One size does not fit all. We as a society, we know this all too well. We crave personalisation from the name we hate but love to give when ordering our morning cup of coffee to creating the perfect jewellery or designer pair of trainers. We want to do it our way. We want our opinions and voice to matter.
When it comes to birthing, in the western world, we are afforded an incredible amount of support and choice. For the most part can choose the setting, who we have with us even right down to what music will be playing when we have that all important first cuddle with our little baby/babies. It’s all about the search for finding what works for us.
However, this can be an exhausting and expensive exercise when we don’t have support to know what we really want. The prenatal support game is strong. Here are just a few;
- Pregnancy yoga
- Pre-packed hospital bags
- Doulas and private midwives
- NCT classes
- Aromatherapy and homeopathic support for pregnant woman
- Pregnancy massage
- Prenatal spas and retreats
And the list goes on. Now it is common for first time parents especially, but not exclusively, to feel pressure to be well informed and fully prepared for childbirth. The thinking that the more I know the more I will be in for an easy birth is common place. Unfortunately, child birth doesn’t work like that. Childbirth will always be unpredictable and not always within our control. In Britain we have one of the best free medical systems in the world and our rate of childbirth mortality is extremely low (150 out of 184 countries in 2014). So why are so many parents spending so much cash on a vast range of services to help them try control something they can’t?
Because having babies is BIG business. It is estimated that new parents spend around £1,500 before their little bundles of joy are even born. Although the majority of this money goes on purchasing items that are considered important and will hopefully be very well used, we’re still talking millions of pounds each year as a nation. For parents, spending money on our babies feels good. We want to provide and we want to be prepared. The first step in this starts with birth. However, spending a large amount of money on a wide array of services in preparation for birth can be counterproductive.
In an informal survey I conducted with parents, half of them felt they spent too much money on prenatal classes or products which they thought didn’t help or they didn’t use. The average spend on prenatal products and services by each parent was £350. Not an amount to be sneezed at. When asked what they thought would have made a difference to the effectiveness of their prenatal support, two thirds of the parents I spoke with said that if they had more personalised support that started early and continued until after their baby was born they would have considered this money well spent. They also wanted to have a one stop shop with prenatal support. Some parents commented on the stress of timetabling and attending a range of different classes – which they said they would have rather avoided if possible. The cost and hassle of committing to a whole bunch of different classes and programmes was overwhelming for some. Others said doing classes with other couples was not always convenient or very personal, especially if you are nervous or there are special considerations that need to be made (previously health issues, relationship concerns etc). The expense of trying lots of different classes put even the keenest of the parents I spoke with off eventually. Some new parents commented that they would have liked to try different tools like hypnobirthing, yoga and reiki to see if it was for them but were too overwhelmed to bother.
My solution to this problem… Birth Coaching. Birth coaching offers a highly personalised pre and post natal support for clients. It is tailor-made to the clients needs and is delivered by their caring and supportive birth coach. For more information on birth coaching or to book a taster session take a look at www.thefirstcuddle.com