What is hypnobirthing worth to you?
Why spending money on the must have buggy is worthless compared to a good birth.
Faced with the choice of a top of the range buggy or a hypnobirthing class, or any private antenatal class for that matter, what would you choose? Or is it as straightforward as that? Is hypnobirthing worth it?
I’ve often heard people decide not to do a class as they can’t afford it; having a baby is expensive and they want to put the money towards equipment. Fair point, babies need a lot, or do they?
When my first son was born I spent £120 on a changing station, what was I thinking? I was deluded! After 6 months, he was out of a wardrobe of clothes and his Moses basket which was barely used. The changing unit became a hazard as he just wanted to throw himself off it and, the cashmere cardigan, lovingly chosen as a coming home outfit, ruined after I’d thrown it in a 90 degree wash with the muslins in a sleep-deprived haze.
The travel system, which cost nearly £400, was so bulky that I’d thrown it out at 8 months and bought a small fold up emergency lightweight umbrella pushchair for £30, which then saw me through two children.
We spend a fortune on these things but they are redundant within the blink of an eye, sold for a fraction of the cost through the NCT or given away on Freecycle to just clear some space quickly. After my first son was born, I was slightly pissed off that I’d been taken in by the whole baby stuff bandwagon, deciding that all I really needed in the first six months was a car seat, a sling, a set of reusable nappies and a couple of leaky boobs.
Hypnobirthing worth is based on the value you place on your experience
What I didn’t place a value on was my experience of birth, and my baby’s experience. I was blasé, went along to my NHS class with 20 other couples, said I would grit my teeth and get on with it, while recoiling at the epidural needle and acting out a caesarean birth. Research now shows that women who actively prepare for a birth in a positive way and see birth as a normal, natural event are at much less risk of intervention than women who are frightened or were like me, preparing with a just grit your teeth and get on with it attitude.
Do you know how your underlying fears could affect your baby’s birth, how cultural conditioning would impact on the choices you make. Do you know that a stressful job and a stressful birth could impact on both your emotional well-being before and after the birth; and that in turn would impact on how you may be able to care for your baby. When I was pregnant I didn’t even begin to consider that the birth would leave an indelible imprint on my memories of receiving him into the world and what that would mean to me.
I had no idea that reducing stress during pregnancy could have a positive impact on baby’s brain development and that if I kept the birth as gentle as possible that my baby would have a better experience. Babies experience birth, they feel, they sense and are soothed in a comforting nurturing and loving environment close to their mother and father both within the womb and in those precious moments after birth.
It took a birth to teach me this.
Stuff or memories?
Once at a baby show, a woman raced over to our stand dragging her pregnant daughter behind her. “This is my gift to you” she said to her daughter as she booked her a place. An NCT teacher, one of the first from the 1960’s she knew the value of good antenatal preparation and the connection between the body and the mind. She didn’t hesitate to book her daughter a class.
A positive birth experience is priceless, you will carry the memories of your birth for the rest of your life. Don’t allow yourself to be swept up into the myth of needing so much stuff when your baby is born; when you are 70, those will be dust while the memory of your experience will be as alive within you as it is when you first hold your baby in your arms.
So what is hypnobirthing worth?
We want people to have access to a class, so we’ve kept it as reasonable as we can. I still believe that actually attending a class experiencing the techniques with a trained practitioner and being able to ask the questions as they arise is vitally important to getting into the right headspace for birth. I’ve always made sure that we keep this option accessible. Our mindful hypnobirthing class starts at £130 for a couple and is no higher than £170 for a class, that works out at around £10 an hour for each of you, That’s 6 hours of antenatal preparation with a health professional that charges normally upwards of £50 an hour.
Compare this with the following:
(Approximate calculations based on hourly rates)
Haircut with highlights £60
Pregnancy Massage £30
Manicure & pedicure £40
Eating out with friends at £15 once a month £25
Those shoes you just have to have £100
Leg and bikini wax £50
Travel System £800+
Fitness Subscriptions £40
A positive birth experience for all three of you …?…..
(what do you think it’s worth?)