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First Birth Reflections are coming in -
I hope this page of testimonials and personal experiences will help you feel more confident and excited about your upcoming labour and birth!

Caroline -  Daisy Birthing Active Antenatal Classes - Now Active Birthing Classes

"I did the 6 week active antenatal class with Ana.


Before starting I was quite apprehensive about the idea of a natural birth and, as a first time pregnancy had no idea about what would happen during labour. The 6 weeks were just what I needed to become informed and enter a positive mind frame feeling ready for birth.

 

I learnt gentle yoga exercises which were really useful as my pregnancy progressed - especially to help with my pelvic and back pain. Through Ana's guidance I felt so much more informed each week about the different stages of labour and what would happen - from both a scientific and holistic point of view!

Each week she took the time to answer questions about different elements of the birth journey and options available such as having a water birth, induction, pain relief options and the golden hour. The follow up emails were great to look back on and Ana would always search out useful information and additional resources to share with us.
Without a doubt, by the end of the 6 weeks I had turned from someone who was very apprehensive about the idea of a natural birth to someone who was full of confidence and knowledge about it (even to the point of looking forward to it!) and was able to make a clear plan about my preferences for birth with my midwife.


Moving forward to birth, which happened at exactly 39 weeks.

I laboured very quickly, from feeling my first contractions to meeting my baby was 3.5 hours in total! I very much trusted my instincts which was something Ana had focussed on in one of the sessions, as during my first phone call to triage at 10.30pm when I'd started contractions and had some bleeding the midwife advised me I was likely in early labour and that we had no reason to go to the hospital. After around 20 minutes of increasingly intense contractions I rang back and insisted that we needed to go in as I could not talk or stand through the pain. On arriving at hospital at 11.30pm my waters broke at the door and to my surprise when examined I was already 8-9 cm dilated and immediately taken to a delivery suite. My plan for a water birth couldn't happen due to how far along I already was, but I was able to use all the breathing techniques and had been using positions such as rotating on all fours. I especially found the down breathing techniques helpful, which had felt so strange practising in class but once we were at that stage it came so naturally!

Due to the speed of labour it was very intense, but my partner and I again used techniques I'd learned like using positive affirmations to help me through and returning me to a relaxed state between contractions. I was chatting and laughing away in between! When I thought I couldn't do it anymore and I was begging for pain relief I neither wanted or could have anyway, he reminded me that we were close to meeting our baby as I transitioned into the down stage. After around 30 minutes our beautiful baby boy was born at 01.59. I was lucky enough to have the natural birth I wanted with gas and air only, followed by skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and delivery of the placenta without the need for intervention.

Even though parts of my birth preferences were ripped up and thrown away and I pretty much missed the entire up stage, I'll always be grateful for Ana's classes helping me to feel so empowered during labour when these things happened, and alongside the amazing midwives at St Mary's bringing our baby into the world in such a positive experience."

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