Antenatal class N.1

I’m working from home for two weeks!!! Finally I can relax a bit… I do have work to do, but I can wake up a hour later, stay in my comfy clothes and slippers, have a nap after lunch and sit on the ball! (ok, maybe I should not write on my blog as well, but it’s only a few minutes…….)

Last Saturday we had our day long NHS antenatal class. It was at the hospital where we will go for the delivery, so we had the opportunity to ask questions about their practices. They have 4 natural birth rooms, with only two birthing pools, and 7 more rooms in the labour ward, with another pool there. There is a possibility to hire my own pool and bring it with me to the hospital as well, but it needs to be agreed in advance. The idea of planning a water birth and then getting there to find all the pools are busy (or worse, the hospital is full), is quite frightening: there are so many variables out of our control in the whole process, and I would like to be able to imagine at least the environment where I will be in…

Apart from this, the tutor was very nice and there were 8 couples with us, more or less the same age and due date, so it was nice to talk with them. Unfortunately, since it was only one day, we spoke with the people sitting next to us, but not much with the others. I did get a couple of phone numbers, hopefully we can keep in touch!

The tutor showed us a graph representing the contractions, how they change with time in frequency and intensity during the various stages of the delivery. It was a long graph…

After that we discussed of birthing positions (she had a soft model of a pelvic bone and demonstrated how the space increases when you stand/lean forward/kneel on all fours, making it easier for the baby to go through), of the roles of the birthing partner and the midwife, and she showed our partners how to massage our back (that was really good).

We then discussed what happens in the first 5 minutes after the baby is born, from the point of view of the mum, dad, baby and midwife.

Overall it was a good course, especially for the partners I think: I notice that some things are more natural to me that to L, even if we read the same books and looked at the same videos. So it’s even more important for him to listen to the explanations over and over and discuss with other future dads. We will have another course, longer this time, so there is another opportunity to think over what we want and maybe make it all less scary… (less scary? no way!!).

PS. I asked my mum and my sister their opinion on pain relief. They had four children in total, three my mum and one my sister. They both said without hesitation that the epidural is the best thing, no point in thinking about anything else. Am I being naive if I still listen to the benefits of a natural birth? I’m not against the epidural, but I would not request it a priori.  

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