Refresher – Active Birth Workshop

aes_handsupRefresher – Active Birth Preparation Workshops 

Types of sessions:

– 2-1 sessions booked on an individual basis

– Couples workshops for up to 5 couples

Venue: Walthamstow, Wanstead or Stratford

£200 per couple per course (concession £150 for recipients of benefits) £100 for women who wish to attend on their own. This fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.

This is a 3-hour workshop for pregnant women and their birth partner. The workshop aims to make labour and birth more understandable and accessible for both mother and birth partner, through learning about options available and situations that may arise.

During the workshop, we go through the birth and labour process, issues surrounding it, hopes and fears and positions and techniques you and your partner can use before and during the birth. The workshop complements antenatal yoga and other childbirth classes.

The workshop consists of:

  • What to expect – How labour starts and progresses through to the 4th stage
  • When to go to hospital
  • What is a contraction
  • How hormones and the structure of the pelvis are already designed to help birth
  • Ways to induce and accelerate labour using natural methods
  • How birth partners can help, using skills they already have but aren’t aware of
  • Using the breath & gravity to help in the various stages of labour
  • How to use a birth ball in labour
  • Helpful positions to facilitate a speedy labour & birth
  • Techniques & skills to aid labour and support your partner – breathing, visualisation, use of water, massages, dancing
  • Preparation of Birth Preference plans, and how to get the birth you want
  • Discussion of monitoring & signs of distress
  • Issues relating to both hospital and home births
  • Exploration of complications and how to turn them around if possible
  • Instrumental delivery (e.g. forceps), pain relief and c-sections
  • How to use Gas and Air, Epidural and Syntocinon drips to your advantage
  • Discussion of fears & expectations
  • Introduction to breastfeeding

Visual aids are used in the workshop in the form of photographs and videos to explain the birth process from real situations.

Participants are invited to bring any of the following items with them: Bean bag/Birth ball/Stool, Rolling Pin, Food flask, Water Spray, Massage Oil, Flannel/Towel, Shawl or eye pad. Max size of the group is 4 couples. Confidentiality and respect is encouraged in this workshop.


“Thanks for your support.  It has made a big difference…The session changed everything… Had to fight but we did it ourselves in the birthing centre…” – Anne & Sam (March 2013)

“Arlene designed the workshop completely around our needs and tailored the content and activities to ensure we got what we needed from the day. The day provided a good balance of hands-on practical activities with informative discussions. Even though we talk all the time and are very open with each other the 1-2-1 workshop provided a great space for me and my partner to talk about the labour and birth process on a different level. Arlene gently supported our discussions and helped us think about things we hadn’t before. My partner was able to ask all the questions he wanted and amazed me by doing some breathing techniques too. I left feeling confident in his ability to support me when our baby’s birthday arrives and he felt move connected to how important his role is. Thank you, Arlene, we are looking forward to the big day with a new sense of empowerment.” – Kelly, November 2012

“My partner felt much more confident after doing the partners workshop.  He remembers appropriate skills and was able to apply them in labour.  I didn’t appreciate how much he had taken on board.  … It was wonderful to know that he was with me all the way” – Aoife, August 2012

“The birth experience was amazing – something I would do over again in a heartbeat. I think the combination of the antenatal yoga and HypnoBirthing got both me and my husband fully prepared for the experience and everything leading up to it. I really enjoyed your course and will continue to tell other mums-to-be in the area about it.” – Rebecca, April 2012

“The yoga classes and our couple workshop were crucial to the success of the birth. I can’t thank you enough for bringing such good advice and guidance.” – Agnes, September 2011

“Before my first birth, I didn’t attend any birth preparation classes, and I felt very naïve going into birth. After taking part in the Birth Preparation workshop with my partner David, we both felt so much more equipped to have our second baby, and a lot more relaxed!” – Anges, July 2011

* This workshop is not exclusively for couples. If you don’t have a birth partner and want to come on your own, Arlene will work with you directly.

**If you find that the dates stated do not suit you, we can negotiate a personalised 2-1 package that will suit you and your birth partner. Just contact Arlene on  or call 07976903003.