My hospital has just written to me to tell that due to understaffing and too many women deciding to give birth there, they have had to suspend all (3!) of their antenatal classes! Am almost 35 weeks with first and have done a fair bit of reading so feel fairly genned up on labour/pain relief options but worried will miss out on some vital info that the classes are supposed to cover such as special breathing techniques. Can anyone shed any light on what I might be missing that,s not in the books? Thx
Personally I didn't get much info from the antenatal classes that wasn't already in the books I'd devoured. BUT they were an absolutely invaluable social thing - and I met up with quite a few of the mums afterwards. They were NCT classes - but the other thing you could do to meet new mums is find out if your local NCT do any tea groups, or see if your health visitor / GP's surgery have a mums and babes group.
How outrageous though that your hospital are not offering the classes any more.
Agree it is outrageous, especially at such a late stage. Have you spoken to your midwife or Primary Heathcare Trust to see if they can offer an alternative, perhaps at a neighbouring hospital,clinic or Health centre. If not perhaps you could go along to any groups for recently delivered mums where you could hear some first hand experiences and ask them questions or a local NCT Bumps and Babes group. Agree the social side is at least as important as the factual info.
I missed most of mine due to DS arriving early. What was useful were the active birth positions (tho they strapped me to a monitor pdq when I went in) and knowing about the different methods of pain relief. Can you speak to your midwife at your next check about those? Breathing was really just about breathing out harder than in so you don't hyperventilate. I forgot all about that one!
Also I think what to pack in that hospital bag was handy - ie nappies and wipes..... I forgot them and they don't provide them!
Also I'd investigate NCT/La Leche breastfeeding classes if you can as that will be a huge help (assuming you want to bf).