No matter your family set-up, the important relationships in your child’s life help shape their emotional health and wellbeing, and this starts as your baby develops in the womb. Your baby’s senses develop in pregnancy, and their brain is already building millions of connections to prepare them for their new world after birth.
Understanding pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby is for all parents, grandparents and carers expecting to welcome a new baby and has been designed to include all the practical information and advice you might expect from a traditional antenatal class with the additional benefit of support around emotional and mental wellbeing for you and your baby. The course can be followed in addition to in-person classes or in place of them if you’re unable or prefer not to attend such groups.
Understanding pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby has been developed with Midwives by a team of Clinical Psychologists, Child Psychotherapists, Health Visitors, and, importantly, parents. Everything you will follow and learn in the course has been informed by experience and is designed to be practical, to help you and your family in your everyday experiences and emotions. You’ll also learn about the foundations of wellbeing and mental health, as well as how our brains develop in infancy and what this means for the way babies communicate and connect before and after birth.
The course follows 9 Modules, each taking around 20 minutes and broken up into manageable chunks called Units. You’ll find a range of practical tools as well as emotional support and guidance, including information on pain relief, birth positions, meditative breathing, preparing to take your baby home, approaches to feeding, soothing and connecting with your baby, and specialist material for fathers (we have a separate course for women couples).
The first few Modules look at your support bubble and your emotions around your pregnancy, which will help shape the approaches and ideas around the later sections, so this means it needs to be followed in order, one Module at a time. You don’t need to do it all in one go, and our advice is to take breaks and spread out your learning.
Understanding pregnancy, labour, birth and your baby is designed for all parents in any situation, but you might find that perhaps you begin to feel you would benefit from more personalised or specialist support, and so there are some additional resources signposted throughout to guide you.
We know that there are many different families, with different backgrounds, shapes and sizes. We have tried to consider some of the different needs of families in this course, but it hasn't been possible to account for all backgrounds. If your personal situation isn’t reflected, we still hope that you find something helpful in the main ideas about developing close, connected relationships between parents and children and welcome your feedback to improve its relevance.
Helping you and your baby through pregnancy and birth. We are going to be thinking about feelings and how it feels for you and your baby. Pregnancy is an emotional time for everybody. Everybody is on a journey: mums, dads, grandmothers, and friends. It’s going to bring up different feelings for different people.13 Units
This session will be about: • the home activity • getting to know your baby in the womb and beginning the relationship • understanding how your baby is developing in the womb. • knowing about how your baby’s brain develops • understanding the positions of the baby in the womb now and in labour • understanding the importance of the relationship for your baby’s development11 Units
Getting to know the baby through the labour and birth11 Units
Helping you and your baby through labour and birth8 Units
Feeding your baby11 Units
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