Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Back to school - our antenatal day course

It took us a long time to find out about free antenatal services in the area - my midwife only gave me details of one and the contact there was impossible to get hold of and in the end I called the hospitals to find out if they could help.

I've heard mixed reviews on NCT classes and I'm of the belief that advice on labour, postnatal care and the first few days with baby should be available to all mums for free, not for a fee.

Luckily we found out about a Parentcraft day session run at Sandwell Hospital on a Saturday - another bonus, as Ste works away during the week and a session at 2pm in the middle of the day isn't terribly convenient.

We were there with another eight other couples, all from different backgrounds but all having their first baby. Two midwives ran the day and provided two different personalities, one being a bolder, strong character and another being more gentle in her approach.

We covered the different stages of labour, forms of pain relief, choices for placenta delivery (something I hadn't heard about before), postnatal care and establishing breastfeeding.

The models they used and diagrams we saw really helped me to visualise each stage of labour and I think knowing what happens at each point has actually made me feel more confident as I will know what's happening and how close I am to the end when labour does begin.

I also got to try gas and air which was interesting - by the fourth drag, I could certainly feel the effects, even 10 minutes later!

There was one lady by herself who asked a lot of questions - we asked quite a few but she really had a lot to ask, albeit from a well researched viewpoint. She started to annoy Ste but no one else was asking anything and if it wasn't for us, it would have been a very quiet day.

We learnt about the different stages, what to expect, the choices we could make and ultimately, that we were more prepared than most other people. All of this helped me feel calmer and more in control so I'm really pleased that we went.

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