Here are some of the most common questions I have been asked regarding the GentleBirth Workshops I am running here in Frankfurt. If you have a question I haven’t covered or would like further information on any of the topics covered, please get in touch and I will do my best to answer any questions you may have.
What is GentleBirth?
GentleBirth is an antenatal preparation program that is designed to give Moms the tools, knowledge and support to prepare for a positive birth experience. It is backed by evidence based research and World Health Organisation guidelines.
The GentleBirth program consists of:
Brain Science – using a combination of Mindfulness, Hypnosis, Sports Psychology, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Birth Science – Through the GentleBirth workshop we provide information on labor and birth. What your options are regarding pain relief, care options, signs of labour. Being informed removes doubt and fear, thus allowing you to enjoy pregnancy and look forward to welcoming your baby.
Technology – The GentleBirth App guides you each day through your suggested daily training, which is specific to where you are in your pregnancy journey.
Support – Receive support from GentleBirth Moms and Instructors on the GentleBirth Facebook Group
When should I attend a GentleBirth Workshop?
You can attend a GentleBirth workshop at any stage during your pregnancy. Some Moms and her birth partner go as early as 12 weeks and some 39 weeks. It’s really up to you when you feel comfortable to attend. The sooner you book into your workshop the sooner you will get your 1 month free trial of the app and can start using your daily recommended tracks.
How can I get my birth partner involved and excited about attending the GentleBirth workshop?
Sometimes a birth partner might feel uncomfortable at the thought of attending a GentleBirth workshop or might feel unsure about their role on the big day. You can be assured that during the workshop it will become very clear just how important it is for Mom to have a trusted companion with her on the big day!
It’s important to know that a well informed confident birth partner is one of the most important parts of your labor toolkit. The workshop will provide your birth partner will tips and tricks on what they can do during labor to support you and baby. They can get some practice in on learning physical comfort measures and they usually leave feeling more engaged, realizing that they have a really important role to play on the day.
The GentleBirth workshop prepares your partner to confidently facilitate your birth preferences, support you physically, emotionally and mentally. GentleBirth partners are engaged and empowered to be the best birth partner they can be.
At the end of the workshop it is quite common that birth partners are now just as excited as Mom and are really looking forward to the birth!!
How does GentleBirth differ from Hypnobirthing?
GentleBirth and Hypnobirthing both aim to provide Moms with tools to have positive birth experiences.
However, defining a positive birth experience differs between the two programs. A GentleBirth Mom defines for herself what a positive birth experience looks like, whereas Hypnobirthing already has pretty defined ideas of what a positive birth should be.
Although both programs are similar in some of the topics covered including: signs and stages of labor, breathing techniques, hypnosis for birth, visualization and birth partner involvement. These are all wonderful tools to have during labor and birth but they alone don't prepare you for managing any unexpected occurrences that may surface on the day that might impact your state of mind. For example, on my Birth-day, we woke up to find that someone had hit and run our car overnight, leaving us without transportation and unforeseen police activity on an already busy day...but that's a story for another time. :)
HypnoBirthing preparation aims to have expectant mothers view birth in a positive manner with the belief that childbirth does not have to be painful by focusing on teaching the skills of deep relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis. GentleBirth has offers additional resources based on mindfulness, sports psychology, CBT, neuro-science, and advanced comfort measures such as; acupressure points, counter pressure massage, pain relief options, back labor comfort strategies and more. GentleBirth helps you to prepare your full birth toolkit which can include all forms of pain relief, including the epidural, along with the skills to actively negotiate your birth choices and advocate for yourself in a medical environment. You will leave the workshop will a "toolbox" that you can tap into on the day and will help you and your partner to have a calm, confident, gentle birth experience.
Additionally, the skills learned during your GentleBirth Workshop and home practice can be used the different stages of pregnancy, labor and straight into parenthood. The GentleBirth app also has specialized tracks for fertility, pre-conception, trauma, breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, cesarean, and twin births.
GentleBirth is continuously evolving as new evidence based research becomes available and keeps in line with the WHOs recommendations on labor and birth.
For a comparison on other antenatal type classes check out this link.
How does GentleBirth differ to hospital based classes?
Both GentleBirth and Hospital based antenatal classes will cover the signs and stages of labor and Pharmaceutical pain relief options available to you. The hospital based class will be governed by the policies and procedures that are in place and their practices related to the management of labor. It’s important to be aware that not all hospital policies are best practice and some are not backed by evidence based research. Attending a hospital based antenatal class can be beneficial if you want to learn and ask questions about the hospital’s policies on admission, management of care during labor and possibly take a tour of the facilities. Not all Frankfurt hospitals offer their own courses and you will be able to some important basic info relate to admissions and policies during the hospital's "Eltern-Abend".
Moms have options during labor and it’s really important to be fully informed of the choices you are able to make and ask your care provider on the hospitals policy regarding your wishes (ex: waterbirth, birth attendants etc).
I’ve downloaded the app, should I still go to a GentleBirth workshop?
The choice is yours. The app is an integral part of the overall GentleBirth experience but is only one part of it. A live GentleBirth workshop will provide you with a more in depth understanding and knowledge of:
The signs of labor and the different stages of labor
Pain relief options available to you (pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical)
Non bias information on maternity care practices
Understanding pain and the role it plays
Physical comfort measures that can be used on the big day
Evidence based research and international best practice guidelines
Your options and the care options available to you
How to navigate your options with your care provider
The birth partner also learns hands on experience of the physical comfort measures they can offer Mom on the day such as: acupressure points, massage, double hip squeeze, counter pressure, reflexology points, suggestions on how to keep Mom "in the zone", advocating for Mom and her birth choices and understanding their role and responsibility as birth partner is on the day.
Mom and her birth partner leave the workshop feeling positive, confident and excited about labor and birth. The workshop also allows Mom and her birth partner to think about labor and provide an opportunity to start discussing what they want and need to do on the day.
My birth will be/might be an induction/cesarean/epidural, will GentleBirth be any good for my situation?
GentleBirth is not a one type fits all program. Remember a positive birth experience comes in many different forms; induction, planned cesarean, unplanned cesarean, drug free, epidural, assisted birth, homebirth or hospital birth. Truly, ANY birth CAN BE a GentleBirth. The only person that can define if an experience is/was positive or not is the person experiencing it.
The skills, tools and techniques you learn through using the GentleBirth app and attending the GentleBirth workshop will help you feel calm, confident and in control regardless of what path your birthing experience takes. For example, did you know that if you have an epidural you still have options and choices to make on how you wish to birth? In the workshop we will go over the use of the peanut ball in labor which is a really helpful tool for any Mom who has had an epidural.
Equally important, your mindset plays a massive role in your birth experience. Learning to stay calm, confident and in control cannot be underestimated. It’s equally important to remember that birth is unpredictable by it’s very nature and sometimes your idea of what a positive birth is needs to change on the spot and Mom needs to adapt to the new situation. Using the GentleBirth app helps strengthen our resilience, reduces fear and helps mom to stay focused. By deepening your knowledge and understanding of the maternity system and the care available to you, can help you keep that focus and feeling of being in control even if something unpredictable is thrown at you on the day.
What is the GentleBirth App all about?
The GentleBirth app can be downloaded from the app store on your phone. The GentleBirth is available on android and iOS Phones and cost €12.99/month. You will recieve two months of App access when you enroll in my course. I encourage you to download the app and try out the 7 free days before the start of our class, as those days will not be added onto your two months included with your class enrollment.
The app provides you with your daily brain training tracks that help you get into a positive, relaxed mindset during your pregnancy, birth and parenting journey. The tracks evolve with your pregnancy journey. You can also go to self paced learning and choose what track you listen to. You will learn a mix of mindfulness, hypnosis, breathing and positive affirmations. These are all really important tools to have available during labor and you can use these techniques long after your baby arrives.
The app also has the GentleBirth guidebook available, which is a great resource to read in preparation for your big day and includes some hypnosis scripts for partner to read at home.
Will I have a pain free birth using the GentleBirth program?
GentleBirth does not guarantee a pain free birth. Pain is very much a subjective experience. Every birth is different and every woman will define their experience of “pain” differently. That being said, the daily brain training on the GentleBirth app you may alter your perception of pain leading to a more comfortable birth experience.
After attending a GentleBirth workshop, Mom and her birth partner will have a better understanding of pain, including the way the brain processes pain and how we can use this knowledge to our advantage. You will be equipped with tools to practice before labor begins and learn how you can shift your focus to deal with the sensations of labor.
Many GentleBirth Moms find they cope well without using drug related pain relief and others choose to have it. The choice is yours as you will make an informed decision about what is best for you. All pain relief options are part of your GentleBirth toolkit and only you know what you need in the moment.
How do I book a GentleBirth Workshop?
Right here on the website! Or email me if you have you have more questions I can answer before you decide to book.