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NHS Antenatal Classes vs. Pregnancy Yoga

(15 Posts)
longwayaway Mon 10-Aug-09 23:18:36

Here's my dilemma: my midwife never mentioned anything about antenatal classes, so by the time I inquired and got the form filled out etc. the class they've offered me starts when I'll be 36 weeks and continues until week 38.

It's scheduled for Wednesday evenings, which is when my pregnancy yoga classes take place. I love my pregnancy yoga classes - without them I wouldn't be able to sleep for the hip pain I get at night - and I really hate the idea of not going the last few weeks when I'll need them most. (Assuming I'll be up for it - but if I'm not up for yoga then I definitely won't be up for the trek to the antenatal classes, which are even further from my house.)

SO I'm totally ready to bail on these classes, but... I know my DH was really looking forward to them. I don't know whether I'd be able to book a private class at this point or if we'd want to spend the money. Am I crazy to go without the classes completely? Is there some other way I can make sure DH gets the info he needs? (He's been dragging his feet on reading any books.)

For what it's worth I am planning a homebirth and plan to attend a homebirth/active birth workshop that my yoga teacher will be offering in the next month or two. It's just one day and won't deal with anything postnatal. That said, I (probably naively and stupidly) don't feel worried about anything, but I do need to figure out how to get my DH in the loop. Suggestions?

cat64 Mon 10-Aug-09 23:25:15

Message withdrawn

llareggub Mon 10-Aug-09 23:27:12

Get him to read mumsnet. It is all here, he really doesn't need anything else.

Sn0wflake Tue 11-Aug-09 04:04:13

I agree with cat64,

arolf Tue 11-Aug-09 10:20:37

If you can afford an intensive NCT course then I would go for that - we just finished ours, it was 2 days all in (although apparently in some places they do 1 day course!), on Saturdays, and well worth the money. We paid £124 for 2 of us, which included the NCT membership fee - you can opt out of the membership if you want, I think that made it £85 or something like that.

I can't say yet whether it was helpful for actual labour (as have a few weeks left before that happens!), but both DP and I felt a LOT more confident after the course, and it was great to meet other couples in the same boat! DP was dragging his feet a bit about reading anything, so for us, this was the perfect way to scare the shit out of him prepare him for the inevitable birth!

LionstarBigPants Tue 11-Aug-09 10:25:23

I got so much more out of pregnancy yoga than ante-natal classes. The breathing techniques alone are worth their weight smile

longwayaway Tue 11-Aug-09 15:49:36

llareggub Can't argue but I doubt I'd be able to convince DH of that!

arolf I don't doubt you get your money's worth with the NCT classes, but in my area they only offer 6-7 week long courses, which seems like overkill to me... would love to do a 1 or 2 day class if I can find one.

LionstarBigPants I have a feeling my pregnancy yoga will be a lot more useful than classes, too... unfortunately they don't do DH much good.

Mole007 Wed 12-Aug-09 10:42:59

we have just finished our 6 week NCT course. Great laugh, some really good friendhips formed, and absolutely invaluable for DH. I did wonder how on earth they were going to manage to fill the 6 sessions, but the time went so quickly, and we only just managed to squeeze in all the areas that all in the group wanted to cover!

mogend77 Wed 12-Aug-09 10:52:09

Sometimes NCT courses let people in even half way through a course at a discount.

NCT classes might have been worth missing your yoga for, but NHS ones, at such late notice, and with your planning a home birth & already booked on to your active birth workshop, are probably not imho. Lots of the info will be stuff you will get elsewhere either from reading up or from your active birth workshop. And lots at the NHS classes will not be relevant to the birth you are planning. You can read up on transfers/intervention/pain relief elsewhere in case you need it & arrange a tour of the hospital in case of transfer.

Yoga is so helpful and I wouldn't want to miss it if I were you.

WillThisBabyEverCome Wed 12-Aug-09 11:14:16

The only thing I really found the NHS classes useful for was hospital specific information like hospital policy and when they liked you to come in etc, but then I had done a weekend NCT class and if you are having a homebirth then this kind of info might not be relevant. The homebirth workshop sounds great - will your husband be going to this? If so then it might be that this is enough.

Is there anything in particular that you want your husband to get on board with or feel prepared for? I've also had no luck with getting my husband to sit down with a book, but we watched The Business of Being Born (American documentary re increasing intervention in American births vs benefits of homebirth - made by Ricki Lake with commentary from Ina May Gaskin, Michel Odent etc) together and since that he's been totally on board with the idea of a homebirth. I also got him to read a leaflet that came with a hypnobirthing cd I've been listening to which gave a pretty good summary of the kind of atmosphere I want for the birth and what role a partner can take.

Roomfor2 Wed 12-Aug-09 11:20:20

When I did pregnancy yoga, we tended to do the same thing each week, so surely you could do a session at home on those weeks if you can remember what you usually do? Or is there an alternative yoga class day/time you can switch to just for those weeks?

If it is your first baby, I would strongly advise going to the NHS antenatal classes as they will go over your pain relief options, what to do when you think labour is starting (to ring, go it, not go in, etc) as well as possibly showing you round the place where you will give birth - it will all help you to feel secure about knowing what to do when the time comes.

My hospital offered 3 evening sessions or a 1-day saturday session, which we opted for. Check if they offer any alternative sessions, but I would certainly go to the one at your chosen hospital as there is no substitute for knowing the drill of the place beforehand.

Good luck!

Roomfor2 Wed 12-Aug-09 11:22:18

Sorry!! I just re-read your post and saw you are planning a home birth.

Still think it is worth going to the classes as they will probably talk to you about your options anyway.

longwayaway Wed 12-Aug-09 12:40:27

Thanks everyone for your thoughts - lots of varying opinions and all of them helpful!

WillThisBabyEverCome I think DH knows that he needs to know more, but has no idea specifically what that might be. I've offered him books that he hasn't read and if he's been doing research online he hasn't told me about it. I think he's really counting on some independent authority figure - not me - to tell him what he needs to know, which is why I'd like to find a class for us to attend together.

I think ultimately I want to get him on board earlier than week 36, so it's not so much a question of skipping the NHS classes as finding a class that happens sooner rather than later. Then if we still feel we need more information we can go to the NHS classes in October.

WillThisBabyEverCome Wed 12-Aug-09 13:44:21

Hmmmm. From my experience the NHS classes are pretty basic and I don't know if they'd be that helpful. While I understand he feels that maybe there are some great mysteries that are going to be revealed to him, the reality is they will just go through your options of different pain relief, scenarios of what can go wrong, maybe different positions, signs of labour and blah. While some of this may certainly be helpful I'm sure you can get the info from some source other than 3 weeks of treking to the hospital when you least feel like it.

The reality is that when the time comes there is not going to be a lot that your husband can do other than support you, so it's important you make him aware of any wishes for the birth you might have. I'm planning a homebirth (maybe today??) and have tried to make DH aware of what I want in terms of keeping the atmosphere calm and relaxed and why this is important and how it's supposed to help with the labour (he has a tendancy to be a little excitable and thinks I should listen to death metal while in labour). If you go to homebirth.org.uk they have a list of homebirth support groups in different areas of the country that seem to meet monthly - it might be that you can find something near you that might be helpful.

longwayaway Wed 12-Aug-09 16:14:23

Thanks, WillThisBabyEverCome and how exciting that you're so close to the end! Hope all goes well for you (maybe today!).

The main issue for us is that... how to put this... it doesn't "count" if the information comes from me, or my favorite website, or my favorite book on childbirth. He's a bit stubborn that way - not believing everything his wife tells him wink He needs to hear it from an unbiased third party. (As a scientist I can hardly fault him for this.) I don't have much authority in these matters, being a first time parent too. Once he gets a chance to talk with an "expert" he'll realize what he can expect from the process and what parts we can't predict (ie most of it!). He hasn't met our midwife yet, which he's admitted he needs and very much wants to do. If only I could send him to the NHS classes alone, it would resolve my dilemma perfectly

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