Need your help! Antenatal class improvement!(3 Posts)
I hope you all don't mind me posting on here. I am a final year student midwife and I am hoping to get a bit of advice and insight into what you all would like to see improved in antenatal classes.
I work in the South of England and I am trying to improve local parentcraft sessions in my area. Currently the scedule is based on the NHS requirements and can be quite boring for parents-to-be. I was just wondering what you think makes a good antenatal parent education session and anything that you thought would be covered, but wasn't. I believe the key to a good parent education session is guided one derived from parents wants and needs and to be provided in a way that is interesting and engaging. No suggestion is silly, I'd appreciate any feedback
How long do you have for the course? The NHS course I went on was only 3hrs, which wasn't nearly long enough. I also paid for a 16hr NCT course, which was a much better length.
I'm afraid I felt the NHS course I went on used up too much of the time asking us parents-to-be what we thought we knew already. I'd have preferred to spend all the time hearing the actual facts.
Between these two courses and the stuff I read, I think the thing that stands out for me as lacking in the information I'd picked up, was realism about what to expect when breastfeeding. Firstly duration, eg cluster feeding and then also how they get super quick when older. Also the high rate of difficulties such as latching, tongue ties, etc. etc. This came up recently on the bf forum here that other people also felt they hadn't been warned well.
I suspect MWs worry that if pg women hear how tough bf really is, they won't start. Personally I reckon it's better to be prepared for it in advance than to expect a breeze and then feel you're failing.
I thought I was quite well prepared for what to expect in labour and the decisions I might need to make ... but then my own labour still ended up rather different, so maybe some more realism there about the amount of variation (although maybe mine really was that weird; it also floored the student MW looking after me).
I went to the normal free classes which were a set of 5 weekly sessions (think they're run jointly by the health visitors, midwives and Surestart).
I knew very little about babies before I went and I think the information was useful. However overall I think the most valuable thing I got from them was meeting other expectant parents from the local area so I think it was really important that we had time to chat informally among ourselves and get to know each other. Some sessions had a tea break in the middle and some didn't, which I thought was a shame. Other than that I think anything interactive will be better than a 'lecture' style presentation.
One other rather specific point was that they were quite vague on when it was the right time to go to the hospital, so I'm still a bit uneasy about that, especially as we live quite a long way away so don't want to either leave it too late or go too early and get sent away.
Also, people keep mentioning 'breathing exercises' for labour and we didn't cover that - not sure if that's because it's not considered useful any more, which is fair enough, or there just wasn't time.
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