Let’s talk about you!
(We’ll get to me in a bit.)
You and your partner are expecting a baby, most likely, but not necessarily, your first. You have big dreams about becoming a parent. I love big dreams - they’re the best.
You’re also starting to think quite a lot about birth and what it’s going to be like. If you’re feeling anxious, worried, or even excited-but-terrified about what lies ahead, then you’ve found the right place.
If any part of you is dreaming about that moment you’ll get to meet your baby for the first time, I hope you’re also dreaming of a beautiful and special moment to share with your partner.
I want you to succeed.
I believe that birth can be a positive, precious occasion to treasure forever. And here’s the thing: it isn’t about having a perfect birth (to be honest, I’m not even sure what that looks like). It is about you, and your partner, feeling you had the best possible birth for you and your baby, whatever that ends up looking like. Just to recap: it isn’t about the means by which your baby enters the world - it’s all about how you feel about your birth.
I want you both to feel proud.
You probably want to know how: how can you influence how your birth pans out; how can you ensure you and your baby have an easier, quicker and more comfortable birth; how can you stack the odds of having a straight-forward natural delivery in your favour; how can you ensure you don’t end up feeling that you had no choice? To summarise: how can you, and your partner, create an amazing and memorable experience?
(I’ve made you this free guide on what you must do to have an easier birth. Grabbed it yet?)
Because here’s the secret, and it’s not rocket science (although it is all scientific and evidence-based):
You need the knowledge, skills and tools on board to understand what is happening, what to do and when to do it. Let me ask you something: would you go into an interview for a new job, one that you really want, without preparing? Would you sign up to run a marathon, and not do any training beforehand? Would you leave either of those important events to chance - just crossing your fingers and saying ‘what will be will be’?
No, of course not! So why leave giving birth to chance? Surely you want to be as prepared as possible? Don’t be fooled by everyone telling you there’s nothing you can do - click here to read a birth story which proves that wrong.
I want you to be prepared.
What do you need to do? You need to start by understanding how birth works and exactly what your body needs to do the job it’s designed to do. It isn’t complicated, but it does require you, and your partner, to invest in your baby’s birth, and in yourselves - to learn about birth and understand how you can influence it, and get some great tools and techniques to help on the day. You’ll start to look forward to your baby’s birth with excitement and confidence, because you’ll feel prepared and well-equipped.
I want you to feel ready.
All you have to do, is begin.
Who am I, and what is ‘baby101’ supposed to mean?
I’m Rachel, founder of baby101, Mum of 3 and Hypnobirthing teacher. (Wait a minute … ‘hypo’? That sounds a bit woohoo! click here to find out why it totally isn’t ‘hippy’ or ‘out there’ at all.)
The name came from my daughter, who asked what I was going to be doing. I told her I’d be:
“giving new mums and dads-to-be what they need to have their baby in the best way possible - a beginners guide.”
She suggested ‘baby101’ - ‘101’ means ‘beginners guide, or first level course’ at American colleges, and is now used in the UK. I thought it was perfect.
I’m not going to tell you about how I’ve had three amazing natural births, or how hypnobirthing changed my life, because I would be lying. The truth is that I was a NCT Postnatal Group Facilitator (supporting new mums) and listened to all my family members, all my friends, all their friends and friends of friends talking about birth. It became pretty apparent that the majority of couples don’t enjoy their baby’s birth. In fact, most are left feeling like they failed somehow, with upsetting memories, maybe even traumatised by what happened.
That broke my heart, and made me want to do something about it.
My career has always been in the field of training, development and coaching, so it seemed a very natural and obvious thing to seek out a way to use these skills to help future parents have a positive birth experience. Lots and lots and lots of research later, and I’d discovered Hypnobirthing. For me, it just ticked all of the boxes:
Science and evidence-based, simple, logical, practical and realistic.
I did some more investigating by interviewing teachers and parents who had used it, and my decision was made. I had no doubt that this was how I could help more couples get the positive and empowering birth experience they all deserve.
I trained to become a Hypnobirthing teacher with Katharine Graves in 2016, qualifiying to teach the KG Hypnobirthing course, the only one to be accredited by the Royal College of Midwives.
My aim is to teach you and your partner everything you need to know about birth, and lots of tools and techniques, working towards the best birth for you, your partner, and your baby.
I do this privately, in the comfort of your own home, for two reasons. These are:
Birth is much easier if you feel safe and relaxed. Most of us find that easiest in our own space (also why you’ll be encouraged to stay at home for as long as possible before transferring the hospital). It therefore makes sense to learn and practice the skills you will need on the day in the same setting you’ll be when it happens - your own home.
I also believe that making and having a baby is something a couple do together - a team effort. Not only are dads expected to be at their partner’s side during the birth, they want to be there. I make sure they feel confident knowing exactly what to do and when to do it - no more standing around, feeling in the way. A well equipped, knowledgeable Birth Partner makes a big difference (click here to read how). Why wouldn’t you want to help him be the best birth partner you could ever wish for? Help him to help you.
(A quick note about group courses: I completely get the desire to make friends with others going through the same exciting chapter of their lives. I also think that having a support group is really important when you become a mum. However, the objective of any antenatal education should be to teach you how you can have the best birth possible for you, your baby and your partner. Those others will not be there on the day to help and support you. It will only be the two of you together. Having taught both private and group courses, I find that couples get a lot more out of the course when they go through it just the two of them. The dads particularly have expressed how nice it is to be at home, able to ask the questions relevant to them, experience the techniques together, without any awkwardness or distraction. And finally, there are some great alternatives to making friends, like Aquabumps and Antenatal Yoga.)