Preparation for Labour and Birth Workshop | Cornwall

“The goal of the workshop is to remove the fear of the unknown and to prepare both the woman and her partner in a realistic and practical manner for the birth of their baby.”

Preparation workshop for Labour and Birth in Cornwall 


This popular monthly class for women and their birth partners has as it’s basis the empowering and practical workshop first evolved by Janet Balaskas, founder of the Active Birth  Centre in London.  Over the years I have added the knowledge I have gleaned from my other wonderfully inspiring teachers namely, Michel Odent, Pam England, Jean Sutton, Ina May Gaskin to name but a few. To this I must add the crucial hands-on experience that I have been fortunate to have

gained from the mothers, fathers, babies and birth professionals that I have worked with over the years. This  workshop is a complete Birth Preparation for couples in itself, and is for example an alternative to  NCT courses. The weekend may also be an ideal complement to Pregnancy yoga classes, NCT antenatal classes, Hypnobirthing or Hospital NHS classes.

The workshop looks in detail at the birth process from around 6 weeks prior to the onset of labour up until the end of the first week of your baby’s life after birth.


The workshop is an ideal preparation for your chosen birth partner as it will prepare him/her for almost everything that may or may not happen. Practical and useful suggestions as to what may help to make labour easier and more manageable are discussed and explained.
Birth partners often approach me after a weekend saying that they feel so much more involved and informed and also remark at how they did not realise the extent to which they are able to actively assist in the birth process.
IMG_4893The course considers the role of both mother and birth partner and stresses the importance of each. As well as covering the science and physiology of birth in a full and accurate manner, I teach from the point of view of a doula and mother, making clear observations of what takes place at the different stages of labour and under various different circumstances. 

The aim is to ensure that the birth partner remains calm and in a position to think ahead at all times. When this happens, the labouring woman does not experience unnecessary fear and she will find that she is able to cope with even the most challenging moments.
Following the birth of her baby she is then able to remember the birth of her child as a positive challenge and a moment that she recalls with a joyful sense of achievement. No single way of birth is put forward as an ideal. A birth that is safe at all times resulting in a happy mother and a healthy baby is what we are working towards.

All participants will receive a comprehensive booklet covering relevant course details as well as a Birth Checklist suggesting what is needed in your hospital bag or at home if planning a home birth and also, a detailed guide to writing your Birth Plan.


This is a two part antenatal course held at my garden studio at Idless Mill, Idless, Truro, Cornwall.
idless mill studio near truroThe course is held approximately once a month on the weekend with a small numberof couples often from Truro, Falmouth, Newquay and other areas of Cornwall.

Tea, coffee, home made cakes and biscuits, sandwiches and scones are provided. This is a great way of getting to know other couples and share your experience of this life changing time.


Day 1: Afternoon  2.00pm – 5.30pm
On the first day we cover all the stages of labour and early days thereafter:

• Physiological changes in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy
• How the uterus begins to anticipate the onset of labour
• What to do to optimise the conditions for labour
• Positions the baby may adopt and how to encourage optimal foetal positioning
• The female pelvis and the openings to the pelvis
• The sacrum and it’s movement in labour

 First Stage of labour
• The definition of the first stage of labour
• The role of hormones in the onset and establishment of labour
• The optimal environment for hormone secretion and practical advice on how to achieve this space both at home and in the hospital environment
• when to alert the midwife/birth unit
• how to tell the difference between pre-labour and first stage
• the waters breaking/leaking
• how labour may start-the practical signs
• how the baby enters the pelvis and the path the baby will take through the pelvic canal
• what will hinder labour
• good practice on entering the hospital
• complementary remedies that are safe and useful for this stage

 Second Stage
• Definition of second stage
• Yoga positions to help the baby’s descent
• Birthing positions with the help of your partner
• How to cope with the contractions
• Pain relief mechanisms
• How to shorten labour
•Advice for partners on what to expect
• Eating and drinking in labour
*the role of the pelvic floor in the prevention of tearing
*the role of the breath
*transition as a crucial stage of labour
*massage and other complementary methods of pain relief
*the birth of your baby

Third Stage
*decisions regards medical assistance
*the role of hormones immediately after birth
*the optimal environment in which to welcome your baby

First week after birth
• A brief guide as to what to expect
• How best to support the new mother
• How best to care for baby
• What to avoid
• Practical advice


Day 2:  Morning 10.30am – 1.00pm

• Definition
• Methods of induction
• Valid reasons for induction

Medical methods of pain relief
• When it is best to accept medical assistance
• What medication is best used at the different stages of labour

Caesarian Section
• Different types of C-Section
• Epidural pain relief

Other methods of Rescue
• Ventouse
• Forceps

A suggested reading list will be provided as well as a booklet containing all the important points considered over the course of the day.

Please see the calendar for dates.

The Price is £170 per couple for the weekend or £100 per couple for part 1 only.


Birth preparation course testimonials: 

“The workshop was very detailed. it was nice to know little things about where rooms are at Treliske.” mother (March ’14)

“The food and venue were beautiful and I feel inspired and empowered.” mother (oct ’13)

” I would definitely recommend the workshop to others.”  father (oct ’13)

“The workshop met my expectations and more !! The enthusiasm and energy that Gilly delivers this course with makes the workshop engaging and exciting. I feel that all the information on the different ways of giving birth was delivered from a balanced viewpoint. Medical aspects were explained in a positive way. The birth partner’s role was greatly emphasised” Mother (oct ’13) 

“The booklet was very useful and the Birth plan guide collates everything in one place in a concise manner.” mother (oct ’13)

“It gave a wide and wonderful perspective of Birth.  I found the information on using herbs afterwards to heal useful. It covered all aspects of a hospital birth and how not to be worried if a homebirth does not happen and hospital turns out to be the optimal environment for the safety of your baby. I feel the workshop addressed the role of the birth partner excellently.  I am  confident that my partner will know exactly what to do to keep calm and keep himself busy and involved in the labour.  Gilly was a wonderful speaker and interesting to listen to. The catering was amazing. A truly magical place. I am also interested in encapsulation.” mother (nov ’13)

“The quality of education was 5 out of 5 and I would definitely recommend the workshop to others.” father (nov ’13)

“The teaching was excellent and completely non-judgemental.” Father (nov ’13)

“I feel confident in my partner’s role now. We are a team! I have already recommended the workshop to others.  The venue is stunning…an oasis of calm and tranquility. The cakes were delicious.” Mother (nov ’13)

“It was far more accurate and  physiologically  correct when compared to the NCT class I attended previously. It was also less scary for people. The NCT classes can be a bit more negative regards interventions from my memory of them . This is my second pregnancy and I would definitely recommend this workshop to others.” Mother (nov ’13)

“There were good demonstration aids and  3d descriptions of the baby’s journey through the birth canal. The practical coaching was very useful for me as an expectant father.  I found the explanation of the timetable of labour particularly useful”. father (jan ’14)

“The views on medical and non-medical techniques were well balanced. What was particularly good was the detail on the stages of labour, the appropriate use of medical interventions, massage techniques and birth positions for partners to remember and the diagrams of the anatomy of mother and baby. The venue was excellent and the cake was great.” Mother (jan ’14)

“The workshop met my expectations fully and some more!” Mother (jan ’14)

“The venue was excellent and the cake was great.” Mother (jan ’14)

If you have any question, please get in touch any time.