Antenatal Classes? Do we really need this? A dad's perspective
Antenatal Classes? Do we really need this?? The NHS do this already. Why do I need to go?! This was the exact phrase in my mind, following my wife telling me she had been chatting to a teacher and booked us onto a 5 week evening course.
I admit, I knew very little about pregnancy and the whole birthing process. I chose to ignore people’s experiences and stories, and was planning to ‘wing it’. I am now so relieved that I attended these sessions, as my initial plan was set for certain failure.
I met the course instructor Rosemary. A bubbly and passionate individual who we warmed to instantly. Her experience and knowledge gave me reassurance that she knew her subject area to great lengths.
Discussions into the perception of pregnancy / child birth initially had me thinking it was an uncontrollable event. In my mind, I was quite certain I wouldn’t be able to support my wife through this. It’s something that all husbands / birthing partners would just have to stand on the sideline when the day comes.
This narrow minded view was completely blown wide open, with key advice and examples on how I can support my wife throughout pregnancy, birth and after!
The nervousness began to decrease and excitement began to grow!
From preparation inventory ideas to breathing techniques, such a compilation of different resources and approaches to help us both as a couple feel empowered and ready for this journey ahead.
As the weeks drew on, I started to become more curious about the subject and keen to expand this growing confidence. Positive stories and updates from Rose’s social media kept this positivity flowing throughout the week. Conversations in the car and home became about the topics in class. The nervousness began to decrease and excitement began to grow!
I asked some really silly questions (those ones where you say to yourself “Did I really just ask that?!”) to which Rose would always answer with confidence and detail to help reassure me and others in the class.
The content of the course was delivered in a variety of ways. Easy acronyms helped when remembering key information, and never did I feel over loaded with too much detail.
My wife is now confident and happy that she knows in detail what to expect, furthermore how she can use a variety of techniques to feel in control during the stages of labour.
I felt we strongly benefited from gaining an understanding that birthing does not always go to plan, and sometimes a bit of extra help is needed to deliver baby safely. A good understanding of these alternatives (in line with Rose’s techniques of keeping positive and empowered) has given us both a settled mind and decrease in anxiety.
This course is a very powerful tool for the creation of a positive journey
In conclusion, this course is a very powerful tool for the creation of a positive journey. Where both mother and birthing partner are empowered, and embrace a variety of ways to make the new arrival to the world that extra bit special.
Ben, writing before the birth of his first child after taking my couples course in January 2020