This week I've reached another lovely pregnancy milestone - commencing antenatal classes. P is attending with me and we've both been quite excited to get going on them - if only to meet some like-minded parents-to-be who are at the same life stage as we are.
We're going to some private evening classes for the next four weeks so that we can both attend after work. Wednesday was week one and I have to admit, despite the informal atmosphere at the clinic (we were seated on comfy sofas and armchairs), it did feel rather like the first day of school! You remember that feeling where you don't know anyone and people make shy eye contact and smile? Plus it's hard to get anyone to speak up unless they are asked a direct question. Me being a complete big mouth (and so is P) I felt like we piped up quite a bit during the session and afterwards I became self-conscious about it for fear we were being too vocal! Anyway, I'm sure everyone will start to relax as time goes on. It appears I am not the most nor the least pregnant woman in class – there was even a woman at 35 weeks, which even I think is cutting it a bit fine!
Week one was a fairly gentle start (with no gory details!) and covered topics such as pregnancy nutrition, the signs of early labour and when to call the hospital. Despite all the reading I've done, loads of it was very enlightening, especially the information regarding optimal foetal positioning. Apparently, the best position for a baby to be born in is the "anterior position", where the head is down engaged in the pelvis and the baby is facing your back. This is known as "OA" in your pre-natal notes made by your midwife. You can maximize the likelihood of your baby moving into this position for labour if you practice leaning forward in your seat for at least 20 minutes per day. I really like the idea of doing this as a way of being proactive early in preparation for the birth – but let's see if I can maintain that discipline as time goes on!
The next three weeks cover all sorts of other stuff including pain relief (that's not a class to be missed!), caring for your baby, breastfeeding, and the showing of a birth video. All in all, though I think it's going to be quite intense, I can already tell it's going to be worthwhile – at the very least to learn some new things and meet some new people along the way.
What preparation did you do or do you plan to do for your labour and delivery? If you attended an antenatal class, what information did you find especially helpful?