Antenatal Course

Today we attended our 2nd, and final, full day session of our Birth and Parenting Antenatal Course at the hospital.

Have to say the course was well worth attending, and we both got so much from the 2 days, we have come away really satisfied with our birth plan and having Chicken Little at the John Hunter Hospital, it is going to be great!

Over the 2 day sessions we covered so much! There were 8 couples, all around the same gestation as us, roughly the same age bracket, and most were expecting their 1st baby, so we were all very much on the same page in our experiences and the information we were seeking, which made for a great group.

First up this morning we had a tour of the delivery suites and then the birthing centre. We have already booked ourselves into the birthing centre, so we were really excited to be seeing where it was all going to happen!  The birthing centre room we were shown was awesome and I could actually envisage myself pacing around in there, so it was great to finally be able to visualise the room to help prepare myself mentally for the big day! The room featured nice calming blue walls, a nice big bath tub, shower and toilet, medicine balls, matts and other aids, in a fully self contained room with all the medical equipment hidden away in the cupboards out of sight and out of mind. It really did have a great feel to it. The delivery suite room on the other hand did freak me out a little, and I really could not visualise myself in that room, it really did not appeal to me at all! Perhaps that is because I have never stayed in hospital before and have only ever been into a room like that for not so nice events, so here is hoping there is no reason we need to be transferred into there and get to stay in our nice calming birthing centre room!

As a general overview of the topics we covered over the course of the two days included:

  • normal events of late pregnancy;
  • preparing for labour;
  • when to come to hospital;
  • birth is normal for the majority of women;
  • understanding the sensation of labour, self-help techniques including breathing awareness;
  • pros and cons of drugs for pain relief;
  • pelvic floor awareness and exercise;
  • making choices and discussions about your labour;
  • when medical help is needed (induction of labour, caesarean birth, others);
  • being new parents;
  • feeding and care of your baby in the first few days and weeks;
  • recognising a tired baby and responding accordingly;
  • understanding normal newborn behaviour, having realistic expectations;
  • importance of fathers and family;
  • immunisation, safety issues for baby;
  • postnatal depression;
  • changes in partner and family relationships;
  • lifestyle changes with a new baby; and
  • support and resources available in the community.

There is just too much to try and go through everything we covered in anymore detail, but to generalise it all, we had an awesome midwife with over 10 years experience teaching and advising us on the current facts and practices on all possible avenues and outcomes, and we now feel equipped with the knowledge of what we want to do, how we plan to go about it, where we have to go and where it will all happen! Attending the antenatal course takes a little bit more of the mystery out of the whole process, makes us feel more confident and helps us prepare ourselves for the big day, only 44 days to go!

Published 13 August 2011