Preparing for birth – 2 Norwich Mums share their Daisy Birthing story
We all deserve to look back on our births with fondness and joy. We all deserve to be listened to, supported and begin motherhood feeling empowered and confident, whatever our choices. The best people to explain why preparing for this journey with Daisy Birthing was right for them are some of the wonderful women who’ve attended class. We asked first time Norwich Mum Daniella (D) and Emily (E), step Mum to 2 and writing about her second pregnancy to share their experiences of Daisy Birthing classes…
D “Today’s my first class. I have to admit, I was cynical because colleagues had told me how boring their antenatal classes were, but I found it more informative than I’d expected. Chloe explains ‘Active Birth,’ it’s all about empowerment and believing in your body. We did lots of centred breathing which helps relaxation and supply of oxygen. Chloe gave a very clear explanation of what exactly your uterus does during labour, why some positions are better than others for giving birth and how we can help our bodies.
The class gave me a chance to slow down and focus on my baby while starting to learn exactly what my body will do, and how to recognise and handle labour. I did think I’d probably want all the pain relief available to me but after just 1 class, I’m already starting to feel as though my body is capable of doing it on it’s own. I can’t wait for next week’s class!”
E “As soon as I arrive at the class I feel comfortable and welcome. Chloe is friendly and warm and explains everything very clearly and the class moves at a comfortable pace. I feel extremely relaxed and confident in what I am doing and I’m beginning to understand how amazing my body really is! At the end of the class I am feeling relaxed (I almost fell asleep, I was so relaxed!) and ready to tackle the week ahead.”
D “So week two and I feel totally zen! Completely relaxed yet somehow brilliantly aware. I think I immersed myself in the calmness more this week, especially through the movement section of class & breathing work. The education part was fascinating this week and made me think that if we wrote a list of what we’d want our bodies to do during labour, evolution has already prepared us for it! I’m amazed at the effects oxytocin has. I’m feeling more empowered just by being a bit more educated about what we can do!”
E “I arrive at my second Daisy Birthing class feeling like I have known Chloe and my classmates for months rather than a couple of hours. The group is friendly and intimate and everyone seems very comfortable as we chat. Chloe offers her advice and guidance with unbiased and informative answers to all of our questions.
We begin the class with gentle movements to music. We talk about the cervix, psoas muscle, sweeps and induction. We’re invited to a free Positive Birth Movement meeting after our class. I am beginning to feel so much more informed during this pregnancy about the choices and support available. I already feel confident about having an active and positive birth experience and am looking forward to my labour, which isn’t something I expected to say!”
D “So this week we practiced our centred breathing and knee supported squat…I find myself feeling more comfortable with this as each week passes. We also discussed pain relief options. Daisy Birthing encourages women to feel empowered enough to cope with labour, but equally recognises it doesn’t always go to plan, so it’s about having the knowledge to make an informed decision. I like this approach, it’s nice to be part of a class where there are no judgements or implications – it’s just about making us women feel in control regardless of the circumstances.
After the education piece we learnt a new breath. This is designed to help with the increasing pressure & tension of contractions when in established labour, while still flooding the body with oxygen. It works both scientifically (the body needs good amounts of oxygen to keep labour progressing) and emotionally as a coping mechanism (it can feel as though you’re blowing out any discomfort) As always, we ended with relaxation which is just the perfect time for me to focus on baby and look forward to his/hers arrival.”
E “…we learnt the escalator breath and as Chloe demonstrated it I was able to visualise myself using that method during my own labour. Our education section this week was about pain relief during labour. As I had previously mentioned my plan for a home birth Chloe gave me some tips for getting comfortable at home during labour and in the bath/birthing pool. I didn’t use any pain relief during my previous labour and I am hoping that I won’t need to during my next, but it feels really good to be aware of my options to understand what role they will play if I choose to use them. We also chatted about the importance of making time for yourself before the baby arrives and how hard it can be when you already have children! I am going to put this into action and try to take myself out of the house and do something for ‘me’ before my whole world changes again!”
D “…we spoke about the importance of feeling comfortable and safe during labour. After discussing how we would know when we’re going into labour, we did some lymphatic drainage techniques and practised our breathing. It was a much needed class to remind me that my body is more than capable of doing this perfectly natural transition. I’ve set myself the aim to reinforce these thoughts during the week by spending 5 or 10 minutes a day thinking about everything I’ve learnt.”
E “This week we practised the escalator breath, which Chloe had demonstrated during our last class. I am beginning to relate some of the breathing techniques and movements to my previous birth experience, and am feeling really positive about how they are going to help me during labour this time round. I have found Chloe’s suggestions for what to prepare for labour really helpful. We also spoke about birth affirmations, which are something I was totally clueless about during my first pregnancy and have only just recently discovered. Chloe explained how they can help to mentally and emotionally guide you through labour.
Chloe’s teaching style is so down-to-earth, it makes it so easy to absorb all of the useful and important information that she is providing us. I really wish I had known about Daisy Birthing during my first pregnancy as I feel so much more in control and informed this time.”
D “I really didn’t know what to expect today because I didn’t realise there was still so much to learn! As usual we started with our centred breathing before moving on to the education piece, which this week was about ‘bearing down’. I was amazed to hear that you shouldn’t ‘purple’ push and that your body should do it for you so the best thing to do is breath and stay calm….Chloe explained the benefits of the ‘out’ breath and answered questions on what happens straight after the baby is born. So far there hasn’t been a single question that Chloe hasn’t answered and we’ve thrown a lot at her! By practising the movements and techniques from class I’ve noticed my ankles are less swollen and I haven’t had cramp in the night at all!”
E “During this week’s class I felt that all of the different breathing techniques and movements were beginning to come quite naturally and that everything was starting to fit into place. I am looking forward to labour more and more each week!”
E “Today’s class was so much fun, we laughed loads and I learnt so much! I am particularly chuffed about the perineum exercise that Chloe taught us to help stretch the skin and prevent tearing (especially after having had stitches the first time round!) We practised the escalator breath again, which I am starting to feel confident about and we were given a lot to think about with regards to birthing the placenta and writing a birth plan. It has definitely been such a positive and worthwhile experience! Thank you x”
Chloe is a Norfolk Mum of 2 little boys, she teaches Daisy Birthing, a unique UK wide Birth Preparation programme accredited by FEDANT and signposted by NHS choices, at Silver Road Community Centre. Norwich, 5.15-6.45pm on Sundays. A 6 week term is just £72.
Suitable from 14+ weeks pregnant, our small, friendly classes for mums-to-be are a lovely supportive way to prepare for birth. We close our eyes and with gentle music playing you’re guided through gentle movements, helping with common pregnancy ailments like heart burn and back ache, preparing your body and mind for an active birth and encouraging baby into a good position. We also incorporate weekly empowering education and a guided relaxation to end class feeling calm and confident. You can also come along to a birth partner workshop so they can learn to be a brilliant birth supporter and some relaxing massage techniques.
As a next step after the pregnancy classes, Chloe teaches Daisy Baby classes on Tuesday mornings at Silver Road, offering you continued support on your motherhood journey.
Chloe is also the East of England coordinator for the international Positive Birth Movement and runs small, friendly, not-for-profit events, for new and expectant parents over at Mama Fox Fair (Facebook & Instagram)