Antenatal Classes | Preparing for your new arrival

Antenatal classes and refresher classes for next time around…

Many first time parents feel overwhelmed towards the end of their pregnancy. They are thinking about the labour and birth, how they will cope with that, how their partner will cope and the sudden responsibility of having a tiny, helpless human being to take care of that is completely reliant on them for quite literally everything.

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Of course this also applies to parents the second, third or whichever number baby you are having. You might need talk about and make sense of what happened last time, you might want to gain some further understanding about what will happen this time around, and of course you have the added pressure of taking care of and loving multiple babies/children. The thing to remember is that regardless of this being your first baby or not, you are not alone in feeling this way. It is totally normal and natural and there are things you can do to help.

newborn-baby-photographer-lincoln-lincolnshire-2First of all try to relax, just breathe and take a minute for yourself. You can and will get through this. Next, find someone to talk to who you can trust to give you honest, straight answers. Friends and family are a great source of support, although human nature tends to make us tell each other our own story which isn’t always helpful when all you want/need are facts and answers.

Your first port of call could be your GP or community midwife. They will do everything they can to support and reassure you, however they are constrained by the amount of time they can spend with you. That is where Simple By Nature comes in. I offer antenatal classes in groups at various locations around Lincolnshire, as well as private 1-1 classes in your own home at times/days to suit you. This can be especially helpful for families with young children already, or couples who often work different shift patterns, as these classes can be slotted into your routine and don’t have to be on the same day or time each week.

maternity-lincoln-newborn-portrait-photography-jodie-4b&wEach course is made up of five classes covering birth choices, feeding options, positions for labour and birth and how to optimise your chances of achieving a “normal” birth, pain relief and how each option affects you and your baby, the role of the birth partner, what to pack for the hospital and how to cope with the first few weeks with your baby. I also offer re-cap classes for parents who might not want/need the full course. These can be tailored to each individual couple to cover the subjects they are most interested in, and can sometimes be done in one or two classes depending on the content and the needs of the couple.

Hints, tips and advice

1) Carefully think about where you want to have your baby. Many people are put off by

home births because they think it will be messy and safer in the hospital. A home birth can be easily contained by using some plastic sheeting with comfortable throws and cushions, or a home water birth. And the midwives will clear any mess away while you and your partner enjoy your new baby. Also, with a home birth you will have a dedicated midwife with you, and a second towards the end. In the hospital your midwife may also be looking after someone else at the same time. It is your choice so do what feels right for you.

2) When your labour starts, try to stay at home for as long as possible if you have chosen a hospital birth. You are free to do what you want at home, sleep, rest, relax, bathe, eat, drink etc. While you can still do most of this in the hospital, you will be pretty much confined to one room and it’s just not home.

3) Take long, slow, deep breaths to help you to relax during contractions. Your uterus is a muscle surrounded by other muscles. It is physically impossible for you to breathe in this way and be able to tense your stomach muscles up.

4) Keep your body in upright positions where possible. This will tilt your pelvis forward and make your baby’s passage through it easier for you both. This doesn’t mean that you have to stand up the whole time, you can squat, kneel, use a birthing ball or sit as upright as possible.

5) Trust your body. It knows what to do so follow your instincts.

6) Listen to your midwife, she is the expert in normal labour and birth and is in the best position to help you through it.

7) When it comes to choosing how to feed your baby, no one is going to argue that breast milk is the best thing. However, you have to make the right choice for you and your family, and you should be supported in this regardless of whether you choose to breast or bottle feed.

Contact Val on 07852283381

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Are you expecting? Don’t forget to book your newborn photography session.

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