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.