Parenting 101

Pregnant woman with hand on belly reading a baby book near a vase of red roses.

The countdown is well truly on for the arrival of baby next month. Adam and I are getting rather excited to meet our little person and this weekend gone, we started our antenatal classes…

When we booked in for the classes, they felt so far away – a time in the distant future, when the pregnancy would be in its latter stages.  Now that time is here and it’s hard to  believe baby will be here so soon.

I went into the classes not really knowing what to expect.  The course we’ve signed up is two half days over two weekends, taught by two midwives with decades of experience, at the hospital I intend to give birth in.  We’re with quite a large group of first time parents- turns out nine months after Christmas and New Year is rather busy time in maternity wards ;), but it’s nice to be sharing this journey of discovery with so many others.

Our first class, covered a lot of the basics – the process of labour, birthing and the time immediately after baby is born; breastfeeding; and dealing with those first few hazy weeks of living with a newborn.  I’ve been reading lots about childbirth over the last few weeks, but much of what I’ve consumed has been personal stories.  While it’s been valuable I really enjoyed learning a little more about the biology behind labouring. Adam has been quite apprehensive about the whole birth experience but I think for him, the class has helped him understand what’s going to happen a lot more and allayed a lot of his fears.

Next week our class will visit the maternity ward, and although I’ve visited it a few times before, I’m really looking forward to looking at it from an expectant mother’s perspective, not just as a visitor. We’ll also cover topics like what happens when things don’t quite to plan and more general advice. In movies and on tv, you often see ante-natal classes as humorous affairs – full of nappies being put on the wrong way and people fainting when they learn more about reality of what happens in childbirth. My experience has been so different – it’s been fact driven, very informative and really quite empowering.

A colleague of mine (who has three teenagers) kindly dug out a heap of baby and parenting books for me the other day and I’ve now got a sizable stack on my bedside table to peruse.  I know instinct will play a large part in it all, and certainly there’ll be some days when everything seems to go ‘wrong’, but for me, knowledge is power and the more I understand the more confident I think I’ll feel going into this new chapter of life.

I’m also booked in to go to a specialised breastfeeding class and I’ve heard so much about the hypnobirthing method I’m keen to do a little more reading on that too.

Parents, did you do much research before the birth of your baby/babies?  I’d love to know what you found useful!

Have a wonderful week. x

 

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