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Antenatal classes, am I being naive in thinking midwife will discuss options with me?

(16 Posts)
moominliz Mon 08-Aug-11 16:54:12

I'm 14 weeks pregnant with DC1, I do intend to attend NHS run antenatal classes at the hospital and am due to start a 6 week antenatal class at the end of August. However, looking at the NCT courses and a couple of other courses they seem to go further into depth than the course I'm booked in to do.
I assumed that my midwife would explain about placenta delivery, intervention, pain relief etc. or is it just the antenatal classes that go through this with you?
I realise I have some time to go yet and am getting myself into a tizz over nothing but am currently in the stage of worrying that I know nothing!

Poweredbypepsi Mon 08-Aug-11 16:57:35

In my experience the midwife will go through things with you but it will be at a normal appointment so you wont have a huge amount of time.
At the antenatal classes I went to with dc1 they did go in depth about pain relief etc although i was mostly saying the negative points of the various pain relief etc its more of an information giving session rather than a discussion though.

nunnie Mon 08-Aug-11 16:58:05

My ante natal classes covered most things (NHS) only 3 evening I think. However if you have specific questions or concerns ask during the class or ask your midwife.

Pootles2010 Mon 08-Aug-11 17:00:06

Yeah our nhs class was rubbish, just the one class, 20 couples packed into boiling hot room for 2 hrs - fun!

We did private ante natal thing, which as powered said was quite negative re pain relief, but still helpful.

TBH learnt more on here than anywhere else!

Tanyaaah Mon 08-Aug-11 17:01:20

The midwife didn't really discuss these things with me, my appointments were very rushed. My hospital antenatal classes were 2 hours, only told us about pain relief etc, but not really in depth enough and it wasn't a discussion really.

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Mon 08-Aug-11 17:01:21

My experience of the classes is that very few people ask questions so just make sure you pipe up!

kellestar Mon 08-Aug-11 17:02:38

NHS classes in our area were huge and alot of info that I had got from books. Most sessions had 25-30 pg ladies. Not enough seating and ridiculously small rooms.

I had registered for NCT but not enough interest to run the course. I wish I had boooked sooner as would have gone on an earlier course. They had planned things relevant to me, wanted to know about breathing techniques, focusing & hypnobirthing. Was gutted and disappointed with my antenatal care. All I can say is thank god for mumsnet and books!!

whizzyrocket Mon 08-Aug-11 17:03:06

How do you find out about nhs antenatal classes? I've not heard a word about any around here.

mpops Mon 08-Aug-11 17:04:50

I'm sure that if you asked your midwife, they would give you answers. But midwife appointments are quite short and far between and there's other stuff to do during those (measuring, listening to baby's heartbeat, checking bp, urine etc.) so there is no way your midwife would be able to go in too much detail. Depends how you feel, really. We opted for NCT because my DH felt more comfortable spending 16 hours learning about stuff than the 6 hours offered by the NHS. But I know a lot of people who learned an awful lot at the NHS classes, so it's definitely worth doing those.

BikeRunSki Mon 08-Aug-11 17:05:36

My midwife didn't explain anything much - there is a lot to
1- know
2- think about
3 - maybe discuss

which is the point of antenatal classes. It's not just knowing about what happens, pain relief available, it is considering your options with a bit of guidance and considering all sorts of opinions. The best laid water birth plans of mice and women go all over the shop when you discover that you are carrying an undiagnosed breech at 8 cm dilation. At that point you'll be glad you did the em CS role play and you know why there are 12 people present! There's too much to cover in a 15 min community MW appt.

That, and making friends to eat cake with for the next year! Joking aside, ime the social side is very important, Even if you think the people in your class are the boringest people in the world, once your baby is here it is VITAL to know people with DC the same age as yours, and off work at the same time.

I did the NHS class (1 whole Saturday) at my hospital and NCT classes. Both went into pain relief, although the hospital one was obvioulsy more specific about what they offered and what their policy was - NCT dwelt more on the side effects. Hospital was more "practical", NCT was more reflective, a kind of briefing for childbirth.

Mmmmcheese Mon 08-Aug-11 17:13:05

I didn't go to any ante-natal classes as DS was born 9 weeks early (I was booked into NCT and very happy to get the £200 refunded!). The midwife in the delivery room explained all the options e.g. pain relief/placenta delivery/vitamin K injection etc. at the time that I needed to decide and for me that was all I needed to know. I had read up a lot in books and on MN and there was nothing that I wish I had known at the time that I didn't.

I think that for a lot of people the main advantage is getting to know other mums at the same stage as you. I was kindly "adopted" by an ante-natal group so got to meet mums that way instead. I'm not going to bother with any classes for DC2 either, I have a couple of specific questions that I'm going to ask my MW.

HPonEverything Mon 08-Aug-11 17:23:26

I went to the NHS antenatal class - just one 2-hour class and it was pretty rubbish. I only really want to go to them from the point of view of 'meeting other mums' as I'm pretty isolated, but I can't see me getting any more info from them than what I've read in books and online - I do a LOT of reading! Anything specific I'll just ask the MW at my appt.

moominliz Tue 09-Aug-11 11:07:56

Thanks everyone, its good to know everyones experiences!smile

YBR Tue 09-Aug-11 13:28:28

I asked my MW about ante-natal classes at my 16wk appointment. The NHS only offer one 90 min class, so I asked about NCT as it seems very short and I'd value hints on parenting as well as birth preparation. She was really dismissive, esp about NCT saying "there are others you know", and gave the impression I sould wait until next time (25wks).

So I've done some research and NCT seems to be the only other option in town (plus hypno if you're prepared to travel [which I'm not and the idea of hypnosis worries me.]) So I decided to contact NCT anyway and booked - glad I didn't leave it as they seem to fill up fast here.

I really know "nuffin about nuffin" so surely just 90 mins is going to leave me with more questions and confusion than I started with? On top of that the local NCT contact told me that the NHS sessions don't have enough capacity anyway so I might not even get that.

urbandaisy Tue 09-Aug-11 14:52:32

I think a lot depends on your personality. If you want to be fully informed, have the chance to ask lots of questions, and have all the information you want/need in advance of giving birth, then I'd definitely go with formal antenatal classes.

I didn't find my NCT classes at all negative about pain relief, they were really strongly evidence-based and very clear about giving us all the information about the options available to us. Having heard some negative things about NCT courses, I was really impressed.

moominliz Tue 09-Aug-11 14:54:38

I think everyone elses experiences confirms my own thoughts about the NHS class being somewhat inadequate.
The NCT classes in my area don't fit with DP and I timewise. The private classes I am booked up for finish in October and I'm not due until early February so if I still feel non the wiser at least that gives me time to get some reading done or have some specific questions to ask my MW!

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