Baby Buzz Magazine

Page 18

Health and Wellbeing

To NCT or not NCT That is the Question! classes on offer. Ask your midwives for a recommendation, talk to friends and colleagues who have recently had babies about teachers they would recommend. Be assured that word of mouth will take you in the right direction, even if it is not necessarily right on your doorstep.

Do we really need to attend antenatal classes? Is there anything there that we can learn that we haven’t already seen on the internet or that we haven’t already read in our pregnancy books? Isn’t the main purpose just to meet people due around the same time? – everyone knows that you are likely to make good friends at antenatal class…

can do, when they may be helpful, when they may be detrimental.

One of most important things that the process of the antenatal classes should help you to sort out is learning the things that work for you, and the things that may not work for you. It is the aspect of class discussions, and the chats So if you have left it late, don’t despair, for immediately after class, and the discussions there are plenty of classes out there, and it with your partner afterwards at home over a is important to think about doing a class cup of tea that so often lead you towards recognising the things that you feel are most important to you about how you would choose to labour.

Well yes, then the answer is absolutely. True, you will likely meet people who may become, if not best of friends, in the very least a jolly good social circle to hang out with in those early years. I, luckily, did meet one of my very best friends at antenatal class, she saved my sanity in those first years of endless nappies, and this year, together, we watched regardless of your locality. There is so much our babies graduate from university! about the class experience that will help you to feel more prepared for the experience of Many people make the classic mistake of labour. waiting too late, only to find that their local NCT class is fully booked. But fear not, Many people may feel that they will be able to London is rife with classes! There is a wide prepare for labour just by reading books, or range of choice these days, from the hospital possibly doing one of the on-line courses that class, to the NCT, to private classes run by are now available. As important as it is to hope doulas or midwives, and often you will find to make friends in your antenatal group, one of private classes that are run by NCT trained the key factors that make these classes so practitioners now working independently. valuable is actually what happens in the group dynamic. The way that questions spark Don’t assume that the private classes are interactive responses, drawing on the more expensive, the pricing is fairly consistent experience of your teacher, leading to other across the board. Look for classes that are in questions that then spiral into discussions the radius around where you plan to deliver, so amongst the group is one of the best aspects even if it is not actually right in your of the class situation. neighbourhood, it will be in the area near to where you plan to have your baby. The thing that your antenatal classes should help you to do is to come away with a clarity of The Internet is a great resource, so if you have expectations, with a real sense of how the missed your local NCT, do cast around for maternity systems work, feeling that you have private classes local to your home or hospital. gained an understanding of the medical The best thing is to google ‘your area + management that may be offered, antenatal class’ and you will find a full range of understanding what the various interventions

It is, sadly, fair to say that many couples are concerned about the possibility of the labour potentially taking them down the track of ‘the intervention cascade’, that situation when one intervention leads to another which leads to another, and sometimes couples feel that the labour has not been a good experience, that things maybe should have happened differently. This is the classic ‘bad birth experience’ story that I’m sure many of you have heard from various friends and colleagues. This situation often happens when couples are not well prepared, they are not making informed choices, and they may come away feeling that they had no sense of control over what happened. Antenatal classes are an excellent way to prepare yourselves to be able to make those informed choices, sure in the knowledge of what works for you. So don’t hesitate to book early, any time after 12 weeks, or if perhaps you did wait a bit too long, well then get cracking on finding that word of mouth recommendation or that internet link that brings you to a class that will help you to prepare for your labour. And fingers crossed, you’ll find some lovely new friends. Jani White is a writer and lecturer, a specialist fertility & pregnancy acupuncturist, and she is a doula and antenatal teacher. She practices in Highgate and Harley St.