Prenatal class fail

We took hypnobirthing classes back before the summer, but we also registered for a prenatal class that our local health region puts on. I originally just wanted to take their breastfeeding class, but they had recently combined it into one program. Another perk was that your partner would be able to get the Tdap vaccine at the class.

Our class was scheduled to run from 6:30-8:30pm tonight and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm tomorrow.

Let’s just say…. we won’t be going back tomorrow. :/

Tonight we focused on how to know when you are in labour and labour coping techniques. A lot of the course content contradicted what we learned in hypnobirthing (i.e. hold your breath to push vs. using your breath to move the baby down). There were also inconsistencies between what the instructor said, what the book said and what was shown in the videos. I was also surprised that the course manual was borrowed from another province!

I feel like the Western medicine’s (or maybe it’s just my old school province) approach to birthing is definitely fear-based. The word “pain” was used quite frequently.

The instructor also made one comment that completely shocked me. She was taking about pre-term labour and how some infants would need a shot to help their lungs develop if they are born too soon. She said the majority of infants will do fine, but some could die. SAY WHAT!?!?!  She could have at least backed this up with the reassurance that the survival rate is between 90-95% for babies that arrive between 28-34 weeks. But nope, she didn’t.

I will give the instructor credit for being inclusive. All of tonight’s course participants were male-female couples, but she used the term “birth coach” instead of “Daddy”. She also did encourage women to trust that their bodies know what to do.

We also discovered that they recently (as in sometime in the past month) stopped giving the birth partner their vaccinations at the course. This contradicted the registration form that we received which asked for my husband’s health card number and whether or not he would be receiving the vaccine. Now, we have to call the Health Region to schedule another appointment.

Tomorrow’s topics are pain management, breastfeeding and taking baby home. Since we already have our birth preferences defined and took a taking baby home class through hypnobirthing, we’ve opted to ditch the course. I have a good friend who is a nurse. She has offered to give me additional breast feeding support if it’s needed beyond our hospital stay. Or else, I’ll go to a breastfeeding clinic or call a Lactation Consultant.

Overall, that prenatal class was an epic fail. If we hadn’t taken hypnobirthing and had very minimal knowledge of birthing practises, it would have offered some value. We were just beyond it and the material didn’t align with our values.

In the end, I would have been better off scheduling my husband in for his immunization and spending my 2 hours at home tonight continuing my nesting.

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14 thoughts on “Prenatal class fail

    • Yeah I almost feel like you can prepare too much – especially when info conflicts. I’ve got a few books at home that I think will offer better advice, so I’ll stick to them and my hypnobirthing practise.

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  1. Interesting about the pain mentions! You’re in BC, right? Being from there, I know a lot of moms who have given birth in hospitals there, and come to think of it, it’s rare that I’ve heard of natural hospital births – unless it was because it had been too late for drugs to be administered. A lot of people who are looking for a natural birth seem to use midwives instead of OBs, and plan for home births. Is that because hospitals are still so old school that they don’t welcome the less western ideals? I’m so glad that here in QC the hospitals seem very pro alternative medicine. In the hospital I’ll have used for both births, there is even a designated section of the delivery/maternity ward that is for midwives & their patients, and traditional medicine only steps in if there are complications.

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  2. I can’t believe they told you to hold your breath! I kept accidentally holding mine and it caused the baby’s heart rate to go low and then they had to give me oxygen in between pushes

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  3. We took a 6 week prenatal course through a local family centre, run by a nurse. She was fantastic. We’d heard similar things about your experience from others about the city run classes here so we opted for the private classes. It was pretty much all repeated info for me (ha ha!) but it was really helpful for my husband. We took a labour class through the centre too. Incidentally, she uses the same book from BC because it’s the most comprehensive book available in Canada and nothing like it is available in MB.

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    • Thata funny. You think they could buy the rights to rebrand it for each province or something? If we didn’t take hypnobirthing and the timing worked out, we would have registered for one of the paid classes in our area. Overall, I’m glad we ditched today. Got major housework done instead.

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  4. What the heck? I’m so sorry that was so bad! I’m glad you were able to take a hypnobirthing class! The nurse in my hospital’s childbirth prep class raved about it. She said she’s only had 1 patient practice that, but it was amazing to watch. This woman was able to zone out of the pain in a way she’s never seen before so she’s been inspired to take some classes on hypnobirthing now. So you are totally set. I feel bad for the couples who aren’t taking any other classes than the one you just went to! I bought the book because I just missed the courses here. 😞 But hopefully that will help some.

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  5. I’m sorry you had a bad experience, but glad that you have other resources. My hospital’s birthing class was a joke, and a total waste of a Saturday. At the time, it was the only option, but now my doula offers a course. I tell everyone I know to go to her class instead.

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  6. Boo. I’m sorry you had such a negative experience. I hope you will give them some feedback. I agree with you that there are a lot of things that are fear based in terms of discussing pregnancy and birth.

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