Pregnancy is such a loaded topic (well, for me at least) for so many reasons. Apart from the fact that I am not the happiest of pregnant women, there are so many times before, during & after pregnancy that things can go so many different ways…
It can be the happiest time, but potentially also super challenging, sad & stressful for a variety of reasons. In my close circle, I know at least eight pregnant women & four with new born babies. Yes, we are super blessed, but I have also seen emotional roller coasters of note… For some it is the unknown of an unconfirmed diagnosis of their unborn child; some moms have waited for many, many years & have endured so much to fall pregnant. For others, the arrival of baby nr 3 or 4 is a really blissful time as they know their families will soon be complete; while a select few are faced with the unknown of life after having twins or triplets.
So personally I believe that one of the most important things about pregnancy is support & education. If you have backing & know what you should & shouldn’t be doing; why you feel the way you do; what exactly is happening & why it happens; what birth & pain options are available, you (should hopefully) feel less anxious.
This is where Pregnancy Education Week plays such an important role every year. It kicked off on Saturday, 13 February & ends on Monday, 21 February 2016. The focus is on pre-birth education & how it really makes a difference to moms, dads & babies. “You can tell during the birth whether or not parents have been to classes. They are more knowledgeable, less anxious & more relaxed,” explains Lynne Bluff, national co-ordinator for the Childbirth Educators’ Professional Forum.
Childbirth educator Dumisile Mncwango says that it’s worth starting antenatal classes well before your due date & encourages partners to attend, “In some communities people say birth is a ‘woman’s thing’ but it helps so much if both parents have the same understanding.”
Here are SIX REASONS to get educated & attend those childbirth classes (yes, even if you resemble a beached whale, are exhausted & feel like a fire-spitting dragon lives in your chest due to the heartburn):
1) ACCESS TO EXPERTS: Educators are experienced nursing sisters & midwives who have chosen to specialise in childbirth education because they passionately believe in it.
2) KNOWLEDGE: You learn about all the childbirth options available to you, plus the pros & cons of each. Sure, this can be rather overwhelming at the time, but you will be able to make more informed decisions.
3) YOU WILL BE EQUIPPED WITH THE RIGHT ‘TOOLS’. You’ll be given practical tips & techniques such as breathing, relaxation, positions, massage & visualisation – that can help you have an easier birth. Naturally, not everyone will agree with all the methods, but you are sure to take away some helpful bits.
4) CONFIDENCE. You will feel more confident knowing what to expect & how to manage it. A huge plus is if your partner can join. If you are single, then take your mom or a supportive friend!
5) PREPARATION. You’ll learn about all aspects of pregnancy & birth, from stretch marks, what to pack for the hospital, & how to bath & care for your newborn. This is also your opportunity to ask everything you want to know!
6) Last, but by no means least: CONNECTIONS – you’ll meet other expectant parents from your area. For me, this was possibly the most important part of our ante-natal class. At the time, I wasn’t interested in making friends. I was more interested in lying on my bed & forgetting about the world. But, after the birth I was added to the ‘New Mommy Support WhatsApp group’ (of eight moms) who attended the class together. This group is going on three years now & has been a real life line for me. We share fears, have seen many jokes, panicky questions & simply have a platform to share. So special & so necessary.
During Pregnancy Education Week, childbirth educators, Bio-Oil & hospitals around the country are teaming up to offer various talks & pregnancy-related activities. To find a childbirth educator in your area & for information on Pregnancy Education Week events visit http://www.expectantmothersguide.co.za, http://www.facebook.com/ExpectantMothersGuideZA or #WhatWouldBabyChoose.
Now for the fun bit!
*** WIN WITH A ZESTYLIFE ***
One lucky reader will win a Bio-Oil baby hamper (worth R1 150). The handy basket contains a soft bunny, cotton babygro, two blankets, a baby scan album, ‘Tips from Moms for Moms’ booklet & three bottles of Bio-Oil (60ml, 125ml & 200ml).
- Subscribe to aZestyLife (see the block to your right or scroll down if you are viewing this page on a mobile device).
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org [Subject line: Bio-Oil Preg Week]. Please don’t forget to supply your daytime delivery address, phone number & email address. Prizes will be dispatched within 6 to 8 weeks of announcement of the winner.
- Tweet, post, like & spread the word to all those pregnant mommies out there!
- Only open to SA residents
- ENTRiES CLOSE: Thursday, 25 February at midnight.
Hashtags: #WhatWouldBabyChoose; #PEW2016; #PregnancyEducationWeek2016