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Felicia: Antenatal Classes
I was asked by my naturopath if we were attending any antenatal classes – I was already booked into the hospital antenatal classes (they have you sign up at around 18 weeks!) but I was also interested in doing calm birthing or hypno-birthing. She suggested I do these classes before I go to the hospital birthing and parenting classes and I’m so glad we did!
I did a little research online trying to compare the difference between calm birth and hypno-birthing and I also ask around with friends to see if they had done either and what they got out of it.
For me, I ended up deciding on choosing She Births, with Nadine – two reasons, I had read up on this course a while ago and it sounded amazing, plus I also attend pre-natal yoga classes with Nadine at Dharma Shala in Bondi, so I felt comfortable and liked the familiarity of the presenter. Secondly, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do either calm birth or hypno birthing (some people even do both!) and Nadine covers both (plus active birthing), so it was a no brainer! The more info I could absorb, the better!
At around 30 weeks, my husband and I attended the weekend at SheBirths – it’s a full weekend and you learn SO much!!! I was a little anxious about labour and my ‘expected’ pain threshold! What I learnt was it’s NOTHING like the movies – drama was made for entertainment! There is some guidance on your health and nutrition, what your body does and learn how to cope with labour as well as what you can do now leading up to birth such as acupressure - birth preparation. There is just so much you get to learn and Nadine provides so many bonuses. I came out of the weekend, feeling much more confident about birthing with a CAN DO attitude!
The (private) hospital classes we attended were over 4 evenings over 4 weeks.After attending She Births, we were really grateful that we did that first as we didn’t find we got a lot out of the first two weeks – though it was interesting to learn about ‘hospital procedure’ as such and you learn about medical devices like forceps and vacuums. Both my husband and I certainly felt that we got a whole lot more from the previous antenatal education classes! For me, if I hadn’t gone to She Births, I might still have some of those fears after what the midwife showed us! The last two weeks were a little more interesting (parenting classes) as we had a lactation consultant answer lots of ‘old wives tale’ questions, we all had. We got to change a baby’s nappy (a doll baby), learnt how to swaddle a baby and were shown how to bath a real baby – that was probably a highlight as we saw how little they were!!
Everyone’s approach to birthing is different – my concept is to have as many ‘tools’ in your toolbelt as possible! As we’ve been told, you wouldn’t run a marathon without doing any prior training – so why would you go through birth being unprepared as well?
To make it worth your time and investment, be sure to practice and utilise the resources that you’ve been given – for example, I listen to the meditation audios every day. There are guidelines of what to do from 35 weeks onwards, each week – so we’re just at 36 weeks now and getting into the flow of getting ready for birth! Fun and exciting times ahead!
Felicia. Make-up Artist.