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Should I do Hypnobirthing or NCT classes?

Hypnobirthing VS NCT Classes

When i was pregnant I was lucky enough to be able to attend Hynobirthing and NCT courses. Some of us may not have that luxury be it due to money or time. I’m often asked what are the differences so luckily i’m able to give my views. What one would you suggest if i can only do one? Do they overlap in content? From experience they are both great but for different reasons.

I am firm believer in knowledge is power.  So to be as educated as  I could be would mean more control during labour. My hypnobirthing course was really interesting and opened my eyes up to how amazing the birthing body is. Both my partner, Jamie and I learnt so much. Jamie who was sceptical at first was an advocate by the time our course had ended. Hypnobirthing made him a great birth partner – I fundamentally believe this. Jamie gained a great understanding of birth. He knew what we needed to do to help achieve the birth i’d set out for. He also became very interested when he was able to liken it to sport!

Hypnobirthing Course

We did a private hypnobirthing course as I wanted that 1-2-1 experience. For me the 1-2-1 course would be in the comfort of my own home at times that suited me. I offer this 1-2-1 option for expectant parents. Many couples like the idea of a group hypnobirthing course. Therefore I offer this option too as they are able to meet other expectant parents. Perhaps discuss elements of pregnancy and birth they’d not considered.

My hypnobirthing course sets out to make the expectant parents as relaxed as possible. I work with the parents to understand what they want to get out of the course. I am then able to run the course taking their needs into consideration. If there are any fears what they are and how we can work through them. Hypnobirthing is an holistic approach to birth. With this in mind I don’t focus on pain relief in great detail. Most of my clients are hoping to achieve a natural birth. My teaching is around educating people how they can try to achieve this. How working with your breath is a natural pain relief.

For me its very important that we cover how birth sometimes can takes a different journey. If this happens how you can apply hypnobirthing techniques to that birth. Understand why it may have taken that course and be happy with the outcome. Hypnobirthing isn’t just about birthing naturally its for all types of birth and the best birth for you.

NCT Courses

The NCT class was a great opportunity to meet local expectant Mums in the area. Our teacher was great asking us what we wanted to get out of NCT and what we wanted to learn. You felt like you had ownership over your course. We covered things like what happens if you have a c-section. Preparing you for what would happen, how many people would be in theatre. The breastfeeding class was great and left me feeling very positive.

I think with group courses where you could have different views on birth it can be quite daunting. Some Mums are adamant they are having an epidural as they are convinced that birth will be a painful ordeal. Its understandable its what we’ve been lead to believe through gruesome stories, media, TV, films. This experience can be quite a negative one within a group environment. That’s where hypnobirthing steps in to help you overcome these fears and anxieties. To break down what can happen if you have an epidural. Expectant Mum’s need all the info to enable them to make an informed decision.

The main difference for me was that i found NCT a very functional approach. It felt like I was in a classroom learning but in a relaxed environment. With hypnobirthing I felt like I had left in a meditative state feeling so relaxed and excited about birth. NCT didn’t leave me feeling excited as it was quite matter of fact. Not in a negative way whatsoever but just a different approach.

The key things I learnt through hypnobirthing

With Hypnobirthing we break down the elements of birthing and the implications of procedures. For example epidurals and how they can lead to intervention. How an induction works and what the body does when its pumped with artificial Oxytocin. The body can’t break it down as it does with natural Oxytocin. For me these are key facts that women should be educated on as so they can understand what can happen.

Having a good understanding of this enabled me to know what i’d like to try and achieve during labour. I would never discourage anybody from having pain relief as sometimes its needed and birth doesn’t always go as planned. But having an understanding of the birthing hormones – oxytocin, melatonin and endorphins, this helps enormously with keeping you calm. Understanding why you need to keep your stress levels down to enable the body to birth more effectively. Keeping the stress hormone, adrenaline, at bay. Many women don’t have an understanding of these and by educating people about these we can help achieve better births.

For me hypnobirthing is far more than just downloading an app and listening to relaxations. A course is in depth and teaches you the importance of relaxation, practice, understanding how the body works. Most importantly it ensures the expectant Father or birthing partner is a fundamental part of hypnobirthing. They understand what is happening. What you want and can act as your voice when you are in labour and take control of situations. Most expectant fathers I teach are often really impressed. By the end of a hypnobirthing course they’ve have had their eyes well and truly opened. Left feeling like they have a true role to play during labour and how they can help in pregnancy. Hypnobithing isn’t only about Mum it’s about the Father and/or Birthing partner and baby too.

The choice is yours…

We’re all different so I never deter expectant parents from doing either course. Its all down to personal choice. There are elements in both courses that I found really interesting. For myself, who tries to take an holistic, natural approach to life I loved the hypnobirthing course. I found learning about how we can work with our bodies amazing. Understanding how a water birth can be a natural pain relief. How successfully women birth at home and why. How we can continue to use those birthing hormones after labour to encourage successful breastfeeding. NCT educated me on other aspects of birth i’d not considered – labour wards, c-sections, vaccinations. An in depth class on breastfeeding.

If you can’t do both understand what both courses can offer you. What is important to you and what you want to get out of a course. Have conversations with your local NCT teachers and hypnobirthing teachers to understand what they offer. Do you get support after the course? I offer all my Mums to be continuing support once the course has finished. I think this is vital in your role as a hypnobirthing teacher. We’re there to support expectant parents and beyond.

Interested in booking a hypnobirthing course? What to know more?

I offer hypnobirthing classes across Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston and surrounding areas in London. So to find out more about hypnobirthing or to book your hypnobirthing classes get in touch – i’d love to hear from you.

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Ali x

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