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Disappointed with ante-natal session and info from midwife team

(53 Posts)
MrsCrimshaw Sat 07-Nov-15 19:34:21

This is my first pregnancy and I am 35 weeks. My husband and I spent today at an all-day NHS-run ante-natal session. We had been hoping for information about early parenting, seeing how none has been offered so far. We spent all day sat on unbearably uncomfortable chairs with other couples, being given information about labour and how the baby comes out. Which is fine, but we are none the wiser about caring for our little one when he/she arrives!
We were going to go to an NCT essentials course but were advised the content was the same as the NHS one, and when I did enquire they only had one space and I would have had to attend on my own. The NCT offfered us a place on the £200 one, which we really couldn't afford.
The midwives running the course today (it was for Dec/Jan due dates) said they were trying to get more things going at local Child and Family centres, for early parenting and breastfeeding etc, and I would need to speak to my midwife about this.
My concern is that throughout my pregnancy, the midwife team seem to have assumed that we have a clue about what is going on, even though this is my first. After the initial booking appointments, we were misinformed about how to book the scans. We also were given no information about how to choose which type of scan to have at 12 weeks, and treated disdainfully when we didn't know how to decide. My 17 and 24 week appointments were missed, because my midwife hadn't informed me that I "should have known" to call for an appointment around those dates. She said "I don't know how we missed you"! She also told me to text her any concerns, which I have done but I don't get replies. If I ask questions at appointments I get a disdainful response, like I am somehow beyond stupid for asking. I don't feel informed about anything, and the info I have gleaned is seemingly only given out reluctantly, or if I happen to ask the right question at the right time.
Most of the information we have found out is through looking online. Is this "hands off" approach the same for everyone? I know two other people who have had similar experiences to me. Our local child and family centre have listings online for workshops for July/August 2015.
We need to know how to care for our child when it is born, we are willing and able to attend local sessions, which just aren't publicised. I don't know what to do!!

queenofthepirates Sat 07-Nov-15 19:38:14

It sounds as though you've been badly let down. To be honest, even my NHS and NCT classes didn't fully prepare me for the reality of having a baby. What did really help was networking with other mums at NCT events and the Mumsnet guide to babies book. I remember reading it avidly as I BF my DD, laughing so hard she kept falling off the latch! In short, speaking to other people about what to do is probably the best advice, the rest comes naturally.

Wolfiefan Sat 07-Nov-15 19:38:39

What sort of thing do you want to know? Antenatal advice all seems to be about labour etc. I remember my first throwing up what I'm assuming was meconium after birth. I thought he was dying. blush
With regards to babies, feed, cuddle, try to get some sleep, repeat!
There are lots of books about parenting older children.

UptownFunk00 Sat 07-Nov-15 19:42:05

In our ante-natal class we got taught all you got taught but we also got taught how to change a nappy and bathe a newborn baby, did you get any of that? I think that's really essential stuff as it's not as obvious as some people may think! I was so scared of lifting the babies legs in case I hurt it but we were reassured. We were also told about the midwife and health visitor visits we'd get soon after birth.

Is there another hospital/service you could access that is perhaps a little further away? If not, perhaps phone up and specifically ask them the things you want to know. If enough couples mention their concerns they should start something up.

SurlyCue Sat 07-Nov-15 19:48:07

Well the clue is in the name. Antenatal! It prepares you for labour and birth. You need a parenting course for the stuff to do after the baby is born.

What is it you need to know? You really can find it all out on the internet. There is nothing revolutionary happening in the world of new baby care that isnt available online. Definitely not worth wasting money for one person who may not have all the answers to tell you.

If you post your questions over on the parenting board i'll bet you get far more useful answers from a whole variety of people with different perspectives and experience.

MrsCrimshaw Sat 07-Nov-15 19:51:46

No we didn't, UptownFunk. We want to know the basics - changing, feeding, how not to kill the baby in the first week! Dos and Don'ts really. Our parents (from another generation, I know!) can't believe how little support we've been given. I know that both our Mums weren't allowed to leave hospital until they'd proven they could change, feed and properly handle a newborn... I'm not expecting that, but I did expect that new/prospective parents would be given a bit more guidance! I'm naturally pro-active about things, and I have been reading, but I am still scared about doing the wrong thing with the baby...
There isn't another service nearby - we are in the middle of our county.

SurlyCue Sat 07-Nov-15 19:59:40

My cousin recently had her first baby. She had him at 2am in hospital and they were back at home in their own beds at 5am. I was really shocked tbh. All that happened in hospital after birth was that she got stitches, had a shower and was told she could go home. Nothing about feeding or changing or bathing the baby. Not sure if it was just shit care at that particular hospital or if this is how it is done now but i wouldnt be holding my breath for any advice from the midwives when you give birth. Being a new mum didnt seem to make a difference for my cousin.

SurlyCue Sat 07-Nov-15 20:00:22

Btw Youtube for videos on bathing, holding, dressing baby.

TattieHowkerz Sat 07-Nov-15 20:10:04

When I had DD 4 years ago there was a worker in the postnatal ward who helped with stuff like how to change a nappy and give a bath. Maybe there will be something similar? Do you have and family support or friends with babies? Tbh the only way to learn how to do it is the real life experience, with friends/family/mumsnet and/or a book as backup.

ilovehotsauce Sat 07-Nov-15 20:17:11

Surely you have changed a baby, had a baby fall asleep/rocked one to sleep? Feeding is more difficult if breastfeeding but if bottle feeding simply follow the packet instructions.

Generally it's feed, change, entertain & attempt to get them to sleep then repeat every 3/4 hours.

A book called first time parent might be useful, do none of your friends have kids?

Lightbulbon Sat 07-Nov-15 20:20:08

I had my first pre internet access.

I didn't have a clue how/when to change/feed/bath a baby.

I bought & read books.

Try Miriam Stoppard or Gina ford

queenofthepirates Sat 07-Nov-15 20:25:02

When you've left hospital there's few parents who don't look at their baby the next day and think 'wow, I've kept you alive a whole day now' and so on, every day, for another day. The practical stuff comes quickly, the emotional side you get by talking to other parents for reassurance.

3littlebadgers Sat 07-Nov-15 20:31:32

Goodness Nooooo stay way from Gina Ford! I tried that with my first ( was the first of everyone I know to have a baby) we were all stressed and miserable.

Skiptonlass Sat 07-Nov-15 20:39:40

First time parent is a good book.

Honestly, you will be ok! You tube vids are good for bathing and changing. Very, very important to get someone to check your breastfeeding position before you leave hospital - that's one thing that needs someone physically there with you.

I thought I had a good theoretical handle on it it I've googled about a million things (why is my baby feeding constantly/is X normal etc etc.)

Basically feed one end and clear it up at the other end. Keep them warm and cosy and if anything at all worries you ask for help

April2013 Sat 07-Nov-15 20:47:34

I had similar experience, you are not alone, we found nhs website and the vids on there helpful plus we were lucky with our health visitor, in the safe sleep front I found the gro bag company website and helpline brilliant, plus try the Tommy's website, I also rang the NCT helpline a fair bit. There are some truly amazing midwives out there, tbh I think they are all working on the labour wards where you need it most, but also a lot of fairly grumpy and time pressured ones. Hopefully you will find some nice ones along the line - this is why I think it is good you don't have the same midwife all the way through. Sure you will figure it out when they arrive smile I was totally clueless!

PennyHasNoSurname Sat 07-Nov-15 20:54:37

What do you need to be specifically taught though?

Surely you can read up on stuff?

feeona123 Sat 07-Nov-15 21:22:58

It just comes Hun!

Id never changed a nappy before but after a few goes you can do it with your eyes closed!

Google, baby forums and you tube are your friends. Xxx

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 07-Nov-15 21:28:53

I didn't go to any class what-so-ever before having mine. Internet has plenty of information, I was also given a book that I flicked though. Nappies are only difficult in terms of finding ones that fit well (Aldi ones have been amazing!), four hands are better than two for baths, keep a spare vest and sleepsuit nearby at all times - most things you just pick up along the way. The feeding one can be tricky - I was also in and out quickly from the hospital and this is one thing I felt wasn't esptablished well. However, the community midwife came around the next day and went through it with me, also left a DVD which I watched over and over until we got there. Honestly, it seems so overwhelming as your pregnancy goes on, but once baby is here you will very likely just naturally find you way - remember, women have managed for years without classes!

5madthings Sat 07-Nov-15 21:35:09

Well re appointment in.your maternity.notes/folder thingy there is a list which says at which week of pregnancy you should see the midwife etc, I usually phone a few weeks before each app is due as they get booked up. Sometimes at the end of one app I can.book for the next one but this is normally later in pregnancy when you see them more often.

Yes to looking online etc but tbh when.I had my first I was Ok as I had done babysitting as a teen, dh has never held a baby. But we muddled through. A friend bought us a miriam stoppard? Book. But steriliser etc came with instructions as did breast pump and I read about other stuff or asked health visitor.

Oh yes you may see health visitor before baby arrives and mine invited me along to post natal classes, good way to meet others with new babies and each week we had a talk about something else, one week it was weaning, another baby massage etc. It was mainly tea/coffee a chat and a chance to get baby weighed but 16 yrs later I am still friends with some of the mums I met at that group.

Peaceloveandpartyrings Sat 07-Nov-15 21:37:43

The nursery nurses on the postnatal ward will happily show you how to bathe and change your baby. I didn't have a clue either, just muddled through. I was so scared of damaging the umbilical stump that I didn't dare wash DS for about a week blush he was filthy! Are your parents nearby? Will they be able to lend a practical hand in the first few days? What about friends with children?
I know it's very easy to say, "it will come naturally", but it sort of does. When they cry, you have a checklist you mentally run through: 1. Nappy 2. Milk 3. Tired. Just keep repeating until they stop crying!
When my DS was being weighed by the midwife in the delivery room they had to remind me to get him dressed and put a nappy on him. I was utterly clueless. Yet somehow my DS is almost a year old and thriving! Madness! grin

MummyBex1985 Sat 07-Nov-15 22:46:02

FWIW I didn't manage to get to any ante natal classes when I was PG with my DD.

I was only 20 and had very little experience with kids and zero with babies. I managed to learn to BF (despite having many issues and being persuaded to FF), bath and change her, and keep her alive in general (for ten years, lol).

There's a lot to be said for instinct. It's not as difficult as you make it out to be in your head. Plus, the MWs at the hospital taught me a lot whilst I was in hospital (traumatic labour, blood loss etc meant I was in for five days). I was actually terrified when I was discharged and had to do it alone, but you manage just fine.

She's turned out to be a fantastic kid. And I'm now a dab hand at fixing my friends babies when they squawk. wink

ConsciousPilot Sat 07-Nov-15 22:52:39

Look, you've got your mum's, the internet and Gina Ford. That's all you need. You can't be taught this shit (cuddling/calming); what you can be taught is routine implementing.

ConsciousPilot Sat 07-Nov-15 22:54:10

...Oh, and please don't think you can micro-manage your birth/baby like you may have done your careers. Madness lies that way....

ALR123 Sat 07-Nov-15 23:06:14

I feel the same as you OP flowers my mw forgot to discuss antenatal appointments with me so when I raised it at 29 weeks with her she told me it was too late to book nhs ones and she apologised, I've ended n up booking nct ones that have cost me £165 but I was too nervous not to!
I've never changed a nappy in my life neither has my husband and am hoping that these classes will offer a bit of advice for post labour... like you I feel pretty clueless! I don't think people who don't understand why you can't just Google it aren't living in the real world! Having a baby is scary and you don't always want to learn how to change a nappy via Google! !
my midwife has been shit, she won't give me her mobile number and works part time so if I need to speak to her I have to call a land line and leave a vm on a machine that gets monitored at 3 pm daily!
Also she rang me last week to say my last bloods came back abnormal and I needed to go to my docs (where I see her) for a repeat test. I got to work an hour late as she booked by apt for 9am Friday and when I got to the blood test room they refused to do them as my midwife had forgotten to leave them any forms! It really winds me up. I feel for you and hope that everything goes well for you as it is very daunting.

Etak15 Sat 07-Nov-15 23:11:01

Bit confused about the appointments and scans bit - my next appointment was always made while I was attending the appointment ( and they did right a list of at what weeks they have contact in my notes) and 12 wk scan was requested by the midwife I got a letter in post and 20 wk scan they gave me a request form to hand it when I saw midwife at 12wk scan and got appt in the post for the next one.
I never went to any antenatal or parenting classes - can't remember being offered any? When dd1 was born a hca on the ward showed me how to bath her other than that you just have to crack on!
Sounds like you've got support from your mums I'm sure they'll be dying to help you with the basics and don't worry - it's difficult for everyone - even people that have had experience with babies - to know what to do, you just have to pick it up as you go along!

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