Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Our Prenatal Class

I always knew that we would take some sort of prenatal class.  I wasn't sure how, but I knew we would do it.  I was looking for a class that would offer different breathing techniques, birthing positions, and just a general overview of the labor process, as well as what the first few hours and days with baby might look like. There are so many expats in Berlin and so much English is spoken that I figured it wouldn't be hard to find a class taught in English and I was right! I posted in an expat moms group on Facebook asking for recommendations and had a ton of suggestions.

The one we settled on, at Hebammerie, was taught in English (obviously a requirement for us!) and was from 10-5 one Saturday and Sunday.  They offer classes in German, as well, which are taught for a few hours once a week over the course of eight weeks.  It actually worked out better for us to have it all on one weekend because we didn't have to work around Mike's class schedule or our travel schedule.

We arrived on Saturday with no idea of what to expect.  I knew it was a group class, but didn't know how big, who the other participants were or really what would be taught in the class besides the basics.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a huge room with mats, birthing balls and a kitchen where the teacher was making tea and coffee.  I also wasn't sure if everyone would bring their spouse, but they did.  I'm sure Mike was glad to not be the only guy as we talked about cervixes, crowning, and post-partum recovery!

The class was led by a midwife who was probably in her 40s. The first day, we talked about the natural stages of labor, the different positions to try during labor and breathing techniques.  The second day focused more on pain management like epidurals, as well as what happens during a c-section. We also talked about the role other people (like the spouse) can play in delivery.

I thought it was extremely informative weekend and I think Mike agreed.  Knowing what to expect made us both feel much more prepared for the big day.  I was a little worried that it would be a little too "hippie" and pro-natural birth, but the midwife did a great job of presenting the pros and cons of both sides. Our only regret was that there wasn't a section on baby care, such as how to change a diaper or how to wrap a swaddle.  I'm sure that the hospital or the midwife can show us, but I think it would have been an easy addition to the class that would have made it even better. Overall, though, we have no regrets and are so glad we found this class.

And because I couldn't take a picture in the class, here's a picture of me as of Monday.  Feeling rather large and ready for this little guy to make his appearance!