Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 June 2020

Antenatal and hypnobirthing classes in the UAE that mums-to-be can do online

Expecting? These online courses, from mini one-offs to month-long private workshops, are designed to help prepare you for childbirth amid the pandemic

Pregnant women and their partners do not need to miss out on antenatal education because of the pandemic. Getty
Pregnant women and their partners do not need to miss out on antenatal education because of the pandemic. Getty

It’s an undeniably scary time to be pregnant. As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, mums-to-be are facing going into labour amid the pandemic. As if that wasn’t enough to worry about, in some hospitals around the world, mums are facing giving birth without their husbands by their side for safety reasons.

It can still be the most wonderful time of your life, however, as long as you fully prepare yourself for what’s to come. Thankfully, you can still attend antenatal classes and hypnobirthing courses online. You might feel you really need the support right now. Here are a few options for parents in the UAE.

1. Nicky Langley

Nicky Langley is a certified doula and birth educator in the UAE with more than eight years’ experience. She teaches private Wise Hippo Birthing Programme classes via Zoom at any time that suits you. It is a British hypnobirthing and birth preparation course that runs over four sessions, each lasting two hours, and you will receive a workbook with access to the Wise Hippo website, where all the scripts and music are available to download.

The programme focuses on instilling mums – and dads – with confidence and a positive mind-set about giving birth in any way you want, whether that’s naturally or via caesarean section. It offers relaxation, visualisation and breathing techniques to help you learn how to be calm and remain in control during labour. Learn more about the course here.

Nicky Langley is a certified doula in Dubai, who is offering virtual hypnobirthing courses.
Nicky Langley is a certified doula in Dubai, who is offering virtual hypnobirthing courses.

Langley recently did her first Zoom class and confirms it “worked really well”. She’s offering the course for Dh2,500, which is a Dh500 discount on her normal face-to-face classes.

For more information, visit www.nickylangley.com

2. More Than Birth Doula Collective

This is a group of certified doulas, antenatal and hypnobirthing educators, breastfeeding counsellors and yoga teachers who work collaboratively to offer support to women and families during pregnancy and parenthood.

They are currently offering a virtual hypnobirthing course, led by Dubai-based practitioners Lala Langtry White and Ana Piera, which starts at Dh1,800 per couple, including course book, relaxation mp3 files, online resources and regular digital and telephone support.

The sessions are hosted both privately and in small groups via Zoom. The course runs as four, 150-minute sessions, but parents can also opt to split those into six, 90-minute sessions if they prefer.

During the sessions, Langtry White and Piera teach breathing and visualisation techniques designed to instil confidence, calm and relaxation during pregnancy, labour and birth. They also cover antenatal education regarding the physiology of birth, the role our hormones play and making informed choices about birth preferences. Partners’ roles, comfort measures and birthing the placenta are also topics touched upon.

Everything taught is useful for people in all birth scenarios, whether they’re going fully natural, having an epidural or even caesarean section.

Mother-of-twins Langtry White is also teaching her Mighty Multiples sessions, which is designed exclusively for families expecting twins, triplets or more babies, via Zoom. These are conducted over four sessions, covering pregnancy, birth preparation, birth types, pre-term birth, navigating the neonatal intensive care unit, feeding your babies and more postnatal topics. The online course starts from Dh1,875 per couple and includes two course books.

Finally, doula and antenatal educator Jane Rushworth, who has more than 20 years’ experience working with the UK’s National Childbirth Trust, is offering mini workshops called Womb to World. The sessions cover topics such as bringing your baby home, feeding, sleep and postnatal health. These women-only sessions cost Dh250 each and are between 90 to 120 minutes.

Lala Langtry White offers hypnobirthing classes and a course designed for mums of multiples.
Lala Langtry White offers a course for parents of multiples. Photo by Himalee Rupsinghe

The collective also offers free weekly virtual support mornings and breastfeeding question-and-answer sessions.

For more information, visit www.morethanbirthdoulas.com

3. Malaak Mama & Baby Care

Malaak’s team of childcare professionals provides prenatal classes for expecting parents in the UAE. Right now, they’re doing these as private sessions via Zoom. The prenatal classes, run by well-known maternity expert Cecile de Scally, are split into four, two-hour sessions.

Maternity expert Cecile de Scally, who offers prenatal birthing courses with Malaak Mama & Baby Care in Dubai.
Maternity expert Cecile de Scally

These cover the birth (assisted or natural), how labour progresses, what mum and dad can expect on the day and how to cope with pain, whether you’re using medication or not. It also goes into what to expect when the baby is here; blood tests, vaccinations, examinations, how to care for your child, as well as the basics on breast and bottle feeding, sleep, routines and good habits to get into straight away.

Malaak also offers a hypnobirthing course run by Jordana Smith. These are currently being done via Zoom and are split into four, two-hour sessions. Mum and dad will learn all about a deep form of meditative relaxation too.

The rates for both courses are Dh375 (tax included) per session.

If you decide to do a combination of both, the centre will throw in a one-hour postnatal visit online with de Scally, or these can be in their offices if they have reopened by then.

Jordana Smith, the hypnobirthing instructor at a Malaak Mama & Baby Care in Dubai.
Jordana Smith

The team advises couples to attend the course from 24 weeks of pregnancy.

For more information, visit www.malaak.me

4. Love Parenting UAE

This pre- and postnatal care collective in Dubai is offering childbirth preparation classes via Zoom, led by co-founder, hypnobirthing practitioner and clinical hypnotherapist Jasmine Collin.

The four-week sets of group classes run on Friday mornings between 10am and 2pm, then on Monday evenings from 6.30pm to 10pm – although slots for a number of these are already booked up.

The classes will help parents learn about self hypnosis, visualisations, breathing, relaxation and other techniques in order to help facilitate a calm and controlled birthing experience. Also learn how to trust your body’s natural abilities to give birth, increase your confidence and even minimise discomfort during labour and delivery.

Four weeks of classes cost Dh2,200 per couple, which includes all materials.

For more information, visit www.loveparentinguae.com

5. HealthBay Polyclinic

This private health clinic in Dubai is offering online consultations with Dubai Health Authority-registered midwives in English, Arabic and French. These can be done at any time between 8.30am and 4pm from Saturday to Thursday.

Clients have a choice of one, one-hour session for Dh150 on a topic of their choice, or you can opt for the full antenatal class package, which is two, two-hour sessions and costs Dh500.

This includes an information booklet and covers a range of subjects, including recognising signs of early labour, induction of labour, all types of delivery, pain relief, postnatal care and breastfeeding.

The team of midwives at HealthBay Polyclinic in Dubai.
The team of midwives at HealthBay Polyclinic in Dubai.

Once the baby is born, HealthBay Polyclinic also offers online sessions to discuss postnatal care. These are Dh150 per hour.

For more information, visit www.healthbayclinic.com

6. Mediclinic

While Mediclinic is not currently offering live digital sessions, it does offer its antenatal course online in the form of a comprehensive guidebook on labour to post-labour care for free.

It includes information on the hospitals’ maternity unit, neonatal intensive care unit and other general tips on what to take to the hospital, birth notification services, plus nutrition and fitness during pregnancy.

Labour positions, pain relief and stages of labour are also covered, as well as after-delivery care, healthy eating post birth and answers to the most commonly asked postnatal problems. Doctors also offer advice on bathing, feeding and immunising your baby.

For more information, visit www.mediclinic.ae or email cityhospital@mediclinic.ae

7. Other UAE hospitals

Maternity units in Medcare Hospital and King’s College Hospital Dubai both have plans to offer online antenatal classes soon, but these are still being implemented. Check directly with the hospitals for more information.

8. The Positive Birth Company

While this company is from the UK, and in-person classes are offered across England, there is also a digital pack designed to teach people across the world about hypnobirthing for just £39 (Dh178).

This includes six-plus hours of video content with subtitles (43 videos), eight mp3 files, a course booklet, access to a private Facebook group for ongoing support and daily positive birth stories, as well as live question-and-answer sessions with The Positive Birthing Company’s founder, Siobhan Miller. It also comes with a comprehensive guide to feeding baby.

The course covers the science behind hypnobirthing, the physiology of birth, how the uterus muscles work, hormones, relaxation techniques, birth interventions and natural labour. Other topics such as skin-to-skin contact, delayed cord clamping and active management are also covered.

It’s the belief of TPBC that every woman deserves access to this education and tools, hence the affordable price tag. They also offer a 14-day money back guarantee if you don’t find the course helpful.

For more information, visit www.thepositivebirthcompany.co.uk

Updated: April 13, 2020 08:37 AM

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