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Antenatal Classes and lesbians....

17 replies

MirrorMouse · 25/10/2014 09:04

I'm pregnant - me and my partner are expecting a baby next year. We've been looking at antenatal classes and wondering what to do. Has anyone been to NCT classes as a lesbian couple and was it ok? I am worrying about my partner being treated as a 'dad' when the situation is slightly different!!
What about the NHS antenatal classes?
Any thoughts or tips welcome
Mouse x

OP posts:
lilmamma · 25/10/2014 18:02

I don't know but I suppose she will be treated as dad as such, as your the one with the bump, so she will be doing what a male does I suppose, but im sure there will be single parents who take a girlfriend or a mother :) have fun

MakeTeaNotWar · 25/10/2014 18:06

Here in Brighton I've often come across same sex partners at ante natal groups. No biggie, each couple is the mum who births and the other who is the birthing partner, in much the same way as if a woman attends with her own Mum for instance

HermioneWeasley · 25/10/2014 18:09

We went. I'm not a dad, but I was essentially the same as I was the birth partner. I'm not sure there's any practical difference? Most NCT classes will split Into groups of expectant mothers and birth partners at some point. If for some reason your partner wants to be with the women instead of partners then just let your teacher know.

MirrorMouse · 26/10/2014 11:21

Thanks everyone for your comments, that's kind of you.
I realise in practical terms my partner's role during birth is the same as a dad's but she's not a dad, she's a mum so I guess it's something around language maybe.
Anyway, we'll give it a go and I'm sure it will be fine.
Thanks again

OP posts:
eurochick · 26/10/2014 11:28

I went to a nct class with a friend as she was worried her husband would be too squeamish to be any use at the birth. We explained the situation in the intros but some people who were late assumed we were a lesbian couple for quite a while but no one seemed to bat an eyelid. I was treated as the dad and in the situations where the parents were separated I went with the dad group. They are not really set up for same sex couples, but I think regardless of sex, the issues are pretty much the same. In the "dad" sessions we were talking about supporting your labouring partner and how we might feel after the birth when the female partner is on leave and she has been dealing with a screaming baby all day and you come home and the house is a wreck, there is no food, etc.

Suea76 · 31/10/2014 19:53

My partner and I have a 12 week old little boy!! The Antenatal classes did refer to dad's all the time and at 1 point all the men were asked to go into another room. We had to ask what my partner should do and we told she could choose which discussion to be part of.
I think it's just a thing of routine and no offence was meant or taken but we did feel it needed to be raised and it has prompted a review of all the info leaflets.
During the birth we couldn't have been treated better.
good luck there hard work but worth it x

Bez2014 · 01/11/2014 10:57

Hi mirror mouse,

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I totally get your concerns about your partner being treated as a dad. My partner and I have just had a baby and it was/is really important to us that we're both seen as the mothers. Something as simple as using gender-neutral language can make all the difference in making us feel included. I think my partner would have been really annoyed if she was asked to go into a separate group for dads, although I realise not all LGBT couples feel like that.

We didn't do NCT but did go to the NHS parentcraft classes. I guess it will differ by health board and also who's running the class but we really didn't get on with them and actually only went to two out of the four classes in the end. Part of it was about the content and how the classes were run which isn't so relevant to this discussion, but it was also about the midwife consistently using 'dads' for the non-birthing partner, despite her knowing we were a same sex couple. However please don't let this put you off, I like to think that we were just unfortunate and that most NHS classes would be more inclusive.

The best birth preparation we did was with our doula which was excellent - having just given birth I would recommend considering hiring a doula to support you before, during and after birth. Ours was amazing and an incredible support to both of us.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

MirrorMouse · 01/11/2014 21:18

Thanks for sharing all your thoughts, really interesting to read! Sounds like a fairly mixed bag of experiences, which I guess isn't that surprising. Sounds like a really nice thing you did for your friend eurochick.
Congratulations on your babies Sue and Bez!! Sorry things didn't go that well at your antenatal doesn't take much to have an inclusive approach, does it? Oh well, we are going to go for the NCT classes anyway, so hopefully it won't be 185 quid's worth of irritation!!
Thanks for the advice

OP posts:
KarmaViolet · 09/11/2014 20:15

Hi Mouse, my partner & I did NCT classes with no problem. The only language issue was that the teacher said "mums and partners" which my partner wasn't that keen on as she IS a mum. However it was better than mums and dads, and I imagine that "gestational mums and partners" would have felt stuffy and excluding to some of the others.

The only other issue - which was not the NCT's fault in the least - was that some of the dads were in a competition as to who could be least informed about birth, which was irritating as I felt they were doing it on purpose!

The stuff we were learning was gender-neutral - so for the partners it was more about how to support the gestational mother. I'm glad we did it and we were made to feel welcome.

middlings · 09/11/2014 20:19

I'm straight but did do NCT relatively recently. The language was gendered but in our group there were no same sex couples so I guess it worked for us.

The thing is there's lots if language used that's a bit off putting (cascade of intervention,

middlings · 09/11/2014 20:21

Oops sorry - bloody phone

'Imagine your cervix opening like an amaryllis' etc) but in the end of the day you're there to get a bit of knowledge and meet local people in the same situation. I made the most fantastic group of friends whom I couldn't be without. Hope you do too.

pickletalk14 · 09/11/2014 22:35

Lesbian couple here - ds born in June :-) and we did nct before. Teacher always used gender neutral terms and no one im the group even batted an eyelid. My partner did feel a bit awkward in the 'dads' discussions- she felt as a woman she had a different perspective on some things. However this was quite a small part of the course and the benefits of meeting others outweighed it.

flipflopsonfifthavenue · 26/12/2014 16:05

We did NCT, yes the going into groups with other dads was a bit odd for DP but in grand scheme of things really hardly matters. Teacher adjusted her language to talk about partners instead of dads and none of the couples bat an eyelid.

Anecdotally friends of ours went to their NCT class all prepared with their battle armour on and walked in to find another lesbian couple there Smile

Re the dad/partner/other mum language thing, don't get too hung up. My partner said it has never really bothered her that some people have referred to her as having a "dad" role. At the end of the day she knows who she is and so do our sons and that's all that counts

BIrthingyou1 · 25/09/2015 08:21

We did Youtous antenatal classes in Brighton . They were amazing and one of the course leaders is gay and there was another same sex couple in our class . I would definitely recommend them over Nct..

MirrorMouse · 06/10/2015 19:38

thanks BIrthingyou1...just spotted your reply now! Glad your classes were good. We did the NCT in the end and made some lovely friends. So it all worked out well in the end :)

OP posts:
BathMidwife · 06/11/2019 17:17

Calling out to all future parents...
I'm thinking of offering 1 to 1 antenatal support/education classes in my local area. After talking to the women i care for I feel that a lot of antenatal education out there isn't quite hitting the mark. Sadly NHS education can often to a bit lack lustre, and NCT can be quite biased towards normality. Im also hoping that 1 to 1 education might also appeal to those who don't feel comfortable in group situations.
I am a practising midwife and hope to be able to give realistic, personalised advice. Im just wondering if this is something that people think they would be interested in if it was available?
Thanks :)

SarahAndQuack · 22/11/2019 13:53

You've bumped a very old thread here - you might get a better response posting a new one (and maybe in the main Chat section of the forum as, unfortunately, this one is pretty quiet even though there are quite a lot of same-sex parents here).

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