Birth coaching… Sounds great but what is it?

Birth coaching is a form of support offered to people at many stages in their birth journey.

Clients might be:

  • trying to get pregnant
  • have just found out they are pregnant
  • are currently in the first/second/third trimester of pregnancy
  • have had a baby and are pregnant again

Birth coaching is a fairly modern form of coaching. Life coaching started in the 1980’s as part of the self-help era. It was, and still is, about a highly trained professional (the coach) helping the client (who the coach perceives as the expert in their current circumstance) achieve goals or transform their lives in the ways the client wants to. A coach will use a range of tools to help clients identify their goals from the big picture down to smaller steps and then uses to range of support techniques to make sure they get to where they want to be. Although the client is the expert and has full control of the process they realise that they need motivation and trust the coach to support them and work in their best interests. It’s a close and intense relationship that works because it is super highly personalised. The coach will usually only work with a very small number of clients at any one time and that relationship will usually be sustained for as long as the client needs.

Birth coaching then is the role of a coach working with a client(s) to help them have a baby in the way they want.

The coach will help them:

  • identify how they really want to have a baby – what setting, what birth professionals they want involved and at what stages
  • Discuss what’s important to the couple during the pregnancy and birth process and help them get it – an example of this might be support with pregnancy/birth and pre-existing health issues.
  • Introduce and practice a range of strategies to help with pregnancy and birth – your coach will probably be trained and able to provide other services to support with birth such as hypnobirthing, reiki, massage, yoga, diet and nutrition etc.
  • Provide mental, emotional and physical support during the birth journey – this could include resilience coaching to help deal with unexpected eventualities such as miscarriage.

Birth coaching is about using preventative strategies before birth to help parents. They usually start their coaching sessions as early as possible in the pregnancy journey with their clients. They are highly involved with the couple and have a lot of contact with them. It is common for a client to have between 5-7 sessions of coaching before the birth. This contact and the focus of each session is usually decided on by the coach and the client before the session commences to maximise time and make each session as productive as possible. However, this doesn’t always need to be the case. The Coach can be there for the birth itself if that’s what is decided by the client/s and coach, however it’s not necessary. The idea of coaching is that the expectant parents are secure and confident enough with their own abilities. They know that whatever happens they are calm, confident and empowered.

The main thing to remember about birth coaching is personalisation. It’s about you and only you when working with a coach. Many couples find this level of personal care is just what they need to support them with their first birth or after a traumatic birth. If you would like to know more about birth coaching, me or book a taster session please go to www.thefirstcuddle.com for more information.

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