GentleBirth -helping you prepare for birth

GentleBirth -helping you prepare for birth

Preparing for birth can be pretty daunting, especially if the image you have of birth is coming from movies or T.V. shows, where the focus is on drama and captivating an audience with an edge of the seat story line or if all your hearing are the horror stories from Mary down the road. Just breath let them pass and know that you can have a positive experience. Regardless of what others may think.

We know that birth comes in all different shapes and sizes and we know that birth by it’s very nature is unpredictable. We also know that you can prepare for birth and things may not go the way you hoped for and that is ok. A positive birth doesn’t mean a natural vaginal birth with no pain medication. A positive birth is how you define it.

It would be much easier for us to prepare for birth if we knew exactly what was going to happen and when it was going to happen. But we don’t. As our famous quote from GentleBirth Workshops go, we really can only “control the controllables”.

control the controllables

What does this really mean? Have a think about what you really have control over…………. Your breath, your thoughts, your actions, your focus, your response and how you prepare for labour and birth.

Taking a GentleBirth Workshop helps you and your birth partner to prepare for birth and stack the odds in your favour of a positive birth experience. A positive birth experience is one that is defined by you not by me or GentleBirth or poor Mary down the road.

Have a think about what does a positive birth experience mean for you? It goes without saying that all moms will respond with having a healthy baby, but what else means positive for you? How you were spoken to? knowing your options? The environment? The staff? Were you consulted? Was consent given? What else can affect your experience?

You will be confident in knowing that the information provided at a GentleBirth workshop is evidence based and has a science edge to it and it’s not uncommon to hear birth partners get excited and looking forward to birth as they leave the workshop.

GentleBirth effectively uses:

  • Hypnosis for birth
  • Mindfulness – which helps to build your focus and resilience
  • Sport psychology to really get your head in the game
  • Cognative Behavioural Therapy to help challenge those thoughts and gain a greater understanding of where they are stemming from
  • Brain science – understanding that our brain pathways changes all thanks to those lovely pregnancy hormones.

During a workshop we will also go through;

  • Your labour bag and what you can use
  • Using the GentleBirth App for mom and birth partner!!
  • Acupressure points
  • Upright positions for mom during labour and birth
  • Pain relief options – medical and non medical
  • The important role of the birth partner
  • Key questions to ask your care provider
  • Breathing techniques
  • Visualisation

As a mom and a doula I will also share with you other tips and information that may be relative to the workshop.



Your birthing experience will stay with you forever, if you want to do what you can to make it a positive experience and prepare as best you can, you can book into one of my monthly workshops by following this link  P.S. ( Mary from down the road won’t be there 🙂 !!

If the dates I have scheduled don’t suit, please contact me and I would be happy to arrange a private workshop at a more suitable time.


The importance of Birth Preference’s and why you should write one

The importance of Birth Preference’s and why you should write one

pexels-photo-415068.jpegWriting your birth preferences is a topic that has some mixed views, I have heard moms say that “it is a great idea and really helped me prepare for birth” and others have said “what is the point they wont listen to you anyways”. Whatever your current thoughts are on writing a birth preference I hope that this blog post will help to give you a positive perspective on the importance of writing your birth preferences, not just for you but for the greater good of maternity care in Ireland.

Briefly explained, a birth preference is a document of your wishes during labour and directly after birth. Labour is an unpredictable event and it’s important to keep this in mind, be flexible and adaptable on the day.

Birth preferences play a few different, but equally important roles when it comes to your maternity care;

ROLE 1: A birth preference acts as a communication tool between mom and her care givers. It clearly states what mom’s wishes are and hopefully during your prenatal appointments you can begin to have discussions on what you would like to happen on the day and what are the hospital policies around your choices. It’s important to always look for evidence based care, sadly hospital policies are not always best practice.

Equally when you arrive into hospital (or your home birth midwife arrives) the birth preferences can be handed to your midwife and they will get a better understanding of you and what you hope to achieve during labour and directly after it and also how they can assist you.

ROLE 2: Discussing your birth options with your chosen birth partner helps them to prepare for labour and they will have a better understanding of how to help you when labour begins. It will increase their confidence and they can feel more prepared leading up to the day.

It’s really important to discuss and keep communicating what you want to happen during labour with your birth partner, this also gives them an opportunity to ask questions or even make suggestions.

On the day, mom’s job is to focus and listen to her body and the sensations, the birth partners job is to aid mom in finding comfortable positions, help her to regain focus and importantly to be her voice, an advocate for her and her choices that she has documented on the birth preferences.

ROLE 3: When mom starts to think about her labour and the different aspects of it she can begin to ask questions and inform herself better. This process can also increases moms confidence and believe in herself, as she empowers herself through informed decision making and backing her choices by research on evidence based care and best practice guidelines.

Mom can also begin to use the powerful tool of visualisation. She can visualise what she will have in her toolkit to help on the day, how she is going to find comfort and what can be done to ease sensations.  Visualisation is a great tool to use and knowing your birth preferences really helps to clarify your focus.

ROLE 4: Finally, change in our maternity care will only happen from the ground up, the more mom’s that start to advocate for how they want to labour the more that change will come about.

Care providers can only assist you and do better when you communicate what you want.  baby-sleeping-baby-baby-girl.jpgIf your due your baby soon, have a think about the importance of writing your own birth preferences and make a decision that feels right for you. The choice is yours, but for me personally it’s an important step in preparing yourself and those around you for labour. It’s more than just a document to file away in your maternity folder.

If you are unsure about labour and your choices, educate yourself and be informed. GentleBirth workshops can help you get into the mindset of thinking about labour, GentleBirth workshops are supported by evidence based research and international best practice. We cover topics such as, mindfulness, hypnosis, CBT, sports psychology including visualisation, comfort measures that can be used – this usually helps the birth partner as it is hands on and increase their confidence and we also look at negotiating your birth options.

workshop imageI run group and private workshops in Ballydesmond, Co. Cork.  if you wish to view my profile click here. 

If you are not in my area, fear not, GentleBirth workshops are held around the country, for more information check out GentleBirth Workshops .

Wishing you a positive birthing experience.