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How important are the classes?!

(25 Posts)
hydeyhi91 Tue 21-May-13 23:22:13

Hello everyone smile
First post to Mumsnet and hoping for some words of wisdom!
I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant and yet to go to (or book any!) ante-natal classes. Did anyone find them absolutely essential or can I get away with not attending any?
I would have loved to have gone to some but I'm a full time student in my final year and with all my essays and dissertation there just hasn't been time to factor them in. My partner is also a full time medical student so I would have been going it alone anyway!
It is now dawning on me however that I have to actually give birth in the next 10 weeks haha! hmm and I am a) slightly terrified of pushing out a human and b) have no idea what to do!

What are peoples experiences of labour who didn't go to any birthing classes?
And similarly those who did, were they a complete life saver?

Thanks in advance!

GrandPoohBah Tue 21-May-13 23:28:41

I went to the NHS class, which was 4ish hours on a Saturday. I think it was worth it in as much as I was quite well read on the whole subject and I did find out things I didn't know about it - plus they did an extra session on breast feeding which I found useful, if a little wishy washy (I.e weren't prepared to discuss the fact that it might hurt or that tongue tie could be a problem we may encounter). Good advice on positioning though.

craftycottontail Tue 21-May-13 23:29:38

Hey smile

There's a recent thread here which will give you some views on the NHS classes

As for experiences of labour I'm still waiting (40 weeks today!) so hopefully others can answer that!

TigerSwallowTail Tue 21-May-13 23:34:28

I went to them with dc1 and thought they were a waste of time tbh, I've not been to any this time around with dc2.

hydeyhi91 Tue 21-May-13 23:36:48

GrandPoohBah- How far in advance did you have to book onto the class?
I still have a bit of time as my course finishes in a little over a week so hopefully I can get a last minute slot!

craftycottontail- thanks for the link! I realised almost immediately after posting this that there was an ante-natal class thread! Knew I would ask in the wrong place!
You're so so close! Have they offered a sweep or induction or anything?
Is it your first?

hydeyhi91 Tue 21-May-13 23:38:20

okay that makes me feel lots better!
I feel i'll be relatively calm when it comes to it anyway
just didnt want to be missing out on something which was vital!

Signet2012 Tue 21-May-13 23:39:16

I didn't go.
I watched obem and YouTube, spoke to my family and friends who have had babies and read loads of magazines.

hydeyhi91 Tue 21-May-13 23:46:40

ooh I didn't think of youtube! All ive been relying on is pregnancy books, one born every minute and being a silent stalker of threads on this site for the last week!grin

Mutley77 Wed 22-May-13 07:31:03

My main gain from them was friendship - do think about how you are going to make friends, esp if you are very busy at work now. Going from a challenging fulfilling job to "being stuck at home with a baby" (tongue in cheek!) quickly is a massive culture shock and I couldn't have done it without good friends.

In terms of the birth - you will be fine - just read books and talk to friends - to some extent I am sure not having massive expectations either way will be helpful!

MrsBri Wed 22-May-13 08:18:45

We weren't even allowed to book until I was 30 weeks.

If you want to do one I'd ring your midwives and ask if there is a course you can get onto. We had to wait a few weeks for a suitable class.

I got some good information out of it regarding pain control and what happens at the hospital. Every hospital has different ways of doing things, so you may find it useful to know exactly how yours works.

It won't hurt to call and ask. I wouldn't wait til you've got time as there will probably be a delay anyway.

StuckOnARollercoaster Wed 22-May-13 08:31:19

I found that much of the content is covered by books and mumsnet so you should be ok.
There were 2 benefits for me - it forced my boyfriend to find out a little about these topics, especially his role during birth and how to cope and help in the early days, and a tour of the facilities, rooms and where to go at the birth centre/hospital.
If you can cover off those points separately in addition to what you are already doing you should be fine - good luck!

StuckOnARollercoaster Wed 22-May-13 08:33:00

I found that much of the content is covered by books and mumsnet so you should be ok.
There were 2 benefits for me - it forced my boyfriend to find out a little about these topics, especially his role during birth and how to cope and help in the early days, and a tour of the facilities, rooms and where to go at the birth centre/hospital.
If you can cover off those points separately in addition to what you are already doing you should be fine - good luck!

rallytog1 Wed 22-May-13 08:47:30

I did an NHS one at 34 weeks. There wasn't much in it that you can't pick up from elsewhere, as others have said.

For me, the most useful part was where the course leader re-created a c-section theatre with lego figures, to show who all the people involved in doing a cs are. It meant when I ended up with an emcs I knew why there were so many people in the room and what they were all there for. Obviously, I didn't realise at the time how useful that would be

Rockchick1984 Wed 22-May-13 08:54:22

My DH found them far more useful than I did to be honest - he's not the sort who will read up a lot about things so it was good to have someone tell him what to expect, what he would need to do as my birth partner etc.

Agree that meeting others due their first at the same time as me was a godsend, although that was more prevalent in the NCT than NHS classes we did.

BabyHMummy Wed 22-May-13 09:30:05

They can't be too important as my hospital.doesn't offer them at all. I don't even get a tour of the labour suite. Am quite pee'd off about it tbh. Only option is private classes which I cannot afford and would have to travel 20 miles to go to even if I could afford.

Am a first timer and feel like I am being fobbed off big time by the NHS

Wishiwasanheiress Wed 22-May-13 09:32:08

YouTube and midwife/here for questions if that pressed for time. Be as useful...

CallTheDoula Wed 22-May-13 10:17:53

Hello, if time's the issue you could hire a doula for your birth. Most doulas include at least 2 one-to-one antenatal sessions with you and/or your partner which will each last about 2-3hrs giving you lots of info. about labour & birth, what helps, what doesn't and what your choices are enabling you to make informed decisions. Then, on the day you have an extra person on your support team who you know & trust and who won't be going off shift at any point. Go to Doula.Uk, they have a 'find a doula' section where you can type in your postcode to find doulas near you. Some will be still working through the recognition process and so will be half the price of a recognised doula. Not sure where you are but in my area that would work out at about £150-200

harleyd Wed 22-May-13 14:36:57

i went to one class when i was pregnant with my first, was a waste of time and i left after half an hour

FoofFighter Wed 22-May-13 14:39:51

I didn't go with my first two and didn't feel at a disadvantage at all, if you read lots and have access to the internet, there's nothing you cannot get from a class that you cannot find out yourself.

I am having them with this one though as it is my OH's first and he doesn't want to read anything hmm - and it's been a LOOOOOOOOONG!! time for me since dc2 (almost 19yrs!)

drawohamme Wed 22-May-13 18:07:23

No idea how useful mine were (NHS and NCT) as only 34 weeks but feel much more prepared / less worried and more importantly DH is too smile

mrsbugsywugsy Wed 22-May-13 20:32:03

I didn't go to any as dd was born prematurely.

I think it would have been really helpful to have been on a tour of the labour ward, as I found going to an unfamiliar place to give birth quite scary.

I also ended up in theatre and like someone upthread said it would have been nice to have understood who was who and what would happen.

OTOH circumstances meant that I needed quite a medicalised birth, and there weren't really any choices for me to make. so I wonder if attending classes which explained all of the options and emphasised natural birth might have led to me being more disappointed when that didn't happen.

freemanbatch Wed 22-May-13 20:49:19

I've never been to any, my midwife told me not to bother with the NHS ones because I was having a home birth and the ones offered locally were based in and all about the hospital side of things.

I have delivered two healthy girls who are now 5 and 2 and don't seem to have been damaged by me not attending.

Confused40 Wed 22-May-13 20:58:07

Like you I was studying doing 3500 case studies etc of a degree up until I was 37 weeks. Am 38 weeks now and haven't attended any classes. Did with ds1 and thought they were a waste of time anyway. As long as your keeping active and mobile and feeling ok you should be ok. I'm blessed with a doula who tried teaching me breathing techniques but I just laughed oops. Said she can teach me on the labour day. Try not to worry.
There are plenty of sites on Internet that can teach you all you need to know with videos of earth mothers who are great smilebest of luck finishing your course! I was so relieved when I got to 37 weeks, and could stop. Mad rush to get all the work done and handed in. Journals checked, clinical hours etc. relieved that all finished and no more essays, journals, lectures, seminars etc. just have to make up some clinical hours next year. smilesmile

hydeyhi91 Thu 23-May-13 00:47:01

Thanks for all the replies ladies smile
glad im not the only one! life certainly doesn't slow down in pregnancy!

Confused40- your course sounds more of a nightmare than mine! what course are you doing? bet youre glad its over! ive got my last hand in on the 30th and i CANT WAIT!!

Twinklestarstwinklestars Thu 23-May-13 01:00:38

I've never been to any and am 32 weeks with dc3 and have been fine.

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