Becoming pregnant can be exciting and daunting in equal measures. You will be looking for answers to the many questions you have. There is a wealth of information to call on and everyone will have an opinion on how to have a successful pregnancy and birth - with some comments not always welcome!
Here at Birth Baby Balance, we provide a range of support and services to help you on the journey. One of our most common, and unofficial, services is that of 'filter'- helping you to sort through all the information, to find the best answer or solution for you and for your baby. This type of 'added bonus' is all part and parcel of what you can expect from Birth Baby Balance and goes towards setting us apart from other antenatal service and support providers in the area.
Birth Baby Balance in the first instance provides antenatal courses. They are unique in the county and a cut above other antenatal education providers for many reasons.
Sarah runs the courses. She is a birth and postnatal doula and has attended over 60 births in Oxfordshire, spanning the range of birth options. Her experience at births is immense.
Sarah's expertise and local knowledge is key to her teaching pregnant women - she is the only local antenatal teacher (to our knowledge) who is also a birth doula and knows the local hospital and maternity units inside out.
She is a User Representative on (and founding member of) the Maternity Voices Partnership, feeding back women's experiences of their maternity care to regular meetings at the John Radcliffe hospital. This role also means she is kept up to date on changing policies and procedures relating to labour and birth in the county.
Sarah taught antenatal courses for the NCT for 10 years which helped her to understand what couples want from their antenatal classes. As an independent course provider she has the freedom to create courses that meet those needs. A recent class attendee commented at the end of the course, “Thank you for a fantastic and really comprehensive course! We’re currently attending NCT classes too, and I feel that BBB covers the important stuff in a lot more depth”.
On a Birth Baby Balance antenatal course, above and beyond the 'standard' education, you get:
both a men-only and women-only class within the course, both of which are incredibly valuable to their respective groups, a free audio download or CD of a wide selection of Visualisations for Labour for each attendee
a postnatal class within the course package, run by Kirsten
This is more than just a social reunion. It gives new mums (and dads, if they would like to attend) a chance to make sense of the new world they have arrived in with their new baby. It is an opportunity to share their joys and worries with others in the same boat, whilst gaining reassurance that their baby's behaviours are normal. Alongside this informal chat, the new parents are given information about what is normal with baby and what to expect in those early days.
The Birth Baby Balance 'added bonus':
You can add to this single postnatal session by signing up to the rest of the Newborn Mothers course, in total a 3 week course, including a session on common feeding and sleeping challenges and a Baby and Infant first aid session, facilitated by a trained paramedic.
There are a lot of options out there for antenatal education, and it is important you find the right course to suit you.
Please read: Reasons to attend good antenatal courses (blog), to think about what matters to you.
ALREADY TAKING AN ANTENATAL COURSE?
Don't despair! You can still get some of the Birth Baby Balance care and support by attending Sarah's weekly Bumps Balls and Breathing classes.
As well as learning skills to help you through your labour, these sessions are an opportunity to increase your network of pregnant friends, and ask Sarah questions relating to your pregnancy and labour and more...!