This is a question I hear a lot. Many pregnant ladies have asked why they should shell out for a course when they can just buy a book and CD and teach themselves at home.
Well, it's a good question! Especially since most people are budget-conscious and when you're expecting a baby, it can be an expensive time. Or maybe you just don't have time in your busy, hectic schedule to attend classes?
Ok, teaching yourself at home seems easy and simple: buy a book (or loan one from your friend), download some music from the internet, watch some HypnoBirthing births on YouTube and away you go. BUT you're missing out on so much!
First of all, courses are taught by professional, certified and insured practitioners. These practitioners are either HypnoBirthing mums, doulas or midwives. They have to renew their HypnoBirthing membership every year, ensuring they are up-to-date with current regulations and techniques. You're in safe hands!
Courses contain so much more than books, breathing and relaxation. I think the most important thing that teaching yourself at home doesn't give you is support. Signing up to a course means you'll get support from the minute you book, until weeks after your baby is born. 24/7 support by email/text/phone! You don't get that from YouTube videos! Support isn't just for the mum either, it's for dads and birth partners, so that they can ask questions about their role, techniques they'll use, and really get to work as a team with mum.
The breathing techniques covered in class are so effective. If you're not doing them correctly, they might not work so well. Being face-to-face with a practitioner who can guide you through the breathing techniques, light touch massage and perineal massage, ensuring you're doing them just perfectly, is so helpful. The practitioner will demonstrate for you, and answer any questions you might have. He/she will take the time, repeating demonstrations if need be, and reviewing the techniques as many times as you like!
The practitioner will guide you through some wonderfully relaxing hypnosis scripts during class. The fear release script is a must-have and can't be self-taught. It helps you release any fears or negative thoughts. It's so powerful. The practitioner's soft voice and calm manner will help you relax and let go, the ambience of the background music will just help you float away on that soft white cloud. Dads (birth partners) will also be given a couple of scripts to take away for you to practice at home together.
The practitioner doesn't just read out from a teaching syllabus, like a robot. He/she will adapt the course to your individual requirements. You'll have so many chances to ask questions and bounce ideas off each other. If it's a group course, then you'll get to hear other parents questions and views too!
And above-all, courses help you feel really excited and empowered. HypnoBirthing practitioners are passionate about birth and about helping parents achieve a positive birth experience. Practitioners submerse themselves into teaching and guiding and helping, that their passion fills the room with positive energy. It's almost guaranteed that by the end of the first class, you and your birth partner will feel really excited about your baby's birth, itching to attend the next session. You don't get that feeling from reading a book at home on your own!
Back to the cost of the course - yes it seems like a massive expense, but it's a good investment. The birth of your baby should be a wonderful, positive experience. To make that happen, sometimes you need to splash out a little and treat yourself, and your baby. You have the option of a group or private course, to suit your budget. If you really can't afford it, then the cost can be spread over instalments, to help you manage financially. Whichever way you pay, it's so worth it!
From my own experience and from hearing parents' feedback, taking a course has so many benefits. You'll still learn something if you go at it alone at home with your books and CDs, but you wont get the full thing. Why not give yourself and your birth partner the best chance of birthing your baby calmly and safely?
I haven't had one parent come back to me saying they wish they hadn't taken a course, or that it didn't work. So what are you waiting for? Book a course (or come along to a taster session!) and get yourself and your birth partner prepared and equipped for your baby's birth. You won't regret it!