GentleBirth FAQ

Here are some of the most common questions I have been asked regarding the GentleBirth Workshops I am running in Killarney, Co. Kerry and Ballydesmond, Co. Cork.

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 programme that is designed to give mom’s 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 programme consist of;

  1. Brain Science – using a combination of Mindfulness, Hypnosis, Sports Psychology, CBT.
  2. Birth Science – Through the GentleBirth workshop we provide information on labour 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.
  3. Technology – The GentleBirth App guides you each day through your suggested daily training, which is specific to where you are in your pregnancy journey.
  4. 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 mom’s 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 and might feel that they don’t have much to do or offer on the day.

However, It’s important to know that a well informed confident birth partner is one of the most important parts of your labour toolkit. The workshop will provide your birth partner will tips and tricks on what they can do during labour. They can get some practice in on learning physical comfort measures and usually leave feeling more involved, realising 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 to have birth partners get excited and looking forward to the birth!!


How does GentleBirth differ from Hypnobirthing?

GentleBirth and Hypnobirthing both aim to provide mum’s with tools to have positive birth experiences.

Defining a positive birth experience differs between the two programmes, A GentleBirth mom’s define what a positive birth is for her, where as Hypnobirthing defines what a positive birth is for mom.

Although both programmes are similar in some of the topics thought such as signs and stages of labour, breathing techniques, hypnosis for birth, visualisation and birth partners involvement. These are all wonderful tools to have during labour and birth but they alone will not leave you feeling prepared for anything unexpected that may come up.

HypnoBirthing preparation aims to have expectant mothers view birth in a positive manner with the belief that childbirth does not have to be painful. It focuses on teaching the skills of deep relaxation, visualisation, and self-hypnosis.

GentleBirth has added topics such as mindfulness, sports psychology, CBT, brain science, comfort measures such as; acupressure points, counter pressure massage, pain relief options, back labour comfort strategies, preparing your toolkit which includes the epidural, active birth skills and learning how to negotiate your birth choices. You will leave the workshop will a full toolkit to tap into on the day, you will be confident in your ability and your partners ability on the day.

Hypnobirthing is used just for pregnancy and labour, where as the skills learnt in GentleBirth can be used the different stages of preganancy, labour and into motherhood, the GentleBirth app also has specilised tracks for fertility, pre-conception, trauma, breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, cesarean, and twin births.

GentleBirth is continuously evolving as new evidence based research comes available and keeps in line with the world health organisations recommendations on labour 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 labour 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 management of labour. It’s important to be aware that not all hospital policies are best practice and some are not backed by evidence based research.

Mom’s have options during labour and it’s really important to fully inform yourself of the choices you make and ask your care provider on the hospitals policy regarding your choices.

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 labour and possibly take a tour of the labour ward and delivery room.


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 GentleBith experience but is only one part of it.  The GentleBirth workshops will provide you with a more in dept understanding and knowledge of;

  • The signs of labour and the different stages of labour
  • Pain relief options available to you (pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical)
  • Non bias information on the maternity care
  • Understanding pain and the role it plays
  • Physical comfort measures that can be used on the day
  • Evidence based research and international best practise 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 what 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 labour and birth. The workshop also allows mom and her birth partner to think about labour and provide an opportunity to start discussing what they 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 programme. Remember a positive birth experience comes in many different forms; induction, planned cesarean, unplanned cesarean, drug free, epidural, assisted birth, homebirth or hospital birth.

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.

Did you know that if you have an epidural you still have options and choices to make on how you wish to birth. We go though the use of the peanut ball during the workshops which is really helpful for mom’s who have had an epidural.

Equally, your mindset plays a massive part on your 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, 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.

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 labour 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.



Will I have a pain free birth using the GentleBirth programme? 

GentleBirth does not guarantee a pain free birth. Pain is very much a subjective sensation. Every birth is different and every woman will define their experience of “pain” differently.

Through the daily brain training on the GentleBirth app you may change 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. the process of pain and how we can use this knowledge to our advantage. You will be equipped with tools to practise before labour begins and how you can shift your focus to deal with the sensations during labour.

Many GentleBirth mom’s find they cope well without using drug related pain relief and others opt to have it. The choice is yours as you make an informed decision. All pain relief options are part of your GentleBirth toolkit.


How do I book a GentleBirth Workshop?

Booking’s for a GentleBirth workshop can be made directly on the GentleBirth website, the dates, cost and extra information are available on the GentleBirth Official website this will take you directly to the workshop page, type “anita” in the search box and change to find instructor. All the information you need should be there but if you have any questions you can Contact me