Antenatal Class Feedback

speachmark-greyWe wanted to let you know how much we had both got out of the 4-day Birthworks course.  We were attracted by the approach described on the website and the fact that previous testimonials has said how well it complemented the Hypnobirthing course, and we found that it delivered exactly what we had hoped for.  The activities provided a lovely balance of learning experiences that kept us engaged and the topics covered , particularly the practical focus on birthing positions and the beautiful videos, were both empowering and inspiring.  The warm and safe environment that you created for the classes in your beautiful home was ideal, allowing us to be open to the sometimes challenging material and really grow and learn through the course.  Given all that, it’s probably obvious that we would recommend the course to others, particularly first-timers like us – it gave us a strong foundation from which we’ve been able to continue to develop our own learning about pregnancy, birth and parenting.  Thanks again! Caroline

speachmark-greyI just wanted to give you some happy feedback, we attended the [mainstream] antenatal class Monday night and decided because of your wonderful course that we fortunately don’t feel the need to attend any more of the [mainstream] course… phew!! The [mainstream] course was quite awful, really packed class very negative and had a strange vibe… we were the only ones planning a home birth. So thank you so much we are so appreciative of your classes and are getting so much out of attending them. We are going to continue with the hypno birthing too as your class and the hypno birthing one compliment each other beautifully and are helping us immensely. Have got a meeting with a homebirth midwife on Thursday so fingers crossed that goes well. [Hubby] is also feeling really confident and informed about me having a home birth, which is a huge change from before. We have decided to tell my parents and use it as an opportunity to educate them on the reasons why we are choosing the path that we are. Im really looking forward to the next course and just want to say again THANK YOU. HC, 23 weeks

speachmark-greyHi Sam, Just wanted to let you know that I have a 4 week old little boy called Chester. He is adorable!! I had the best ever birth – an unplanned home birth!! My waters broke at 1am at home then my contractions started really strongly immediately but I thought I was only in the first stage of labour so breathed through the contractions in my bed until 7am when we rang the midwife. She arrived at 7.30 am and prononounced me fully dilated and she could see the baby’s head. We didn’t have time to get to birthcare so he was born at 8.50am in our bed. Your advice was AMAZING and definitely helped me so much. I am recommending you to my sister who is 10 weeks pregnant. Thank you so much Francesca

speachmark-greyPS Sam: I wanted to let you know that we just finished our Childbirth Ed classes this week, and we’re SO happy that we came to do the private massage class with you first. I didn’t feel like the CBEd classes prepared us very well at all, compared with the knowledge and insight we gained from three hours with you. I still find myself using your guide and I think we both feel much more aware and comfortable with the birthing process as a result. So thanks! Cathy

speachmark-greyThe best thing was the focus on values-based decision making and balanced information about possible interventions. I really liked the orientation towards empowerment of women and their partners in their own ability to birth their babies, and I felt like there was less of a bias towards married/heterosexual mothers than other education I have attended (I am both married and heterosexual but I have a lot of friends who are not who would have felt very alienated in some of the birth preparation classes I attended). I feel empowered by the birth. It was long (24 hours in early labour – ‘real’ contractions consistently 5-6 min apart) plus another 13 in established first stage and 2 in second stage. It was hard, and it was painful! But I was conscious the whole time and I was able to take it every moment as just that moment. I’m proud that I birthed a 4.25kg baby at home and that he is healthy and happy and continues to surpass the midwife’s expectations of progress. I’m also proud that my partner was so amazed and in awe of the process, and that he was there with me the whole time and the best support I could hope for, and I feel this has brought a new dimension to our respect and caring for each other. My midwife was excellent and ensured the birth was ‘my’ birth – she was how I needed her to be at all times. I think the biggest impact was that it helped us write a really simple birth plan that was totally focused on values-based decision making rather than “WHAT I want to happen” – with a basic ‘ideal’ but a format for making decisions should circumstances deviate. Joanna

speachmark-greyI think it [the classes] gave me much more knowledge to be confident in my decisions. There is a chance I could have been talked into going to the hospital at one stage (my waters broke 7 hours before contractions started) but because of the class I knew that everything was in my power and I didn’t have to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. Hailey

speachmark-greyRelaxed atmosphere, Sam’s ease and manner made you comfortable to ask any question and not feel uncomfortable about it. Due to circumstances I didn’t get the natural birth I was hoping for, however I was lucky enough for my waters to break and go into labour naturally. I did feel more comfortable with the events as the course had empowered my to ask questions, about what was/ had happened. Shelly

speachmark-greyI liked that it was different from all the other mainstream birthing classes out there. It gave me a different perspective on the birthing process…. the most valuable thing I did the whole time while pregnant (along with the massages). I felt that your classes gave a lot more information about preparing for labour and being ready for how it would feel and providing ways to cope. Mainstream classes I attended provided information but lacked strategies to cope. I am proud of giving birth without any intervention or drugs and being able to listen to my own body. I would have liked to have had a different midwife in the room or none at all as I felt she may have made things progress a little slower with some of the comments she made. I think the class had a huge impact in making my birth go relatively smoothly and giving me the confidence to do things naturally and birth where I wanted to at the birth centre. Sarah

speachmark-greyI just wanted to let you know that our gorgeous boy Judah arrived last Wednesday February 12th at 8am. He weighed in a very healthy 8.11 pounds, who knew all of that was inside my tummy! I started to have contractions around 4.30pm the evening before. I took myself to bed around 9.30pm. At 1am I was woken with a jolt of intense contractions. We got to the hospital around 3, I had 2 panadol at 4am and I got in the bath around 5am. After around 45 minutes I started to have overlapping contractions but got out of the bath as I found it too hot and intense. If only I stayed in as I think I backtracked as it was another couple of hours before he was born. His head was so hard to get out and took me a while, I think I wasn’t in the right position for me. All was fine in the end though and before I knew it he was out. Unfortunately I tore a little and my placenta shredded.  The head of surgery popped in at 8.15 miraculously, on the way to theatre and I was lucky enough to have two of the best stitch me and remove the remaining placenta without having to have drugs and go to theatre myself! So thankful especially after all that hard work. David was amazing. Every contraction he got me up to lean on him, just as we were taught. He made it so easy. Thank you for everything you taught us. It helped with a successful drug free and complication free birth. Hannah

speachmark-greyOn Sunday I naturally gave birth to Owen Leslie at the birth centre at 7.05am after a 5.5hr labour. He was a healthy and happy 7lb 7oz and is now settling in at home. I’m doing well, not a rip or tear in sight. Used the pool and then out of the pool standing, squatting, on all fours and then delivered on one knee. We’re very much in love with our little prince. So proud! I had my moments of feeling I not knowing how I was going to get him out but your positive messages and one the incantations I remember you saying “open the body allowing baby out” got me through. Dan was awesome support and I checked any negative self talk and turned it into positive talk. It was an amazing experience. Thanks to your preparation and some very supportive coaching from my midwife. I didn’t swear once and I didn’t ask for any drugs at any point. It’s people like you (and you’re a bit of a rarity) that make birthing a better experience for women. Alana

speachmark-greyMy husband and I would like to thank you Sam for the invaluable knowledge that you passed on to us before the birth of our first child. The massage techniques you taught us before and during labour greatly reduced the back pain I was concerned and nervous about. Your reassuring words and positive affirmations also enabled me to have a drug-free and fairly quick labour, until due to unforeseen circumstances I had to have a c-section to finally see our beautiful baby boy. You also gave my husband the confidence to cope with a scary time for both of us being new parents. Having you there throughout was very comforting and we will never forget it. Sarah and Hayden (parents of Joshua)

speachmark-greyCathy and I had decided to invite our friend Sam to our homebirth, and I believe that this was a pivotal decision to our birth experience. Sam is a Doula and masseuse, and we’d invited her to our birth in a non-work role to observe our birth. Having such a calm and positive soul in the room reminded Cathy and I that every contraction, every pain, is a step towards a wonderful natural birth . As a first time birth partner I had a lot to sort out, to keep track of how much water Cathy had drunk, how much she’d eaten, to be present at every contraction, to time the contractions, to fill the birth pool… the list goes on. It was a job for more than one person, and I didn’t realize this until I was in the thick of it. I’m eternally grateful Sam was there to be the beacon of calm both Cathy and I needed! Brent, Father of Finlay