing techniques and skills to manage the contractions. Each birth journey is unique and individual and no two women will have the same experience. Some women will describe labour as painful, some as intensity, and occasionally some may describe it as not painful, but achieving a pain-free birth is not what the classes are about. Its understanding the physiology of pain and what resources you have within, giving you tools and strategies to assist with embracing the sensations you will feel. How you feel about your labour (and your baby) after the birth is also very important. The knowledge and the skills you will learn will also assist you to face any challenges that arise in your labour and to assist you to go as far as you can without requiring medicated pain relief.
What is the best time to start classes?
When you wish to begin the course is up to you. It is recommended anytime from 20 weeks, most couples beginning anywhere from 24wks to 32 wks. Starting earlier allows you to gain the benefits of relaxation and bonding with your baby and the practice of the skills you will learn together, but is still possible if unable to start earlier. Partners play an integral role in the preparation and in supporting the woman through pregnancy and birth.
What will I gain from doing a calmbirth® course?
The aim of the classes is to give you knowledge and understanding of
- how to work with your body, not against it
- techniques that help to reduce the fear and tension many women experience during birth
- inner resources we all naturally possess and how through simple relaxation, visualisation and breathing exercises you can reduce anxiety and fear
- how the birthing body works during labour and the amazing cocktail of hormones of labour and birth
- breathing, relaxation and visualisation techniques to use during labour
- positioning for labour and birth, massage techniques
- challenges of labour and ways to meet those challenges
- the important role of the support person and the tools for labour and birth to assist them in performing that role
- the important communication and bond between you and your baby that has already begun and ways to enhance communication and bonding during pregnancy and after birth.
Does it matter where I am having my baby or the type of care I have chosen?
calmbirth® is complementary to all models of care, be it private or public, birth centre or homebirth and is not an alternative to the birthing choices you have already made. You will gain practical knowledge and skills whether this is your first or third baby, or hoping to achieve a vaginal birth after a previous caesarean (VBAC).
What is the role of my partner/husband and will the course be useful for him/her also?
“The strength and support of a husband or mate is almost essential for an anxiety free pregnancy and mothering. [Their] strength must feed into hers and through her to the new life. That is the way nature has designed the process” (Joseph Chilton Pearce. Magical Child. p. 83/4)
The birthing partner and /or support play a very important role in assisting the woman to maintain the relaxation and breathing techniques and to feel safe, confident and comfortable. Educating them about their role and the ways they can assist, are an integral part of the calmbirth® classes. The course allows and encourages them to play an active role in their baby’s birth, and to help lay the foundation for a positive birth experience.