Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Parentcraft Classes

Mr M & I decided that we would take up the offer of any classes or assistance offered to us throughout the pregnancy.  We thought the more information we have the better equipped we may be.  Our trust gives you a pack at your booking in appointment which has information on all classes that are available in the area from aquanatal and yoga to parentcraft.  Following our 20 week scan we booked our place on the parentcraft classes.

I didn't really know what to expect, you see in films people sitting around on the floor huffing and puffing.  I don't know what other people's experience of parentcraft classes are but ours wasn't like that in the slightest.  The classes were held in a nearby children's centre, we all sat around a big table like we were back at school.  I've read stories of people making friends during their classes, noone at ours really spoke - each couple pretty much kept themselves to themselves.

 Our first class was all about the early stages of labour and how you can manage at home for as long as possible.  We were given handouts showing different positions which can help with pain as well as massages that partners can give on the lower back.  The midwife discussed the effacing of the cervix, which caused all the men in the room to squirm!  The midwife also brought along items which are used in labour such as epidurals, mouthpieces and cord clamps so we knew what these items were.

Our second class covered active labour, this class was mainly about the different kinds of pain relief that can be used alongside the pros and cons of each.  The midwife also discussed where things might take a diversion from the norm and what will happen in those circumstances.

Our third class was held at the hospital and included the delivery suite tour.  Prior to the tour we sat around another big table and the midwife told us about the third stage of labour where the placenta is delivered.  We also discussed skin to skin contact with baby.  Our trust actively delivers the placenta, this involves mum getting an injection in her leg and the midwife "helping" the placenta be delivered.  Again all the men were squirming in the their seats!

Our final class covered breastfeeding.  Out of the 9 couples that started the classes only 1 didn't come to this class.  This class was given by a STAR buddy rather than a midwife.  She was really knowledgeable and we left the class feeling empowered and informed.

One of the downsides of our parentcraft classes was that the midwife who gave our first class unfortunately took sick leave so every week we had a different midwife giving the class.  We spent the first 20 minutes or so telling the new midwife what we had covered the week before.  We did find the classes useful though and I would encourage any first time parents to go