NHS antenatal classes(7 Posts)
My midwife has booked me in to antenatal classes at our local hospital today - they are on an evening for 2 session on consecutive weeks starting next week, however I didn't actually ask any questions about what they involve!
Has anyone been to any NHS ones recently & can clue me in on what to expect??
Following as I've booked on to them in Jan, mine are for 3 weeks though (I think).
The Ines I went to mainly explained about what to expect in labour/pain relief options and then safety stuff for when the baby arrived (safe sleeping/feeding etc etc)
It was fairly useful for a ftm but don't take what they say as gospel about labour etc. Go with your gut. They insisted that almost all ftms have long 20+ hour labours. Mine was 4 hours and no one believed I could be in that much pain until they checked me and I was 8cm dilated. Then couldn't have any pain relief as started pushing 15 minutes later!
Mine was a course of 4 classes, 2 hours each.
The first one covered pregnancy, how to stay healthy and keep baby healthy, how the baby develops in the womb, and so on. Mostly it was a discussion of what to eat and not eat. Also we went over key development points in gestation, and we passed around some bean bags with the various gestational weights at key points.. They also wentover how the midwife/health visitor thing worked.
The second one covered giving birth in detail, signs of labour, when to call the hospital and go in, what happens inside you, what the baby's doing, how birth progresses and what happens to you and to the baby after including what examinations you and the baby will have and vaccinations and things.
The third went over what happens if birth doesn't go to plan, what interventions are available, how they work, and what the risks are, everything from additional monitoring to emergency c section, including letting us handle things like forceps and ventouse. We also discussed how the transfer from a midwife led unit to a consultant led unit would work, and when and why this might happen.
The last class covered the basics of sleeping, feeding, clothing and bathing, and went through the red book, what to expect from health visitors and other support available after the birth.
I found them really interesting and useful, I know you can look pretty much anything up online but having the midwives and health visitors there to ask questions of, made it very helpful. Plus different health trusts have different approaches so it was good to find out what happens specifically with ours.
The other thing I found hugely useful was meeting people, I only moved to this county a year ago, and I don't really have any mom friends, so now we have an antenatal class whatsapp group and we're all staying in touch and supporting each other, which is great. For that alone it was worth the eight hours of attendance.
Where I live the NHS do 4 sessions. I have been to 2 so far. One was on Feeding where they pushed the hard sale on breastfeeding, which I personally think is a good think, but may not go down well with everyone, I didn't really learn anything that I did not already know from reading the book- The Food of Love (Kate Evans) and non NHS pregnancy groups. The second session was "after childbirth" covering cloth nappies, bathing, sleeping (but said never co-sleep which is misleading and poor advice in my opinion), and after birth NHS schedule (examinations in hospital/ Midwife and Health visitor), which was useful to know. Not sure what the next 2 sessions are (I assume one is pain & labour).
I have found the local Positive Birth Movement far more informative. It is free, and my local group runs a series of 12 sessions, which are more discussion groups so have learnt far more there. As a result I won't be paying the big bucks to go the NCT sessions. Worth looking up if you have a local group www.positivebirthmovement.org/find-a-positive-birth-group.html
I went as a +1 with a friend last month. The class lasted 3h. They mostly talked about labour, options, pain relief etc + the first few days with the baby - colours of poo, safe sleeping etc.
Oh it sounds like they may be useful for us as first time parents then, even if we only learn a small something! Fingers crossed! I'll report back next week after our first session
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