Antenatal classes: How do they help? Nene Local finds out

Pregnancy and child birth can be a very frightening and stressful experience for new parents. The anxiety of not knowing exactly what’s happening to your body and how your life will change can often replace the positive feelings of starting or extending your family. We sat down with Alison Sethna, midwife of 29 years and founder of Little Seeds Antenatal Classes to find out about the ways in which parents can get support in the most momentous time in their lives.

Initially Alison had hoped to study medicine and become a doctor.  However, after failing to acheive therequired A’Level grades, she went into nursing instead, where she helped a woman who had some problems during her pregnancy. Ever since that experience, she has been fascinated by the ‘miracle’ that is childbirth. She qualified as a midwife just under 30 years ago, and since her role as a community midwife, she has been helping expectant couples with her antenatal classes.

little seeds | nene local

Antenatal classes aren’t just all about giving information to new parents. One of the most important outcomes of these classes is the support and friendship that develops between not just the teacher, but also with the other parents attending. TV programmes such as ‘One Born Every Minute’ dramatizes birth to a point where it can be quite terrifying for new parents, so to have a group of people you trust and like going through the same thing, at the same time, is really encouraging.

Alison’s experience as both a midwife and mother of four means she can really empathise with the people she works with during these classes. One in ten mothers suffer from post-natal depression, and Alison belives that friendship and support post-birth helps with mental well-being..

A technique that Alison has recently started incorporating is hypnobirthing. Initially a sceptic, since undergoing hypnobirthing training and seeing the benefits first hand in action, she is now amazed by the body’s way of completely reducing the pain of labour and birth. Hypnobirthing works by being able to switch off the logical part of your brain, to become calm and in the ‘zone’ by focusing on breathing. This lessens the pain receptors and the ‘zone’ helps create a calm and positive experience.

The antenatal course consists of 4 consecutive Wednesday evenings, run in alternate months, throughout the year.  For more information about dates, class size, testimonies and content, see the contact details below.

little seeds | nene local

Alison Sethna

Senior Midwife

Little Seeds Antenatal

1 St Osyth’s Lane



07731 992111



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