On today’s podcast I’m joined by journalist and radio presenter (and now best-selling author!) Beverley Turner. Bev is also the lady behind The Happy Birth Club ante-natal classes that are run out of a pub in Chiswick, London.
I first heard Bev speak at the IMUK (Independent Midwives UK) conference last year where she spoke about The Happy Birth Club ante-natal classes that she runs alongside a dream team of birth professionals. When I heard her speak I knew I wanted to get her on the podcast to talk more about it. I’ve got a bit of a thing about childbirth education and it’s this; it’s so damn flakey!
If you seek out the free birth education option in your community it’s usually run out of the hospital or local maternity unit, which by definition means that you’re more likely to learn about the medicalised view of birth. This in itself is a very narrow perspective on birth so you will miss out on lots of important information that can help you to prepare.
The travesty here is that we actually NEED to seek out this information and education. Surely we should come out of school with a basic knowledge of childbirth that goes beyond the usual let’s-put-teenage-girls-off-pregnancy-and-show them-the-scary-shit version. But we don’t. So when we’re pregnant, it’s up to us to get off our bumps and educate ourselves.
Happy Birth Club classes
When Bev decided to create her classes, she made a point of seeking out the best in class, which admittedly, is probably easier in London than in other locations around the world, but at least it shows what can be achieved when taken seriously and done well. At £350 for a couple, it might not be the most affordable option for everyone, but that pales into in significance when compared to how much a happy birth is worth… and what you’d spend on other big days of your life like your wedding for example. You can never spend too much preparing for your birth, especially if it improves your chances of coming out the other end with a positive birth experience… and more importantly avoiding a difficult or traumatic birth and the horrid consequences such as post-natal depression.
During my chat with Bev she talks through the things they share as part of her classes, but we also talk about a load of other stuff. Given that we’re both into birth the conversation does indeed wander…
- What started her interest in birth
- Bev shares her perspective on the midwifery situation that is affecting women in the UK at the moment
- Why she wanted to write her book The Happy Birth Book
- Why she feels that women are made to “aim low” in birth and why this is wrong
- But, why aiming low in parenting is totally acceptable
- Her advice for pregnant mamas who want to have a happy birth
I hope you enjoy it!
About Beverley Turner
I became a birth junkie after my son was born ten years ago and have spent much of that time writing, campaigning and talking about birth and parenthood as a journalist and broadcaster. For pregnant women, knowledge is power. Honest, supportive ante-natal education in a fabulous location alongside other growing bumps is the best way to begin the craziest journey of your life. When I am not drinking tea with my beautiful Blooming Bunch, I write a weekly Daily Telegraph column; campaign for better maternity services for all women and look after my kids (10, 5 & 3). I am so proud of The Happy Birth Club: there are no rules, no embarrassment and no finger-wagging – but laughter is obligatory.
The buy The Happy Birth Book on Amazon UK