As a midwife I have been well educated as to what to expect during pregnancy, birth and those beautiful early weeks with your newborn. As a mum I know that no amount of textbook education and preparation is going to help when it comes to the slap in the face that parenthood and parenting in the first 6 weeks postbaby are.
Personally I found that the textbooks told me what should be happening. What should help and how, I, as a mum, should be doing things the“right” way. It didn’t always work. I learnt many useful skills and techniques from other mums, older midwives and family. While some of these methods are perhaps not the “correct” way of doing things. Sometimes they are what is going to work for you and your baby.
In a world with so much information, how do we know what is right? What is going to work for us? That is where Postnatal classes come in, these classes provide lots of information and different techniques. Most importantly the comfort and reassurance that the best way is your way. So how do postnatal classes make your first 6 weeks as a mum easier?
1. More knowledge
For anyone that has had a baby we know that when doing any form of Birth Class or Postnatal class, your main focus is on the birth.
While these courses cover breastfeeding and the early weeks. These facts can often be forgotten by an expectant mum because her focus is on the birth. Like so many things in life we focus on the first hurdle to overcome then focus on the next.
By doing a class after the birth of your baby or in the very final weeks of pregnancy, you are truly gaining the knowledge at a relevant and timely period when retention is much more likely.
While hospitals cover education, during the first few days your family is in a bubble and not always ready to retain information. Often you are still tender, tired and getting to know this new baby. You are learning how to get this baby on the breast but not necessarily taking in information related to growth spurts to come (1 hurdle at a time). Wouldn’t it be great to know this information just at a time you can retain it and use it? The knowledge you want is entirely up to you and something to discuss when booking.
2. More confidence
With more knowledge and reassurance you gain confidence. Confidence in your abilities, confidence in your instincts, confidence in yourself. The happier you are in your mothering, the more comfortable you feel in what you are doing for you and your baby and confidence will follow.
3. Less doubting
With knowledge about what is normal, what is going on and what your instincts are telling you. You are going doubt your ability to parent less. You are going to do what you want, do what is right for you, your baby and your family at this point in time. Things change, what works now, wont necessarily be the best thing in a months time or what you do with your next baby and that is OK.
Read this great blog on Kidsburgh on self doubt.
4. Listen and Rely on Instincts
When you have a complete and comprehensive understanding of research available, a balanced pros and cons list, you are better able to listen and trust your own intuition. Thereby deciding on the best course of action for you and your family in whatever situation. When you are confident, are support and are informed, you can better tune in with what your body, your baby and your instincts are telling you. Making decisions that are more likely to work as they are working within yours and babies comfort zone, you are working with each of you as opposed to against. The more you begin to rely on your maternal bond and instincts, and see the beneficial outcomes, the more you will continue to to trust them.
5. More resources
Do you know what follow up is available?
Do you know what your body should be like postbaby?
Do you need further assistance from a lactation consultant?
Do you have a large diastasis or need more pelvic support?
This course can provide further resources for specific assistance. Providers that are local businesses that work and understand pregnant and postnatal women. Specialising in their pregnancy and postnatal support.
6. Increased support network
Group classes allow a network of mums at a similar time of life to chat and vent when necessary.
Parenting and Child rearing is hard, and the saying is true. “It takes a village to raise a child”.
But sometimes finding the village can be a struggle, so any steps that make this easier, is a solid bonus.
Post birth classes and support people can help you find those networks and share ways to connect with other mums and families locally to you.
7. More relaxed
With more knowledge, understanding, better support and a multitude of resources, you are going to feel more relaxed. The questions start to disappear and with this relaxation everything often will seem a bit less intense. Parenting is a challenge, it is a major shift, it is a huge change in our lives. Wouldn’t you want to be relaxed and excited about this change as opposed to terrified and overwhelmed?
Or, check us out on facebook for more birth tips and course dates.