When coming up with your birth plan, it’s important to explore all the pain relief options you have – but also any complementary therapies to help you through labour, too.
Daisy Birthing classes are one of those therapies. But what is it? How does it work? And can it really help you cope with labour as it’s happening?
Here’s everything you need to know about Daisy Birthing…
What is Daisy Birthing?
Daisy Birthing combines yoga and tai chi-style movements, as well as visualisation techniques, to help you feel calm, confident and in control during labour.
You learn the techniques in a weekly class taken during your pregnancy, or via a one-day workshop, which you can then practice at home in the run up to the birth.
This cute-sounding therapy is the brain child of mum of 5 Julie Long from The Daisy Foundation – which you might also know under its old name, Lazy Daisy.
As Julie explains: “Rather than tuning out their fears or worries about birth, we try and help mums tune in and deal with them so they have an empowered birth, whatever the delivery is like.
“You can’t guarantee the kind of birth you’ll have, but we hope that by being prepared, you’ll feel confident.”
It’s also FEDANT (Federation of Antenatal Educators) approved ?
What happens during Daisy Birthing classes?
The aim of the classes is to ‘get your body and mind where it needs to be’ for the day of your baby’s birth.
And on the official website, it states Daisy Birthing covers 4 key topics:
- Antenatal and active birth education
- Breathing techniques
- Yoga-based movement
- Deep relaxation, guided visualisation and birth hypnosis
Throughout the course, you can expect to:
- practice different yoga techniques to ease pregnancy symptoms and balance your body weekly
- learn about and prepare for the possible outcomes of labour
- learn 3 breathing techniques to support you throughout the 3 stages of labour, keeping you calm and working through the intensity
- enjoy relaxation sessions at the end of each class.
You’ll also meet fellow mums-to-be, and the idea is your class becomes a bit of a support network, too.
Can anyone do Daisy Birthing classes?
Most women should be fine to try Daisy Birthing – and their website says adjustments can be made to the course for women with ailments or illnesses.
However, it still involves physical activity, so the best thing to do is check with a member of staff and run it past your midwife before signing up to anything.
How much do Daisy Birthing classes cost?
You go to classes once a week, for a total of 6 weeks. Each class is 1 hour 30 mins long, and requires comfy clothes.
The 6-week course can cost anything from £54 – £92 (depending on where you live), but the recommended retail price is £72.
How does Daisy Birthing help during actual labour?
Daisy Birthing’s not quite the same as hypnobirthing – in which you take the techniques you’ve learned throughout pregnancy and use them during your actual labour.
Instead, Julie says the techniques help you to go into your labour feeling ready and able to cope with what’s ahead.
“You don’t actually learn exercises or techniques to play out in the delivery room, but we hope that what you learn makes you relaxed and able to cope when you go into labour,” she says.
“Breathing, moving and relaxing through pregnancy means you learn to reduce adrenaline levels and understand what’s happening to you during labour.”
The idea is: by being in the right mindset about it, you should be able to calmly ‘ride’ the sensations of birth rather than anticipating and struggling through them.
Mums share their Daisy birthing experiences
31-year-old Annabelle used Daisy Birthing throughout her pregnancy, in addition to several forms of pain relief during her labour.
“Daisy Birthing classes really helped me through my labour, which took 8.5 hours in total with no intervention,” she shares with MFM.
“I used a TENS machine and had one shot of pethidine, then gave birth to Annabelle standing up – which shocked my hubby and midwife.
“The breathing techniques and positions I’d learned made it a positive experience.”
One of our forum mums, Lxia, has also tried an earlier version of the Daisy Birthing course.
“I’m doing lazy daisy active birthing classes,” she wrote in 2014. “They do cover the breathing as well as movements to relax and strengthen your muscles.
“I like the fact that the classes are small (there’s just 6 of us) and the yoga-type movements help me ease my aching back as well as strengthen other muscles.”
And Blackkat couldn’t recommend it highly enough, telling us:
“I attended Daisy birthing classes and they really helped me to prepare for my home birth and to understand what my body would go through during labour.
“With the techniques given I was able to give birth without any medical interventions.
“I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to take more control during their labour.”
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Images: Daisy Foundation