As women, we grow up hearing a lot about pregnancy and childbirth. And when we get pregnant, we can easily drown under an avalanche of well-meaning advices. A lot of which may be true, but a lot can also just be old wives tales.
And caring for yourself, and for a newborn is an evolutionary world. There are constant researches and new developments that your own moms and aunties and other friends with babies may not be aware of.
And this is one of the main reasons one should attend a childbirth education class at least once during the first pregnancy. You might already know a lot, but there is always something new to learn.
I attended the classes offered at the Yama Yoga studios by Indiana Whyne-Smith. And I must say the classes definitely helped my husband and me.
The class covered a lot of topics including the physical and emotional changes we will go through, what to expect during labour, the interventions and pain relief methods available, breathing and massage techniques to help relax, and a lot more.
The class which included various presentations and audiovisual elements was very informative. It was the first time we got definitive knowledge about the three stages of labour. We learnt about how contractions are supposed to feel. We learnt about how to get ready for the hospital, about how we can manage pain and keep it as natural as possible.
Indiana explained the options we have available in Doha, and how we can make the best of it. She explained that we have the right to question our doctor, and to insist that they tell us what they are doing and why at every point.
The classes also highlighted the fact that we don’t have to be on our backs for the delivery. That there are multiple positions, and that we don’t have to rush to the hospital at the first sign of pain. It discussed how we could maybe help the labour come on faster, and how far some parts of the world has come in terms of maternal care.
Oxytoxin, colostrum, skin to skin bonding, epidural, gas and air, are some of the topics which we were hearing about for the first time. The breathing techniques were very useful for me during the labour. Even though I personally forgot, my husband remembered and guided me through it.
One of the best aspects of her classes are that it gives the husband his due. It acknowledges that a father is an equal partner in the journey of parenthood, and that there are many things he can do as well to assist his wife. In fact, when Indiana was explaining some things related to labour, all the women were nodding and the men looked bewildered.
And that is when it struck me! We, as women, read a lot and talk to other women and know a lot about pregnancy, childbirth and related matters whereas husbands don’t really have that opportunity and that is why this class is extremely beneficial for the fathers.
One of the key points emphasized during the class was how the husband can support his wife during the pregnancy, and during the birthing process. It helps them understand the emotional roller-coaster the mom has to go through, and how to help her through it. The class also encouraged husbands and empowered to fight mommy’s corner while in the hospital in case the doctors suggest something that she doesn’t want. The class encourages both parents to come together to take decisions that are best suited for them.
It also is a unique bonding exercise for mom and dad, and the lil one growing inside. There really is something special about doing the hypno-birthing exercise together, and learning more about how the baby grows and develops together with your man.
I also attended breast feeding classes offered by Indiana, just for mommies, where she explained terms including latch, mastitis, blocked duct and how to tackle these issues. We also learnt about pumping, and storage of breast milk. In fact, it was the first time I had heard about any of this. And it was the foundation of my breast-feeding learning. And yes, extremely useful practical information.
The class set-up is very informal, friendly, and warm. It is a small class size. There were about 7 couples for the mixed class. There were about 8 women for the breastfeeding class. At 5hours on two Fridays, it did seem daunting at first, but once the class was underway, time flew.
I would definitely say a class is a must for any parent and Indiana’s classes are absolutely the best. But in case you can’t make it, there are a few other classes that happen across Doha as well. The Positive Birth Doha FB usually carries posts on this, and that’s here you can check.