Sunday, March 01, 2009

Prenatal Classes

Last weekend, we attended a 3-day weekend prenatal session. On the recommendation of our midwife, instead of going to one put on by the hospitals, we opted to go with a private company. We were told that it would cover the normal stuff -- "plus more", whatever that meant.

I was a little skeptical at first on the first session. The approach was quite different than just a pure clinical "this is what happens in labour and this is what you should expect" approach. It definitely was a little more granola than I expected, particularly as by the end of the evening, we had produced some artwork. But I kept an opened mind throughout the weekend.

The approach that was used was called "Birthing from Within". I will let you readers read the website for a better idea of what it's all about, but I've listed a few points of what I found valuable from the sessions:
  • We (mothers and fathers) went through some pain coping techniques. I really appreciated it because it gave me something right away to use, and is something that won't be too hard to forget.
  • They taught the fathers how to help the mothers to with the pain, different labour positions, etc. In other words, the fathers were just as much a part of the whole birthing process. I think Hubby liked that aspect as he has tools help me through the labour process instead just sitting at the sideline not knowing what to do.
  • The fathers in the class were very much involved with the discussions as much as the mothers were. I think they also felt like they were a part of the the birthing experience.
  • They took a different approach to explaining cesareans to us, while still covering all the basics. I think this different point of view was great because it makes it less of a clinical approach to giving birth, and strangely, made it less scary sounding for me, even if I still don't want to go through with a cesarean.
  • While they talked about epidurals and other drugs you could use, they gave different things to think about regard drugs and how it may affect the baby's bonding process with the mother. One thing I learned is that epidurals do affect the baby, even though the effects are temporary.
  • I like the fact that they emphasized on how important it was for the baby to bond with both mother and father. They also spoke briefly about co-sleeping, while I'm not a big fan of it, a lot of what they said did make sense to me.
  • Most importantly, I didn't realise how absolutely scare I was about the whole labour thing until we went to the prenatal class. I actually was petrified, and at some level refused to acknowledge it to myself. After the class, I felt more prepared, and a lot more at peace with the whole labouring processes. Sure, things will still happen which I may not want to happen, and there really is no way to predict what will happen, and a part of me is still apprehensive, but I'm in a better place for it.
Despite the granola aspects, I really recommend Birthing From Within classes, so if you can find one in your area, I encourage you to go.