Breathing and relaxation skills for labour

A weekly, daytime class, to learn breathing and relaxation skills for labour. Also discover ways to use a birthing ball to help to position your baby well in readiness for the birth, as well as how to stay as comfortable as possible during labour. Suitable to attend from 28 weeks onwards. Most sessions are for women only, but once a month there is a partner’s session in Carterton.

Click here to read testimonials from previous class attendees.

What do we do?

Come along and discover how to use a birthing ball to help to position your baby well in preparation for birth, as well as finding different positions to try and remain as comfortable as possible during labour. You will also learn a variety of breathing, relaxation and visualisation techniques designed to give you coping tools to use in labour. Each visualisation lasts about as long as a contraction will, to give you a chance to learn to pace yourself through labour. These are fun and relaxing sessions which help you to prepare for the big day, and provide you with plenty of antenatal information.

When to come?

The sessions are most suitable for the last three months of pregnancy. You decide when you would like to come along - some people start at around 28 - 30 weeks, whilst others don't begin till they have gone on maternity leave at 37 weeks.  It is useful, though not essential, to come to several classes. This helps you to better remember the visualisation techniques you have done in class, when you are in labour. The more classes you attend, the more useful you are likely to find the techniques in labour. Examples of visualisations used in classes are given below.

This is a great opportunity to focus on your baby, while mentally and physically preparing for the birth.


Terms and conditions

Your first session is paid for at the time of booking. At the end of each class, you have the opportunity to say if you would like a place at the following week's class. If you do, you will pay in advance for that session, unless your due date is imminent, in which case you pay the following week if you make it.

If you go into labour or into hospital before the following week's class, or if you give me more than 48 hours notice that you can't make the session, you will be reimbursed for your missed class, or I will carry your payment over to the following week. If you give me less than 48 hours notice that you can't attend, but would like to come to the following week's class, then your payment won't be carried over.

By coming to the classes, you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.


Who's it for?

Classes are open to all pregnant women in the area, and we welcome women from as far afield as Oxford, Kidlington, Bicester, Witney, Burford, Lechlade, Fairford, Faringdon, Moreton-in-Marsh, Shipston-on-Stour and surrounding villages.

Most of the classes are for women only, but in Carterton there is a couple’s session on the first Thursday of every month. This class is really beneficial for birth supporters, to see how they can be most helpful in their role. Birth supporters can be male or female. These classes demonstrate different ways your partner can help you when using a birth ball, can help them to understand the mechanics of the pelvis and how upright positions can aid the labour process, as well as the importance of staying relaxed and breathing well in labour. We also learn some simple massage techniques for labour. It is fine to come to this session alone if your partner can't make it, or you are welcome to bring someone else with you to that session - perhaps your mum or a friend.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a birth ball - I have plenty to borrow during the class. If you would like to buy one, I also have them for sale at £20, which includes a hand pump.


Class details

Carterton, Thursdays 9.30 - 10.30 a.m.

Price: Women only classes £8 per class. Couple’s classes £12 per single attendee or £20 per couple.

N.B. On 17th Oct, the session is at the later time of 11.30 - 12.30. There is no class on 10th and 31st October.

Couple’s classes are held here on the first Thursday of every month at the earlier time of 9.00 - 10.30 a.m. Women are welcome to attend without a partner. See main page for details of these classes.

Chipping Norton, Tuesdays 1.00 - 2.00pm

Women only classes. Price: £8 per class.

N.B. There will be no class on the 8th October.


Carterton classes are held at the Town Hall, 19 Alvescot Road, OX18 3JL. Thursday is market day, so please allow yourself time to get parked and to the venue, as the closest car park is where the market takes place.

Chipping Norton classes are held at the Cotswold Birth Centre, Russell Way, Chipping Norton, OX7 5FA. The class is held in the meeting rooms, directly opposite the lift on the first floor. Come through either door - the rooms interconnect. Plenty of free parking right outside the building.

Visualisation Samples

Here are a couple of free tasters to give you an idea of the sort of visualisations we use in classes. The more you listen to the images, the more deeply ingrained they will become in your mind, and so the more likely it will be that you will use them in labour without having to think about them. That way you can let your body labour as it needs to, whilst you are focused on the images in your mind to help to keep you calm and relaxed.


Visualisations for Labour CD

If you enjoyed the free samples, and would like to hear more images that might help you during your labour, you can purchase our Visualisations for Labour CD, either as a physical CD or as an audio download. It gives you 23 images to listen to, as well as information and tips on successful breathing for labour. To order it, click here.

CDs are always available to purchase at the Bumps, Balls and Breathing classes if you wish.

If you sign up for a Birth Baby Balance antenatal course or book our birth doula services, you will receive a CD or audio download as part of your package.