Antenatal classes available at The Orange Grove, Norwich

Antenatal classes available at

The Orange Grove Birth and Baby Centre’, Norwich, Norfolk


Jackie Heffer-Cooke

Me and My Sam just an hour old.

Written by Birth Educator Jackie Heffer-Cooke – Founder of the award winning The Orange Grove Clinic Baby Centre, and the award winning ZenMuma Hypnobirthing Teacher Training School.


It was with great dismay I read this month about antenatal classes being cut from the NHS. There is now an online offering being promoted through the NHS instead. This is a great shame. Antenatal classes are informative, educational, but above all an experience.

When you walk into an antenatal class it’s a time to really focus on the excitement of being a new parent, to share with the community of others going through the same journey in the room, and to learn some skills much needed during birth and thereafter. The cutting of these classes is another example of our postmodern fragmentation of society,  pregnancy and new parenting is a time which can feel very lonely – a time when we really need support from the people around us – a time when we really need the community of classes with our peers to share experiences.

Antenatal classes should be available to all

It has always been my dream that a birth education class like Hypnobirthing and The Birthing Tool Kit are offered to ALL.  I really believe that if birthing women, and their partners, are offered positive birthing in the form of breathing techniques, active birth movements, preparation for birth, deep relaxation techniques to work WITH their body rather than against it, then it would be good for everyone! It stands to reason.

hypnobirthing for caesarean

In general we are so lucky to have the NNUH and the wonderful staff up there looking after us, and when there is a need for medical intervention the NHS works at it’s best.

But for simple normal births, without complications, labour is really pretty straight-forward and we don’t really need much help. Anthropological mammalian bodies are set up to work really effectively in birth. Labour is not necessarily easy for women, it’s not a ‘walk in the park’, the uterus muscle is a big powerful muscle working, but with a few really effective tools and techniques the challenge can actually be really enjoyable, as long as you are prepared.

In labour our bodies work hard for us, the muscular activity can be intense towards the end, but it’s our human condition of worrying, stressing about it, feeling scared, feeling ‘the pain’, that we ‘can’t cope’, that’s what sets us aside from other mammals – because we worry, and ‘work ourselves up’, into a place of stress. This stress response works against us as it suppresses our bodies natural painkiller, Endorphin AND it draws oxygen from the birthing muscle and pumps it to the ‘stress-response muscles’ of the arms and the legs. These are the muscles we use to get us away from the fear by running away or hiding from it. So, now we lack our natural painkiller, AND a lack of fuel so needed to the uterus muscle – THIS is what makes birth difficult and painful and long. But the good news is we CAN learn techniques to help us through, to keep us calm, and to promote easier and calmer birthing.

Hypnobirthing. The SIMPLE Hypnobirthing method.

  • The Simple hypnobirthing method does what it says on the tin, it promotes simple, calm and easier birthing.
  • Is pain relief. It Promotes endorphin the body’s natural painkiller
  • Uses calming techniques like deep breathing scientifically proven to keep us in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is where endorphins live
  • Teaches deep relaxation techniques as when the skeletal muscles of the body are soft the body believes it is in the para-sympathetic nervous system which promotes oxygen to the whole body – including the uterus muscle – and again promotes endorphin
  • Talks couples through the whole birth process so they know what to expect. This promotes feelings of calm confidence, which in itself leads to a more rewarding birth experience.
  • It really explains to the couple how to work together as a team on the day, promoting a bonding beautiful experience, as opposed to a stressful alternative.
  • We teach massage techniques, visualisation techniques and we draw from positive mindset approaches to encourage a great positive birth experience.
  • Even if medical intervention occurs, we teach you how to manage them, particularly inductions as 30% of women will experience an induction.
  • Hypnobirthing leads to a calmer pregnancy also, and even a calmer post-partum experience as all the relaxation and mindful tools can be used before and after the birth too.

In my experience, why wouldn’t you do this? This is the beginning of your journey towards calm and conscious parenting, which is the only real way to parent a child.

Which course to choose

The full Hypnobirthing course the 12 hour course is £250 which is out of some people’s budget. I wish this class was ‘offered to all’ on the NHS but it isn’t. I totally believe that if this class was ‘offered to all’ in the long run it would save money for the maternity services as I believe there would be a reduction (in general) in costly intervention, which is a great expense to the NHS.

But for now, it isn’t offered.

So, we also offer the affordable ‘The Birthing Tool Kit’ – a cost-friendly 4.5-hour workshop teaching the essentials of hypnobirthing for those struggling to find the time and money for the full hypnobirthing.

This covers:

  • What labour is and how to work with your body
  • A guide when to go to the hospital what birth props to take with you
  • Essential breathing and relaxation techniques for easier, calmer birthing
  • Active Birth to work with your body
  • Massage for labour
  • How your birth partner can totally support you through labour
  • How to enjoy it!
carly rowena hypnobirth

Carly Rowena and Baby Jax hypnobirthed with Jackie Heffer-Cooke

Why choose us?  

  • We are highly qualified and trained with 11 years of experience, that’s more than anyone else in our county.
  • Our ZenMuma SIMPLE hypnobirthing teacher training school was awarded best Hypnobirthing training school in Norfolk.
  • We work with the hospital as volunteers for the Maternity Voice Partnership, so are up to date with latest medical thinking and practise.
  • We complement and work with the NHS systems we have, we don’t work in conflict with them, this is pointless as we all birth within our NHS systems.
  • We have heaps of birth stories and testimonials, including from a few people you might recognise like Jake Humphries and his wife Harriet, and Carly Rowena and Leon Bustin. Read and view here.
  • We offer a money back guarantee – come to our course, and if you want to pull out at any point, we offer a full refund. (this hasn’t happened in 11 years 😊)
  • Our courses don’t rely on, but do come with, complementary online guidance
  • Free ebook and 6 positive birthing MP3’s
  • Most importantly we care about you. We are passionate about SIMPLE easier birthing and we care about your birth.
Jake Humprey Hypnobirth

TV Presenter Jake Humphries and his wife Harriet hypnobirthed with Jackie Heffer-Cooke

How to book:

Hypnobirthing is £250 per couple (you would be welcome to come on your own) and a 12 hour fully immersive course. It comes with an ebook, 6 MP3’s and the online version.


The Birthing Tool Kit is £80 per couple (you would be welcome to come on your own) and is a fantastic, education packed, 4.5-hours. It comes with an ebook, birthing affirmations MP3 and an online version of The Birthing Tool Kit.


To talk to The Orange Grove and/ or sister company ZenMuma about other birthing services such as private hypnobirthing, pregnancy yoga, pregnancy massage, or hypnobirthing teacher trainingContact us here