Tag Archives: Prenatal classes

Prenatal Class #6 – Breastfeeding

6 Dec

We had the 6th, and final, prenatal class today – it was devoted to the topic of breastfeeding.

We went through all the benefits of breastfeeding (immune system, comfort, quicker weight loss…), watched some videos… Most of the class was not helpful – I already read all this.

What was helpful is her telling us why our mothers and older siblings had so much problem with breastfeeding: because back then babies were taken away for 4 hours right after birth and were brought back every 4 hours. Babies were often given formula and water – from bottles.And the way moms were instructed to breastfeed… they used to squeeze the nipple in what was a called a cigarette hold! I bet it hurt. I bet the baby couldn’t squeeze much milk. And – goodness! –  “cigarette hold” is just wrong on so many levels…

What was also helpful is her giving us a very good comparison: it might seem like baby is not getting enough nutrition those first few days when all you have is colostrum – but actually colostrum is very, very reach – like concentrated frozen juice. The concentrated frozen juice is so sweet that you simply can’t have too much of it – same with colostrum. So in the first day it’s okay if you get only 1 wet diaper (well, not you… the baby). Then there should be 2 on the second day, 3 on the third, and so on until day 7 – but pooping should be at least a daily occasion.

I do suspect this might have been the reason my mom and sis had ‘insufficient milk supply’ – their breasts simply weren’t stimulated for milk production because they were not let to breastfeed on demand.

Using real-sized baby dolls and experimenting with some breastfeeding positions was also helpful – before I only read about these positions, but having a “baby” in your hands is different, much more helpful.

Other than that it was okay at best. Oh, and the argument that breastfeeding is “cheap”? Puh-lease. Breast milk is NOT free – you have to eat much more to have enough calories to produce milk. We do pay for that extra food that turns into extra calories that turn into milk. Jussaying.

Prenatal Class #5 – Tour

22 Nov

Today was our fifth prenatal class – first we saw a video of a c-section (which was really not as good as the one I saw on baby centre… it was filmed way too far from the epicentre and staff were blocking the view all the time, couldn’t really see anything.

And then we had a tour of the facilities. I heard they’re opening a new wing, but the grand opening has been pushed back – I won’t be able to hold the baby for that long… And the old facilities are just okay. Dark, low-ceiling corridors. Tiny birthing room with flowery wallpaper. REALLY tiny. Shared bathroom – with no shower/tub.Did you know they don’t actually wash babies? Just wipe them with towels. And overall, bathing babies is unnecessary – wiping under-diaper area as pretty much sufficient.

Afterbirth rooms are a bit bigger – and they have a lovely view of Lake Ontario. Again, shared bathroom and no shower. The bassinet is a see-through plastic crate. That’s nice – I will be able to look at the baby next to me as the baby sleeps 😉

But you know what? I bet while I will be in labour, I won’t pay much attention to wallflowers. And I bet after giving birth, I will have my eyes only for my son.

What is really good is that all the staff seemed really nice and smiley and friendly. that’s more important than rooms!

Note to self: bring some “homey” stuff like a cheerful throw and a robe. And a magic bag – to heat the aching lower back up until they administer the epidural.

Anyway, seeing the rooms made the idea of having to go through labour more real. It still feels vague with over 2 months to go, but the reality of this event is starting to hit me. I am focusing on the moment when they will place my baby boy on my chest. I winder – am I going to cry?..

Prenatal Class #4

16 Nov

We had another prenatal class yesterday – this one focused on labour with intervention, ranging from epidural, to induction, to c-section.

I have to say, it was disturbing.

Epidural looks scary. As opposed to the natural labour we watched on a tape last week, here the woman had an IV drip, all sorts of monitors, and even a catheter (ew) – and she was strapped to the bed as she couldn’t walk any longer. And the epidural itself didn’t look like picnic either – the needle and all. To be fair, the instructor told us that compared to contractions you’re experiencing, epidural is really piece of cake. So it shouldn’t be all that frightening when we get there.

The c-section, on the opposite, sounded quite good. Sounds like it all happens in a pretty jovial atmosphere, it’s not harsh lights of an open heart surgery – although it still holds all the risks of a major surgery. Did you know the c-section lasts an hour, but the baby is born within the first 7 minutes? It’s the stitching back that takes really long. And in case of a c-section, they usually give the baby to the dad for the skin-to-skin contact that is so important. And c-section babies have more mucous after they’re born (naturally delivered babies get most of mucous squeezed out of them as they pass through the birth canal).

Induction, apparently, while speeding up the process – makes it more painful. Or, actually, no one really knows – they say that maybe it’s just that with normal labour the build-up of pain is more gradual – while with induction it’s like – BAM! – and you’re in hard-core active labout contractions.

I spoke to my sister about this class today and got concerned. I knew that her first baby was a c-section, but never thought to ask what went wrong there (I was 12 when my nephew was born, see). It turns out her water broke, but she never got contractions. Even after induction. So after 12 hours they had to perform the c-section.

And my mom had problems with both of us with insufficient labour activity – she did deliver us both vaginally, but vacuums and forceps needed to be used. her contractions weren’t powerful enough, either.

I wonder if this is genetic? Something to discuss with my OB next time I see her. My PCOS already muddled my brain enough for it to not even consider sending ovulation signals to my body – what if it fails when it is time to onset contractions? It won’t be the end of the world – but I have to be prepared that I might need intervention. And that my recovery will be longer than average.

Lots of things to consider…

Prenatal Class #3

12 Nov

We usually have our prenatal classes on Tuesdays – but since I will have to miss one due to a business trip, they were able to get us into a one-day workshop on the same topic as the class we will miss! I am so grateful they suggested this – no hassle, no additional fees, no information missed.

I have no idea why so many people say these classes are a waste of time. Even more so – I couldn’t understand why I was the only one taking notes. Seriously? They think they will remember all of this – a few weeks later? Sleep deprived??? Or, if they think they know it all, why join the classes?

Anyway, that’s their problem.

Today’s class was on newborn care. It was such a SWEET class. And having it on a sunny Saturday afternoon instead of a dark Tuesday night helped, too.

She showed us how to bathe and wipe a newborn – boy and girl. Very detailed – to the point of having all the shampoo bottles open before you start so that you don’t have to grow a third arm when you have baby in one, closed bottle in the other, and no way to get to the contents… How to swaddle a baby. How to change diapers. She went over every object on the list of “what you need to get baby changed”. How to take his temperature. How to take care of the cord. What number to call in case of this and that.

She gave lots of tips here and there that made a lot of sense.

The biggest eye-opener for me was to have everything ready before the baby arrives. And that doesn’t mean having the batteries inserted in the sleep monitor and clothes washed – it means having everything ready – since the moment you get home, you will need to breastfeed, change, wash, etc.

The sheets in the crib, the diapers and vaseline and wipes on the changing table ready, the bath time stuff ready… It sounds kind of obvious, but I never really thought about it in such great deal.

And we also watched a very sweet video of taking care of newborns – and their cute little faces, and noises they make…

My hubby started rubbing my shoulder excitedly, he is so cute 😉

Oh, and he (hubby) surprised me this morning by arriving from his hairdresser with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. I quickly ran through all the possible holidays and anniversaries and failed to find any reason. Turns out it was just for me. For the woman who takes such good care of his baby. For the woman that will deliver this baby in less than three months.

Last time he gave me flowers for no reason at all was before we got married. I am so touched!!!

In short – another great day! Thank you Universe 😉

Second Prenatal Class

8 Nov

We had our second prenatal class today. I was surprised to learn that my hubby is concerned about the level of activity our baby’s showing – he’s afraid the umbilical cord will wrap around him! And I learned about it from his question to the instructor. He never shared this concern with me. Weird.

But the baby is active, that’s true. It’s more movement now than kicks – but so much more frequent! I have a theory that our baby boy likes to be stroked, so he is always changing poses, making parts of his body stick out, knowing I will stroke and tickle him. I like this interaction, it’s fun. I feel like we’re connecting!

We discussed the stages of “normal” labour (no c-sections, inductions, epidurals) and then watched a video of a live birth.

While the video was following a couple through contraction, I was close to tears because of compassion for the woman and all the pain she was going through. And then when the baby was born, I actually did shed a few tears, it was such a miracle…

My hubby says he really likes these courses, things are getting clearer for him. He does receive the dads’ newsletter from babycenter, but I guess it doesn’t cover everything 😉 I am glad we’re doing this together for this places us on the same page. And helps him figure out his role in the labour.

Did I ever mention the cutting-the-umbilical-cord freaks him out? I find it hilarious that he seems okay with all the other things labour-related and so touchy about something so mundane…

PS and we have less than 90 days to go… my-oh-my, time flies!

First Prenatal Class

1 Nov

We had our first prenatal class today. Looks like there is a baby boom going on – the class is HUGE! And on Mondays they even had to form 2 classes to accommodate all the people looking to take the classes.

She started with taking all the guys into a separate room and making all of us (in gender-specific groups) introduce ourselves, the due date and intended hospital of birth – and then share the aches and pains we’ve experienced so far, and our expectations from the class.

The she got all the dads back and we sort of compared notes. It looked like dads spent most of the time discussing the emotional volatility of their wives 😉

She showed a picture that made it clear just how crammed things are in our tummies (I always wondered where do the intestines go – I thought hey sort of get stuck behind the uterus, but it looks like they move to the top).

Using a rag doll baby and a rag pelvis, she showed how baby turns when passing through the pelvis during birth.

We went over labour signs: 511. You are supposed to go to the hospital when contraction get to be 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute, and having been at it for 1 hour.

False contractions are irregular and don’t change pattern. Real contraction start 20 minutes away and keep getting closer apart and longer.

That was pretty much it.

Overall, I liked it. I didn’t really learn anything new, but I think it’s great because it brings me and my hubby on the same page.

5 more classes to go, on Tuesdays!