Four weeks ago, Aaron and I attended a childbirth education class in Tweddle at Footscray. Even though I had already been reading a number of articles and books on pregnancy and labour at the onset of my pregnancy, I still felt the need to go and join a class. I don’t want to miss on anything! And I just want info and details to be reiterated to me so that they would stick to me well.
All our couple-classmates were already there when Aaron and I came in. They were just waiting for us! We were literally just minutes away from the center but we still arrived in late.
I was expecting a lot from the class and I was expecting it to be a classroom-type of discussion. The midwife has something different in mind though. Before she started, she asked us for topics that we wanted her to focus on and discuss. Since the main thing that makes me apprehensive and nervous about labour is the pain, I told her that I wanted to know some pain-management techniques that I can use during labour. My classmates chipped in their share of questions as well. These were where the discussion that day revolved.
Along with the lecture, we also had a few group activities. There’s also some hands-on exercises wherein she taught us how to put nappies on babies and swaddle them up with the aid of baby dolls.
Amidst a sea of information, these are some of my take-aways from the class:
- Ring the midwife when you experienced two or more contractions within 10 minutes, each 60 to 90 seconds long. Most likely, this is the time that they will ask you to go the hospital already.
- For labour to progress, you would want to increase your oxytocin (love/relationship hormone) levels. Moreover, the higher your oxytocin levels, the more manageable the pain becomes. So find activities or some thing that would increase this hormone naturally. This can be as simple as a massage, a touch or a kiss from your partner, listening to your favorite music or smelling your favorite scent or essential oil.
- To aid the descent of your baby during labour, do a ‘figure of 8’ with your hips or do pelvic rotations. Also, move around! Gravity is your best friend during these times.
- Pain reliever can affect the latching of your baby.
- You would know that the temperature of the water bath of your baby is just right when you did not feel hot or cold when you put your hand/wrist into the water. Lukewarm or neutral temperature is the key!
Though the class was not what I expected it to be, I still went home with an armful of knowledge and information that I can use throughout this journey. It was still well worth it!