Hooray! You’re expecting a baby! Following the initial excitement, possible sickness and rapidly changing body, you start to regularly hear ‘signed up for NCT yet?’ or ‘are you doing antenatal classes?’. In the midst of the wall information you’ve hit during pregnancy, you’ve also heard about Hypnobirthing and now you’re posing the question – ‘which do I do?’, ‘what would suit me?’, ‘should I do both?’, ‘do I need to do one at all?’.
The choice, as they say is yours!
A NCT or NHS antenatal class for instance, will discuss a broad range of subjects from birth prep and pain management to how to care for your new-born, feeding and changing relationships. Understandably, one of the biggest reasons I hear people signing up to these classes for, is the social aspect (myself included!) and they are certainly a good place to meet other parents who are expecting a baby around the same time as you. My 8 strong WhatsApp group still pings daily 4 years later!
By contrast, a Hypnobirthing course focuses on preparing your body, mind and birth partner for the best possible birth for you and your baby. It is a complete antenatal education incorporating the physiology of pregnancy and the three stages of birth, the profound effect the mind has on the body, a variety of both deep relaxation (or self-hypnosis) and physical techniques you can reach for to make labour more comfortable, navigating the maternity system, understanding how to make decisions to ensure you’re in control of the way you birth, your birthing options, pain relief, and what to expect and how to make any birth journey a positive one, whether a natural home birth, induction, instrumental or C-section.
The most commented on takeaways from the course I hear are
· that people no longer fear and, instead actively look forward to birth following the course
· the birth partner feels confident in the central role they can play to support their partner during the birth of their child
So, which do you chose? Is one better than the other? Absolutely not. Many of my clients will do both and whilst there can be a crossover on some of the birth related topics, we rub along together very well and a little revision can never do any harm. Equally both courses stand very well on their own. If you’re looking for a broader course, NCT may suit you well. If you’d like to focus on fully preparing for a calm and gentle birth for you and your baby Hypnobirthing could be your thing! (And rest assured, I’ll make sure you’re not left in the dark about those first weeks as new parents!)
You can find out more about the NCT course contents on their website. If you’d like to find out more about a Hypnobirthing Course, once you’ve had a look around this very site, why not sign up for one of my taster sessions or drop me a line to arrange a chat with you and your birth partner so I can dispel a few myths and help you make an informed decision about the best route for you, your body, your baby, your partner and YOUR BIRTH.