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Thread: AN classes - who's going?

  1. #1

    Default AN classes - who's going?

    Hey everyone!

    I was wondering about Antenatal classes and curious to who sees it as a necessity and who doesn't?

    With my first baby, I attended AN classes and found them most informative. With my second baby, I did not feel I needed to especially since my first pregnancy, labour, birth and first year of baby's life was very difficult and it covered many issues that I researched and dealt with during that time.

    Now I am having my third baby...I feel old hat at this and a few things have changed, but I don't feel like I need to attend AN classes. BUT this is DP's 1st baby and I'm thinking knowing what my labours are like and how I opt for no pain meds and have long difficult labours, that maybe we should go to the local classes so he learns a bit maybe about being an active birth partner, all that new baby stuff, BFing things etc. It's difficult here as they are run over two weekends and it's going to be difficult to find someone to watch the kids 2 weekends in a row.

    So I'm wondering your thoughts, did you find AN classes helpful for you and your partner, especially for the first baby? Is anyone in the same position as me (having a baby with someone who it's their first, but it's not your first)?



    Thanks for your thoughts and hopeful additions to this discussion

  2. #2
    Babushka Doll Guest

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    Hi Tara!

    DF and I are definately going to do the AN classes, they are run over 2 Sundays (6hrs each day). We are both first time parents and we are really looking forward to going and meeting other couples (just like you guys on BB). Our hospital runs them, but they cost $170.00 to attend.

    I just had a look at the paperwork and they say that they also run a 'refresher' course, so maybe seeing you have already had 2 little buba's you could ask your hospital if they run them also? I understand about your partner being a FTD too, so you will have to take that into consideration, I bought DF a great DVD called 'Being Dad' He got alot out of it as it was 'blokes speak' you know dropping the 'F' word seems to make them think that they can relate to the person speaking! OH and they guys were drinking beer whilst discussing too LOL! No seriously it was great!

    PM me, and we will arrange something so you can 'borrow' (copy) it! (hope no one out there is from the copy right corporation)!!
    Last edited by Babushka Doll; December 17th, 2006 at 12:30 PM.

  3. #3

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    DH and i went to one for Jesse. I had done a child care course a few years ago so i knew the basics and all but just wanted some info on positions and the drugs. But honestly.. it was nothing i couldnt have googled and found out. We ended up leaving half day (we had a saturday class) as they touched on the positions and drugs in the morning and there was no need for us to stay. It cost us $120 and other than to say id been i didnt find it worth it.. but thats just my opnion.

  4. #4

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    Hey sweetie,

    DH and I will be attending, we have the option of attending 2 hour classes mid week for 4 sessions, or all in one go for 8 hours on a Saturday. We are taking the latter option! Also, it is at no cost to us (public hospital).

    I can understand it would be difficult to get someone to watch the kids 2 weekends in a row, are there any other options, like different times etc? If not they should really learn how to put a more flexible system into place.

    Are there no family members who can take them for the day? Maybe the hospital has a creche for little or no cost? I know you have an appointment at the hospital soon, so maybe it's worth asking?

    Does DH REALLY want to go? Maybe check that out before you stress about it lol! My DH would happily choose not too, he's a typical male lol.

    BDOLL!!! I'm interested in "borrowing a copy" of that DVD.......email/message me!

  5. #5
    Babushka Doll Guest

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    Ash - Ive PM'ed you. X

  6. #6

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    I think most hospital based pre-natal classes are far from adequate and women need birth skills so that they are in control of the birth, not made to feel like they need to rely on the 'experts' to know how they are doing and what they should be doing. Private classes cost a little more but are well worth it, the Pink Kit is great, but hospitals only really teach you positions, drug options, stages of labour, and whack on a birth DVD. Far from enough for what you need to get the birth you want. They only tell you what they want you to know
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  7. #7

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    Kelly, for first time parents delivering in a hospital setting, what would you suggest is the best way to go in regards to education/classes? I have been tossing this up and trying to decide what we should do. I know you've suggested private classes and the pink kit, but do you think one of these is better than the other, or that both would be good? If private classes are the go, which in Melbourne would you recommend?

    Sorry about all the questions! Thanks in advance!

    Sez xoxo

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    DH and I are going to the ones that are fun by our hospital. So far I haven't really learnt anything new, but I'm enjoying the classes none-the-less. We've been to two out of six so far. The main thing I am getting out of the classes is information on the hospital and their views on birth and labour. I'm getting answers to the questions about the hospital that I've forgotten to ask my midwife, or that I never would have thought of. It's also a good way for DH to find stuff out. He's not a reader (although he loves Up The Duff because it's divided into easy-to-read weeks!). I've actually been surprised by how much of my rambling about labour and birth choices he's taken in, and I only know how much he's taken in by the discussions that the classes have encouraged us to have.

    Ours only cost $50 and for six x two hour sessions, it's not that big a drain on finances or time for us.

  9. #9

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    Sez,

    They are both very different, so if you can get your hands on both you will be very well set! As for private birth classes, you can try:

    http://www.birthingwisdom.com.au/prebirth.html - ran by Rhea Dempsey, my teacher
    http://www.birtheducation.com.au/about.htm
    http://www.aboutbirth.com.au/workshops.htm

    Rhea is most expensive, but very experienced (around 30 years in birth?) and has trained the others as Birth Attendants. You can get some back from private health care I believe, but these three classes will give you much better preparation... HUGE difference. I have actually seen Rheas classes, as it was part of my Birth Attendant training requirements, and seeing the difference in couples after it is huge.

    The Pink Kit covers heaps of things, but lots of it is to do with learning about your body, pelvis etc because if you understand some important things to do with birth, you will feel more in control and know your body is made to do it. Have a squizz of their website, the banner is on the forums there, but there is a site which explains it better, www.birthingbetter.com - you might get better understanding there.

    You might also like to consider HypnoBirthing.

    All great tools which offer preparation for birth better than I have seen. You get one shot at it, the skills you have are soooooo important in your experience of birth. Can't stress that enough. Midwives study for three years to learn about birth - it's important you guys study about you too - take back the control!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  10. #10

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    Bdoll, I would love a copy too if you dont mind. We need all the help we can get. Am going to the classes that the hospital are putting on and have cost us $50 for 6 sessions, but sounds like I probably might need more help! I was thinking about hypnobirthing... but i have no idea....better get a move on now that i am 24weeks!
    Cheers
    Melissa

  11. #11

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    I am preg with 3rd which is DH's second Indah was DH's first & I never attended any AN classes, not with first or second & wont be this time either!

    I have totall faith in the Woman's human body & that it takes over & leads you through it... Well I know for me that's what both labours & births felt like, noone could ever have prepared me for birth...

    For me they just didnt seem the right choice!!!

    My Dh was fine at the birth but his Mum is a private nurse whom has delivered many, many babies on their kitchen floor in the village & he has been there watching, helping & listening... So he was already prepared I guess!

  12. #12

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    BDoll-I replied

  13. #13

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    I agree with you on intuition Trace, I think we all have the ability to birth and birth well. However the majority of us are giving birth in a place which is not conducive to that or supportive of that - 'they' are the experts and this rubs off on women, so most go to hospital, feel completely disempowered and feel that they need to be a good 'patient' but I wouldn't call well women 'patients' which is what pregnant women are Often decisions are made for us, because we 'don't know better' and 'they' are the experts... so I think birth skills are important in this instance. Some are confident and know what they want, but I have seen even some of the strongest women crumble with white coat syndrome and blood pressure skyrocket!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  14. #14

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    Kel, maybe it's coz I wear w whitecoat everyday at work... hee hee

    I am also stubborn...

    I am so hyped & pumped about this being my (sadly) last birth & going to the FBC... I am really excited I can still picturte Indah's birth so vividly & I know it was awesome & I am happy with it, but it also taught me stuff for this my last one!!!

  15. #15

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    LOL Tracey!!!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children

    BellyBelly Birth & Early Parenting Immersion - Find out how to have a BETTER, more confident birth experience... guaranteed!
    Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know

  16. #16

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    Wow, thanks for all the replies, it's great to get so many different opinions and choices.

    Kelly, do any of those ones run in NSW? And the pink kit- is this a course or a dvd?

    BDoll- Thanks so much! I will contact you through that other thread in BB, I don't think I have a PM function.

    Ash- DP is still in the 'what if' mode because of the problems we've had, so he hasn't actually talked about classes, he's too stressed. They don't start here till Feb, so it's a while yet. I havne't actually been to an appointment at the hospital yet lol , they don't see most till 22 weeks in clinic. I guess it's not very real for him yet.

    I'm basically not worried about me....I had one horrible birth, and one good one. Ironically the good one was the most painful and longest, but I had a midwife that listened to me and was very supportive of me having an active birth and no drugs, my bad experience midwife would not allow me off the bed during transition and the 3 hour pushing stage (yes, 3 hours), for no reason other than it made it easier for her, I wasn't even on a monitor. My first labour, I had a terrible one and many things happened that could have been avoided, all due to the midwife and her decisions and way of dealing with things, and also due to my young age and the fact it was my first baby and I wasn't assertive enough. (we were even advised that we had a legal case against her and the hospital, but counted myself lucky my son survived so I left it. There were many many things that were wrong in that hospital I saw in the 4 weeks I spent in there, not just happened to me either).

    My biggest worry is that I plan to have NO drugs again and a very active birth as I probably will have another OP labour and I really need an active birth partner to pull this off. DP kinda is freaked out about the whole thing and tells me he'll follow my lead, but I *know* how 'out of it' I get in labour and that I need someone to take over and be my voice...I'm worried at the moment he will panic. So I was thinking AN classes might help prepare him for it...but I"m still unsure for the exact reason that has been said here. My negative birth experience is also having an impact on me emotionally as I have not attended this hospital as yet and I'm very scared of getting a midwife like the one I had for my first labour (which was in the QLD public health system, so different state). Because of this I need my birth partner to be vocal and supportive, not freaking out.

    There is much to think about, and I really thank everyone for their opinions and advice.

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