Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

What’s the difference between private antenatal classes that you offer and the free local NHS antenatal classes referred to as Pathway to Parenting?

The Pathway to Parenting course is a free online antenatal course which you’re able to watch in your own time and share with family or friends who may be involved with caring for your baby. It’s a great resource and perfectly adequate for some expectant parents.

Our antenatal course is 16 hours long and broken up into a number of classes which are all face to face. We typically have six – eight couples on a course. Our classes are interactive, we have the time to devote to you and your individual needs so you can discuss topics in detail with your teacher and others on your course, put learning into practice, ask questions and clarify learning.

Feedback tells us expectant parents felt more prepared and confident after attending our in-person course and appreciated meeting others expecting a baby at a similar time.

The classes are paid for, but if you would like to pay in instalments, please don’t hesitate to ask!

How do I choose a company that can prepare me for birth and parenting?

There are a number of options available so do your homework before signing up. The first thing to check is credentials. It may sound obvious, but you wouldn’t employ a plumber to re-wire your house so why would you attend antenatal classes with anybody that isn’t a qualified and experienced antenatal teacher?

The next thing to check is what is covered in the antenatal classes. Do they meet your requirements? Are you particularly interested in hypnobirthing? Your obstetrician might have discussed having a planned caesarean birth with you, for example, so is that included?

What about postnatal or babycare classes? Do you know how to care for a newborn baby? Would you like to learn about things like nappy changing, bathing and safe sleeping? You might be keen to attend a breastfeeding class and want to get off to the best start and have somebody on hand who can support you afterwards.

Compare, compare, compare. The company charging the most might not be the best option for you and make sure you look at how many contact hours you are getting for the price. Not all courses will be the same length.

Many companies (like About Birth and Babies) now offer a free class or a taster session. It’s a great opportunity to find out more and help you decide if they are the right fit for you. Remember go with your gut instinct too!

When should I start my antenatal classes?

We suggest you work out how many weeks you will be when you finish a course as opposed to considering when you should start because it will depend on how long the course is.

Full term is between 37 and 42 weeks so we recommend you finish a course when you are between 32-36 weeks pregnant. You may be booked in for a planned caesarean birth at 36 weeks in which case you might prefer to attend a little earlier. Look at what’s on offer in terms of course dates and times and the venue. You might need to attend slightly earlier if the dates don’t suit on a later course.

Expect to travel to attend private antenatal classes. They aren’t necessarily going to take place near you in your immediate local community.

A number of people have mentioned NCT classes, should I not just attend those?

All the About Birth and Babies facilitators are qualified antenatal teachers who graduated with the NCT. We used to teach NCT classes exclusively until 2015 when we set up About Birth and Babies. We offer the same evidence-based information, but more tailored courses for expectant parents in Norfolk and North Suffolk that reflect modern-day co-parenting at an accessible price.

In addition, between us we hold qualifications in biomechanics for birth, hypnobirthing, breastfeeding and sleep coaching. We attend regular continuous professional development in all aspects of antenatal and postnatal education including infant feeding support.

It’s most important you find a company you feel comfortable with. The NCT are a well-known national charity and you might like the idea of assisting their work. Alternatively, you may prefer to support a small independent business who provides a more local, personalised service and who you can contact at any time for support and reassurance such as About Birth and Babies!

I am interested in attending hypnobirthing classes, do you offer these?

We’ve always incorporated an understanding of the birth process and hormones combined with strategies such as breathing techniques and massage in our antenatal classes, which we now refer to as hypnobirthing essentials. We’ve included these, and other fundamentals in our courses since qualifying as antenatal teachers, which was long before the term hypnobirthing came about!

On top of this, we offer the opportunity to deep dive into hypnobirthing by ‘bolting on’ four hours where you will learn more specific techniques and focus on deep relaxations and visualisations to complete a full hypnobirthing course. This is only available to expectant parents who attend one of our full antenatal courses.

Sian qualified in hypnobirthing with KGHypnobirthing, which is the programme accredited by the Royal College of Midwives.

I would love to attend private face to face antenatal classes. Can we can pay in instalments?

Absolutely! We appreciate it’s an expensive time preparing for a baby. About Birth and Babies offers payment by instalments just as long as full payment is made before your course begins. Please let us know whether you would like to spread the cost over two or three months.

How much do your courses cost?

An About Birth and Babies comprehensive antenatal course costs £170. This includes 14 hours of antenatal education and a 2 hour postnatal social.

A hypnobirthing bolt-on is £65 which includes our step-by-step manual, KGHypnobirthing book, a selection of MP3 downloads and statements for an empowering birth.

Our one-to-one sessions are £35 per hour plus a contribution to travel if you would prefer we come to your home. Online one-to-one sessions are £25 per hour.

Can my birth partner join me?

Yes please! We welcome birth partners to all our sessions. Having a supportive birth partner who is informed, engaged and armed with tools and strategies can have a hugely positive effect on your birth experience. As far as we’re concerned a birth partner (aside from your midwife) can be a partner, a friend or a family member.

My birth partner can’t make one of the sessions, can somebody else join me?

You are very welcome to bring a friend or family member to any session that your birth partner is unable to make.

We can’t make one of the sessions, how can we catch up?

It may be possible to attend an equivalent session on another course but it depends if the other course is being taught by the same teacher and/or whether the same topics are being covered in the one session on another course. We are independent practitioners so we don’t follow a set teaching plan and order. We all cover the same main topics but may teach them slightly differently. We also teach to meet the needs of the group and that many involve adapting our schedules. Of course we would be very happy to ‘catch you up’ by summarising the lesson you missed but if you would like to cover the class in more detail, you can book a one-to-one session.

What happens if we’ve paid and our baby comes earlier than expected?

If you need to cancel your place before the course has started for medical reasons, a full refund will be given. Once the course has started, you wouldn’t usually be eligible for any refunds, however, special circumstances will be taken into consideration.

We know we’re having a planned caesarean birth, is it still worthwhile attending the course?

We cover caesarean birth on all our courses and techniques such as massage and breathing which will be useful while you’re waiting for your operation and during it. You will also learn practical information about things like colostrum harvesting, hospital stays, expectations and what to pack in your hospital bag. All the postnatal information will be relevant, including caring for and feeding a newborn baby, recovery and preparing for the postnatal period in advance. We promote prehabilitation for all births which encompasses preparation for your body and mind during your pregnancy. It’s an opportunity for you to get fitter before your birth and improve your chances of a better and faster recovery afterwards.

I have further questions, who can I contact?

Please don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m Sian and I’m the owner of About Birth and Babies. You can email me on [email protected] or call me on 07949 845441
Excellent
Based on 96 reviews
George Webster
George Webster
2024-05-15
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Fantastic course covering a wide range of birthing topics. Really useful advice connected to baby care and feeding and a great way to meet other couples and share experiences.
Robert Hawkes
Robert Hawkes
2024-04-29
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
If I could give this course more than five stars I would. About birth and babies (and Sian especially) is a complete must for any expecting parents. The course itself fully prepared us for the birth of our first child. It gave us confidence to make informed decisions before the birth and (when things didn’t go to plan) it allowed us to make rapid informed decisions throughout labour. However, what really stands for me is the incredible after care that Sian gave us after the birth. Like (most?) expecting dads I gave little thought to the days and weeks after the birth, with most of my attention focused solely on the birth itself. When my wife ran into some really worrying and painful breast feeding problems Sian was there for us every step of the way to help resolve this issue. Without her interventions (some of which were in unsociable hours) we would have given up on breastfeeding. Can’t recommend highly enough. Rob and Ola
Jessica Matthews
Jessica Matthews
2024-04-11
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We have just finished our private 1:1 antenatal course with Sian, and we would absolutely recommend. She is very thorough, and has a lot of knowledge about each subject. We felt that she covered everything, & we are now prepared for our journey ahead. We loved that the classes were very hands on as it gave us the opportunity to practice. Sian has since sent us multiple handouts & recommendations for us to look back through, which we are finding useful as the classes were a lot to take in. Going forward if we were to have another baby we would definitely choose About Birth & Babies & will also highly recommend to anyone having a baby. Sian is fantastic! We can’t thank her enough.
Suzanne Merrylees
Suzanne Merrylees
2024-04-09
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We took Sian's antenatal class and so very pleased we did! She is extremely knowledgeable about everything babies and we felt so well informed and ready for when baby arrived. She gave us the confidence and information we needed to have the labour and birth we had hoped for. She has a huge network of contacts throughout Norfolk which made finding other services stress free. Excellent value for money and I could not recommend more highly. Thank you Sian!!
goneforsix
goneforsix
2024-03-11
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Extremely knowledgeable, Sian guides you through the birthing experience, and care of your baby in a friendly and informative way. Plenty of opportunities to discuss things as a group, ask questions and review topics if needed. I particularly enjoyed the practical elements.
Gemma White
Gemma White
2024-03-05
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My husband and I have just attended this course with Sian. She provided a wealth of practice examples and information and we would definately recommend her.
Harpreet Mandair
Harpreet Mandair
2024-01-29
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
100% recommend for any parents who have plenty of questions and want to be as prepared as possible. We both learnt a lot about pain management options during labour as well as the important roll your birthing partner plays. My husband definitely felt more confident and prepared about what was to come and so did I. Met some lovely people who were due around the same time as us. So glad we made the decision to attend these antenatal classes.
Catherine Fitchew
Catherine Fitchew
2024-01-29
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Sian is so knowledgeable. We learnt so much during our antenatal classes and really enjoyed every minute. We would highly recommend About birth and babies antenatal classes. Thank-you Sian! X
R W
R W
2024-01-29
Trustindex verifies that the original source of the review is Google.
Just finished the Full Antenatal Class with Sian. Found it so helpful and learnt loads about pregnancy, labour and baby care. Sian is excellent and incredibly knowledgeable. Was a great chance to meet other parents too. Would recommend this class to any new parent as we are feeling so much more prepared and confident now!

We're With You On Your Birthing Journey

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We look forward to supporting you on your pathway to parenting

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07949 845441

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18 Keswick Road, Cringleford, Norwich NR4 6UG

Contact Us

07949 845 441

18 Keswick Road, Cringleford, Norwich NR4 6UG

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