Our NHS Preparation for Birth and Beyond class


So yesterday we had our NHS ante-natal class. We were booked in for the 6 hour class from 10am-4pm.. the plan was to get up nice and early so we had enough time for brekkie and to run in to the shop and grab some drinks and snacks (we were told refreshments would be minimum- and they weren’t joking, squash and a couple of rich teas)  The plan soon went out of the window when we both woke up at 9.10am, we had time for a shower and a cup of tea, no time for breakfast or a stop at the shop!!! 

Needless to say I was starving until we had our first break at 11.30am, during which we ran to Costa and I scoffed an egg sandwich. 

The course was really long, in all honesty I think they could have substituted a couple of the topics with a tour around the hospital (we have to go to this on another day if we want it) 

The course covered;

– What are babies can do now – Pretty self explanatory. Babies born at my stage are very very likely to be born healthy. In Fact our nephew (1 today!!) was born at 6 weeks early weighing a massive 6lb 5oz, he stayed in for a while but was generally in very good health and is as happy healthy gorgeous one year old!!

– Labour and Delivery – we went through different types of labour, ones that last days to ones that happen quickly, it also covered emergency c-sections. I did find out the birthing pool in Basingstoke hospital is very underused, so I am totally going to ask for it when I call, I don’t have my heart set on a water birth but I think the option would be great, plus I know in this room they also have the ropes you can pull on to help with contractions! I am surprised we didn’t get to see forceps or a ventouse. (Maybe that’s a good thing)

– Breathing and relaxation exercise– Always the class clown/idiot Mr.C decides to make a snoring noise during this! I do think all the other dads felt a bit silly too or more self conscious. 

– Pain relief- I pretty much knew all of the advantages and disadvantages of each, Mr.C found this quite helpful, I don’t think he approved of Pethidine too much, as it’s the only pain relief that passes through the placenta. The disadvantages of an Epidural really outweighed the advantages, I really cringe at the thought of a a catheter! However I will still not rule it out, as I have no idea how much pain I am going to be in or how I am going to cope with it. 

– Breastfeeding – I was quite surprised at how this wasn’t pushed, the benefits were not really explained, it was more being shown how to breastfeed and how to get baby to latch on correctly. 

– Strains on a relationship- I think this could have been skipped, or shortened. I think we all know that becoming a parent is a whole new world and things are going to be difficult in the beginning. 

– Where to go for help – support groups etc. 

– Practical care of baby– Changing nappy, bathing and putting to bed safely. I was quite interested to learn that swaddling is no longer recommended due to overheating.

All in all, I didn’t learn too much, but I have done a lot of reading, I have a lot of friends and family with babies and I attend FitMama classes (not only fitness but educational.) Mr.Clarke on the other hand read three pages of his book so it was good to tie him down and have to listen (he did do very well when he had to bath the doll in front of the class- apparently it was all easy and he can do it with his eyes closed!) I would never tell anyone not to bother go, it’s a free class (thank you NHS) and you will learn something- even if it’s just a couple of things!! 

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