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  • Writer's picture Suzanne Fowler Evans

Antenatal Coaching might make all the difference to your birth experience!

Updated: Oct 27, 2020

Why would I need an Antenatal Coach??

Well the truth of the matter is that you possibly don’t think you do - however, as the old adage goes - you don't know what you need to know until you know it, and when you are preparing for labour and the birth of your baby you often feel that you don't know anything, or you think you did know and you are told that you don't - it can all be very confusing! If your pregnancy is low risk and no concerns about your baby that's great news, you will be thinking about pool births and active labour, surrounded by love and oxytocin :-) all good so far, but we all know, especially if this is your second baby or you might be expecting baby number five, that things can go sideways and you can be bombarded with concerns and worries about the health and safety of your new baby, pulling the plug on your birth preferences and making you feel that you have little choice. This can happen earlier on in your pregnancy or it can happen at 40 weeks, leaving you feeling in conflict with your gut instincts and what your health professionals are telling you. That is when your Antenatal Coach comes to the rescue - listening to your situation, taking through your options and looking at you as an individual before you get too far on the conveyor belt of intervention, when that might not be right for you. It may be that when we have looked at your particular situation, talked about your choices and discussed how you feel, that you are now happy to accept the intervention that is being suggested. If that is the case then there will always be questions you can ask and possible compromises that can be made to help you feel ready and happy to welcome your new baby into the world, rather than anxious and out of control.

Antenatal Coaching is not just another antenatal class, Antenatal Coaching is different, when you go to your antenatal classes or courses you will get lots of great information, you will think about what you want to happen, you will make lovely friends and hopefully come away feeling empowered and ready to meet your baby. But that might have been at 34 weeks, and you were one of a group, all with different needs and concerns. Your Antenatal Coach will work with you as an individual to help you make your own choices rather than just being told what the choices might or might not be.

Let's have a look at some examples of when you might find some coaching helpful, through your labour and birth plans;

You have just had your 36 week check and your baby is breech, you have a big baby, or a small baby, you have raised blood pressure, they have only just mentioned your age or the possible impact your gestational diabetes might have on your birth choices, so all that empowerment fades into the distant past and you are left feeling anxious and confused, trying to remember what your antenatal teacher said about induction but just remember negatives about the process and now you are even more worried.

You are a fit, strong healthy young woman and have got to your 40 week midwife appointment and now have an induction date booked in, what to do next? You have been told about the risks to your baby but really wanted a relaxing labour and birth, staying at home for as long as possible and maybe using the pool, is this still a possibility?

Enter your Birth Coach - an hours consultation can help you see the wood for the trees, talk about your risks, give you back your autonomy to make choices that are right for you and your baby. You might come away armed with questions to ask, or once we have explored your concerns, you might decide to accept the maternity units offer or you might regain your inner strength and feel empowered to say no - for now. How your labour starts can make all the difference to your birth experience - let's keep it positive!

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