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NHS Antenatal Class

(13 Posts)
Rootatoot Wed 01-Jun-11 13:34:43

Just been to MW for routine 28 week appointment and I was asking about antenatal class and what it will cover. I only get one on Labour & Birth (couple of hours) and one on Breastfeeding and that's it. I asked her if it covered breathing techniques and she said that that's a 'load of old hat' and not to worry about it as 'you know how to breathe'.

At least 3 friends have asked if I've had antenatal classes and if they'd done breathing as they found it useful in labour.

I feel confused now. Can't afford NCT classes so, should I just dismiss it all as 'old hat' like MW says or should I buy a good book on labour ?!

WinterLover Wed 01-Jun-11 13:51:26

I get 4 x 2-3 hour sessions friom the NHS... breathing/Pain/labour techniques, Breastfeeding, baby care and relaxation and finally bumps and babies reunion.

I think its crap that different trusts have different courses sad

Rootatoot Wed 01-Jun-11 14:10:12

It just seems so inconsistent. I didn't really appreciate being talked to like I'm an idiot for asking about breathing in labour! This is the 3rd MW appointment I've had (at nearly 29 weeks) and my 3rd MW.

I've now got to go up to hospital cos my bp is high. It's a fun day today. sad

gembeam Wed 01-Jun-11 14:47:37

I've had the two antenatal classes plus the Obstetrics Physio class (the one for breathing).
I'd say I found the antenatal classes worth going to and, sorry to say this, agree with your MW re the breathing. I've got this far in life and my lungs have supported me fine! Due to my ridiculous pregnancy brain I can't remember much from the class anyway and am hoping any MW looking after me will give some direction as to when to do what wink The main thing the physio kept re-iterating was to breath out like you are blowing at a candle, but not to blow it out..........
Anyhow, its each to their own, but I'd say your not missing much! Congrats by the way smile

hubbahubster Wed 01-Jun-11 15:58:10

Wow, two classes – you're lucky, we only get one! Felt I had no choice but to fork out the best part of £200 on NCT since the NHS where I live provide next to nothing… I wouldn't have bothered if I could have had two or three NHS classes.

lolajane2009 Wed 01-Jun-11 16:08:39

I missed out on mine as I was 23 weeks when i tried to book them and I should have booked them after 2nd scan at 20 weeks... i have luckily got onto a pain management one and will also get a tour of the maternity unit as well. Lol, still slightly concerned I might go into labou before then thoughs both are at 36 weeks.

hazelnutlatte Wed 01-Jun-11 16:31:00

Where I am we have no NHS anenatal classes - all cancelled due to lack of funding! So I will be doing NCT. If you can't afford this then I would do some googling and maybe find a pregnancy yoga class to go to - One of my work colleagues has highly recommended this to me as it's so much more than normal yoga - if you get a good class they will talk about breathing techniques as well as positions for labour.
It's a shame that the NHS provision is so patchy, but I think there will be more of this sort of thing to come.

tiokiko Wed 01-Jun-11 16:37:46

What an unhelpful, dismissive thing for your MW to say. Of course you know how to breathe in normal life but childbirth is pretty different!

I know people have different experiences of breathing or other techniques during labour, but I have to say I found it really really helpful.

I remember really clearly focusing on my breathing and thought it helped to calm me down, pace things etc.

It wasn't covered in NHS classes here either; I used the Natal Hypnotherapy hypnobirthing CD and I think it was mainly useful for controlling my breathing.

Hope you find something that suits you and your MW is more constructive with other questions you have in the future.

vj32 Wed 01-Jun-11 17:37:11

In my (limited) experience, it is rubbish. I used gas and air in labour - which meant taking deep breaths from a fat tube - so any breathing techniques were irrelevant.

On TV they always focus on breathing when the midwife/Dr tells the woman not to push. The woman usually takes lots of short breaths. I had about 4.5 hours of being told not to push because I was a tiny bit off fully dilated. By the end of that I couldn't even breathe in the gas and air. It wasn't a case of not being calm, it was the fact I was in pain and couldn't get any pain relief and was fighting what my body wanted to do.

If you are likely to panic when in labour then breathing and hypnotherapy would be useful but to be honest it all goes out the window when you are there.

edwinbear Wed 01-Jun-11 21:52:08

I did NCT classes and we didn't discuss breathing. We were told our midwife would tell us how she wanted us to breathe when we were in labour/delivering and just to do as she asked. When it came to it my midwife didn't help at all but that's a whole different story and I'm not sure it would have helped me much anyway in truth.

muslimah28 Wed 01-Jun-11 22:23:12

Pregnancy yoga teaches breathing and it is very useful. Try 'birthlite' their course is v reasonably priced and is excellent

Rootatoot Wed 01-Jun-11 23:05:34

I think today's MW appointment was just a bit of a rush. The MW was filling in and in a bit of a flap & I think I was hoping that having not seen anyone for a while, that I could just ask a couple of questions but I felt she was very dismissive and condescending in all honesty. BUT hopefully the MW I had before will be back next time, as she was great.

I know it's all very personal, and breathing techniques might not be for everyone or even be relevant when it comes to it. I just wanted to know about them so I have the option or even just feel a bit prepared somehow and the way it was dismissed as if I was being stupid, made me feel crappy.

I think I'll prob be too late for any yoga classes but I'm going to look into tiokiko's suggestion of the CD and have a chat to some friends about it. I think vj32, that I don't know if I'm likely to panic as I have no idea how I'll react as it's my 1st baby, so maybe it'd be nice to have something to focus on. I won't get hung up on feeling i'm missing out on something 'essential', as many of you seem to think it's cobblers. I think it was just a bit of a disappointing MW experience today but then I have to say she was professional in that she wasn't happy with my BP and spent rest of afternoon up at hospital & have to go back on Friday. Apparently my BP has been high since the 2nd reading but nobody else has mentioned it was a concern.

Sorry for rambling...and thanks for opinions..

muslimah28 Thu 02-Jun-11 22:31:25

The birthlite course is suposed to start at around 35 weeks so yr not too late smile

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